Category: Top News Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
I have a problem with politicians who change their positions for political expediency. I have an issue with public officials who speak from two sides of their mouth. I have a beef with elected officials who think the electorate is so dumb that they can't remember what has taken place a year ago.
That is exactly what GOP presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney did this morning on "Meet the Press" on NBC.
During a rare interview with NBC, Romney, contended that if elected he won't eliminate all of President Obama's signature health care law.
In Romney's own words " "I'm not getting rid of all of health care reform," referring to those with pre-existing conditions. This is a very interesting seismic shift given the Romney that we've come to know on the campaign trail.
When he appeared before the NAACP Romney put it bluntly that he will get rid of Obamacare.
Why all of a sudden has Mitt Romney decided to change gears?
Is it because voters are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of the new health law?
Has Romney decided that in order to win he can't appear to be a "no candidate" like the Republican leadership in Congress has proven?
Apparently Romney must be reverting back to the old Romney supported and successfully pushed for a universal health program in Massachusetts similar to Obamacare.
Will the old Romney with moderate positions surface in the presidential race before we get to the debates?
I've always believed that there are people out there who are smart and intelligent enough to know that not everyone buys into extreme right wing dogma that Romney has bought into recently.
Whenever politicians begin to change positions I'm always suspect of their motives. It is hard to trust some of them because they sometimes promise to build bridges where there is no river.
Bankole Thompson is a Senior Author-in-Residence at Global Mark Makers Publishing House in Iowa where he is writing a groundbreaking six-part book series on the Obama presidency. His book "Obama and Black Loyalty" published in 2010 follows his recent book "Obama and Christian Loyalty" with a foreword by Bob Weiner former White House spokesman. His forthcoming books in 2012 are "Obama and Jewish Loyalty" and "Obama and Business Loyalty." He is the first editor of a major African American newspaper to have a series of sit-down interviews with Barack Obama. Thompson is also a Senior Political News Analyst at WDET-101.9FM Detroit (NPR Affiliate) and a member of the weekly "Obama Watch" Sunday evening round table on WLIB-1190AM New York and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut
Last Updated on Monday, 10 September 2012 11:18
Category: Top News Written by Michigan Chronicle
Governor Rick Snyder has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated all 83 counties in Michigan as primary natural disaster areas for drought and excessive heat conditions that began in March and is ongoing.
“The federal designation will aid Michigan’s farmers for crop losses due to the ongoing heat and drought conditions,” said Snyder. “This disaster designation ensures our farmers and producers have access to additional federal resources to overcome Mother Nature’s challenges.”
The counties designated by USDA as natural disaster or contiguous disaster areas means that qualified farm operators are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met.
“Although we are still determining the full extent of the damage, this year’s extreme weather conditions have caused significant crop losses for Michigan’s farmers,” said Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director. “Additionally, hay production has been impacted across the state which may greatly affect our livestock industry. This federal designation provides much needed aid to Michigan’s farmers and producers to overcome the weather related challenges.”
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.
In order for Michigan to receive federal disaster status, the original crop loss estimates must be verified from harvest yield data. If losses of 30 percent or more are confirmed, and the disaster request is granted, eligible state producers will have access to USDA-FSA’s low-interest emergency loan program for up to 100 percent of their weather-related agriculture production losses. USDA-FSA is the agency responsible for compiling the official crop loss statistics and administering the federal emergency farm loan programs.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 September 2012 10:28
Category: Top News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - A Detroit business owner used lethal force after four would-be robbers broke into his west side party store on Friday.
Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens said one person was killed and two others were hurt in the shooting that happened at Rightway Express party store on the corner of Joy and Ohio roads, near Liveronis, around 3:20 a.m.
Reporting live from the scene, WWJ’s Mike Campbell said four would-be robbers arrived in a burgundy mini-van and apparently jimmied the back door to gain entry to the store, which was closed at the time. Once inside, however, the group was surprised by the store owner, who was reportedly sleeping inside and lying in wait to prevent just such an event.
Police say the store owner armed himself and allegedly fired shots striking three of the males. One victim, an unidentified male in his 20′s, died from his injuries. The other two wounded males, in their teens to 20′s, are listed in critical condition.
Stephens said a fourth male was hiding inside of the business and taken into police custody.
Residents from the mostly brick two-story homes nearby identified a man taken away in a squad car as the store owner.
Ron, who lives in the neighborhood, said it’s not uncommon for the store’s employees to actually sleep there because they’ve been robbed before. He said its a known area for trouble.
“Somebody got killed up here about eight months ago. Somebody got shot. It was nothing with the store, just somebody that was sitting in the car got killed,” he said.
An investigation is ongoing.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2012 15:19
Category: Top News Written by Cornelius Fortune
Detroit artist finds voice in various mediums
Welcome to VIRTUAL Feedback, your one-stop source for popular culture, technology, and the art world…
The success of the “Dark Knight Rises,” despite the horror of its opening weekend, is a testament to not only director Christopher Nolan’s gift for filmmaking, but also the character of Batman.
In fact, Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy may not have been possible without the release of Frank Miller’s seminal, “The Dark Knight Returns” comic (which was later collected in graphic novel format). It presented a darker Batman more serious take on the character, and was the inspiration for Tim Burton’s 1989 film starring Michael Keaton.
So, if you still haven’t gotten enough of the caped crusader, Warner Home Video has a new film, “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1,” due to hit stores on Sept. 25. This animated feature film is from the same folks who brought us “Batman: The Animated Series,” and the favorably reviewed direct-to-video films featuring DC Comics characters, spearheaded by animation wizard Bruce Timm.
Both “The Dark Knight Returns” and Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” paved the way for grittier depictions of superheroes in comics and on the big screen.
Maybe you can’t prove it statistically, but I’m willing to bet there are more Batman fans out there than his sometimes partner in crime (uh, justice, rather), Superman. Batman’s simply cooler and more relatable because of the lack of super powers.
Here’s the official description from Warner Bros. films:
Fanboy demi-god Peter Weller (“RoboCop”) leads a stellar voice cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Joining Weller behind the microphone is David Selby (“The Social Network,” “Dark Shadows”) as Commissioner Gordon, Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”) as Carrie/Robin, three-time DCU veteran Wade Williams (“Prison Break”) as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and Michael McKean (“This is Spinal Tap”) as Dr. Bartholomew Wolper.
In the bleak and ominous future of “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1,” it’s been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with racecars and liquor – but the Bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.
The return of Harvey Dent as Two-Face finally prompts Wayne to once again don the Dark Knight’s cowl, and his dramatic capture of the villain returns him to crime-fighting – simultaneously making him the target of law enforcement and the new hope for a desolate Gotham City. Particularly inspired is a teenage girl named Carrie, who adopts the persona of Robin and ultimately saves Batman from a brutal attack by the Mutant leader. Armed with a new sidekick, and re-energized with a definitive purpose, the Dark Knight returns to protect Gotham from foes new … and old.
It’s almost a sure bet given the consistency of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, that “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1” will deliver.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2012 13:01
Category: Top News Written by Minehaha Forman
DETROIT—This week marked the expansion of curbside recycling to 5,000 Detroit households. Curbside recycling will begin for an additional 5,000 households later this month.
“We listened to you," Mayor Dave Bing said in a statement. "A recurring theme was that our City’s stable, vibrant neighborhoods needed to be “green-friendly” and have convenient options to promote recycling."
The city’s Detroit Recycles program provides free 64-gallon containers for collection twice a month in designated neighborhoods.
In 2009, the City began its curbside recycling pilot program with 24,000 households participating across the city. With the expansion this fall, 34,000 Detroit households can recycle curbside.
Residents living outside of areas that have curbside recycling can drop off recyclable materials at any of five drop-off centers operated by Recycle Here for free.
Click HERE to find out the nearest drop-off center, curbside service neighborhood or the next bulk pickup day http://www.detroitmi.gov/Departments/DepartmentofPublicWorks/CityServicesInformation/tabid/1664/Default.aspx
Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2012 11:41
Category: Top News Written by ABC News
President Obama emerged from offstage to bear hug Bill Clinton at the Democratic National convention tonight moments after Clinton giving a rousing speech nominating Obama for reelection, calling the president a man who is "cool on the outside," but "burns for America on the inside."
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 10:03
Category: Top News Written by Michigan Chronicle
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointment of Sabrina Johnson as judge of the 22nd District Court, based in Inkster.
“Sabrina has an impressive record as an attorney as well as strong ties to the community,” said Snyder. “We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber willing to serve on the bench.”
Johnson, of Inkster, has served most of her career (1996-2002; 2008-present) as an assistant Wayne County prosecutor where she has handled more than 100 felony trials and reviewed more than 800 warrants. From 2002-2008 she managed her own private law firm, Sabrina Johnson PLLC., where she represented more than 1,000 clients before the 22nd District Court, including handling a number of high profile cases like the litigation over the Rosa Parks estate.
She is a graduate of Inkster Cherry Hill High School and received her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Wayne State University. Johnson fills a seat left vacant by the Michigan Supreme Court’s removal of Sylvia James for misconduct. Her appointment runs through Jan. 1, 2013. She will have to seek election in November 2012.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 09:59
Category: Top News Written by Minni Forman
Gov. Rick Snyder said he plans to appeal a state Supreme Court decision that will put the 3 percent payroll cut from school employee salaries into an escrow fund. Snyder said he wants to apply the $508 million saved from the salary cuts to pension plans to help secure education worker’s retirement future.
On Tuesday, Snyder signed legislation that reforms pension plans for public school employees across the state. The bill is a proactive measure to secure $15 billion and avoid future “unfunded liabilities” facing the system.
“Resolving this tremendous debt and financial burden helps our schools, our children, the taxpayers of Michigan and ultimately our school employees by ensuring their retirement benefits are funded,” Snyder said in a statement. “I appreciate all the hard work by the Legislature to get this done.”
Supporters of the reform legislation say current system, if unchanged, would have collapsed before long, putting teachers at risk of having no retirement security. State rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham) said the liability was $25.75 billion was expected to continue growing unless significant measures were taken. Michigan’s public school retirement system currently serves more than 440,000 members.
“We have effectively solved a tremendous problem facing our schools,” said state Sen. Roger Kahn, sponsor of Senate Bill 1040, which provides for the school retirement reforms. “Schools can now plan their budgets knowing that retirement costs are capped and in check for the future.”
The rate that schools pay in employee retirement costs has doubled since 2002, and was slated to grow to a staggering 35 percent of payroll costs by 2016 had no action been taken. The new law brings big (controversial) changes including: Increased employee contributions Prefunding retiree health care New school employees will get $2,000 in health reimbursement plus 2 percent in matching contributions into a 401(k) –This replaces fully subsidized retiree health care premiums. Existing members can opt out of retiree health care coverage for 401(k) credits.
“This is the most significant piece of legislation I’ve ever been associated with,” said State Budget Director John Nixon. “With what we’ve done to get the budget into structural balance for the long term, Michigan is in a very strong financial position.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 22:08
Category: Top News Written by Huffington Post
TAMPA, Fla. -– Good cop. Bad cop.
The Republican Party showed the nation one of its most winsome faces on the first night of the GOP's shortened three-day convention, giving Ann Romney the first half of prime time.
Romney gave a sentimental and personal description of her husband, Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who on Tuesday night became the first Mormon to be nominated for president by either political party.
She was followed by the pit bull, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who stormed onto the stage clapping like a football coach in the fourth quarter, and delivered a gut-busting rebuke to the nation's political leadership and to a self-indulgent culture.
The contrast, which took up the last hour of a night in which the GOP showcased its top female and minority leaders, was clearest when Ann Romney and Christie discussed a topic not often spoken of in political speeches.
"I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us … Tonight I want to talk to you about love," Ann Romney said.
Minutes later, in the headline speech of the convention, Christie took on the same theme, with a very different twist.
"I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved," Christie said.
Both speeches hinged on a relationship: Ann's with Mitt, Christie's with his mom. Ann emphasized her love for Mitt, and their family's love for the country and for others.
"I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profound love I have, and I know we share, for this country," she said.
Christie explained how his mother, who died eight years ago, "told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected."
He used that as an analogy for how he thinks the GOP must not shrink from offering solutions to the nation's biggest problems -– debt, deficits and a sagging entitlement state -– that might be unpopular.
"Tonight, we are going to do what my mother taught me. Tonight, we are going to choose respect over love," he said.
Christie's charisma energized the 20,000 or so delegates and supporters in the Tampa Bay Times Forum. But it was Ann's speech that was more critically important to her husband's political fortunes.
Romney is trailing President Barack Obama badly among women voters, especially in critical swing states like Ohio and Virginia. Romney also is not personally popular, even if more voters trust him on key issues like the economy and jobs.
And so his wife, a 63-year old cancer survivor and multiple sclerosis sufferer, had a dual purpose with her address: make a strong pitch for the female vote, and play up he husband's personal side.
She went for the women by identifying with them.
"It's the moms of this nation -- single, married, widowed -- who really hold this country together. We're the mothers, we're the wives, we're the grandmothers, we're the big sisters, we're the little sisters, and we are the daughters," Ann Romney said.
"I love you women! I hear your voices," she said.
And she made the case that the newly minted GOP nominee does not advertise his good deeds, an implicit acknowledgment that Democratic attacks on his character have hurt his image with many voters who do not know much about the 65-year old former private equity executive.
"This is important. I want you to hear what I'm going to say," Ann Romney said, asking for the crowd's attention in a line not in her prepared remarks. "Mitt doesn't like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point."
Throughout the three hours of speeches that preceded the last hour, and then again during speeches by Ann Romney and Christie, the GOP declared their party one that stands for hard work and American ingenuity. Many speakers played up their immigrant roots and humble beginnings.
"My dad got his first job when he was 6 years old, in a little village in Wales called Nantyffyllon, cleaning bottles at the Colliers Arms," Ann Romney said. "When he was 15, Dad came to America."
Christie said: "I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother."
Ted Cruz, the GOP's U.S. Senate candidate in Texas, described how his father "was imprisoned and tortured in Cuba, beaten nearly to death."
"He fled to Texas in 1957, not speaking English, with $100 sewn into his underwear. He washed dishes making 50 cents an hour to pay his way through the University of Texas, and to start a small business in the oil and gas industry," Cruz said. " We are all sons and daughters of those who risked everything for freedom, and we have the duty to pass that same opportunity to the generations to follow."
Others who took the podium included Mia Love, the 37-year old daughter of Haitian immigrants who is now mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and is running for Congress; South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the 40-year old daughter of Sikh immigrants from India; and Artur Davis, a former Democratic congressman from Alabama who has switched parties and is now one of the more prominent black men in the GOP.
Davis, who spoke at the Democratic convention in 2008, and was a prominent supporter of Obama, referenced his speech four years ago.
"It turned out I was in the wrong place, so Tampa, my fellow Republicans, thank you for welcoming me," he said.
The attempt to reach out to women and minorities was marred, however, by news reports that one convention-goer allegedly threw nuts at a black CNN camerawoman in the hall and said, "This is how we feed animals."
White men like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich were relegated to slots earlier in the evening. Christie, a white male himself, was the keynote speaker for a simple reason: few national political figures from either party gives a speech like the 49-year old first-termer, and he has had surprising success in meeting his goals in a state where the legislature is controlled by Democrats.
Romney, Christie said, would be like, well, Christie.
"Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good-paying private sector jobs again in America," Christie said.
As Christie spoke, Romney -– having walked out on the stage with his wife after Ann finished her speech –- stood and applauded from a VIP box just off the convention floor.
On Wednesday night, Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will give the prime time speech, and on Thursday, Romney will end the convention with the biggest speech of his life.
Republican National Convention 2012
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 10:28
Category: Top News Written by Leland Stein III
LONDON — The United States Women’s and Men’s Senior National Basketball teams have proven that the round ball is truly America’s game. In spite of the fact international teams had over 20 players playing in the NBA, as opposed to the 1882 Dream Team having 6 NBA players on international teams.
The USA Basketball foundation and organization is firmly planted on solid ground and during the 2012 Olympic Games it once again proved that the best basketball in the world is played every year right here in the NBA.
The linchpin behind the USA Men’s resurgence has been the inclusion of Jerry Colangelo as the managing director of USA Basketball National Senior National team in 2005.
Before his involvement Colangelo confidently rebuilt the program from the bottom up, obtaining the involvement of the NBA’s top players (Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James) and naming Duke University’s Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski as the USA National Team head coach.
In the 2004 Olympics the USA Men earned a bronze medal and in the 2006 FIBA World Championships the US Men earned another bronze.
“Coach K, LeBron and I met in Las Vegas to discuss being a part of the US team,” Anthony told me. “He said it would take a commitment, but in the end it would be worth the effort. LeBron and I are the only one’s remaining from the original teams in 2004. We endured the ups and downs and now we have put together a system that works.”
Added James: “Coach K and I have been a part of the whole USA rebuilding process. We share the same Olympic tract and that makes this win even that much more special. I made a commitment to be a part of this. It was a long journey to get to 2008 and now 2012, but eight years later we are back on top.”
Through the solidifying efforts of Colangelo and Krzyzewski along with the commitments of Anthony and James, and the wooing of Bryant in 2007, the foundation of USA Men’s Basketball is entrenched.
In the 2012 Olympic Games Final, a rematch with Spain, young upstart Kevin Durant scored 30 points in a contest that featured 16 lead changes and six tied scores. No matter, the U.S held off Spain for a 107-100 win to capture the Olympic gold medal.
While Anthony and James earned a second gold medal in a third Olympic appearance, three more were members of the gold medal winning team in 2008, Bryant, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Playing in their first Olympics were Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, Durant, James Harden, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Andre Iguodala.
“It was very emotional,” Bryant said of his 2012 gold medal. “You just kind of think back on the journey. Being here for your last go-round, wearing USA on your chest, it’s very emotional.”
Meanwhile, for the USA Women it was business as usual. Since the inclusion of the women in Olympic Basketball in 1976, where the Soviet Union won the first two Games, they captured their unprecedented fifth straight Olympic gold (dating back to 1996), a feat never before accomplished in any women’s traditional team sport. The USA women have compiled a 41-game Olympic winning streak that began with the 1992 bronze medal game. This time around the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team posted a 86-50 win over France at North Greenwich Arena in London, England.
“You go into every game thinking that there’s going to be some things that you have to do, and if you do those things you’re going to have a chance you can win it,” said Geno Auriemma, USA and University of Connecticut head coach.
“I think that this is just so sweet to get the second one,” said Candace Parker. “You can stumble on a championship once, but it’s really hard to do it twice. And for USA Basketball to do it five times in a row, that’s truly special.”
The gold medal is a third for Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catchings. Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles, Swin Cash and Parker earned their second gold. Tina Charles, Asjha Jones, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moorem and Lindsay Whalen all got their first gold.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 August 2012 02:42
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!
- Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy, pension cuts (2)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network among lowest priced health plans on Michigan’s ACA health insurance marketplace (1)
- WIGS 4 KIDS HOSTS TENTH ANNIVERSARY FUNDRAISING GALA (6)
- Charles Barkley ‘Agrees’ With GZ Verdict, Says ‘Black People Are Racist Too’ (2)
- Why France’s lens is focused on Detroit (1)