Sunday, 14 August 2011

Obama and the rocky road to reelection

New York Times' Timothy Egan, Capehart wondered, "For example, he prays for rain, they have an extreme drought. He holds prayer services and the markets tank. Is God listening to Rick Perry?"

Schaeffer blasted conservative Republicans who have opposed Barack Obama: "...a lot of ordinary Americans who aren't on the religious right understand something and that is as the first African-American president, he has been up against a racist white bloc in the Republican Party that has come dressed as the Tea Party..."

He also predicted the President would be reelected by "a wide margin" and added, "Most Americans understand that in a second term, [Obama] is going to come out swinging and do a lot more than in the first term when the obstructionists have been swept out of the way. And I predict that."
Regardless of the rightness or otherwise of the claims of the Republican congressmen elected by the so-called “Tea-Party Republicans” that the American federal government needs to trim sharply its expenditures to match its revenues, seeking to fight their war via threatened defaults of existing US federal government debt is incompatible with holding the highest credit rating. Whatever their protestations, the Tea-Party Republicans must be held responsible for this self-inflicted wound on the US of A. Why should we care in West Africa? For one, we do not want African legislators emulating the egregious conduct of some American congressmen. Nigeria, for example, is a recovering sovereign deadbeat. The last thing it needs is for its politicians to think that threatening to default on debt is acceptable behaviour.

A comparative perspective is helpful. The US has been far more indebted than it is today. Its debt as a percentage of American gross domestic product in 1946 was 130 percent versus its comparable 2010 ratio of 59 percent. There are some triple A rated governments today with higher debt ratios. For example, Singapore has a debt ratio exceeding 100 percent, Germany has a ratio of 79 percent, and the United Kingdom has a ratio of 79 percent. What distinguishes the USA today from its state of 1946 and other countries is simple: the United States today has made a host of promises, known as “entitlements”, to look after its sick and its aged, regardless of income, for which it has not set aside the money. By contrast, Singapore compels all its workers to save for their own retirement and to provide for their own medical expenses. The US government spent $742 billion (or 85 percent of 2009 individual tax) on healthcare alone in its 2010 fiscal year. Constituting 8.2 percent of America’s economy, it is up from 1.3 percent of America’s economy 50 years ago.

It is ironic that many Tea-party Republicans opposed to entitlements in principle consume them in spades. But President Obama cannot rely on that irony. His calls for the so-called “rich” to pay their “fair share” of taxes is an attempt to get them to contribute to discharging those unfunded entitlements. It would be preferable to reduce the rights of middle class Americans to enjoy the pot of entitlements for middle class Americans while maintaining the rights of the poor.

Mr Obama claims that American households earning more than $250,000 are wealthy or rich. I consider his definition to be an example of linguistic inflation. Nevertheless, let me restrict his definition to those households earning $300,000. Here are the facts for the tax “fairness” debate. A total of 140.5 million tax returns were filed by American households in 2009. Only 1.768 million households earned adjusted gross incomes equal to or exceeding $300,000. They earned $1.448 trillion out of a total income of $7.626 trillion or 19 percent. That is unequal. No question. But, total personal income tax paid was $866 billion, of which $343.8 billion or 39.7 percent was paid by those 1.768 million households. To me, they paid more than their “fair” share because their taxes constitute a larger percentage of the actual individual tax take than their share of American adjusted gross income.

The Help 2 views of a controversial film

The Help views- the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel “The Help” recently opened nationwide, and Montgomerians can be proud that one of their own — the accomplished actress Octavia Spencer — plays a key role.

It’s 1963 in Jackson, Miss., and Aibileen and Minny, two black maids, join Skeeter, a young, white aspiring writer fresh out of Ole Miss, to tell the long-repressed stories of domestics who have cleaned house, cooked and raised the children of rich white women in that old Southern town.

Spencer, a prolific film and TV actress, plays Minny, an outspoken domestic who is raising a brood of her own kids, warding off an abusive husband and shouldering the demands of her employers, along with their often humiliating words and actions.

The critically acclaimed novel on which the movie is based has been astoundingly successful since its 2009 publication. It reached the No. 1 position on the New York Times bestsellers list, where it has been included for about

two dozen consecutive weeks. On, the book took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in historical fiction and literary fiction, respectively.

Viola Davis as the determined housekeeper Aibileen in the cinematic version of Stockett's novel, I am persuaded, that, yes, Skeeter, a recent college graduate raised by her family's maid, has a claim to the story, too. Initially, I was angered by this young white woman's seeming appropriation of the maids' stories. But no more.

And, in the movie, the sound of the South rolls from the mouths of both white and black women, taking away another of my objections to the book. (It grated for me to read the black housekeepers speaking in a way-down-South patois, with no drawl or dialect from the white women.)

By telling the film version of Stockett's story of four black maids and the hateful white, Mississippi women for whom they work, Dreamworks Studios and director Tate Taylor highlight the slow change that bore some fruit in the U.S. in the early '60s - even in Mississippi. The civil rights struggle is a backdrop to this story.


My personal experience parallels it in many ways, and I grew up in North Carolina knowing intimately the Aibileens, Constantines and Minnys that people it. They were my aunts and my neighbors and the women with whom I attended church. I watched each morning as they waited for the bus that would take them far away from their own homes. They were the ones who worked hard during the week and beyond, shook their heads at how "nasty" their particular white people could be, and prayed - yes, Lord - on Sunday for a way out and a way up.

And, yes, some of those women came to love some of the white charges they were pitifully paid to care for. To suggest otherwise, as have some black women with whom I have spoken, would deny the essential humanity of black women whose capacity to love is assuredly intact. Some of the film's most poignant scenes are those in which Aibileen works to instill a sense of worth in Mae Mobley, a white toddler whose mother ignores her.

Aibileen knew that she was somebody and that her job did not define her and was working to pass along that knowledge. This is made-for-TV, pull-out-the-lace-hankie stuff, for sure, but it is also real.

Happily, the serious trumps the sappy. A fine cast makes "The Help" a message-bearing vehicle that only occasionally veers toward the maudlin.

The film is a story of conflict, but more important, of courage. Especially of the sort that shows what can happen when just one person steps away from the crowd. Aibileen was such a person, as was the gutsy, outspoken Minny, played by Octavia Spencer. And surely, it took a special kind of valor to pull Skeeter away from her high-society cohorts to even suggest the writing project on which the movie and the book turn.

Group to research in African-American community

August 13, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed House Bill 1547, creating the Commission to End the Disparities Facing the African-American Community. The commission will research the disparities facing African-Americans in the areas of healthcare, health services, employment, education, criminal justice, housing, and other social and economic issues. Its findings will be reported to the General Assembly.

We know that disparities exist within the African-American community, preventing some from achieving their full potential,” Governor Quinn said. “In Illinois, we want everybody in, and nobody left out. We won’t shy away from examining the root causes of inequality, and working to correct them.”

The commission will be comprised of a bipartisan group of legislators from both houses of the General Assembly, the directors of the Departments of Human Services, Healthcare and Family Services, Children and Family Services, Public Health, Aging, Labor, Employment Security, Commerce and Economic Opportunity, State Board of Education, Board of Higher Education, Corrections, Juvenile Justice, or their designees.

It will also include the Executive Director of the Illinois African-American Family Commission, and up to 10 other individuals representing African-American communities around the state with backgrounds in the research areas. The president of the Illinois Senate and speaker of the Illinois House will name co-chairs for this Commission, and all members will serve without compensation.

The commission will include Illinois lawmakers from both parties, non-elected state officials and representatives of African-American communities. It will study criminal justice, education, employment, health, housing and other things.

"There's something wrong in America when we don't have everybody in, and nobody left out. When folks are left out, that's not the America that we believe in. That's not the America in our Constitution.

Commission members will serve without compensation. They are to report their findings and recommendations by the end of 2013.

Stone expresses admiration for 'Help' star Viola Davis

That’s the writing advice given to Skeeter, the only single white female and college graduate among her well-to-do white girlfriends who are all married with children. In the small town of Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960s, Skeeter reaches out to the African American maids of her so-called friends to speak her truth.
The truth is, one of Skeeter’s best friends, Hilly (a professing Christian and wife of a politician), is a high-minded and demoralizing individual who thinks it is perfectly normal to host a fundraiser for the “Poor Starving Children of Africa” and yet draft an initiative to require that all white families build separate bathrooms for their “help”; in Hilly’s words, “They have separate diseases than we do, and I’m just trying to protect our children.”

The help of which Hilly speaks are the African American maids and lead characters Aibileen and Minny, who spend their entire lives cooking food for white families, cleaning their homes, and looking after their white babies. Hilly is the one who spews the venom of lies and hatred that causes racism to persist. Skeeter and the rejected “white trash” Celia Foote are the bridge builders who take the risk to enter into relationships with the maids and get to know them as people.

Like many other African American women, I was a little apprehensive about reading a book and then going to yet another movie where black people are depicted as victims who need rescuing from the good white folk. Hollywood has followed that tag line with movies like The Blind Side, Save the Last Dance, Amistad, and Radio to name a few. Of course, African American women are equally unexcited about Hollywood’s depiction of yet another maid or “mammy” role.

But this story is different. The Help, Kathryn Stockett's bestseller, which just debuted in theaters yesterday, is a story about truth, courage, and forgiveness. This is a story about womanhood, friendship, and love.

The truth is those times were hard. That’s what I understand, not from what I have seen in a movie or read in a book, but from the stories of my own mother, the women in my family, my godmothers, and countless mentors who lived during that time. Racism is ugly. Racism is sinful and still plagues our society. It takes courage to admit and then wrestle with that statement.

You are about to experience one of the best movies of 2011 so far. "The Help" is an adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's novel about African-American maids working in white households in Jackson, Miss., circa 1962.

It was a silent world of servitude; cooking, cleaning and child-rearing for rich white employers in exchange for little pay and often, even less dignity and respect. Viola Davis is the central figure who courageously tells her story to a young writer, played by Emma Stone, with whom I spoke recently.

There hasn't been much from that side. It's such a little microcosm that we show. I mean, we're only meeting a couple characters like that throughout this book. It's not speaking for all of Jackson, Miss., or saying that everyone was like that.

Isn't she from a different planet? I've been lucky enough to work with some really wonderful actors in the few years that I've gotten to work, and I'm always trying to learn and grow from each one. One day I was sitting and watching Viola and I realized that there's nothing I can learn from her because she's just on a different planet entirely. She's just operating from somewhere else and that's both disheartening as an actor that wants to learn, and incredibly satisfying and amazing as an audience member. … Yeah, she's unbelievable in this movie.


Barack Hussein Obama, born August 4, 1961 is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.
Following an unsuccessful bid against the Democratic incumbent for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 2000, Obama ran for United States Senate in 2004. Several events brought him to national attention during the campaign, including his victory in the March 2004 Democratic primary and his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to the U.S. Senate in Illinois in November 2004. His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination. In the 2008 presidential election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. In October 2009, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
As president, Obama signed economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act in December 2010. Other domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act and the Budget Control Act of 2011. In foreign policy, he gradually withdrew combat troops from Iraq, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered enforcement of the United Nations-sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya, and issued a direct order to a small group of American military forces to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. In April 2011, Obama declared his intention to seek re-election in the 2012 presidential election.

Early life and career
Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiʻolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now called Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the first President to have been born in Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas and was of English and Irish descent. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang'oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship. The couple married on February 2, 1961, separated when Obama Sr. went to Harvard University on scholarship, and divorced in 1964. Obama Sr. remarried and returned to Kenya, visiting Barack in Hawaii only once, in 1971. He died in an automobile accident in 1982.
After her divorce, Dunham married Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, who was attending college in Hawaii. When Suharto, a military leader in Soetoro's home country, came to power in 1967, all Indonesian students studying abroad were recalled, and the family moved to the Menteng neighborhood of Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local schools in Jakarta, including Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School.
In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Armour Dunham, and attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from the fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979.Obama's mother returned to Hawaii in 1972, remaining there until 1977 when she went back to Indonesia to work as an anthropological field worker. She finally returned to Hawaii in 1994 and lived there for one year, before dying of ovarian cancer.
Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, "That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind. He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. Reflecting later on his formative years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: "The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear. Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana and cocaine during his teenage years to "push questions of who I was out of my mind. At the 2008 Civil Forum on the Presidency, Obama identified his high-school drug use as a great moral failure.
Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to attend Occidental College. In February 1981, he made his first public speech, calling for Occidental's disinvestment from South Africa due to its policy of apartheid. In mid-1981, Obama traveled to Indonesia to visit his mother and sister Maya, and visited the families of college friends in Pakistan and India for three weeks.
Later in 1981, he transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialty in international relations and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1983. He worked for a year at the Business International Corporation, then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.
Chicago community organizer and Harvard Law School
Two years after graduating, Obama was hired in Chicago as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman and Riverdale) on Chicago's far South Side. He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988. During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from one to thirteen. He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute. In mid-1988, he traveled for the first time in Europe for three weeks and then for five weeks in Kenya, where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time. He returned in August 2006 for a visit to his father's birthplace, a village near Kisumu in rural western Kenya.
In late 1988, Obama entered Harvard Law School. He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, and president of the journal in his second year. During his summers, he returned to Chicago, where he worked as a summer associate at the law firms of Sidley Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990. After graduating with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago. Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review gained national media attention and led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about race relations, which evolved into a personal memoir. The manuscript was published in mid-1995 as Dreams from My Father.
University of Chicago Law School and civil rights attorney
In 1991, Obama accepted a two-year position as Visiting Law and Government Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School to work on his first book. He then served as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years—as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996, and as a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004—teaching constitutional law.
From April to October 1992, Obama directed Illinois's Project Vote, a voter registration drive with ten staffers and seven hundred volunteer registrars; it achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state, and led to Crain's Chicago Business naming Obama to its 1993 list of "40 under Forty" powers to be. In 1993 he joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 13-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2002.
From 1994 to 2002, Obama served on the boards of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and of the Joyce Foundation. He served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1999.

Presidency of Barack Obama,First days
The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President, and Joe Biden as Vice President, took place on January 20, 2009. In his first few days in office Obama issued executive orders and presidential memoranda directing the U.S. military to develop plans to withdraw troops from Iraq. He ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp "as soon as practicable and no later than" January 2010, but during his first two years in office he has been unable to persuade Congress to appropriate funds required to accomplish the shutdown. Obama reduced the secrecy given to presidential records and changed procedures to promote disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. He also reversed George W. Bush's ban on federal funding to foreign establishments that allow abortions.

Domestic policy
The first bill signed into law by Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, relaxing the statute of limitations for equal-pay lawsuits. Five days later, he signed the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional 4 million children currently uninsured.
In March 2009, Obama reversed a Bush-era policy which had limited funding of embryonic stem cell research. Obama stated that he believed "sound science and moral values...are not inconsistent" and pledged to develop "strict guidelines" on the research.
Obama appointed two women to serve on the Supreme Court in the first two years of his Presidency. Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by Obama on May 26, 2009, to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter, was confirmed on August 6, 2009, becoming the first Hispanic to be a Supreme Court Justice. Elena Kagan, nominated by Obama on May 10, 2010, to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, was confirmed on August 5, 2010, bringing the number of women sitting simultaneously on the Court to three, for the first time in American history.
On September 30, 2009, the Obama administration proposed new regulations on power plants, factories and oil refineries in an attempt to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to curb global warming.
On October 8, 2009, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a measure that expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
On March 30, 2010, Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, a reconciliation bill which ends the process of the federal government giving subsidies to private banks to give out federally insured loans, increases the Pell Grant scholarship award, and makes changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In a major space policy speech in April 2010, Obama announced a planned change in direction at NASA, the U.S. space agency. He ended plans for a return of human spaceflight to the moon and ended development of the Ares I rocket, Ares V rocket and Constellation program. He is focusing funding (which is expected to rise modestly) on Earth science projects and a new rocket type, as well as research and development for an eventual manned mission to Mars. Missions to the International Space Station are expected to continue until 2020.
On December 22, 2010, Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, a bill that provides for repeal of the Don't ask, don't tell policy of 1993 that has prevented gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces. Repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" had been a key campaign promise that Obama had made during the 2008 presidential campaign.
On January 25, 2011, in his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama focused strongly on the themes of education and innovation, stressing the importance of innovation economics in working to make the United States more competitive globally. Among other plans and goals, Obama spoke of a enacting a five-year freeze in domestic spending, eliminating tax breaks for oil companies and tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, banning congressional earmarks, and reducing healthcare costs. Looking to the future, Obama promised that by 2015, the United States would have 1 million electric vehicles on the road and by 2035, clean-energy sources would be providing 80 percent of U.S. electricity.

Economic policy
On February 17, 2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from the deepening worldwide recession. The act includes increased federal spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals, which is being distributed over the course of several years.
In March, Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, took further steps to manage the financial crisis, including introducing the Public-Private Investment Program for Legacy Assets, which contains provisions for buying up to $2 trillion in depreciated real estate assets.
Obama intervened in the troubled automotive industry in March 2009, renewing loans for General Motors and Chrysler to continue operations while reorganizing. Over the following months the White House set terms for both firms' bankruptcies, including the sale of Chrysler to Italian automaker Fiat and a reorganization of GM giving the U.S. government a temporary 60% equity stake in the company, with the Canadian government shouldering a 12% stake. In June 2009, dissatisfied with the pace of economic stimulus, Obama called on his cabinet to accelerate the investment. He signed into law the Car Allowance Rebate System, known colloquially as "Cash for Clunkers", that had mixed results.
Although spending and loan guarantees from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department authorized by the Bush and Obama administrations totaled about $11.5 trillion, only $3 trillion had actually been spent by the end of November 2009. However, Obama and the Congressional Budget Office predict that the 2010 budget deficit will be $1.5 trillion or 10.6% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) compared to the 2009 deficit of $1.4 trillion or 9.9% of GDP. For 2011, the administration predicted the deficit will slightly shrink to $1.34 trillion, while the 10-year deficit will increase to $8.53 trillion or 80% of GDP. The most recent increase in the U.S. debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion was signed into law on February 12, 2010. On August 2, 2011, after a lengthy congressional debate over whether to raise the nation's debt limit, Obama signed the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011. The legislation enforces limits on discretionary spending until 2021, establishes a procedure to increase the debt limit, creates a Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further deficit reduction with a stated goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years, and establishes automatic procedures for reducing spending by as much as $1.2 trillion if legislation originating with the new joint select committee does not achieve such savings. By passing the legislation, Congress was able to prevent an unprecendented U.S. government default on its obligations.
The unemployment rate rose in 2009, reaching a peak in October at 10.1% and averaging 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Following a decrease to 9.7% in the first quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate fell to 9.6% in the second quarter, where it remained for the rest of the year. Between February and December 2010, employment rose by 0.8%, which was less than the average of 1.9% experienced during comparable periods in the past four employment recoveries. GDP growth returned in the third quarter of 2009, expanding at a 1.6% pace, followed by a 5.0% increase in the fourth quarter. Growth continued in 2010, posting an increase of 3.7% in the first quarter, with lesser gains throughout the rest of the year. In July 2010, the Federal Reserve expressed that although economic activity continued to increase, its pace had slowed and its Chairman, Ben Bernanke, stated that the economic outlook was "unusually uncertain." Overall, the economy expanded at a rate of 2.9% in 2010.
The Congressional Budget Office and a broad range of economists credit Obama's stimulus plan for economic growth. The CBO released a report stating that the stimulus bill increased employment by 1–2.1 million, while conceding that "It is impossible to determine how many of the reported jobs would have existed in the absence of the stimulus package. Although an April 2010 survey of members of the National Association for Business Economics showed an increase in job creation (over a similar January survey) for the first time in two years, 73% of the 68 respondents believed that the stimulus bill has had no impact on employment.
Within a month of the 2010 midterm elections, Obama announced a compromise deal with the Congressional Republican leadership that included a temporary, two-year extension of the 2001 and 2003 income tax rates, a one-year payroll tax reduction, continuation of unemployment benefits, and a new rate and exemption amount for estate taxes. The compromise overcome opposition from some in both parties, and the resulting $858 billion Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress before Obama signed it on December 17, 2010.

Health care reform
Obama called for Congress to pass legislation reforming health care in the United States, a key campaign promise and a top legislative goal. He proposed an expansion of health insurance coverage to cover the uninsured, to cap premium increases, and to allow people to retain their coverage when they leave or change jobs. His proposal was to spend $900 billion over 10 years and include a government insurance plan, also known as the public option, to compete with the corporate insurance sector as a main component to lowering costs and improving quality of health care. It would also make it illegal for insurers to drop sick people or deny them coverage for pre-existing conditions, and require every American carry health coverage. The plan also includes medical spending cuts and taxes on insurance companies that offer expensive plans.
On July 14, 2009, House Democratic leaders introduced a 1,017-page plan for overhauling the U.S. health care system, which Obama wanted Congress to approve by the end of 2009. After much public debate during the Congressional summer recess of 2009, Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress on September 9 where he addressed concerns over his administration's proposals. In March 2009, Obama lifted a ban on stem cell research.
On November 7, 2009, a health care bill featuring the public option was passed in the House. On December 24, 2009, the Senate passed its own bill—without a public option—on a party-line vote of 60–39. On March 21, 2010, the health care bill passed by the Senate in December was passed in the House by a vote of 219 to 212. Obama signed the bill into law on March 23, 2010. best-donation-to-your.html


Herman Cain,born December 13, 1945 is an American businessman, politician, columnist, and radio host from Georgia. He is the former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza and a former deputy chairman (1992–94) and chairman (1995–96) of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Before his business and economics career he worked as a mathematician in ballistics for the United States Navy. Cain's newspaper column is distributed by North Star Writers Group. He lives in the Atlanta suburbs, where he also serves as a minister at Antioch Baptist Church North.
In January 2011, Cain announced he had formed an exploratory committee for a potential presidential campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and on May 21, 2011, Cain officially announced his candidacy.

Cain was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on December 13, 1945, the son of Lenora (née Davis) and Luther Cain, Jr. His mother was a cleaner and his father was a chauffeur. He was raised in Georgia. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and received a Master of Science degree in computer science from Purdue University in 1971, while he was also working full-time in ballistics for the U.S. Department of the Navy. Cain has authored four books: Leadership is Common Sense (1997), Speak as a Leader (1999), CEO of SELF (October 2001), and They Think You're Stupid (May 2005). He also authored an article titled "The Intangibles of Implementation" in the technical journal Interfaces (Vol. 9, No. 5, 1979, pp. 144-147), published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Business career
After completing his master's degree from Purdue, Cain left the Department of the Navy and began working for The Coca-Cola Company as a business analyst. In 1977, he joined Pillsbury where he rose to the position of Vice President by the early 1980s. He left his executive post to work for Burger King – a Pillsbury subsidiary at the time – managing 400 stores in the Philadelphia area. Under Cain's leadership, his region went from the least profitable for Burger King to the most profitable in three years. This prompted Pillsbury to appoint him President and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, another of their then-subsidiaries. Within 14 months, Cain had returned Godfather's to profitability. In 1988, Cain and a group of investors bought Godfather's from Pillsbury. Cain continued as CEO until 1996, when he resigned to become CEO of the National Restaurant Association – a trade group and lobby organization for the restaurant industry – where he had previously been chairman concurrently with his role at Godfather's.
Cain became a member of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in 1992 and served as its chairman from January 1995 to August 1996, when he resigned to become active in national politics. Cain was a 1996 recipient of the Horatio Alger Award.
Cain was on the board of directors of Aquila, Inc. from 1992 to 2008, and also served as a board member for Nabisco, Whirlpool, Reader's Digest, and AGCO, Inc.

Media work
Cain serves as a commentator for Fox Business; he is also a syndicated columnist distributed by the North Star Writers Group. Until February 2011, Cain hosted The Herman Cain Show on Atlanta talk radio station News Talk 750 WSB, a Cox Radio affiliate. In 2009, Cain founded "Hermanator's Intelligent Thinkers Movement" (HITM), aimed at organizing 100,000 activists in every congressional district in the United States in support of a strong national defense, the FairTax, tax cuts, energy independence, capping government spending, and restructuring Social Security.

2012 presidential candidacy
In 2010, "Cain addressed more than 40 Tea Party rallies, hit all the early presidential states, and became a YouTube sensation. In April, he teased the audience at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference about his being a possible 2012 presidential candidate by saying that there may be a "dark horse candidate. On September 24, 2010, Cain announced that he was considering a run for president in 2012 on the Republican Party ticket. In December, he was the surprise choice for 2012 GOP nominee in a reader poll on the conservative Web site, narrowly edging out Palin.
Cain announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee on January 12, 2011 on the Fox News Channel program Your World with Neil Cavuto.
Cain supports a non-federally subsidized efficient economic stimulus, saying: "We could grow this economy faster if we had bolder, more direct stimulus policies," criticizing President Barack Obama's stimulus plan as simply a "spending bill" instead of meaningful stimulus through permanent tax cuts.
In February 2011, Cain addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Ed Morrisey of the conservative website Hot Air said he "stole the show" and that some attendees were moved to tears by the speech. In contrast, liberal website AlterNet accused Cain of pandering to white conservatives and referred to him and other black conservatives as "garbage pail kids". Cain called the news website's attacks racist and condemned its "shameful behavior".
A number of comments made by Cain regarding his attitudes towards Muslim people have caused controversy. He has stated that he was "uncomfortable" when he found that the surgeon operating on his liver and colon cancer was Muslim, later explaining "based upon the little knowledge that I have of the Muslim religion, you know, they have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them". Following a number of such comments, he was asked in March 2011 if he would feel comfortable appointing a Muslim to his administration or as a Judge. Cain said "No, I will not ... There's this creeping attempt, there's this attempt, to gradually ease Shariah Law, and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government and he went on to cite court cases in Oklahoma and New Jersey as evidence. He was criticized for this remark by conservatives at Grover Norquist's weekly Wednesday Gatherings, one of whom called the remark "frightening. Cain's statement was also criticized as "bigotry" and "muslim bashing" from CAIR, whose spokesperson stated "It would be laughable if it weren't having such a negative impact on the lives of Muslim Americans". Cain opposed the building of an Islamic Center for a Muslim community at a site in Tennessee, claiming that it was "an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion" and "just another way to try to gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws". Defending himself against the suggestion that this would be bigotry or discrimination during an interview with Chris Wallace, he defended his position, saying "I'm willing to take a harder look at people who might be terrorists, that's what I'm saying".
In an interview with Bloomberg view, Cain argued that he is a 'black American' rather than an 'African American' on account of being able to trace his ancestors within the US, describing Barack Obama as "more of an international...look, he was raised in Kenya, his mother was white from Kansas and her family had an influence on him, it’s true, but his dad was Kenyan". Interviewer Jeffrey Goldberg pointed out that Obama had spent 4 years of his childhood abroad, and that it was in Indonesia – not Kenya, at which point Cain revised his claim.
On May 5, 2011 Fox News presented a presidential campaign debate. Cain was one of five potential candidates who participated. (The others were Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum as the higher-profile candidates declined Fox's invitation.) Cain was declared the winner by pollster Frank Luntz after a show of hands among 29 debate witnesses who were chosen by Fox to act as a post-performance focus group.
On June 3, 2011, an Insider-Advantage poll showed Cain leading the field of Republican primary candidates among Georgia Republicans. A July 2011 Zogby poll showed Cain in second place nationally, with 18% of the vote, behind Michele Bachmann and ahead of Romney.

Personal life,Religious involvement
Cain is an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, which he joined at the age of 10. The church is part of the National Baptist Convention, USA.

In 2006, Cain was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in both his colon and his liver. Cain underwent surgery and chemotherapy following the diagnosis, and has since reported that he is cancer-free.

Cain has shared first-hand accounts of racial discrimination. In a YouTube video uploaded by his campaign, he describes the experience of sitting behind the white/black demarcation on buses. He also talks about the experience of taking turns with his brother, standing watch as each took a drink from the "white" side of a segregated water fountain in a department store.

Honorary degrees
Cain is the recipient of eight honorary degrees from Creighton, Johnson & Wales, Morehouse College, Nebraska, New York City Technical College, Purdue, Suffolk University, and Tougaloo College.

Critical Summer for Many African American jobs

CLEVELAND -- Unemployed for two years and growing increasingly frustrated, Charet Thomas thinks that neither Congress nor the White House is looking out for her or others who compose the nation's 15.9 percent jobless rate among African-Americans.
"I think people getting off unemployment and getting jobs are middle-class people," said Thomas, who was laid off from her job at a nonprofit agency. "The African-Americans, we're on the back burner. I truly believe that."
With her resume in hand and her best clothing on, Thomas waited patiently in line Monday with thousands of other unemployed or underemployed people here at a jobs fair and town-hall meeting sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Cleveland event launched a jobs fair-town hall tour by the caucus, a monthlong, five-city campaign that's as much a message to congressional leaders and President Barack Obama as it is a vehicle to help unemployed African-Americans find work. More than 4,000 people attended the Cleveland fair, where 100 employers had 2,500 jobs to fill.
"We didn't want to just sit around and complain. We decided to do something about it," Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., the chairman of the black caucus said, of his group's first hands-on employment effort. "This will send a message to Washington that this is a crisis that can be ignored no longer. If the images of what's going on here reach Washington ... it would take a very mean-spirited conscience, or no conscience at all, to allow people to ignore this."
The recession has been especially hard on African-American households. Not only is the seasonally adjusted jobless rate among African-Americans much higher than the nation's overall rate - 15.9 percent, compared with 9.1 percent - but the gap between black household wealth and that of white households is widening.
A report last month by the Pew Research Center found that in 2009, the median wealth of black families - assets minus debts - was just $5,677, while the typical white family had a net worth of $113,149, the greatest disparity between the groups since the government began keeping such records nearly a quarter-century ago.
Several Congressional Black Caucus members want the White House and Congress to develop programs specifically targeted at lowering African-American unemployment. The more than 40 bills the caucus has introduced aimed at addressing African-American unemployment have gone nowhere in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The Obama administration also has done little targeted specifically at easing the plight of African-Americans, instead saying that the way to do that is to improve the economy overall. Obama repeatedly has quoted the saying, "A rising tide lifts all boats."

The Obama Administration has seemed reluctant to create specific policies geared toward helping the Black community, which has been disproportionately left behind in the collapse, or throw it’s weight behind CBC supported bills. As the President says he is sticking to the idea that helping all Americans will help Black America, members seem to be increasingly vocal about their displeasure with the president and are coming up with their own solutions to help Black America recover-an absolute must-as congressional approval ratings dip to a low of 14 percent.

For Black leaders in particular helping to create jobs and stave off state budget cuts will be an absolute priority in August.

The Congressional Black Caucus says that their number one priority during August is to help stimulate jobs. They’re encouraging all their members to either host or attend town halls as part of their “For the People Jobs Initiative Tour” which will begin on Monday in Ohio. The effort hopes to reach out to citizens across the country, particularly African Americans and connect them with employers.

Strategies like this are essential according Roderick Harrison, sociologist at Howard University and at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies who believes this that the proposed two trillion dollars in cuts resulting from the deficit deal will profoundly impact African Americans communities around the country.

“These are communities that have taken body blows from the recession and in some cases they are getting worse. During this recess I think [members] need to be sounding the alarm bell with constituents, said Harrison.

He says that groups like the Tea Party can become real impediments for Democratic candidates in the fall because they have proved much more mobilized than anyone realized.

“We’re on the verge of another panic. It’s going to be a battle and people better be mobilized. Conservatives have much more energy. People need to mobilize and they need to start now,” says Harrison.

American Postal service, long a gateway to middle class

Employment with the U.S. Postal Service has historically been a source of upward mobility for thousands of African American men and women since the 1860s, but it is a source that is expected to dry up in this century.
Over the past 10 years the U.S. Postal Service has reduced its workforce by 212,000 positions, anticipates another 100,000 positions lost to attrition, and plans to further eliminate 120,000 career positions by 2015. Some of the 120,000 eliminated positions could come through buyouts and other programs, but a significant number are expected to result from layoffs — if Congress allows the USPS to circumvent union contracts that explicitly prohibit laying off postal workers.
In what is becoming an American trend to undermine collective bargaining agreements across multiple industries, Postal Service employees and retirees face possible contractual changes that are being described by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as “cost saving” measures intended to “protect taxpayers.”
The USPS is asking Congress to intervene on its behalf. In a recently released optimization document, the USPS states, “Unfortunately, the collective bargaining agreements between the Postal Service and our unionized employees contain layoff restrictions that make it impossible to reduce the size of our workforce by the amount required by 2015, therefore, a legislative change is needed to eliminate the layoff protections in our collective bargaining agreements.”
Postal union leaders are “absolutely opposed” to the layoffs. “The APWU will vehemently oppose any attempt to destroy the collective bargaining rights of postal employees or tamper with our recently negotiated contract — whether by postal management or members of Congress,” said Cliff Guffey, president of the American Postal Workers Union.

There is a lot less mail these days, and job security is crumbling. Proposed cost-cutting measures that became public last week could eliminate 20 percent of the postal service workforce. The proposed cuts are the latest knock against a set of federal jobs that were once a trusted gateway to middle-class stability for families like Briscoe’s.

Across the nation, the postal service workforce has long reflected the makeup of America. The workforce is more than 50 percent white, 8 percent Hispanic, 8 percent Asian and 21 percent black, according to figures compiled by Philip F. Rubio, an assistant professor of history at North Carolina A&T State University who studies the postal service. Thirty-seven percent of its workers are female and about 1 / 4 are veterans.

In cities and small towns, postal jobs have long been respected jobs that could provide a stable income for a family. The American Postal Workers Union puts the average salary at $55,000.

“To get a job at the postal service meant an entrée into the middle class,” said Harley Shaiken, a professor who studies labor issues at the University of California at Berkeley. “For generations of Americans, it was the route to sending their kids to college, to having a decent life.”

For decades, the U.S. post service also was one of the nation’s largest employers, said Nancy Pope, the curator of postal history at the Smithsonian. The postal service employs 560,000, but the number is on the decline.

The appeal of postal jobs grew in 1970 after 200,000 USPS employees went on strike in protest of low wages and poor benefits. They won a 14 percent salary increase that year. By the 1980s, there were clauses banning layoffs, which guaranteed workers a job in the service even if their position was eliminated.

“It was the kind of job that, if you got it, you got to keep it,” Pope said.

In rural areas, being a postmaster was the next best thing to being mayor of the town. “It was the job to have,” she said. “And if you are a rural carrier, you know everybody's business.”

In urban areas, the jobs were especially important to African Americans, who were hired by the post office as early as the 1860s. Many major cities — including Charleston, S.C., Little Rock and New Orleans — had African American postmasters during Reconstruction, according to the National Postal Museum.

Alton Branson, a 56-year old letter carrier in Clinton, said he was drawn to the work for the same reasons. A brother-in-law and a mentor encouraged him to apply 37 years ago.

“I just felt there was a lot of pride in the job, in wearing the uniform,” said Branson, a single father who sent three daughters to college on a postal worker’s salary. “Back then, we had the police hats with the badges. That intrigued me.”

In time, the postal service stayed in urban areas as other employers moved out, said Gary Burtless, a labor market expert at the Brookings Institution. “They still have sizable pockets of employment in communities that do not have lots of other good jobs. These jobs have decent wages, good health benefits and vacation benefits.”

Fred Jones, who lives in Largo, was hired as a janitor at a post office six years ago. USPS was looking to hire veterans and that gave him a leg up. His father had worked there for 42 years — eventually becoming a supervisor. Jones’s plan is similar, despite the planned cuts.

Weekend events celebrate culture with no incidents

Flash-mob violence refers to an instantly organized crowd, usually teenagers, bent on mayhem. This summer there have been incidents around the country: Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago and, more recently, at the Wisconsin State Fair. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with Eugene Kane, columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, about incidents of alleged hate crimes involving young African Americans at the state fair.

The 17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Back to School Festival was held, an event were children are provided with backpacks of school supplies, and fun activities. This event was founded by State Representative Elizabeth Coggs when she served on the County Board.

African World Festival returned again with a one day event filled with educational information, fun, entertainment, cultural activities and food. This year national and local entertainment performed, people from all ages participated in the festival. No flash mobs, no fights and preventive measures were in space through security in the event that some incidents would have taken place.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Evon Biddle, Sr. even weighed in on the events:

“With all the rhetoric about the “deteriorating African American culture” in this city, I saw some awesome events this weekend. They really showed the haters that there are many positive things going on in the Black community that we can all be proud of.” Biddle said. “Kudos to all those who worked tirelessly for months organizing these great events for the benefit of both youth and adults.”

With all of the continued rhetoric regarding the State Fair incident, little has been said regarding the responsibility of the organizers of State Fair in providing some crime prevention tools. Last year, the fair did hire security that had the expertise to identify the brewing of incidents, and prevent them before they erupt into fights and more. This year, organizers went into the fair cutting corners, and didn’t put anything in place.

It has also been stated that smaller situations had occurred that signaled a bigger incident could erupt. Some workers stated that they brought these situations to the attention of State Fair staff, and nothing was done.

Group to research disparity in African-American community

Governor Pat Quinn today signed House Bill 1547, creating the Commission to End the Disparities Facing the African-American Community. The commission will research the disparities facing African-Americans in the areas of healthcare, health services, employment, education, criminal justice, housing, and other social and economic issues. Its findings will be reported to the General Assembly.

“We know that disparities exist within the African-American community, preventing some from achieving their full potential,” Governor Quinn said. “In Illinois, we want everybody in, and nobody left out. We won’t shy away from examining the root causes of inequality, and working to correct them.”

The commission will be comprised of a bipartisan group of legislators from both houses of the General Assembly, the directors of the Departments of Human Services, Healthcare and Family Services, Children and Family Services, Public Health, Aging, Labor, Employment Security, Commerce and Economic Opportunity, State Board of Education, Board of Higher Education, Corrections, Juvenile Justice, or their designees.

It will also include the Executive Director of the Illinois African-American Family Commission, and up to 10 other individuals representing African-American communities around the state with backgrounds in the research areas. The president of the Illinois Senate and speaker of the Illinois House will name co-chairs for this Commission, and all members will serve without compensation.

Pat Quinn signed legislation Saturday creating a commission to research and report on disparities in the African-American community.

The commission will include Illinois lawmakers from both parties, non-elected state officials and representatives of African-American communities. It will study criminal justice, education, employment, health, housing and other issues.

"There's something wrong in America when we don't have everybody in, and nobody left out. When folks are left out, that's not the America that we believe in. That's not the America in our Constitution," Quinn said.

Commission members will serve without compensation. They are to report their findings and recommendations by the end of 2013.

The Help Movie Review

"The Help" and the book that preceded it details relationships between white women and African-American domestic helpers, or maids, in America in the 1960s. For the maids in the story, and in turn, actress Octavia Spencer, the interactions weren't always pleasant.
"For me, being in this type of oppressive environment, that was definitely suffocating, and I definitely had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder," Spencer says.
To remedy this feeling, Spencer said she and Ahna O'Reilly, who plays white woman Elizabeth Leefolt in the film, shared a house together while filming in Mississippi for 12 weeks.
"I felt like it was important for me not to go so far field where I lost myself and my sanity," she says "That was a time that preceded us and, again, I think while the film takes place during that time, it reallydoes celebrate the relationship that these people were able to construct in spite of the bigotry and the social morays. But for me, I was definitely grumpy a lot, because it was just a lot of emotional baggage to bring along when you're creating characters who are in an oppressive environment.
"Ahna and I lived together,and we all basically had dinner together every other night, and for those of who weren't working, we would spend an inordinate amount of time going to have free lunch on the set. There was never that type of animosity; I think the reality of the situation was that we knew we were playing roles. There was mutual admiration, love and respect on that set."
Spencer and Kathryn Stockett, the author of the novel "The Help," formed a friendship a few years ago while Stockett was in the process of writing the book. Inspired by Spencer's demeanor and personality, Stockett based one of the central characters, Minny Jackson, loosely on Spencer.
When director/writer/actor Tate Taylor, a mutual friend of both ladies, began working adapting the book for the big screen, Spencer seemed the perfect fit to portray the character. Spencer didn't hesitate to jump on board.
"What resonated with me with this project is that I think this is a story that we've seen so many times before, but never from the perspective of the domestics," she says. "It's one of the few times that African-American women are definitely portrayed in this era and still have depth and relevance and intelligence, and you see their lives outside of what they do in their employment.

DreamWorks Pictures made a wise decision in hiring Taylor to write and direct the film. Taylor was able to effectively capture Stockett’s important theme that Skeeter stood for her beliefs; she didn’t give in to Hilly, Elizabeth and even her mother Charlotte’s (portrayed by Allison Janney) insistence that their maids weren’t worthy of the same rights they received. ‘The Help’ also proves that people don’t have to come from the same background to stand up for what’s right. Skeeter was perfectly happy to give up her place in white society, if it meant she could expose the injustices the African-American community was experiencing.

Stone, who has become known for her comedic roles in such films as ‘Easy A,’ ‘Zombieland’ and ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love,’ gave a memorable performance as Skeeter in ‘The Help.’ She proved her versatility as an actress in the film’s dramatic scenes, showing she was truly sympathetic to the maids’ struggle for equality. Stone didn’t just use the material Taylor provided for her in the script; she drew on her own willpower to prove Skeeter wanted to stand up for what’s right.

‘The Help’ is also memorable in the fact that all of the characters were surprisingly well-developed, even though it featured a large ensemble cast. While the audience is connecting to Skeeter while she persistently pursues her dreams of becoming a writer, they’ll likely also be applauding her determinedness to tell the maids’ stories and see to them obtaining equal rights. Aibileen and Minny are also unique, distinctive characters in their own rights, and perfectly complement Skeeter’s strong, take-charge attitude.

Serious Aibileen, who has cared for 17 children during her life, shows her courage by being the first maid to tell Skeeter her life story. She doesn’t care about the repercussions she may face, if it means improving the lives of all African-American maids. The outspoken Minny readily speaks the truth, and doesn’t think or care about the consequences she or anyone else may face. She wants a better life for her and her children, and doesn’t care who she insults, if it means getting what she wants.

While many film adaptations of books aren’t as emotionally touching, and don’t feature as many in-depth characters and themes, as their source material, Taylor definitely stayed true to Stockett’s novel. Combining the important theme that people’s equality is more important than other people’s opinions with memorable characters, ‘The Help’ will certainly support Taylor and Stone’s thriving careers.

African American:Best donation to your presidential candidate 2012

Popular running shoe company, New Balance, has jumped into damage-control mode after Chairman James Davis made a private donation of a whopping $500,000 to a PAC that supports Republican and anti-gay presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The donation sparked a massive online backlash for the company, and a petition was quickly setup demanding a response from the company. The good news is, we got a response, but basically President/CEO Rob DeMartini distances his company's policy of LGBT equality from that of the Chairman's. Shouldn't New Balance do more than make excuses for their Chairman's anti-gay donation?,  Best Advertising donation for your presidential candidate 2012. Three jumbo size ads just at 300 U.S. $ per month.
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