Tag Archives: Barack Obama

GOP ‘shellacking’

4 Nov
By HERB BOYD, Special to the AmNews

In an hour-long speech followed by a question and answer session in the White House’s East Wing, a day after the election, President Barack Obama said, “I take responsibility,” on a number of points. And no acceptance of blame was more crucial and telling than the tidal wave, or “shellacking,” as he put it, that gave Republicans control over the House of Representatives.

“Over the last two years, we’ve made progress, but clearly too many Americans haven’t felt that progress yet. They told us that yesterday,” he said, his voice trailing off. “As president, I take responsibility for that.”

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Gerrymandering reminds citizens of the dark side of politics

14 Oct
By STEPHON JOHNSON
Amsterdam News Staff

Ronald Regan once said, “In 1984, there were 367 elections contested by both parties. In the races, Republicans won half a million more votes than the Democrats. The Democratic Party won 31 more seats.”

“As a consequence of the gerrymandering in congressional districts, people aren’t being illogical when they stay at home. Because the result is a foregone conclusion,” said Barack Obama.

“This form of voter discrimination must end,” said George H.W. Bush. Continue reading

Black farmers to Congress: Pay us now!

30 Sep
By STEPHON JOHNSON
Amsterdam News Staff

Last week, John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, made the trek to the nation’s capital with over 100 Black farmers. Boyd called on Congress and President Barack Obama to act promptly and vote yes to paying the farmers’ discrimination settlement that they’re owed.

Joined by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Boyd spoke with the media and said that the powers that be are genuinely working towards a solution that ends with Black farmers getting their money. “I am told that bipartisan efforts continue in good faith. Compromise on offsets is needed to get this done this week,” he said last week. “The strong commitment we have from both parties to get this issue resolved this week is evidence that on critical issues, our leaders can still come together.”
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Black leaders call out Paladino

23 Sep
By STEPHON JOHNSON: Amsterdam News Staff

Calling New York State Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino a “threat to New York’s longstanding commitment to tolerance and equality,” New York State’s Black leaders released a collective statement last week after Primary Tuesday addressing a new enemy: Paladino. They called for him to apologize for past remarks that they deemed insensitive and asked him to tone down his rhetoric.

The joint statement was signed by Arva Rice, president and CEO of the New York Urban League; Phil Banks, president of 100 Black Men’s New York Chapter; Hazel Dukes, New York State Conference director of the NAACP; former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall; former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson; Assemblymen Hakeem Jeffries, Carl Heastie and Karim Camara; Assemblywoman Helen Foster; Councilman Jumaane Williams; Councilwoman Leticia James; New York State Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson; and Eric Stevenson, leader of the 79th District in the Bronx. Continue reading

Rangel assailed, but unfazed

26 Aug

Rep. Charles Rangel and former Mayor David Dinkins after the debate in the sanctuary of Convent Baptist Church with its senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jesse Williams, and members of the Gang of Six, which sponsored the political debate. (Herb Boyd photo)

By HERB BOYD: Special to the AmNews

There were rumors that Congressman Charles Rangel was not going to participate in the debate with candidates seeking to unseat him, but like so much hearsay surrounding the embattled representative, this was false. Not only did he appear at Convent Baptist Church Monday evening, he sat to the very end, often enduring withering attacks from his opponents.

“We need a new perspective,” said Joyce Johnson, 62, who organized for Obama’s campaign, “there is a sense of urgency” in Harlem she asserted. “They say a woman’s place is in the house—the House of Representatives.”

When moderator Les Payne asked her if Rangel should be sent back to Congress, she said: “I’m sending Joyce Johnson.” Continue reading

Mosque mess continues

19 Aug

By HERB BOYD: Special to the AmNews

Before a group of invited guests at the home of a Columbus, Ohio, resident on Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama made sure his comments were focused and the questions didn’t disconcert him.

There was no mention of the mosque controversy as Obama keyed his remarks on the economy and the job situation. “Small businesses create two out of three jobs in the U.S.,” he said, promising to do even more to remove the plight faced by small employers.

Though it was not discussed, the mosque mess was the big elephant on the lawn as he talked to local Ohioans. It’s a topic that continues to percolate in the media and is reaching critical mass among Republicans and Tea Party advocates.

During an iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan, a holy period for Muslims, Obama waded into the issue of a mosque being built two blocks from Ground Zero. Continue reading

Islamic Center Remains At Center Stage

16 Aug

By Gregg Walker: Manhattan Viewpoint Blogger

We discussed the planned Islamic Center for Lower Manhattan previously, and we return to it as President Obama and the Republican Party have unwittingly collaborated to legitimize the Islamic Center controversy as a national discussion topic. Also, we noticed (but were not surprised) that the New York Post is confused about Black entrepreneurs – perhaps the New York Post would say that all Black entrepreneurs look alike.

Obama Weighs In

President Obama decided to discuss his views with regard to the Islamic Center planned for Lower Manhattan, and his remarks left us more confused than enthused.

On Friday of last week, President Obama said that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. Mayor Bloomberg and other New York leaders cheered the support from the President for religious tolerance and interpreted his remarks as a bold declaration of support for the Islamic Center planned for Lower Manhattan. Continue reading

Obama’s Numbers Sliding

8 Aug

By DALE DYKES: Special to the AmNews

American independent voters have lost a lot of faith in the administration of President Barack Obama, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. Obama’s numbers among independent voters are at its lowest point since he was elected into office.

After defeating John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, Obama has been the seen by some as a scapegoat for the many different problems that have plagued the nation during the beginning of his presidency. These problems include the failing economy, various foreign policy decisions, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, illegal immigration and his nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Many politicians and pundits have challenged the way the president has handled these problems. According to Quinnipiac University’s latest poll, 56-39 percent of independent voters disapprove of his handling of the economy, and 51-41 percent of individual voters disapproved of his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading

Surveying New York’s Political Landscape: Key Senate Races

30 Jul

By CYRIL JOSH BARKER and STEPHON JOHNSON: Amsterdam News Staff

While most political pundits have been focusing on the federal elections and whether or not the Democrats can retain both the House and the Senate, New York State politics are also heating up.

Statewide, there are battles for the governor’s mansion, attorney general and state comptroller. And the Democrats would like to increase their slim, two-seat majority in the State Senate, and the Republicans want to take back the body they controlled for more than 40 years.

The stakes are high.

Election Day 2010 may shape the next decade-plus of city and state politics for better or worse. The AmNews highlighted some of the more important races and what they mean to our communities in New York City and throughout the state.


KEY SENATE RACES

Because of the fear of less diversity in Albany, it’s important that the Democrats maintain power in the State Senate. All 62 State Senate seats are up for grabs, with the Republicans hoping to regain the majority. If a Republican is elected governor, the party needs to gain only one seat in the Senate. If a Democrat is elected governor, the Republicans would need two seats for a majority—assuming that the lieutenant governor would break the tie during votes.

Some key races in the Senate include Kemp Hannon, a Republican, battling Democrat Dave Mejias for the District 6 seat, which spreads from Garden City to Farmingdale. Hannon has held this seat since 1989 but dodged a bullet in 2008 when he edged out newcomer Kristen M. McElroy by 4 percentage points (52 percent to 48 percent on Election Day 2008).

Charlie Ramos, a former liaison to former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, is challenging Ruben Diaz Sr. for the 32nd District State Senate seat in the Bronx. Diaz has been a difficult partner for his Democratic colleagues. At times, he has sided with sometimes renegade State Sen. Pedro Espada, and he has come out publicly against gay marriage, catching the ire of gay rights’ groups. Ramos was recently endorsed by the Empire State Pride Agenda, a local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) organization.

Juan Gustavo Rivera, a political aide who worked for senatorial and presidential campaigns for Kirsten Gillibrand and Barack Obama respectively, will challenge the controversial Espada for his Senate seat in the 33rd District. The state Democratic Party started to move on potentially ousting Espada from the ranks earlier this month. Espada is under investigation for allegedly using public money for personal-political business when he channeled finances to the Soundview Healthcare Network, a non-profit organization in Espada’s district that he owns. Espada believes that the Democratic Party’s actions are being steered by Cuomo as he asserts his power early.

Malcolm Smith mentioned a State Senate race in Long Island between Democrat Brian
Foley and Republican Lee Zeldin. It’s one of the seats the Republicans need to regain if
they are going to have any realistic hope of regaining a majority in the State Senate.