DETROIT – Detroit Public Schools would close 23 schools and lay off 600 teachers in a proposal released Thursday that would consolidate facilities in a shrinking district facing a projected $303 million deficit.
The proposal was made by the state’s financial overseer, Robert Bobb, who also has asked the state for $200 million in federal stimulus funds to improve the remaining schools and strengthen safety and security.
A financial emergency has been declared for the district, which has been struggling for years with declining enrollment as the city’s population shrinks and charter schools draw students. The superintendent was fired in December and Gov. Jennifer Granholm named Bobb the district’s emergency financial manager the following month.
The 192-school system has about 5,700 teachers and an enrollment of more than 95,000; it had nearly twice as many students in the late 1990s. About 7,500 students would have to change schools under the new proposal.
Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson said Bobb’s plan appears to be a move in the right direction for the district’s long-term health.
“He’s going to make sure teachers are equipped with the materials that they need,” Johnson said.
Michigan Department of Education spokesman Martin Ackley said the state was reviewing Bobb’s request for $200 million to see what might be available. He said there was no timeline for a decision.
Without the federal stimulus funds, Bobb said he would use $26 million from a previous bond issue to get some of the needed work done.
The first of a series of town hall meetings for the public on the restructuring plan is scheduled for April 28, and the district is expected to make a final decision May 8. Bobb said some of the laid-off teachers could return, but another round of potential school closings will be announced this summer.
***Thank You Associated Press!***
Late Monday, GOP leader Michael Steele greatly weakened the perception of him as the leader of the Republican Party. In fact, it can be rightly noted that Steele may not be the leader of the Republican Party after all. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh has just snatched that title from Michael Steele.
How? Apparently, Steele is not running things over at headquarters. After Rush Limbaugh’s rebel-rousing speech at CPAC Saturday, where he announced boldly and proudly that he wanted the Obama administration to fail in its’ proposed policies, many political pundits crowned Limbaugh the leader of the GOP. However, on “D.L. Hughley Breaks The News,” Steele emphatically insisted that he was indeed the RNC’s chosen one and that Rush Limbaugh is a “de facto” leader of the GOP.
“Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment,” Steele told Hughley, “yes, it’s incendiary. Yes. It’s ugly.” Well, that was great! Michael Steele stood up and staked his claim to what was given him. Steele flexed his power and revealed that he was no ones puppet, hence he didn’t need Limbaugh’s inflammatory remarks to stir up the base.
Monday, Rush Limbaugh declared war on Michael Steele and ripped him to shreds. How did the RNC chairman respond? He apologized to Limbaugh! Excuse me, Mr. Steele. But are you the “de facto” leader of the Republican Party?
“To the extent that my remarks helped the Democrats in Washington to take the focus, even for one minute, off of their irresponsible expansion of government, I truly apologize,” Steele said. What is going on? Doesn’t Michael Steele realize that by apologizing to a man that is not even remotely an elected official, he has, in effect, given his power away? How does Steele plan to pull his party together, battle the Democrats, and come up with some type of political strategy that will aid in regaining the trust of the American people, if he can’t stick to his guns and say what needs to be said?
“I respect Rush Limbaugh,” the Steele apology concludes, “and in no way do I want to diminish his voice.” Are you kidding me? Rush Limbaugh just re-upped and copped a $100 mill to continue his conservative blab fest! Who can “diminish” that? Sounds like a load of crap that apology. It also reeks of puppetry! Michael Steele was selected by the GOP for what reason? To attract African Americans and other minorities? To make the Republican Party look “progressive” like McCain did when he made the unfortunate decision to select Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate?
Or maybe Michael Steele was chose to head up the RNC simply because there wasn’t a better option. Whatever the case, Steele is in that position and it is high time that he start to make the hard choices that he has to make instead of bending over for every Tom, Dick and Rush Limbaugh! Limbaugh did not deserve an apology for what Michael Steele said. It was within Limbaugh’s First Amendment Rights to speak as freely as he wanted.
And it is well within RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s rights to refute Limbaugh’s assertions and look out for the best interests of of the Republican Party. But if Steele was up for the task, it is apparent that someone either took the wind out of his sails…or took the wind out of his sails, forced him to take the red pill and hipped him to the real deal of the political matrix.
Either way, Michael Steele is screwed.
Did you miss “The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Show” Tuesday night? Well, lets just say that the reunion was better than the series! Okay. I admit that I was hooked on all of the back-stabbing, double-talking, spend freaks that are Kim, Sheree’, NeNe, Lisa and DeShawn. Some say the show was fake and heavily scripted. That is certainly possible. But I do believe that about 75% of “The Real Atlanta Housewives” was real.
I mean, really. Who can fake the fiasco that was Sheree’s birthday party and fashion show? Remember NeNe’s facial expression upon learning that even though Sheree had personally invited her to the birthday party, somehow NeNe had been left off the guest list and was turned away at the door by security? Who could possibly fake that moment? LOL! Well, the Reunion was everything that I anticipated plus more!
The one burning question that I wanted answered was who spilled the beans about NeNe’s drunken, hilarious song about Kim? Which one of the “Housewives” couldn’t wait to spread some hot juicy malicious gossip? In the limo during NeNe’s funny song about non-singing wanna be sensation Kim, were Lisa and Ed Hartwell, DeShawn and Eric Snow, and NeNe’s better half Greg. Which one ran directly to Sheree’?
Answer: Lisa! Yeah, that was why Lisa was playing the role of peace-keeper every chance she got! She was responsible for the atomic bomb that blew up NeNe and Kim’s friendship. Not to say that the relationship wasn’t on the way down the tubes in the first place! Lisa just pushed ir further along. At the Reunion, Lisa tried to act like Kim was lying about the role she played in the soap opera ’she say she say’ by deflecting and calling Kim a habitual liar and back-stabber. Well, it appears that Lisa is capable of doing a little back-stabbing herself. Hmmm.
Speaking of Kim…what is that woman on? First she said that the reason that she wears wigs and weaves is because she had cancer and all of her hair fell out. Then in the next breath she claimed that she didn’t have cancer after all; doctors said she had an undisclosed illness. But apparently Kim is fine now and wears a weave…still. I’m a sista, I have worn a weave, piece or wig many a time. Why was Kim’s hair a source of discussion anyway when NeNe, Sheree’ and DeShawn were wearing hundreds of dollars of weave on their heads? It was a ridiculous discussion, but the liar that NeNe and Lisa accused Kim of being was verified.
What was up with DeShawn? All she did was sit on the couch looking like she didn’t want to be there or involved. I suppose she really wanted to be off somewhere shopping for jewelry or something. I am thoroughly surprised that DeShawn was let off the hook for her shenanigans! Can anyone forget her introductory statement at the beginning of the show every week? “I always knew that I was destined for greatness?” Or how about what DeShawn said when she entered her new home? “I always knew I was going to be somebody.’ DeShawn Snow obviously has self-esteem issues she hasn’t dealt with. How can having lots of money turn you into a ‘somebody’? I’m not the wife of an athlete with mega bucks and a 15,000 sq. ft mansion. Does that make me a nobody? That fundraiser was a bust because the one thing that DeShawn Snow had forgotten from her time of growing up a nobody in Detroit, is to be about the paper! The purpose of a fundraiser is to raise FUNDS. You do not open your million dollar mansion to the public for FREE and expect to stack major Benjamens! Most of the folks that came to DeShawn’s fundraiser were broke Joe’s, nosy neighbors and sistas on the prowl for a comeup! When you forget and belittle your roots, unfortunately you miss out on the meaning of the incrediable life lessons you were taught. Now that Eric Snow has retired from the NBA and is doing his thing as a sports commentator, that guaranteed money that DeShawn was bragging about to Lisa, is no longer a fact of life. I guess she and Lisa can now relate. Budget Time!
The icing on the cake was Dwight, ya’ll!! Dwight, billed as NeNe’s ‘Gay Boyfriend’, was just his delightfully intuitive self. Always fashionable and decked in the best couture, Dwight was deemed the ‘sixth Housewife’. Of course, the ever wise Dwight told the five ladies that all of the bickering and hating was simply not classy and that they are better than that. Love the extensions Dwight!!
All in all, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” was a pretty cool experience. Rocky at times and a hoot at others, the sistas of Atlanta “Housewives” should be proud to be a part of the Bravo franchise. I hear that a second season is planned and Kim’s ‘Big Poppa’ will be making an appearance. Yeah…Right! Oh! Can’t wait for that cd to drop, Kim! LOL! With your non-singing self! I bet Dallas Austin didn’t dare think about producing a single track for Kim! Do you all remember Dallas’ expression when he heard Kim sing for the first time? LOL! Priceless!
Oh, and SHE by Sheree’ is supposed to be on the runway Fall ’09. Hope that Sheree’ learned her lesson! Hiring a lazy seamstress that had zero sewing skills. The trash that person produced! Why didn’t Sheree have the good sense to check what her seamstress was up to? You know, go over to the seamstress’ home or business and inspect the work. It was HER dream! Why would a self-proclaimed fashionista leave her vision to chance? What a laugh! And by the way Sheree’, TRUE iconic designers DO sketch their designs! Some even know HOW to sew! Saying on the Reunion show that designers don’t sketch their work is false. Do your homework! Now, celebrities who turn to the fashion world to expand their wallets may not. Kimora and Russell have a team of designers to come up with sketches and designs. Yet, Karl Lagerfeld, Calvin Klein, Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace and others were true artists and visionaries, able to take a mental picture and transfer it to paper. Then develop a visual in the form of a sample.
That little lost fashion venture cost about $100,000! Sheree’ could have used some of that wasted money enrolling herself into a fashion institute! That would have saved her or should I say, her soon to be ex-husband some loot. How much you wanna bet that that nice handsome chunk of blowed change will figure prominently in their divorce battle?
Senator Barack Obama walked away with 338 votes from the electoral college to cement his place in United States history as the first African American to sit in a seat of power in the Oval Office.
President-Elect Barack Obama has completed a full circle of history for not only African Americans in America, but America as a whole. 400 plus years ago, Africans were kidnapped from their homeland, Africa, to be sold as cattle to Caucasian Americans who had settled in the colonies of the New World. This New World was inhabited by the subjects of England who wanted to establish a place where religious and socio freedoms could be exercised.
Unfortunately, these freedoms were not extended to the humans that were forced to give their lives to a lop-sided, hypocritical and essentially ignorant ideology that was void of compassion and integrity. Yet, this New World became the foundation to what was to become the United States of America. A piece of paper drafted by a group of men seeking liberty from oppression and tyranny from the crown of England, expressed the independent attitude of a young country that held the fundamental concept “that all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
However, when the Revolutionary War was fought and won, America did not and refused to extend those liberties to African American slaves. The Civil War and Lincoln’s Republican Party freed the slaves technically, but it wasn’t until the mid to late 1960′s that African Americans were ever really able to, with confidence, apply the Declaration of Independence to themselves.
November 4, 2008, a forty-seven year old African American man from a low to moderate income background, who garnered scholarships and loans to attend Harvard, became the forty-fourth President-Elect of the United States. Did Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Mary McLoud Bethune, Benjamen Banneker, Nat Turner, Robert Smalls, Carter Woodson, Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Paul Robeson, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Eubie Blake, Rosa Parks, Emmit Till, Marcus Garvey, the four little girls murdered one dark Sunday in the 1960′s, John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert Francis, Medger Evers, El Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), Martin Luther King, Jr., Kunta Kinte and my own enslaved great-great-great-great-grandfather George Nelson Ricks, dare to dream this day could ever be possible?
It would seem that the great Langston Hughes’ poem, “I, Too, Sing America,” would be appropriate right about now:
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–
I, too, sing America.
It was a debate within itself whether or not Senator John McCain should show up at Ole Miss Friday night. It was a debate whether or not there should even be a debate given the status of the $700 billion dollar Congressional bailout proposal. But just in case, visitors to the great state of Mississippi were reminded Thursday that despite the critical financial crisis that America is facing, if the debates were cancelled, shopping and costly sight-seeing of museums and tourists attractions are the next best thing.
Fortunately, the 2008 Presidential Debates kicked off without a hitch or a bipartisan agreement on the $700 billion bailout proposal. I watched the debates and made some pretty good notes out of my observation. Instead of reporting who said what and why, I have decided to report what perhaps the average American was thinking as the minutes of the debate ticked away:
9:02pm: Barack Obama’s suit is eye-catching. John McCain’s looks kinda washed out. Like the colors are faded or something. Makes me think of that color fade commerical by Tide. Also reminds me of the Presidential Debates between JFK and Nixon. Who is McCain’s stylist? Fire ‘em!
9:28pm: $10 billion a day spent on the war in Iraq? How much is that a month? A year? Five years? $360 billion times five! Where’s my calculator…
9:30pm: Ok. If you’re going to attack a brotha, look ‘em in the eye will ya! McCain refuses to eyeball Obama even after being asked repeatedly to speak directly to him.
9:36pm: Had to get something to drink. Oil company profits! Give us a slice of that! What does McCain consider “rich?” Why would he ask Obama that? Obama has one house to his seven!
9:43pm: Obama, no you didn’t! No you didn’t show your dead soldier bracelet, too! That was beyond stupid! Let McCain do that bit! It is beyond childish for either of you to do that bracelet thing in the first place! Whoever told these grown men to act like they are five year old kindergartners should be fired!
9:48pm: I wish McCain would get off that “Miss Congeniality” crap! Obama is not Gay nor is he a Tranny or a closeted Drag Queen. You would think that McCain would look Obama in the eye behind that crack!
10:01pm: Obama kinda fumbling around there. He already made the point that he voted against invading Iraq. Now McCain has laid a good one on him: ” The next President will have to decide how we leave, when we leave and will we leave behind.” I liked that. True point.
10:02pm: I wish they stop using that word “fundamental.” Tenth time already, I think. Maybe I need to keep a record.
10:11pm: That Obama really knows his history. Glad that he does. McCain may have lived it, but there’s nothing wrong with getting educated on a matter if you weren’t born when it happened. Good for you Barack! Why is McCain smiling? Why won’t he smile at Barack? Doesn’t make sense…
10:13pm: There’s that word again: fundamental difference.
10:15pm: Uh Oh! McCain fired up! Getting kinda animated there! McCain’s getting in some hot points! And he’s laughing! Cool! Too bad he still ‘fraid to look at homeboy.
10:18pm: Are we gonna overuse this word too? (precondition)
10:19pm: McCain, you’re making no sense here! If you saw the letters K-G-B in the eyes of Putin, why is it so hard to suppose that a cold war could be in the future? KGB equals the cold war! DUH!
10:35pm: I lost an uncle in the Vietnam War. I empathize with McCain, as the rest of American does. Obama is really listening to McCain. Respecting McCain. Too bad that doesn’t work both ways!
10:37pm: Americans do not doubt John McCain’s commitment to U.S. Vets. Is he going to continue to beat us over the heads with it?
So, those were the highlights from the average American watching the debates. Americans don’t really care about the numbers and the figures. What Americans really want to know is: how long the war is going to last, will America invade Iran without provocation, how high will taxes become in the next four years, will gas prices ever drop below $3, can America afford to fund universal health care and why is milk and cereal so doggone expensive?!
AND…Why is it so hard to look your opponent in the eye, especially if you are confident that you are the one to lead a nation?
10 time Grammy-Award winner Kanye West was arrested on felony vandalism charges Thursday outside of Terminal 4 at the L.A International Airport, LAPD has reported.
West and his road manager / bodyguard Don Crowley, were photographed by two unidentified TMZ paparazzi inside the airport to West’s chagrin. West, according to TMZ, grabbed the camera from one paparazzi and smashed it to the ground. It was earlier reported that Don Crowley was in some sort physical altercation with the paparazzi, but this has been confirmed as a rumor.
TMZ proudly claims to have captured the incident on video and plans to show portions of Kanye West’s airport fiasco on its’ website. No surprise there. Sounds like TMZ created a win-win scenario for themselves.
On Tuesday, controversial radio talk show host Don Imus told his listeners that the statement he made on Monday, considered racist by some in the African American community, was generally misunderstood. Imus said that in his comments about the arrest and suspension of Adam “Pacman” Jones, he was trying to “make a sarcastic point about the unfair treatment of Blacks in the criminal justice system.” He further noted that the uproar caused by his efforts in defense of African Americans was “ridiculous.”
Upon reviewing the transcripts from Imus’ Monday broadcast, it is difficult to ascertain the validity of his explanation. However, shockingly, I am in total agreement with Imus when he said that this media storm surrounding his comments is “ridiculous.” Why? It comes down to simple common sense. Did we in the African American community believe that Don Imus had magically reformed his stereotypical racist attitude? Could we in the African American community been fool enough to suppose that after his suspect ‘apology’ six months ago to the young women of the Rutgers University basketball team, Don Imus had an epiphany of some kind?
Don Imus does not owe the African American community another half-baked apology. He did not need to clarify his comments either. Who in the African American community actually listens to a Don Imus broadcast? I thought most of us was laughing and listening to Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey and Michael Baisden? When you have these three on the radio dial, and soon Mo’Nique, who has the time or inclination to even want to listen to anyone else?
Besides, going after Dom Imus is like going fishing. Why would you knowingly bait and catch a small fish in a deep ocean? Rev. Al Sharpton can answer this question for me. Or maybe he can’t. You see, Don Imus is a small fish. Throw him back. The deep ocean is the media, mainly cable news; and the big fish we REALLY want to catch and fry is FOX News Network. But seeing how ‘friendly’ a relationship Rev. Al Sharpton has with FOX, it is no wonder why he would jump on the Don Imus bandwagon and not on the backs of FOX News. Just last week, you could find Rev. Sharpton on the “O’ Reilly Factor” explaining why he assumes the IRS is harassing him. Bill O’Reilly. Need I say more?
I say let Don Imus alone. Who cares that he, like a leopard, will never change his spots? We have ‘bigger fish to fry.’
Abigail Chiroto, 27, wife of newly elected mayor of the city of Harare, was found bludgeoned to death late Wednesday officials said. She, along with four other activists and her 4 year old son, were kidnapped from their homes by men wearing military uniforms on Tuesday. The kidnappings and subsequent murders stem from the apparent political opposition and activism to oust Zimbabwe President Mugabe. Mugabe is currently running for re-election.
The four activists were also found murdered. Abigail Chiroto’s son, however, was returned unharmed. President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF Party are allegedly linked to these murders.
I suppose that wives of politicians are not off-limits in Zimbabwe during election season.
Has former BET Chairman Bob Johnson deluded himself into believing that the African American community really gives a care what his sentiments are regarding this Presidential election?
Thanks to him, there’s a whole generation of African Americans who don’t even have a clue that there is a historical election going on. Bob Johnson and his BET have systematically brainwashed a whole segment of Black America. Capitalizing on overt sexuality and materialism, BET is a major role-player in the continuous obliteration of the subconscious of young African Americans.
At present, BET is still at the forefront of intelligence-challenged programming. Yet, Bob Johnson, with these credentials, opted to comment on the voting habits of African Americans. His comments make the implication that African Americans are asleep at the wheel. In strong agreement with Geraldine Ferraro, Bob Johnson affirmed:
“What I believe Geraldine Ferraro meant is that if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called ‘Jerry Smith’ and he says I’m gonna run for President, would he start off with 90% of the Black vote? And the answer is probably not.”
Now, what poll or latest voter research proved that 90% of African Americans are voting for Barack Obama? Not a one. Where is Bob Johnson getting his facts? Then to conclude, Bob Johnson said that “this campaign has such a trigger on anything racial…it is almost impossible for anybody to say anything.”
No, Mr. Johnson. There isn’t a problem with folks vocalizing how they feel about their candidate. This is part of our democratic process and our right to free speech and assembly. Elections bring out the passion and fervor of voters and candidates alike. However, what Americans and African Americans in particular are resentful of, is the back-biting and the demagoguery of the campaigns. To assume that African Americans are block voting for Barack Obama simply because he is ’family’ is an out and out insult to us all.
In fact, there is a tremendous number of African Americans who support Senator Hillary Clinton. To say that African Americans only vote African American in 2008 is ridiculous and unfounded. We are a diverse group of people with varied needs and expectations. Despite what Bob Johnson is insinuating, African Americans are intelligent enough to reason diplomatically whom to cast a ballot for.
How about this Mr. Johnson? If you can take the idea of formulating a cable network that is African American focused and turn it into a multi-million dollar enterprise, why is it difficult to recognize that your ‘bretheren’ can use the same intellect in choosing a candidate?