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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Suspension of 2 U.S. Capitol Police Officers - Protecting The President - Who Can He Trust?

As the threats get more heated against Obama, The Washington Post is reporting about the Suspension of 2 U.S. Capitol Police Officers as a security precaution to President Obama's safety.

AAPP: These internal and external threats seem to keep on coming. There have been other concerns recently about police officer involvement in threats.



Yes, 2
U.S. Capitol Police Officers, sworn to protect and to serve the nations most powerful were suspended with pay on Jan. 19, the eve of the inauguration ceremony, pending an internal inquiry into an allegation that they associated with felons in violation of department policy, according to a senior law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the personnel matter.

In the
waPo article written by Spencer Hsu, Mary Beth Sheridan and Carrie Johnson they write; In the days leading up to President Obama's inauguration, U.S. law enforcement agencies huddled regularly in an effort to minimize any possible security risk to an event that promised record crowds for the country's first black president. But one agenda item led authorities to a target close to home: the ranks of the U.S. Capitol Police.

An FBI investigation that included taped surveillance had placed two off-duty veteran Capitol Police officers in the company of individuals whose racial views and capacity for violence were under scrutiny. Although the recorded discussion did not center on Obama, federal law enforcement officials wanted to ensure that the officers were not on duty covering the Capitol, where the president took the oath of office, according to two sources involved in the matter.

The FBI alerted Capitol Police officials, but some federal officials grew concerned when no immediate action was taken, according to the sources. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan voiced his frustration to then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, according to a senior federal official with knowledge of the incident. Chertoff, a former federal appeals court judge, told officials that if the Capitol Police did not act, he was prepared to take the issue to members of Congress overseeing the inauguration, the senior federal official said.

"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. . . . But there are codes of conduct that are necessary for law enforcement and people in positions of public trust," said one senior federal official with knowledge of the episode. Common sense dictated, the official added, that the swearing-in of the nation's first black president was not a time to take chances.

The episode underscores the extraordinary precautions that law enforcement agencies took in the days before Obama's inauguration, including scouring their own ranks for possible security risks. Officials have offered few specifics about their work to protect the president, a coordinated effort directed by the Secret Service and overseen by Chertoff that drew on scores of federal, state and local agencies. More HERE More at Reidblog

AAPP: Black folks have always been concerned about President Barack Obama's safety. This report in The Washington Post is a chilling reminder of the hatred against blacks even within many Police and Federal security agencies across America. There are all sorts of crazies out there. Remember The Treasury Department's investigation of racism among Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and their "whites only" retreat in Tennessee attended by some ATF agents?

No Obama is not stealing from the rich

No President Barack Obama is not stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Candidly, I wish he would. The fact of the matter is Barack Obama is doing what all U.S. President's do, stealing from the poor and middle class to give to the rich.

With the
surging US unemployment rate he has to take some real action. the fact of the matter is the Jobless rate is now at 8.1%, 651000 more jobs vanished in February and US job losses have soared to 4.4 million. The dismal jobs report points to more trouble ahead. I guess we will be doing what England plans to do, just print worthless money.

Damn, the brit's have already gotten enough of our tax dollars. (See below).
“These jobs aren’t coming back,” said John E. Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia in Charlotte, N.C. “A lot of production either isn’t going to happen at all, or it’s going to happen somewhere other than the United States. There are going to be fewer stores, fewer factories, fewer financial services operations. Firms are making strategic decisions that they don’t want to be in their businesses.” More HERE

Even though people like former Bush speech writer Michael Gerson and others think otherwise, the fact of the matter is the rich are still getting rich in this country, and the poor and middle class are getting poorer. As Serena NG and Carrick Mollenkamp noted in the WSJ article Top U.S. , European Banks got $50 Billion in AIG Aid:

The beneficiaries of the government's bailout of American International Group Inc. include at least two dozen U.S. and foreign financial institutions that have been paid roughly $50 billion since the Federal Reserve first extended aid to the insurance giant.

Among those institutions are Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Germany's Deutsche Bank AG, each of which received roughly $6 billion in payments between mid-September and December 2008, according to a confidential document and people familiar with the matter.

Other banks that received large payouts from AIG late last year include Merrill Lynch, now part of Bank of America Corp., and French bank Société Générale SA.

More than a dozen firms with smaller exposures to AIG also received payouts, including Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and HSBC Holdings PLC, according to the confidential document.

The names of all of AIG's derivative counterparties and the money they have received from taxpayers still isn't known, but The Wall Street Journal has identified some of them and is publishing others here for the first time.

Some banks that were paid by AIG after it was bailed out by the government

  • Goldman Sachs
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Société Générale
  • Calyon
  • Barclays
  • Rabobank
  • Danske
  • HSBC
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Banco Santander
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Wachovia
  • Bank of America
  • Lloyds Banking Group

Source: WSJ research

More HERE

AAPP: Stealing from the Rich, I don't think so.... not when Top U.S. , European Banks got $50 Billion in AIG Aid.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blogging On the Radio, Via "BlogTalk Radio"

Creative Disruption

Blogging doesn't have to be in text. Here is a social radio network where bloggers use voice to quickly connect with their audience.


Forbes is covering how blogging on the radio is becoming a hot item. This blogger is one of those people who blogs via blogtalkradio. My own blog talk radio program, African American Political Pundits' "Political Slug fest" is one of the highest rated blogtalk radio programs on the air. As reported by Forbes, Alan Levy is founder and CEO of BlogTalkRadio. He also is principal shareholder in the local telephone provider XChange Telecommunications and the VoIP company myphonecompany.com. Previously, Levy was president and chief operating officer of global telecommunications company Destia Communications, which was sold to Viatel in 1999. Here, Renee Callahan, editor of Strategy & Innovation, interviews Alan Levy about BlogTalkRadio.

“There's no real competition,” says Alan (above).

“There's no real competition,” says Alan (above).

Renee Callahan, Strategy & Innovation: What is BlogTalkRadio? How did it start? How does it work?

Alan Levy:. I launched BlogTalkRadio in September 2006. I created a blog in 2006 to document my dad's battle with lymphoma, and I was amazed at the size of the blogosphere at that time--75 million blogs indexed on all subjects. I noticed that the main point of it was the conversation, and I wanted to be able to move that written conversation to a voice conversation. BlogTalkRadio was the result.

BlogTalkRadio is a social radio network that allows users to connect quickly and directly with their audience. Using any type of phone and a computer, hosts can create free, live, call-in talk shows with unlimited participants that are automatically archived and made available as podcasts. No software download is required.

We enable individuals and corporations to use a phone to conduct a live broadcast. Users dial a phone number, enter the platform, and the conversation is streamed on air live via the BlogTalkRadio Web site. It's just like talk radio, except it's online. Read more of the Forbes article HERE. You can also read more about blogtalk radio HERE. Don't forget to visit my blogtalkradio program HERE


Thursday, March 5, 2009

President Obama's Housing Plan: What You Need to Know

Here is a great article on The Obama Housing Plan: What You Need to Know.

Source: Tara Siegel Bernard, N.Y. Times

You’ve probably heard about the Obama administration’s plan to help millions of homeowners refinance or modify their mortgages. This column is meant to answer some of your questions on whether you qualify.

The Treasury Department released the broad outlines of its plan last month, but on Wednesday provided more details about how the plan will work.

The plan’s first prong may help up to five million homeowners who have been unable to refinance their mortgage because the value of their home has plunged and they now owe more than 80 percent of their home’s value. To get a new mortgage, borrowers had to either bring extra cash to the table to get back to 80 percent, or purchase private mortgage insurance, which has become more difficult to qualify for and often quite expensive.

The second part of the plan may help up to three to four million borrowers modify their loans. These borrowers can no longer afford their monthly payments and are close to defaulting, while others are on the brink of foreclosure.

The administration’s “Making Home Affordable” program offers mortgage providers with financial incentives to help these two groups, but to qualify, you need to meet certain requirements.

LOAN MODIFICATIONS

Q. Who is eligible?

A. The plan is only going to help those who earn enough money to pay their modified loans. So the newly jobless may not get any relief. Nor will people who overextended themselves to such a degree that there’s no hope they’ll ever repay their loans.

To qualify, your monthly housing payment needs to exceed more than 31 percent of your gross monthly income (that means before any payroll deductions are made). Keep in mind that your “payment” includes more than just your mortgage’s principal and interest. It also includes real estate taxes, all related home and flood insurance, as well as home association and condominium fees. It does not include any second mortgages or other loans outstanding.

If your total debts, including your mortgage and any other revolving debt like credit cards, auto payments or student loans, are 55 percent or more of your gross income, you’ll need to work with a counselor who has been approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The modification will not take place until you sign an affidavit promising you’ll get counseling.

The program applies to loans taken out before Jan. 1, 2009, but modifications can be performed now through Dec. 31, 2012. You’ll only have one shot to modify your loan under the program. But people who have already modified their mortgages are still eligible, as long as they meet all of the other requirements.

Lastly, you must also live in the home; real estate investors are not eligible.

Q. Are there any restrictions?

A. Your loan amount must not exceed current Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan limits, which are $417,000 in most parts of the country, but up to $729,750 in higher-cost areas like New York and California. That means many people with mortgages above those limits — jumbo loans — will not receive help. Higher limits are allowed for owner-occupied properties with two to four units.

You also need to demonstrate financial hardship. That means you do not have enough liquid assets to pay your mortgage at its existing level. Your retirement assets are not included in that equation.

Q. Do I need to be behind on my payments?

A. No. If you can illustrate that your income is no longer enough to meet your mortgage payment — because your paycheck shrunk, your expenses rose or your mortgage is about to reset to a higher payment — you may qualify.

Q. Does my lender need to participate?

A. The program is expected to be widely adopted by the mortgage industry. Several of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan and Citigroup, have indicated that they would participate in the program. And if a bank receives additional bailout money, it is required to take part. But that doesn’t necessarily mean all participants are required to modify your loan.

What they must do, however, is examine all loans at risk of default or those at least 60 days overdue. The mortgage servicer is required to perform a calculation that will determine whether it will cost more to foreclose or to modify the loan (the servicer, lender or other owner of the loan will receive a financial incentive to modify). If the calculation shows that the modification will cost less, the lender must go ahead and modify the loan.

There may be cases where a modification is not possible. Loans that have been packaged into a security, for example, and sold to an investor that is not owned or backed by a government-sponsored entity like Fannie Mae may fall into this category. About 17 percent of mortgages fit in this category, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

If the calculation finds that foreclosure is the most economical option, the lender must try and avert foreclosure through other means. That may be through another modification program or pursuing what’s known as a short sale (when you sell the home for less than the mortgage amount and the lender forgives the difference) or a deed-in-lieu (when the borrower gives the home back to the lender without going through a foreclosure, and thus does less damage to their credit score).

Q. How will it work?

A. Your loan servicer needs to follow a series of steps to get your monthly payments to no more than 31 percent of gross monthly income. The servicer will attempt to hit this number by first reducing your interest rate to as low as 2 percent. It then has the option of extending the term of your loan by up to 40 years and deferring principal, in that order.

The interest rate reduction will remain in effect for five years. After that, your rate will gradually increase — by one percentage point each year — to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market survey rate at the time of your loan. That rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is currently 5.15 percent.

Q. What do I need to do to apply?

A. Call the company that services your mortgage.

More HERE

You can also contact Fannie Mae at 1-800-7FANNIE and Freddie Mac at 1-800-FREDDIE from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Or, go to http://www.fanniemae.com/homeaffordable and http://www.freddiemac.com/avoidforeclosure and fill out the online request forms.

More on the housing plan below:

The Klan and The Nebraska State Police

Hate Watch provides a link to the Seattle Times who report the Nebraska Supreme Court Upholds State Trooper’s Firing Over Klan Membership.

Get this, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that ex-State Trooper Robert Hendersen’s constitutional rights were not violated when he was fired in 2006 after law enforcement officials learned that he’d joined the Knights Party, a Ku Klux Klan organization, in 2004.

AAPP: I guess in this alleged post-racial America we understand the reasons why some police cowards and other civil war mongers are making every attempt to killing black folks, shooting people in the back and beating our children/teens.

Read full article


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh

Hat Tip to blog talk radio listeners, Oregon Sista and Sista on a Mission for the link to the post by Lynn Green who writes:Michael Steele, Stay in Your Place, BOY!

Note: AAPP Does not agree with the picture, however, it is a topic of conversation. What do you think of the picture?


Michael Steele, Stay in Your Place, BOY!

by Lynn Green

House boy, Michael Steele dared step out of his place and Rush Limbaugh—the guy who was caught purchasing tons of Oxycontin and who did not stop abusing it until caught, put the boy, Michael Steele back in his place, telling him what to think and what he BETTER say and not say.

Personally, I’m a registered Republican but I’m about to switch out of that racist group of hateful, ugly freaks who actually want the president to fail. They want their country to fail rather than having a black man run it.

This Michael Steele character is the biggest humiliation to the black race that I’ve seen in a loooooong time. He crawled on his belly to the Oxycontin lover, begging “massa” for mercy. More HERE

AAPP: Wow Lynn Green, and I thought I can be graphic!


Monday, March 2, 2009

US Senate apologizes for inaction on Lynching

by Hazel Trice Edney
NNPA Washington Correspondent

http://www9.pictures.zimbio.com/img/390c/dansu/4l.jpg

Source Jacksonville.com and NNPA
– The United States Senate formally apologized Monday for its refusal to approve any of the 200 anti-lynching legislation bills introduced during the first half of the 20th century, a failure that led to the deaths of at least several thousand African-Americans.

During that period, the House of Representatives passed three anti-lynching measures but the Senate, controlled by powerful, Southern segregationists, never approved an anti-lynching bill.

Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), co-sponsor of the bi-partisan resolution with Sen. Mary Landrieu, (D-La.), says the resolution addresses what had been “a stain on the institution of the Senate.”

He explains, “This is a Senate resolution because it was the Senate who held up this legislation, filibustering it in the years [between 1882 and 1968] when over 4,700 Americans, predominately African-Americans, lost their lives from whippings or burnings, but mostly hangings. And the crimes took place all over the country, 46 states. But the Senate failed to pass even one piece of legislation that could have, in my view, prevented these unjust killings.”

According to records at Tuskegee University in Alabama, which has extensively documented lynching for years, nearly three-fourths of the victims were Black and 99 percent of those accused of lynching were not punished. By all accounts, Tuskegee was able to document only the known lynching; the deaths of thousands of others are believed to have gone undocumented.

The resolution states in part: “The Senate apologizes to the victims of lynching for the failure of the Senate to enact anti-lynching legislation; expresses the deepest sympathies and most solemn regrets of the Senate to the descendants of victims of lynching, the ancestors of whom were deprived of life, human dignity, and the constitutional protections accorded all citizens of the United States; and remembers the history of lynching, to ensure that these tragedies will be neither forgotten nor repeated.”

The Senate’s long overdue apology was laced with political shenanigans. Eighty-five of the 100 senators signed on as co-sponsors of the anti-lynching resolution. Rather than having a roll-call vote, which would have revealed the position of each member of the body, it was agreed that the Senate resolution would be passed by unanimous consent, a voice vote that does not record individual votes.

Those opposing the measure were conveniently absent and therefore cannot be accused of voting for or against the resolution. Not among the co-sponsors were former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), former chair of the Judiciary Committee.

The apology was prompted by the publication of the book, “Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America,” by Hilton Als; Jon Lewis; Leon F. Litwack, and edited by James Allen. It is a graphic pictorial documentation of lynching across America.

Although the Senate failed to act until now, decades after lynchings were rampant, African-Americans, such as journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett, launched anti-lynching crusades, placing their own lives at risk. The NAACP was founded in 1909 largely in response to the lynching of Blacks, many of whom were innocent or were accused of frivolous offenses such as accidentally brushing up against a White person or saying something considered disrespectful.

Lynching usually took place during the day in a festive atmosphere. Many were held in the center of town to signal to African-Americans what could happen to them and were often assisted by law enforcement officials. More HERE

Black Girl Get's Beat, not a word from the NAACP

While CBS news, bloggers and other news outlets highlight how a teen aged black girl was kicked and punched by a sheriff's deputy on a jail surveillance, we have silence from the national office of the NAACP.

The girl in the video called the
experience "horrible" and told CBS' The Early Show the officer accused her of assault before he tackled her. Malika Calhoun, 15, said she kept telling the officer, "I'm not resisting," but that he went after her once she flung her shoe. Calhoun said she kicked off her shoe - which she said did not hit Schene - because she was upset at the way he was speaking to her. "It was horrible. My head hit the wall," Calhoun said, adding that th officer was "pulling my hair constantly."

Schene told investigators through an e-mail conversation with his lawyer that once he was assaulted by the girl kicking her shoe at him, he
entered the cell to "prevent another assault," according to court documents. Schene also said that the girl failed to comply with instructions in the holding area. Prosecutors said Schene did not explain why he struck the girl after he had her in a holding position on the floor.

"We believe this case is beyond just police misconduct, it's criminal misconduct," King County Prosecutor Daniel Satterberg said. "This is clearly excessive force."

Satterberg added the case is "uncommon" because cameras captured the entire incident.

AAPP: Can you guess how many times this "
uncommon" recording has happened in the past with black girls in that county? How many black girls have been assaulted or for that matter raped at the hands of these men who are suppose to uphold the law?

Get this folks, while all this is happening, not one word on the NAACP's website about this or many of the other horrific assaults on black women and men. while others are blogging and taking action, the NAACP national office seems to be sleeping or giving out image awards - go fiqure. this national organization does not even have a blog. And then they wonder why many black folks question if the national NAACP are
relevant.

This has been happening to many times to our black girls.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What's going on with our black woman?



Don't sit around and complain - Do something!



It's time to contact your government!

With Black America having so many challenges, African American Political Pundit encourage you to contact your elected officials to make sure that the African American communities receive our share of the government stimulus plan. Below you'll find links to e-mail and postal addresses, and phone numbers for key elected officials.

  • President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden – Send questions, comments, concerns, or well-wishes to the President or his staff.
  • U.S. Senators – Search for your senators by name, state, or congressional class; and visit their websites.
  • U.S. Representatives – Find contact information for your U.S. representative by typing in your zip code.
  • State Governors – Select your state to access e-mail, telephone, and postal contact information for your governor.
  • State Legislators – Search for state legislators and topical legislative information, by U.S. states and territories.
Don't sit around and complain. Do something! Don't let the conservative right do it for you.

Good News For Chuck Turner - Bad News For Boston


I just don't get it. Why is Chuck Turner, the city Councilor from Boston, who represents my old neighborhood in Boston still playing this game. What is the game? The game of blaming the government rather than taking responsibility for his actions.

turner2.jpg

The Boston Globe is reporting on how Chuck Turner is attempting to rally Roxbury residents after he was arrested on a federal bribery charge last year.


City Councilor Chuck Turner addressed supporters Tuesday.


But it looks like Chuck Turner and another Boston Black political crook and liar will get over.
Reports are — The man who identified himself as the "cooperating witness" in a bribery sting that led to charges against a former Massachusetts state senator and a Boston city councilor says he will no longer help federal authorities. Yes, The witness has stopped cooperating in sting case. It look like the FBI's Key Wilkerson, Turner Witness is Now 'A Liability'

Businessman Ronald Wilburn tells The Boston Globe he was used by the FBI to topple two black politicians, while four months after the first arrest, no white officials have been charged.

Wilburn says he agreed to help the FBI because he was frustrated with the insular politics of city and state government.


Chuck Turner and Dianne Wilkerson

Now he says he will not testify, damaging the government’s case against former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and City Councilor Chuck Turner.

wilkerson.jpg

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly would not comment on Wilburn’s decision. More HERE

I guess Chuck and Dianne will get a pass, like so many other political crooks and liars.



Biden, Obama, The Middle Class and The Poor

Biden takes the chair, again

Vice President, Joseph Biden

Carole E. Lee over at Politico.com is reporting on how Vice President Joe Biden is promising that the success or failure of the Obama administration will be based on whether “the middle class is getting its fair share." Read full story.

Biden's task force on tour

AAPP: As reported by Politico, at his forum in Philadelphia, Biden said he’ll be hosting Middle Class Task Force meetings and town halls across the country ...Meanwhile, President Obama sees 'tougher times' for African-Americans


mlk-thj_article

Whatever happened to helping the poor? What happen to working for economic and social justice ? I guess many people want to say they love Martin Luther King, but don't really know the words or character of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

What do you think?


Black Girl Beat By Police, King County



Assault on Black America

As reported by the Washington Times a surveillance video released in an assault case against a King County, Wash. sheriff's deputy shows him kicking a black young girl, slamming her to the jail cell floor and striking her repeatedly. Check out the reports, on the Wash. State Video Shows Teen Being Beaten By Deputy.

The Washington Times reports King County sheriff's deputy kicks a 15-year-old girl, slams her to the floor of a jail cell, strikes her and pulls her hair in violence captured on videotape.

Prosecutors released the surveillance video Friday in the assault case against Deputy Paul Schene, who is accused of using excessive force on the girl. Schene, 31, pleaded not guilty to fourth-degree assault in Superior Court on Thursday.

The incident last November began after the girl was brought in for an auto theft investigation, according to court documents. The footage shows the attack beginning after the girl enters the cell at suburban SeaTac City Hall and kicks off one of her shoes toward the deputy. More Here





What should happen to these cops. When is enough, enough? I'm starting to understand why some people who have moved from the states to other countries, are beginning to hate (strong word) the United States. How many times can this happen? Is it time for the U.S. justice Department to do more besides send in community outreach workers? Is time for the U.S. Justice Department to get more aggressive with bad cops who violate the civil rights of black folk?

UPDATE: Shout Out to
blogger Renee, over at Womanist Musing for her post Black Women Get Beat By The Police Too. She put together a great post looking at some of the violence that black women have faced in terms of police brutality. Check out her post HERE. Also check out the Girl in holding cell assault interviewed on CBS.

As reported by the Huffington post, This morning Julie Chen, of CBS' "The Early Show," interviewed Malika Calhoun about the shocking video showing her being beaten by Sheriff's Deputy Paul Schene in a jail cell in Seattle. Malika, who was initially arrested for auto theft, kicked her shoe at the deputy in a manner that does not appear to be very threatening before the deputy rushes in and kicks the teenage girl, slamming her to the floor and striking her and pulling her hair.

Deputy Schene has pleaded not guilty to assault charges. According to Chen, the deputies claim the girl was "real lippy" and called them "fat pigs." Malika says the deputies had attitude and were being rude to her, which is why she kicked off her shoe at the deputy, which does not appear to actually hit him. The deputy told her this was assaulting a police officer, and then charged in and began beating her.

Watch the interview from "The Early Show" and the full transcript beneath the video.





Don't forget to come back to the blog to comment.

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African American Pundit encourages you to contact your elected officials/representatives and share your thoughts on current events and government policy. All politics is local!

Below you'll find links to e-mail and postal addresses, and phone numbers for key elected officials.

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