M. Alexis Scott (22)
Some of the reactions to the re-election of President Barack Obama have been nothing short of whacky.
Can you believe there is a series of secession petitions in all 50 states? Where do they think they're going?
Even I have caught flack. I was accused of hating all white men after noting the broad policy overreaches of the GOP during the campaign which led to Obama winning just about every other demographic group of voters by significant margins. This reaction came from my fellow panel members on the Georgia Gang.
I was simply responding to their assertion that Obama won due to a divisive, hateful campaign. I noted that the GOP-controlled legislatures in more than 30 states implemented voter ID laws intended to suppress voters – mostly low-income people of color and elderly, who usually lean Democratic. They also voted to shorten the early-voter period which saw large Obama voters turn out in 2008. I n addition, I pointed out their efforts to control women's reproductive rights through legislation to limit or discourage abortions and access to birth control. And finally I noted the statements by Mitt Romney to encourage illegal immigrants to "self-deport."
One Georgia Gang fan wrote me later, "It is unfortunate that the Republican Party seems to miss the message that was sent from Tuesday's election. Women, Latinos, Blacks and Asian Americans count!"
Also following the election, a spate of vile racist tweets hit Twitter. One data company figured out where that hate was coming from – turns out it was mostly Alabama and Mississippi with Georgia not far behind.
There were also excited reports about a "riot" on Ole Miss's campus. But it really was just a handful of young folk burning an Obama/Biden poster and a big crowd of bystanders taking photos with their smartphones.
Then, post-election, Papa John of Pizza fame said he doesn't have enough dough for Obamacare so he had to cut hours and lay off workers. Meanwhile billionaire CEO David Siegel, who threatened to fire employees if President Obama was re-elected, gave them raises instead. "I wanted to help them handle the additional burdens the government will put on them," he said.
Police in Arizona said a Mesa woman injured her husband by running over him with an SUV because he didn't vote in last week's presidential election. Authorities said Holly Solomon opposed Obama and was upset her husband didn't go to the polls.
Police said Solomon chased her husband through a parking lot and pinned him under the vehicle as he tried to flee. She was booked on an aggravated assault count.
This is crazy stuff!
And now a week later, some Republican members of Congress have characterized the Nov. 6 vote as a "status quo" election, citing the re-election of Obama and a still divided Congress -- Democrats in charge of the Senate and Republicans in charge of the House.
This is just a case of denial. Democrats added seats in both the Senate and the House. Voting data also show that the number of votes for Democratic members of the Congress outnumber the votes for Republicans, who were elected from districts in GOP-controlled states.
The not-so-loyal opposition needs to get over itself. Barack Obama is president for four more years. Settle down.
M. Alexis Scott is publisher of Atlanta Daily World.
In a campaign that was brilliant and nearly flawless, Barack Obama succeeded against daunting odds to win more than 300 electoral votes, way past the necessary 270 mark, to be the first African American in history to win two terms as president of the United States.
Whenever anyone asked me if I thought Obama would win, I always said yes. But to see it really happen was breathtaking. It was a very close popular vote but the Obama ground machine was focused on what it needed to do to reach the goal of 270 electoral votes. Congressman John Lewis said it best: "My congratulations to President Barack Obama and his campaign," he said. "Their skill and expertise have led them to make history once again."
The laser focus of the Obama campaign apparatus was augmented by the excessive overreaches of his opponent, Mitt Romney, and Republican Party operatives and supporters.
Efforts by more than 30 Republican-controlled states to implement stringent voter ID laws to suppress voter turnout among likely Democratic voters backfired. And further efforts to suppress the vote with shorter early voting periods also backfired. This GOP alienation of African-American and Hispanic voters cost them a victory in a nation that is becoming "browner" with every election cycle.
Romney's ridiculous "self –deportation" suggestion for the estimated 10 million undocumented workers was countered by Obama's brilliant and compassionate executive order to allow children of undocumented workers an opportunity to come out of the shadows.
In addition to the voter suppression efforts, more than 20 GOP-controlled states, including Georgia, continued the assault on women's reproductive rights. These attacks on birth control and limiting parameters for abortions also backfired. Women, especially younger, single women, overwhelmingly voted for Obama in response.
The GOP ran what felt many times like a campaign for rich white men only. That will not and did not carry the day in 2012. America is well on the road to being a nation that is majority people of color. And the impact of money and power to advantage the special interests of a few will no longer automatically rule.
Again, Rep. Lewis said it best. "By re-electing President Barack Obama, the American people made a major down payment toward the building of a truly diverse, multi-racial democracy."
And while most of Romney's support came from mostly white, older voters, it was also heartening to see that Obama still retained 40 percent of the white vote, down only slightly from the 43 percent he received in 2008.
Yes, it was clear from this historic election, or re-election, that race, gender, age, class and region are still fault lines that our nation must continue to address. But his re-election is not a dream. Barack Obama is still president of the United States of America, and I and my mother lived to see it. Hallelujah!
M. Alexis Scott is publisher of the Atlanta Daily World.
OK, if you haven't already voted, now is the time to focus and make sure you make it to the polls by Tuesday, Nov. 6.
There is a lot at stake. President Barack Obama is seeking a second term against challenger Massachusetts Governor and businessman Mitt Romney. It is a clear-choice election. As my mother said, "We just can't elect Mitt Romney president."
President Barack Obama made history four years ago with his election as the first Black president of the United States. As soon as he took office, he has been swimming upstream: against the greatest recession in modern times; against recalcitrant GOP opposition; against a 24/7 cable media animal that wanted to keep the contest going to keep their record high ratings and finally against the chattering classes that were waiting for him to be the president of Black people only.
I'm sure you've all seen the many lists of Obama's accomplishments, achieved in spite of his critics and committed opposition in the Congress. His biggest was health care reform, an effort that's been underway for 50 years by both Democrats and Republicans. For me, health care reform was also my biggest disappointment. I was hoping for a "Medicare for All" plan, a public health plan along the lines of public education. Still there are many good things in the current law as it is: children covered to age 26, coverage for pre-existing conditions and no lifetime limit on dollar amount of coverage.
And finally, we need to support the president's re-election because it's good for Atlanta. I had a chance to sit with Mayor Kasim Reed and some other journalists this week and he continued to champion the president's re-election bid and predicted his win.
"Atlanta will continue to have cooperation," Reed said, pointing out the benefits of his relationship with President Obama. He pointed to the federal dollars that have poured into the region during the last three years, including $47 million for the downtown street car project, money that made it possible to hire new police officers and funds for widening the Savannah Port which will mean more jobs for the state and metro region.
Despite the closeness of the race as shown in the polls, Reed said the odds are in Obama's favor. He likened the election to a prizefight.
"If the goal is 270 (electoral votes), Reed said Wednesday. "One sits at 246 and one is at 206. Who'd you like to be? I want to be the one at 246...In a 12-round competition, we're at seven rounds (already) won with five rounds to go," Reed said. "At the end of the fight, we win."
Reed left the briefing on his way to Jacksonville, FL to campaign some more. On election night, he said he'll start out in DC and end up in Chicago to celebrate.
So my peeps in Atlanta, based on the last three years, we have a lot to gain from re-electing President Obama. And on the other hand, we have much to lose if Romney is elected. If Romney wins the race, it will be a great blow to the millions of people who have donated and worked for Obama in contrast to the relatively few monied-interests who have supported the Romney's campaign.
It's time to make history again. If you haven't done so already, vote for President Obama again, and make him the first black president of the United States ever to be re-elected.
That was about all Mitt Romney had in the Monday night foreign policy debate with President Barack Obama. "I agree with President Obama," Romney said more than a few times.
Romney's goal for the evening was to get through the debate on foreign policy without scaring women and looking like a bully who would drop a bomb on anybody that didn't agree with him.
He got through it, but that's about all. He was clearly outmatched by President Obama's clear, forceful response to the questions from CBS' Bob Schafer, who gave both of them all sorts of rope to hang themselves.
Early on Romney seemed caught in a loop of reciting talking points without being able to get out. It was quite unnerving. He appeared nervous and uncertain. Not a good look for a bully.
I agree with GA Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon's assessment: "Tonight's final Presidential debate clearly demonstrated the vast difference in foreign policy experience between President Obama and Governor Romney. Experience matters. The President won this round and showed that he has earned four more years in office.
"President Obama shared his vision for changes in the Middle East, unequivocally demonstrated his support for Israel, underscored his resolve to guarantee that Iran never develops a nuclear weapon, made clear how important the issue of foreign policy is to our national security and outlined a strategy for dealing with future challenges.
"By contrast, Governor Romney spent most of his time agreeing with the President's policies on sanctions with Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Syria, suggested Russia was our biggest national security threat, demonstrated he failed to understand the strategic capabilities of our military by confusing quantity with quality, suggested that a possible trade war with China may be a good idea and tried to explain away his position that the car industry should have been forced into bankruptcy."
Very nice summary of the night, Chairman Berlon. The CBS poll gave Obama 53% to Romney's 23% for the clear win.
I liked Rev. Al Sharpton's prize-fight observation. He said all Romney did was "clinch and hold" just to get through the 90 minutes. Democratic operative Van Jones said that if the debate had lasted another 30 minutes, Romney would have announced his endorsement of President Obama.
And this was the president's best zinger: "I think Gov. Romney hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy & how we don't have as many ships as we did in 1916....well Gov. we also have fewer horses & bayonettes...(pause) because the nature of our Military has changed."
I agree with what he said.
While I'm not a particularly big fan of mano-a-mano fisticuffs, I'm happy to see that President Barack Obama held his own against the bully boss-from-hell Mitt Romney in the Tuesday night town-hall debate.
Obama did what he needed to do. He was totally engaged and reversed everyone's opinion that he had lost his mojo from the first debate. He confronted, interrupted and rebuffed Romney again and again. This time, Mr. CEO came face to face with the Commander-in-Chief in a not so friendly meeting.
As we head toward Nov. 6, with early voting already started here in Atlanta this week, the choice couldn't be clearer. Just look at the party platforms behind these two men. If there are any undecided voters still out there, you should just go ahead to the polls and vote for incumbent! Am I right?
Okay, what we have here is a double standard for how to measure a bully. Most of the commentators are saying that Vice President Joe Biden was snarky and condescending toward his debate opponent Congressman Paul Ryan.
I felt the same way about Gov. Mitt Romney last week in the debate with President Barack Obama. But most of the pundits said he simply “dominated” and “took charge” of the debate. You decide this, but this is annoying style “malarkey” compared to Ryan’s frightening content.
The thing that took my breath away was the section on abortion rights. When moderator Martha Radditz, who was great by the way, asked them to talk about how their religion impacted their thinking about abortion rights, Ryan’s response was very scary to me.
Ryan said he would support Romney’s position on being okay with abortion only in the case of rape, incest or threat to life of the mother. Clearly a person’s right to an abortion is legal under current law. Nobody is “in favor” of abortion, as some weird form of birth control. But what is important to know is that some people are going to make a decision to get one. This has been the case for hundreds of years and will be the case going forward.
What is also clear is that many Republican-led state legislatures around the nation have been introducing bills to limit and/or interrupt efforts to get safe and legal abortions.
And Ryan continued this push during the debate when he said he didn’t think a panel of “unelected” judges should have the power to determine the legality of abortions and that the decision ought to be sent back to the states. What?!
That takes me back to the dark old days of racial segregation. Georgia almost voted to shut down the public schools in the state rather than desegregate them following the 1954
Brown desegregation case. This decision by the U.S. Supreme Court (that same unelected panel) ruled “separate but equal” unconstitutional.
We cannot go back to the dark days of back-alley abortions which threatened the health of and exploited mostly poor women.
People, you cannot put rights up for a vote, or as Vice President Biden would say: you cannot put rights up for a vote, “period.”
Tell me what you think.
Atlanta keeps making a positive difference in people’s lives here, around the country and around the world. Here’s just a sample of what happened over the weekend:
Kenny Leon scores again
Kenny Leon scores again with the airing of “Steel Magnolias,” a remake of the movie he directed featuring Queen Latifah and an all-star cast including Jill Scott, Phylicia Rashad and Afre Woodard.
Georgia-Pacific hosted a preview screening last Friday night that was a benefit for the True Colors Theater Company and Granny Nannies, a respite care organization for seniors.
Kenny led a discussion following the screening with some of the men cast members: Ofemo Omilami, Julius Irving (yes, Dr. J!) and Theatrical Outfit Artistic Director Tom Key.
Kenny said he pushed to do the Lifetime Channel movie in Atlanta because he knew the town, he knew we had the actors and he just got married in March and he wanted to be home. In response to a question, Dr. J said he’s been friends and golfing buddies with Kenny and he was able to make the transition to acting because “I’ve always been coachable.”
The classic line from the movie still rings true: “I’d rather have a few moments of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”
Jane Goodall’s cause expands
Jane Goodall, famous for her research on chimps and ages in Africa, continues to work to save the planet by focusing on three areas: people, animals and the environment. One of her latest efforts is called “Roots and Shoots.” It’s an educational program for young people that is located in more than 100 countries around the world. Its goal is to teach youth about taking care of the planet.
She was in Atlanta this past weekend raising awareness and funds for her organization at a reception hosted by Mary and Tim Mapes and Laura and Rutherford Seydel. After all these years and despite wars and economic woes, Goodall said she remains hopeful about the future.
There are three things that bring her hope, she said: youth, the human brain power and the resilience of nature and the human spirit. She nodded to Bernice King, who offered a blessing for the occasion, when she talked about “indomitable human spirit” of people like Martin Luther King Jr. Bernice’s father.
Joseph Lowery celebrates 91 years
The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery celebrated his 91st birthday with family and friends over the weekend on the campus of Morehouse College. Among those making tributes were Morehouse President Robert Franklin, Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum, U.S. Rep. David Scott and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson. In addition his wife Evelyn and daughters Yvonne, Karen and Cheryl and their families were by his side.
True to form, Rev. Lowery thanked everyone for remembering him and announced his plan to launch a tour around the state to rally voters for the 2012 national election. He said he will participate in rallies in Macon, Savannah, Augusta and Albany to turn out the vote. Georgia lost the 2008 election to the GOP by 200,000 votes, he noted. “That’s 52-48 (percent). “This year, we can turn Georgia blue.”
Atlanta Chapter Black MBA Is a Winner
The Atlanta Chapter of the National Black MBA brought home three top prizes from the recent national convention. The Atlanta group is the largest and won Entrepreneur Channel, Entrepreneur of the Year (Atlanta Chapter member – Dan Jenkins – a Subway owner) and President of the Year for Charmaine Ward, director of community affairs for Georgia-Pacific. Congratulations!
So the bully won on points in the first debate.
Obama’s campaign chair David Plouffe called Mitt Romney “theatrically aggressive,” and said that President Obama was sticking to his plan of telling folks what he’s done and what he’s going to do. Politics Nation Host and Activist Rev. Al Sharpton said President Obama was playing rope-a-dope.
DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis said the debate “offered American voters a clear choice of substance over style,” with President Obama having the substance over Romney’s style.
Others said that the fact-checkers will find Romney wanting. He not only contradicted himself from earlier statements, but threatened to kill Big Bird. Paraphrasing, he said he’s going to miss PBS, including Big Bird and other things he likes to watch, but he’s cutting them out of the budget. And, oh by the way, he told PBS anchor and debate moderator Jim Lehrer that he’s getting the boot, too. After the way Lehrer lost control over the format, a pink slip might be in order.
One of my friends on Facebook said he’s glad there’s video of Romney saying things differently from his performance on the debate, “especially the 47% debacle.” Another said, “I’m not sure what happened.” And finally, one noted, “Romney made his presence felt tonight. But he may have hurt himself by saying he'd kill Big Bird.” Here’s my assessment: Romney, the bully, looks like he won.
Our Shining Black Prince looks like he’d rather have been at this 20th wedding anniversary with his FLOTUS.
So tell me what do you think?