Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are the Koch brothers denying your vote?

Mike O'Neal, Kansas House Speaker, Emails Prayer Some Say Wishes For Obama's Death

Mike Oneal Obama Death Prayer
An email recently sent by Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal (R-Hutchinson) to his Republican colleagues appears to endorse a controversial prayer that some say calls for the untimely death of President Obama.
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8." That's the slogan an email from O'Neal refers to, a phrase that's become popular in some circles on bumper stickers and other merchandise. The bible passage itself reads, "Let his days be few; and let another take his office." The real controversy arises in the next verse of Psalm 109, however, which continues, "May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow."
In a message accompanying the email, O'Neal
"At last -- I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up -- it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!"
O'Neal's office has insisted that his use of the psalm was referring only to the first segment, which they say simply shows support for Obama to be replaced as president, via an election, as soon as possible.
Back in 2009, The Huffington Post's Jason Linkins suggested that Psalm 109:8 was "the latest thing in 'Debasing The Institutions You Pretend To Hold Dear In Order To Suggest That President Barack Obama Should Be Murdered Without Actually Coming Right Out And Saying So.'"
In some circumstances, endorsement of Psalm 109 with regards to Obama has been dealt with seriously. Last year in Florida, a corrections officer was suspended after highlighting the passage and referring to it as the "Obama prayer."
While O'Neal isn't apologizing, outrage over the content of his email has sparked a petition drive calling for his immediate resignation.
O'Neal's email supporting Psalm 109.8 wasn't the only email that emerged to stir controversy either. Earlier this month, O'Neal apologized for an email, also forwarded to his GOP colleagues, that referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as Mrs. YoMama and compared her to the Grinch. This is the mind set of the so called GOP leaders.Are should I say the so called educated white American,.


Saviours Day 2012: Keynote Address by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Saviours Day 2012: Keynote Address by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan


How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics

 The right calls him a socialist, the left says he sucks up to Wall Street, and independents think he's a wimp. Ahmad Shabazz, on how the president may just end up outsmarting them all.
You hear it everywhere. Democrats are disappointed in the president. Independents have soured even more. Republicans have worked themselves up into an apocalyptic fervor. And, yes, this is not exactly unusual.
A president in the last year of his first term will always get attacked mercilessly by his partisan opponents, and also, often, by the feistier members of his base. And when unemployment is at remarkably high levels, and with the national debt setting records, the criticism will—and should be—even fiercer. But this time, with this president, something different has happened. It’s not that I don’t understand the critiques of Barack Obama from the enraged right and the demoralized left. It’s that I don’t even recognize their description of Obama’s first term in any way. The attacks from both the right and the left on the man and his policies aren’t out of bounds. They’re simply—empirically—wrong.
A caveat: I write this as an unabashed supporter of Obama from early 2007 on. I did so not as a liberal, but as a conservative-minded independent appalled by the Bush administration’s record of war, debt, spending, and torture. I did not expect, or want, a messiah. I have one already, thank you very much. And there have been many times when I have disagreed with decisions Obama has made—to drop the Bowles-Simpson debt commission, to ignore the war crimes of the recent past, and to launch a war in Libya without Congress’s sanction, to cite three. But given the enormity of what he inherited, and given what he explicitly promised, it remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or absorb. Their short-term outbursts have missed Obama’s long game—and why his reelection remains, in my view, as essential for this country’s future as his original election in 2008.
The right’s core case is that Obama has governed as a radical leftist attempting a “fundamental transformation” of the American way of life. Mitt Romney accuses the president of making the recession worse, of wanting to turn America into a European welfare state, of not believing in opportunity or free enterprise, of having no understanding of the real economy, and of apologizing for America and appeasing our enemies. According to Romney, Obama is a mortal threat to “the soul” of America and an empty suit who couldn’t run a business, let alone a country.
Leave aside the internal incoherence—how could such an incompetent be a threat to anyone? None of this is even faintly connected to reality—and the record proves it. On the economy, the facts are these. When Obama took office, the United States was losing around 750,000 jobs a month. The last quarter of 2008 saw an annualized drop in growth approaching 9 percent. This was the most serious downturn since the 1930s, there was a real chance of a systemic collapse of the entire global financial system, and unemployment and debt—lagging indicators—were about to soar even further. No fair person can blame Obama for the wreckage of the next 12 months, as the financial crisis cut a swath through employment. Economies take time to shift course.
But Obama did several things at once: he continued the bank bailout begun by George W. Bush, he initiated a bailout of the auto industry, and he worked to pass a huge stimulus package of $787 billion.
All these decisions deserve scrutiny. And in retrospect, they were far more successful than anyone has yet fully given Obama the credit for. The job collapse bottomed out at the beginning of 2010, as the stimulus took effect. Since then, the U.S. has added 2.4 million jobs. That’s not enough, but it’s far better than what Romney would have you believe, and more than the net jobs created under the entire Bush administration. In 2011 alone, 1.9 million private-sector jobs were created, while a net 280,000 government jobs were lost. Overall government employment has declined 2.6 percent over the past 3 years. (That compares with a drop of 2.2 percent during the early years of the Reagan administration.) To listen to current Republican rhetoric about Obama’s big-government socialist ways, you would imagine that the reverse was true. It isn’t.What do you think?

Dems gear up for nasty air war

BLITZER'S BLOG: GOP, Dems gear up for nasty air war We are about to see a sizeable transfer of wealth in the United States.
I’m talking about hundreds of millions of dollars pouring into a few states.
The main winners in those states will be local television stations. Here’s a tip: It might be a good time to buy some stock in the companies that own those television stations.

That’s because once the Republicans select their presidential nominee, the real battle for the White House will begin.
What we’ve seen so far will be child’s play compared to what is about to happen in the general election battle.
President Obama and his supporters, including the super PACs, will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars in television advertising. Much of it will contain positive images of the president. But probably a lot more will attack his opponent.
The Republicans and their super PACs will do the same thing.
Let’s not be under any illusions. It will be very nasty.
I’ve been checking in recent days with top Democratic insiders and they continue to assume that President Obama will face Mitt Romney in November. They are watching the Republican race for the White House with intense interest. They see the ups and downs for Romney but they continue to believe he will eventually win the nomination.
Like so many others, these Obama supporters believe that Romney has the best organization among the GOP candidates; they also know he has the most money.
I think it’s also fair to say that the Obama forces fear Romney the most. That’s why they have geared up virtually all their attacks on him, hoping to weaken him down the road.
They know the eventual battle for 270 votes in the Electoral College will focus on several battleground states where they believe Romney would represent a much more formidable challenger than Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Ron Paul.
So, get ready for lots of money to change hands. Much of that money will wind up in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Pennsylvania and a few other potential battleground states.
Let the transfer of wealth begin.

Who can save the Republican Party from itself?

Who can save the Republican Party from itself?
The Republican Party resembles a circular firing squad.
They may manage to lose an election they could win - against a weakened incumbent in a troubled economy.
Which is why many Republicans are dissatisfied with the state of the GOP race for president and the remaining candidates.
There's Mitt Romney, who's been running for six years, has all the money in the world, and still can't get the party to line up behind him. Newt Gingrich seems to have done himself in after a couple spikes of momentum. Ron Paul has rabid supporters, just not enough of them to make a difference.
And of course, Rick Santorum, the current flavor of the month - who has a history of controversial comments, including about Satan, and lost his own U.S.Senate seat in Pennsylvania by double digits.
It's no wonder some Republicans are still looking for a savior.
A new Quinnipiac poll shows New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the top choice of Republicans if there winds up being a "brokered convention." Christie - who gets 32% support - is followed by former Governors Sarah Palin and Jeb Bush at 20% and Indiana governor Mitch Daniels at 15%.
One of the reasons a lot of people like Christie is because he's such a straight talker. Most recently Christie told Warren Buffet to "just write a check and shut up." Gotta love it.
Christie is a Romney supporter who insists he's not interested in running himself. Too bad. You could put the Christie-Obama debates on Pay-Per-View and retire the national debt.
Other Republicans who might still jump into the race include Congressman Paul Ryan, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Here’s my question to you: Who can save the Republican Party from itself?

Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?

Gas prices rose for the 21st day in a row yesterday, inching ever closer to a national average of $4 a gallon.
According to AAA, the nationwide average is now $3.72 a gallon - up $0.02 from a day earlier.
Gas prices are up more than 13% percent so far this year - and February isn't even over yet.
Gasoline is already topping $4 a gallon in several states including California, Alaska and Hawaii.
Gas prices are mainly rising due to soaring oil prices.
They are up a whopping 10% in the past month alone due to fears that tensions with Iran will lead to a war and disrupt oil supplies.
Signs of an improving economy, growing worldwide demand and speculators have also driven oil prices higher.
We've been here before:
In the 1970s, the Nixon and Ford administrations imposed price controls on gasoline. They were reacting to rising gas prices caused by OPEC's cuts in production.
But what followed was long lines at gas stations and an artificial shortage of gasoline.
Experts say the most likely outcome of price controls is gas rationing, like what we saw 30 years ago.
People panicked to make sure they didn't wind up without gasoline and gas stations only stayed open a few hours a day to empty their tanks.
Since they couldn't raise prices, they would close shop after selling out.
And those who didn't want to wait in long lines bought gas on the black market at steep prices.
But as gasoline prices continue to climb and consumers feel a more intense pain at the pump, there could be pressure on the government to intervene once again.
Here’s my question to you: Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?

Friday, February 24, 2012


What? Police Shoot and Kill Armed 8th Grader

What?  Police Shoot and Kill Armed 8th Grader
The police in Brownsville, Texas killed an 8th grader at Cummings Middle School. The 15-year old boy was shot in the hallway after officers received a call about an individual with a weapon being at the school. Police saw the boy with the handgun and shot him, and he died soon after being taken…
Valley Baptist Medical Center in Brownsville.

The school was placed on lockdown and another student was held for questioning. An administrator with the school noticed the student carrying the gun and called police. Investigators aren’t saying whether they actually saw the boy fire shots or not.
“It’s still under investigation, as far as how he came about to bringing the weapon or if he encountered anybody or anything else,” said police spokesman, Jose Trevino.

Video Surfaces of Soldiers Urinating on Dead Taliban Fighters

The US Marine Corps said on Wednesday it would investigate a video showing what appears to be American forces in Afghanistan urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters. The video, which was posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four men in camouflage Marine combat uniforms urinating on the bodies of three dead Taliban. One of them jokes: “Have a nice day, buddy.” Another makes a lewd joke about a shower. “While we have not yet verified the origin or authenticity of this video, the actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps,” the Marines said in a statement. “This matter will be fully investigated.”
Two US military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the video appeared to be authentic at first look, however Reuters could not independently verify the video or its source.
A Muslim civil rights group in the United States condemned the alleged desecration of corpses in a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
“Any guilty parties must be punished to the full extent allowed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and by relevant American laws,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in the letter, a copy of which was sent to media organisations including Reuters.
The video could aggravate anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan after a decade of a war that seen other cases of abuse. The US military has been prosecuting soldiers from the Army’s 5th Stryker Brigade on charges of murdering unarmed Afghan civilians while deployed in Kandahar province, in 2010.
The Marine video release comes at a sensitive moment, with Washington trying to promote Afghan reconciliation as US troops gradually withdraw from the country.
US Ambassador Marc Grossman is due to visit Afghanistan and Qatar next week for talks with the Afghan and Qatar governments.
At the Pentagon, Captain John Kirby said the defense department was “deeply troubled” by the video.
“Whoever it is, and whatever the circumstances – which we know is under investigation – it is egregious behaviour and unacceptable for a member of the military,” Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

Devoted Father and Marine Shot Dead in Front of Daughters at School: Marines Stand Up for Him

Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr. has received the backing of Marines after being shot and killed by police in front of his two young daughters. Speaking publicly about such a case is against military tradition, but Loggins’ commanding officer at Camp Pendleton could not help but to challenge civilian authorities in their assessment of what happened to Sgt. Loggins.
Sgt. Loggins has been described by friends as a devout Christian who was deeply devoted to his pregnant wife and three children.
But the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has a different story to tell. They say that Loggins drove his car through a gate at the San Clemente High School at 4:30 am and then got out while his 9 and 14-year old daughters were heard screaming in the SUV. The police say that the girls told police that their father had been acting strangely, with this happening as their dad was standing in a field yelling odd statements.
Sgt. Loggins allegedly returned to the truck and was warned not to start it. When he ignored the warning, the deputy says that he was forced to shoot him to protect the children.
Sgt. Loggins’ commanding officer, Col. Nicholas Marano, said this to the media: “While I am confident they will do the right thing in the end, I am less than satisfied with the official response from the City of San Clemente and Orange County. Many of the statements made concerning Manny Loggins’ character over the past few days are incorrect and deeply hurtful to an already grieving family.”
Sgt Loggins’ supervisor, Maj Christopher Cox, said Col Marano’s statement received support from the military:
“We’re glad he stepped up and made a statement over the way this has been handled,” he said.
“Everybody reads the report presented by the Orange County officials. Obviously it contradicts what we know to be the case about him. He was involved with his family. His relationship with his daughters was fantastic. They were a close family. To paint it any other way is not right.”
Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, issued this statement: “Our statement was about the events of the morning of February 7, 2012 and nothing more. We issued the facts not a commentary on the character of any individual in this case. We await the results of the independent investigation.”
Sgt. Loggins, who enlisted in the Marines in 1998, is described as a humble, hard-working Marine who received several medals. He was studying to be a nurse and volunteered at several nursing homes. Maj. Cox said that he worked with Sgt. Loggins daily, and there were no signs of trouble.
“Everybody wants closure but that’s difficult to do without information. It’s made it even more difficult over the fact that it was a shooting by a law enforcement officer,” Maj Cox said.
“It doesn’t add up for a lot of people here.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Whitney Houston laid to rest
The hearse carrying the body of Whitney Houston arrives for her private burial at the Fairview Cemetery on Sunday in Westfield, N.J.
Whitney Houston was laid to rest Sunday in a private ceremony at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J. She was buried next to her father, John Russell Houston, who was interred in 2003.
The singer passed away on Feb. 11 at age 48.
Fans and onlookers gathered in several places along the route the motorcade took from the Newark funeral home to the cemetery about 20 miles away. Many held signs wishing Houston farewell and some created impromptu memorials. Some even slowly ran alongside the hearse as it began the journey to Houston's gravesite. Several yelled out "We love you, Whitney" as the hearse, which had a black and white headshot of the star in a window, slowly drove away.
Barbara Davis, 53, of Newark, said she had been waiting outside the funeral home since 8:30 a.m., hoping to get a glimpse of Houston's final trip.
"To be here at her home-going is an honor and a blessing," Davis told The Star-Ledger of Newark.
Saturday's ceremony at the New Hope Baptist Church was attended by hundreds of invited friends and family -- many of them stars themselves. After all the testimonials from relatives and friends, the songs from legends and pop stars, the preaching and even laughter, the raw emotion of Whitney Houston's funeral came down to just one moment: The sound of her own voice.

Whitney Houston was buried Sunday after an emotional funeral. Msnbc's Alex Witt reports.
Read's complete coverage on Whitney Houston Set To Be Buried
As the strains of her biggest record, "I Will Always Love You," filled the New Hope Baptist Church at the end of the nearly four-hour service Saturday and her silver-and-gold casket was lifted in the air, the weight of the moment was too much for her mother to bear.
Gospel singer Cissy Houston wailed, "My baby! My baby!" as she was held up by two women and led out of the church behind her daughter's body.
A few steps behind her was the pop icon's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, also crying uncontrollably as she was comforted by Houston's close friend, singer Ray J.

It was the most searing scene on a day with mixed moods as family, friends and a list of celebrities — sometimes one and the same — came to the humble New Hope Baptist Church, where Whitney Houston first wowed a congregation, to remember one of music's legends, but also a New Jersey hometown girl.
Her death marked the end of a life of stunning achievement. Blessed with a voice of great power and beauty, Houston became one of pop music's most successful artists over a career that spanned nearly three decades and segued into film with hits like "The Bodyguard."
More from TheWrap: Houston joke earns suspension for radio duo
But her life was not without struggles. An addiction to drugs and a tumultuous union with ex-husband Bobby Brown saw her tumbling from grace.
An autopsy has been performed, but results will not be revealed until the completion of the toxicology report.

Does 'secure the border' mean 'keep America white'?

Grand Rapids, Michigan -- In case you plan to see Wednesday's GOP debate, allow me to offer up some crib notes so you don't get lost.
First, when you hear the candidates talk about "job creators," that's just another way of saying "rich people" or "the guy bankrolling my super Pac."
When someone says "family values," that's to remind the audience that they don't like gay people; "religious freedom" means "Christianity"; and it's not really a GOP debate until a candidate attacks the "liberal media" for asking questions they're too afraid to answer.
Now there will be plenty of other buzz words and euphemisms that will be tossed around during the debate, but since it is being held in Arizona, chances are the most popular phrase will be "secure the border."
We must secure the border.
The candidates will argue that it's a matter of national security. That it isn't just the friendly illegal immigrants looking for work we must worry about, but terrorists, drug lords and other criminals who seek to make their way through our porous border. They will say if they were president they would build walls, add troops, even commission a Death Star to keep this country safe.
Newt Gingrich has promised to build a double fence along the entire southern border, adding, ""The United States must control its border. It is a national security imperative,"
Ron Paul said "If elected president, I would move to quickly end foreign nation building efforts and use many of the resources we waste playing world's policemen to control our southern border."
They all will receive applause, and it will all sound great ... until you realize that "secure the border" is slang for "keep the Mexicans out."
Oh boy, here comes the black guy playing the race card again.
Yep, that's me -- pointing out that the Canadian border is largely ignored in this dialogue despite being more than twice the size of the Mexican border and less than 1% secure, according to a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office. Even if we were to disregard the 1,538 miles between Alaska and Canada, the 3,987 mile border connecting the lower 48 to our neighbors up north is still much larger than the 1,933-mile stretch that connects us to Mexico.
And yet the attention we give the northern border is miniscule at best when compared to the resources we allocate to the south. There are definitely reasons for serious concern about safety along the Mexican border, but according to our own intelligence, Mexico should hardly be our only concern.
You would think presidential hopefuls genuinely concerned about our safety would remember that just four years ago, Michael Chertoff, President Bush's Homeland Security secretary, said he was more afraid of terrorists coming into the country from Canada than Mexico and that his department arrested more people connected to al Qaeda and Hezbollah trying to come in from up north than down south.
This is not to perpetuate the myth that the September 11 terrorists came through Canada or defame our northern neighbors. But rather to point out the glaring disconnect between some of the crowd-pleasing rhetoric the GOP candidates like to deliver about "securing the border" and the more nuanced reality.
For example, did you know reports show that from 2007 to 2009, the amount of marijuana seized at the Canadian border jumped 22% and that Homeland Security has seen a sharp increase in the trafficking of more dangerous drugs such as heroin, cocaine and ecstasy? Yes, there are drug tunnels along the southern border, but the Drug Enforcement Administration also found a 360-foot drug tunnel from a hut in Canada to a house in the state of Washington as well.
We know an estimated 350,000 people trying to come in through Mexico in 2011 were stopped. We also know that number is down from the 447,731 arrests made in 2010 and that is significantly less than the 1,643,679 people stopped in 2000.
What we don't know is how many people are illegally trying to get in from Canada, because less than 1% of the world's largest border is secure. Conversely, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the Mexican border is as secure as it has ever been, adding, "It is clear from every measure we currently have that this approach is working." Still, judging from the tone of the immigration talk so far in this campaign, no one debating in Arizona on Wednesday really seems to care about either point.
Last year a group of senators had to petition the Obama administration for military assistance to catch the drug traffickers who were using low-flying planes to move their products from Canada into the United States. Ten years after 9/11 and we still had undetected aircraft crossing the border because it wasn't the border we're scared of.
You know, this whole immigration discussion would be a lot more productive if the people leading it would be more honest and stop pretending as if it's only about national security. It's a part, but the larger truth is that nonwhite people will be the majority in this country by 2040 and this browning of America scares the hell out of a lot of people, particularly some white people. The thinking goes that if the country can deport the Mexicans who are illegally here and stop new ones from coming in, maybe that trend will slow down or even reverse.
That sentiment is at the core of the racial profiling laws started in Arizona and is at the core of the entire illegal immigration conversation. It's a clumsy attempt to talk about race without mentioning race so as not to appear racist .
But the dialogue is transparent because if it was really about "securing the border," the facts suggest Canada would be a big part of the conversation and not just an afterthought.

What would you suggest for President Obama's new campaign slogan?

What would you suggest for President Obama's new campaign slogan?
It's time for a change from Change We Can Believe In.
President Obama's re-election campaign is looking for a new slogan to replace his 2008 mantras of hope and change.
Reuters reports that some of the contenders include Winning the Future, Greater Together and We Don't Quit.
His campaign posters still say Obama 2012 but surrogates have been road-testing some of these other ideas.
The campaign probably won't roll out the official slogan until the president knows who his Republican challenger will be, and that might take a while.
But whatever slogan President Obama goes with, it needs to represent a new reality. That includes high unemployment, economic insecurity and the fact that Mr. Obama is no longer a Washington outsider.
Senior campaign strategist David Axelrod insists the 2012 election is also about hope and change - even though those words may not be in the slogan.
The branding of a presidential campaign is all about connecting with voters. President Obama hit the nail on the head last time around, but lightning doesn't always strike twice.
One of the best campaign slogans ever was Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election slogan, Morning Again in America.
What is Mr. Obama up against? The Republicans' slogans are highlighting their belief that the U.S. is on the wrong track under President Obama.
Mitt Romney uses Believe in America, Newt Gingrich has Rebuilding the American Dream plastered on his bus, and Ron Paul says he will Restore America Now.
Here’s my question to you: What would you suggest for President Obama's new campaign slogan?

Do you feel like you're a member of the burnt-out generation?

We've got an overworked labor force operating in an under-performing economy... and it could be affecting our health.
A new study released by researchers in Spain finds that working for more than 40 hours a week leaves employees six times more likely to suffer long-term exhaustion, irritability and a lack of interest in their work and non-work lives. It's something called "burnout syndrome." And some of us have been suffering from it for years.
Workers who feel "under challenged" on the job, left to do what they feel are brainless, monotonous tasks, are also at risk of developing burnout syndrome. So are people who have stayed in the same job too long: Those with more than 16 years service in the same position are five times more at risk of developing burnout syndrome than colleagues with less than four years on a particular job.
With the economy in the state it's in, it's no surprise this is a growing problem. It has the potential to become an epidemic.
The Spanish researchers found that having a family, partner or a spouse to go home to at night helps people deal with burnout. I guess there is some benefit to being able to complain to someone when you get home.
But where does it end? Careers are getting longer, and retiring at 65 is not a reality for many of us. With 9.2 percent unemployment in this country, those of us with a job are lucky to have one. Some of us need to work more than one job just to pay the bills each month.
Here’s my question to you: Do you feel like you're a member of the burnt-out generation?

What's the best way to restore some balance between rich and poor?

What's the best way to restore some balance between rich and poor?
How much money does it take to make you rich? Depends on who you ask.
A new Gallup poll shows more than half of Americans - 53% - say they'd consider themselves rich if they made $150,000 a year or less. At the other end of the spectrum, 15% of those polled say they would need to earn at least $1 million a year before thinking of themselves as rich.
The poll also finds higher estimates for what makes you rich among men, younger Americans, college graduates, people living in urban and suburban areas and parents of minor children.
In a separate question, half of Americans say at least $1 million in net worth would make them rich. That includes savings, real estate, investments, etc. But it's a far cry from what most people have in the bank.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median annual household income in the U.S. is about $50,000 a year. Income inequality is skyrocketing. It's estimated that between 1979 and 2007, the incomes of the poorest Americans grew by only 20%. The incomes of the richest 1% of Americans jumped up by 275%.
It’s no coincidence that the Occupy Wall Street movement is targeting this top 1%.
Most Americans agree that the rich - including those who make more than $250,000 a year - should be taxed more. But are higher taxes the only answer to growing income inequality?
Here’s my question to you: What's the best way to restore some balance between rich and poor?
And, I would love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.      Thanks Ahmad,.

What do you fear most: big government, big business or big labor?

What do you fear most: big government, big business or big labor?
Fear of big government is close to record highs here in the U.S.
According to a new Gallup poll, 64% of those surveyed say big government is the biggest threat to the country. That's one point off the all-time high.
Compare that to 26% who are most worried about big business... and only 8% who say the biggest threat comes from big labor.
Americans have always been more concerned about big government than about big business or big labor since this question was first asked in 1965.
But what's interesting here is that Democrats actually lead the increase in concern about big government... this during the term of a Democratic president, Barack Obama.
Almost half of Democrats now say big government is the biggest threat to the U.S. That's up significantly from two years ago And more significantly, it's higher than the number of Democrats who worry about big business.
These poll numbers may also suggest that the Occupy Wall Street movement isn't catching on.
Despite the movement's targeting of corporate America, most Americans don't view big business as the greatest threat to the country.
In fact, the public's concerns about big business are down since 2009. Worries about big business actually peaked in 2002 - after the scandals at Enron and Worldcom.
But what the American people are worried about is big government and the role it plays in their day-to-day lives.
A government that has only gotten bigger under a president who's running for re-election.
Here’s my question to you: What do you fear most: big government, big business or big labor?

Darlene Love: Bobbi Kristina is with family

Darlene Love: Bobbi Kristina is with family
Following Whitney Houston's home going service on Saturday, a number of reports have focused on Bobbi Kristina's whereabouts and well-being.
Whitney Houston's rep isn't commenting on the chatter, but Houston's godmother Darlene Love did clear up a rumor that the family was unable to locate Bobbi Kristina for a period of time after Saturday's service.
"She was with us, she was with the family the whole time," Love said in an interview with Access Hollywood. "Everybody went to a restaurant. We call [the event] after the funeral...a repast, where everyone goes to sit and talk and eat. And she was there...she's been with the family these last couple of days. We all know where she is, she's not missing."

Bobbi Kristina, who was sent to the hospital twice for stress and anxiety following her mother's February 11 death, is being given a lot of emotional support from her family, Love said.
"Right now what she needs is what we're giving her," she added. "We're giving her a lot of love, we're giving her a lot of faith, and a lot of hope."
Cissy Houston, meanwhile, is "holding up well," Love said. "I told her, 'I will be there for you.'"

Whitney Houston Family Sells Funeral Footage ... for Bobbi Kristina?

whitney houstonI found it a little bit odd when Whitney Houston's family decided to broadcast her funeral live on the internet, but the unusual move makes more sense now that I've heard the latest news: Houston's "estate" is now apparently selling the video of her funeral for an undisclosed (but most likely quite significant) sum.
According to a rep for the family, the proceeds from licensing the footage to select media outlets will "help maximize the estate for the benefit of Bobbi Kristina."

Oh! Now I get it!

Of course, the question is ...

More from The Stir: Bobby Brown Abandoned Whitney Houston at Her Darkest Hour

Are they really cashing in on the funeral footage for Bobbi Kristina's sake? I'd like to think the answer is "yes." I guess it's safe to assume that if Houston's family didn't license the video, somebody else would have found a way to make money from it ... and Bobbi Kristina would've never seen a penny of those profits.

And of course that money should go to the 18-year-old, arguably the person most devastated by Houston's loss.

Still, the way the whole thing unfolded seems a little bit strange. Like, why bother having the Associated Press provide a live pool feed of the funeral to media outlets if you're only going to force those media outlets to pull the footage 24 hours later? Unless that strategy was some kind of attempt to make the live stream seem like an authentic gesture, a gift for the fans.

More from The Stir: Ray J's Comments About Whitney Houston's Death Speaks Volumes About Their Relationship

I'm honestly not sure what I think. The only thing I know for sure is that Whitney Houston's death is becoming as much of a media circus as her life.

Do you think Whitney Houston's family really sold the video footage of her funeral to benefit Bobbi Kristina?

Ray J's Comments About Whitney Houston's Death Speaks Volumes About Their Relationship

Ray JWhile plenty of people have expressed their incredible heartbreak and sadness over the death of Whitney Houston, some of those who were closest to her have taken a bit longer to come to terms with her loss. Before she passed away, Whitney had an off-again, on-again relationship with Ray J, and they were seen together in the days before she died.
He did not speak out immediately following her death, but now Ray J has finally broken his silence on the matter. His comments about losing her prove that he is a genuine guy who truly loved and cared about her, and it seems fitting that he spoke out right before her funeral tomorrow.

Ray J released the following statement to US Weekly:

Over the past few days, I've tried to process the emptiness that I am experiencing. What my heart feels cannot be expressed in words. The world lost an icon, but I lost my close friend. Nippy, I miss you so much! You were so happy and full of love. Your smile will live in my heart forever.

While Ray J may have referred to Whitney as his "close friend," and didn't come right out and call her his "girlfriend," it certainly sounds like the two had an emotional and deep connection. Relationships can't always be clearly defined by titles, and even if they weren't a "couple" when she passed, it's still unbearable to lose someone that close to you. Ray J is certainly grieving like a boyfriend would, regardless of whether they were officially together.

And if Ray J's words about Whitney don't convince you that he really loved her, then his actions immediately following her death should. Instead of being concerned with his own grief, Ray J went directly to the Beverly Hilton to be a source of support for her daughter, Bobbi Kristina. One thing's for sure -- he certainly did a whole lot more than Bobbi's own father, Bobby Brown, did. Brown opted to perform at a scheduled concert instead of getting on a plane and heading to LA to console his daughter. Nice dad, huh? The fact that Ray J showed such compassion to Bobbi Kristina speaks volumes about his love and devotion for Whitney, don't you think?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bobbi Kristina Brown Found Getting High After Whitney’s Funeral?

Whitney Houston’s daughter disappeared for several hours after her mother’s funeral—and was found using drugs, according to two sources close to the family. Allison Samuels on the plan to get her to rehab.        
Just hours after watching an emotionally charged tribute to her doting mother, Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown decided she needed some time alone. So while friends and family convened at a local eatery in Newark, N.J., to remember the 48-year-old musical legend, Bobbi Kristina simply disappeared.
As Houston’s body was set to be transported to the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J., for burial Sunday morning, her family was in full panic mode trying to the find the 18-year-old, who suffered at least two emotional breakdowns last week after the sudden death of her mother Feb. 11, according to two sources who spoke to The Daily Beast and are in close communication with Bobbi Kristina’s family.
“Everyone was freaking out and calling Bobbi Kristina’s cell,” said one source, a longtime family friend. “It was so much commotion and activity after the funeral that Bobbi Kristina just slipped away. Ms. Cissy [Houston, Whitney’s mother] was beside herself.”
"There was some confusion about Bobbi Kristina’s whereabouts last night for a short time, but she's OK,” a Houston family spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “She needed some time alone.” The spokesperson says Bobbi Kristina isn’t on drugs and is just emotionally fragile at this time. “She is going through a very hard time as you can expect.”
The only child of Houston and singer Bobby Brown became the center of attention last week after her mother’s body was found underwater in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. The product of two admitted drug users, family members worry Bobbi Kristina is already too familiar with the vices and demons that most likely led to her mother’s untimely death.
“Cissy and others won’t admit out loud that Bobbi Kristina has a drug problem,” said the family friend. “But they know it and have been trying to keep her straight even before Whitney passed. But losing your mother and the life you’re accustomed to all in one day is enough to send anybody off the deep end.”
Even before the funeral was held Saturday, the family had serious discussions about Bobbi Kristina entering into rehab as soon as her mother was laid to rest, according to multiple sources familiar with the conversations. They say she spent the night after her mother’s death using drugs to dull the pain.
Bobbi Kristina entered rehab for a drug problem early last year, says one of the family friends who spoke to The Daily Beast, a longtime associate of the family. (The Houston family spokesperson would not comment on this matter.)
Bobbi Kristina arrived in New Jersey shortly before her mother’s body was flown in last week and was said to be coping better in the days before funeral. “She had the people she loved and love her the most around,” one of the sources told The Daily Beast. “Ms. Cissy was holding on tight and watching her every move.”
‘Bobbi Kristina is all Ms. Cissy has left of Whitney. She’s so tired, but she’s ready to fight again to save her grandbaby.’
Still, things fell apart again for the teenager at the actual funeral service when her father Bobby Brown attempted to enter with nine other people. Security allowed them in but seated the group separately and wouldn’t allow him to see Bobbi Kristina. Brown caused a scene complaining.
“That was just too much for Bobbi Kristina to handle,” says another source at the funeral who witnessed the conversation and saw Bobbi Kristina was visibly upset. “All that drama, and Cissy finally asked him to come in and stay, but Bobby wouldn’t. Cissy only did that to help Bobbi Kristina, because Cissy cannot stand Bobby. She just didn’t want a big drama with him on that day of all days.”
The family friend added that Houston would have indeed wanted Brown and his family to attend the funeral and would want Bobbi Kristina to grow closer to her father. Houston financially supported most of Brown’s family for the duration of their marriage. After the couple divorced in 2007, Brown moved on, became engaged, and had another child.
“That hurt Bobbi Kristina, and you know it hurt Whitney,” said the source. “Bobbi Kristina saw her father keep it moving and leave them behind. Whitney had accepted it to some extent, but Bobbi K. is still so angry and was angry before her mom died.”
Several hours after the funeral, Bobbi Kristina was found at a hotel “getting high,” according to one source who was with the family when they received the news. A second source was told of the event from a member of the family. (The Houston spokesperson denied the incident occurred.) Some family members wanted to whisk the aspiring singer to rehab last night, while others fought for her to stay to see her mother buried this morning.
“It’s a horrible situation for everybody,” says the close family friend. “They tried to save Whitney, and it didn’t work. Now with Bobbi Kristina, they fear the same thing is happening again and they won’t be able to stop it either. Bobbi Kristina is all Ms. Cissy has left of Whitney. She’s so tired, but she’s ready to fight again to save her grandbaby.”
Those close to the family say they expect Bobbi Kristina to be flown to a California rehab facility as soon as burial services are over.

Trail of The Pharaohs (Ancient Egyptian & European Bloodline)

Saturday, February 18, 2012


There was Big News in Heaven. ...Michael ran to heaven's gate and said, "Whitney, what are you doing here?"...and she said, "I came to to sing a duet with you!" ...Aaliyah said, "I wanna' BE in it too". ...Marvin, Teddy, James,Gerald & Sean and Issac asked if they could also step up to the mic. ... Tupac said, "I'll throw a rap verse to that, and Biggie can spit the second vers...e, then Big L & Easy E can flow with something slick right BEhind us!"...Etta, Pheobe, Donny, Phyllis, Luther and Ray said, "What about us?"... Of course Heavy D said, "let's do it, ...I got nuttin' but LOVE for you Whitney!" Left Eye said, "Girl you know we got you!"... Then, DJ Scott LaRock and Jam Master Jay said, "We'll handle the turntables!"... All of a sudden Guru, Ol' Dirty and Nate Dogg dropped a few hooks and Don Cornelius announced, "This is the hippest trip in Paradise.... So, if you start hearing thunder and lightning,'s 'cause there is a Party in Heaven and it's a stone gas honey!" .....Rest In Paradise To ALL of Our GREAT Artists ....... "See you again one day "Nippy"." ...As Rev. Marvin Winans said, ..."GOD Got You!" ....... ~ Peace & Blessings

Speakers, songs celebrate Houston at funeral

Newark, New Jersey  -- Family, friends and fellow stars remembered Whitney Houston's voice, love and -- most of all -- faith at her homegoing service Saturday at the New Jersey church in which she grew up.
A "who's who" of musical performers adapted lyrics in tribute to Houston, who died a week ago at age 48.
Virtually everyone in the program spoke of Houston's Baptist background and beliefs.
Patricia Houston, the singer's sister-in-law and former manager, said Houston retained her love for God.
"In her final days, she held on to what you taught her to believe in," Patricia Houston said. "I promise you she did."
Actor Kevin Costner received a standing ovation after he spoke of Houston's courage when she tried out for a starring role in the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard."
Speaking at the service in Newark, Costner recounted his own second thoughts of putting her up for the role. She was a novice, he said, and the studio had questions of whether choosing a person of color would be good for the box office.
Doubts began to spread to the young entertainer.

Tyler Perry: 'Whitney loved the Lord'

BeBe Winans: I'll miss 'crazy Whitney'

Jakes on Houston: Love will last forever

Bobby Brown comforts friend at funeral

Costner: Whitney 'perfect' for Bodyguard

Whitney's special gift was 'giving'

Warwick on Houston: God wanted her now

Clive Davis: Whitney was one of a kind

Fans remember Whitney

Whitney Houston hearse arrives

Jackson: 'We feel such awesome pain'
In the end, Costner said, Houston nailed the tryout and went on to further fame and success.
"So off you go Whitney, off you go, escorted by an army of angels to your heavenly father," Costner told mourners at the funeral. "And when you sing before him, don't you worry. You'll be good enough."
Houston's casket, covered with a large spray of flowers, rested in front of the altar at New Hope Baptist Church during the three-and-a-half hour service.
At the conclusion, her iconic recording of "I Will Always Love You" was played as her coffin was removed. Her mother, Cissy Houston, leaned on her escorts as they helped her down the aisle. As she followed the casket, the sounds of her late daughter's voice filled the church.
While many of her fans lamented the fact that Houston's service was invitation-only, Pastor Marvin Winans, who delivered the eulogy, thanked Houston's mother for having the service at the church. "That took a lot of courage. And because of that you brought the world to church today," he said during his eulogy.
Clapping and swaying mass choirs opened the midday homegoing service, performing rousing versions of gospel standards.
Gospel singer and friend Kim Burrell sang a reworked version of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," adding glimpses of Houston's life to the lyrics. After finishing, she walked down to the pew where Cissy Houston sat and embraced her.
One of the most emotional moments in the service was Alicia Keys singing "Send Me an Angel," her voice soaring into the rafters of the sanctuary.
Stevie Wonder, who sang "Ribbon in the Sky" -- adapting it to refer to Houston -- said millions will continue to love the late singer. R. Kelly sang "I Look to You" -- one of Houston's last hit songs -- and CeCe Winans, of the Winans music family, performed "Don't Cry for Me" and "Jesus Loves Me."
Speakers, including Bishop T.D. Jakes and director-producer Tyler Perry, spoke of Houston's faith -- and the promise of tomorrow.
Jakes delivered, to applause, a message of victory over death.
"Death has not won. Your tears may flow. The flowers might wither," he said. "You will find people you love may leave you outwardly, but (they) will not leave you inwardly."
Houston's cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, introduced performers and speakers, including Perry.
"I am completely thankful to God for all he has done her life," Perry said. "There is a grace that kept on carrying her. ... Whitney Houston loved the Lord."
Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Spike Lee, and Houston's former husband, Bobby Brown, were among those on hand. Brown walked by Houston's casket with his head down before the service began. Police said Brown and his entourage later left the church during the service.
Guests held in their hands an invitation with a cover featuring a photo of a smiling Houston. The six-page funeral program contained color family photos and a letter from Cissy Houston.
The letter included the message, "God said 'It's time, Nippy (Whitney's childhood nickname). Your work is done.'" It was signed, "Thanks for being such a wonderful daughter. Love, Mommie."
Music executive Clive Davis, credited with discovering a young Whitney Houston in 1983, told mourners that the late pop superstar "stepped forward and shattered" him when he heard her perform "The Greatest Love of All" for the first time.
Gospel singer and longtime friend BeBe Winans was visibly emotional as he recalled a memory of Houston's love for his family and her sense of humor.
With his sister, CeCe Winans, by his side, he told the story of how Houston, then a major celebrity, informed them of her intent to sing background vocals on their new tour. When they told her she was too big a star to do that now, Houston responded, "You're my brother and sister, right?"
The exchange went on for a few minutes and then Houston told them, "Y'all broke, right? I'm rich, right? So I can buy what I want to for y'all."
Winans, still emotional, said that is the Whitney Houston he would remember. Then he sang, "I Really Miss You."
Ray Watson, Houston's bodyguard, recalled some of his final interactions with the singer.
"In our final days, she came in my room and she began to speak biblically," he said. "She laid her head on my shoulder and said, 'We are gonna be all right.'"
"Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, who was scheduled to sing "The Greatest Love of All" at the service, had leg spasms and could not perform or attend the service, she said in a statement. Franklin performed a tribute to Houston Friday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Never-seen photos of teenage Whitney Houston
Under bright sunshine, a golden hearse with a black-and-white picture of Houston carried the singer's body to the red-brick church Saturday morning. She will be laid to rest Sunday at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, just south of Newark.
Balloons left in front of the church by adoring fans bobbed in a soft breeze.
A cake in the fellowship hall, given by fans, read, "The Greatest Love of All," the title of one of Houston's many hits. The heart-shaped cake was adorned with red roses and lilies.
Guests at the service arrived on a black carpet, went to the church fellowship hall and were escorted to their seats by ushers dressed in black suits and purple ties.
"There is a sense of sadness," the Rev. Jesse Jackson told HLN, CNN's sister network. "We lost a lot."
Some 1,500 people were expected at the service.
A perimeter was set up around the church by police, for four blocks in two directions and two blocks in the other directions. The closest the public was able to get was a staging area two blocks away.
Police said the best way for fans to share the experience was through television and the Internet.
Houston, the six-time Grammy Award winner and the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 hits, died February 11 in Beverly Hills, California. She is survived by her mother and daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18.