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Old 06-13-2008, 12:18 PM   #81
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Wow, Fox isn't even trying anymore...

FAIR AND BALANCED!!!
What's wrong with bringing Huckabee on? You yourself have said that he's a charming, funny guy. He'd be an asset to any news network.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:19 PM   #82
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I've said before and will continue to say, if Fox News would honestly label themselves as a conservative network that favors conservative views then fine. But that they try to put themselves out there as "Fair and Balanced" is a mockery.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:23 PM   #83
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What's wrong with bringing Huckabee on? You yourself have said that he's a charming, funny guy. He'd be an asset to any news network.


is he there to provide "commentary" or is he actually reporting?
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:40 PM   #84
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is he there to provide "commentary" or is he actually reporting?
Well, according the article he'll simply be providing commentary. It's no different than MSNBC regularly using Rachel Maddow from Air America. I don't get it. What's the problem?
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:16 PM   #85
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Well, according the article he'll simply be providing commentary. It's no different than MSNBC regularly using Rachel Maddow from Air America. I don't get it. What's the problem?



she's not an elected official, nor is she panting to be on the ticket.

Fox can do whatever it wants. it also can drop any pretense to being "fair and balanced."
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:18 PM   #86
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How can we trust him about Iraq?

If he does not keep his word?

What change is this?

He is becoming more W like every day.


this, to me, sounds much more like W's trust fund kid fecklessness:

[q]McCains report more than $100,000 in credit card debt
By Kevin Bogardus and Manu Raju
Posted: 06/13/08 10:20 AM [ET]
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife reported more than $100,000 of credit card liabilities, according to financial disclosure documents released Friday.

The presidential candidate and his wife Cindy reported piling up debt on a charge card between $10,000 and $15,000. His wife’s solo charge card has between $100,000 and $250,000 in debt to American Express.

Another charge card with American Express, this one for a “dependent child,” is carrying debt in the range of $15,000 and $50,000.

Cindy McCain reported a wealth of assets, including properties in Arizona and one she sold in La Jolla, Calif. for more than $1 million in profit.

In addition to his Senate salary, McCain received an annual pension from the U.S. Navy that is worth more than $58,000.

Democratic candidate, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), reported no liabilities in his annual financial disclosures.[/q]



does this matter? should this matter?
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:58 AM   #87
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Good article about Michelle Obama. If anyone has never heard that roommate story-that's just part of what she has experienced.



Learning to be Michelle Obama
At Princeton, she came to terms with being a black achiever in a white world

By Sally Jacobs, Boston Globe Staff | June 15, 2008

As Catherine Donnelly climbed the stairs to her dorm room at Princeton University over a quarter-century ago, the Louisiana freshman felt ready for whatever lay ahead. But then she met Michelle.

Her full name was Michelle LaVaughn Robinson. She was so tall that her head seemed to brush the sloping ceiling of the cramped fourth-floor room. She was Donnelly's new roommate. And she was black.

Well, this was new.

Growing up in the South, Donnelly had gone to school with a handful of black classmates, but living together was quite another thing. Donnelly quickly warmed to Robinson, with her big sense of humor and riveting stories. But she was worried that her mother, who Donnelly said had grown up in a racist family, would not react well. She was right.

When Donnelly's mother, now 71, learned the race of her daughter's roommate , she was beside herself. She called alumni friends to object. And the next morning she marched into the student housing office.

"I said I need to get my daughter's room changed right away," recalled Alice Brown, a retired schoolteacher, who has since come to regret her reaction. "I called my own mother and she said, 'Take Catherine out of school immediately. Bring her home.' I was very upset about the whole thing."

For 17-year-old Robinson - who is now Michelle Obama and the first African-American woman to face the real prospect of becoming first lady - the incident was a stunning beginning to a formative chapter in her life. It was a time when her views on race and American culture began to coalesce - views that have helped make her a compelling figure but also somewhat of a lightning rod during the campaign. Just last week the Barack Obama campaign took on an apparently baseless rumor that she had once been taped talking of white Americans as "whitey."

Obama says she did not know about Alice Brown's actions until several weeks ago. But she wonders now if the incident might explain in part why she and Brown's daughter did not become better friends.

"We were never close," Obama said in an e-mail. "But sometimes that's the thing you sense, that there's something that's there, but it's often unspoken."

At the time Obama entered Princeton in 1981, the Ivy League campus was largely, if unofficially, segregated socially and Obama found her years there marked by questions about race and loyalty - much the same questions she and her husband often face today. Then, as now, Obama's focus was on overcoming differences rather than igniting them. The lesson she finds in the roommate incident is one of hope - Alice Brown is now considering casting her vote for Barack Obama.

"What it demonstrated was the growth that this parent had," Obama wrote. "What that told me is that, yes, the problems we face in this nation around race are real . . . but we also have to remember that people change and they grow."

Michelle Obama has often been cast as the more adamant half of the Obama household, when it comes to racial matters, and some have traced this thread to her Princeton years. But she was hardly a campus activist. Instead, she pursued quieter means of change characteristic of her practical nature, according to classmates with whom she remains close. In her efforts to understand the lot of black students, this determined young woman with the big hair and trademark strand of pearls attended meetings with school administrators about the African- American Studies department, helped bring black alumni to campus to address students, and worked afternoons in the school's Third World Center. It was, according to several professors and friends close to her, a critical passage in her life.

"Princeton was a real crossroads of identity for Michelle," said Harvard Law School professor Charles J. Ogletree, who was her law school adviser and now works with the Obama campaign. "The question was whether I retain my identity given by my African-American parents, or whether the education from an elite university has transformed me into something different than what they made me. By the time she got to Harvard she had answered the question. She could be both brilliant and black."

Search for racial identity
Obama's questions became, in part, the subject of her senior thesis, called "Princeton-Educated Blacks and The Black Community." Much has been made in the blogosphere of Obama's observation in that work: "My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'Blackness' than ever before . . . Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with Whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second."

But her 1985 thesis is not just about her own experience, but also examines larger issues of racial identity. The thesis had been embargoed until after the presidential election, but when the campaign came under criticism, it was released in February.

"Michelle's central question was what good does a Princeton education do for the black community," recalled Howard Taylor, sociology professor emeritus, and former chairman of the Center for African American Studies. "What will it do for me? Will it separate me from the black community?"

Princeton in the early 1980s was not an easy place to be black. For young Michelle Robinson, reared on the South Side of Chicago and the daughter of a municipal pump operator, it was "a new frontier," as Katie McCormick Lelyveld, Obama's director of communications, described it. Long regarded as the most conservative of the Ivy League schools, its social scene was dominated by elite "eating clubs" where blacks sometimes worked but were rarely members. Many blacks socialized largely among themselves, according to some students, including the school's director of communications, Lauren Robinson-Brown, a classmate of Obama's.

"We ate together. We partied together. We were each others' support system," she said.

When Obama entered Princeton, she was one of 94 black students in a class of 1,141. Her transition from her family's one-bedroom urban apartment to the exclusive suburban campus was made somewhat easier by the fact that her brother Craig Robinson had arrived there two years earlier. Robinson, now the head basketball coach at Oregon State University, was a star basketball player who had been recruited to the campus and his success opened many doors for his younger sister. But still, the veil of race hung heavy.

Despite her mother's opposition, Catherine Donnelly was drawn to her new roommate, one of two young women with whom she shared the low-ceilinged room in Pyne Hall. She recalled that Obama, whom many called "Miche," "had these beautiful long-fingered hands that she used to tell great stories with. I loved her hands."

But when another room became available the following semester, Donnelly moved out. She says it was not because of her mother's racial concerns, but because the new room was larger. Once she moved out, she said she and Obama rarely spoke, even when they passed each other on campus.

"Michelle early on began to hang out with other black students," said Donnelly, now a lawyer in Palmetto, Ga. "Princeton was just a very segregated place. I wish now that I had pushed harder to be friends, but by the same token she did not invite me to do things either."

Obama herself often felt stigmatized on campus. In her thesis, she wrote that at Princeton, "No matter how liberal and open minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong."

Obama and her friends talked about the racial situation on campus a lot. "But Michelle kind of stayed away from the fray," recalled Lisa F. Rawlings, a classmate who is now a program director at Prince George's Community College in Maryland.

Asked if Obama experienced incidents of racism, Lelyveld said in an e-mail that, "So many years down the line, she [Obama] can't say for certain whether there were any specific incidents." Lelyveld initially said that Obama did not remember her freshman roommate.

But several of Obama's African-American classmates say they found the campus was as racially fragmented as it was elitist, and some white students agree. Hilary Beard, a friend of Obama's who is African-American and was a class ahead, recalls, "A lot of white students there had never been around black students. . . . They would want to touch my hair." And Rawlings says, "I cannot tell you the number of times I was called 'Brown Sugar.' "

While many found such incidents disturbing, Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, says that few got up in arms about it.

"We all viewed it as what you needed to do, to do business there," said Robinson. "You had to put up with certain things."

By her second year, Obama had settled in with three roommates of color in a suite of sparely furnished rooms. She quickly gained a reputation for her vast collection of Stevie Wonder records. An early riser, she was also known for her stylish appearance.

"Michelle was always fashionably dressed, even on a budget," remembers Angela Acree, Obama's roommate for three years and now a Washington, D.C., lawyer. "You wouldn't catch her in sweats, even back then."

But mostly Obama was recognized for her commitment to her studies. Part of it was the rigor of the school. And part of it was the expectations that she - like many black students who were the first in their family to go to college - knew awaited her back home.

"Michelle and Craig spoke a lot about their parents," said Beard. "She was going to succeed for them as much as herself."

Obama, who majored in sociology with a minor in African-American studies, dedicated her thesis to, "Mom, Dad, Craig and all of my special friends. Thank you for loving me and always making me feel good about myself."

Although Obama had friends who were both black and white, her social world revolved around several of the black organizations on campus, as it did for many other black students. Obama was a member of the Organization of Black Unity, a primary resource for black students on campus which arranged speakers and programs. There was also a Black Thoughts Table, a popular discussion group about current affairs and race.

Obama also took part in two fashion shows that were sponsored largely by black student groups. In one devoted to the Ethiopian Relief Fund in 1985, and dubbed "Secret Fantasy," she modeled a sleeveless red velvet ball gown. In the other, which benefited a local after-school program, she was clad in a yellow Caribbean peasant skirt. Lelyveld said that Obama does not recall the events, but the organizers remember her vividly. Karen Jackson Ruffin, who designed the dresses Obama wore, recalled that she asked Obama to participate, "because she is so tall and carries herself so well. Michelle is very mellow and she said, 'Sure.' "

A cultural home
One of the issues debated among black students at the time was whether they could partake in white-dominated schools and careers and still remain connected to the black community.

"The question was were you a traitor to your race to go to a white-dominated school at all," said Steve Dawson, a Princeton alumnus and the former head of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni. "Michelle had crossed that threshold in going to Princeton. But she was concerned as she considered law school, is it still an OK thing to do?"

While Obama was a familiar figure in many black circles, it was the Third World Center, a hub for students of color and different nationalities, housed in a boxy red-brick building, that was the center of her cultural life at Princeton. Obama was a member of the Center's governance board, and was coordinator of an after-school program for local children.

"The Third World Center was our life," Acree said. "We hung out there, we partied there, we studied there."

And Obama sometimes played the piano there. Jonathan Brasuell, the son of the former director of the Third World Center, who spent time in the after-school program there, remembers her playing the title theme of "Peanuts" for him when he was about 7.

"I could not go though a week without hearing that," recalls Brasuell, now 31.

At the center, there was also a lot of talk about the racial situation on campus.

"Michelle was very much a part of the conversation about this," recalled Beard, now a writer living in Philadelphia. "But while she would get annoyed, she had a lot of equanimity."

In her thesis, Obama observed that Princeton, like other predominantly white universities, was "designed to cater to the needs of the White students." She pointed out that there were only five tenured black professors and that "Afro American Studies is one of the smallest and most understaffed departments in the University." Activities organized by university groups, she added, "such as Student Government, rarely, if ever, take into account the diverse interests which exist at a University that is not 100 percent White."

During the years that Obama was at Princeton, there were a number of racially charged issues percolating on campus. There were demonstrations against apartheid, and protests over the university's investments in South Africa. But Obama took part in little of it. When the Rev. Jesse Jackson visited campus in her senior year - Obama was a childhood friend of his daughter - she did not attend.

"She was not at all politically motivated," Lelyveld wrote.

Even some who were politically inclined did not attend events where they stood a chance of getting arrested.

"Remember, most of us black students had no social safety net," added classmate Beard. "You had an opportunity to change the arc of your life and you were not going to mess it up."

By her last year at Princeton, Obama was looking ahead. As part of her thesis work, she surveyed a group of black alumni to see if their attitudes had changed during their years at Princeton, and in particular if they had become "more or less motivated to benefit the Black Community."

What she found surprised her. As students, she wrote, the alumni were closely identified with the black community. But after graduating, she wrote, "their identification with Whites and the White community increased." The finding seemed to give her some pause.

Going to Princeton had left her striving for the same goals as her white classmates, such as acceptance at a graduate school or successful corporation. Indeed, Obama would go on to Harvard Law School, and would ultimately work as a corporate lawyer and for a major city hospital. But in her final months of college, she seemed to balk at such a path.

Further assimilation into the white social structure, she concluded," will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant," she wrote.

Since graduating, Obama has not returned to the Princeton campus. But after leaving the college behind, she found a way to resolve her dilemma while remaining true to herself.

"Michelle answered the question by going to Harvard," Ogletree said. "And she came with no ambiguity about her race or gender. She would navigate corporate America, but she would never forget her father's values and where she came from."
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:07 AM   #88
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Whatever � Fox News Would Like To Take a Moment To Remind You That the Obamas Are As Black As Satan’s Festering, Baby-Eating Soul



Published by John Scalzi at 11:22 am

Back in the day – you know, when presidential candidates were respectably white – news organizations called potential First Ladies “wives.” But now that black folks are running, we can get all funky fresh with the lingo, yo. So it’s basically fine for Fox News to use “Baby Mama” for Michelle Obama, slang that implies a married 44-year-old Princeton-educated lawyer is, to use an Urban Dictionary definition of the term, “some chick you knocked up on accident during a fling who you can’t stand but you have to tolerate cuz she got your baby now.” Because the Obamas are black! And the blacks, they’re all relaxed about that shit, yo. Word up. And anyway, as the caption clearly indicates, it’s not Fox News that’s calling Michelle Obama “Baby Mama,” it’s outraged liberals. Fox News is just telling you what those outraged liberals are saying. They didn’t want to use the term “Baby Mama.” But clearly they had no choice.

Meanwhile, over at her personal site, Michelle “Fox News’ Ethnic Shield” Malkin defends Fox News’ use of the “Baby Mama” phrase by essentially making two arguments. First, Michelle Obama once called Barack Obama her “baby’s daddy,” and as we all know, a married woman factually and correctly calling her husband her child’s father is exactly the same as a major news organization calling a potential First Lady some chick what got knocked up on a fling. Second, the term “baby-daddy” has gone out into the common culture; heck, even Tom Cruise was called Katie Holmes’ baby-daddy, you know, when he impregnated her and she subsequently gave birth while the two were not married, which is exactly like what happened between Michelle and Barack Obama, who were married in 1992 and whose first child was born six years later.

So by Malkin’s reasoning it’s perfectly fine for Fox News to call Michelle Obama the unmarried mother of Barack Obama’s children because an entirely different phrase has to her mind entered the common culture, and there was this one time that Michelle Obama once uttered something that sounded like that entirely different phrase, which is not the phrase that Fox News used. But wait! Malkin also points to someone in her comment thread saying that one time, Michelle Obama actually used the phrase “baby daddy”! No apostrophe! It’s in a comment thread, so it must be true. Therefore, Michelle Obama apocryphally using a piece of urban slang makes it perfectly okay for Fox News to use an entirely different piece of urban slang. And that’s why, you see, it won’t be a problem for Bill O’Reilly to refer to Barack Obama as “my nigga” on the next O’Reilly Factor.

It’s shit like this that makes this story on CNN, about whether Barack Obama should be considered black or biracial, an absolute hoot. Here’s a quick test on whether Obama should be considered fully black: Poof! Barack Obama has been magically transported to a KKK meeting in deepest, whitest Klanistan without his Secret Service detail. There’s a rope and a tree nearby. What happens to Obama? If you say, “why, Barack Obama walks out of there alive, of course” then sure, he’s biracial. Also, you’re a fucking idiot. To everybody who cares about Obama’s racial identity, either positively or negatively, the man is a black man, married to a black woman, who has black children. Black black black black black black black black.

It sure as hell matters to Fox News, which is why it’s dog whistling about Barack so loudly that it’s vibrating the windows. Calling Michelle Obama a “baby mama” isn’t just Fox News having a happy casual larf; it’s using urban slang to a) remind you the Obamas are black, b) belittle a woman of considerable personal accomplishment, and c) frame Barack Obama’s relationship to his wife and children in a way that insults him, minimizes his love for and commitment to his family, and reinforces stereotypes about black men. Someone at Fox News just ought to call Barack Obama “boy” at some point so we can have all the cards right out there on the table.

This will keep happening. Fox News will keep finding ways to remind its viewers that the Obamas are black (and possibly Muslim), Michelle Malkin will continue to make excuses for Fox News’ dog-whistling racism that expose the fact that she’s about as familiar with logical thinking as a rainbow trout is with knitting, and eventually some portion of the Fox News audience will get to the ballot box in November convinced that they’re not really racists, they just know that there’s something about that Obama boy they just don’t like. This is how it will go. Let’s not pretend it’s not part of equation, this election year.

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Old 06-15-2008, 10:31 AM   #89
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Another Faux News nightmare.
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:39 AM   #90
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McCain to cancel Texas fund-raiser over joke

June 15, 2008

WASHINGTON - Questions from the media prompted Republican John McCain to cancel a fund-raiser at the home of a Texas oilman who once joked that women should give in while being raped.

The Texan, Republican Clayton Williams, made the joke during his failed 1990 campaign for governor against Democrat Ann Richards. Williams compared rape to the weather, saying, "As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it." He also compared Richards to the cattle on his ranch, saying he would "head her and hoof her and drag her through the dirt."

Williams's comments made national news at the time and remain easy to find on the Internet. Even so, McCain's campaign said it had not known about the remarks.

"These were obviously incredibly offensive remarks that the campaign was unaware of at the time it was scheduled," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said. "It's positive that he did apologize at the time, but the comments are nonetheless offensive."

The campaign said it would not return money Williams had raised for McCain because the contributions came from other individuals supporting McCain and not from Williams. Williams told his hometown newspaper, the Midland Reporter-Telegram, that he had raised more than $300,000 for McCain.

Democrats said McCain should give back the money: "Senator McCain's claim of ignorance is no excuse for refusing to do the right thing now. Offensive, disgusting comments like these cannot be tolerated," said Karen Finney, the Democratic National Committee spokeswoman.

The flap comes as McCain's campaign reaches out to women and to backers of Democrat Hillary Clinton. McCain began a women-focused outreach effort in recent days, sending a well-known female supporter, Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard chief executive to campaign in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

"I respect and admire the campaign she ran," McCain said yesterday on a telephone town hall meeting. "Every place I go, I'm told that Senator Clinton inspired millions of young women in this country. And not necessarily young women; she inspired a whole generation of young people in this country."

ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:43 PM   #91
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You yourself have said that he's a charming, funny guy. He'd be an asset to any news network.
Actually, I was one of the few on here that didn't say this. I know a lot that disagreed with his politics but still found him charming, I was never one of those people.
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:44 PM   #92
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she's not an elected official, nor is she panting to be on the ticket.

Fox can do whatever it wants. it also can drop any pretense to being "fair and balanced."
Exactly!
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:03 AM   #93
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It was on CSpan, maybe their site has video. It's quite interesting to read the comments about this speech on HuffPo.

Huffington Post

Barack Obama and his family celebrated Father's Day by attending Sunday services at the Apostolic Church of God on Chicago's South Side, where Obama gave a speech highly critical of absent black fathers. He urged them to remember their filial responsibilities and be more engaged in raising their children. Obama reminded the congregation of his own experience growing up without a father, saying that if he could be anything in life, he would be a good father to his daughters.

Read Obama's speech below.


Good morning. It's good to be home on this Father's Day with my girls, and it's an honor to spend some time with all of you today in the house of our Lord.


At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus closes by saying, "Whoever hears these words of mine, and does them, shall be likened to a wise man who built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock." [Matthew 7: 24-25]

Here at Apostolic, you are blessed to worship in a house that has been founded on the rock of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. But it is also built on another rock, another foundation - and that rock is Bishop Arthur Brazier. In forty-eight years, he has built this congregation from just a few hundred to more than 20,000 strong - a congregation that, because of his leadership, has braved the fierce winds and heavy rains of violence and poverty; joblessness and hopelessness. Because of his work and his ministry, there are more graduates and fewer gang members in the neighborhoods surrounding this church. There are more homes and fewer homeless. There is more community and less chaos because Bishop Brazier continued the march for justice that he began by Dr. King's side all those years ago. He is the reason this house has stood tall for half a century. And on this Father's Day, it must make him proud to know that the man now charged with keeping its foundation strong is his son and your new pastor, Reverend Byron Brazier.

Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it.

But if we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing - missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.

You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled - doubled - since we were children. We know the statistics - that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands of another child? How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom? How many are sitting in prison when they should be working, or at least looking for a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction? How many?

Yes, we need more cops on the street. Yes, we need fewer guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them. Yes, we need more money for our schools, and more outstanding teachers in the classroom, and more afterschool programs for our children. Yes, we need more jobs and more job training and more opportunity in our communities.

But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child - it's the courage to raise one.

We need to help all the mothers out there who are raising these kids by themselves; the mothers who drop them off at school, go to work, pick up them up in the afternoon, work another shift, get dinner, make lunches, pay the bills, fix the house, and all the other things it takes both parents to do. So many of these women are doing a heroic job, but they need support. They need another parent. Their children need another parent. That's what keeps their foundation strong. It's what keeps the foundation of our country strong.

I know what it means to have an absent father, although my circumstances weren't as tough as they are for many young people today. Even though my father left us when I was two years old, and I only knew him from the letters he wrote and the stories that my family told, I was luckier than most. I grew up in Hawaii, and had two wonderful grandparents from Kansas who poured everything they had into helping my mother raise my sister and me - who worked with her to teach us about love and respect and the obligations we have to one another. I screwed up more often than I should've, but I got plenty of second chances. And even though we didn't have a lot of money, scholarships gave me the opportunity to go to some of the best schools in the country. A lot of kids don't get these chances today. There is no margin for error in their lives. So my own story is different in that way.

Still, I know the toll that being a single parent took on my mother - how she struggled at times to the pay bills; to give us the things that other kids had; to play all the roles that both parents are supposed to play. And I know the toll it took on me. So I resolved many years ago that it was my obligation to break the cycle - that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father to my girls; that if I could give them anything, I would give them that rock - that foundation - on which to build their lives. And that would be the greatest gift I could offer.

I say this knowing that I have been an imperfect father - knowing that I have made mistakes and will continue to make more; wishing that I could be home for my girls and my wife more than I am right now. I say this knowing all of these things because even as we are imperfect, even as we face difficult circumstances, there are still certain lessons we must strive to live and learn as fathers - whether we are black or white; rich or poor; from the South Side or the wealthiest suburb.

The first is setting an example of excellence for our children - because if we want to set high expectations for them, we've got to set high expectations for ourselves. It's great if you have a job; it's even better if you have a college degree. It's a wonderful thing if you are married and living in a home with your children, but don't just sit in the house and watch "SportsCenter" all weekend long. That's why so many children are growing up in front of the television. As fathers and parents, we've got to spend more time with them, and help them with their homework, and replace the video game or the remote control with a book once in awhile. That's how we build that foundation.

We know that education is everything to our children's future. We know that they will no longer just compete for good jobs with children from Indiana, but children from India and China and all over the world. We know the work and the studying and the level of education that requires.

You know, sometimes I'll go to an eighth-grade graduation and there's all that pomp and circumstance and gowns and flowers. And I think to myself, it's just eighth grade. To really compete, they need to graduate high school, and then they need to graduate college, and they probably need a graduate degree too. An eighth-grade education doesn't cut it today. Let's give them a handshake and tell them to get their butts back in the library!

It's up to us - as fathers and parents - to instill this ethic of excellence in our children. It's up to us to say to our daughters, don't ever let images on TV tell you what you are worth, because I expect you to dream without limit and reach for those goals. It's up to us to tell our sons, those songs on the radio may glorify violence, but in my house we live glory to achievement, self respect, and hard work. It's up to us to set these high expectations. And that means meeting those expectations ourselves. That means setting examples of excellence in our own lives.

The second thing we need to do as fathers is pass along the value of empathy to our children. Not sympathy, but empathy - the ability to stand in somebody else's shoes; to look at the world through their eyes. Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in "us," that we forget about our obligations to one another. There's a culture in our society that says remembering these obligations is somehow soft - that we can't show weakness, and so therefore we can't show kindness.

But our young boys and girls see that. They see when you are ignoring or mistreating your wife. They see when you are inconsiderate at home; or when you are distant; or when you are thinking only of yourself. And so it's no surprise when we see that behavior in our schools or on our streets. That's why we pass on the values of empathy and kindness to our children by living them. We need to show our kids that you're not strong by putting other people down - you're strong by lifting them up. That's our responsibility as fathers.

And by the way - it's a responsibility that also extends to Washington. Because if fathers are doing their part; if they're taking our responsibilities seriously to be there for their children, and set high expectations for them, and instill in them a sense of excellence and empathy, then our government should meet them halfway.

We should be making it easier for fathers who make responsible choices and harder for those who avoid them. We should get rid of the financial penalties we impose on married couples right now, and start making sure that every dime of child support goes directly to helping children instead of some bureaucrat. We should reward fathers who pay that child support with job training and job opportunities and a larger Earned Income Tax Credit that can help them pay the bills. We should expand programs where registered nurses visit expectant and new mothers and help them learn how to care for themselves before the baby is born and what to do after - programs that have helped increase father involvement, women's employment, and children's readiness for school. We should help these new families care for their children by expanding maternity and paternity leave, and we should guarantee every worker more paid sick leave so they can stay home to take care of their child without losing their income.

We should take all of these steps to build a strong foundation for our children. But we should also know that even if we do; even if we meet our obligations as fathers and parents; even if Washington does its part too, we will still face difficult challenges in our lives. There will still be days of struggle and heartache. The rains will still come and the winds will still blow.

And that is why the final lesson we must learn as fathers is also the greatest gift we can pass on to our children - and that is the gift of hope.

I'm not talking about an idle hope that's little more than blind optimism or willful ignorance of the problems we face. I'm talking about hope as that spirit inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better is waiting for us if we're willing to work for it and fight for it. If we are willing to believe.

I was answering questions at a town hall meeting in Wisconsin the other day and a young man raised his hand, and I figured he'd ask about college tuition or energy or maybe the war in Iraq. But instead he looked at me very seriously and he asked, "What does life mean to you?"

Now, I have to admit that I wasn't quite prepared for that one. I think I stammered for a little bit, but then I stopped and gave it some thought, and I said this:

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me - how do I make my way in the world, and how do I become successful and how do I get the things that I want.

But now, my life revolves around my two little girls. And what I think about is what kind of world I'm leaving them. Are they living in a county where there's a huge gap between a few who are wealthy and a whole bunch of people who are struggling every day? Are they living in a county that is still divided by race? A country where, because they're girls, they don't have as much opportunity as boys do? Are they living in a country where we are hated around the world because we don't cooperate effectively with other nations? Are they living a world that is in grave danger because of what we've done to its climate?

And what I've realized is that life doesn't count for much unless you're willing to do your small part to leave our children - all of our children - a better world. Even if it's difficult. Even if the work seems great. Even if we don't get very far in our lifetime.

That is our ultimate responsibility as fathers and parents. We try. We hope. We do what we can to build our house upon the sturdiest rock. And when the winds come, and the rains fall, and they beat upon that house, we keep faith that our Father will be there to guide us, and watch over us, and protect us, and lead His children through the darkest of storms into light of a better day. That is my prayer for all of us on this Father's Day, and that is my hope for this country in the years ahead. May God Bless you and your children. Thank you.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:42 AM   #94
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:13 AM   #95
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Barack Hussein Obama cares about .
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:22 AM   #96
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You mean he cares about whitey???
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:30 AM   #97
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My mom and I discussed this briefly (which is how it's always discussed between us) yesterday, and she said she's terrified that if Obama wins this will mean black people will all of a sudden believe they have more power than whites and therefore things will get "really ugly".

I love my mom to pieces, but, ugh...
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:05 AM   #98
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Sorry about that, April.



Can I just say all this talk about Virginia being in play and veep candidates is making me positively giddy?
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:23 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by LarryMullen's POPAngel View Post
My mom and I discussed this briefly (which is how it's always discussed between us) yesterday, and she said she's terrified that if Obama wins this will mean black people will all of a sudden believe they have more power than whites and therefore things will get "really ugly".

I love my mom to pieces, but, ugh...
Like the Whites did all the decades before?
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:50 AM   #100
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You mean he cares about whitey???




and note the contrast in that video, to this:

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