The Essence of Politics

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hoffa: Let's unite to fix Michigan

Teamsters President James Hoffa on Wednesday called for business and labor to join forces to help revive Michigan's economy.

Hoffa urged corporate and union leaders to push Congress to do more for Michigan and Michigan businesses, especially Detroit's automakers, which spend more than $10 billion annually on health care costs as they struggle to compete with lower-cost rivals.

"Business and labor must work together," Hoffa said in an interview with The Detroit News and in his speech Wednesday night to the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference.
"Why doesn't labor and business go together to Congress and be united for once in an effort to really get the kind of universal health care that we need? United we can. We can rebuild Michigan."

Hoffa said he was "angry and sad" about the state's decline. He said Michigan is 49th among the 50 states in federal spending on a per capita basis and 46th in homeland security spending.
"We've got to fight harder," Hoffa said. "If business and labor walk into Congress together, it's a different show. We would have a major impact."

During his speech, which got a stony reception, Hoffa said Michigan has lost its way.
"We're so concerned about where our state is at," he said. "We know we're in trouble. We've lost our heart. We've lost where we want to be We have to find a way to give back hope.".....

Private group seeks control of Detroit-Windsor tunnel

The private operator of the Detroit side of the Detroit-Winsdor Tunnel has made an unsolicited offer of $60 million to continue control of the Detroit side of the tunnel through 2080.

The New York City-based Alinda Capital Partners early this week sent a two-page letter to Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and City Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. outlining a proposal to extend its operations at the tunnel for an additional 60 years after the current lease expires in 2020 in exchange for a one-time cash payment of $60 million.

The deal offer could complicate the city's ongoing negotiations to have Windsor assume operational control of Detroit's side for 75 years in exchange for $58 million.

Kilpatrick and Cockrel are both in Mackinac for the state's annual policy conference and could not be reached for comment. Windsor's main attorney on the deal, Cliff Sutts, said Windsor will continue to negotiate as if Alinda had never made the offer.

City officials in Detroit and Winsdor have publicly indicated a preference for having the tunnel remain in the public sector over fears Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun would gain control and nearly exclusively control both international crossings linking Detroit and Windsor.....

Cabinet says govt cares about workers

Cape Town, South Africa

The Cabinet has dismissed suggestions government is insensitive to the plight of its employees and called for "responsible leadership" during protest actions around the country.

At its fortnightly meeting on Wednesday, the Cabinet noted that the negotiations with the public-service unions "were in full swing and expressed the hope that an agreement will be reached sooner rather than later", government communications head Themba Maseko told a media briefing on Thursday.

He said the government was doing all it could by negotiating in good faith, to ensure that the benefits of its employees were addressed systematically.

"We reject any insinuation that government is insensitive to the plight of its employees," he said.In the event of a public-sector strike on Friday, measures would be put in place to ensure that government business continued.Maseko said the protests in some parts of the country over the past few weeks had also been noted.

"Without detracting from citizens' right to express their concerns through protest action, Cabinet took the view that violence against persons and destruction of property is an unacceptable way of raising concerns. No one has the right to take the law into their own hands....

Can Africa Be Saved by Private Aid?

Private investors want to prove that development aid for Africa is money well invested. Wealthy philanthropists from around the world are funding more and more programs on the continent. And some of them seem to be working.

The real reason Bono was in Berlin was to talk about Africa -- about hunger, misery, AIDS and tuberculosis. But before the interview began, he started to sing: "It's one for the money / two for the show."

He was sitting at a table in a swanky Berlin restaurant, dressed in a black shirt, a black sports jacket, a black tie, and wearing his trademark wraparound orange sunglasses -- the eyewear that transforms this small man in crepe-soled shoes into the lead singer of U2.

He has earned millions of dollars with this voice -- Bono has a knack for singing the right song at the right time. He wanted to know if the recorder on the table in front of him was working. Then the show could begin.

He had just visited the chancellery where he had spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. About Africa -- about hunger, misery, AIDS, and tuberculosis. It's always the same subject. His subject. Indeed, he is constantly on the road to drum up support for Africa. He has met with former US Ppresident Bill Clinton, with Microsoft boss Bill Gates, with current US President George W. Bush, even with the pope. Now it's Angela Merkel's turn....

Bush urges more aid for African AIDS fight

President Bush urged Congress on Wednesday to authorize an additional $30 billion to fight AIDS in Africa over five years, doubling the current U.S. commitment.

The money would provide treatment for 2.5 million people under the President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, Bush said.

Through March 31, the program has supported treatment for 1.1 million people in 15 countries, including more than 1 million in Africa, he said. The program's original five-year mandate, which called for spending $15 billion, expires in September 2008 and Bush asked Congress to renew it.

When I took office, an HIV diagnosis in Africa's poorest communities was usually a death sentence. Parents watched their babies die needlessly because local clinics lacked effective treatments," the president said. "Once again, the generosity of the American people is one of the great untold stories of our time."

White House press secretary Tony Snow said the specific goals for the next five years - after Bush leaves office - call for treatment of 2.5 million people, prevention of more than 12 million new infections and the care of more than 12 million people, including 5 million orphans and children.

Yemen repeats calls on U.S. to render Yemenis held in Guantanamo for trial at home

Yemen's Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kerbi said Thursday the country would not give up on its nationals held in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay and urged the United States to hand them over for trial at home.

Al-Kerbi's remarks came after a group of U.S. lawyers representing Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo visited Yemen earlier this week.

Yemen is still holding on to its request that American authorities extradite the Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo to serve justice,» al-Kerbi told reporters at a press conference. If the detainees were handed over to Yemen, they would be «tried according to the constitution and the Yemeni laws,» he said.

Tina M. Foster, one of the U.S. lawyers who visited Yemen and executive director of the New York-based International Justice Network, said earlier this week that San'a has rejected Washington conditions for sending Guantanamo Yemenis back home.

Foster did not go into details but stressed that the U.S. State Department insists on its policy prohibiting sending detainees to any country if there was a chance they could be tortured....

U.S. official denies Khadr is wasting away at Guantanamo Bay

Omar Khadr's lawyers are "simply wrong" to say the young Canadian is rotting away in Guantanamo Bay, says a top U.S. State Department official who claims Khadr must be held accountable for killing an American soldier and maiming another.

In a briefing yesterday before Khadr faces an arraignment next week on terror-related charges, legal adviser John Bellinger defended conditions at the U.S. prison camp and the military tribunals criticized by most western countries except Canada.

Canada recognizes that it's "appropriate" for Khadr, 20, to be tried on the serious crimes, he said, and agrees the special military commission system is the proper vehicle.

Unlike Australian David Hicks, who struck a plea deal with U.S. authorities in March and received a nine-month sentence, there's been no discussion with Canadian officials about Khadr serving time in Canada if he's convicted, Bellinger said.....

Guantanamo Bay prisoner in 'apparent suicide'

A Saudi Arabian captive committed suicide at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, yesterday -- almost a year after the first suicides at the US detention centre.

"The detainee was found unresponsive and not breathing in his cell by guards. The detainee was pronounced dead by a physician after all lifesaving measures had been exhausted," the US military's Southern Command said. It described the death as "an apparent suicide" and said an investigation was being held. The method of death was not revealed.

Two Saudis and a Yemeni man were found hanged in separate single cells on June 10, 2006. They had made nooses from bedsheets. The detainee was discovered dead a week before a session of the Pentagon's Military Commission is supposed to charge Osama bin Laden's driver Salim Hamdan, 36, and Canadian Omar Khadr, 20, with war crimes. The only Guantanamo trial held so far has been that of David Hicks.

Boeing subsidiary accused of aiding CIA torture flights

The American Civil Liberties Union announced yesterday that it will sue a Boeing subsidiary, alleging that the company helped the Central Intelligence Agency with "the forced disappearance, torture, and inhumane treatment" of three men the government suspected of terrorist involvement.

"This is the first time we are accusing a blue-chip American company of profiting from torture," said ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner, who spoke about the case, filed in federal court in San Jose, Calif., at a news conference in New York.

Since at least 2001, Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., of San Jose, "has provided direct and substantial services to the United States for its so-called 'extraordinary rendition' program, enabling the clandestine and forcible transportation of suspects to secret overseas detention facilities where they are placed beyond the reach of the law and subjected to torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment," the suit alleges.

A spokesman for Jeppesen said: "There isn't really anything I can say with the exception that I am aware of the suit. We have not been served. I can't talk specifics about any customers that we might have or the services we might provide for them."

"Publicly available records demonstrate that Jeppesen facilitated more than 70 secret rendition flights over a four-year period to countries where it knew or reasonably should have known that detainees are routinely tortured or otherwise abused in contravention of universally accepted legal standards," the suit states.

Jeppesen provided flight and logistical support services to aircraft and crew used in the rendition program "to unlawfully render plaintiffs to detention and interrogation in Morocco, Egypt, and Afghanistan," adds the suit brought on behalf of three men.....

New Hampshire Governor Signs Civil Unions Bill Into Law

Gay couples in New Hampshire can start applying for many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage as early as January under a law Gov. John Lynch signed Thursday establishing civil unions.

"We in New Hampshire have had a long and proud tradition taking the lead in opposing discrimination," Lynch said. "Today that tradition continues."

Couples who enter civil unions will have the same rights, responsibilities and obligations as married couples. Same-sex unions from other states also would be recognized if they were legal in the state where they were performed.

Legislators who gathered for the bill signing packed the governor's chambers and overflowed into an adjoining sitting room. They snapped photos and burst into applause as he signed it.
"I've listened and I've heard all the arguments," said Lynch, a Democrat. "I do not believe that this bill threatens marriage. I believe that this is a matter of conscience and fairness."

Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson was among those attending. Although his consecration in 2003 as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church divided the worldwide Anglican Communion to which it belongs, Robinson and his longtime partner plan to take advantage of civil unions.....

Congress passes war spending bil

After Democratic leaders dropped withdrawal dates for U.S. troops in Iraq, Congress last week voted to spend almost $100 billion to continue the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill includes benchmarks the Iraqi government must meet before receiving additional reconstruction funds.

Supporters said the war funding provides vital resources for American soldiers in the field.

Opponents grumbled additional spending does little to change the course of the war.

But Democratic leaders said they simply did not have the votes to override President Bush’s veto of troop withdrawal dates.

The House passed the war spending bill 280-142.

Russia says new ICBM can beat any system

Russia tested new missiles Tuesday that a Kremlin official boasted could penetrate any defense system, and President Vladimir Putin warned that U.S. plans for an anti-missile shield in Europe would turn the region into a "powder keg."

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russia tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple independent warheads, and it also successfully conducted a "preliminary" test of a tactical cruise missile that he said could fly farther than existing, similar weapons.

"As of today, Russia has new tactical and strategic complexes that are capable of overcoming any existing or future missile defense systems," Ivanov said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. "So in terms of defense and security, Russians can look calmly to the country's future."

Ivanov is a former defense minister seen as a potential Kremlin favorite to succeed Putin next year. Both he and Putin have said repeatedly that Russia would continue to improve its nuclear arsenals and respond to U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic - NATO nations that were in Moscow's front yard during the Cold War as Warsaw Pact members.

Russia has bristled at the plans, dismissing U.S. assertions that the system would be aimed at blocking possible attacks by Iran and saying it would destroy the strategic balance of forces in Europe.

"We consider it harmful and dangerous to turn Europe into a powder keg and to fill it with new kinds of weapons," Putin said at a news conference with visiting Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates....

Bush Unveils Climate Change Proposal

President Bush will go to next week's Group of Eight Summit in Germany armed with a new proposal to combat global climate change. VOA's Paula Wolfson has details from the White House.

President Bush wants 15 major polluting countries to set a global goal by 2008 for reducing so-called greenhouse gases - emissions that warm the air and contribute to climate change.

"To help develop this goal, the United States would convene a series of meetings of nations that produce most greenhouse gas emissions, including nations with rapidly growing economies like India and China," he said.

Mr. Bush says countries will then set their own mid-term targets. He says each nation will come up with an individual plan of action based on its own unique mix of resources and energy needs.

In a speech to a coalition of groups concerned with international development, the president said the U.S. wants to work with others. He emphasized America's willingness to share its technological know how....

Justice Dept. probes its hirings

Investigating for bias toward conservatives

The Justice Department has launched an internal investigation into whether Bush administration officials violated civil service rules by favoring conservative Republicans when hiring lawyers in the Civil Rights Division, the department disclosed yesterday in a letter to Congress.

The probe will also examine whether the administration illegally used a political litmus test when vetting candidates for non-partisan positions elsewhere in the Justice Department, according to the heads of the department's offices of inspector general and professional responsibility.

The disclosure that the two watchdogs are focusing on the Civil Rights Division marks an expansion to a new arena of the Justice Department of an ongoing investigation into whether politics played a role in the firing of nine US attorneys in 2006. The probe has widened to encompass allegations that the administration has used its control of the Justice Department to gain a partisan edge.

"This is to notify you that we have expanded the scope of our investigation to include allegations regarding improper political and other considerations in hiring decisions within the Department of Justice," wrote Inspector General Glenn Fine and Office of Professional Responsibility chief Marshall Jarrett , who are conducting a joint inquiry....

Thompson set to run, in jolt to GOP field

Republican Fred D. Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and star of NBC's "Law & Order," will jump into the 2008 presidential race and start raising money next week, supporters and advisers said yesterday, delivering a jolt to a GOP field that some party activists and analysts believe lacks a viable conservative candidate.

Thompson, who served eight years in the Senate until 2002, plans to establish a presidential exploratory committee in the next several days, allowing him to begin collecting campaign contributions. He will make an initial fund-raising push Monday, when a select group of supporters called "First Day Founders" will attempt to raise at least $46,000 each on that day alone.

Given his comparatively late entrance, Thompson will have to work intensively to build a fund-raising base and political organization. The current leading candidates -- Mitt Romney, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuli ani -- have each raised millions of dollars; signed on scores of advisers, fund-raisers, and volunteers; and built formidable ground operations in key early primary states.

Still, Thompson, 64, is hardly starting from scratch. His acting career, as well as media speculation in the last several months over whether he would run, instantly make him one of the better-known candidates. Indeed, he already registers high -- above Romney, in some cases -- in surveys of likely Republican primary voters....

Romney's stock rises in 2008 Republican race

With his Hollywood good looks, huge personal fortune and gold-plated resume, Republican Mitt Romney fits the role of a leading presidential contender.

And for the first time, the former governor of Massachusetts is showing some concrete progress in the 2008 race for the White House.

A surprising $21 million first-quarter fundraising haul led all Republican candidates and bankrolled an early advertising blitz, and Romney has surged to a lead in polls in the crucial early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Romney, who would be the first Mormon to win the White House, still faces doubts about his religion and questions about the sincerity of recent policy switches to oppose abortion rights and gay rights.

In national polls, he trails well behind his top rivals, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain. And he faces a fresh challenge from the race's newest entrant, conservative former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who runs slightly ahead of him in some polls.

"Welcome Fred, come on in, the water is fine," Romney said of his new rival in an interview during a two-day campaign swing in Iowa, which kicks off the nominating contests.

Romney said he was not worried Thompson would steal his support among the religious and social conservatives he was targeting and who play an influential role in the Republican race.

"We're all going for the same constituency -- we're all going for Republicans," he said....

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Immigration Debate

Long before the immigration deal was announced on Thursday, candidates in the 2008 presidential field and indeed, the down-ballot field, had faced a lot of questions inside and outside the border states over the nation’s policies.

Particularly for some of the Republican contenders seeking the G.O.P. presidential nomination, the issue has confronted them in places like Iowa as well as in California and Texas. But Democrats, too, have been challenged on the campaign trail, especially in swing districts and states where immigration has practically become a new third-rail in politics.

President Bush has repeatedly pushed for a plan that would straddle his desire to bring immigrants into the fold legally as well as assuage the Republicans’ concerns for tough border security. In praising the new proposal, he said it included neither amnesty nor animosity. “Immigration is a tough issue for a lot of Americans,” he acknowledged.News coverage outlines the proposals here, in The Times, in the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, to name just a few publications. (We, like others, are still waiting on links to the actual bill.)

It’s been a tough issue in Congress, where Democrats in the House asserted that they’ll need 50 to 60 Republicans to get on board and where some of the senators who worked on the compromise were noticeably absent from the public announcement. (The Senate may take it up as early as Monday, but the House may not act before mid-to-late summer.) Among some Democrats, objections already raised were the moves toward a point-based system that shifts a bit from the family-based connection to citizenship, and others, including some labor groups like the AFL-CIO, worried that the plan would drive down wages and create two classes of workers....

Mayor Kilpatrick Cancels Hawaii Trip

Amid an investigation by WXYZ of money spent by a non-profit group on his family vacation, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has cancelled a trip he was planning to a pension board meeting in Hawaii.
DETROIT (AP) - Concerned that he'll be further dogged by television news crews, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on Thursday canceled plans to attend a pension conference in Hawaii.

"The administration has been made aware of several local television stations who have sent reporters and camera crews to Hawaii to follow the mayor and the pension board representatives," Kilpatrick spokesman Matt Allen said in a statement. "Any distraction created by his attendance with our local media would be unfair to those present."

Allen said Kilpatrick will send a representative in his place.

Kilpatrick earlier said he would pay his own airfare, meals and other costs associated with the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, scheduled for May 20-24 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu. But that was before local media reported earlier this month that Kilpatrick and his family stayed at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., last summer. The $8,500 cost of that seven-day trip was paid by the Kilpatrick Civic Fund which, according to board members, pays for voter education and other civic activities.

Trustees of the non-tax-deductible organization said the Civic Fund picked up the bill because it asked Kilpatrick to aid with fundraising for the organization in California.

Taxpayer-backed pension funds will pick up the tabs of most officials attending the pension conference.....

Detroit mayor calls off trip to Hawaii conference

Already under fire for vacations, Kilpatrick says he didn't want reporters trailing him at conference.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, whose exotic travel repeatedly has come under scrutiny, canceled a trip to Hawaii to attend a conference on public employee retirement systems.
The reason: He's concerned he might be harassed by reporters.

"The administration has been made aware of several local television stations who have sent reporters and camera crews to Hawaii to follow the mayor and the pension board representatives," Matt Allen, the mayor's spokesman, said in a written statement released Thursday. "Any distraction created by his attendance with our local media would be unfair to those present."

The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems is sponsoring the conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa....

Kilpatrick outfoxes media, cancels Hawaii trip

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, whose exotic travel repeatedly has come under scrutiny, canceled a planned trip to attend a conference in Hawaii on public employee retirement systems.
The reason: He's concerned that he might be harassed by reporters.

"The administration has been made aware of several local television stations who have sent reporters and camera crews to Hawaii to follow the mayor and the pension board representatives," Matt Allen, the mayor's spokesman, said in a written statement released Thursday. "Any distraction created by his attendance with our local media would be unfair to those present."

The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, a nonprofit, public-pension advocacy group in Washington, D.C., is sponsoring the conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa.

City councilwoman Monica Conyers, who missed Wednesday's council meeting, is scheduled to attend. So is Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talabi, council's representative to the city's Police and Fireman Retirement System....

Detroit's kids deserve better school options

While many people are right that Detroit kids need better school options but charter schools are not the option as this article taken from the Detroit News tries to advocate. Below you will find tidbits from the article but I want to put out that if people care so much about the education of Detroit kids than what about they invest their time and money into Detroit Public Schools and try to help with the current problems in the Detroit Public School system. Why does education have to cost. I believe that a public education can be just as good as a private education but first more people with money need to invest their time and money in the public education system. So I do believe that Detroit kids deserve better school options but charter schools are not the solution if we don't first invest in the public education that we currently have.

This week Detroit has been buzzing about Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's announcement that he is seeking to open 25 charter schools to enhance the city's educational offerings. For all the talk, however, little conversation has focused on where it belongs: Detroit's children.

University Preparatory Academy, a Detroit school run by former Michigan Commerce Department Director Doug Ross, provides an example of what a successful charter can do. It has a low dropout rate, and most of its graduating students have been accepted for post-secondary training. It has done this with students whose families have all of the problems faced by students in the city's regular public schools.

Across Detroit, hundreds of parents anxiously sit on charter school waiting lists, hoping their child will be chosen in random lotteries. In the next three years, at least 10,000 Detroiters are projected to leave the city. Many will do so because of the lack of high quality school options....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mayor Throws Microphone Raw Video

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick throws Ray Sayah's microphone down a hallway. It's the video that has everyone talking. Now you can see the raw footage.

The Investigators had two cameras at the event where they tried to question the mayor. One was with Ray Sayah. Steve Wilson had the other.

Mayor Kilpatrick Throws Microphone

The Action News investigation of money spent by a tax-exempt, non-profit group for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's lavish family vacation has taken an ugly turn. When confronted by Ray Sayah, the mayor threw his microphone down a hallway -- while a camera was rolling.

Clearly this is the mayor of my beloved city acting in a matter unlike a politician. He's young and his actions could affect future young people who seek public office. However you be the judge and check it out.

Senate rejects plan to halt war funds

The Senate on Wednesday soundly rejected a proposal to cut off Iraq war funding by April even as four Democratic presidential hopefuls endorsed it.
Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold offered the proposal to set an end date for combat operations in Iraq but was defeated 67-29 on a procedural vote.
"Clearly, the country is way ahead, I think, of where Washington is on these issues," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. "My hope is we'll have another opportunity here shortly to make clear where many of us stand on this issue."

Recent national polls have found that about two-thirds of American voters oppose the Iraq war. Dodd, who is running for president, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

"The idea that there's a military solution in Iraq has been rejected from the very beginning of this conflict by the military leaders of our country. And the idea somehow that this is a win-or-lose proposition in the middle of a civil war makes no sense to me whatsoever," Dodd said. "And so I believe a true change in direction is necessary, and I believe (this proposal) offers the best opportunity for that."

On Tuesday, Dodd began airing a television advertisement that chided three other Senate Democrats who are seeking the presidency to back the Feingold bill.

Although the three Democrats did not co-sponsor the bill, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden voted in favor Wednesday.

Clinton, who previously opposed setting a deadline on the war, said she agreed to back the measure "because we, as a united party, must work together with clarity of purpose and mission to begin bringing our troops home and end this war."

Obama said he would prefer a plan that offers more flexibility but wanted "to send a strong statement to the Iraqi government, the president and my Republican colleagues that it's long past time to change course."

Sen. Joe Lieberman voted against the proposal.

In an address Wednesday to a leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Lieberman reiterated his belief in the Iraq war.

"If we stand united through the months ahead, if we stand firm against the terrorists who want to drive us to retreat, the war in Iraq can be won and the lives of millions of people can be saved," he said. Lieberman said that those who believe the threat of Islamist extremism is overstated, or that the war in Iraq is lost or not worth fighting to win are "disastrously wrong."

"The withdrawal they demand would be a moral and security catastrophe for the United States, for Iraq, and for the entire Middle East, including Israel and our moderate Arab allies," Lieberman said.....

Divide emerges among GOP hopefuls

The issues arose in response to a hypothetical question about how each candidate would respond to the capture of terror suspects who may have knowledge of a coming attack on U.S. soil.

A major divide has emerged among the leading Republican candidates for president over a central question of the 2008 campaign: Whether to follow the Bush administration's lead in pushing for aggressive treatment of detainees in fighting terrorism.

Tuesday's GOP debate showcased those differences, with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., calling for limits on interrogation techniques, while former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney aligned themselves more closely with Bush's aggressive approach.

Giuliani said interrogators should use "any method they can think of" and did not reject a moderator's suggestion that his answer encompassed the controversial practice of "water-boarding," while Romney proposed doubling the size of the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where terror suspects are held.

The issues arose in response to a hypothetical question about how each candidate would respond to the capture of terror suspects who may have knowledge of a coming attack on U.S. soil. But the exchange took place against a real-life backdrop --with al-Qaida currently suspected of holding three U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

The fissures introduced a new twist to a GOP contest that has so far focused largely on minor differences over waging the war in Iraq and questions about whether an abortion rights supporter such as Giuliani could win the party's nomination.

"It's tough for these candidates, because you don't want to be rhetorically in favor of torture, which will turn a lot of people away in this country, Democrats and Republicans," said Robert Ellsworth, a deputy Defense secretary under President Ford and a foreign policy adviser to 1996 GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole. "But you've got to be rhetorically in favor of wanting to do everything possible to thwart the coming disaster.

"The stakes seemed to be highest for McCain, once the clear front-runner, who has struggled ever since he positioned himself as the staunchest defender of President Bush's unpopular decision to ramp up troop levels in Iraq.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Clinton, Obama to Back Vote to Cut Off Funding for Troops in Iraq

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) announced yesterday that they will support a symbolic vote to cut off funding for combat troops in Iraq within a year, an important shift for both Democratic presidential candidates as the war debate on Capitol Hill intensifies.

The funding vote is expected in the Senate today, as one of four test votes on Iraq that Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) had scheduled in advance of final talks with the House and the Bush administration over a $124 billion war-spending bill.

In the House last week, 169 Democrats and two Republicans voted to withdraw troops from Iraq within nine months -- a surprisingly large number that underscores the growing determination among Democrats to legislate an end to the war.

For Clinton, the shift reflects the particular pressure on Democratic presidential candidates. She voted to authorize the war in 2002, and has resisted calls to specify a U.S. withdrawal date. But she has grown increasingly critical of the war and, two weeks ago, called for revoking President Bush's authority to continue the conflict past October without a new vote from Congress.

None of today's four Senate votes is officially part of the war-spending debate. Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agreed to attach the measures to an unrelated water-resources bill, in an effort to allow lawmakers to express their views on Iraq while clearing a path for final spending negotiations to begin later this week.

The first Democratic amendment would set March 31, 2008, as a deadline to end funding. The second would establish that date as a withdrawal goal, with a waiver provision that Bush could invoke under certain circumstances......

GOP Hopefuls Debate Abortion, Tax Cuts

GOP Contenders Defend Conservative Views on Abortion, Gun Control and Tax Cuts in Debate

Under pressure from their rivals, the leading Republican presidential contenders defended their conservative credentials on abortion, gun control and tax cuts in a feisty debate Tuesday night.

"Republicans should be uniting" to defeat the Democrats, implored former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, rather than stressing their differences with one another.

Giuliani, pressed repeatedly on his support for abortion rights, wasn't the only contender to field pointed questions.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney conceded he had signed legislation banning assault weapons but said, "Let's get the record straight." He said he is a supporter of the rights of gun owners under the Second Amendment.

Arizona Sen. John McCain of Arizona said he would make sure that President Bush's tax cuts are made permanent, even though he said he had voted against because they were not accompanied by spending cuts.....

He was a uniter and a divider

He was the founding father of the religious right.

When Jerry Falwell created the Moral Majority a quarter-century ago, many Christian fundamentalists eschewed the world of politics. But the Southern Baptist minister from Lynchburg, Va., launched a political movement that would help elect two presidents and sharpen America's cultural divide.

Falwell, who had a history of heart trouble, was found without a pulse in his office at Liberty University at midday Tuesday and pronounced dead at Lynchburg General Hospital an hour later. His doctor, Carl Moore, said he presumably died of a heart rhythm abnormality. He was 73.....

Monday, May 14, 2007

America needs a fresh dose of optimism to get herself going


Tennessee Voices

After six years of stagnant incomes, increasing inequality, rising debt and declining confidence, many Americans are rightly anxious about their economic futures.

But the last thing they need is an old populism that plays to their fear, anger and pessimism, and, in the end, will only make matters worse. Yet, there are unmistakable signs of a growing "populist" revolt against globalization, especially immigration and trade.

Right-wing populists claim immigrants are stealing Americans' jobs. Left-wing populists say trade is shipping our jobs overseas. Both look backwards toward an allegedly better past and argue that, by sealing our borders and retreating from global markets, government can recover it.

Our country's problem isn't immigration or trade, It's uneven prosperity. Searching for scapegoats and stoking feelings of victimization is the wrong answer.

What's needed is a new approach based on new economic realities that appeals to the inherent optimism, not the worst fears, of hardworking Americans and prepares them to compete in an economy that will only become more global.

We will discuss that new approach, which we call a new optimism, at the Democratic Leadership Council's National Conversation July 28-30 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

Here are four ideas for beginning that discussion.

First, we need a renewed commitment to fiscal discipline, reforming the federal tax code to reward work, innovators and long-term investing and expanding international trade while vigorously enforcing trade laws to punish rule breakers.

Second, we need to rectify long-standing social injustices and ensure that no U.S. worker is left behind in today's competition for the world's best jobs.

For example, we've got to close America's education achievement gap. It's not only an economic imperative; it's the paramount civil rights issue of our times. Only half of black and Latino youths even finish high school. They routinely score well below whites on standardized math and reading tests. We need to make sure that urban kids have public schools every bit as good as those in the suburbs.

That will require attracting better teachers and paying them well, according to how well they perform, not how long they've been on the job. It will also require replacing dysfunctional urban education systems with new public schools that are smaller, more autonomous and flexible and better customized to the diverse needs of students.

If we want every American child to have the tools to succeed in the global economy, every public school system must meet high standards, lengthen both the school day and school year and ensure effective teachers are in every classroom.

Third, college must be more accessible and affordable for all Americans. The United States used to rank first in the world in the percentage of population with a post-secondary degree. Now we have fallen to seventh.

To reverse this troubling trend, we need to raise college admission standards, tie national service to college tuition and expand student aid, making tuition nearly free at a typical four-year public college, while holding colleges responsible for improving graduation rates for all students, including low-income and minority kids.

Fourth, we must guarantee all Americans affordable health insurance and reduce the cost of health care to individuals and businesses. The United States spends more than $2 trillion annually on health care -- twice as much as any other nation in the world. The problem isn't money. We need to root out inefficiencies and stamp out the greed in our health system. That means, among other things, marrying new and proven cost-saving technologies into the health-care delivery system, encouraging the discovery of cures to old diseases and extending coverage to the millions with no insurance.

There are plenty of other things we should do as well -- including offering portable pensions for all workers.

The key, though, is not just enacting a new array of government programs. It is rewriting the social contract to address the anxieties of hardworking Americans. And, it is rejecting calls from both sides of the political aisle for an old populism that plays to Americans' fears and adopting, instead, a new optimism that speaks to their aspirations, hopes and innate belief that the future can be better than the past. After all, that is the American experience.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A seat at Romney's table

AFTER THE Democrats won back Congress and the socially liberal Rudy Giuliani and the Jerry Falwell-bashing John McCain emerged as the Republican presidential front-runners, many political observers theorized that the Christian Right's power was on the wane. Last week's Republican presidential debate suggested otherwise.

Indeed, with the candidates more or less agreeing on such major foreign policy issues as the Iraq war and preventing a nuclear Iran, each distinguished himself mostly by how close or how far he stood from the Christian Right.

But history shows that Republican presidential candidates who fall on either end of the continuum, who either embody the Christian Right (Pat Robertson in 1988) or who reject it (Texas Senator Phil Gramm in 1996) lose the nomination. The two most electorally successful Republican presidential candidates of the last 30 years -- Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush -- took a different path, embracing the movement even though they were outsiders to it. If the next Republican to occupy the White House must follow that same strategy, Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, may be in much better shape than polls suggest.

Like Romney, neither Reagan nor Bush could claim to be a true Christian Right candidate. On paper, Reagan was anathema to the movement; he was a Hollywood divorcé who seldom attended church and who, as California governor, had signed relatively liberal abortion laws.
Bush's family-man credentials and evangelical faith made him a more natural fit for the Christian Right. Still, the movement was skeptical of the moderate reputation Bush honed as governor of Texas....

Why '08 Will Belong To The Democrats

National Review Online: Lackluster Candidates And Party Disunity Spell Doom For GOP

I hadn't planned on writing another column about Hillary Clinton, but the one I wrote last week has been so widely misunderstood that I feel compelled to do so. To recap, I said that no Republican can win the presidency next year. If one accepts this premise, then if follows that it is in the interest of conservatives to support the most conservative Democrat running for that party's nomination.

I went on to say why I think Hillary Clinton may be the most conservative Democrat. To begin with, it is obviously not impossible for a Republican to win next year. But clearly 2008 is shaping up as a Democratic year. It will take a monumental Democratic screw-up to lose. I can think of only one instance in American history where a party had the kind of advantage the Democrats have and still lost. That was 1948, when Republican Thomas E. Dewey blew an election that should have been in the bag and lost to Democrat Harry Truman.

While conceding the possibility that I am wrong, I think it is foolish to ignore the strong Democratic trend that is indisputable. Republicans should remember that they just barely won the White House in 2000 and 2004 against very poor Democratic candidates and with the party strongly united behind George W. Bush. I just don't see that happening again next year. The Republicans are not going to be as united, and it is almost a certainty that the Democrats will run a better campaign in 2008.

I think all three of the Democrats within striking distance of the nomination will be better candidates than Al Gore or John Kerry. And because of the close losses in 2000 and 2004, the Democrats will really pull together this time......

Clinton stronger, Giuliani still strong

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is "solidifying'' her lead over Sen. Barack Obama and others in the Democratic contest for the 2008 presidential nomination, a new Gallup Poll conducted for USA Today shows, and Rudy Giuliani holds a lead in the GOP.

In the first survey conducted since candidates in both parties – eight declared Democrats and ten declared Republicans – staged their first televised debate, pollsters have found little change in the standings – except for a "slightly better showing for Clinton.''
Read more about the poll here, and see the Gallup report:

The May 4-6 poll found 38 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents saying they are most likely to support Clinton for the party's nomination. Barack Obama is a "clear second'' at 23 percent, followed by Al Gore (with 14 percent) and John Edwards (with 12 percent.)

Clinton has regained a double-digit advantage after an earlier survey found a smaller – 31 to 26 percent – edge over Obama.

And if the name of Gore – the former vice president who ran for president in 2000 but says he isn't running this time around – is removed from the equation, Clinton gains more support: With a 45 – 27 percent margin over Obama.

The newest survey found little change in Republican preferences. Giuliani has held a significant lead over Sen. John McCain in each poll since February. In the May survey, 34 percent of Republicans and independent-leaning Republicans name Giuliani as their top choice for the party's nomination, while 20 percent say McCain.

Fred Thompson -- the actor and former Tennessee senator who is considering a candidacy – drew the support of 13 percent of those Republicans surveyed. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, also eyeing a candidacy, drew 8 percent, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney 7 percent.

The survey of 1,010 adults conducted May 4-6 carries a possible overall margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. Among the 491 Democrats and Democratic leaners surveyed, the possible error is 5 percentage points. Among the 427 Republicans and Republican leaners surveyed, it's also 5 percentage points.

A "Pro-American" French President?

Headlines and official statements from the U.S. hailed Sunday's election of the "pro-American" Nicolas Sarkozy as France's new President, painting him as healer-elect of the trans-Atlantic friendship damaged by the Iraq war. Even the French themselves have begun to see him as a harbinger of a closer relationship with the U.S. But while the new President's foreign policy will feature some differences from that of his predecessor — even some surprises — analysts have poured cold water on the idea that in foreign policy, Sarkozy will be the "anti-Chirac."

"Sarkozy is a committed European and an admirer of America, but in the end he's going to do what's best for France's national interests — and his own political fortunes," notes Dominique Reynié, a commentator and political science professor at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris. "Sarkozy has yet to articulate a unified foreign policy view, and for a while will probably be making decisions pragmatically, based on the issues and interests at hand. That's going to involve some surprises — including some that may not entirely please the U.S."

For now, however, Sarkozy is keen to start diplomatic relations with Washington on a clean slate, as his Sunday night victory speech noted. In it, Sarkozy surprised observers who had expected a focus on domestic matters by dedicating nearly half his discourse to international topics — beginning with Franco-American ties. "I want to make an appeal to our American friends to tell them that they can count on our friendship, which has been reinforced by the tragedies of history that we've faced together," Sarkozy said to cheers of approval from his supporters. "I want to tell them that France will always be at their side when they need her." In doing so, Sarkozy's message was obvious: France wants to restore positive, mutually beneficial relationships with an America it respects and admires — and it would like those feelings reciprocated.

But Sarkozy then emphasized that repairing the relationship also depends on Washington. As Reynié notes, it was largely the Bush Administration that injected fury into the debate over Iraq, and tried to paint the general European and global opposition to the U.S. push for war as a betrayal inspired by Chirac and France. With that in mind, Sarkozy reminded America that "friendship also means accepting friends can think differently." He then offered an example of that by mildly scolding that "a great nation like the United States must not be an obstacle to the fight against global warming, but rather should take the lead in this fight." "France will make that struggle its first battle," Sarkozy pledged.....

U.S. Senate rejects looser drug importing

The U.S. Senate has voted narrowly to maintain current restrictions on imported, cheaper prescription drugs.

By a 49-40 vote, the chamber Monday shot down a bipartisan bill sponsored by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, that would have allowed the importation of drugs from Europe and countries such as Canada, Japan, Australia a found to have regulatory requirements comparable to those in the United States, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
However, President George Bush had warned he would veto any measure that loosened drug importation rules that "result in unsafe, unapproved and counterfeit drugs being imported into the United States."

There was division among Democrats, Republicans and even the two independents, the Times said, noting 15 Democrats voted for the measure and 28 opposed it. Among Republicans, 33 supported it, while 11 voted against it.

McCain and Obama Lead in E-Race

If the 2008 presidential election were judged by activity in the blogosphere, the race would currently be a dead heat between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, according to, one of several sites that measure online buzz.

McCain easily walks off with the Republican E-nomination in a buzz battle with rival GOP candidates Rudy Giuliani and Gov. Mitt Romney, who are generally considered to be the top three declared candidates in the field. (See chart)

The race on the Democratic side is closer, with Obama generally polling just a little higher than either Sen. Hillary Clinton or former Sen. John Edwards. (See chart)

But when it comes down to the general election, it's anyone's take. McCain and Obama trade off in prominence, depending on who's making more headlines that day. (Matchup)

But Republicans beware: Former Sen. Fred Thompson is catching up.

--Chris Wilson

I'm Back

It's been a while since I last wrote on here but there has been a lot going on in the political arena. I hope everyone has been keeping up but I especially want to take the time out and say that I believe Fred Thompson, former Tennessee Senator should get in the Republican Presidential race. Clearly he has a backing and it would be nice to see a third legitimate candidate. Also I must admit that I surely thought that Congress would have enough backing to overturn any President Bush veto. However this is not an election year, therefore, I must say that the closet thing to a defeat for President Bush would be his appointed Attorney General not making until August.

Now, honestly I must say that Attorney Gonzalez looks better than he looked a month ago and as time passes, I believe he will remain in the same position, doing absolutely nothing. So I hope everyone has been staying tuned because I'm back and this summer should be filled with fireworks as Presidential Hopefuls continue to maneuver and jockey for position atop the leader board to be the next President of the United States of America or at least their next party candidate for the position.

Jay-Z - History

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

LYRICS : [Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
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
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
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
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)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
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..)

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 ( 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 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!


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.

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!"


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!


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!



“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!

(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

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

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


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

Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A