Nov 30, 2010


The Black Issue began to take shape during the fall of 2007 when Sozzani was struck by the homogenous aesthetic on the runways. "All the girls looked the same. The only one who stood out is Liya Kebede," who is black, Sozzani recalled. "Everything she wore I liked. I started to question myself.

"We cannot use only these girls who are the same," Sozzani says. "We go to the East Side and Russia. We go looking for tall, thin and blue eyes. But we have to scout in Africa, everywhere.

"I decided to do an issue only with black girls. People say, 'It's a ghetto.' But we do thousands of issues with Russian girls and it's not a ghetto."

There was grumbling and skepticism from cultural observers that the issue was a gimmick or that she was exploiting international interest in the American presidential election. "People accused me of doing it because of Obama and said that I was very clever," Sozzani says. "But I started the previous October, before Obama and Hillary Clinton began to fight."

Still, her timing proved prescient. When the issue arrived on newsstands July 1, 2008, Obama had wrapped up the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Black Issue was distributed with four different newsstand covers, each featuring a well-known black model. Inside, a roster of relatively unknown mannequins was spotlighted, along with several veterans, such as Gail O'Neill and Alva Chinn. Plus-size model Toccara Jones - once a contestant on "America's Next Top Model" - posed topless.

The special issue turned into a collector's edition. After its initial print run of 120,000, it had to be reprinted for Britain, Germany and the United States, which makes up 40 percent of the magazine's readers.

"It was like Michael Jackson was coming to town in the fashion industry. People were scrambling to buy every single cover," says Michaela Angela Davis, a New York-based cultural critic.

"If you put Vogue in front of anything," Davis says, "that brand means something in the hearts of women."

For Sozzani, the Black Issue was only the beginning.

Sozzani was taken aback by the success of the Black Issue. The business opportunity was evident: A market was being ignored. But Sozzani did not want to be perceived as a dabbler, a cultural tourist.

"For me, it became a commitment," Sozzani said. "I talked to these girls. I promised to take care of them."

Before launching Vogue Black, Sozzani conferred with Hardison - tall, dark-skinned with close-cropped hair, a self-declared revolutionary - for advice. Sozzani has known Hardison since the early '80s when they met through the Paris-based designer Azzedine Alaia, who, as it happens, is known for his affection for black models. In 1994 Hardison helped black male model Tyson Beckford sign a groundbreaking advertising contract with Polo Ralph Lauren. In the past three years, she's aggressively rallied the fashion industry to question its own standards. "No one wants to be a racist. The people in this industry are not," Hardison says. "But the results of what they do are racism."

Vogue Black went live in February with Hardison as editor at large. Although it's headquartered in Milan, it clearly speaks to an American audience. The site opens in English in the United States, and many of the topics are culled from American popular culture. It mixes model profiles with street fashion pictures and short stories about creative types such as artist Kehinde Wiley. The reaction has been a mix of optimism, ambivalence and curiosity.

"Italian Vogue magazine is an experimental magazine - that's the impression people have," Sozzani says. "I don't think it's experimental; it has a vision. It can't please everybody. I don't want to please everybody."

Still, Sozzani has decided that she will happily embrace anyone - black, brown, thin, fat - who sees the world as she does.


Latino leaders in Nevada and around the country are floating the idea of breaking traditional ties with the Democratic Party and creating a grass-roots independent movement tentatively called the Tequila Party. According to Delen Goldberg at the Las Vegas Sun, the leaders want to pressure the Democratic Party to deliver on Latinos' priorities much in the same way the tea party has done with the GOP over the past few years.

Robert de Posada, the former GOP operative behind this fall's controversial "Don't Vote" ads aimed at Latinos in Nevada and California, tells The Lookout that he has heard "rumblings" of this movement among national Latino leaders.

"The Tequila Party is a great concept to basically say, 'You know what? This blind support for you is coming to an end,'" De Posada says. "If you are perceived as someone who will never vote for a Republican, then you're screwed," because Democrats will take you for granted, he says.

In the midterm elections, 64 percent of Latinos voted Democratic, and in Nevada, analysts agree that Latinos' votes were responsible for Sen. Harry Reid's re-election.

Reid promised to bring the DREAM Act -- which would let youths who were brought into the country illegally gain legal status if they join the military or attend college -- to a vote in the current lame-duck session of Congress. But some Democrats, and the vast majority of Republicans, are shunning the legislation, which once garnered significant bipartisan support. Juan Hernandez, Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain's former volunteer director of Hispanic outreach, told reporters Monday that the White House and Democrats are not showing enough leadership on the issue.

Republicans are leading the charge against the legislation. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) claims some criminals will qualify for legalization (which immigration advocates dispute). A weeks-long hunger strike by dozens of University of Texas students has failed to convince Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) to renew her earlier support for the DREAM Act, her spokeswoman says.

The Tequila Party is still just talk for now, as no Latino leader has publicly backed the scheme. But De Posada says their silence makes sense, as they will want to be sure they have a fully formed plan before they risk angering allies in the Democratic Party. "They'd better be prepared when they come out swinging," he says. Frank Sharry of the pro-immigration reform group America's Voice, says he doubts the Tequila Party will ever actually get off the ground. "I do think Democrats should worry because the arguments for the Tequila party are persuasive to me...The frustration is understandable," he says.

It's curious that Latino leaders are looking to the tea party for organizational inspiration, since many tea party groups supported Arizona's tough immigration law and other enforcement measures. More than 85 percent of Hispanics back comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, according to a recent poll, and 80 percent disapprove of Arizona's immigration law.

So, now the question is what are African Americans going to do to get our voices heard?  We need to start our own grassroots movement.  Any thoughts on a name?  Let's get started.  I'll off up this website as a platform to get it started.  We can do this.  Let's be the change we want to see!!!  Any takers??????  Oh, and yes I am really serious.
The Kardashian sisters are seeking to cut ties with a venture that sold prepaid debit cards under their name after coming under attack for the card's high fees.

The card, which launched three weeks ago, was aimed at young adults, the same group that watches the sisters' hit cable TV show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

An attorney for the sisters sent a letter Monday to parties affiliated with the card asking them to immediately stop using the names and images of the three sisters.

The notice came after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal warned on Friday that he would investigate the program to see if it violated state laws to protect consumers. He called the card's fees "predatory."

The Kardashians – Kim, Khloe and Kourtney – launched the card on Nov. 10, with much fanfare. The "Kardashian Kard" includes a picture of the trio on one side, and the sisters said at the time of the launch they were "excited ... to create their very own financial product."

But almost immediately the Kardashians came under attack by consumer advocates for attaching their names to a card with fees that far surpassed other prepaid debit cards on the market.

"The Kardashians have worked extremely long and hard to create a positive public persona that appeals to everyone, particularly young adults," says the letter from Dennis Roach, legal counsel of Dash Dolls LLC, which represents the three sisters. "Unfortunately, the negative spotlight turned on the Kardashians."

Just to buy the card and use it costs $59.95 for six months, or $99.95 for 12 months. That does not include any money on the card. The person buying the card must add money onto it.

The initial feels were just the start. After those six or 12 months are up, it costs $7.95 a month to keep using the card. Users have to pay $1.50 to withdraw cash from an ATM, and $1 to check their balance. Talking to a customer representative on the phone costs $1.50 for each call, and canceling the card costs $6.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is met with protesters ...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program, which risked up to $700 billion of government funds to bail out troubled banks and automakers, will cost taxpayers a mere $25 billion, according to an estimate released on Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

CBO's latest assessment of the widely reviled program is lower even than the Obama administration's own estimate of less than $50 billion, which was criticized as too rosy after it was issued at the end of September.

"Clearly, it was not apparent when the TARP was created two years ago that the cost would turn out to be this low," CBO said in its report.

With bailed-out firms returning to health, the government will spend less than previously thought on assistance to insurer AIG and automakers like General Motors, CBO said.

Additional stock repurchases by formerly troubled Wall Street firms and lower-than-expected participation in mortgage programs has also lowered the cost, CBO said.

With the country still struggling to emerge from the deepest recession since the 1930s, many backers of the bailout have paid a heavy political price. Republicans like Senator Bob Bennett and dozens of Democrats lost their seats this year in part due to their support for the program.


Via BV:
For most of 2010, Steve Harvey has focused his efforts on promoting his 'Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man' New York Times best-seller, maintaining his position as one of the country's top morning radio hosts and giving back through his foundation. But, now the comedian will get back to his stand-up roots as he embarks on a comedy tour with a twist.

Next spring, Harvey will join Grammy Award-winning singer Kirk Franklin for their first-ever 'Steve Harvey and Kirk Franklin Comedy Gospel Tour,' where Franklin will offer up his inspiration songs to people going through tough times, and Harvey will give fans something to laugh about."I think that this type of tour for me is long overdue," the original King of Comedy said.

"It is going to be an amazing amount of fun and ya'll really do need to see Kirk and me together because as I said before, God really is not through with me yet! It's going to be funny just watching me trying to get through this show cleanly. I'm probably going to remind you of somebody you know."

Franklin is also eager to head out on the road with Harvey for this unique concert experience.

"It's an honor to tour with my friend and brother in bringing people hope and laughter in what for many are difficult times.
Steve brings the jokes and I bring that Jesus," he exclaimed.

The Gospel Comedy tour kicks off at Atlanta's Phillips Arena on March 19 and will also stop in cities like Tampa, Jacksonville and Memphis. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster. Tour dates are listed below.

Harvey remains very busy through the rest of the year. His highly anticipated follow-up to 'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,' titled 'Straight Talk No Chaser' will be released Dec. 7 via Amistad/Harper Collins. In addition to hosting the long-running game show 'Family Feud,' he also just premiered his new Centric television show, 'The Steve Harvey Project.'

'Steve Harvey & Kirk Franklin Music and Comedy Tour' Dates

March 19 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena Theater
March 26 Tampa, FL St. Peter Time Forum
April 2 Memphis, TN Desoto Civic Center
April 9 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
April 30 Charleston, SC North Charleston Coliseum
May 7 Shreveport, LA Century Tel
May 21 Jacksonville, FL Veteran Memorial

Nov 29, 2010

Anti-Facebook Pastor To Resume Job After

NEPTUNE, N.J. (AP) — A pastor who barred church officials from using Facebook, saying it can lead to adultery, will take a 90-day sabbatical and return to his post, a church elder announced Sunday. The decision follows the pastor's admission that he engaged in a three-way sexual relationship a decade ago.

Leaders at the Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune gave the Rev. Cedric Miller a vote of confidence as the church's spiritual leader during a meeting Monday, Associate Reverend Linda Parreott said during church services.

The unanimous decision came after "prayer and thoughtful consideration" by the church's board of elders, along with recommendations from other local pastors, she said.

Miller announced earlier this week that he would be "taking some time off" and planned to return to his post at a later date. He offered to step down after the Asbury Park Press reported on court testimony he gave in April 2003. In it, he admitted having a threesome with his wife and a male church assistant and said the encounters sometimes took place during Thursday Bible study meetings and Sundays after church.

Church leaders had not commented publicly on his status until Sunday.

"We are confident that Pastor Cedric Miller is the man that God has chosen to lead this church into our destiny," Parreott said. "After 90 days, Pastor Cedric Miller will resume his goal to be senior pastor of this church."

Miller first made headlines earlier this month when he urged congregants to drop their Facebook accounts because he believes the social networking site facilitates affairs.

He recently ordered about 50 married church officials to delete their Facebook accounts or resign from their leadership positions. He also suggested that married members of the congregation do the same and said he was deleting his own account.

Miller said he made the request because 20 couples among the 1,100 members of his flock had run into marital trouble over the last six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame over Facebook.

While addressing his congregation during Sunday's service, Miller said he has no intention of relinquishing his crusade against the purported evils of Facebook.

"You want to log on? Log onto God's words," Miller said while holding up the Bible. "Get your face in this book."

Facebook has not commented on Miller's statements about the social networking site.


ATLANTA -- While people were stuffing themselves with turkey and dressing over Thanksgiving, Montell Jordan was coming to peace with a major career change.

For more than a decade he's been known as the backwards-hat wearing hip hop artist behind the Grammy-nominated, mega-hit "This is How We Do It".

All that will change after his final concert New Year's Eve. After that, Jordan says he will only step foot on one stage, the dais of World Victory Church in Norcross.

"It's just been an amazing career. And it has been great," Jordan said, returning from a three-city swing, one of hihis last. "But it's a calling that's probably been with me all my life since I was a child. And I've known it. A lot of people in the business know it and have the same calling but that leap of faith is difficult."

The day before Thanksgiving, Jordan broke the news through a litany of tweets on his Twitter account.

"The teaching at that church is very strong and it's very real. It's a practical, multi-cultural church, multi generational," Jordan said. "You're there worshipping with different people of different nationalities different ages and that's my idea of what heaven really looks like."

Jordan says he has no problem borrowing from his charisma and fame as a singer to help bring more people into the faith.

"I've travelled all over the world and I know there are a lot of people out there who are hungry for God and I think I have an opportunity not just to reach people who know God and also people who don't know God."

Jordan has yet announce a location for his final concert.

By Dr. Teresa Hairston

Recently, readers of Gospel Today Magazine got the new November/December issue in their mailboxes. One reader wrote back to the publisher:
"I got my latest issue of Gospel Today; with [Bishop] Eddie Long on the cover. I read the article and said to myself hmmmm seem like some sugar coating going on. Turned back to the 1st page and saw where the Bishop of his Church in NC is on your Board of Directors, I looked down and also saw that Eddie Long is on your Board of Advisors, I said all of that to say this. The best thing your magazine should have did was to not comment, but I do understand why you did. God is not pleased with all of the hypocrisy going on with these leaders and the things people will say and print just for MONEY!!!!

"Now since you all know the scriptures so well, print the one about A leader CAN NOT be a BISHOP if he has more than one wife. As the old saying goes what's done in the dark will come to the light. And we can not conquer what we are not willing to confront."

Our response? "The Word of God teaches us that God is love; and far too many times we have been unbalanced and unloving—all in the name of a God who not only loves, but loves unconditionally and restores sinners—us included. Whether Bishop Long is guilty or not; whether the young men are guilty or not, the BODY OF CHRIST must handle this situation according to the Word of God! The mainstream press has painted a hideous picture; some have even called for Bishop Long's resignation! They're not even members!!

Gospel Today did not explore the legalities or the issues; we presented a biblical perspective—something no other outlet gave.

For those who don't want to "deal" with or look at this situation; I encourage you to read this story so that you can have a BIBLICAL perspective to help you "answer" the mainstream perspective. Yes you should pray and speak about the "hope" that you have that God will turn this situation into something that will be used for His glory! Yes, you should respond! You should "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Pet. 3:15).

President Obama will announce a two-year freeze in the wages of federal employees Monday, with the intention of saving $60 billion over the next 10 years.
Obama was scheduled to announce the proposal later Monday.

According to an administration statement, the two-year pay freeze will save $2 billion for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next decade.

The freeze does not apply to military personnel, but will apply to all civilian federal employees, including those in various alternative pay plans and those working at the Department of Defense.

"This freeze is not to punish federal workers or to disrespect the work that they do," the White House said in a statement. "It is the first of many actions we will take in the upcoming budget to put our nation on sound fiscal footing -- which will ask for some sacrifice from us all."

Republicans have argued in favor of a freeze in recent weeks, and the co-chairmen of Obama's bipartisan deficit commission made a similar recommendation earlier this month.

Nov 23, 2010

Fantasia Barrino has admitted she got pregnant by her married lover Antwaun Cook and had an abortion around the time of her failed suicide attempt, has exclusively learned.

The American Idol winner made the sensational confession in a North Carolina court on Monday during Cook’s divorce proceeding with his ex-wife Paula.

Facing questions before a Mecklenburg County Court judge, the famous singer, 26, was pressed on whether she knew Cook was living with Paula when they embarked on their illicit affair.

The Idol season three winner has acknowledged she dated Cook “off and on for about 11 months” but said she believed he had separated from his wife.

In court, lawyers for the scorned wife pressed Fantasia about a hotel rendezvous that took place just a few days after meeting one another.

“Paula’s lawyer is arguing that they got the room because she knew he was still married,” one onlooker – who was inside the court – told

There were no reporters in the courtroom and witnesses were asked to leave as Fantasia took the stand.

But multiple sources, including a Cook family source, confirmed Fantasia's explosive testimony to


Scientists have an exciting breakthrough in the fight against AIDS. A pill already used to treat HIV infection turns out to be a powerful weapon in protecting healthy gay men from catching the virus, a global study found.

Daily doses of Truvada cut the risk of infection by 44 percent when given with condoms, counseling and other prevention services. Men who took their pills most faithfully had even more protection, up to 73 percent.

Researchers had feared the pills might give a false sense of security and make men less likely to use condoms or to limit their partners, but the opposite happened — risky sex declined.

The results are "a major advance" that can help curb the epidemic in gay men, said Dr. Kevin Fenton, AIDS prevention chief at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But he warned they may not apply to people exposed to HIV through male-female sex, drug use or other ways. Studies in those groups are under way now.

"This is a great day in the fight against AIDS ... a major milestone," said a statment from Mitchell Warren, head of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, a nonprofit group that works on HIV prevention.

Because Truvada is already on the market, the CDC is rushing to develop guidelines for doctors using it for HIV prevention, and urged people to wait until those are ready.

"It's not time for gay and bisexual men to throw out their condoms," Fenton said. The pill "should never be seen as a first line of defense against HIV."

As a practical matter, price could limit use. The pills cost from $5,000 to $14,000 a year in the United States, but only 39 cents a day in some poor countries where they are sold in generic form.

Whether insurers or government health programs should pay for them is one of the tough issues to be sorted out, and cost-effectiveness analyses should help, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"This is an exciting finding," but it "is only one study in one specific study population," so its impact on others is unknown, Fauci said.

His institute sponsored the study with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Results were reported at a news conference Tuesday and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

It is the third AIDS prevention victory in about a year. In September 2009, scientists announced that a vaccine they are now trying to improve had protected one in 3 people from getting HIV in a study in Thailand. In July, research in South Africa showed that a vaginal gel spiked with an AIDS drug could cut nearly in half a woman's chances of getting HIV from an infected partner.

Gay and bisexual men account for nearly half of the more than 1 million Americans living with HIV. Worldwide, more than 40 million people have the virus, and 7,500 new infections occur each day. Unlike in the U.S., only 5 to 10 percent of global cases involve sex between men.

Here are excerpts from the Q&A Quincy Jones did with US Weekly magazine in which he spoke about the latest music from Michael Jackson, Kanye West and the state of the record industry:

Us: Kanye West is similar to you in that he's the producer everybody wants to work with in the last decade....

QJ: How man? No way. Did he write for a symphony orchestra? Does he write for a jazz orchestra? Come on, man. He's just a rapper. There's no comparison. I'm not putting him down or making a judgement or anything, but we come from two different sides of the planet. I spent 28 years learning my first skill. I don't rap. It's not the same thing. A producer has to have some sort of skills that enable him to be a producer. It's totally different to know what to do with 16 woodwinds you know from piccolos down to bass clarinet. It's a whole different mindset. No comparison. None

Us: What do you think of him?

QJ: I don't think about him much. He's a great rapper, but there are a lot of good rappers. I just did The View with Ludacris, who's one of my favorites. He's a beautiful human being and college educated. I joke with him and say, 'How did 'Move Bitch Get Out The Way' come out of you?' But I was raised around the Mafia when I was a kid in Chicago in the 30s. Chicago's rough. I'm from the streets, I know what's up!

Now I respect and get everything that Quincy Jones was saying and I even agree he is definitely right, but what I don't understand is why he, as an elder statesman, would allow the media to use him to go after Kanye West? I'm pretty sure Kanye looks up to Mr. Jones, if he consider himself a real producer how could he not, but I just don't understand whyQuincy would allow himself to be used like this. Quincy Jones is entitled to his opinion just like everyone else, but this is one time I wished he would have handled the situation better. Instead of kicking a man when he is down (and everyone is piling on) he could have pulled Kanye under his wing and mentored him. I'm just saying...

Continue reading to see what Quincy Jones had to say about Michael Jackson's latest recordings, the state of the music industry and Lady Gaga.

Us: Speaking of Michael Jackson, some of his old stuff is being released now as a new album. Thoughts?
QJ: I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. Somebody called me up and asked me if it was Michael, and I said it sounds like Michael. But it's backed up by so many voices where I can't really dig down deep enough or I haven't really had time to dig deep enough to identify it. But no way it should be coming out. It should have all stayed in the vault.

Us: Why?
QJ: It seems like everybody is trying to put everything out that they can with him. I don't understand it. It's all to make money. He wouldn't have wanted it to come out this way. They must just be trying to make as much money as they can. I don't know know why else they are doing it.

Us: Why? Because he was such a perfectionist?
QJ: Right. He wouldn't have wanted anything out there he didn't put his final touches on. It's a crazy time right now. We're also looking at the descent of the record business. It's a very curious time right now. I've been in the business 60 years, and I've never seen anything like this.

Us: Is there anyone now that you think has the spark that Michael did?
QJ: Akon, Ludacris or Usher. A lot of them do, but the opportunities aren't there anymore. I'm worried about the young singers and songwriters in the business now. It really is a rough time. It doesn't mean a damn thing because they still steal everything. We're going to have to figure it out, man. I don't know what the answer is.

Us: What do you think of Lady Gaga?

QJ: She's great. Some guy misquoted me in some article and said I don't listen to everybody -- meaning her. I'm not listening to everybody, man. Everybody has their own thing, but it's show business. Gaga is like Madonna Jr. A lot of people follow Madonna. I don't, but I don't blame those that do. She's had a long career and done a lot. There are different strokes for different folks, man, and there is nothing right or wrong. It's what you like, you know. I'm against categories. If she can do it, do it. If she knows how to do it, just do it.

NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP, N.J. – A pastor who said Facebook was a "portal to infidelity" and told married church leaders to delete their accounts or resign once testified that he had a three-way sexual relationship with his wife and a male church assistant.

The Rev. Cedric Miller confirmed the information reported Saturday by the Asbury Park Press of Neptune, which cited testimony he gave in a criminal case in 2003. The relationship had ended by that time.

Miller gained national attention when he issued the Facebook edict this week. He said it came about because much of the marital counseling he has performed over the past year and a half has concerned infidelity stemming from the social-networking website.

The 48-year-old leader of Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune Township had claimed Facebook ignites old passions, and he ordered about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts with the social networking site or resign from their leadership positions.

Miller had previously asked married congregants to share their login information with their spouses — as he does — and now plans to suggest that they give up Facebook altogether. The minister also said he would leave the site this week.

In court testimony he gave in April 2003, Miller said his wife had an extramarital affair with the church assistant. Miller said he participated in many of the sexual encounters and said the assistant's wife was sometimes present, too.

Miller said the dalliances — which occurred in the Millers' home — sometimes took place during Thursday Bible study meetings and Sundays after church. But the minister said the encounters "came to a crashing halt" when several women in the church accused the assistant of having sex with them.

The testimony was given in connection with a criminal case against the assistant that was eventually dismissed. The names of the church assistant and his wife were not disclosed, and Miller told the newspaper that he was concerned that revisiting the incident would "irreparably" hurt some people.

"It has come to my attention that a very painful part of my past has resurfaced," Miller wrote in an e-mail sent Friday. Noting that his court testimony was mailed to his church leaders and other pastors several years ago, Miller said, "This was resolved at that time and accordingly we will not allow it to detract from our mission at hand to save as many marriages as we can."

Miller said people must look at his Facebook directives in the proper context.

"My life as a minister, husband, father and friend has led me to the conviction that I must do all that I can to help as many people strengthen, preserve and repair the often times fragile cords of marriage," Miller wrote.

A message left by The Associated Press for the church's pastor was not immediately returned Saturday.

Nov 19, 2010

John Boyd Jr. is the president of the National Black Farmers Association.
The U.S. Senate is expected to approve $1.15 billion Friday to fund a settlement initally reached between the Agriculture Department and minority farmers more than a decade ago, according to Senate sources.

The 1997 Pigford v. Glickman case against the U.S. Agriculture Department was settled out of court 11 years ago. Under a federal judge's terms dating to 1999, qualified farmers could receive $50,000 each to settle claims of racial bias.

"This is much long overdue justice for black farmers," said John Boyd, founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association.

The Senate is also expected to clear -- in the same piece of legislation -- $3.4 billion to fund a separate settlement reached with the Department of Interior for mishandling of a trust fund managed for Native Americans.

In July, the House approved a war supplemental bill that included money to pay for the settlements. At the time, however, the Senate failed to approve the measure.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, dropped an objection to the package this week after Senate leaders agreed not to finance it through additional deficit spending.

Prominent members of both parties have voiced support for paying out the settlements.

If the Senate measure passes, it will have to be approved by the lame duck House before moving to President Obama's desk to be signed into law.


Although I won't be making it to the Classic this year :-(, I thought it would be cool to share my alma mater's new fight song.  Here's a little history on how the new fight song came about:
With the annual Florida Classic looming, Dr. James Ammons made a request of Dr. Julian White.

Florida A&M's president wanted the director of the Marching 100 to come up with a signature fight song that's catchier than arch-rival Bethune-Cookman University's "Let's Go Wildcats."

Mission accomplished — provided everyone in Rattlerville can commit the words to memory.

Diron Holloway, assistant band director and director of the woodwind section, wrote the song and lyrics to "Get up for the Rattlers," with an assist from White. It was unveiled at FAMU's Homecoming convocation and will be played numerous times during Saturday's classic showdown in Orlando.

"The band members love it. It's exciting," White said. "We wanted to create another spirited fight song that's up to date, one that has a little more energy and drive."

At the convocation, wallet-size cheat sheets were distributed with the lyrics to the new song. source

Here are the lyrics to the new fight song:
We came to have some fun; the party has just begun

(Ladies: Just Begun)

And you know we're number one; Gotta get up now.

This is the rattler Show, Around & Around we go

(Ladies: Round We Go)

And we 'bout to strike you know, Gotta Get Up Now.

Gotta Get Up, Get Up, For the Rattlers!

GO RATTLERS......................STRIKE, STRIKE, AND STRIKE AGAIN!!!!!!!!
        AP -       Miller says Facebook is ruining marriages.

NEPTUNE, N.J. -- Thou shalt not commit adultery. And thou also shalt not use Facebook.

That's the edict from a New Jersey pastor who feels the two often go together.

The Rev. Cedric Miller said 20 couples among the 1,100 members of his Living Word Christian Fellowship Church have run into marital trouble over the last six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame over Facebook.

Because of the problems, he is ordering about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts with the social networking site or resign from their leadership positions. He had previously asked married congregants to share their login information with their spouses and now plans to suggest that they give up Facebook altogether.

"I've been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half," he said. "What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great."

Miller is married and has a Facebook account that he uses to keep in touch with six children, but he will heed his own advice and cancel his account this weekend.

On Sunday, he plans to "strongly suggest" that all married people to stop using Facebook, lest they endanger their marriage.

"The advice will go to the entire church," he said. "They'll hear what I'm asking of my church leadership. I won't mandate it for the entire congregation."

Miller said he has spoken from the pulpit before about the dangers of Facebook, asking married couples to give each other their passwords to the site.

"Some did. Others got scared and deleted their accounts right away. And some felt it was none of my business," he said.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used or been faced with evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites in divorce cases over the last five years.

About one in five adults uses Facebook for flirting, according to a 2008 report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Miller says there are legitimate uses for Facebook, which is why he started an account a few years ago.


Do you think Facebook is contributing to the downfall of some marriages?  Would you give up Facebook if your pastor asked you too?  What Say Thee....
Katrina witness: Officer laughed after burning man's body
Rebecca Glover, aunt of Henry Glover, who police allegedly shot and later burned his body in a car in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, talks outside the courthouse where five New Orleans police officers are on trial in New Orleans, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A New Orleans police officer was laughing after he burned the body of a man who had been gunned down by police in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, a fellow officer testified Thursday.

The testimony came during the trial of officer Greg McRae and Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, who are charged with burning the body of 31-year-old Henry Glover in a car after he was shot and killed by a different officer outside a strip mall on Sept. 2, 2005. Three other current and former officers also are charged in Glover's death.

Lt. Joseph Meisch testified Thursday that he was standing outside a police station near the Mississippi River when he saw a car followed by a pickup truck driving on a levee. McRae was driving the car and Scheuermann was driving the truck, according to prosecutors.

Moments after the car drove off the levee, Meisch saw a plume of thick, black smoke.

Meisch didn't know who was driving the vehicles until McRae and Scheuermann ran toward him. Scheuermann had a blank look on his face, but McRae was laughing, Meisch said.

"Laughing like somebody had just played a joke?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Knight asked.

"It could have been humorous or nervous laughter," he said.

Meisch said he asked what had happened, and McRae told him not to worry about it.

"I got it," Scheuermann added, according to Meisch.

McRae's lawyer, Frank DeSalvo, has conceded that his client burned the body. DeSalvo said in his opening statement that McRae was under stress from Katrina's harsh conditions when he made a "very bad decision" to toss a flare in the car. Jeffrey Kearney, one of Scheuermann's attorneys, has said his client didn't know McRae was going to set the car on fire.

Meisch said he didn't check on the car until four or five days later. When he looked into the back seat, he saw what appeared to be a ribcage.

"It kind of actually scared me," he said.

But he didn't tell anybody about his discovery, assuming Scheuermann was handling it, Meisch said.

"It did raise some suspicion in my mind," he said. "But, again, Lt. Scheuermann said he's got it."

Meisch said he didn't discuss the matter with Scheuermann again until 2009, after federal authorities started investigating Glover's death. Meisch said Scheuermann told him that they wouldn't deny what happened and that McRae had made a "stupid mistake."

A former officer, David Warren, is charged with shooting Glover. Prosecutors say Glover wasn't armed and didn't pose a threat to Warren.

Scheuermann and McRae are accused of beating people who drove Glover to a makeshift police headquarters in search of help. The three men were handcuffed when the officers drove off with the car containing Glover's body.

Former Lt. Robert Italiano and Lt. Travis McCabe are accused of falsifying a report to make it appear Glover's shooting was justified.

In other testimony Thursday, a federal agent deployed in New Orleans after Katrina said he interviewed William Tanner, the owner of the burned car, about a month after the shooting. Tanner had driven Glover, Glover's brother and a friend to the school, where he claims they were beaten before the officers drove off with his car.

John Schmidt, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, said he recounted Tanner's story to Italiano because he supervised the investigative unit for the police district where the shooting and alleged beatings occurred.

"He said he was going to take care of it," Schmidt recalled Italiano saying.

But prosecutors say Italiano helped cover up the incident and lied to the FBI about his knowledge of the shooting and burned car.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.


Normally I wouldn't even mention Sarah Palin on my site, but this article was so laughable that I had to share it.

In passages leaked from her forthcoming book America by Heart, Sarah Palin -- the erstwhile quitter governor of Alaska, who now, by all indications, fancies herself as President of the United States -- has taken another cheap shot at First Lady Michelle Obama.

In a passage on perceptions of racial inequality in the United States, Palin slams President Barack Obama, who, she asserts, "seems to believe" that "America -- at least America as it currently exists -- is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country." And then she goes after Michelle Obama:

Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn't surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church listening to his rants against America and white people.

The passage -- coming on page 26 in a chapter entitled "We, the People" -- echoes remarks made by Palin on the eve of the midterm elections, at a rally in San Jose, California, at which point she mocked remarks made by Michelle Obama during the 2008 campaign: "You know, when I hear people say, or had said during the campaign that they've never been proud of America," Palin spat out. "Haven't they met anybody in uniform yet? I get tears in my eyes when I see that young man, that young woman, walking through the airport in too... so proud to be American."

In fact, Michelle Obama's remarks were made (in Madison, Wisconsin, during the 2008 campaign) in a context of Americans being "unified around some basic common issues":

What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something--for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction, and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I've seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues, and it's made me proud.

Afterwards, the First Lady further clarified her remarks by noting that she was referencing the "record number" of young voters participating in the political process in the 2008 campaign:

For the first time in my lifetime, I am seeing people rolling up their sleeves in way that I haven't seen and really trying to figure this out, and that's the source of pride I was talking about.

The passages from Palin's latest book first appeared at Palingates, where several other pages from American by Heart have also been posted. Palin followed up her comments about Michelle Obama by throwing an elbow at U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, also focusing on racial overtones:

It also makes sense, then, that the man President Obama made his attorney general, Eric Holder, would call us a "nation of cowards" for failing to come to grips with what he described as the persistence of racism.

Nov 18, 2010


WASHINGTON – Is marriage becoming obsolete?

As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren't needed to have a family.

A study by the Pew Research Center, in association with Time magazine, highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. And the Census Bureau, too, is planning to incorporate broader definitions of family when measuring poverty, a shift caused partly by recent jumps in unmarried couples living together.

About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, a fivefold increase from 1960, according to the Pew report being released Thursday. Broken down further, about 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married. Within those two groups, a sizable chunk — 6 percent — have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married.

Indeed, about 39 percent of Americans said marriage was becoming obsolete. And that sentiment follows U.S. census data released in September that showed marriages hit an all-time low of 52 percent for adults 18 and over.

In 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete.

When asked what constitutes a family, the vast majority of Americans agree that a married couple, with or without children, fits that description. But four of five surveyed pointed also to an unmarried, opposite-sex couple with children or a single parent. Three of 5 people said a same-sex couple with children was a family.

"Marriage is still very important in this country, but it doesn't dominate family life like it used to," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University. "Now there are several ways to have a successful family life, and more people accept them."

The broadening views of family are expected to have an impact at Thanksgiving. About nine in 10 Americans say they will share a Thanksgiving meal next week with family, sitting at a table with 12 people on average. About one-fourth of respondents said there will be 20 or more family members.

"More Americans are living in these new families, so it seems safe to assume that there will be more of them around the Thanksgiving dinner table," said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center.

The changing views of family are being driven largely by young adults 18-29, who are more likely than older generations to have an unmarried or divorced parent or have friends who do. Young adults also tend to have more liberal attitudes when it comes to spousal roles and living together before marriage, the survey found.

But economic factors, too, are playing a role. The Census Bureau recently reported that opposite-sex unmarried couples living together jumped 13 percent this year to 7.5 million. It was a sharp one-year increase that analysts largely attributed to people unwilling to make long-term marriage commitments in the face of persistent unemployment.


This is the ish I be talking about when I say you can't compare Faux News to MSNBC.

President Obama's children's book, "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," hit shelves this week to a bit of unexpected controversy.

At first glance, the 31-page book—which features short profiles and illustrations of American heroes like George Washington and Jackie Robinson—doesn't seem like it could stir up much debate.

But Obama's decision to include Native American leader Sitting Bull didn't go over well with the headline writers at Fox Nation, a Fox News website. Their initial take: "Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General." (At the time of this writing, the headline has been changed to read: "Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Defeated U.S. General.")

Several bloggers and Fox critics quickly jumped on the site's overheated reaction to the children's book.

"Fox News Turns Obama's Kid Book Into Anti-American War Epic," wrote Gawker's Maureen O'Connor.

The New Republic's Jonathan Chait also poked fun at the network's coverage of the book: "Fox News Exposes Obama As Indian, Not Kenyan, Anti-Colonialist."

"Our Indonesian-Kenyan-socialist president is at it again!" wrote Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank (who has criticized Fox News in the past), linking to the Fox Nation article.

The Fox Nation headline comes from this snippet pulled from a USA Today article on the book:

His most controversial choice may be Sitting Bull, who defeated Custer at Little Bighorn: ("A Sioux medicine man who healed broken hearts and broken promises.")

Robert Utley, author of a biography on Sitting Bull, told AOL News that the Fox Nation headline—and presumably the USA Today article that Fox was featuring on the site—is a "vast oversimplification." He said that the Lakota Sioux chief was too old to fight at the June 1876 battle and that Crazy Horse led the group of tribes, including Sitting Bull's, that defeated Custer's army.

Fox News chief Roger Ailes claimed in a recent (unrelated) interview that his network doesn't take unfair shots at the Obama administration. But headlines like this one only give ammunition to the many Fox critics who contend that the Rupert Murdoch-owned network—and sites affiliated with it—will take every opportunity to criticize the Democratic president.

A Fox News spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment on the Fox Nation headline.


Rockefeller Fox News Msnbc

During a committee meeting on Wednesday about television retransmission consent, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) veered away from his prepared remarks to take aim at both Fox News and MSNBC:

More than just retransmission consent ailes our television markets. We need new catalysts for quality news and entertainment programming. I hunger for quality news. I'm tired of the right and the left. There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, "Out. Off. End. Goodbye." It'd be a big favor to political discourse, our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and, more importantly, in their future.

As the New York Times points out, "There is little the Federal Communications Commission can say about Fox News or MSNBC since the channels are on cable, not delivered over the broadcast airwaves."

Rockefeller opened his remarks with a stinging rebuke of the 24-hour news cycle and the blurring of news and entertainment:

When it comes to developing content, our entertainment machine is too often in a race to the bottom. In fact, it is in a race to the bottom. Getting close. Even worse, our news media has all but surrendered to the forces of entertainment. And much of our news media is entertainment as opposed to news. Instead of a watchdog that is a check on the excesses of government and business, we have the endless barking of a 24-hour news cycle. We have journalism that is always ravenous for the next rumor, but insufficiently hungry for the facts that can nourish something called our democracy. As citizens, we are paying one heck of a price in the dumbing down of America. You're probably responsible for that.
I agree with Mr. Rockfeller, but I don't think you can compare MSNBC with Fox News.  I have yet to see MSNBC make stuff up, call Michelle Obama a baby momma, use words such as 'terrorist fist jab', lie and say the President's trip to India will cost $200 million a day and all the other countless offenses Fox News has come out with over the years.  MSNBC may lean left for the most part, but Keith Olbermann and Co. are not guilty of the same stuff IMO.
Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II was elected by acclamation as the 22nd chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the group's organizational meeting Wednesday.

Cleaver, who recently fought off a challenge for the Fifth Congressional District by Republican Tea Party candidate Jacob Turk, who was defeated by Cleaver for the third time. Cleaver gathered 53 percent of the vote.

Cleaver has been instrumental in creating jobs in the Kansas City area with the "Green Zone," which created jobs and job training programs in the area of infrastructure and home weatherization in its most economically depressed area.

Cleaver's elevation to the powerful post in just six years is being viewed as remarkable. But he is humbled by the selection.

"I am humbled and honored by my colleagues' support, and I plan to prove myself worthy of their endorsement," said chairman-elect Cleaver. "I owe a deep debt to our current Chair, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, for her steadfast leadership. I have learned much from her estimable example. I look forward to working with all my colleagues of all creeds, colors, parties and ideologies as we begin the 112th Congress in 2011."

"Our mission, since our founding in 1969, is clear: To promote the public welfare through legislation designed to meet the needs of millions of neglected citizens," he said. "As the conscience of the Congress, our work is never done.  As you know, our numbers continue to increase; the CBC is now the largest caucus and arguably the most powerful among democratic ranks. But we must remember that there is more power in an open hand than a closed fist."

Rep. Lee (D-Calif.), who will remain chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus until January 2011, applauded the election of chairman-elect Cleaver, calling him a strong and capable leader.

"As First Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Cleaver oversaw our Jobs Taskforce and played an integral role in crafting and implementing our legislative and messaging strategy on a host of issues, from health care reform and the economic recovery to climate change and Wall Street reform," said Lee.

Lee said it has been an honor to chair the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus for the past two years as the caucus worked together to confront the many pressing issues facing the American people.

"While we have had many successes on a host of issues, there remains much more important work to do in the upcoming Congress, and I am confident that the incoming CBC executive officers are more than up to the challenge," said Lee.

Other CBC members elected to leadership posts include:

- Del. Donna M. Christensen (VI) – First Vice Chair
- Rep. G.K. Butterfield (NC) – Second Vice Chair
- Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY) – Secretary
- Rep. Andre Carson (IN) – Whip

Cleaver entered politics 30 years ago and was elected to City Council in Kansas City, where he served 12 years before voters passed term limits in city government. He was then elected mayor of Kansas City, where he served two terms, and tremendous economic development took place in the Kansas City area.

Cleaver, a Methodist minister, is the representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Belton, Raymore and Peculiar. He is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, House Homeland Security Committee and the Speaker's Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

He will hold the post during the re-election bid of President Barack Obama - and says he is looking forward to that.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis, poet Maya Angelou and Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell are among the 2010 winners of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

President Barack Obama will present the awards to the 15 honorees early next year, the White House announced Wednesday.

Other winners include President George H.W. Bush, plus investor Warren Buffett, St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan "The Man" Musial, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Obama's bipartisan gesture in picking the first President Bush for the honor is not unprecedented. Former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, awarded a Medal of Freedom to former Republican President Gerald Ford.

"These outstanding honorees come from a broad range of backgrounds and they've excelled in a broad range of fields, but all of them have lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture, and made our country and our world a better place," Obama said. "I look forward to awarding them this honor."

The medal is presented to people who have made notable contributions to U.S. interests, from cultural achievements to security matters.

The full list of winners:

— George H.W. Bush was America's 41st president, and previously vice president and CIA director. He also worked with Clinton to raise money for victims Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

— Lewis served as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and helped organize the first lunch-counter sit-in. In 1965 he led the Selma-to-Montgomery, Ala., march for voting rights and was brutally beaten along with others in what became known as "Bloody Sunday."

— Angelou is a prominent poet, educator, filmmaker, producer and civil rights activist.

— Russell is the former captain of the Boston Celtics and first black man to become an NBA head coach.

— Merkel is the first woman and first East German to serve as chancellor of a unified Germany.

— Musial is a Hall of Fame first baseman/outfielder who played 22 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals.

— Yo-Yo Ma is a world renowned cellist who has won 16 Grammy awards and is known for his interpretations of Bach and Beethoven. He played at Obama's inauguration.

— Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, is a famed investor known as the "Oracle of Omaha" for his prescient business sense. He is also a generous philanthropist.

— Jasper Johns, an American artist whose work has dealt with themes of perception and identity. He is considered a major influence on pop, minimal and conceptual art.

— Gerda Weissmann Klein, a Jewish Holocaust survivor who founded Citizenship Counts, an organization that teaches students to cherish the value of their American citizenship.

— Dr. Tom Little, an optometrist murdered last August by the Taliban in Afghanistan as he and nine others returned from a mission to provide eye care in the Parun valley of Nuristan. The award is being given posthumously to Little.

— Sylvia Mendez, a civil rights activist of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent.

— Jean Kennedy Smith, a Kennedy family member who served as U.S. ambassador to Ireland and is the founder of VSA, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that promotes the artistic talents of children and adults with disabilities.

— John Sweeney, AFL-CIO president from 1995-2009.

— John H. Adams, who in 1970 co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council, a prominent environmental advocacy group.
Looks like another Hollywood marriage bites the dust.  They made such a cute couple, but three years is pretty much the standard when it comes to Hollywood marriages.

Eva Longoria Parker has filed for divorce from her husband of three years, San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, has learned.

She filed Wednesday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court.

In the filing, she requested that her name be restored from Parker's name to Eva Jacqueline Longoria.

Documents also state that the couple had a prenuptial agreement. It was signed in 2007, the year they wed, and amended in 2009.

She is seeking spousal support.

She cited irreconcilable differences for the split.

The filing comes on the heels of the latest Us Weekly, which reports that Longoria Parker, 35, recently discovered that her husband, 28, has been exchanging personal texts with a mutual female friend for nearly a year -- hundreds in just one month.

"Eva is heartbroken by the betrayal," says one insider (Longoria Parker's rep had no comment; Parker's rep could not be reached).

The two met in November 2004.

They had a brief rough patch that year -- "We were going through growing pains," she explained to Cosmopolitan -- but they worked it out.

He popped the question in 2006. "It was more than I'd imagined," she told Cosmo of his proposal. "I was shocked, too. It was like two in the morning. He got down on one knee. He was so nervous, which is what I find so surprising and sweet. I said, 'Honey, you know how much I want to marry you!'"

Little Willow Smith has definitely arrived.  Once you get rock god Bruce Springsteen covering your song you know you have a hit on your hand.  Bruce joined late night host Jimmy Fallon, who was impersonating Neil Young, as he put a folksy twist on the pop princess' song.
Via Eurweb:
Atria Books announced today it will release a memoir by 38-year-old actor/rapper Common.

The book, titled "One Day It'll Make Sense," will be co-written by Adam Bradley and due in June, reports the AP.

It will tell of Common's childhood in the South Side of Chicago and his entertainment career, including the Grammy-winning collaboration with Kanye West, "Southside," and such films as "American Gangster."

Nov 17, 2010

GALVESTON, Texas— A man who stole a car left idling on the seawall returned and chastised the owners after realizing a child was inside, authorities said.

A Houston woman, 22, and her boyfriend took the child fishing with them early Tuesday in the 900 block of Seawall Boulevard, where a rock pier juts into the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston police said.

After taking all their equipment to the fishing spot, the woman decided the weather was too cold for her 2-year-old boy, Galveston police Capt. Jeff Heyse said.

"She went back to the car, seated the child inside and left the heater going, and then went to help her boyfriend with the fishing equipment," Heyse said.

The woman planned to leave the child in the car only long enough to retrieve the fishing equipment, Heyse said.

Police suspect a homeless man was watching the couple and saw an opportunity to take the car. Police described the suspect as a black man dressed in black clothing.

The man got in the car and drove off. The car went through the light at 10th and Seawall, then turned around and came back, Heyse said.

When the man got out of the gray Mitsubishi Eclipse, the woman asked, "what the hell are you doing?," Heyse said.

"The guy made comments about why would you leave your kid in the car," Heyse said.

The woman called police at 5:15 a.m. but the suspect had fled, escaping capture, Heyse said.

"At 5:15 in the morning, the seawall is empty, and it feels like a safe place," Heyse said.

The woman wasn't cited for leaving her child unattended in the car.
Who cares if the sista gets botox.  There is no denying Vanessa Williams looks damn good on the cover of the latest edition of Ebony.  Some of us can only hope to look this good at the age of 47.  Hell some of us can hope to look this good now (if I'm being honest...LOL!!!) 
Johnson Publishing Company announced the sale Tuesday of its Michigan Avenue headquarters building to Columbia College Chicago and has begun searching for a new headquarters.

The company described the move as "another step in JPC's corporate strategy to advance its business plan and serve the current needs of the company."

"I am so proud that this wonderful building, which has served Johnson Publishing so well since 1971, will continue to have a rich legacy under the stewardship of Columbia College Chicago," Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing, said in a statement.

In the same statement, Columbia College Chicago Board of Trustees Chairman Allen Turner said, "The purchase of the Johnson Building offered us a rare opportunity for much needed expansion, especially given that the space is central to our South Loop campus. Just as important, we will have a part in preserving the legacy of the Johnson Building and its legendary significance to all Chicagoans."

The company said it currently used only about 40 percent of the building and that moving its headquarters was part of its overall strategy to cut costs and refocus on its core functions of the publishing and cosmetic businesses.

The building on S. Michigan Avenue was the company's fourth headquarters since its founding in 1942.

The 11-story, 110,000 square-foot historic building, which has been home to Ebony and Jet magazines, as well as Fashion Fair Cosmetics, for almost 40 years, was completed in 1972 as the first major downtown Chicago building designed by an African-American since Jean Baptiste Point DuSable's trading post, built two centuries earlier.

Under the terms of the sale, which was completed Tuesday, the company will remain in the building under an 18-month lease. A building committee will be appointed to aid JPC in its search for a new home.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Ebony celebrated its 65th anniversary this year, and Jet turns 60 in 2011.

Nov 16, 2010

Charles Rangel Guilty
Rep. Charles Rangel, once one of the most influential House members, was convicted Tuesday on 11 counts of breaking ethics rules and now faces punishment.

An ethics panel of eight House peers deliberated over two days before delivering a jarring blow to the 20-term New York Democrat's career. Rangel was charged with 13 counts of financial and fundraising misconduct.

The conviction also was another setback for Democrats who lost control of the House to the GOP in the midterm elections.

Rangel, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, is not expected to resign. He is 80 years old and remains a dominant political figure in New York's famed Harlem neighborhood.

He was forced to step down last March as Ways and Means chairman when the House ethics committee, in a separate case, admonished him for taking two Caribbean trips paid for by corporations.

At his one-day trial on Monday, Rangel was reduced to pleading for a postponement – arguing that his lawyers abandoned him after he paid them some $2 million but could afford no more. The panel rejected his request, and Rangel walked out of the proceeding.

Only last spring, Rangel wielded significant power in the House from his position as the main writer of tax legislation. He was not present Tuesday when the verdict was announced.

Nov 15, 2010

Diversity in unity: On the book's final spread, the president asks his daughters (and us): "Have I told you that America is made up of people of every kind?"
President Obama's picture book for kids, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters (Knopf, $17.99), pays tribute to 13 Americans whose traits he sees in his own children.

The 31-page book, for kids ages 3 and up, is filled with lyrical questions for Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9, opening with, "Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?"

The book, out Tuesday, is illustrated with Loren Long's paintings of the Obama girls and their dog, Bo, as well as the 13 famous Americans as kids and grown-ups.

A series of two-page spreads asks questions ("Have I told you that you are creative?") across from short tributes. He writes of Georgia O'Keeffe: "She helped us see big beauty in what is small: the hardness of stone and the softness of feather." His most controversial choice may be Sitting Bull, who defeated Custer at Little Bighorn: ("A Sioux medicine man who healed broken hearts and broken promises.")

Obama's publisher says he's not planning interviews or events for the book. His royalties are to go to a scholarship fund for children of soldiers killed or disabled.

Obama has written two best sellers: Dreams From My Father, a 1995 memoir reissued in 2004, and 2006's The Audacity of Hope. The first printing for his kids' book is 500,000 copies.

Long, 46, who has illustrated picture books by Frank McCourt and Madonna, says that after reading Obama's manuscript for the first time, "all I wanted to do was share its powerful message with my own two sons."

Obama's lawyer, Robert Barnett, says the manuscript was written between the 2008 election and the 2009 inauguration, but publication awaited "the beautiful illustrations."




President Obama pays tribute to these 13 Americans:

Painter Georgia O'Keeffe (creative)

Albert Einstein (smart)

Jackie Robinson (brave)

Sitting Bull ("a healer")

Singer Billie Holiday("you have your own song")

Helen Keller (strong)

Vietnam Memorial architect Maya Lin (it's important to "honor others' sacrifices")

Social worker Jane Addams (kind)

Martin Luther King Jr. ("you don't give up")

Astronaut Neil Armstrong(explorer)

Farmworkers leader Cesar Chavez (inspiring)

Abraham Lincoln ("part of a family")

George Washington ("proud to be an American")