The Essence of Politics

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Push for wage boost overshadowed by war debate

Senate adds minimum-wage language to war-spending bill

Although it's been overshadowed by a fierce debate over timetables for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, House and Senate lawmakers are pushing to use the emergency war-spending bill as a vehicle for enacting the first rise in the minimum wage in 10 years and a host of tax breaks aimed at small businesses.

Earlier this year, the House and Senate each passed legislation that would boost the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour, where it's stood since 1997, to $7.25 over the next two years.

The House version also includes a package of around $1.3 billion in tax breaks over the next decade to small businesses. The Senate version includes a bigger package of breaks totaling around $8.3 billion.

House Democrats successfully added the wage and tax language to their version of the $124.6 billion emergency war-spending bill that cleared the chamber last week. The Senate on Wednesday morning quietly added its version of the minimum-wage bill, including an expanded package of tax breaks, to its spending bill.

Senators had previously amended the tax language by adding another $3.9 billion worth of business-related tax breaks.

House Democrats had argued that a rise in the minimum wage, which has stood at $5.15 since 1997, was overdue and didn't need to be accompanied by tax breaks. But the Senate, where Democrats hold a narrow 51 to 49 edge, saw stiff resistance to a stand-alone bill.

On Iraq Issue, Nine Senators Hold the Key

When it comes to the Iraq war, the Senate is now being ruled by a group of nine senators who have moved back and forth this year on votes related to the four-year-old conflict.

About 90 senators have remained static in their positions -- 47 Democrats consistently casting anti-war votes, while 42 Republicans and one independent consistently cast votes aligned with President George W. Bush.

The remaining nine senators have shifted on the various proposals that have come up for debate. Sometimes they've denied the anti-war forces a majority and other times switched sides to deal defeats to Bush. (Only 99 senators have cast votes this year, as Sen. Tim Johnson continues to recover from a brain hemorrhage.)

The two Democrats and seven Republicans in the group hail primarily from the centrist wings of their respective caucuses. Yesterday was the most recent example of this group's power, as two senators switched their positions on imposing a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq -- a change that came just 12 days after the two lawmakers had voted against a proposed withdrawal timeline.

I so admire the courage of the new voters we had on this," Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said moments after Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) helped deliver a 50-48 majority on the issue.

It's the second time in as many months that the Senate first failed to get a clear majority for an anti-war provision, only to gain a majority days later. Each time it's been members from the group of nine senators determining the majority outcome......

Is Troop Withdrawal a Good or Bad Idea?

Well I'm going to say this and say this one time, America can't withdraw all its troops from Iraq but bringing some of our men and women home is a good idea. However withdrawing all our troops is definitely a bad idea that I will not support by any means. Well I do feel that America has had too many forces in Iraq and many of which have been over there for extended duties longer than they signed up for, I do feel that if we withdraw all our forces than we will never bring any stability whatsoever to Iraq or the Middle East. Thus America would perhaps have to become isolated from the world again like we did after World War I. Therefore, we really need to start planning to bring some of our men and women home and that is why I support Congress on passing legislation for a troop withdraw. However I support President Bush in the fact that troops need to remain in Iraq in terms of we need to still have some type of military presence.

So my solution for Congress and President Bush is to starting bringing some of our men and women home starting in March 2008 but not completely withdraw all our forces. However I do not support a troop surge by any means and I don't support keeping more forces over there than needed. So let's start to cut down on our troops and start increasing Iraqi forces to protect their own country.

Senate Passes Troop Withdrawal Deadline; President Said He Would Veto Such A Measure

HOORAY FOR THE DEMOCRATS AND THE NEW HOUSE & SENATE

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill which gives money to fuel the American forces currently in Iraq, however, the bill also included a nonbinding deadline for the withdrawal of all troops by March 2008.

The vote, 50-48, was the strongest victory for Democrats who won a slim majority in the Senate and House in 2006, and will now go to the White House where President Bush says he would veto any legislation which supported American troops with "strings attached." ......

FBI director defends need for powers


FBI Director Robert Mueller struggled Tuesday to allay congressional concerns about growing management problems at the bureau, including a report of widespread abuse of its power to obtain phone, Internet and financial records without court oversight.


Mueller implored members of the Senate Judiciary Committee not to strip the bureau of its ability to gather evidence through so-called national security letters, which allow the FBI to request information from businesses without a warrant, subpoena or judicial review.


He said the recent abuses, detailed in a report earlier this month by the Justice Department's inspector general, were the result of honest mistakes rather than skullduggery.


But his assurances did not appear to comfort either Democratic or Republican members of the panel, some of whom said they are rapidly losing confidence in the ability of the FBI to protect the country from terrorism.


"Every time we turn around, there is another very serious failure on the part of the bureau," said Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee. "Another shoe drops, virtually on a daily basis.....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Presidential Hopefuls in a Money Race

Hillary Rodham Clinton raises nearly $3 million in a single event and husband Bill pleads for more. John McCain publicly frets about falling financially behind.

With the first quarter of fundraising ending Saturday, the presidential campaigns are working overtime to make sure they don't get tagged as losers in the money race.

"Money in the off year has never been more important than in this presidential cycle," said Michael Toner, a former Federal Election Commission chairman.

In a message to supporters last week, Bill Clinton stressed the importance of posting high fundraising totals in the first quarter.

"The (financial) report her campaign files will set the tone for the rest of the year, and it is absolutely critical to her success," he wrote, just days after he headlined a $2.7 million Washington fundraiser for her.

Official campaign totals place her fundraising for just last week at $6 million, but that number could underestimate sums raised in New York and California. And by all accounts, the Democratic front-runner will lead all candidates in first-quarter fundraising. Some rival camps, eager to boost expectations for the New York senator, suggest her overall contributions could reach up to $40 million.

Campaigning in California, former Sen. John Edwards said neither he nor any other candidate could match Clinton's fundraising juggernaut, but, "I will have enough money to be heard."

Only Clinton's campaign knows the extent of her fundraising. Her main Democratic challengers simply want to stay within reach.

"If the press reports that Hillary has raised a lot of money, people are going to yawn and change the channel - big deal," said Wade Byrd, a North Carolina lawyer and fundraiser for Edwards. "But if we can stay in the game, now that's news and we're going to stay in the game."

Is Obama All Style and Little Substance?


The voices are growing louder asking the question: Is Barack Obama all style and little substance? The freshman Illinois senator began his campaign facing the perception that he lacks the experience to be president, especially compared to rivals with decades of work on foreign and domestic policy. So far, he's done little to challenge it. He's delivered no policy speeches and provided few details about how he would lead the country.


He has focused instead on motivating his impressive following with a call for unity and change in Washington. But along with the attention comes a hunger to hear more about what he's about.


"The Obama campaign has been smart about recognizing that voters don't want to be lost in the valley of policy only," said Democratic consultant Jenny Backus. "But it's a gap that's going to have to be filled as he goes on."


Obama has a lot of time to fill in the blanks between now and Election Day, and certainly many other candidates are short on details this early in the race. But they don't have such a barrier to prove they are qualified to be president....

Latest Poll Shows John Edwards in making strides


The announcement of John and Elizabeth Edwards has put Edwards in the favor of the American public with many of them saying they like Edwards. Since early in the month Edwards has garnered 4% more of the American vote than before giving him 13%. So I must say that John and Elizabeth are really campaigning hard to sell themselves to the American people on the issues that many candidates aren't discussing such as healthcare, education and poverty. It is time for the domestic issues in America to be addressed and John Edwards is my choice for a change in America. Therefore I encourage everyone to vote for John Edwards for President in 2008. He has the plan and the vision for change.

Critical errors, but no criminal wrongdoing in Tillman death


Officers, including 4 generals, responsible for ‘series of mistakes’ in reporting of death


Four generals and five other officers in Cpl. Pat Tillman’s chain of command were responsible for “a series of mistakes” in reporting his friendly fire death, and their actions will be reviewed by a top Army officer, officials announced Monday.


However, an investigation by Army Criminal Investigation Command found that Tillman’s death was an accident, and there was no evidence of negligent homicide or aggravated assault.


“We as an Army failed in our duty to the Tillman family,” Acting Army Secretary Pete Geren said. “I apologize to the Tillman family, but words are not sufficient.”


Tillman, 27, an Army Ranger, was killed April 22, 2004, in Afghanistan. An Afghan soldier fighting alongside Tillman also was killed, and two U.S. soldiers were wounded in the incident.
Shortly after he was buried, the Army informed Tillman’s family that contrary to initial reports that he was killed by enemy fire, members of his own unit mistakenly gunned him down in the midst of a chaotic burst of combat.....

Monday, March 26, 2007

Iran must not turn 'blind eye' to UN: US

The United States and its partners on Monday pushed for a peaceful end to the dispute over Iran's nuclear programs, as Washington warned Tehran against turning "a blind eye" to its obligations.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino stressed that "there is no intention of going to war with Iran" even as she scolded the Islamic republic for saying it would curtail its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog agency.

"We would urge them not to go down that road," Perino told reporters after Tehran announced that step in retaliation after the UN Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to widen sanctions on Iran over its atomic ambitions.

The measures, agreed after days of behind-the-scenes bargaining, block all Iranian arms exports and freeze the overseas assets of 28 additional officials and institutions linked to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.....

Vilsacks to co-chair Clinton campaign

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack pledged today to campaign for Hillary Clinton for president, becoming the first former presidential candidate to endorse any of the remaining hopefuls."

Hillary Clinton has been tried and tested like no other candidate for president," Vilsack said, with Clinton looking on, during a midmorning news conference in Des Moines. " She is prepared to run a tough race and to win that race."

Word had been circulating that an endorsement of Clinton by the former governor since late last week.

Today, Clinton confirmed it during a live broadcast of Good Morning America from Des Moines, naming Vilsack a national campaign co-chairman.

"There is much that I admire in the record that Tom Vilsack and Christie Vilsack have compiled here in Iowa," Clinton said at a news conference with Vilsack and his wife Christie outside Greenwood Elementary School in Des Moines.....

Former Iowa Gov Vilsack Backs Clinton’s White House Bid



New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was endorsed for president on Monday by former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a former White House hopeful who hails from the politically vital state that will kick off the 2008 presidential nomination process next January.


Vilsack, who withdrew from the Democratic presidential race last month, endorsed Clinton at an event in Des Moines, the Iowa state capital.


“She is tried, she is tested, she is ready,” Vilsack said, according to a video excerpt of the event that was on the Web site of WOI-TV, the ABC affiliate in Des Moines.


Vilsack reiterated his support for Clinton’s campaign in a fundraising e-mail message. He wrote that he and his wife Christie — a prominent Democratic activist — would work over the next 10 months “helping Hillary win the Iowa caucuses and the other states necessary to win the Democratic nomination — and after that, the White House in 2008.”


“I am proud to do it because of all the candidates running, she has the best ideas, the most energy, and the values and vision to lead our country in the right direction after eight long years of George W. Bush,” Vilsack wrote.....

Justice official to plead the Fifth before Senate panel

A Justice Department official will refuse to answer questions during a Senate committee hearing on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, citing her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself, her lawyer said Monday.

In a letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monica Goodling's lawyer said she would not testify because senators have already decided that wrongdoing occurred.

"The public record is clear that certain members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have already reached conclusions about the matter under investigation and the veracity of the testimony provided by the Justice Department to date," John Dowd, Goodling's lawyer, said in a letter to the committee's chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

The letter said Goodling learned that a senior Justice Department official blamed her and other Justice Department officials for any misleading statements he had made to one of the Democratic senators who has pushed for answers about the firings, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.....

John Edwards, Wife Discuss Cancer On '60 Minutes'


When John and Elizabeth Edwards announced this past Thursday that her breast cancer had returned and spread to her bones, and that his presidential campaign would continue, they sparked a national discussion about the choices involved.


At this stage Elizabeth's cancer is incurable and treatment doesn't always prolong life. Was it the right decision to stay in the race? Can John Edwards run for president and care for his wife and family, a family that has already suffered the death of a son more than a decade ago? Can John Edwards be president without being distracted by his wife's illness?


Those are some of the questions 60 Minutes correspondent Katie Couric asked the couple this weekend after a campaign event in Las Vegas....

Senate fight on Iraq withdrawal looms

The Senate could vote as early as Tuesday on whether to follow the House's lead and impose a deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq.

A $122 billion emergency spending bill that the senators are considering this week sets a non-binding deadline of March 2008 for pulling combat troops out of Iraq.....

Gonzales feels heat from GOP senators


Three Republican senators joined Democrats on Sunday in saying that the credibility of Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales had been badly undercut by his confused and seemingly contradictory statements on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year.


"He has said some things that just don't add up," Senate Judiciary Committee member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "The attorney general has been wounded. He's going to have to come to the Senate to reestablish his credibility."


Gonzales is to testify before the committee April 17 — an appearance that Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the panel's top Republican, called a "make-or-break situation for him."


"Look, we have to have an attorney general who is candid and truthful," Specter told NBC's "Meet the Press." "And if we find he has not been candid and truthful, that's a very compelling reason for him not to stay on."


The comments from Graham, Specter and Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska weren't the only criticisms from the GOP side of the aisle on Sunday. Even Republicans who are normally strong administration supporters questioned the way the Justice Department had dealt with the situation, though they stopped short of directly criticizing Gonzales.


"It is a fact that it hasn't been handled well," Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.) told "Fox News Sunday."


Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), formerly the Judiciary Committee chairman, said on CNN's "Late Edition," "Let's be honest about it: The Justice Department has bungled this attorney thing."


It is unusual for an administration to fire a group of prosecutors that it appointed. Gonzales has said the eight prosecutors were dismissed for "performance-related" reasons rather than because of political pressure from Republicans or the White House, as critics allege....

Monday, March 19, 2007

Presidential Hopefuls Speak Up on Prosecutor Dismissals

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has become a lightning rod for criticism amid revelations over the Department of Justice’s handling of the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys and whether political considerations played a role in their purging.

Gonzales, the nation’s top law enforcement official and President Bush’s former White House counsel, has come under fire primarily from Democrats but also from some Republicans for the firings. Gonzales has acknowledged mistakes in communication but said his department did not retaliate against the federal prosecutors for political reasons.

Some Republicans have noted that the 94 U.S. Attorneys are political appointees who serve as the pleasure of the president — as does Gonzales, who has Bush’s confidence. But Democrats say the Justice Department abused the process by firing federal prosecutors who had strong performance reviews — and they reject claims from the Justice Department that the prosecutors were let go because of poor execution of their duties.

Among the announced and potential candidates for the 2008 presidential election, response to the controversy has ranged from calls for Gonzales’ resignation to more cautious statements that calls for his resignation are premature and that the controversy needs to be fully investigated.

It is not surprising that several Democratic hopefuls — already strongly opposed to the Bush administration — have called for Gonzales’ resignation.....

March Madness in Detroit Part 2

For those of you, who don't know what I am talking about in terms of Detroit Public Schools closing. Then let me put it like this. Many of the same schools slated to close are some of the same schools that the money for the district went toward to remodel and where much of the new technology for the district went toward. However if you don't believe me and want to investigate for yourself than clearly do your own research. Ask the teachers who work in Detroit Public Schools, how many years did they either not get a raise or take a pay cut for the district. Ask the principals how many pay cuts have they taken since the school district was taken over by the state. Clearly before the state took over DPS, we were in a $1 billion surplus. Now a couple of years after the takeover, we are in a deficit because the ramifications that the takeover had on our school system.

Something in the books just ain't right for so many schools to be closing and so many people have lost their jobs over the years as well as so many people taking pay cuts except for those people who work downtown in the school center buildings. Why hasn't anyone downtown taken a pay cut? I am so glad that the FBI is coming in to audit DPS and I hope the City Council, our school board and other elected officials in Lansing encourage more of an audit into what really has happened to the $1 billion surplus the school district had back in 1998 until now, the deficit that we have. Don't tell me about Lansing not giving us any more money is the fault for the deficit. The deficit has been around way before now and its about time that the mismanagement of children and the funds that were suppose to go toward the children of the city of Detroit is accountable for. Before the take over, our kids still couldn't read and write and during the take over, drop out rates increased and our test scores got worse resulting in our kids continuing to not read and write.

While I do say parents need take more of a responsibility in our school system. However you can't accuse the fact that their should be some people going to jail right now. Kenneth Burnley, David Addama, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpartick, former Michigan Governor John Engler, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, former School Board Takeover President Freeman Hendrix, former CEO and Chief Financial Officer William Coleman and a list of others should all be held accountable for what they did to Detroit Public Schools. If we don't seek the truth now than we will never know what really happened to the $1 billion surplus the taxpayers of the city of Detroit passed for the school system. We need answers and we need results and the best way for it is to audit than sue the state and all those who played a role in the mismanagement and mishandling of Detroit Public Schools funds.

The time for change is now and the time for action must start with us.

Bong hits 4 students' free-speech rights

A federal case involving an Alaska student's free-speech rights touches on issues that hit close to home here. As the New York Times reported this weekend, Joseph Frederick unfurled a banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" during an Olympic torch procession in 2002.

It was off school property, though during school time, and principal Deborah Morse ordered him to take it down. He refused, she tore it down and suspended him, so he sued. Morse objected to the sign's apparent advocacy for marijuana. Frederick said it was simply taken from a snowboard slogan to be "meaningless and funny" for the TV cameras - a typical teen prank.

This seems to be much ado about very little, but it has reached the Supreme Court as a test of previous court rulings over the rights of school administrators to limit student speech when it conflicts with the school's "educational mission." Those principles were in play in our area with a recent flap over an article in a student publication at Princeton High School critical of the school's football program.

Whether you think a student ought to or should be allowed to advocate drugs, even in apparent jest and even away from school, is one thing. But the government here is arguing something far more sweeping - that administrators have the right to ban virtually any speech that conflicts with the "educational mission," and that they have the right to define that mission as they wish.

As with too many First Amendment issues, the Bush administration is arguing to restrict rights. The so-called "religious right" supports Frederick, despite his sign's irreverent "Jesus" reference, because they are concerned, as counsel Jay Alan Sekulow writes, that public schools "face a constant temptation to impose a suffocating blanket of political correctness upon the educational atmosphere."

That's a valid concern. Schools pay lip service to diversity, but that doesn't always extend to diversity of opinion or ideology. Education is not homogenization.

Bong hits 4 students' free-speech rights

A federal case involving an Alaska student's free-speech rights touches on issues that hit close to home here. As the New York Times reported this weekend, Joseph Frederick unfurled a banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" during an Olympic torch procession in 2002.

It was off school property, though during school time, and principal Deborah Morse ordered him to take it down. He refused, she tore it down and suspended him, so he sued. Morse objected to the sign's apparent advocacy for marijuana. Frederick said it was simply taken from a snowboard slogan to be "meaningless and funny" for the TV cameras - a typical teen prank.

This seems to be much ado about very little, but it has reached the Supreme Court as a test of previous court rulings over the rights of school administrators to limit student speech when it conflicts with the school's "educational mission." Those principles were in play in our area with a recent flap over an article in a student publication at Princeton High School critical of the school's football program.

Whether you think a student ought to or should be allowed to advocate drugs, even in apparent jest and even away from school, is one thing. But the government here is arguing something far more sweeping - that administrators have the right to ban virtually any speech that conflicts with the "educational mission," and that they have the right to define that mission as they wish.

As with too many First Amendment issues, the Bush administration is arguing to restrict rights. The so-called "religious right" supports Frederick, despite his sign's irreverent "Jesus" reference, because they are concerned, as counsel Jay Alan Sekulow writes, that public schools "face a constant temptation to impose a suffocating blanket of political correctness upon the educational atmosphere."

That's a valid concern. Schools pay lip service to diversity, but that doesn't always extend to diversity of opinion or ideology. Education is not homogenization.

Senator Insists Bush Aides Testify Publicly

The Democratic senator leading the inquiry into the dismissal of federal prosecutors insisted Sunday that Karl Rove and other top aides to President Bush must testify publicly and under oath, setting up a confrontation between Congress and the White House, which has said it is unlikely to agree to such a demand.

Some Republicans have suggested that Mr. Rove testify privately, if only to tamp down the political uproar over the inquiry, which centers on whether the White House allowed politics to interfere with law enforcement.

But Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, seemed to rule out such a move on Sunday. He said his committee would vote Thursday on whether to issue subpoenas for Mr. Rove as well as Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, and William K. Kelley, the deputy White House counsel.

“I do not believe in this ‘We’ll have a private briefing for you where we’ll tell you everything,’ and they don’t,” Mr. Leahy said on “This Week” on ABC, adding: “I want testimony under oath. I am sick and tired of getting half-truths on this.”.....

Kilpatrick lays to rest a white lie and sets stage for progress



Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's State of the City address Tuesday night struck the perfect chord for Detroiters.


The predominantly black population of Detroit still holds an unhealthy distrust of many white leaders. When Gov. John Engler said the city's schools were a disaster and ordered mayoral control with state oversight, howls of protest resulted.


Now that Kilpatrick has laid out the city's problems and some solutions, including charter schools, we may have a starting point for reversing the trend that sees half or more of Detroit's students dropping out before they graduate from high school.


This development is a recipe for failure in life, and yet the message has not gotten through. A stronger police presence in schools to discourage a lawless atmosphere will aid teachers in educating youngsters.


In addition, Kilpatrick's endorsement of charters and promotion of specialty nursing schools will give parents and students more school and career development options..............

Detroit missing from Granholm's map

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was speaking the hard truth when he told Detroiters, "Nobody's coming to save us."


While most listeners took that as a rallying call for self-reliance, it might as easily be read as resignation to the reality that Gov. Jennifer Granholm has no inclination to ride to Detroit's rescue.

The governor has been a stranger to Detroit since last fall's election, even though the overwhelming support of Detroit voters helped carry her to victory. When Kilpatrick delivered his finest speech as mayor Tuesday night, Granholm was in Germany; a year ago -- an election year -- she was in the Orchestra Hall audience for the State of the City address.

Kilpatrick says he and Granholm are still in synch. But in an editorial board meeting with The Detroit News, he couldn't resist drawing the comparison between how he's aggressively attacking Detroit's structural budget deficit with innovative approaches to government and tax cuts to stimulate growth, while Granholm is doing, well, nothing.

In his speech, the mayor boasted of Detroit carrying Michigan on its back as it moves toward revival. It wasn't so much a taunt as it was a challenge to the governor that if she's not willing to lead the state out of this crisis, he will. Somebody has to...............

March Madness in Detroit


When will America realize that its most important commodity is suffering. March is the time of year when madness truly breaks out but not on a basketball court. I say this because only in America particularly in a city called Detroit, Michigan will people sit back and allow up to 100 plus schools to be closed where new computers, equipment and renovations have taken place totaling up to well over 10 million plus dollars. Where are the marchers, the rallies and the the protests. While the school district of the city of Detroit seeks to find a new Superintendent or hires one. The board of education needs to really have an audit of what really happened to the 1.5 billion dollars and than sue the state of Michigan for mismanaging funds which ultimately led the city's school system to its demise. Better yet, let's take it a step further and sue the current and former legislators who sponsored as well as helped pass the bill such as Detroit's current Mayor Kwame Kilpartick. Yes, I know people like to always say its the mayor's fault but in this case, it is his fault because while he was in Lansing, he helped draft and sponsor the bill that led to the Detroit Public School takeover. Our own legislators turned yellow coat on us and that's how Detroit Public Schools got taken over.

However, 8 years later, Kwame is in the mayoral office and our school system is worse off than it was before the State Takeover. In fact, instead of a surplus, we are in a deficit now with schools slated to close in order to save the district money rather than first having people take a pay cut down town. I think if teachers and principals have had to take pay cuts than why can't the people downtown working in the school center buildings take pay cuts. It's March Madness for real in Detroit if they think that the best solution to saving the district money is to close schools rather than take pay cuts downtown than they are truly mad.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Enough is enough

I am tired of the media just talking about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama like they are the only two running and the only two people American voters are going to vote for on the Democratic ticket. Let me start to set the record straight by saying that are time the Presidential election rolls around their are favorites like in any other race but once the dusk clears, we will see who is still standing. Thus while the media continues to only give media attention to two, a third horse might emerge and win the Democratic Party Presidential nomination.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Voting

I'm going to say this...as long as an individual votes that's alright with me but some people think that if you vote for someone who loses an election than your vote was wasted. However people have to understand that in any competition there are winners and losers. I have won and lost campaigns and even worked on some that have resulted in wins and loses, however I have learned from each experience. You can't truly win anything until you experience defeat because if you win all your life than you won't know what adversity feels like. Thus by not knowing what adversity feels like than how can you recover after the first time of losing something.

Simply put, I hope everyone votes in every election and I don't care who you vote for. Just vote and make sure your vote counts by simply exercising a right that many Americans don't exercise.

State your Point!

Just recently I had a email conversation with a guy who claims to have a PhD in political theory and comparitive politics, telling me that I should vote for Barack Obama. Don't get me wrong I like Barack, however I don't know his domestic or foreign policies yet to support his bid for the Presidency. However if Barack has this guy working for him than I will never vote for him because he tells people to vote for Barack cause he's black and that's all or that Barack wants to pull the troops out of Iraq. Well not all Americans want the troops pulled out in a swift and quick fashion that could harm America's status in the world especially in the Middle East.

So the next time people want to tell me why to vote for a certain candidate please have reasons that are good and valid and showcase a little bit of knowledge about the candidate stands for on healthcare, education, college tuition and other things besides just the war in Iraq.

Bush Notes Frustration in Gulf Coast Recovery

President Bush acknowledged on Thursday that many Gulf Coast residents remained frustrated with the slowness of rebuilding after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but said, “Times are changing for the better.”

On a trip inspecting new housing rising from the rubble in Mississippi and Louisiana, Mr. Bush visited homeowners, met local officials and promised to speed the recovery of areas flooded 18 months ago by the hurricanes.

It was Mr. Bush’s 14th trip to the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005.

At his first stop in New Orleans, Mr. Bush had lunch with state and local officials at Li’l Dizzy’s Café on the outskirts of the French Quarter. In brief remarks before the meal, Mr. Bush noted concerns about the rebuilding delays.

“I fully understand that there are frustrations, and I want to know the frustrations,” he said. “To the extent we can help, we’ll help.”

Earlier in Long Beach, Miss., near Gulfport and Biloxi, Mr. Bush joined Gov. Haley Barbour in a walking tour of houses that had been rebuilt with help from the federal government under the Community Development Block Grant program.

Though some members of Congress from both parties have said the federal government should do more to accelerate the recovery, Mr. Bush said he was impressed and inspired by the progress he saw.

But at a meeting with local officials in Biloxi, he said: “I fully understand that there’s still work to be done. There’s a continued frustration with the slowness of federal response at times.”.....

John McCain, once a folk hero, bombs prime time



So I was chatting with this old-guard conservative pundit about life, love, and the sorry state of the Republican Party, when he started talking about Senator John McCain's now infamous January 21 appearance on "Meet the Press". You know the one: where the ordinarily feisty McCain looked grim and pasty and sounded suspiciously like he'd downed one too many of whatever it is they dose Laura Bush with before she makes her glassy-eyed public appearances.

Anyway, said conservative noted that when you read the transcript of the segment, McCain doesn't come off so badly. It's only when you actually see the senator in action (or lack thereof) that the phrase "death warmed over" leaps to mind. He compared it to the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960, where radio listeners gave Nixon a slight edge while TV viewers overwhelmingly favored JFK. Unfortunately, Mr. Conservative informed me with an air of casual authority, this points to a larger problem for McCain, which is that the senator doesn't wear makeup for media appearances because of his history of recurrent skin cancer.....

General Is Fired Over Conditions at Walter Reed


The two-star general in charge of Walter Reed Army Medical Center was relieved of command on Thursday, following disclosures that wounded soldiers being treated as outpatients there were living in dilapidated quarters and enduring long waits for treatment.


The officer, Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, a physician and a graduate of West Point, was fired because Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey “had lost trust and confidence” in his ability to make improvements in outpatient care at Walter Reed, the Army said in a brief statement.


The revelations about conditions at the hospital, one of the Army’s best-known and busiest centers for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, have embarrassed the Army and prompted two investigations, several Congressional inquiries and a rush to clean up the accommodations for outpatients, where residents lived with moldy walls, stained carpets and other problems.


A series of disclosures published prominently in The Washington Post about the living conditions, the red tape ensnarling treatment and other serious problems have challenged the notion promoted for years by the Army, especially since the war in Iraq, that wounded soldiers receive unparalleled care at Walter Reed.....

Jay-Z - History



(Jay-Z - History)Jay-Z - History with Lyrics

LYRICS : [Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighter)
And the battle's finally won
(Gimme a lighter)
Victory (Lighters up) is finally ours
(Lighters up)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 1: Jay-Z]
In search of victory, she keeps eluding me
If only we could be together momentarily
We can make love and make history
Why won't you visit me? until she visit me
I'll be stuck with her sister, her name is defeat
She gives me agony, so much agony
She brings me so much pain, so much misery
Like missing your last shot and falling to your knees
As the crowd screams for the other team
I practice so hard for this moment, victory don't leave
I know what this means, I'm stuck in this routine
Whole new different day, same old thing
All I got is dreams, nobody else can see
Nobody else believes, nobody else but me
Where are you victory? I need you desperately
Not just for the moment, to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighters)
Victory is finally ours
(Yeah)
History (yeah), so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 2: Jay-Z]
So now I'm flirting with death, hustling like a G
While victory wasn't watching took chances repeatedly
As a teenage boy before acne, before I got proactiv I couldn't face she
I just threw on my hoodie and headed to the street
That's where I met success, we'd live together shortly
Now success is like lust, she's good to the touch
She's good for the moment but she's never enough
Everybody's had her, she's nothing like V
But success is all I got unfortunately
But I'm burning down the block hoppin' in and out of V
But something tells me that there's much more to see
Before I get killed because I can't get robbed
So before me success and death ménage
I gotta get lost, I gotta find V
We gotta be together to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters. Up.)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighter. Up.)
Victory is finally ours
(Lighters. Up.)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 3: Jay-Z]
Now victory is mine, it tastes so sweet
She's my trophy wife, you're coming with me
We'll have a baby who stutters repeatedly
We'll name him history, he'll repeat after me
He's my legacy, son of my hard work
Future of my past, he'll explain who I be
Rank me amongst the greats, either 1, 2, or 3
If I ain't number one then I failed you victory
Ain't in it for the fame that dies within weeks
Ain't in it for the money, can't take it when you leave
I wanna be remembered long after you grieve
Long after I'm gone, long after I breathe
I leave all I am in the hands of history
That's my last will and testimony
This is much more than a song, it's a baby shower
I've been waiting for this hour, history you ours


[Chorus: Cee-lo (2x)]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History, so long, so long
So long, so long



Man in the Mirror--By Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

I'm gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It's gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right...

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It's time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see
'Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways - ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)
CHANGE!

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror - Oh yeah!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)


Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cook






It's been a long time coming but a change is surely going to come in America and the World! I am the Future of America and the World and that is the message that each of us must carry with us each and every day that we wake up on Earth! I am the Future! You are the Future! We are the Future of America and the World! That is way every election is important--primaries, special elections and general! So vote every year and hold our politicians accountable. Hold our political officials accountable by writing them, calling them and making sure they attend meetings that we the people have. "The Time for Change is not Now but Right Now!"

"EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary" should be our anthem and should be our creed as we make the positive differences in America and the world that so many people beg for and hungry for year after year! A Change is Gonna Come, A Change is Gonna Come, that's what we must say as we say "God grants us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courge to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference" each morning before we go about the task of making a positive change in America and the world a reality.



Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen


“When will people realize that we are Americans first and foremost, not Democrats or Liberals, not Republicans or Conservatives, not Independents or moderates. We are Americans. Stop putting a political party above America and stop putting any politican above America. America succeeds because of us the people holding our government responsible no matter the political party because the main two political parties are to blame for the condition America is in."—Hodari P.T. Brown

America with its flaws and all is a country I am proud to have been born in. America is not perfect but my love for it is perfect. That’s why all Americans must realize that we are all Americans. In fact we are Americans first and foremost. We are not Democrats or Republicans. We are Americans.

We are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. We are Americans. Too many times we recognize our differences with others rather than appreciating our similarities which are, we are Americans. We are Americans first and foremost, no matter if we were born here or moved here legally. We are all Americans, here in this country to make not only our lives better but the lives of other Americans better so future Americans can enjoy the rights and freedoms that make us all Americans.

We are all Americans. We are one party united under God. We are Americans and this is the only political party that matters. We are Americans and this is our country so let’s make sure that we make America better than how we found it so future Americans can live prosperous and joyous lives. We are Americans and must not ever forget that.

America will prosper as long we make sure we are doing our part to make it prosper and that means we can’t put any political party or politician above America. Long live America forever and long live America’s service to the world. Together, America and the world will prosper for future generations to enjoy America and the world we live in.


Lift Every Voice and Sing


This video of the ' Negro National Anthem' was originally screened at the historic African-American Church Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC on January 18th, 2009. Many of the esteemed individuals featured in this video in attendance and we presented with the ' Keepers of the Flame' award for the monumental contributions to social justice.

This version of the song was performed by the Grace Baptist Church Cathedral Choir, conducted by Derrick James. The video was produced and donated by Ascender Communications, LLC (www.ascender-c.com) at the request of The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

If I Was President--Wyclef Jean




If I was President that is the people's anthem. We all have ideas of what we can do as President and through this website, we will fulfill our deam as a people!

Somethings Gotta Give--Big Boi ft Mary J Blige



Somethings Gotta Give people and it begins today for all us to make sure that something is us. We the people are sick and tired of suffering. Where is our piece of the Dream that so many people dead for so that we all could see today. This is our time people to change America and the world so that the Next Generation has a better future than the past we inherited.

This is our call to service. This isn't about one political candidate or one political figure. This is about us as people coming together to finally leave up to our potential and achieving the great feats that those before us have achieved. This is our moment to lead our nation and our world to greater heights.

Somethings gotta give people and it starts with us the people making it happen. We have to improve our education system in America. We have to rid the world of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We have to go to the streets and lift a hand to another in order to decrease poverty in this world. We have to take a stand today and make sure that the future of America and the world is brighter than it has ever been.

Somethings Gotta Give and that is why we must "Remember Each One, Reach One and Teach One so America's future and the World's future continues to prosper."

John Legend - "If You're Out There"


If you're out there than you need to get started in helping to change America and the world. The world and America won't change until you get involved in making the changes you want to see in this world. If you're out there, than you must know that tomorrow started now and today started yesterday so you are behind in helping to the change. If you are tired of hatred, racism, poverty, war, and violence than the time to change it is now. If you want universal health care, world peace, democracy for every nation, equal rights, and happiness for all than you must get involved now to help the save world.

You must believe in the change that you want to see and you must act on making that change a reality. If you're out there than say it aloud and show the rest of America and the world that you're out here to make a real positive change in the communities we stay in. If you're out there than get involved now. I'm calling every women and men to join me as we take back our country right here, right now. If you're out there than the future started yersterday and we are already late so we have lots of work to do but I know we can do it together as one.

YES WE CAN



Yes We Can accomplish anything that we set out to do! We don't need charismatic or inspirational leaders to believe in ourselves and to take responsiblity for our own faith, we just need each other. Yes We Can build a new America and a new world if each of us would take action now to make the changes that we want to see in the world. Yes We Can control government by holding our political officials accountable for their actions by calling them out when they don't pass legislation that supports the common good of all man and by voting in every election to ensure that we have people representing the people locally, state wide, nationally and in the world.

Yes We Can be great! Yes We Can be what we want to be! Yes We Can be glorious in not only America but the world! Yes We can put action behind our worlds and change the world starting right here, right now! Yes We Can as Republicans, Democrats and Independents become one as we freely think about our fellow men and women and make decisions that will be in the best interest of all people and not one single group.

Yes We Can be the change that we want to see in the world! Yes We Can show the world that the youth are ready to lead! Yes We Can put our egos, our social economic statuses, our religions, our educational statuses and our skin color to the side for the better good of the world! Yes We Can be Greater than we have ever been and help others be Greater than they have ever be!

YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN ALL THAT WE DO! YES WE CAN, no matter what others may say, we will be glorious! YES WE WILL and YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN is what will be sung from every mountaintop, every riverbank, every household, every school yard, every factory, every sporting event, every college campus and even every place you can imagine in the world is where YES WE CAN, will be said and heard!

YES WE CAN!

Keep On Pushing - Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions


Wake Up People! No matter who is elected to any public office, we have to “Keep On Pushing” as a people to make sure they don’t leave us in a worst state than what they inherited. We as a people have to “Keep On Pushing” to make a difference in the lives of others. We have to have an “EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary” attitude as we continue to push our agenda that we the people deserve and want better. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change in a positive way that will benefit all Americans no matter their age, their religion or skin color. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will improve our education system, improve our military, improve our national security, improve our healthcare system and improve our economy. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will leave America’s future in a better than how we found it and that will leave the world’s future in a better state than we imagined we could live it. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to make life better for our neighborhoods, our families and even our quote on quote enemies. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to inspire, to uplift and to guide those who need help spiritually, physically and mentally. We have to “Keep On Pushing ” so that our lives, our future generation’s lives and the lives of those who came before us does not die in vein.

“Keep on Pushing”

A War For Your Soul

A War For Your Soul-regular version from Erisai Films on Vimeo.


The moment has come for us as a nation of people to finally wake up and realize that our destiny and fate in society has rests on our shoulders. We cannot allow the forces of evil and darkness to drain us out. We have to continue to overcome all odds in order to make the future of our nation better and the future of future generations of Americans better. We have to continue to pray to our Lord and we have to continue to uplift each other in prayer as well as take action against those things that are trying to destroy us. We have to stand up once and for all and be the future that we want to be. Now is our time and we shall do together by any means necessary.

This video was created to inspire young African-Americans not to fall prey to some of the problems they face in society. The use of the voice "Master of Darkness" represents evil, which is where the blame of all problems should be placed, and not on any one group of people. This video should not to be used to divide people (Black & White), there are images of heroes that are white in this video, and there are images of Black & White coming together with the words of Dr. King in the background. Some of the images from the past can be unsettling, but they are used to show all Americans how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. This film is being strategically placed in school systems, churches and youth orgs around the country, in hope of helping a lost generation of kids that we as Americans have forgotten. As fellow Americans we must continue to love each other, and take that love and spread it to the rest of the world. **THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR SALE & I AM NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR THE FILM, I ONLY WANT THE MESSAGE TO REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT ANY HIDDEN POLITICAL OR FINANCIAL AGENDA.
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Sitting On the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding



"The time for sitting is over! The time for action is now! The time for hope without action is hopeless! The time for change without a positive attitude is a change that we can't believe in! We need change that is positive of helping all people! Our time for action is now, our time for hope is now, our time for change is now and our time to believe that we can do whatever we set our minds to is not now but right now!"

STAR SPANGLED BANNER


The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?


On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!


O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— "In God is our trust; "
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Black President



Our Time is not now but Right Now! Our Time has finally come to change the world not now but Right Now! If you don't believe that we can change the world than watch as we do it by changing your mind into believing in us and what we can do! This is OUR TIME RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

FIGHT THE POWER



We got to FIGHT THE POWER! We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch injustices take place. We can no longer sit by and allow our right to vote to become unexercised. We must FIGHT THE POWER for our past, present and future! We can no longer allow our rights to be oppressed and our voice to become drained by the powers at be. We must FIGHT THE POWER and show that we have a lot to say that needs to be heard by the mainstream media. We must FIGHT THE POWER and live up to our potential as dynamic, unbelievable and phenomenal people.


We must not believe the hype but we must become the hype. We are not Harriett Tubman, Marcus Garvey, MLK, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, the Black Panther Party, SNCC, or any other activists but we are the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunties, and relatives of those who came before us to pave the way for us to FIGHT THE POWER! We are not next Generation of leaders who will not be honored and praised until they die but that’s the fight we accept. We are not fighting the power for glory or fame but we are fighting the power for just causes that most men and women will not understand until years or decades later.


We are fighting for our sisters and brothers in Darfur, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, China and Mexico. We are speaking for those who are poor and have no food or water. We are fighting for those who are sick and dying. We are fighting for universal healthcare across the world and human rights for all people. We are fighting for rich and poor! We must FIGHT THE POWER no matter how hard and tough the road may be. We must FIGHT THE POWER for a better today and an even greater tomorrow!


FIGHT THE POWER!

PEOPLE GET READY


“People Get Ready” our time is coming! We have come too far to turn back now. Our train is coming and it is coming in waves. “People Get Ready”, we don’t need a ticket but we need faith and the Lord will help guide us as we take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” our moment is now and we are ready to see the change we want in America and the world. All we got to do is have faith, hope and prosperity. “People Get Ready” to face your fears. “People Get Ready” to face your demons and the challenges of yesterday because today and tomorrow we will conquer & be victorious. “People Get Ready” a change is coming and our actions will make sure that change is a real positive change that lasts forever.


“People Get Ready” because we have had enough of just talking but now is our time to show action. “People Get Ready” to take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” to take back our communities and to make our streets safer and schools better. “People Get Ready” to make all our dreams come true. “People Get Ready” to see a better present for everyone and a better future for future generations. “People Get Ready” to live up to your potential and to help others live up to their own potential. “People Get Ready” to move past hatred, bigotry, racism and sexism. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the dreams of those who came before us and those who will come after us.


“People Get Ready” as we make our actions speak louder than our words. “People Get Ready” to make words mean something again as we put action to back up our rhetoric. “People Get Ready” as we embark on a new journey that will re-write America’s history as well as the world’s history. “People Get Ready” as we make the lives of others better and the lives of future generations better. “People Get Ready” because all we need is faith, hope and action to make this world a better place. “People Get Ready” to make a difference. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the American dream. “People Get Ready" to live out the American Dream as our founding fathers wanted us to live it. “People Get Ready” because our time is now, our moment is now and our moment in time to change America & the world is not now but right now. “People Get Ready” because a change is coming!


Alicia]
(Let me tell you now)
People get ready, there's a train comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord

[Lyfe]
People get ready, for a train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
There's hope for all among those loved the most

[Alicia]
There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all man kind just to save his own (believe me now)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the kingdoms throne

[Alicia & Lyfe]
So people get ready there's a train coming
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming,
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord


“PEOPLE GET READY!”

God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood


Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A