After analyzing this bill myself, I came to the independent conclusion that it is a failed attempt to move the economy forward and once again, it seems that President Obama conceded too much. The most disturbing aspect of this bill would be what it does to graduate students. Under the Budget Control Act of 2011 graduate students will no longer receive federal subsidize student loans which delays interest payments until six months after graduation.
With rising cost in tuition and already insurmountable student loan payments under the belt of recent graduates while in an economic downfall, how can anyone ever repay Uncle Sam? Once again the burden is being passed along to future generations and we are already paying the price for Bush tax cuts, which continues to be reauthorized even under a Democratic President.
I don't know about you but graduate students and future graduate students should be outraged.
Other important components of the bill included cuts to the Low Income Heating Assistance Program, the Women, Infant and Child Nutrition program, Health Centers across the country and Legal Aid, which serves underprivileged communities.
All of the above programs benefit the middle class, a group severely burdened due to our staggering job market and failed economic stimulus package. I could go on to mention that it also cuts important investments in AmeriCorps, Head start, NASA and the much needed and once highly debated High Speed Rail funding, which was part of the Presidents Economic Stimulus package.
If we continue in this direction without considering the elimination of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, the economy and our nations budget will stagger for decades to come, resulting in a drained Social Security fund and this would be the American nightmare we don't want to wake to in 10 years. Sound the alarm.
I wholeheartedly accept the idea of having more minorities in the U.S House of Representatives, but I am somewhat skeptical of Senate Bill 5004 presented by Sen. Mamie Locke.
With redistricting going on around the country, Senator Locke believes Virginia has an opportunity to create another minority district. Of course her plan, if passed, would have to be scrutinized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) due to the Voter Rights Act of 1965. This act requires states with a history of discriminatory practices, relating to voting, to clear all changes to electoral maps with DOJ. Virginia, not surprisingly is one of those states.
Sen. Locke's plan would bring the black population in the 3rd Congressional District currently represented by Robert C. "Bobby" Scott to 44.6% and the 4th Congressional District, currently held by Randy Forbes to 53.5%. Most people supporting this bill are probably dazzled by the possible increase of minority representation for Virginia, however, there isn't any guarantee.
I have seen in far too many cases, the crowded primary. You know, when three minority candidates run and eventually dilute their own communities voting strength. They fight against each other and in the end they all loose. This could obviously happen in primaries across the board but is more likely to be an issue in majority minority districts, as such. I strongly believe in the "may the best man win" concept but we must be careful. Congressman Bobby Scott could certainly win in a district that is only 44.6% minority, however, he won't be in office forever. He is already considering a run for the U.S. Senate.
Either way, I guess it doesn't hurt to try. It seems like the DOJ would support the idea. My prediction, if the bill passes in the Senate later this month, is that Mamie Locke would run for Congress in the 3rd provided Congressman Scott seeks a U.S. Senate seat and Dwight Jones would run in the 4th. Shall we break out the brackets for the 2012 House races?
I listened closely to Dr. Cornel West and Rev. Al Sharpton argue over the black agenda and how it relates to President Obama on MSNBC's "A Stronger America: The Black Agenda" special. The concept of this show perturbed me, profusely, as much as the debate itself. I mean, it's 2011, why does race matter this much?
Once again, we are discussing the civil rights movement. Once again, we are talking about Obama, and his unwillingness to speak about police brutality in NYC, which has several black churches and politicians, equally unwilling. Once again, we are trying to disassociate Obama, inadvertently, from the black community. Rev. Sharpton was on team Obama and Dr. West appeared to be on team, "Obama ain't done nothing for black folks." I actually found Rev. Sharpton's comments to be refreshing. He raised a good point when he spoke on other black leaders and individual accountability.
We have the Congressional Black Caucus foundation and tons of "civil rights" groups in our country, but for some reason, President Obama should carry the torch. It's surprising how many people in the black community are openly dissatisfied with the President.
I listened to Dr. West and immediately thought of a friend who believes the Obama Administration has failed America. How could this be...we all had so much Hope in 2008 (sarcasm). He would even go as far to say Obama has failed the black community...and that is where I stop him.
President Obama has accomplished more than President Bush did in his entire 8 years in the black community and just because his healthcare bill did not say "provides insurance for uninsured black folks" does not mean it will not insure black folks. Dr. West should know this. He should know the significant impact Obama has had on the black community just by being in the White House. He should be able to recognize his success as a giant step for all mankind.
With all due respect, Dr. West is black, but he most definitely does not fit in the same category as a Rev. Sharpton. As he criticizes Obama for not doing enough in the black community, he could be teaching the great young black minds at an HBCU, such as Hampton, but he chose Princeton. Like Rev. Sharpton said, it should not all fall on Obama, we have the Congressional Black Caucus that could also fight for a "black agenda" (whatever that is in 2011) but what are they doing to progress this so called "black agenda?"
Oh, wait! Obama is the only one who should carry that torch. No other black leader or better yet, individual, should be held accountable. Come on folks. Give Obama a chance.
by Curtis D. Young
The question is why should we support a candidate other than Tim Kaine in Virgina?
I have watched and played in Virginia politics dating back to my days as a low level field staffer for Mark Warner in 2001. I have been extremely impressed with the States recent march toward infinite "blue-dom." I am not sure who deserves the credit, but they have done a mighty fine job turning Virginia blue or baby blue perhaps. It was when CNN announced that President Obama won Virginia in 2008 that I knew we had risen from the eternal label of "red state."
With all the demographic changes that have taken place in Virginia, I now think we have a perfect opportunity to elect one of the most senior democrats in the state. Yes, Congressman Bobby Scott.
Congressman Scott has long been known in Washington as one of the hardest working members in the U.S. House of Representatives and has received high marks from his constituents and colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He has managed to build a strong political reach throughout the state, largely due to his annual Labor Day Picnic, which unofficially kicks off the campaign season in Virginia. This event attracts democrats from all corners and even had President Bill Clinton attend back in 2000 (now that's a picnic).
He also represents a district spanning from Richmond, down to the Hampton Roads area, that includes a large number of minority voters. He's one of those guys that everyone loves. In Congress, he works hard on issues impacting America's youth and is by far a leading voice on all things constitution. If you have ever attended one of his town hall meetings, I am sure you walked away with a better understanding of our nations budget woes.
Now that Jim Webb is retiring, I strongly believe that Bobby Scott is the most viable candidate we have. Don't get me wrong, Tim Kaine is a nice guy, we all know this. But are we obligated to support him because he's there? Seriously, how many people have actually thought this through? Look at the pro's and the con's of a Tim Kaine campaign and a Bobby Scott campaign. From my window I see more pro's in the Bobby Scott column. Sure, he has a liberal voting record, but it's not too different from any other democrat.
The party (Democratic Party, that is) has long overlooked minority candidates with the failed excuse of "they can't raise the money." Well, if the party actually supported minority candidates and spent as much time fundraising for them, as they would do for Tim Kaine, there wouldn't be this fundraising gap. If Barak Obama would have listened to party insiders about running for President, he would still be in the Senate and John McCain would be President (sorry Hillary, I really love you).
Seriously, let's think this thing through. Bobby Scott would bring in tons of new minority voters from around the state. The campaign would automatically receive national converge since he would likely be the only prominent black senatorial candidate and that itself would bring in dollars. He would be able to explain his votes, much better than any other candidate we have in Virgina. Tim Kaine can barely explain his last budget.
Don't get me wrong, I like Tim Kaine. As I stated before, he is a really NICE guy...but perhaps too nice to win in Virginia. I stand behind Congressman Bobby Scott for U.S. Senate and I sincerely hope he decides to throw his hat in the ring.