From B-Serious:

President Obama should be afforded the same blessing and/or curse that every President faces each election cycle. When a president runs for reelection he’s judged by one clear standard . . .

“Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

That seems fair to me. I know people don’t want to hear things like, “he’s only been in office for ___ months.” Too bad it carries the burden of being true. If we elect a man for 4 years, it’s with the understanding that he should act upon his promises at SOME point during that four year period. It’s a lot of work . . . that’s why we give him four years four years to do it. Presidents have triumphs and setbacks . . . that’s why we give them four years. Constituents can be in full support one day and royally pissed the next . . . that’s why we give the president four years. He will have ample time to make mistakes and make up for said mistakes . . . that’s why he get’s four years.

The manner and order by which campaign promises are kept (or ultimately foresaken) depends on political strategy, personal ambition and style of leadership.

That’s the gamble we take . . .

We, the voters, gamble that the president will keep his/her word. . .

The president, in turn, gambles on the strategy he or she takes to get from points A to B.

Sometimes we misjudge our president. Other times, the president misjudges his strategy. Still, sometimes we get it right. More often than not, we find a happy medium (dissapointed on some things, pleased with others).

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from our own dnA:

From The American Prospect:

IN D.C., LGBT ACTIVISTS WON BY PLAYING THE LONG GAME.

Yesterday the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics rejected Bishop Harry Jackson’s efforts to put recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states to a referendum. The reason the referendum was rejected was because the proposed law would go against D.C.’s comprehensive human rights law that says proposed laws that would have the purpose or effect of discriminating against people based on sexual orientation can’t be passed by referendum. The GLAA, a local gay rights group, lobbied hard to get the language regarding sexual orientation placed in the law in the 1970s, anticipating just this kind of situation.

What needs to be understood here is this is the exact inverse of the situation in California–there the law was on the side of anti-marriage equality activists. Here, the letter of the law completely favors the marriage equality side. D.C. law strictly prohibits putting laws that are potentially discriminatory against certain groups to a popular vote, if the referendum had been allowed to go through, the law would have been meaningless.

In an example of sublime historical irony, the BOEE noted in its ruling yesterday that it was Marion Barry, the only D.C. Councilmember to vote against the recognition law, who placed the language in the original law regarding sexual orientation saying that the referendum process could never be used to “interfere with basic human and civil rights.” Talk about a long game–the Marion Barry of 1978 defeated the Marion Barry of 2009.

As I reported last week, pending the results of a court battle (Greg Scott of the Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing the Jackson camp, confirmed to me this morning that they plan to appeal the board’s ruling) the fight over marriage equality in D.C. may be over. Our system of government favors bureaucratic inertia, all Congress has to do to let marriage equality happen in D.C. is nothing. Staffers for Democrats on the relevant committees in Congress have told me they have no intention of interfering with the D.C. City Council’s decision. The D.C. Council will likely be considering full marriage equality within the year. The only hope for anti-marriage-equality activists seems to be for Congress to rally around the D.C. DOMA Act or similar legislation, and right now that seems unlikely.

– A. Serwer

This is only the second annual conference of the premier (well ok, only so far) conference just for African-American bloggers: Blogging While Brown. This year, it’s bigger, badder and blacker, ‘specially since I’m going. There are some major bloggers coming — including some blogs that represent some of the largest communities you can find online.

I’ll be speaking on 2 panels: The first is with Naoko McCracken of Automattic (producer of WordPress) on how to use the latest tech techniques to power blog with a focus on mobile blogging, plugins, iPhone apps, ways to connect WordPress with other social networking apps, and all that jazz. The second is:

Panel — Netroots in Action

Panelists will discuss how social media tools can be used to affect changes in policy, improve communities, and influence elections.

Moderator: Carmen Dixon Rosenzweig, www.allaboutrace.com

Panelists: Megan Tady, www.freepress.net

Pam Spaulding, www.pamshouseblend.com

If you’re in the Chicago area, come on down. It’s probably not too late to register for Saturday’s sessions. Here’s a list of all the blogs represented:

Thursday Open Thread

18 Jun 2009

IRAN-ELECTION/CLASH
A supporter of Iran’s moderate presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi speaks with riot police during a demonstration against the election results in Tehran June 13, 2009. Hundreds of supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and moderate challenger Mousavi clashed in Tehran on Saturday after a landslide victory for Ahmadinejad in a presidential election, a Reuters witness said.

—-REUTERS/Caren Firouz

Good Morning.

As you go through your day, don’t forget JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Read the rest of this entry »

Evening Open Thread

17 Jun 2009

88452628AW004_FIRST_LADY_MI
WASHINGTON – JUNE 15: Younger daughter Sasha talks with First Lady Michelle Obama, while daughter Malia looks on during a concert at the East Room of the White House June 15, 2009 in Washington, DC. The first lady launched the White House music series with a jazz studio including a classroom session and a concert featuring Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera and Tony Madruga.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Good Evening.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.

Barack Obama’s remarks are below. You can read the full Memo here. Any thoughts? My own hope is that change comes quickly, naw mean?

6:04 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, today I’m proud to issue a presidential memorandum that paves the way for long-overdue progress in our nation’s pursuit of equality.

Many of our government’s hard-working, dedicated, and patriotic public servants have long been denied basic rights that their colleagues enjoy for one simple reason — the people that they love are of the same sex.

Currently, for example, LGBT federal employees can’t always use sick leave to care for their domestic partners or their partners’ children.  Their partners aren’t covered under long-term care insurance.  Partners of American Foreign Service officers abroad aren’t treated the same way when it comes to the use of medical facilities or visitation rights in case of an emergency.

These are just some of the wrongs that we intend to right today.

In consultation with Secretary of State Clinton, as well as OPM Director John Berry, my administration has completed a long and thorough review to identify a number of areas where we can extend federal benefits to the same-sex partners of Foreign Service and executive branch government employees.

Read the rest of this entry »

the-mouse-that-scaed-ahmadinejad1I have to say it’s been incredibly inspiring to watch what’s been going on in Iran. For those of you who follow me on twitter, you know I’ve been doing what I can to help spread the word & support the struggle from far away. There’s much better coverage of what’s happening over there on Twitter and on YouTube if you’re watching: here’s a compilation of protest videos that Olivia Ma & others at YouTube have put together.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether it’s Ahmedinejad vs Mousavi. What matters is that people there are clearly sick of being trampled on and are demanding their rights.

In this country, as recently as the 2000 and 2004 elections, African-Americans in Florida and then Ohio were left wondering “where is my vote” too, but with less fanfare and sympathy. Our votes were stolen in some communities and in others, hurdles were put in place specifically to make if difficult for our people to cast their vote. Closed or inadequate polls, misinformation, roadblocks, faulty machines — you name it and usually conservative operatives were working it.

So we know how it feels to be fed a steady diet of patriotic ideals concerning one nations and the virtures of a people-chosen government through democracy only to find that the rules are different than you’ve been told. It’s a feeling that mixes humiliation with disappointment & disillusionment that can bleed over to despair if you let it. No, better to take to the streets. African-Americans once showed the world that through peaceful protest, a people can inspire a nation and a world to act in accordance with truth and justice, leaving discrimination behind. It’s noteworthy that women in Iran are an important part of the fight for more freedom and full suffrage.

It took us generations to finally achieve something that looked closer to freedom. A lot of people suffered and some died for the lives enhanced with opportunities and less blighted with discrimination than before. We know it can take time to get to the mountain top and not everyone who started with you on the journey will be with you at the end.

For African-Americans, well, we also know how the system can act when it’s really threatened and I fear more violence is to come. Yet hold steady Iranians — just as we faced down repression, unjust jailings, beatings and bombings, rapes and lynchings — so too look into the eyes of the government when it becomes desperate and do not blink. Look to our example and push on. Keep marching (and tweeting and facebook updating and YouTubing). Keep on…

“…until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
– Martin Luther King Jr. “

Afternoon Open Thread

17 Jun 2009

Good Afternoon.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

I’m not gay. But like many in my generation and younger, I have friends who are. It pains me personally when I hear them talk about the challenges they face in society, especially when it comes to safety and economic discrimination.

If you’re black, chances are good you know what it’s like to not get that job or be passed over for a promotion just because of something you didn’t ask for and can’t change — your race. My GLBT friends have all told me that they were born as they are. My gay and lesbian friends also share similar stories of discrimination that sound all too familiar and the legal hurdles they face with loved ones often sound  daunting.

Whassup? From the NYTimes:

President Obama will sign a presidential memorandum on Wednesday to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, administration officials said Tuesday evening, but he will stop short of pledging full health insurance coverage.

I’m also hearing that the benefits won’t include retirement either. Obama will speak personally tonight on the issue. So what’s the point, exactly? Dang, yo — healthcare and retirement (especially given the state of the economy) are the benefits that matter most. Is Obama really prepared to make a symbolic yet empty gesture to his supporters? That ain’t right.

Domestic partner benefits have been offered by some of America’s largest and most famous companies for years now without incident. The world managed to keep on turnin’. It’s time the U.S. government took another important step forward in dismantling institutional discrimination and we look to Obama for strong leadership here. He made some big campaign promises and if he doesn’t keep them on one aspect of civil rights, how you gonna expect him to care about the black community — how soon before he turns his back on other minority groups struggling to breathe free? Folks are right done hoping and are ready to get with the business of CHANGE.

Let’s hope he delivers more than empty gestures and high-sounding platitudes tonight. Both Lane Hudson and Pam’s House Blend have been on the case. More from them after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday Open Thread

17 Jun 2009

IRAN-VOTE-UNREST
Supporters of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi chant slogans as they look at protestors from the roof of a house in Valiasr street in Tehran on June 13, 2009.
AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI


Good Morning.

As you go through Hump Day, don’t forget JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Read the rest of this entry »

Evening Open Thread

16 Jun 2009

petesouza32
—-Pete Souza

Good Evening.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.

Afternoon Open Thread

16 Jun 2009

Good Afternoon.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

hat tip: a JJP reader

Global Financial Literacy Summit

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
7:30 am – 5:00 pm
THEARC
1901 Mississippi, SE
Washington, DC

Summit Reception
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Washington, DC

Keynote Speakers
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair
Ambassador Andrew Young

Town Hall Sessions
Global Financial Literacy Models Around the World

From civil rights to silver rights; defining success for financial literacy
in an aspirationally relevant world

Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday Open Thread

16 Jun 2009

petesouza101
—-Pete Souza

Good Morning.

As you go through your day, spend some it at JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Evening Open Thread

15 Jun 2009

jazzconcert2

Good Evening.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.


Who We Are

Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

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