Ciara looks beautiful in this video. Here's hoping she finally releases a CD especially since 'Fanasy Ride' is constantly being pushed back.
Winfrey, who turned 55 on Thursday, announced the selection of MTV veteran Christina Norman to run her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
The former MTV president will take over business and creative aspects of the network on February 17, and will be based in Los Angeles.
Fortune's Pattie Sellers reports that Oprah's first choice was former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, whose wife Kathy is a regular on Oprah's show. Instead, Freston joined Oprah as a consultant and steered her towards many Viacom veterans for the CEO post, including Norman, who praised her former boss.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said he's pulling for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals in football's biggest game on Sunday - and he did so with a politician's touch.
Obama said Thursday that he would root for Pittsburgh against the "long-suffering" and "great Cinderella story" Cardinals. His spokesman also said the president would have friends as well as a bipartisan group of lawmakers over to the White House to watch the game.
"I have to say, you know, I wish the Cardinals the best," Obama said diplomatically. "You know, Kurt Warner is a great story, and he's closer to my age than anybody else on the field."
Warner, Arizona's 37-year-old quarterback, came out of nowhere about a decade ago to take the St. Louis Rams to two Super Bowls, including a title in 2000. Just when he seemed washed up, Warner rose to the top again this year with a stellar performance. His team was not expected to make the playoffs, let alone get to the title game.
Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a longtime Republican, endorsed Obama's presidential bid and campaigned for him. During Oval Office remarks, Obama noted that one of the Steelers most beloved former players, Franco Harris, had campaigned for him in Pittsburgh, too.
"Other than the (Chicago) Bears," Obama said, "the Steelers are probably the team that's closest to my heart."
Barack Obama admitted to Beyonce that like millions before him, he too liked "Single Ladies" and could do at least some of its famous choreography.
Caught on camera by John Legend while greeting participants at the Concert on the Mall, then-President-Elect Obama gets called out by wife Michelle about his fondness for her song (the video of which is below).
Michelle Obama says, "Mr. President, you didn't tell Beyonce about 'Single Ladies'? Your rendition?"
"I'm not like Justin [Timberlake]" Obama says laughing, referencing the SNL spoof. "I didn't put on the outfit... [but} I didn't want my girls thinking that I couldn't, you know... I got a lil something."
And with that, he did the hand flip and added, "This part I get."
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.6 percent in December, a 3 percent one-year increase that reflects the economic downturn’s dramatic effect in Georgia, the state Labor Department reported Thursday. The jobless rate in metro Atlanta rose .07 percentage point from a revised 6.9 percent in November.
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent in December, the highest rate since 1983, the department said. The jobless rate was up 3.6 percentage points from 4.5 percent at this time last year. The December unemployment rate was up .07 percentage point from a revised 7.4 percent in November.
The last time Georgia saw an unemployment rate this high was in March 1983, also 8.1 percent. Georgia’s jobless rate remained above the national rate of 7.2 percent for the 11th straight month. There are currently 393,168 unemployed Georgians looking for work. Of that number, 156,719, or 40 percent, are drawing unemployment insurance benefits.
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is signing into law an equal-pay bill that is popular with labor and women's groups and is expected to make it easier for workers to sue for decades-old discrimination.
Obama was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on Thursday during an East Room ceremony, a move that effectively ends a 2007 Supreme Court decision that said workers had only 180 days to file a pay-discrimination lawsuit. Obama and fellow Democrats campaigned hard against the court decision and promised to pass legislation that would give workers more time to sue their employers for past discrimination.
"This bill will be a big step forward not just for women, but for families," the White House said in a statement announcing the bill signing. "It is not only a measure of fairness, but can be the difference for families struggling to make ends meet during these difficult times."
The law is named for a woman who said she didn't become aware of a pay discrepancy until she neared the end of her 19-year career at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden, Ala. She sued, but the Supreme Court in 2007 said she missed her chance.
LOS ANGELES - Awash in debt, behind on his mortgage and recently fired from his job at a hospital, Ervin Lupoe was planning on leaving California.
The 40-year-old father of five pulled his children out of school, packed his SUV with snow chains and winter clothing for him and his family and appeared ready for the trip to his brother-in-law's home in Garden City, Kan.
It's not yet known if he was planning on leaving for good in a bid to flee his mounting money problems or if the trip would have only been temporary.
Whatever his intention, Lupoe never got to Kansas.
Instead, police say, he shot his five children and wife to death before turning the gun on himself.
"Something happened in the last 48 hours that made him snap," said Detective David Cortez of the Los Angeles police department, the lead investigator in the case. "(He saw) no other way, no other direction."
Investigators found evidence of spiraling financial woes, including a bounced check to the Internal Revenue Service. Lupoe owed at least $15,000, as well as thousands of dollars on a home equity line of credit.
He also was at least one month behind on a mortgage for his home in Wilmington, near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Cortez said.
But Cortez said it was Lupoe, not the stagnant state of the economy, that was to blame.
"Being there and walking through the crime scene, it's a lot easier to see him as the suspect that did this to other people than the economy did this to him," Cortez said. "It's how he chose to respond to the circumstances; he had options."
Police found the bodies of Lupoe, his wife and five children Tuesday morning. The bodies of two-year-old twin boys, Benjamin and Christian, were beside their dead mother, Ana. In another bedroom, the bodies of five-year-old twin girls, Jaszmin and Jassely, and their eight-year-old sister Brittney lay on a mattress pad next to their lifeless father.
He appeared to have attempted to muffle the sound of gunfire by shooting a semiautomatic handgun through a pillow.
"It looked like they were all caught by surprise," Cortez said.
Neighbors' reports of firecracker sounds indicated the family might have been killed the evening before and Lupoe shot himself the next day, Cortez said.
Joint statement from Mathew Knowles and Kelly Rowland on their amicable professional split:
"After a very positive meeting between Kelly Rowland and myself, we have amicably agreed to end our professional relationship. My company, Music World, will continue to manage Destiny's Child as a group. As an artist Kelly has incredible talent and I only wish her the best. We will always be family first and foremost, and as a dad I only have love for Kelly." ----Mathew Knowles
"Mathew Knowles has been a positive influence in my career. I have had great success under his guidance — both as a member of Destiny’s Child and with my solo projects. Although we have decided to part ways professionally, the Knowles family and the entire Music World Entertainment team will always be my family." ---Kelly Rowland
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- It was described as one of the most grisly scenes Los Angeles police had ever encountered: the bodies of five small children and their parents, all shot to death, in two upstairs rooms of the family's home.
But even more incomprehensible to some was the story that emerged after the bodies were found Tuesday: A father who, after he and his wife were fired from their jobs, killed all six family members before turning the gun on himself.
In a letter faxed to Los Angeles television station KABC before his suicide, Ervin Antonio Lupoe blamed his former employer for the deaths, detailing his grievance against Kaiser Permanente's West Los Angeles Medical Center, where he and his wife Ana had worked as technicians.
Lupoe claimed the couple was being investigated for "misrepresentation of our employment to an outside agency for the benefit to ourselves's [sic], childcare." He said the initial interview was held on December 19, and when he reported for work on December 23, "I was told by my administrator ... that 'You should not even have bothered to come to work today. You should have blown your brains out.'"
"Oh lord, my God," the letter concludes. "Is there no hope for a widow's son?"
Kaiser Permanente said in a statement Tuesday night that while the company is "saddened by the despair in Mr. Lupoe's letter faxed to the media ... we are confident that no one told him to take his own life or the lives of his family."
The Lupoes' employment was terminated over a week ago "after an internal investigation," the company said.
"While we may never fully understand why today's senseless deaths occurred, everyone who worked with the Lupoes is shocked and terribly saddened by the tragedy," said the statement. "It never should have happened."
Lupoe wrote in the fax, "after a horrendous ordeal my wife felt it better to end our lives and why leave our children in someone else's hands ... we have no job and 5 children under 8 years with no place to go. So here we are."
"Desirée is so poised and so charming, so substantial and capable, but nonetheless I told her how important it is to always stand up to the West Wing," Baldrige recounted later. "The West Wing is the men's side, and they will want to push you to put all those politicians on the dinner lists, and you've got to be strong and say no. Always represent what the First Lady and the president want. In the case of the Obamas, it's an exciting mix of people—not paybacks."
Rogers's appointment, in late November, did not come as a surprise to anyone in the Obama inner circle, including Valerie Jarrett, one of her best friends and a senior adviser to the new president. Days before the announcement, Rogers had hosted a small birthday party for Jarrett in Chicago attended by Barack and Michelle Obama, who rejoiced in being able to spend some downtime with a few of their closest pals, including Rogers, after the campaign's long haul. "My party was perfect," Jarrett told The Washington Post later, adding that Rogers "has extraordinary flair and exquisite taste."
The mandate the Obamas have given her, Rogers said, "is about instilling pride." Her job "is helping people visualize what the Obama presidency is about, the feelings Americans voted for—inclusion, transparency, embracing people you might never otherwise learn about—and also translating the splendor, that sweetness, that comfort of the White House to everyone." She paused and smiled. "Enormous task."
Indeed, in these troubled economic times, how exactly will the Obamas revitalize the White House? "Using the assets already there," Rogers said. "We have to be balanced. People think that being 'social' means hosting a lavish party, but that's not true. We all thrive on social interaction, and we must continue to," despite the economy.
President Obama said his administration will offer a hand of friendship to the Muslim world, but will hunt down terrorist organizations that kill innocent civilians.
"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy," Obama said in an interview with the Al-Arabiya satellite television network. "We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."
In his run for the White House, Obama pledged to improve ties with the Muslim world, draw down U.S. troops in Iraq and close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The president has also pledged to address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital in the first 100 days of his administration. No location has been announced.
Illinois' beleaguered Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today that when he was deciding who would take President Obama's Senate seat he considered appointing talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, a suggestion that Winfrey says left her "amused."
Blagojevich made the revelation to Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" on the day his impeachment trial began. That trial is expected to toss him out of office.
The governor said that Winfrey's name came up as a potential successor to Obama in the Senate.
As for Winfrey, she unfortunately didn't catch Blagojevich's comments live, but said on BFF Gayle King's Sirius XM satellite radio show, "If I had been watching as I normally watch, from the treadmill, I would have probably fallen off the treadmill."
In a seemingly rare attack of good sense, however, Blagojevich said on GMA that he ultimately decided against offering the political post to Winfrey as "she probably wouldn't take it, and if I offered it to her, how do you make sure it doesn't look like a gimmick and embarrass her?"
A question for the ages, if ever there was one.
"I'm pretty amused by the whole thing," Winfrey told King later, before making clear that she would "absolutely not" be interested in the position.
"I guess you're under consideration but no one tells you you're under consideration...I would have to say: Where would I fit it in with my day job, my night job, my radio job, my magazine job?"
Not that she's not qualified.
"I think I could be senator, too," she said after King asked if she was flattered that people actually believed she would be a capable politician. "I'm just not interested."
Perry tells the story in the fading sunlight of a cold afternoon outside his new house, a 30,000-square-foot palace atop a hill overlooking the Chattahoochee River. It is the filmmaker’s way of rebutting an alternative narrative that emerges from documents filed in Fulton County courts — the claims by several construction firms that Perry gave them the same kind of treatment his father received.
Six construction firms have filed liens against Perry’s house and his new movie studio, the first established by an African-American.
The court papers show that Perry’s unpaid bills from the two projects total slightly less than $200,000.
The contractors allege Perry refused to pay their final bills either for no apparent reason or because their work met with his arbitrary disapproval. They say he ordered work redone on impulse, deciding he wouldn’t like the stones purchased for an outdoor fountain, for instance, or deeming newly planted trees too short.
“He wanted to do it his way,” said Brooks Hilton, a landscaping contractor who said Perry owes him $17,635. “He wouldn’t take any advice. I guess in Hollywood it works that way, but not in real life.”
Perry, though, said he withheld payment only for shoddy work or for undocumented charges and then only for a handful of the dozens of construction companies he hired. Even those, he said, still got paid hundreds of thousands of dollars each before he dismissed them.
He sees the contractors’ complaints as a form of extortion and as part of the burden of celebrity.
“There’s a Tyler Perry tax that’s put on things,” Perry said in one of two interviews last week.
“I’ve seen the worst of what people can be, the worst of what family members can be,” he said.
“I pride myself on taking care of my business. I pride myself on being able to pay the bills.”
But “I’m not sympathetic to anybody who’s trying to rip me off. Just because I’m a Christian, just because I’m a nice guy, it doesn’t mean I’m a wimp.”
Michelle Obama’s inaugural outfits are being met with discontent from African-American members of the fashion community. The Black Artists Association is upset that America’s new First Lady did not wear any designs by an African American designer during Tuesday’s historic inauguration of President Obama.
The new First Lady choose a gold dress and coat by Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo for her husband’s swearing ceremony and a white one shoulder dress by Jason Wu for the evening’s always buzzworthy inaugural balls.
Both designs have received mixed reviews.
“It’s fine and good if you want to be all ‘Kumbaya’ and ‘We Are the World’ by representing all different countries. But if you are going to have Isabel Toledo do the inauguration dress, and Jason Wu do the evening gown, why not have Kevan Hall, B Michael, Stephen Burrows or any of the other black designers do something too?” Amnau Eele, cofounder of the Black Artists Association and former YSL model told WWD.
She added, “It’s one thing to look at the world without color but she had seven slots to wear designer clothes. Why wasn’t she wearing the clothes of a black designer? That was our moment.”
"Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire" scored a rare triple victory Saturday night at the Sundance Film Festival, winning both the grand jury prize and the audience award for drama as well as a special jury prize for acting.
Directed by Lee Daniels, best known for producing the Oscar-winning "Monster's Ball," and adapted by Damien Pearl from the 1997 novel, "Push" tells the raw, nightmarish story of a 16-year-old pregnant girl who tries to escape from the domination of her terrifying mother (played by Mo'Nique, who won that acting prize) and make something of her life.
1. The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women.
2. A manifestation of any of these qualities.
DECATUR, Ala. — New York Giants receiver Taye Biddle is recovering from gunshot wounds to his hand and leg after being shot while visiting family in his hometown.
Decatur police said in a statement Thursday that Biddle was shot outside a residence and was treated and released from a hospital. Police said there was no evidence Biddle caused or provoked the shooting.
"He had surgery on his hand today," Biddle's friend, Bruce Jones, told The Decatur Daily Thursday. "He told me his leg is OK, and he ought to be fine."
The 25-year-old Biddle grew up in Decatur and played college football at the University of Mississippi.
Police have not made any arrests in the case.
Biddle was promoted from the Giants' practice squad after receiver Plaxico Burress was suspended for a game in September.
It was on August 28, 2008, on the forty-fifth anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, that Obama accepted the Democratic party's nomination, becoming the first black American to be a major party's presidential candidate.
And on January 20, 2009--one day after Martin Luther King Day--Obama will be sworn in as the first black president of the United States. No doubt the spirits of the civil rights movement, and of movements for racial justice everywhere, will be with him then.
Artist John Mavroudis's cover illustration for this week's print edition of The Nation imagines this inauguration--one witnessed not in flesh and blood, but in the bonds of justice and peace. To identify the historical figures, match the list of names below with the diagram at right.
“Saying sorry and getting his ball back after being caught enjoying killing dogs in hideously cruel ways for many years doesn’t cut it,” said PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “Commissioner Goodell knows that he has an obligation to the league and to millions of fans, including children who look up to ballplayers as idols, to make sure that Michael Vick is mentally capable of remorse before he can touch, let alone wear, an NFL uniform again.”
PETA is urging that Vick undergo a brain scan and a full psychiatric evaluation.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Caroline Kennedy has ended her quest for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, halting a campaign that began with popular support but withered quickly over criticism about her experience and her reluctance to answer questions about her finances.
Kennedy made the announcement in a terse statement released early Thursday, ending hours of uncertainty surrounding her intentions as she appeared to waver in her decision to seek the office.
“I informed Governor Paterson today that for personal reasons I am withdrawing my name from consideration for the United States Senate,” she said in the one-sentence statement.
Her spokesman, Stefan Friedman, wouldn’t comment further. A spokesman for Gov. David Paterson, who will make the appointment to the open seat, also would not comment.
Richmond, Indiana's Pal-item.com is reporting that Aaron McGruder, creator of "The Boondocks" comic strip and animated series, left an audience at local Earlham College a little upset over comments he made about President Barack Obama.
Appearing at the college Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, McGruder answered questions posed by the audience and by associate professor James Logan. On the topic of race and ethnicity, McGruder said that to him, Obama is not black because he is not a descendant of a slave.
"The person who is one of us in the White House is Michelle Obama and her momma," McGruder said. Obama's father was Kenyan; his mother white.
McGruder, a Howard University graduate, went on to express an overall pessimistic view of the incoming Obama administration.
"I don't think you're going to see any dramatic change from Barack Obama," said McGruder, who wore a "Boondocks" T-shirt over a black long-sleeve shirt and jeans. "I'm hoping he proves me completely wrong."
McGruder bases his opinions of the U.S. presidency on the 2000 election and how nothing has been done since then to change the election system. "It was a sham then ... It's got to still be a sham," McGruder said. "I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but it's what I tend to do."
"For a long time now, I have tried to keep my opinions on the election and Barack Obama to myself. I occasionally do speaking engagements, which are not open to the press, and unfortunately some of my comments have been twisted around in a silly manner. The claim that I asserted our new President was not Black is categorically false.
"I have seen an endless stream of Black pundits on TV pontificating about the significance of President Obama's election - many of them making reference to the 3/5th's clause in the constitution regarding slaves. The point I was making is that this is not an accurate comparison.
"Barack is the son of an immigrant, not the descendant of slaves. It's like comparing a half-Japanese man to the oppressed Chinese who built the American railroads. Yes, they are both Asian, but it is not an honest or accurate comparison. We all share the common experiences of being Black in America today - we do not all share a common history. A history that in part makes us who we are - and in some cases (as with the psychological damage that still lingers from slavery) holds us back. These are not, I believe, insignificant distinctions.
"I did say I was cautiously pessimistic about Obama's Presidency - but this is simply acknowledging the reality of an American Empire that is out of control and on the verge of collapse. Let us not forget that on the eve of the election, we witnessed a near-trillion dollar robbery of the US treasury. That robbery is still taking place. I do not blame President Obama, but I do not believe the financial and corporate interests that own and control this country will fold so easily. I do not question the integrity of the man as much as the power of his office - which I believe has greatly diminished over the years. I believe the Federal Reserve Bank, the Military Industrial Complex, and the massive corporate interests that run this country have more power than our new President. I hope I am wrong.
"After 9/11, I witnessed most of this country become obsessed with squashing dissent and silencing critics. I hope this election does not turn Black America towards this same, fascist mind state; but already I am starting to see it, and it saddens me greatly. I absolutely wish our new President and his family success and safety. But after all I have witnessed in my lifetime, and especially in the last eight years, I am not ready to lay down my skepticism or my outrage for this government. To do so would be unwise and, ironically enough, anti-American."
Tallie "Ace" Brinson III (24)
Otheus "O" Manuel (25)
Peterson Thelisma (23)
Edwin "Bowling Ball" Bennett (25)
Michael "Money Mike" Washington (24)
Welton Maurice Nance (23)
Joel Daley (20)
Established in 1989 at Florida A&M University, Strikers All-Stars’ motto is, “If you can survive being a Striker, you can survive anything.” It's beyond notable that most of the members of this crew chose to attend FAMU in order join this famous stepping family because The Strikers aren’t merely a dance crew; they are a legacy.
This crew -- an elite seven-man unit comprised of the FAMU Strikers' strongest performers -- has won competitions on BET's 106 & Park and won over the notoriously fickle Showtime at the Apollo audience. They are, in short, considered one of the top stepping crews in the South.
"Many people think it's all the same," Ace says of stepping. "but we have created this style that is mimicked by numerous dance crews." That style comes from all seven members contributing to The Strikers' choreography and adding a freestyle hip-hop element to the more widely known precision elements. "We're unpredictable, full of energy," says Peterson. Adds Money Mike: "Our urban soul matched with our energy -- it can get ridiculously crazy!"
To that point, the crew lists a lot of hip-hop on among musical favorites, including OutKast, Flo Rida, T Pain, T.I., Rick Ross, Jay Z, Timbaland and Swizz Beats, along with some contemporary pop from the likes of John Legend, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake.
"In a way, we have played through our season and we're about to play in the Super Bowl -- America's Best Dance Crew," says Bowling Ball. "Our advantage is that everybody on our team is a Pro Bowl-er."
This week Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy announced that he was retiring from football. He was the Colts' head coach for seven years, becoming the first Black coach to win a Super Bowl in the 2006-07 NFL season.
"My wife and I talked, and we just felt it was the right time," Dungy said at a news conference. "I think I've got a chance to do some things down the road. I think I've got a responsibility to be home a little more. I've been tremendously blessed to play three years in the NFL and coach for 28, and those 31 years have been fantastic. Don't shed any tears for me. I've got to live a dream that most people don't get to live. What phase two is, we'll see. . . . I have a real peace about it that this is the right time."
Dungy still hasn't decided on what he wants to do, but for the immediate future, he's probably going to just kick it. He will be replaced by associate head coach Jim Caldwell, who was pretty much guaranteed the HC job when Dungy decided to step down.
The Hall of Fame talk is already buzzing around his name. He doesn't become eligible until 2014, but is a sure-fire candidate?
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A US Airways plane with more than 150 people aboard went down in the Hudson River on Thursday after taking off from LaGuardia Airport, and everyone aboard apparently got off the plane alive, officials said.
Flight 1549, headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, may have experienced a bird strike, according to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown.
Passenger Alberto Pinero said that within a couple minutes after takeoff, "you just heard a loud bang and the plane shook a bit."
Passengers could smell smoke, and "the plane just started turning. ... We knew something was going on, 'cause look, we were turning back," he said.
Somehow, the plane stayed afloat and we were all able to get on a raft," Pinero said. "It's just incredible now that everyone's still alive."
The plane had 148 passengers, Brown said, and either five or six crew members on board when it took off at 3:26 p.m. It was airborne for less than three minutes, she said.
Everyone on board is believed to have exited the Airbus A320, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The Coast Guard rescued 35 people, according to Coast Guard Cmdr. Ron LeBrec.
Roosevelt Hospital said it had received four passengers who were being treated for hypothermia, but had no further injures. Other hospitals were on alert.
The temperature in New York was 20 degrees about the time of the crash off Manhattan's west side.
Run-DMC once hailed themselves as the Kings of Rock, so it's fitting that the pioneering rappers have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Run-DMC joins the heavy metal band Metallica, guitarist and former Yardbirds member Jeff Beck; soul singer and guitarist Bobby Womack and doo-wop group Little Anthony and the Imperials as this year's inductee class.
Though Run-DMC wasn't among the first rap acts, they were the first to achieve widespread mainstream success, and the first to notch a platinum album with 1986's "Raising Hell." The rapping duo of Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels — plus their DJ, the late Jam Master Jay — were rap's first rock stars. They had hits with songs like "My Adiddas" and "It's Tricky," but had their greatest success when they remade Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" with the rock act for a groundbreaking collaboration.
In an interview Wednesday, McDaniels called Run-DMC's induction "inconceivable."
"I'm a rap dude, I'm an MC from Hollis (a neighborhood in New York's borough of Queens), just rockin' the mic, and to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with the Beatles, and (Bob) Dylan, and the rock 'n' roll gods? It's ridiculous! Ridiculous in a good way," he said.
He also gave a nod to the predecessors who paved the way for the group's success: "I share this nomination and the induction and the whole award with those cats, everyone from the Bronx and Harlem who started this."
Jam Master Jay — whose real name was Jason Mizell — was shot to death in his recording studio in 2002. McDaniels doesn't consider the induction bittersweet — "because Jay isn't here to celebrate doesn't mean he's not partaking in this event" — but said he couldn't see the duo performing during the April 4 induction ceremony in Cleveland without him.
"We can't do it without Jay," he said. "I want people to remember the last time they saw us together, the three of us."
Dear Malia and Sasha,
I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.
When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.
I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.
I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.
Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.
That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.
She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.
I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.
These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.
I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.
ESSENCE.COM: What reason did they give for not inviting you back for the second season?
SNOW: [One of the producers] called and said that I was "too human for a circus show" and that because the show did so well, they are about to pump up the drama and they didn't think that I would fit in. He gave me an example, saying that during the reunion when I found out what a few of the other ladies said about me, they were expecting me to say more, but I'm not the type to go "television" and start acting crazy because somebody's talking about me. I'm fine with the decision. It wasn't my decision. They let me go and there are no hard feelings. I am thankful for the opportunity.
ESSENCE.COM: So were you at all shocked by the decision?
SNOW: I didn't see it coming. I was shocked because I just talked to them in December about the new season. It's not like they came to me and gave me an option by saying, "We're going to take a new direction and we want to know if you could be more like this." I was a little hurt, but I just look at it like I am what I am. [My personality] didn't seem to be a problem before, but I suppose the show took a different direction and they no longer see me as the right fit. If you look at all the other housewives, they are all different. I believe God moves people out of your way. It's about God having his hand upon you and doing things for you. I'm not judging my situation. I look at the show as just a shutter-glimpse of what God has in store for me. I enjoyed being on the show and hanging with the girls. At the end of the day, I was the same person throughout the show. I never changed. I was authentic and true to myself and I can't control what other people do.
ESSENCE.COM: There are rumors that Tameka Foster might replace you. Is that true?
SNOW: Yes, I heard that, but I don't know. I wouldn't say that they are replacing me because they didn't think I was real enough or too real enough for the show, so I doubt they are going to bring in someone who has a similar personality as mine.
Despite whisperings that Usher's wife, Tameka Raymond, will be the latest Georgia Peach to join ATL's "Real Housewives," the celebrity fashion stylist will not seize the opportunity to show America what a true southern belle is made of.
"Although [Bravo] approached me, and I was flattered by the offer, I will not be joining the 'Real Housewives' cast," said Raymond.
Raymond, the CEO of Swanky Image Group and owner of Hides & Dungarees Denim Collection, welcomed her second son, Naveid Ely, with her pop star hubby last December. The couple had their first son, Usher V, in November 2007.
In a statement, she said: "The film studio and producers involved were more concerned about painting me as a 'character' to create a more interesting story line instead of a person with talent, self-respect and who was able to achieve her own career success through hard work."
She added: "Even though my relationship with Big was at times very difficult and complicated (as with most relationships we have all experienced at one time or another), it was also genuine and built on great admiration and love for each other. Regardless of the many lies in the movie and false portrayal of me to help carry a story line through, I will still continue to carry his legacy through my hard work and music."
But Wallace's mother, Voletta Wallace, dismissed Lil Kim's criticisms of the movie in an interview on Monday.
"This is not a Lil Kim movie," she said. "This is a Christopher Wallace movie. It has nothing to do with Lil Kim. If she's disappointed and upset, that is her problem."
OAKLAND, Calif. - A jail official says a former transit police officer who allegedly shot dead an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform on New Year's Day has been arrested in Nevada.
A Douglas County jail official confirmed that 27-year-old Johannes Mehserle was in custody Tuesday night under a fugitive warrant issued in California. The official would not give their name because the arrest had not been announced.
Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff is expected to announce details of the arrest Wednesday. There was no immediate word on what the charges of Mehserle faces.