Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - More than 1.7 million pounds of Bob Evans breakfast sausage are being recalled due to misbranding.
BEF Foods Inc., based in Columbus, Ohio, is recalling approximately 1,768,600 pounds of Bob Evans Maple Links and Maple Patties because the products don’t indicate that they contain monosodium glutamate (MSG).
The products subject to recall include:
12-oz. packages of “Bob Evans Maple Links” with UPC numbers of “075900002300”, “075900000085” and “075900002324.”
12-oz. packages of “Bob Evans Maple Patties” with UPC numbers of “0759000025028” and “075900000795” and “075900002522.”
The products were produced between April 4, and Oct. 19, 2012, and will have the establishment number “M-952” or “M-6785” inkjetted on the side of the package. Product purchased fresh will have a use-by date between Oct. 14, 2012 and Dec. 4, 2012 listed. Instead of a use-by date, frozen products may be identified by any of the following Julian codes: 0264 through 0365, 1001 through 1365, and 2001 through 2293.
The problem was discovered by the company during a label audit. When the company reformulated their products, they discontinued the use of a spice blend containing MSG and removed MSG from the ingredient list on the label. During the label audit, the company discovered that the individual establishments were still using a spice blend containing MSG.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says MSG can cause an adverse reaction in people who are sensitive to the ingredient. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
Consumers should throw out the recalled products to return them to a local grocer for a refund. For more information, contact the company’s guest relations line at 1-800-939-2338.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:41
Category: Breaking News Written by Minni Forman
Detroit -Mayor Dave Bing met with the City Council on Monday asking council members to make a "unified effort" to restructure city services and move Detroit out of it's current fiscal crisis.
Appearing with Bing before the Council was House Speaker Andy Dillon and Sandy Pierce, vice chairwoman of the financial advisory board, the city and state appointed panel set to manage the city's finances under the State's emergency manager law, Public Act 4, before it was suspended for a November vote.
The mayor and the council discussed financial reforms suggested by advisory board members including public lighting and safety, legal contracts, city worker compensation, public transit and technology.
"Today I'm asking you to join me in a unified effort to once again make Detroit a great American city," Bing told the Council.
Council members agreed that reform was needed and seemed amicable with the mayor, despite reported turbulence in the relationship between the Council and the Bing administration.
"You have our support," Councilman Andre Spivey told Bing regarding the reforms especially the creation of public lighting authority. "I don't see the Council being an impediment."
Monday's meeting marked Bing's first appearance at a City Council meeting since June, when tensions ran high over a lawsuit brought by the City's corporation council against the Mayor's wishes that aimed to halt the consent agreement with the State.
The meeting also comes two weeks after financial advisory board members urged Bing to be more aggressive in carrying out the reforms aimed to keep the city from further financial distress.
"We must make our citizens feel safe," Bing said at today's meeting. "We must light up our city and provide local and regional transportation for our citizens."
Council President Pro-Tem Gary Brown said he supported the reforms but wanted more details, specifically on funding. "My biggest concern is there's nothing here that we haven't been tending to during our whole tenure. I'm not sure that these six things are going to generate the money needed," Brown said.
Bing responded saying the reforms are necessary for the City to be eligible for up to $80 million in bond sales from the State. If reforms are enacted in a timely fashion, Bing said Detroit could receive $10 million by Nov. 15, and another $20 million by Dec. 14 with more installments made as the City meets the reform requirements to boost bond ratings and sales. This money is critical to the City's ability to pay workers and keep basic city services, he said.
Dillon said Monday's meeting was encouraging. "I look forward to a new positive direction among all of us," Dillon told the council and Mayor at the meeting.
Council President Charles Pugh said he appreciated Bing's gesture to reach out and communicate directly with the council. "I love the new olive branch. We are willing participants in the reforms," he said.
Bing said the research has been completed and the time has come for action. "It's about fixing the problems it's not about studying the problems any more."
Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins wanted to know if these reforms could be made without the financial advisory board if the consent agreement falls through on Nov. 6 with a no vote to Proposal 1, the legislation that mandated a financial manger or financial advisory board to rope in Detroit's spiraling debt.
Bing said it didn't. "Public Act 4 doesn't put money in our coffers."
Pugh said the meeting had been waiting for. "We've been were waiting on the Mayor, trying to figure out what's taking so long," he told Michronicle.com, adding that some of the reforms discussed are in the legislation process and don't directly relate to Council decisions. "We're not a rubber stamp but we're no obstructionists either."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:37
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Photo Credit: Scott Audett/Reuters
WASHINGTON -- Instant reaction polls after the third and final presidential debate showed a strong performance for President Barack Obama, following a resounding Romney victory in the first debate and a small victory for the president in the second.
A text CNN poll of registered voters who watched the debate found that 48 percent said Obama won and 40 percent said Romney did.
Debate watchers in the CNN poll were more likely to say Obama outperformed expectations than Romney did, perhaps reflecting expectations based on Obama's poor performance in the first debate. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said Obama performed better than expected, 15 percent worse than expected, and 23 percent said he performed the same as expected. Romney outperformed the expectations of fewer respondents: 44 percent said he did better, 26 percent worse, and 26 percent the same as they expected.
CNN's survey found Obama and Romney scoring similarly on whether respondents thought they could handle the job of commander in chief. Respondents said that Romney could handle the job by a 60 percent to 38 percent margin, and that Obama could by a 63 percent to 36 percent margin. Obama scored better when respondents were asked to rate which candidate would be a stronger leader, 51 percent to 46 percent.
The CNN poll found little impact on the vote intentions among respondents, 24 percent of whom said they were more likely to vote for Obama and 25 percent for Romney. Debate watchers are less likely to be undecided voters and more likely to have already been paying close attention to the race, compared with voters overall.
CNN surveyed registered voters who had participated in an earlier CNN poll, said they watched the debate, and had agreed to be re-interviewed for the post-debate poll. The margin of error of the poll is 4.5 percentage points. CNN had not yet reported the sample size of the survey, but did note that the sample leaned somewhat more Republican than its usual polls.
Uncommitted voters in a CBS poll gave Obama a clear victory in the third round, with 53 percent saying he won the debate, while 23 percent said Romney won and 24 percent said it was a tie. In the first debate, 46 percent of uncommitted voters told CBS that Romney won.
CBS reported on the air that only about 11 percent of likely voters qualify as uncommitted voters in its screening. That suggests that in spite of a clear victory among those voters, neither Obama nor Romney have much room to move voters at this point in the campaign.
Uncommitted voters' trust in both candidates on foreign policy improved during the debate. The percentage believing Romney could handle an international crisis rose three percentage points, from 46 percent pre-debate to 49 percent post-debate. Obama saw a far more dramatic jump, from 58 percent to 71 percent.
Voters also said Obama would do a better job on terrorism, by a 64 percent to 36 percent margin. The two men were equally trusted on China, with 50 percent of uncommitted voters favoring each to deal with the country.
Before the debate, 24 percent said they leaned to Obama and 20 percent to Romney, with 54 percent completely undecided. After the debate, 46 percent said they would support Obama, 32 percent Romney and 19 percent were undecided.
The CBS News post-debate poll was conducted using the GfK KnowledgePanel, a representative Internet panel, among 521 uncommitted voters who watched the debate. The survey's margin of error is four percentage points. Uncommitted voters in the CBS poll include those who were either totally undecided before the debate or who were leaning to a candidate, but said they may still change their minds.
A poll of 500 swing state debate watchers, conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling for Americans United for Change, also declared the debate a win for Obama. Fifty-three percent of voters said he did a better job, while 42 percent said Romney did.
Opinions largely followed party lines -- nine out of 10 Democrats thought the president won and 81 percent of Republicans thought Romney won, with independents splitting 55 percent for Obama and 40 percent for Romney.
Post-debate, 51 percent of the swing state debate watchers said they trusted Obama more on foreign policy, while 47 percent preferred Romney.
The PPP poll surveyed voters in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Foreign policy has been a public opinion strong point for Obama throughout his presidency, and to the extent that this debate makes a difference it's likely to be in shoring up Obama's strength after a potentially weak stretch during which news coverage focused on the aftermath of the consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya. HuffPost currently estimates Obama's approval on foreign policy at 50 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:35
Category: Breaking News Written by Tom Cohen, Cnn
(CNN) -- Three debates down. Two weeks of campaigning to go.
President Barack Obama put Republican challenger Mitt Romney on the defensive on foreign policy in the final presidential debate Monday night, with analysts and an immediate poll giving Obama the victory.
With 15 days before the November 6 vote, the candidates now hit the road for the final sprint to Election Day -- focusing on the handful of vital battleground states that could decade the closely contested race.
Obama kicks off his "America Forward" tour Tuesday with events in Florida and Ohio, where he will be joined by Vice President Joe Biden, while Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, campaign in Nevada and Colorado.
In Monday's debate, Obama sought to highlight his experience after nearly four years leading the nation's military and foreign policy efforts. Romney, a former governor with less foreign policy experience, tried to paint Obama as an ineffective leader even as he expressed agreement with many of the administration's steps in Syria, Iran and other hotspots.
Analysts agreed that Obama won on points, but questioned if the result would have a big impact on voters and the race as a whole.
"There's no question debate coaches would score this one for the president," said CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, while CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen said Obama "dominated the middle of the debate" and emerged as the winner.
Both King and Gergen agreed that Romney avoided sounding like an overzealous advocate of military action -- which is how Obama and Democrats seek to portray him.
Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor, conceded Obama "won tonight on points, no doubt about it," but added that Romney showed the leadership style of a commander-in-chief to demonstrate that making a change in the White House would be safe.
A CNN/ORC International poll of people who watched the debate showed 48% favored Obama compared to 40% for Romney, numbers barely within the margin of error range of plus-or-minus 4.5%. Another poll by CBS scored it a clear victory for Obama.
At the same time, the CNN/ORC poll showed viewers thought Romney established credibility as a leader, which former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor, said was very important.
"This isn't going to change the trajectory of the result," Fleischer said, noting that 24% of those questioned said the debate made them more likely to vote for Obama while 25% said it nudged them toward Romney, and 50% said they were not influence either way.
The poll also reinforced a gender gap in the race, with women favoring Obama as a strong leader by 59% to 39%, while men chose Romney by 53% to 43%. Obama needs to repeat the strong support from women voters -- who comprise half the electorate -- that helped him win in 2008.
The third and final face-to-face showdown occurred with the candidates running even in national polls and the race hinging on a handful of battleground states -- particularly Ohio, Florida and Virginia.
According to the latest polls, Obama has a slight lead in Ohio. Romney is ahead in Florida, and Virginia is a dead heat.
In the debate, Obama more than once sought to highlight Romney's lack of foreign policy experience.
The president took a jab at his challenger's world view -- paying him a backhanded compliment for his analysis of the threat of terrorism to the United States.
"Governor Romney, I'm glad that you recognize that al Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al Qaeda; you said Russia,"
Obama said, adding that "the 1980s, they're now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War's been over for 20 years."
Romney countered that in that speech, he had argued Iran was the nation's greatest security threat and identified Russia as a "geopolitical foe."
"Attacking me is not talking about how we're going to deal with the challenges that exist in the Middle East, and take advantage of the opportunity there, and stem the tide of this violence," he said.
Romney added that Obama's foreign affairs policies have made the United States less respected and more vulnerable, particularly as it relates to Iran.
"I think from the very beginning, one of the challenges we've had with Iran is that they have looked at this administration, and felt that the administration was not as strong as it needed to be," Romney said.
Romney also repeatedly tried to shift the discussion to his strongest issue -- the continued high unemployment and slow economic recovery under Obama -- arguing that a strong foreign policy and national defense depends on a strong economy.
"We want to end those conflicts to the extent humanly possible," Romney said. "But in order to be able to fulfill our role in the world, America must be strong. America must lead. And for that to happen, we have to strengthen our economy here at home."
Romney also accused Obama of supporting policies that undermine the nation's military preparedness.
"Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917," the Republican nominee said, also noting that "our Air Force is older and smaller than at any time since it was founded in 1947."
Obama fired back, suggesting Romney "maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works."
"You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916," Obama said. "Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed."
Sarcastically noting that the Navy now has "these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them" as well as "ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines," Obama concluded that "the question is not a game of 'Battleship,' where we're counting ships -- it's what are our capabilities."
Romney applauded the Obama-approved mission that killed Osama bin Laden and his efforts to take out other al Qaeda leaders but insisted that "we can't kill our way out of this mess." Rather, he pushed for "a comprehensive strategy" to curb violent extremism in the Middle East.
"The key that we're going to have to pursue is a -- is a pathway to get the Muslim world to be able to reject extremism on its own," Romney said, proposing U.S. policies to promote economic development, better education, gender equity and to help create institutions.
However, he was unable to express any significant policy difference with Obama on how that would happen.
Obama responded by criticizing his opponent on a host of foreign policy issues -- claiming Romney had favored positions that would have hurt the United States or offered sometimes contradictory views.
"What we need to do with respect to the Middle East is strong, steady leadership -- not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map," the president said.
Romney's economic plan seeks trillions in tax cuts while increasing defense spending, which would increase the deficit, Obama said.
For his part, Romney repeatedly shifted back to his stump speech criticism of the nation's sluggish economic recovery under Obama's policies, which he says have hindered growth through high taxes and onerous regulations.
The candidates were at odds as well about how Washington should ultimately respond to the continuing violence in Syria.
Talking about the need to provide those fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces with arms, Romney said the Democratic incumbent has not done enough to curb violence that has left tens of thousands of people dead and also destabilized the region.
"We should be playing the leadership role," Romney said.
That precipitated a quick response from Obama, who pointed to American efforts to organize international efforts to address the issue as well as its support for opposition factions. "We are making sure that those we help will be our friends (in the future)," he said.
A strong performance by Romney against a lackluster Obama in the first debate October 3 in Denver helped the
GOP challenger tighten the race and even pass the president in some polls.
The president fought back to win the second debate last week in New York, according to polls and pundits, setting up Monday night's showdown at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, moderated by CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.
Until recently, polls showed Obama ahead of the former governor on foreign relations issues, and the Romney campaign has mounted pointed attacks in an attempt to narrow the president's advantage.
Other issues discussed in the debate included Iran's nuclear ambitions, China and the war in Afghanistan. Both candidates pledged to support Israel if the Jewish state comes under attack, and Romney backed the 2014 date set by Obama and NATO for withdrawing combat troops from Afghanistan.
Romney has landed blows thus far in the campaign by promoting his own business background while arguing that continued high unemployment and sluggish growth showed failed policies under the president.
In a major foreign policy address on October 8, Romney promoted a traditional U.S. foreign policy dating back decades, based on exerting global influence through military and economic power. While the speech sought to distinguish himself from Obama on foreign policy, specific proposals he cited then were similar to what the administration is doing.
Obama's campaign has accused Romney of shifting positions on foreign policy matters and mishandling a trip to England, Israel and Poland this summer when he publicly questioned London's preparedness to host the Olympic Games and cited cultural differences as a reason for economic disparities between Israelis and Palestinians.
Defense: $2 trillion divides Obama and Romney
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:31
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- There may be a presidential election around the corner, but voters won't have two competing foreign policies to choose from at the ballot box, at least among the major parties. If Monday night's debate proved anything, it showed that when it comes to drone strikes, the war in Afghanistan, relations with Pakistan, the intervention in Libya, support for Israel or for "crippling sanctions" on Iran, there is little difference between the two parties.
"I know that Mitt Romney tried to offer his endorsement of virtually everything President Obama did," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "We accept his endorsement."
Or, as the former Fox personality Glenn Beck put it on his Twitter page, "I am glad to know that Mitt agrees with Obama so much. No, really. Why vote?"
Only the debate's 90-minute clock limited the ability of the two men to agree on the fundamental role of the United States in world affairs. An hour into the debate, Afghanistan, where tens of thousands of U.S. troops still remain, had barely been mentioned.
That left the debate one of style rather than substance, an area where President Barack Obama dominated, turning in a commanding while at times edgy performance that kept Romney on his heels. Foreign policy is not Romney's strength -- witness his gaffe-riddled tour of friendly nations this summer. But the job of the challenger, when agreement is so pervasive, is simply to come across as competent. "People just have to feel comfortable he's presidential and in command of the facts," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a Romney surrogate, after the debate.
Romney policy adviser Lanhee Chen said the Republican's main goal was to remain above the fray and stay calm and positive, rather than engaging in a nasty dogfight. That, he believed, was all that was required to keep the momentum that Romney gained from the first debate on Oct. 3 and which appears to have slowed but not stopped since, driving Romney ahead in national numbers and to a dead heat in key swing states like Ohio.
"Mission accomplished," Chen said.
Obama didn't let the broad consensus stop him from attacking Romney at every turn. "Governor Romney," Obama said in his first response, "I’m glad that you agree that we have been successful in going after Al Qaida, but I have to tell you that, you know, your strategy previously has been one that has been all over the map and is not designed to keep Americans safe or to build on the opportunities that exist in the Middle East."
Romney's goal, meanwhile, was to paint a picture of chaos and failure in the Middle East. "We’ve watched this tumult in the Middle East, this rising tide of chaos occur, you see Al Qaida rushing in, you see other jihadist groups rushing in," Romney said. "They’re throughout many nations in the Middle East."
Romney's least presidential moment came when he criticized Obama for overseeing a Navy that is too small, which Romney dramatized by noting that we have fewer ships today and "our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917."
Obama responded sarcastically. "I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed," he said, growing even more snarky. "We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships. It’s what are our capabilities."
Romney surrogates spent much of the post-debate spin session characterizing Obama's performance as insulting and petty.
"Romney refused to get trapped in petty back and forth," said Chaffetz, echoing a repeated talking point from the GOP. "The president was almost looking to land personal blows."
By contrast, Romney seemed intent on not pressing hot political buttons, most notably on the matter of the attacks in Libya, indicating that that political viability of that topic may have run its course.
Dan Senor, a foreign policy advisor to the Romney campaign, said this had been a deliberate decision.
"What he chose to do up there was to take Libya out of the back and forth and raise the issue of what it says in the macro sense," Senor said. "It is a sign that President Obama's foreign policy is unraveling in a number of ways."
Instead it was Obama who found himself repeatedly raising Libya, in order to emphasize what he portrayed as his deft handling of a complex situation. Psaki, the Obama spokeswoman, said that the Obama campaign felt the discussion of Libya in the previous debate, at Hofstra, "was one of our best moments."
One of the most contentious moments of Monday's debate came not over foreign policy, but over Romney's insistence that Detroit followed his prescription to its successful turnaround. It's an audacious move, given that Romney had opposed federal assistance during the bankruptcy process, which observers of the industry say would have quickly led to liquidation of General Motors and Chrysler. Romney insisted he had supported federal help during bankruptcy for the auto industry.
"I said they need -- these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy. And in that process, they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to go through bankruptcy to get rid of excess cost and the debt burden that they’d built up," Romney said.
"You did not say that you would provide government help," Obama challenged.
"I said that we would provide guarantees, and that was what was able to allow these companies to go through bankruptcy, to come out of bankruptcy," Romney said, suggesting Obama and the audience read his op-ed in the New York Times closely.
"The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk," Romney wrote in that OpEd. "In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check."
Romney, in withholding government help during bankruptcy -- what he called sealing their fate with a "bailout check" -- would have made it highly unlikely that the companies would have emerged from bankruptcy in a position to receive the federal guarantees.
Romney's strategy to agree with Obama as much as possible on foreign policy left him unable to attack one of the president's weakest points, the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Obama's post-election surge of troops has done remarkably little to bring the war closer to an end, calling the entire strategy into question. But now that Obama has announced the eventual withdrawal of troops -- a withdrawal Romney has at turns opposed and supported -- Romney had little entry to challenge him.
While Romney has previously said it is unwise to lay out a timetable for withdrawal -- a position Paul Ryan repeated at the most recent vice presidential debate -- he embraced one Monday night. "Well, we’re going to be finished by 2014, and when I’m president, we’ll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014. The commanders and the generals there are on track to do so," Romney said, following with effusive praise of Obama's handling of the war. "We’ve seen progress over the past several years. The surge has been successful and the training program is proceeding apace. There are now a large number of Afghan Security Forces, 350,000 that are ready to step in to provide security and we’re going to be able to make that transition by the end of 2014. So our troops will come home at that point."
"The governor agreed with some things with the president but the agreement on some things only highlights the huge disagreement on others," said former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a Romney surrogate, citing the defense budget as one example. "How can you be a superpower without superpower capabilities?"
Asked about one potential point of contention that Romney had opted to avoid, over whether drawing down troops in Afghanistan qualified as a savings, Sununu thought for a moment. "That's a good point," he said. "But it's not a point that sways voters. Why waste your time on it?"
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:20
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing appeared before City Council to ask council members for their support to address public safety, a public lighting authority, and to retain a turnaround firm that will work with the Auditor General’s office.
Bing said he believes the city must embrace these reforms for the city to survive.
“Since I have taken office as mayor, this city has been under financial stress, clearly, it is now time to act with a renewed sense of urgency,” said Bing.
Council President Charles Pugh was receptive to working with the Mayor and said that the council understands its role in moving these reforms forward.
Bing noted that in just a matter of days, the Detroit Tigers will be playing in the World Series in Detroit, the city named the most violent by Forbes Magazine and said a public safety plan will be place.
Although Bing told WWJ’s Beth Fisher that he won’t talk about what the safety plan is but says the Forbes article talked about a lot of the violence being in the neighborhoods.
“Our police department is very good at what they do around big events, and if you go back in history, and think about any of our big events there have been plans that have been put in place, we’ve really had little or no incidents and I don’t believe that’s going to happen this time around also,” said Bing.
“We are very pleased and proud (about) what the Tigers have accomplished and we want to make sure that our city is seen in a good light,” said Bing.
Bing noted that much of the violence in the city described by Forbes is among people who know each other and not in the downtown area.
Bing said it shouldn’t just be about this event but something that they need to work on day in and day out. The mayor said a major focus will be on safety in the neighborhoods for the rest of his administration.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:16
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - Michigan’s governor and the Canadian Consul General took part in a town hall discussion Monday on the proposed bridge between Detroit and Windsor.
About two dozen protesters opposed to the governor and Canada’s plans for a new international trade crossing demonstrated outside the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel on Monday.
Minister Malik Shabazz led the demonstration.
“The governor said that Canada’s gonna pay for everything and Michigander’s aren’t going to pay for anything to the tune of $500 million,” said Shabazz. “But his own department of transportation says the bridge is going to cost between $2.1 billion and $4.7 billion. Who’s gonna pay for it? We are.”
However, speaking at Monday’s meeting, Consul General Roy Norton said Canada is financing the entire project.
“Canada assumes full responsibility for the new international trade crossing,” said Norton. “(According to) the June 15th agreement — if there are cost overruns they’re on us, not on the government of Michigan. If tolls are insufficient, they’re on us.
The state of Michigan pays nothing for the project and faces no liability. That message needs to be told over and over again,” Norton said.
Added Gov. Rick Snyder, “It’s an extraordinary offer — a partnership where they’re gonna pay the costs for this project.”
Norton criticized Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun’s campaign against the new bridge.
“There are folks, namely the Morouns, who don’t seem to want me to talk about the new international trade crossing. They would prefer that their multi-million dollar television advertising campaign of distortions and fabrications go uncontested,” said Norton. “But my message to them is you can try but you will not succeed in shutting down the government of Canada.”
Both Snyder and Norton agreed that passage of Proposal 6 would not prevent the bridge from being built but said court battles would likely delay construction.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 October 2012 17:46
Category: Breaking News Written by Ugonna Okpalaoka , thegrio
“When Obama was elected it was thrilling,” the ad starts off, but the African-American man and woman on screen quickly begin questioning whether President Barack Obama should be re-elected for a second term.
“What has he done as president?” the woman in the video asks.
The answer they give is that he’s cut aid to black colleges and businesses.
“And his support of gay marriage is a slap in the face to people of faith,” the woman adds.
The video is one of two political ads Pivot Point, a PAC launched earlier this year, is airing on BET in the Seattle, Washington and Cleveland, Ohio areas. The other ad, below, features soundbites from Mitt Romney’s speech to the NAACP in July, in which he promises to improve conditions for African Americans.
Their goal, according to the head of the PAC, Dave Shemwell, is to communicate to African-American communities that it’s okay to consider switching political parties.
“You have no power when people take you for granted,” Shemwell told the Grio. “You only have power when people believe realistically that you’ll seek an alternative if they don’t come through.”
The people he’s referring to are Democratic politicians.
“Once [Obama] got into office, he didn’t pay any attention to the black community,” he said.
To make sure his message to African Americans would get across effectively, Shemwell partnered with Reverend Wayne Perryman, a local black evangelical pastor in Washington. The author of Whites, Blacks & Racist Democrats and activist for black issues echoed the same idea, calling the black community “a forgotten race.”
“The Democrats take it for granted. They don’t put anything on the table, but they get our vote,” he said. “For all the votes they’re getting, they should have an agenda.”
Perryman believes the opposite for the Republican Party, citing Romney’s NAACP speech.
“When he went to the NAACP and spoke, he talked about the conditions in our schools, in our communities,” he said. “He did make an appeal to African Americans, but we’ve seen no such appeal coming from Obama.”
Perryman named issues black people face, like economic instability and high foreclosure and school dropout rates. He explained that in the last four years, he felt President Obama had neglected to address the black community on too many occasions.
“If a white president was in office and all these things occurred, blacks would be out in the street,” he said.
“Black people should love black people so much, regardless of who is in office,” he continued. “When these kinds of conditions deteriorate to the point they have now, there needs to be strong, black voices bringing up these issues.”
So is electing Mitt Romney the answer to this problem? Will he keep his promises to African Americans?
“What do we have to lose?” Perryman answered. “I really think he’s sincere.”
He added that the changes Romney would bring may not be radical because some African American issues can only be solved by the people, not the government.
“But I think he can start things moving in the right direction,” he said of Romney.
The political ads began running in Washington last week and in Ohio yesterday. Shemwell hopes to influence votes in both his home state and the swing state. He said the ads will be airing on BET at least once a day by the end of this week, but there are no plans yet to air them in other states.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 October 2012 16:23
Category: Top News Written by Amber Bogins
In an attempt to revive a franchise, Alex Cross, an adaptation of the novel by James Patterson, offers little stimulation. Tyler Perry ditches the fat suit and wig to star as the title character. Alex Cross takes place in Detroit, where a crazed killer is targeting European big-shots.
For all the laughs Perry garners as Madea, he elicits just as many grimaces and eye rolls as Alex Cross. Perry comes off as awkward and clumsy lacking the sophistication and skill that Morgan Freeman brought to the same role in Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls. The audience is supposed to believe that Cross possesses Sherlock Holmes’ type clairvoyance but it seems forced and undeserved. However that fault lies more with the lazy script than with Perry. The audience could perhaps even forgive this lapse in judgment if Perry managed to look the part of an action hero. How many actors have confessed to upping their work outs and dieting to beef up for the role of action super star? Countless. But not Tyler Perry. He opted for the jelly donut diet in which the results are flabby arms and a soggy mid-section.
The villain Picasso, played by Lost’s Matthew Fox is probably the most interesting character because Fox committed completely to a stereotypical psycho-killer with a penchant for torturing beautiful young women. Cicely Tyson gives a strong performance and Alex Cross’ mother, although the necessity of her role is up for debate. Other additions to the cast include Edward Burns as Tommy Kane, Alex Cross’ best friend since grade school, Jean Reno as Giles Mercier the CEO and main target of Picasso, John C. McGinley as the Chief of the Detroit Police Department.
Speaking of Detroit, its presence in the movie was virtually non-existent. With all the film incentives available you would think that the bulk of the movie would be filmed in Detroit, instead of Ohio. With the exception of the Detroit Police cars and the mention of Woodward and Caniff, there is nothing even remotely resembling Detroit until a missile is launched from the people mover late in the movie.
This movie is largely a failure due to its poor script. It was painfully stale and didn’t leave the actors a lot of room to work. This is not Tyler Perry’s break out action role. Although he may deserve another shot.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 October 2012 16:03
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
Color of Change, the nation's largest online civil rights organization, is taking on media heavyweight Clear Channel over billboards that the advocacy group claims are attempts at voter intimidation.
Recently, anti-voter fraud billboards have sprung up in swing states such as Ohio and Wisconsin, depicting a gavel and informing passers-by that voter fraud is a felony, punishable by up to three and a half years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Although the billboards state that they were funded by a "private family foundation," Color of Change's executive director Rashad Robinson believes Clear Channel has a responsibility to remove the ads, and has started an online campaign in an effort to force them to do so.
Robinson told The Huffington Post, "For us, these billboards, they create a culture of fear. They've only been put up in black and brown neighborhoods, so these are not widespread billboards. They are targeting certain communities, and they're creating a fear for people going to the polls."
Robinson also took issue with the anonymity of the billboard's buyer. "These billboards were funded by an anonymous donor. So unlike the work of Color of Change, when we send out a petition or do a rally, when we take out an ad, people know exactly who paid for it. They know what we stand for, they know who we are," Robinson said.
Clear Channel, which owns the billboards, was purchased in 2008 by Bain Capital, the company founded by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
In an email to HuffPost, Jim Cullinan, vice president of corporate communications for Clear Channel Outdoor, said, "Clear Channel Outdoor does not comment on our advertisers' ads. We are committed to ensuring that ads, including political ads, posted on our billboards have the appropriate disclaimer so this situation doesn't happen again in the future." He explained to HuffPost that the advertiser's contract stipulates anonymity.
He told the Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel that the billboards currently appear at 85 locations, and that the company does not intend to take them down.
In Wisconsin, community organizations have rallied in opposition to the billboards, citing them as the latest effort to suppress the vote.
"Voter rights are under attack every which way possible," Mike Wilder, director of the African-American Round Table told the Wisconsin Journal Sentinal.
HuffPost's Trymaine Lee reported this week on the same signs appearing in Ohio neighborhoods, where critics feel the ads were strategically placed to intimidate potential voters. Ohio is among the swing states that have passed restrictive voter laws, and it recently had its elimination of early voting days reversed when the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Ohio secretary of state.
Demographically, the voting age populations in the Ohio neighborhoods where the signs were placed are 96 percent black, 88 percent black and 76 percent black -- a stark contrast to another ad that appears on a Clear Channel billboard in Harris County, Texas, where the message is to "vote early." The population of Harris County is 57 percent white.
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has also sent a letter to Clear Channel demanding the removal of the billboard ads and has appealed to the public to do the same.
Between now and the November election, Color of Change plans to hold rallies to pressure Clear Channel to remove the ads.
"The petition was just the first step for us," Robinson said. "There will be a lot of work involved to make sure that Clear Channel and Bain are held accountable, that they know there are consequences for this kind of voter suppression."
Last Updated on Monday, 22 October 2012 14:23
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)