Friday, February 26, 2010

Desiree Rogers resigns from White House, gives in to Black Haters Group

White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers resigned Friday, telling the New York Times that she did so after talking with herself about the idea. The NY Times reports Desiree Rogers said "It's a conversation with oneself, is that what I want to do, what is going to make me the happiest?"

But what Desiree Rogers did by leaving the White House she will come to regret by the end of the year. Rogers caved in to the black haters group or "BHG"; a set of African Americans in and around Washingon D.C. who acted as if they were jealous of Rogers' role as the first African American White House Social Secretary.

Rather than give Desiree Rogers behind the scenes advice, these members of what this blogger calls the BHG embarked on a whispered smear campaign that turned into a yell when Rogers bacame the fall person in the White House Partygate Scandal.

The person this blogger places in the BHG is long-time Washington journalist April Ryan of Urban Radio. If you remember, it was Ryan who appeared at the White House Press Briefing twice and to specifically, loudly, and revealingly complain about Desiree Rogers.

In short, Ryan's questioning came off more as a massive rant, peppered with the necessary cues to let the World know that Ryan was a defiant black woman that should not be messed with. Something this blogger applauds, but not when it's done in the process of smearing another black woman.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs did not handle himself well here, but in fairness, Ryan's behavior would have tested the very best press secretary in history.

Fine. Get upset over health care reform's slow progress or the high unemployment rate, but The White House Social Secretary? Come on? April Ryan's rants - she appeared twice - were so over the top, CNN's Don Lemon had a graphic that read "April...Calm down."

Ryan's behavior was so terrible that the question "Is April Ryan out to get Desiree Rogers" was on the minds of many observers, like Joni Reynolds of The Daily Voice. This blogger wondered if Ryan was really upset for not, herself, being invited to the State Dinner.

My suspicion was confirmed when April Ryan was interviewed by Lemon on CNN:

RYAN: And, typically, I've been at the White House for 13 years in January. Thirteen years. And during that time, I have been able to cover many events and, also, I have been an invited guest by two presidents to two State Dinners, myself, and other events at the White House I've been invited to by presidents. So I know how a lot of it happens at the gate.

Now this is where CNN's Don Lemon really buried the lead. Ryan all but admitted to Lemon that she was upset for not getting an invitation to the Obama's version of The State Dinner. After, all, Ryan was the guest of "two presidents to two State Dinners" so it's a safe bet she expected an invite to the State Dinner of America's first black President. Ryan did't get one, and it set her off big time.

Gina over at Michelle Obama Watch also points to not just Ryan's behavior but that of Washington Post Staff Writer and Fashion Editor Robin Givhan, who is seen as another member of the BHG (who, like April Ryan is African American, though not every member of the BHG is black) and spends much of her column essentially trashing Rogers for being confident, extroverted, and attractive.

Uh, did Robin Givhan miss out on the State Dinner, too? While Givhan's too clever to admit what Ryan did to Lemon, it's a fair bet she wasn't there either.


But Rogers has never been an introvert. The New Orleans native has waved to the crowds from a perch atop a Mardi Gras float. In Chicago, she was known for her eclectic mix of guests at her dazzling parties. She has stood up to dance by herself in cocktail bars, as friends sat by and watched in amusement. She is a coquettish life-of-the-party.

Note that Robin Givhan doesn't accuse Rogers of such behavior while Rogers was in The White House, making Givhan's piece nothing more than character assassination.

Indeed, attacking Rogers has been a sports or sorts, sloppily done. Even The Huffington Post got into the act, reporting that Rogers attended New York's Fashion Week, but failing to explain that she did so in 2009, not in 2010.

But the biggest, most powerful member of the BHG is Desiree Rogers herself, and with respect to her decision to listen to that crowd. By doing so, Rogers robs herself of the chance to grow in the position and fails to leave a positive legacy of work as White House Social Secretary. Every time Rogers name comes up, and her accomplishments are discussed, the conversation will always be followed by "yeah, but" and that's too bad.

Meanwhile, the next White House Social Secretary is reportedly a white woman, thus calming the fears of the BHG, who can't stand to see someone black, female, confident, and extroverted in a role they  think should be filled by a  white female who remembered to invite them to the next State Dinner.  

Precious leads winners at NAACP Image Awards

Related searches: image awards, naacp, naacp awards, naacp wiki, naacp image awards 2010, Precious NAACP Image Awards, naacp precious

As reported, the gripping Lee Daniels modern classic that is Precious got well-deserved respect at the 41st NAACP Image Awards, Friday night. Precious beat The Blind Side, Invictus, Michael Jackson's: This Is It", and
"The Princess and the Frog" for the NAACP Image Awards Best Picture nod.

Precious not only won Best Picture, but it scored outstanding independent film, outstanding actress in a motion picture (Gabourey Sidibe who's photo is to the left), and best supporting actress (Mo'Nique). But most of all, Precious wins made a statement that African Americans had in full force embraced a very real movie about very real problems in American Society, and not just in the black community.

Moreover, because the winners were chosen by online vote, the results do reflect a broad cross-section of America and the World, and not just African Americans. Precious' victory marks a first turning point in a maturation of how the World looks at people of color and how people of color look at themselves.

While it's not a front running pick in any awards category, it will be interesting to see how Precious does at the Oscars.

Stay tuned.

If government-run health care is an evil, socialist plot, why do 55 Republican Congress members participate?

As of October, 151 Congressmen had "government-controlled" health care insurance plans. That's close to 30% of our elected officials. 55 Republicans on that list have steadfastly opposed other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.

Here's the list.

If they think government controlled health-care is a problem, why do they continue to trust it for themselves and their families?

Thomas Hayes
is an entrepreneur, journalist, and political analyst who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

Berkeley Riot: students battle police on Telegraph Av, Thursday

Related searches: UC Berkeley, student day of action, UC Regents, Cal Berkeley, Berkeley riots

Very late on a Thursday night that saw Cal Basketball get to one win from the Pac-10 Title, Berkeley saw a riot: people - some students, others not - battled Berkeley police on Telegraph Avenue, not far from Haas Pavilion.

According to The Daily Californian, the late night melee started as an occupation of Durant Hall as prelude to the March 4th statewide "Day of Action" and it became a fight with Berkeley and BART Police that included an estimated 200 people, burning trash cans, throwing glass jugs of wine, and damaging a retail establishment.

The video below captures the scene at the point where the police formed a wall along Telegraph Avenue blocking access to the intersection of Bancroft and Telegraph Avenue. In the video, the woman was talking about how police punched her in the nose, when they just quickly arrested her as she was talking:

UPDATE: ABC News video:

The Daily Cal reports:

Several protesters occupied Durant Hall in support of the statewide day of action on March 4, according to a statement given by Asaf Shalev, a spokesperson for the occupiers. Shalev is a former employee of The Daily Californian.

About 15 occupiers occupied the hall since around 11:15 p.m, according to Callie Maidhof, a student organizer and UC Berkeley graduate student. People appeared to be moving in and out of the building and some were on the roof.

Around 1:30 a.m., people appeared to be leaving the hall and marching to Upper Sproul Plaza. Protesters marched onto the intersection of Telegraph Ave. and Bancroft Way throwing over trash cans. One individual broke the window to Subway.

The blog UC Regents (Live) reports that Durant Hall was selected as the place to occupy because the protesters say increased student fees were used to finance a construction bond of $1.3 billion to re-start a once-stalled renovation process. This is a reprint of the organizer's manifesto:

Why Durant Hall?

This communique was issued by organizers of the event….

Architecture has, like other growing phenomena, to go to school before it can wisely be emancipated. It is a distinctly promising sign of future power, for a young people . . . to forget self for the time being in the quiet, assiduous acquisition of knowledge already established by others. The time for fresh personal expression will come later.

–John Galen Howard, 1913
Accelerate: we are here to help architecture make the leap to emancipation. The architect John Galen Howard, who designed and oversaw the construction of what is now called Durant Hall at the beginning of the last century, was a hesitant man. We say: the time for fresh personal expression is now! There is no question that we are already the product of other people’s assiduously accumulated knowledges, so many that they become impossible to catalog exhaustively. The accumulation of knowledge is a library, perhaps, but it is also a struggle, a movement, a tactic. Likewise, the acquisition of knowledge does not have to be quiet — next to the sound system, self is forgotten and the commune emerges. The dance party: a distinctly promising sign of present power.

Future power too. On March 4, UC Berkeley students, workers, and faculty will march in solidarity with those from other UCs, CSUs, community colleges, and K-12 schools across California and the country as a whole. Like this building, reclaimed from the graveyard of financial speculation, we will reclaim the streets of Oakland in conjunction with an international day of action for public education to be free and democratic.

For the last two years, Durant Hall has been little more than a shell, surrounded by piles of rubble and heavy machinery, themselves surrounded by uneven rows of chain-link fencing. No longer is there any trace of the library it once was — the East Asian Library, now moved across campus to a new building named after an insurance mogul who founded the notorious AIG. Language has been uprooted, pruned, and replanted as well. The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures went with the library, and in the process lost half its Japanese, Korean, and Chinese classes as well as the faculty that taught them — over 1,500 curious students will be turned away this year. Subtracted from the flow of campus life, Durant Hall has existed only as a barrier, an inconvenience, a silent witness to the frustration of the thousands of students, workers, and faculty protesters who surrounded the neighboring Wheeler Hall and clashed with police last November.
But apparent emptiness conceals the movement beneath the surface, behind its fenced-off walls: capital flows through its veins. “Capital Projects,” the administration of the University of California calls them. As we now know, the UC administration has used not only students’ tuition, but also the promise of future tuition increases, to secure the bonds and bond ratings necessary to channel ever increasing resources into construction projects. They will always need more money, and it will always be our money. A general concern that changes the way we see the campus that surrounds us. But if there is one building in particular that exemplifies this process, it is Durant Hall: its renovation was halted in 2008 for lack of funds, and only started up again after the administration sold $1.3 billion in construction bonds last May backed by our fee hike as collateral. Its melancholy fate is to become yet another administration building. Durant Hall will be inhabited by deans and staff of the College of Letters and Science, but it has already been occupied by a bloated administration with private capital on its mind.

Capital, like architecture, is a growing phenomenon, but one that never matures. It pushes outward continuously in all directions, always presupposing an endless, spiraling expansion. New endpoints replace old ones in smooth succession, projecting themselves onto the grid of the future, erasing languages, knowledges, and histories that do not fit easily into the right angles of its blueprints. But we will not let their future bulldoze our present. We have our own bulldozers: dance parties to reclaim dead buildings, marches to reclaim the streets. On March 4, fight back!

The College of Debtors in Defiance.

Stay tuned.

For DISH Network Charles W. Ergen: DISH equipment scam must stop

DISH Network is a company I use for cable access. The programming availability is competitive, but I really have DISH so that I can look at my TV show, The Blog Report with Zennie62 as it comes on The DISH Network.

But this is what's very bothersome about DISH Network: they sent a receiver that malfunctioned, but then and contrary to what they promised, didn't send a shipping box to return the equipment with a paid waybill.

The end result is a system where you the consumer ends up paying for the cost - $300 - of equipment they made just because it failed to work. And that's the other issue - the receivers apparently stop working for unknown reasons because the matter of having to return it is all too common.

On top of that, DISH Network representatives are really awful. They argued with this blogger at length and tried to turn a phone conversation into a high school debate.   They explained that I was to place the receiver in the box that the new receiver came in, but that was after another DISH Network rep told me that they were going to send a box!

I told the person, a DISH Network rep called Tom and his supervisor Rodriguez, that I would take the matter up with Charles W. Ergen the CEO of DISH and the appropriate DISH staffers (Like Tom Cullen, Dish Network's executive vice president of sales).

They didn't believe me.

DISH Network should really stop its practice of charging consumers for defective receiver products. What DISH is trying to do is eliminate what in business is called the "cost of goods sold" by creating a scenario where a defective product (the cost of goods sold that are bad) is actually paid for by the customer. That's not right. Moreover, it may be illegal to do in California.

Stay tuned.