Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Obama Kiss Cam: Cheering Crowd And Arena Camera Get First Couple To Pucker Up
WASHINGTON — There's nothing like a little booing to help the first couple overcome their shyness.
President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, were taking in Monday night's USA Basketball exhibition game when the Verizon Center's "Kiss Cam" turned its eye their way. Their image on the huge arena screen prompted the crowd to cheer – a not-so-subtle hint that Obama plant one on the first lady.
Both smiled, but Obama just put his arm around his wife as the game resumed. That cautious reaction brought some boos.
Obama got a do-over later in the game when the Kiss Cam swung back his way. This time he delivered, giving Mrs. Obama a big kiss on the lips. And a peck on the forehead for good measure.
And the crowd roared.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 09:21
Category: Breaking News Written by Politics 365
With a number of critics arguing how President Obama has not paid enough attention to the plight of the poor in America, especially poor people of color, a recently released report from the Minority Business Development Agency provides some positive news about the Obama Administration’s investment in the minority community.
According to the report, in Fiscal Year 2011, the MBDA assisted 7,219 Black American-owned businesses in obtaining contracts and capital valued at $5.5 billion. The average contract size for a Black American firm was $4.5 million. The firms receiving assistance were primarily in the following areas:
1. Health care and social assistance;
2. Administration and support;
3. Waste management and remediation services; and
4. Transportation and warehousing.
According to MBDA, these sectors represent 39% of all Black-owned businesses.
From an economic development perspective, the news is important. Black-owned firms have seen an increase in the number of contracts they have been able to obtain. The MBDA estimates that the value in contracts and capital obtained by Black-owned firms increased 155% from three-year period prior to President Obama’s term.
From a going forward perspective, the Obama Administration’s efforts may be keeping Black American businesses focused on the 20th century. As much as the Obama Administration has touted the knowledge economy and the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as a base for jobs in the knowledge economy, the four sectors having received significant help for the MBDA won’t be producing the next Mae Jemison or Neil deGrasse Tyson any time soon.
In addition to not producing top notched doctors or scientists, firms operating in the four sectors targeted by MBDA are not the types of firms that attract venture capital funding. As Darrin Redus, chief economic inclusion officer for JumpStart, Inc., recently noted, investment capital moves to high-performance opportunities offered by high-tech industry. These opportunities, according to Mr. Redus, also bring a large number of jobs.
But it would probably be a mistake to focus on the residual benefits of job creation that stem from entrepreneurial activity. This may be the mistake the Obama Administration is making. The focus should be on growth, and such a focus does not necessarily leave Black American entrepreneurs in the dust. On the contrary, policy, as implemented by the MBDA, that is focused on economic growth rather than maintaining traditional business sectors may incentivize Black American entrepreneurs to branch into the higher growth areas of high tech.
Given the high returns expected from the emerging knowledge economy, the Obama Administration must continue to recognize and promote the role of entrepreneurship in economic growth. Entrepreneurs are the Higgs Boson of the economy, adding mass and glue to the economy’s components.
As Magnus Blomstrom, Ari Kokko, and Fredrik Sjoholm pointed out in a 2007 study on the knowledge economy and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs play a role in how knowledge is created and disseminated in the knowledge economy. For the past three decades knowledge has been recognized more and more as the driver of productivity and economic growth. This has meant, according to a 1996 study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a focus on the role of information, technology and learning in economic performance.
While the employment gains in the four sectors targeted by MBDA is overall positive, MBDA needs to continue and expand any existing efforts and formulate new efforts to marry budding minority-owned knowledge-based firms with venture capitalists and other investors. We cannot afford to fall further behind a train that is gathering speed.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 09:16
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for southeast Michigan, in effect from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Tuesday.
CBS62 Chief Meteorologist Jim Madaus said Tuesday’s high will approach the record of 101 degrees, set back in 1887, which will actually feel like 107 degrees when combined with the humidity.
An excessive heat warning means a prolonged period of hot temperatures is expected. High humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible.
The weather service advises that people should drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun as much as possible. Madaus says children, seniors and those with conditions such as asthma should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
Children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. People are advised to check on older relatives and neighbors.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 09:10
Category: Breaking News Written by huffington Post
Beyonce & Michelle Obama: Singer Appreciates First Lady In Campaign's New Video
The story of Beyonce and Michelle Obama's mutual-appreciation has crept onto the campaign trail. In a new video released by the president's re-election campaign, the singer reads an open letter she previously posted on her blog.
"Michelle Obama is the ultimate example of a truly strong African-American woman," the 30-year-old chanteuse begins before eventually adding, "I am in awe of [the First Lady]."
Obama took her daughters to Beyonce's May concert. That show, which took place in Atlantic City and was also attended by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, was part of the singer's post-pregnancy comeback concert series. Around the same time, Obama chose Beyonce as the one person she would want to choose places with.
The dynamic duo also collaborated on "Move Your Body," a fitness video geared at getting children exercising.
Here's the full text of Beyonce's letter, as posted on her blog.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:55
Category: Breaking News Written by crains detroit
Detroit’s Eastern Market Tuesday will add a cooking demonstration and kids activities to build on last week’s event, which drew between 3,000 and 4,000 people and about 50 vendors for its first week of the season.
Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corp., said that he expects attendance may be down Tuesday because of the heat but that many vendors will sell under Shed 2, where it is a little cooler.
Overall, the event is geared toward customers who want to avoid the Saturday crowds.
“It’s a bit smaller-scale and a bit smaller pace than the frantic Saturday market,” Carmody said.
The attendance numbers last week were consistent with the Tuesday markets last year, Carmody said. He doesn’t expect a big increase in attendance throughout the summer this year.
Eastern Market Corp. launched the event in 2011 after demand grew for expanded market days.
Detroit Eastern Market Tuesdays run through Oct. 30.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:49
Category: News Briefs Written by Huffington Post
Chou Anime Cafe Offers Japanese Treats, Companionship And Waitresses In Frilly Costumes
Oneka Samet's cafe in the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit has been open for about three weeks and business is bustling. The 35-year-old proprietor says she has a steady base of customers from Detroit itself, as well as visitors from the city's suburbs. Some afternoons she gets as many as 20 to 30 people popping in to hang out, sip some coffee or grab a quick meal.
What's the recipe for her success? It's an unlikely one. Her secret is anime, a popular Japanese style of cartoons known to feature characters with dramatic expressions and exaggerated physical features -- as well as robots, Pokémon and young girls in sailor suits.
(Scroll down for photos)
Samet's business, the Chou Anime Cafe, is based off a type of Japanese establishment known as a "maid cafe" where servers dressed in lacy maid costumes lavish attention on their patrons. The Detroit coffeehouse draws from this tradition and from Japanese cartoons, but has been tweaked to appeal to an American audience.
Upon entering visitors are met with a friendly "konichiwa" from one of the establishment's maids (or its solitary butler) dressed to the nines in elaborate outfits. Some of them also elect to wear optional bunny or cat ears. Customers are free to browse a selection of anime-related merchandise or to grab something to eat or drink. The menu features a variety of fresh locally-produced salads and wraps, as well as specifically Japanese items like melon bread, pocky candy and a novelty soda called Ramune. The maids (and butler) don't just serve food though -- they also socialize and play board games with customers. Playstation 3 Video games are also available for a small fee.
One of the maids at Chou Anime, Kei-Chan, believes that, despite the American tweaks, the Detroit cafe remains pretty true to the original Japanese spirit.
"I think the concept is pretty much the same: waitresses dress up in cute little frilly dresses. We're friendly and nice and sweet to our customers," she said. "Some maids take a certain persona like the magical girl or the tough girl -- like the mean girl who's like, 'Here's your coffee I hope you enjoy it!'"
Each of the servers has a distinct profile that is listed on the company's website, www.chouanime.com. The company is contemplating listing their shifts too, so patrons will know when they can hang out with their favorites.
Kei-Chan, who won't share her given name due to a company policy, insisted to The Huffington Post that dressing up isn't an act for her. She said she dresses the same way at home. She's part of subculture called cosplay, whose followers dress up and role play as anime cartoons or other characters. It's a popular pastime in Japan that's catching on more and more in the Detroit area. The city is home to one of the country's larger cosplay conventions, an event called Youmacon that draws thousands to downtown Detroit each year.
Many of the cafe's patrons are part of this community, so the Chou Anime staff plans to sponsor some special events for them in the near future. These include a Pokémon dress-up gathering and a tea party for "Lolitas" -- girls who like to dress up in fancy dresses.
Samet isn't just an entrepreneur trying to capitalize on the anime and cosplay crazes -- she's a fan herself. Her favorite series is a cartoon series called InuYasha, which involves the time-traveling Tokyo girl and a half-demon. Samet, a native Detroiter, got heavily into the art form in 2005 while helping organize a youth anime club at the Detroit Public Library.
It's no surprise that cosplayers gravitate to the cafe. Samet started out Chou Anime as a retail operation, selling anime and cosplay merchandise -- messenger bags, costumes and craft items -- to fans at conventions and over the internet. (Chou, by the way, is a Japanese term for butterfly). She later moved her retail space into a booth at an indoor flea market in Detroit called the Russell Bazaar. These ventures helped her get the business experience and start up capital to set up the cafe, which had been her plan all along.
She was inspired after a trip to Tokyo in the fall of 2009, where she got a chance to get a first-hand look at authentic "maid cafes." It was an eye-opening experience that made her take a different look at American culture.
"People are really open and expressive -- like Kei-Chan would just be able to go outside, decide that she wanted to be cute and dress in pink frilly dresses," said Samet, "Whereas here it's a little more subdued. They're really welcome to being expressive and I think that's a part of what we want to embrace here."
Although the cafe, which is located near Wayne State University, has attracted a lot of cosplayers, anime fans and video game enthusiasts in their twenties and thirties, Samet said it also gets a fair number of older folks from the Detroit Medical Center, a nearby hospital.
Kei-Chan says those episodes result in an occasional culture clash.
"This elderly lady came inside," said Kei-Chan." She had her little grandkid. She was like, "Oh! What's this? I've never seen anything like this before.'"
Although initially disoriented, the woman eventually played a round of the board game Apples to Apples with her server. She had a good time -- even though she lost the game to her maid.
It's a moment that both Kei-Chan and Samet hope more people from outside the anime community will get an opportunity to experience.
"It's like a magical dimension," Kei-Chan said of her workplace. "It's really fun and nice to be here. It's not just for otaku (anime enthusiasts) and gamers. We welcome the normies too."
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:44
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Two days after the Obama campaign released a brutal television ad mocking Mitt Romney singing "America The Beautiful," the Romney campaign responded with a web video mocking his singing of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."
It appears to be an attempt to change the subject from the debate over when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital and his responsibility for investments made during 1999 to 2002. The video juxtaposes Obama crooning "I'm so in love with you" with headlines about Obama rewarding lobbyists and campaign donors, similar to Obama's ad showing Romney's singing contrasted with headlines about Romney's offshore financial holdings and Bain's outsourcing
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:39
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
Great Lakes Coffee Offers New Java Experience In Midtown
DETROIT (WWJ) - A new coffee bar in Detroit’s midtown offers the unique experience of having your coffee filtered and your espresso brewed one cup at a time.
Owner James Cadariu calls it an ‘Institute for Advanced Drinking’.
“So it’s something new, providing the people … with something they haven’t had before – a really well thought out beverage program that you would find in New York or Paris or San Francisco,” said Cadariu.
Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company. (Photos/Violet Ikonomova)
Great Lakes Coffee has chosen the corner of Woodward and Alexandrine as its first retail site for artisan roasted fair trade coffee. All the coffees are roasted to order on a 25 pound San Franciscan drum roaster to ensure that “quality is so fresh and so clean.”
“So not just meeting the demands of the market but I think I’m creating a space that hasn’t been available before in the city,” Cadariu said.
In addition to selling the company’s coffee, the shop offers Michigan-brewed beer, fine wine and appetizers.
Their coffee of the month is the “bailout blend,” an exclusively Detroit blend. It’s described as “a complex cup full of liquorice and chocolate.”
“Holding the high ground against a society drowning in a sea of coffee mediocrity,” is how the company describes itself on the website. “The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company is a Fair Trade certified, artisan roaster. Our coffee blends are as refined as a Bordeaux and our single-origin coffees are as unique as a single-malt scotch. Ahead by a nose.”
Organic Great Lakes Coffee sells for $13.98 a pound.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 09:43
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Obama Says He Won't Apologize To Mitt Romney Over Aide's Bain Comments
WOLFEBORO, N.H. — Mitt Romney's campaign said Sunday that President Barack Obama is willing to say anything to win a second term and should say he's sorry for attacks on the Republican's successful career at a private equity firm. "No, we will not apologize," the president responded, adding that if Romney wants credit for his business leadership, he also needs to take responsibility.
Questions about Romney's tenure at Bain Capital and the fortune he earned there have dogged the former Massachusetts governor as Obama and his allies have said the Boston-based firm shipped jobs overseas. Romney insists he left the company in February 1999 to take over the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, but documents suggest he was still in charge as late as 2001.
Romney's advisers, trying to explain the discrepancies between Romney's account and federal documents, offered fresh explanations to shift the campaign back to more comfortable ground.
"He actually retired retroactively at that point," Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said. "He ended up not going back to the firm after his time in Salt Lake City. So he was actually retired from Bain."
A second adviser, Kevin Madden, said Romney had no choice but to have his name listed on Security and Exchange Commission documents as he sought to transfer the company's leadership to partners.
"The reason that there is a document that had ... his signature is because, during that transition from 1999 to 2002 ... there was a duty to sign those documents," Madden said.
The exact role Romney played at the firm between 1999 and 2001 is important not only because critics have raised questions about his truthfulness, but also because Bain was sending jobs overseas during that period.
The president said Romney must square his explanation.
"Mr. Romney claims he's Mr. Fix-It for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience," Obama told WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, Va., in an interview taped Saturday and posted on the station's website Sunday
"Mr. Romney is now claiming he wasn't there at the time except his filings with the SEC listing says he was the CEO, chairman and president of the company."
Obama's advisers said that story won't sell voters.
"Either you're the CEO, president, chairman of the board of Bain Capital as you attest to the SEC or he's telling the American people he bears no responsibility for that," deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said. "Both those things can't be true. Either you're in charge or you're not."
Romney has insisted he was not involved with Bain during the time it sent jobs overseas and had no day-to-day responsibility for the company. He said he wanted an apology from the president for implying otherwise.
""No, we will not apologize," Obama told the TV station.
Cutter said Romney should take the advice – stop whining – that he gave his opponents during the Republican primary.
"Instead of whining about what the Obama campaign is saying, why don't you just put the facts out there and let people decide instead of trying to hide them?" Cutter said.
Documents place Romney in charge of Bain from 1999 to 2001, a period in which the company outsourced jobs and ran companies that fell into bankruptcy. Romney has tried to distance himself from this period in Bain's history, saying on financial disclosure forms he had no active role in Bain as of February 1999.
But at least three times since then, Bain listed Romney as the company's "controlling person," as well as its "sole shareholder, sole director, chief executive officer and president." One of those documents – as late as February 2001 – lists Romney's "principal occupation" as Bain's managing director.
"He's very willing to take credit for everything good that he thinks happened after that point that Bain Capital was involved in, but he's not willing to take responsibility for this," Obama strategist David Axelrod said, echoing comments Obama and his allies leveled in a weeklong blitz about Bain.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said Obama's attacks cheapen the presidency and are an attempt to distract voters from Obama's record in office.
"With these attacks, it shows that he's just a small politician and running on small-ball politics at a time when our country is facing grave, grave challenges," Ayotte said.
Added Gillespie: "We now know this president will say or do anything to keep the highest office in the land – even if it means demeaning the highest office in the land."
Romney's campaign released a television ad Sunday asking why the president had stopped talking about hope and change, his signature message during the 2008 campaign, and criticizing him for a barrage of negative ads against Romney.
Obama's allies also pushed Romney to release more than the one year of tax returns he has shared. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former top White House aide, noted Romney released 23 years of taxes to 2008 GOP nominee John McCain so he could be considered as a vice presidential nominee.
"John McCain's people looked at it and went with Sarah Palin" as the No. 2 on the ticket that year. "Whatever is in there is far worse than the first year," Emanuel said. "The Romney campaign isn't stupid. They have decided that it's better to get attacked on a lack of transparency, lack of accountability to the American people, versus telling you what's in those taxes."
Romney has refused and says that no amount of disclosure would satisfy his critics.
But some in his party said the debate over Romney's wealth is distracting from the campaign.
"He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy. You've got to release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns," said conservative Bill Kristol, joining the Republicans who want to turn the page on stories about Romney's vast personal wealth. "Take the hit for a day or two."
Unless, as Obama's team hints, the returns prove disqualifying.
"The costs of not releasing the returns are clear," conservative columnist George Will said. "Therefore, he must have calculated there are higher costs to releasing them."
Gillespie appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" and CNN's "State of the Union. Cutter and Madden were on CBS' "Face the Nation." Axelrod spoke to CNN. Kristol was interviewed on "Fox News Sunday." Emanuel, Ayotte and Will appeared on ABC's "This Week."
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 09:38
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
WOLFEBORO, N.H. (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney is talking about his presidential campaign with Oprah Winfrey.
The presumptive GOP nominee and his wife, Ann, met with Winfrey on Friday for an interview that will be published in O, The Oprah Magazine. Romney aides late Saturday said the conversation took place as the Romneys were ready to begin a leisurely weekend at their lakefront house in Wolfeboro, N.H.
The aides would not discuss the interview topics or tone before its publication.
Winfrey in 2007 broke her long-standing rule against supporting politicians and came out for Barack Obama. She became one his strongest advocates and helped him win over female voters.
The former queen of daytime talk shows still supports the Democratic president but doesn't plan to revive her role for him as he seeks re-election.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 09:25
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