The Public Screw-Ups of the Secret Service

The Secret Service protects the First Family.  At least that's the theory.

The Secret Service protects the First Family. At least that’s the theory.

The Secret Service, like most law enforcement agencies, has a motto. Theirs is “Worthy of Trust and Confidence” but a series of incidents, both troubling and potentially tragic has blown truck-sized holes into the nation’s trust and confidence the agency is up to the job of protecting the President.

The White House is starting to look as secure as a damn McDonald’s lobby.

ITEM: An armed man who jumped the White House fence this month made it far deeper into the mansion than previously disclosed, overpowering a Secret Service agent inside the North Portico entrance and running through the ceremonial East Room before he was tackled, according to a member of Congress familiar with the details of the incident.

The man, Omar J. Gonzalez, who had a knife, was stopped as he tried to enter the Green Room, a parlor used for receptions and teas, said the congressman, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, the Republican chairman of a subcommittee looking into the security breach. Earlier, Secret Service officials indicated that Mr. Gonzalez, 42, had only made it steps inside the North Portico after running through the door.

According to a law enforcement official briefed on the current investigation, uniformed Secret Service officers at the White House failed to follow several of the agency’s protocols. Although the protocols call for an officer to be standing outside the North Portico door, there was no officer there as Mr. Gonzalez made his way up the steps. The officer who was stationed inside the door failed to lock it after an alarm was sounded that someone had jumped over the fence, the official said.

“At all times there is supposed to be someone at the outside and the inside of the door,” the official said. “The intruder was running so fast that he gets right past the woman who didn’t lock the door. She tries to catch him, and eventually she and another officer tackle the man to the ground, but by that time he was pretty far in.”

The US Secret Service provides security for Po...

“After we get through who’s picking up the booze and whores?” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ITEM: A security contractor with a gun and three prior convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, violating Secret Service protocols, according to three people familiar with the incident.

Obama was not told about the lapse in his security, these people said. The Secret Service director, Julia Pierson, asked a top agency manager to look into the matter but did not refer it to an investigative unit that was created to review violations of protocol and standards, according to two people familiar with the handling of the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The incident, which took place when Obama visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis, rattled Secret Service agents assigned to the president’s protective detail.

The private contractor first aroused the agents’ concerns when he acted oddly and did not comply with their orders to stop using a cellphone camera to record the president in the elevator, according to the people familiar with the incident.

When the elevator opened, Obama left with most of his Secret Service detail. Some agents stayed behind to question the man and then used a national database check that turned up his criminal history.

ITEM: New details emerged recently in the Washington Post that the secret service mishandled the investigation after a man shot at the White House while Obama’s youngest daughter, Sasha, was home. According to the Post, at least seven bullets hit the building: one pierced a window on the second floor, another hit a nearby window frame and several more pinged the roof.

The president and first lady were not in the mansion at the time, but Sasha, and Michelle’s mother, Marian Robinson, were. Malia was reportedly expected to return at any moment.

An agent stationed upstairs apparently responded to the shooting, but was ordered to stand down by a supervisor who said no shots were fired. Secret service agents only realized the mansion had been hit four days later, when a housekeeper found broken glass on the floor.

The gunman, troubled 21-year-old Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, was eventually arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

According to The Washington Post, “The response infuriated the president and the first lady, according to people with direct knowledge of their reaction. Michelle Obama has spoken publicly about fearing for her family’s safety since her husband became the nation’s first black president.”

“Her concerns are well founded — President Obama has faced three times as many threats as his predecessors, according to people briefed on the Secret Service’s threat assessment.”

It was one thing when upscale party crashers wormed their way into a 2009 state dinner at the White House and something else entirely when a phony sign language interpreter who was treated for schizophrenia slipped by the scrutiny of the Secret Service scrutiny to stand three feet away from President Obama during his remarks at Nelson Mandela’s eulogy. The recent cases of Secret Service agents removed from the president’s detail for drinking and cavorting with prostitutes is another black eye for the beleaguered agency.

It’s taken as an article of faith The Secret Service is always on point when it comes to protecting the president, his family and the White House. The image of the agents in the sunglasses, dark suits and earpieces is a constant when the president steps out in public and works the rope line.

Yet, it’s easy to wonder what would have happened if the recent unwelcome guests to breach the gates of the White House had sported the latest in suicide vest designer wear. Things could have turned out to been a double feature of White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen.

"Hey, Joe?  How ready are you to step in for the Black dude?"

“Hey, Joe? How ready are you to step in for the Black dude?”

Regardless of who the president is it is an issue of national importance when their safety is imperiled and particularly when it is carelessness, sloppiness, inefficiency or incompetence that puts him in harm’s way. I don’t care if it is Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush41, Clinton, Bush43, Obama or whomever is next to sit in the Oval Office. I may despise the next man or woman to become president, but I don’t want to see one killed either and certainly not because the Secret Service fell down on the job.

Nobody ever accused Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz who chairs a House sub-committee which questioned Pierson, of being a fan of Obama, but even he said, “I have deep concerns that the president is not as safe as we want and need him to be.”

I’m sure Michelle Obama would agree.

Director Pierson resigned Wednesday and that’s too bad. Obama should have fired her ass for trying to get his killed.

The Little White Lies About the Tea Party’s Racism

Confedrate_Flag_Tea_Party

“You might be a racist if you’re waving a traitor’s flag to protest the Black man in the White House.”

The Tea Party is not racist. The TEA Party is not racist. The Tea PARTY is not racist. THE Tea Party is not racist.

No matter how many times or how many ways you say it, you can’t deny it: The Tea Party IS racist. As hell.   Let us not dither or waffle or obfuscate.  When something is obvious, you must call it what it is, not what it protests it is not.

An arsonist is not someone who loves fires.   An arsonist gets his rocks off by burning shit up.

A pedophile is not someone who loves children.  A pedophile screws kids and screws up their lives.

The Tea Party is not made up of firebugs and scum that bugger children.  A Tea Partier is not someone who simply has a philosophical and political difference with President Obama.   A Tea Partier is a White person who didn’t give a shit about politics under there was a Black man in the White House.

Morgan Freeman is not my default go-to guy on politics, but he’s been around long enough to know the nativist, regressive, reactionary language of the Tea Party is merely old-fashioned racism remixed for the 21st Century and he let the bullets fly in an Daily Beast interview.

The lengths that people will go to show their prejudices!  You see some of these signs that say, “TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!” What the fuck is that? Whose country are you talking about? They are being pushed to the side, which is a good thing for them to realize: you don’t have the power you think you have in this country. Obama was legitimately elected president. If you don’t like that, fine, either move out, or make your point and get yourself elected, but don’t tear the country apart! That’s not going to get you anywhere. I think the Republicans have pretty much destroyed themselves by allowing themselves to be controlled by a small contingent of people with a lot of money.

My position on The Tea Party has evolved as their politics have regressed.   They have zero tolerance for anything and anyone that does not conform to what “America” is and so too has my position that these nitwits, half-wits and dim wits should be met with tolerance and understanding.  Tried that and it doesn’t work.   You can’t reason with idiots whom are impervious to understanding and view even attempting to as a sign of weakness.  That’s when they pounce and go for your throat.

My stance for the Tea Party is the same as Michael Corleone for the Five Families;  I don’t have to wipe all of them out.  Just the ones whom are my enemy.

Guys like Larry Klayman.

Before the shutdown ended,  there was a rally of right-wingers in Washington to show their support for the GOP’s extremism and one speaker, Larry Klayman, an attorney, a founder of the advocacy group Freedom Watch, and a contributor to World Net Daily upped the ante for suggesting the U.S. military should overthrow President Obama to calling for a second American revolution to force Obama from power.

In a day of provocations and incendiary language at Tea Party-type protests Saturday in Washington D.C., WorldNetDaily.com author and Birther attorney Larry Klayman stands out.

“I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town,” said Klayman, a founder of the conservative Freedom Watch political advocacy group. Before a crowd at the “Million Vets March on the Memorials” Klayman demanded that President Barack Obama “… get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”

The rallies had been pitched as a protest by veterans opposed to the shuttering of monuments, but have turned into Gadsen and Confederate-flag festooned rallies reminiscent of Tea Party rallies, complete with calls by some speakers for “people to stop obeying this government.”

“In 237 years, our country has declined more than Rome took 2000 years to do,” he said. “We are ruled, quote-unquote, by a president that bows down to Allah.”

Birds of a feather:  Republican Sen. Mike Lee, Sarah Palin and Larry Klayman

Birds of a feather: Republican Sen. Mike Lee, Sarah Palin and Larry Klayman

The Constitutional right of freedom of speech does not absolve citizens of responsibility for our speech.   If Klayman’s incendiary words don’t  rise to the standard of sedition, it skirts the edge of it.   This isn’t the first time Klayman has advocated the overthrow of President Obama.  In August he wrote a column pleading for the military to depose their Commander-in-Chief.

Standing by while Klayman called for a revolution were former Governor and noted quitter, Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz and neither of them distanced themselves from Klayman’s remarks.   Probably because they agree with them.

This isn’t your normal Republican vs. Democrat slap-fight.  This is more than a simple difference in politics.  This is hate, pure and simple and no amount of apologizing for the Tea Party excuses it.

When Rep.  Alan Grayson (D-Fl) said in an interview the Tea Party “was no more popular than the Klan” the conservative press was annoyed and demanded other Democrats denounce his remarks.

Which few did, because while the Tea Party is more popular than the Klan their hatred of the President is exactly the same and there’s no denying that.

The Tea Party isn’t racist? Suuuuuurrrre, they aren’t.

Miriam Carey Is Dead, But Who Is Responsible?

Was Carey responsible for what happened to her?

Was Carey responsible for what happened to her?

The strange case of Miriam Casey, the Stamford, CT dental technician who placed her 18-month child in the back of her black Infiniti coupe and drove 256 miles to Washington D.C. where she tried to run a checkpoint at the White House has baffled the nation.   When confronted, Carey put the car in reverse, stomped the accelerator and fled the scene after knocking an uniformed Secret Service officer over the hood.

Video captured Carey zooming around the mall from the White House to the U.S. Capitol where she was killed by an undisclosed number of gunshots fired by the police.  The 34-year old was unarmed and carried no weapons in her vehicle.

As the details of who Miriam Carey was slowly spooled out any thoughts she might have been a terrorist were immediately dismissed once it became clear she was extremely troubled.

Carey had received a diagnosis of postpartum depression with psychosis, her sister Amy Carey-Jones said in a Friday interview on “Anderson Cooper 360°,” and had been treated with counseling and medication, but was reducing her use of medication under a doctor’s supervision. Carey-Jones said her sister “didn’t appear to be unstable.”

“We will never know what Miriam was thinking in those last hours before she died,” her sister told Cooper. “We can only speculate, and our real concern is why and were things done properly. Was there some other way that she could have been helped so that it didn’t end tragically?”

Valarie Carey and Amy Carey-Jones want to know why their sister is dead.

Valarie Carey and Amy Carey-Jones want to know why their sister is dead.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said the investigation has uncovered “a picture of a mentally disturbed woman.” Carey had been treated for schizophrenia, he said, but two of her sisters disputed his characterization.

McCaul said her condition may have been exacerbated by a recent head injury and that her boyfriend had called police to say she believed her apartment was bugged and Obama was behind it. Carey’s sisters, however, said in their CNN interview that they had never heard her say anything of that nature. Valarie Carey called the boyfriend’s account “very questionable.”

Carey was likely not responsible for her actions and she needed help not a bullet.  But whose fault is it she didn’t get that help?   It is saddening a woman is dead and her child is motherless.    But  Carey tried to ram her car through a checkpoint of one of the most secure buildings on the planet.   Failing that, she backed up,  sends a Secret Service agent flying over the hood of her car and fled around the Capitol in a high-speed chase that ended with her death.

At what point are the authorities allowed to assume, “This person is dangerous. Obviously does not plan to be taken into custody and has no regard for anyone’s life including her own.” ” Yes, strip spikes might have been helpful. Shooting out her tires might have been helpful too, but what if she had 500 pounds of Semtex in her trunk that could go off it the car flipped?

I’m not a cop, but I know a few and they tell me, cops aren’t trained to wound or disable a suspect. A wounded or disabled suspect can still kill. Dead ones can’t.

Nobody knew Carey was mentally ill, but nobody knew how dangerous she might be either. With the shooting spree at the Navy Yards having occurred just a few weeks ago, if the cops and Secret Service were edgy, maybe they had good reason to be.   Do I think cops are at times too willing to pull their piece and blow someone away? Hell yeah, I do as the recent case of Jonathan Ferrell shows. Some cops are too eager to use lethal force when they should not.

Before I can second-guess the split-second decisions made by the cops in Washington D.C. because of what we know about Miriam Carey now, we should pause a moment and consider what they feared could happen if they didn’t stop her then.

“She didn’t contribute anything [to the incident],” said Eric Sanders, attorney for the Carey family on The Today Show. “She had absolutely every right to be in the nation’s capital.”

Yes, she did, but why was she there and why did she try to get past a White House barricade?

If the argument goes, “Carey wasn’t responsible for her actions” how was she responsible enough to hold a job, own a condo, drive a car, bear children and live independently?     I don’t think Carey can be held “responsible” for what happened, but until it’s determined what she was in Washington for, even if you want to characterize law enforcement’s actions as excessive, a strong argument can be made they were also unavoidable.

Here are some other questions that need answering.

1.  Carey’s family and friends say she wasn’t political, but her ex-boyfriend says Carey believed she was being stalked by President Obama.   What prompted her to drive nearly 300 miles from her home?

2.   The FBI searched Carey’s home and found discharge papers that listed risperidone, a medication to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and paperwork listing escitalopram, an antidepressant commonly prescribed under the brand name Lexapro, but none of the medications were found in the home contrary to earlier reports.  Why the discrepancy?

2.  Carey’s mother said her daughter suffered from postpartum depression, but her sisters say was getting better, was being taken off her medicines and did not hear voices or seem delusional.  Was Carey really getting better as her sisters claim she was or was her sickness more severe than they believed?

4.  The New York Times reported Carey’s car crashed into a barrier and when she got out of the vehicle she was shot and that was when authorities realized 1-year-old Erica was in the backseat, unhurt.   How many times was Carey shot?  Was she given the chance to surrender or the Capitol police just pull out their guns and start blasting away.

Eventually fault will be lie with someone here, but even if it’s not all on Miriam Carey, some of it is.

miriam carey_car

The wreckage and the body are gone, but the questions linger.

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Donald Trump Is Talking. Don’t Listen.

“I’m rich, White and I have terrible hair, so listen to everything I say.”

The President is on vacation.  Congress is on vacation (not that they’re doing much when they aren’t on vacation).   No real news is being generated, but if you work in the media that covers Washington politics, you’re not on vacation.  You still have to generate stories even when there are no stories.

So what do you do?   Make up stories and call that “news.”

August in Washington is always a slow dead month and the “lame-stream media” is always struggling to find something to put on to get the one or two folks not gearing up for football to watch or read their crap.   In the absence of real news they have to come up with some fake news.   Speculating about who might run for president is an easy way to fill space and kill time.  If you’re wrong in 2013, who’s going to remember three years from now?

Iowa and New Hampshire are two of the dullest states in America, but because that’s where the road to the White House begins if a politician flies over them, there’s a reporter waiting to write a story about “So-and-so is testing the waters.”  Yawn.  It’s boring, trivial, and trite, but it’s easy work to speculate over what Rand Paul or Ted Cruz might be up to though nobody not named Rand Paul or Ted Cruz thinks they have a snowball’s chance of becoming President.

Donald Trump went to Iowa to speak to a bunch of Republicans.   The rampaging egotist with the world’s worst comb over had stunning news to share with them.

It’s August. It’s too hot for this sort of stupidity.

Looking forward to 2016, Trump said he knows Hillary Clinton “very well,” and asserted that she’s “probably” going to be the Democratic candidate.

“It’s going to be in my opinion a tougher race than the last race,” he said. “Really tough. And somebody’s going to have to emerge who’s really strong. … The Republicans have to do what’s right. If they don’t pick the right person – it’s got to be the perfect person – they are going to get drubbed in the 2016 election.

Who doesn’t know Hillary Clinton is enormously popular, highly likely to run for president again and would be much tougher to beat?   After getting their ass handed to them twice by Barack Obama, is there a Republican living who thinks beating Hillary will a stroll in the park.

You’ll never guess who Trump believes who the “perfect person” is to beat Hillary in 2016?  Oh, go ahead!  You’ll never figure it out.

Trump has been wrong so many times about everything why do Republicans continue to treat him like a wise man?   I get they want him to write big checks for them, but I thought the idea was to stop being “the stupid party?”

Want to be taken seriously by the press?   First, be a White male if you can help it.   Then you need to be rich.   Money and the right color are prerequisites to be considered you know what you’re talking about.

Nobody said you had to be smart.

That’s all it takes.   Next thing you know you will be flown around the country and people will pay all your expenses for you to come and tell them things they already know.   Reporters will stick microphones in your face, furiously scribble down your ever word, and take you very seriously even when they should know better.

Thank you, Captain Obvious!  Next week Trump is going to announce the world is definitely round and eating too much chili will give you the runs.  Watch for Wolf Blitzer and CNN to break into their regular programming to bring you around-the-clock, in-depth, saturation coverage.

You can tell we’re in the silly season of the year.  Donald Trump is talking.  That doesn’t mean we have to listen.

“Donald…delete…Bill…delete…Barack…let it go to voice mail…”

Tavis Hates Barack: Take 25

"I am important so you should listen to me."

“I am important so you should listen to me.”

Last weekend was spent in Canton, Ohio visiting the Pro Football Hall of Fame and getting primed for the start of another NFL season, but don’t worry.   This isn’t a football post.  I can’t get away from politics even when I’m trying to.

Tavis Smiley is talking again which means again he’s talking trash about President Obama.   These two guys don’t like each other and for his part, Tavis is never going to let the world forget how much he doesn’t like Obama.   The president doesn’t respond to Tavis’ slams because he’s the president and he doesn’t have to respond to non-entities.

So I will.  Because I don’t like Tavis.  If possible, I like him less than he likes Obama and for the same reason he hates on Obama.  Smiley is a con man.  A self-promoter.  He talks a good game but what if anything has Tavis ever done except write a lot of shitty books, find others more talented and intelligent than him to latch onto and leech off and whore himself out to whatever corporation needs a fast-talking Negro to get in good with the Black folks?

Tavis went on Meet the Press because host David Gregory is almost as terrible at interviewing as Tavis is and that’s saying something.    In what was billed a panel to discuss race, Tavis tried to start a rap battle with the president over his remarks about Trayvon Martin saying his flow was weak and his words weren’t kicking either.

The lowlights:

“weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid”

We are never ever getting back together again.

“This is not Libya, this is America. On this issue, you cannot lead from behind.  He’s the right person in the right place at the right time. But he has to step into his moment.”

“I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up. But … he did not walk to the podium for an impromptu address to the nation. He was pushed to that podium. A week of protests outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House, pushed him to that podium.”

At this point there’s no reason to believe Tavis is capable of saying anything remotely fair about Obama, but is “intelligent” off the table as well?

The president isn’t deaf to the cries of the Black community.  He can’t always acknowledge them without his relentless critics saying, “There he goes again.  Being Black” or have jealous little toads like the worthless Mr. Smiley sneering he only spoke about Trayvon due to the protests.   But did Tavis notice how Travyon’s parents thanked the president for his kind words about their murdered son?   The praise of Trayvon’s parents trumps Tavis’ hateration and it isn’t a close call.

It’s a lose-lose situation for Obama.  Say something and he gets slammed by his enemies.   Say nothing and he gets slammed by his supporters.    James Baldwin said, “To act is to be committed and to be committed is to be in danger.”   The president is always in danger of being Too Black or Not Black Enough.  He chose to act and commit his support of Trayvon and his family.  I’m glad he decided to lead from ahead instead of hide behind the myriad issues and events in the Oval Office Inbox.

Here is the funny thing about clout.   For somebody to have it, somebody else has to lose it.  The rising of Obama’s star came with a settling of Smiley’s.  Prior to Obama, Tavis had a prominent place as commentator on Tom Joyner’s radio program.   He had his State of the Black Union conferences broadcast on C-SPAN.   He had his books telling Blacks how to get themselves together.  Mostly, by buying more of his books.   He had a radio program on NPR.   He had a show on PBS.

With the exception of his 30 minute talk show broadcast just before midnight on my local PBS station, Smiley doesn’t have any of that going for him anymore.   Smiley’s downward spiral really kicked after his book that was supposed to put Obama on notice, “Accountable” tanked hard.  Characteristically, Smiley didn’t blame the book stiffing on writing a bad book.  He blamed Black folks for being so in love with Obama they didn’t buy it so y’all better feel terrible about that!

What really chaps Tavis’ ass is he knows he didn’t make Obama and he sure can’t break him. Tavis is irrelevant and Obama made him that way.

The argument Tavis makes is he has been called to hold Obama’s feet to the fire.   It’s the only way to ensure the president doesn’t completely ignore our issues.   That’s how Tavis sees it and he’s sticking to his story.

This is mine.

Tavis isn’t keeping “MY” issues out there. I don’t need a spokesman and nobody elected this fool to be MY leader. I voted for Obama twice and didn’t see Smiley’s name on the ballot even once.  He’s a self-promoter, a swindler, a con man and out for Tavis Smiley more than he is about anybody else. Remember that “poverty tour” he and his boy Cornel took? What came out of it? Any calls for legislation? Did he ask Congress to convene hearings? Did he even present an action plan for the president to work on?

All he and bunk buddy West did was pulled off a media stunt, get a little undeserved attention at the same time yet another book was coming out.  When conservatives talk about “race hustlers” they point at Sharpton and Jackson. They should be pointing at Tavis “Sub-Prime Loans” Smiley.

While it’s good for visitor hits on my blog, talking about Tavis’ trash talk is a never-ending story.  Like any race hustler who craves attention like a moth to a porch light, I’m giving this unimportant has-been exactly what he craves.  The election of Obama was a mortal blow to the unelected “leaders” of Black America.  Smiley and West were never elected so they can never be tossed out of office.   They offer no legislation, sign no laws, and offer nothing but talk and then more talk. Tavis and his ilk is only as important as Black people let him be.  Ignore him and he’s as played out as Rae Dawn Chong ripping into Oprah.

Rae Dawn and Tavis would actually make a good couple (if she could squeeze between Tavis and Cornel West).  They’re two nobodies whose only way to find relevance is taking smack about more successful somebodies.

“What did I get on my finger? It stinks.”

Tavis Smiley’s Pathetic Paranoia and Increasing Irrelevance

Always complaining. Increasingly irrelevant.

The job of the artist, the activist and the journalist is to engage in uncomfortable analysis.  If they don’t then all they’re feeding the masses is a steady diet of nothing but comfort food.  There is no intellectual nourishment in always entertaining people.

Then there’s Tavis Smiley.  The self-appointed President of Black America who has been both a race hustler and a shameless corporate shill even as he prowls the country on a “poverty tour” designed for no other reason than to try to embarrass the twice-elected President of the United States.

Not that is has.  Lately nobody seems to notice Tavis  and his stunts.  His pandering for press attention has reached Lindsay Lohan levels of desperation.   For a minute it was fun to watch Smiley babble how he was going to hold Barack Obama “accountable.”   It became clear Smiley really desired Obama to be accountable to him.

That’s when the rank odor of Smiley’s bullshit finally became overwhelming.   Smiley used the 10th anniversary of his PBS television program to accuse the White House of pressuring advertisers to abandon his show and of course he had a reason why they would go after him.

“This administration does not like to be criticized. And the irony of it is, there’s nothing I have tried to hold the president accountable on that my white progressive colleagues have not…They’re labeled courageous critics, but if I say it, I’m an ‘Obama critic.’ There’s race at play in the very question…“I don’t have an anti-Barack agenda but this is what I do: My job is to raise questions of accountability.”

Oh Tavis, really?  Now you’re so desperate to play the victim you’re reduced to hiding behind your “White progressive colleagues” as your beard?  Negro, please.   Your “White progressive colleagues” aren’t the ones  grinding an axe since 2008 when you began your “I Hate Obama” campaign after he declined to appear at your State of Black America conference  to kiss your arrogant ass.

The causal observer may notice when Smiley speaks about President Obama he asserts he’s only trying to hold him accountable.   This might lead you to think that was Smiley’s favorite word.   Perhaps it is and not simply the title of a book Smiley wrote that bombed.   Here’s the thing about that word.  It can be applied to Smiley too as it was in 2009 when citizen journalist Faye Anderson looked into the race hustlers rewarding relationship with Wells Fargo in pushing sub-prime loans to African-Americans.

Smiley’s complete lack of credibility and anti-Obama  agenda has subjected him to a withering barrage of criticism for his latest unsubstantiated charges against the president.

Shannon Williams: Over the years I have watched Smiley go from a balanced public speaker who offered credible and thought-provoking perspective to his analyses to a bitter man who has used his platform to unjustly attack people who, in his opinion, have treated him in a bad or disrespectful manner. It almost seems as if he has had some sort of breakdown over the years that has caused him to speak in a vindictive and erratic manner. Though a breakdown would be a good escape goat, I think Smiley’s true problem is an overinflated ego. When people haven’t done what he thinks they should do, that ego gets bruised and Smiley gets angry. The way he “repays” the “wrongdoers” is he publically talks about them under the guise that he is holding them accountable.

Accountability is a marvelous thing that we all should be held to, but the said conclusions need to be derived from a thorough and fair judgment system. Public accountability cannot hold a personal vendetta.

Eric Wattree:  …why would Tavis’s corporate benefactors even want to hide the fact that they were being pressured by Obama? Trying to put pressure on Walmart, Nationwide Insurance, or Exxon/Mobile would not only be extremely dumb on the part of the administration, but it would be a gift from God to Tavis’s ALEC connected corporate benefactors. Can you just imagine what Darrell Issa could do with something like that in his House Oversight Kangaroo Committee? He’d turn it into Watergate.
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So it seems that yet again Tavis is being deluded by his overblown ego – the same ego that made him assume that Obama had an obligation to come on his “State of the Black Union” show to be anointed by Tavis to run for president; the same ego that made him think that he’s been slighted when Obama failed to do so; the same ego that caused him to go all over the media complaining that “For the very first time in my career I haven’t been invited to the White House;” and the very same ego that made him think that he had enough clout in the Black community to challenge the first Black president of the United States.
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The fact is, President Obama hasn’t given either Tavis Smiley, or Cornel West, a second thought since he’s been in office. He hasn’t had to, because he, like just about everyone else in America – at least, with good sense – could see that he didn’t have to. Tavis and West were making themselves look like perfect fools on their own accord, so the president didn’t have to say, or do a thing. All he had to do was sit back and watch them implode – and that’s exactly what he’s done.

Michael H. Cottman: In a month where Republicans have accused Obama of everything imaginable –with the possible exception of Robert Griffin III’s knee injury — it seems that Smiley snagged a timely moment to pile on.

I would argue that the White House doesn’t care enough about Smiley to assemble a team of administration officials who would surreptitiously spend time thinking up new and creative ways to suppress Smiley’s voice.

Smiley says his self-imposed mandate in life is to hold Obama’s feet to the fire and keep him accountable to black people. That’s his choice and his path to follow, but I don’t believe there’s a clandestine campaign within the Obama administration that is secretly trying to shut Smiley down.

He’s just not that important.

Couldn’t have said it any better myself.    There is no reason for Obama to sic the dogs on Smiley because his importance is largely in his own mind and his impact is nil.   Take down Tavis?   Why bother?  He doing a fine job of it all by himself.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

The Last 15 Minutes of Ben Carson’s Ego Trip

"Why yes, I AM pretty great."

“Why yes, I AM pretty great.”

So Dr. Uncle Ben Carson really thinks because he was publicly rude to President Obama that’s all it’s going to take for White conservatives to tap him as Obama’s successor in 2016?

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) gathering Carson continued to drop broad hints he’s still flirting with the idea of running for president.

“Let’s say you magically put me in the White House,” Carson said to wild applause from the conservative crowd.

It would probably take an act of magic to put the 62-year-old neurosurgeon in the White House.  Carson has no experience in politics and not many known positions besides advocating for a flat tax and repealing Obamacare.

Carson has been lapping up all the love he’s received for showing up President Obama last month, at the National Prayer Breakfast, but he’s only been speaking to admiring audiences.  Cal Thomas, a conservative columnist says Carson should be apologizing instead of boasting.

“If Carson wanted to voice his opinion about the president’s policies, he could have done so backstage. Even better, he might have asked for a private meeting with the man. As a fellow African American who faced personal challenges and overcame them, the president might have welcomed Dr. Carson to the White House. Instead, Carson ambushed him,” Thomas wrote on the Fox News website,  “Carson should publicly apologize and stop going on TV doing “victory laps” and proclaiming that reaction to his speech was overwhelmingly positive.”

Humility isn’t one of Carson’s strong suits.  It might be worth to for Carson to step into the ring of presidential politics to see how he handles being worked over by experts.

I got news for you, Doc. No matter how much you enjoy having your over-sized ego stroked by the acclaim and applause of White conservatives, they will NEVER allow another Negro no matter what his politics are anywhere near the Oval Office unless he’s carrying a tray or emptying the waste baskets. You need to slap yourself back into reality. You aren’t that  important.

There is a die-hard contingent among conservatives that steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of a Black man (or woman) in a place where they are not only treated as equals, but are in a position of power and authority as well over them and they cannot abide that notion.

“I’m a doctor, dammit. Not a politician.”

No matter how benign and harmless and respectable a Carson or Scott present themselves, they will not be accepted as equals.   The Republicans are making overtures to woo Latino votes.  Black folks?  Why bother making the effort?   We are far more useful to the Right in our traditional roles of scapegoats and boogeymen.

Carson is intelligent, a brilliant physician, a skilled surgeon and a total doofus with issues of vanity and exaggerated importance when it comes to understanding politics.   He is totally in over his head.  No way do Karl Rove or the Koch Brothers turn to a complete neophyte as the GOP standard bearer in 2016 no matter how many deep French kisses Carson gets from Hannity and Limbaugh.   With the possible exception of Marco Rubio, whose rising star seems to indicate a place on the ticket as a vice-president, the power brokers and the kingmakers of the Right want a White Man back in the White House.   Not just a Black man who says what Whites want to hear.

Doc Carson’s 15 minutes in the political spotlight are tick..tick..ticking away…

 

It’s Not Wrong to Do the Right Thing

Hadiya will be laid to rest Saturday

The news that First Lady Michelle Obama will be attending the funeral this Saturday of slain teenager Hadiya Pendleton is welcome news.   It’s the right thing to do and frankly, I don’t understand why some are criticizing the decision.

Where was the President and The First Lady before this?  What makes Hadiya’s death so special?  Because she performed at the inauguration a week before she was shot down?   Every gun death is a tragedy say those questioning why the White House cares so much now when they were so stonily silent before.

I understand why this is controversial to some, but I disagree agree with them.  I don’t want The First Lady or The President attending funerals for murdered kids for the next four years. It would be like attending funerals for every fallen soldier. They would have no time for anything else.

The First Lady is described as “heartbroken” over Hadiya’s death

This is a special case with a great deal of symbolic importance. In her own way, the First Lady and the Obama Administration is acknowledging all the fallen from urban violence and Black-on-Black crime. Hadiya’s case is particularly heart-rendering coming so soon after her having  paid respect to Obama at his second inauguration.   No, Hadiya is not “special,” but the circumstances are different.   The presence of Michelle Obama is an acknowledgment of that and proves the president is not indifferent to the suffering going on in our cities.

it simply isn’t possible for them to attend every funeral of every young person’s whose life was prematurely and violently ended without it being a logistical nightmare, eventually making their attendance a trite affair.  Can you imagine how much of a strain on law enforcement it would be to handle the security details each time the president or his wife attended?  The media would be all over it and who wants photographers snapping pictures while you’re trying to bury your dead? Never mind how it would affect the Obamas personally to in effect become “professional mourners.”

How long would it be before every family that lost a loved one serving in Afghanistan or somewhere else start wondering aloud, “My son died for this country, yet the Commander-in-Chief didn’t attend his funeral. Why?” That would open a Pandora’s Box of misery that would never be closed again.

I can’t believe people are so obsessed with polishing their Obama Bashing Badge and pushing their b.s. political agendas to demean the First Lady showing up to pay her respects to a dead Black teenage girl.

No, actually I CAN believe it. There’s always someone sitting comfy in a chair that knows how they could do a job better than the person who actually has to do it. It’s just really disgusting when it comes over the dead body of Hadiya Pendleton.

The critics and cynics don’t care about a mother’s grief

I am not in any way trivializing the deaths of Black people across the nation when I cite the cases of Hadiya Pendleton, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell or Amadou Diallo and more for special notice as I have for years. I am never numb or indifferent to the unnatural deaths of my people, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to mourn each individually.

Not for me and certainly not for The President of the United States either.

The critics should STFU.  A young woman is dead.  The president’s family said they were praying for Hadiya and tomorrow the First Lady will be present to commemorate her life.   There’s nothing wrong with that and those who accuse the Obamas of a “publicity stunt” or not showing enough concern for other murdered Black children are out there where the buses  don’t  run.

They need to  stay there because they are miserable excuses for human beings.  Shame on them for their cynical exploitation of a dead girl to score their meaningless political points.