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Archive for March, 2009

This is Called Diplomacy

I had forgotten what diplomacy looked like…until this.

And I found this analysis article from the BBC entitled “What Obama’s Message to Iran Means” really insightful.  Here’s an excerpt:

President Barack Obama’s video message to Iran offering a “new beginning” is an imaginative start to his attempt to improve relations – but huge obstacles remain.

In diplomacy such efforts at overcoming major differences sometimes end simply in defining those differences more sharply.

These issues were not directly mentioned by Mr Obama but this is what he is referring to:

 

  • Iran to give up uranium enrichment and accept international offers to provide fuel for nuclear power
    • Iran to stop arming Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza
    • Iran to help in achieving peace in Afghanistan and Iraq
    • Iran to stop threatening Israel.

    Iran will want the following:

     

    • Acceptance of its right to enrich uranium
    • An end to UN sanctions
    • An end to US sanctions
    • An end to America’s “colonialist attitudes”.
  • We all know that Ahmadinejad  is known to act a fool, so I like Obama’s “kill ’em with kindness” approach.  And the Farsi at the end was a great touch. We’ll see how this plays out.

    —Travers

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    After a slight recession, the laughanomics factor of “The District” is finally rebounding.  It’s not the best episode, but I guess it’s like our economy—-it’s not going to rebound overnight. 🙂

    Enjoy,

    —-Travers

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    Maaaaaaannn hold up!  Two of my best friends from  Texas are coming to visit me in NY tomorrow and I’m so CRUNK, mane!  In celebration, I’m bumping some good ole’ (albeit ignorant as hell) TX hip-hop——-I’m talking about that Swishahouse, “f” action, screwed and chopped ish.  That Paul Wall, UGK, Slim Thug, Lil Keke, Boss Hogg Outlawz ish.  

    If you’re not from Texas, you probably don’t understand…and probably never will. 

    Allllllllllllready mane!

    —-Travers

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    13

    If you ever wanted to know ANYTHING (or rather, anyone’s opinion) about First Lady Michelle Obama, you should look no further than the latest issue of New York Magazine

    The headline on the cover reads “The Power of Michelle Obama” and the issue has profiles of the First Lady from numerous authors with titles such as: “Regarding Michelle Obama: The Many Meanings of a New American Icon”, “The First Couple’s Sexual Politics” , “From Militant to Princess”, and “Her Body, Ourselves”.

    I’ve read most of the profiles in the issue, and while I LOOOOVE our new First Lady as much as much as the next Obama supporter, this issue didn’t sit totally well with me.  While some of the articles did Mrs. Obama justice, I feel that many of them were either overt drool fests, or were slightly offensive assesments that tried to cover up their poison cake with sweet icing.

    One of the things in particular that irked me was the Hillary Clinton bash fest that many of the articles turned out to be.  Granted, Secretary Clinton can be a polarizing figure, and was certainly one as First Lady,  but I admire and respect the hell out of her, and I think that the writers could have made their point about the greatness of Michelle Obama without dragging Hillary through the mud. 

    Additionally, I’m becoming increasingly weary of partisan, biased media coverage.  I’ve never been one to complain about the “liberal” (MSNBC) or “right wing” (FAUX, I mean FOX News) media—I just wouldn’t patronize those media outlets.  But there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground these days.  From television to the internet, and even the FEW papers that are still hanging on, there seems to be either an obvious bias against Democrats, President Obama, “progressive” ideology, etc., or (which in this political climate is certainly the case) an obvious bias towards the aforementioned.  Just like FOX News’ coverage of the Bush Administration was ultimately treacherous, biased coverage of the Obama Administration will serve as an equally disastrous injustice to the public.  I’m not saying that the media should do hatchet jobs, but can I get some objectivity?

    Sometimes I feel that media outlets like New York Magazine are just pimping the Obamas to sell their product, and once public opinion begins to change and the honeymoon ends (which will inevitably happen to some degree), they’ll turn on the President and First Lady just like they have on every other politician and their families.

    But media rant aside, you should keep reading to check out these artistic interpretations of First Lady Obama from New York  Magazine .

    Thoughts on any of this?

    —-Travers

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    Via The Huffington Post:

    “Obama embraces his Irish heritage (his his great-great-great-grandfather Falmouth Kearney was from the [Irish] village of Moneygall)…”

    Well, then.  If they’re gonna take it that far back, maybe I need to be doing some geneaological research to locate my Irish kinfolk.  It’ll be like Roots all over again!  Lol!

    But anyway, I love St. Patrick’s Day and  I LOVE the color GREEN (“money green”, to be exact).

    Have a glorious St. Patty’s Day,

    —-Travers

     

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    ruth_bader_ginsburg2c_scotus_photo_portraitWith U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggesting today that there may be an opening on the bench in the near future , I decided to post a Facebook note that my good friend Christian Nwachukwu, Jr. wrote recently that includes a list of his wishes/predictions for who President Obama should tap to fill the seat if it should open.  Christian draws from the worlds of academia, politics, and the justice system to create a list of people who, even if they never get close to the high court, you should definitely know.  Let me know what you think.

    —Travers

    Appointments

    By Christian Nwachukwu, Jr.

     

    We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges. – President Barack Obama

    Whither lists? Or, and perhaps more important, why? Well, they are extraordinarily helpful for organizing ideas-the grocery store can be mapped; the day wrangled; the career ladder bulleted and dead-lined. Prospects-for love or money-are plotted in a single place, to be re-visited at will, viewed on demand. Thornier, though, is to what end? The why of lists seems sufficient if the list is private; but what of public lists: the editorial in underline, bold letters in newsprint or web log? To influence? To provoke? To predict? Perhaps. For the reporter, beat or institution, perhaps all of these. For the adviser, probably only the first. For me? Of course, it is always a delight to be right (see Loadholt, Jarrod re: Vice President Joe Biden), but that is not the driver of this list. If it were, my list would be shorter (Power Ball is won with six numbers for a reason). While I believe any of my “names” could be confirmed, I make no claim that they will be nominated-only that they should be. Is this list biased? Doubtless. I did not undertake this exercise as either journalist or adviser, but rather, as citizen. My criteria are my own-lensed by my life and limited only by the president’s words, which appear above. You will find that it is peopled primarily with women. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer demands that any list be dominated by the names of women. But my list would lean heavily on feminine shoulders, regardless. The current Court-eight men and one woman-reflects the classrooms of the nation’s law schools not seen since 1970. The time for a high court with more than two women has passed. Let us catch up. It is also largely African American. That there has never been a black woman nominated to the Supreme Court seems to me a bit like Duke Ellington never having won a proper Pulitzer for music(1)-their names were excluded (see Constance Baker Motley, et al.). I have decided to write them in. Also, names are notably absent-there are several people who are proving astoundingly suited to their current positions, or who I hope will ascend to higher perches of public service that a Supreme Court appointment would preclude, e.g. Attorney General Eric Holder; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and Senator Claire McCaskill, among them. Many of those listed are judges-this is more a consequence of recognizing reality than personal preference, i.e. if I ruled the world Dr. David Levering Lewis would have made the cut (to my thinking, his mere months at University of Michigan School of Law is sufficient legal tenure for an intellectual lion). The list is, sadly, ageist. Dr. Levering Lewis is 72 (perhaps two strikes is a strike too many). The newest member of the Court, Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., is 58. Although he was 56 upon his appointment, I used his current age as my cut-off. Were human hearts to routinely beat for a century and more I would have perhaps named Eleanor Holmes Norton (71); Marian Wright Edelman (69); Drew S. Days, III (67); Robert Harris (66); Susan Deller Ross (65); Barrington Parker, Jr. (64); or Eric L. Clay (61). But we must make do in the world as we find it, and in this world Justice Clarence Thomas (60) ascended to the Supreme Court at 43. Finally, there were several notables routinely mentioned on the shortest of short lists in the days following news of Justice Ginsburg’s surgery, e.g. Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Judge Diane Wood. With apologies to Nina Totenberg and Jeffrey Toobin, their names are absent from my list. I like them and would be pleased were the president to name either. But this is a list for the warming of cockles (mine), the breaking out of champagne if any of it becomes reality (by me), and my general pleasure and good cheer. And there goes another reason: lists can be fun.

    In no particular order; drum-roll, please:

     

    1. sonya2Sonia Sotomayor, 54 (Princeton, Yale), United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A former editor of the Yale Law Journal and former Assistant District Attorney to New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, Judge Sotomayor became the first Hispanic federal judge in New York State in 1991. Conservatives have long maintained that her appointment was part of a deal by President George H. W. Bush and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. And President Bill Clinton nominated Judge Sotomayor to the appellate court in 1997, upon which she was roundly criticized by the Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages and Rush Limbaugh. But Sotomayor is “widely considered a political centrist by the American Bar Association” (New York Times, USA Today), and her name appeared on short lists for President George W. Bush. This worries me. But I am cautiously optimistic about the service she would render as a United States Supreme Court Associate Justice.
    2. 72371634BP015_clintondemsJennifer Granholm, 50 (University of California, Berkeley, Harvard), Governor of Michigan. The Canadian-born American, Governor Granholm has served as her state’s Attorney General and is currently serving her final (due to term limits) term as Michigan’s governor. Her name has also been floated for the now-vacant Commerce Secretary slot.
    3. roseboroughTeresa Wynn Roseborough, 50 (University of Virginia, Boston University, UNC School of Law), Chief Litigation Counsel at MetLife. A former editor of the North Carolina Law Review, Roseborough served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Clinton Administration and worked as a law clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge James Dickson Phillips, Jr., and as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. She was brought in as counsel to Vice President Al Gore in 2000. The American Spectator reported in its November 1997 issue that President Clinton had intended to nominate Roseborough to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, but that Senator Orrin Hatch, then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, “balked” at the appointment and “suggested that a more moderate Clinton-appointed U.S. district judge, Frank Hull, would have clear sailing.” Judge Hull was ultimately nominated and confirmed.
    4. deval_1Deval Patrick, 52 (Harvard, Harvard School of Law), Governor of Massachusetts. A former Assistant Attorney General in the Clinton Administration, attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, businessman, and close friend to the president, Governor Patrick is my pick for most likely to become the high court’s next liberal lion. His tenure as Massachusetts’s governor has not been entirely smooth, but whose is?
     
    5. searsLeah Ward Sears, 53 (Cornell, Emory), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia and Chair of the Judicial Council of Georgia. Justice Sears, who began her judicial career when Mayor Andrew Young named her to the Atlanta Traffic Court in 1985, became the first African American woman to serve on Georgia’s Superior Court in 1988; the first woman and youngest person to sit on the Supreme Court of Georgia in 1992; and the first African American female Chief Justice in the United States in 2005.
    6. victoriarobertsVictoria A. Roberts, 57 (University of Michigan, Northeastern), U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. A former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Judge Roberts’s name was originally held up for confirmation by Senate Republicans after she was nominated by President Clinton. Then she met for an hour in Justice Clarence Thomas’s chambers. According to the Washington Post: “He told her how he grew up listening to Motown artists and rattled off tunes by the Temptations, the Marvelettes, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. About 15 or 20 minutes into the conversation, Thomas abruptly stopped, Roberts recalled. ‘I have spent longer talking to you than I talked to President [George H.W.] Bush when my name was submitted to the bench,’ he told Roberts. ‘To this day, I’m still not certain why or how I got this nomination.'” After the meeting, Thomas called his friend Judge Damon Keith, who had vouched for Roberts: “You can tell her she’ll be confirmed. I’ve talked to Orrin Hatch and Trent Lott.”

    7.patricia Patricia Timmons-Goodson, 54 (UNC, UNC School of Law), Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. A former Fayetteville prosecutor, Judge Timmons-Goodson served as a District Court judge from 1984 to1997 and on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 1997 to 2005. She has served on North Carolina’s high court since 2006.

    8. richardRichard L. Revesz, 50 (Princeton, Yale), Dean of the New York University School of Law. Argentina-born Revesz edited the Yale Law Journal and clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall. He has taught Environmental and Administrative Law and has served as his school’s dean since 2002.

     

    9. jesse_jackson_jrJesse Jackson, Jr., 43 (N.C. A&T, Chicago Theological Seminary, University of Illinois School of Law), Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Illinois’s 2nd congressional district. Despite the dust-up surrounding Congressman Jackson and allegations of impropriety relating to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s attempts to fill President Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat, the young Congressman’s record speaks for itself.

    10. 20070227_napolitano_3Janet Napolitano, 51 (Santa Clara University, University of Virginia), Secretary of Homeland Security. Governor Napolitano served as Arizona’s Attorney General and was re-elected as her state’s governor in 2006. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton as United States Attorney for the District of Arizona where she focused on consumer protection issues and improving general law enforcement. Napolitano served as an attorney for Anita Hill in 1991.

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    fedex

    FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinko’s), an operating company of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), plans to offer its printing services in an effort to help job seekers across the nation.  The company will host “FedEx Office Free Resume Printing Day” on March 10, 2009, offering to print up to 25 copies of each customer’s resume for free. 

    As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent and the number of unemployed persons increased to 11.6 million in January 2009.  With so many people looking to get their printed resumes in the hands of recruiters and hiring managers, FedEx Office is prepared to help.

    The company invites customers to take advantage of this one-day event by visiting any of its 1,600+ FedEx Office Print and Ship Centers in the United States during regular business hours.  This offer is good for 25 black-and-white resume copies per customer and is only valid for orders placed and picked up in-store.  Customers may place orders by submitting their resume in printed format or as a digital file, and the copies will be printed single-sided on resume-quality paper.

    “We understand that the economy has affected many people in a very profound way, and we want to help,” said Brian Philips, president and CEO of FedEx Office.  “Printing resumes is one small way we can use our resources to help those who need it.”

    To find the nearest FedEx Office Print and Ship Center, visit http://www.fedex.com or call 1-800-Go-FedEx (1-800-463-3339). 

    SOURCE: FedEx Office

    You REALLY need to take advantage of this opportunity!  With the U.S. unemployment rate now at 8.1 percent (the highest it’s been since 1983), SOOO many people are looking for jobs.  And in this economic climate, even if you do have a job, I strongly advise you to keep that resume updated just in case.  (I sure am, because this is NOT a game).

    This free resume printing day really hits home for me because I am currently participating in a No-Buy Month.  I’ll give you more details later today, but essentially I’m only spending money on absolute necessities during the month of March.  Today is Day 10, and I’m proud to say that I haven’t deviated from the plan…but the remaining 21 days that are left in the month are definitely going to be a struggle. 

    More to come…

    —Travers

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    I can recall the exact moment that my pre-teen love affair with Mariah Carey began: at the 20 second mark of this video.

    This is hands down my favorite video by Mariah.  I love everything about this joint—-the concept, the simple choreography, the vocal runs, the characteristically 90s tomfoolery by the Bad Boy crew…the wet suit.  This is the remix video, but the original video goes just as hard

    This song comes from the Butterfly album, and although her other albums had great singles, I DARE someone to argue that Butterfly isn’t her best album to date.

    This video brings back SO many memories of me and my hometown crew jammin’.  

    Enjoy,

    —Travers

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    This one’s not that funny.  Actually it’s not funny at all.  The most it got out of me was a “heh” and the only reason I categorized it under “Hilarity” is because that’s where all the other episodes are.

    Nevertheless, you should check out the other episodes because they’re much better.

    —Travers

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    This is my FAVORITE episode yet!  Best part starts at 1:12:

    Barack: “Crazy North Korea started talking trash about shooting missiles…”

    Whitney Port: “What is wroonnnnng with these people?!?”

    And I was DYING laughing when they kept cutting to the shot of Kim Jong-il looking a HOT A$$ MESS, as only he can.

    Enjoy,

    —Travers

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