Friday, June 10, 2011

Obama Inauguration: What The Inauguration Meant To Me

This video of my thoughts about the Inauguration of President Barack Obama will never, ever get old. Indeed, it's a good reminder of the basics that drove so many people to jump on Barack's bandwagon - in my case in December of 2006, when I joined and made a donation.

It wasn't just the chance to elect the first African American President, that's came up before, but Barack represented, and represents, me. He's the representation of the new American mainstream that caught many in the U.S.A by surprise.

Not me.

I told anyone who would listen, and many who would not listen, that Barack would be the next President, and skin color would not stop it. Barack represents that guy in high school who you voted for for class president, or the person who you invited to your party, or that dude in your carpool, or the person you played poker with, or your college roommate.

Most in America were waiting for that person to emerge - the one who we said "I always knew that guy could be president." Well, in 2008, here we were - ready to elect 'that guy.' And we did.

Yes, there are many who are disappointed with Barack since then, and mostly, largely, because of the economy. I blame the Democrats and the liberal electorate, too. And for allowing Couch Potato Conservatives to hijack the narrative and convince Americans to cut spending, rather than deficit spend to get us out of this low period of private investment.

We need a new stimulus package, or to threaten to jail the nation's bankers, and have them get off the credit they're sitting on. We need a good cash infusion of $400 billion, at least. And all of that should go to helping private sector firms make payrolls - which fuel business. In other words, target that spending just to payments for salaries and wages for work in American firms where the unemployment rates are highest.

We should do nothing else.

But I digress.

We need President Obama to have a second term and because a Republican President would be the kiss of American economic death, choking off spending and causing economic failure.

Some business people, like Jack Welch, say we have to "innovate" our way out of our problem. But that's just plain silly because of the long lead times required to make new products and get them to market.

No. Jack doesn't get it.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria does get it - but to a point.

We need to work on pure, hard core, urban economic development. And at the heart of that is the maintenance of businesses and jobs in America.

Tracy Morgan Shot By His Gay Son After Rant?

Ok. Now, 30 Rock Star Tracy Morgan was what? Morgan was shot by his Gay son? That's the note passed to this blogger an hour ago. Wow.

So, let me get this straight: Tracy Morgan threatened to shoot his son because he's Gay, and instead his Son shot him in the butt? I can't believe it.

Tracy Morgan has three sons, so I'm inclined to wonder which one. But it's sad news to read that Morgan would actually have such an issue with the sexual orientation of his kids that he would threaten violence toward them in any way.



Now I read that the real story was that Morgan went on some homophobic rant and said that he was going to shoot or stab (depending on who you read) his son (again, which one?) if he said he was Gay.

That's sad.

But for some reason, the initial report of Morgan's son shooting him in the ass just reads better. Not that this corner wants to see any harm come to the genius comic that is Tracy Morgan, but to remind him that there could be harsh unexpected consequences for such actions.

There are some ideas not worth expressing. Tracy Morgan didn't need to make that outburst. But he did, and he's apologized for it.

Moving forward.

Barbara Parker Appointed Oakland's Acting City Attorney For John Russo

Well, with former Oakland City Attorney and Alameda County City Manager John Russo's blessing, Barbara Parker, who Russo mentioned in my video interview with him as one of his lieutenants who "handles the (Oakland City) council's agenda," now has the title of "Acting City Attorney."

Here's the press release from the City of Oakland:

OAKLAND, CA - Chief Assistant City Attorney Barbara J. Parker, a longtime Oakland resident and second in command of the City Attorney's Office, will take over as Acting City Attorney effective 11:30 a.m. today.

In a letter sent Friday to the Mayor and City Council, outgoing City Attorney John Russo wrote that Parker will serve as Acting City Attorney "to assure a seamless transition with an experienced, eminently qualified attorney in charge of the Office until the Council makes its appointment decision." The City Council passed a resolution declaring the Office of City Attorney vacant as of June 13.

"With the number of complex, difficult legal issues facing the City on a daily basis, now is not the time for training wheels," said Oakland City Council President Larry Reid. "Barbara Parker is exceedingly qualified in providing objective, reasoned legal advice. I am very comfortable with Barbara taking on this responsibility until the City Council takes further action."

The Oakland City Charter provides that the Council shall make an appointment within 60 days of the June 13 vacancy to fill the balance of Russo's term, which runs until the end of 2012. If the Council does not make an appointment, it must fill the seat by special election within 120 days after the expiration of the 60 - day period for appointment.

"It is important that a seamless transition occur in the City Attorney's Office," said Sally Elkington, President - Elect of the Alameda County Bar Association. "A city of Oakland's size and complexity requires a clear authority to advocate for the City's and the Oakland community's interests. Barbara Parker is a strong supporter of the values Oakland residents hold dear - racial equality, marriage rights for all, a woman's right to choose, living wages, equal access to city services, and open government and transparency, to mention only a few."

Parker has 20 years of experience at the Oakland City Attorney's Office, including more than 10 years as second in command. She is a 1975 Harvard Law School graduate and previously served for more than five years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of California. She is a lifelong advocate for civil rights, women's empowerment and children's issues. As the Chief Assistant City Attorney, Parker has represented the City Attorney’s Office at virtually all City Council meetings for the past decade. Her responsibilities included overseeing a staff of about 20 attorneys and directing all legal advice provided to the Mayor’s Office, City Council, City Administrator and all other City Boards, Commissions and Departments.

"I have the utmost confidence in Barbara Parker's ability to discharge the City Attorney's duties under the Charter," Russo said Friday. "She is principled, innovative and one of the brightest legal minds I have had the privilege of working with. The City Council, the City of Oakland and the entire community will be well served through her leadership."

Parker has led and supported efforts on a range of important social justice issues including: conducting sexual harassment investigations and training, Oakland's groundbreaking anti - predatory lending ordinance, efforts to decriminalize medicinal marijuana, enforcement and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Oakland's "Bubble Ordinance" ensuring patient access to reproductive health clinics.

"I welcome this opportunity to continue to serve the City and residents of Oakland in this time of transition," Parker said. "Oakland has been a national trail - blazer in using the law in innovative ways to make our communities safer, to eradicate blight, to provide medicine for people suffering from illness or injury and to fight for equal access and citizens' rights."

"During these challenging economic times, I am committed to continuing to work closely with the City Council and to bringing people together to represent the best interests of the Oakland community in a transparent, accessible manner," Parker said. "Teamwork and effective problem-solving are critically important at this time."

On a personal note, I've known Barbara Parker going back to my time as Economic Adviser to then-Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris from 1995 to 1999. Ms. Parker has always been a thoughtful, intelligent, and caring representative of the office of the Oakland City Attorney. She will do well.

The real question is who will run for Oakland City Attorney in 2012? I don't think Barbara has ever picture herself as a politician.

Stay tuned.

Oakland Police Search For Alleged Rapist

The person in this video above reportedly broke into a 28-year old woman's home in Oakland, and was allegedly in the process of stealing a box of "electronics" when she caught him via cellphone camera.

Here's the full video:

He's described as "a black man in his early 40s, five feet nine, 160 pounds, with a bald head," but as you can tell he's more light-skinned black or a person of color, who may be black or Latino.

According to reports, the woman didn't scream or call 911. And after the man left her home at her request, then he reportedly returned and sexually assaulted her. She was sent to the hospital for treatment, then released.

What I can't help asking is why didn't she call, or try to call, the police when the dude left the house the first time? Also, in the video she sounds rather calm for someone who was supposedly taken by surprise by the man. She says "can you please leave. How did you get in here?" in a calm voice. Maybe it's nothing. But why not say "Put my crap down, ass hole!"

But I'm wondering if he's someone she actually knows, which doesn't make the situation any better, and worse for her. Why, of all things to nab, would he take a box of electronics? What? A TV set? A radio?

Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Stay tuned.

Brighton Beach Boardwalk Shooting: Teen Tysha Jones Killed

The chaotic period after the Brighton Beach Boardwalk Shooting, as the videos show:

Brighton Beach New York was the scene of the ghastly gun murder of four people, including a teenager by the name of Tysha Jones. According to the New York Post, a gunman, not specifically identified, inexplicably started shooting, and got the 16-year-old girl in the back. The Harlem and Norman Thomas High School teen was dead.

Why? Why? Why?

Four were wounded and no - not one - arrest was made.

Apparently, it all started when a fight broke out at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, and then the same person who would kill Tysha Jones, who had nothing to do with the fight, opened fire, at first shooting eight rounds into the air before training his gun on the crowd of beach goers.

On Twitter, some are referring to this as the Brighton Beach Massacre.

Stay tuned.