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Sometimes Reality Even Finds Its Way into Harvard

Every so often, a really wonderful article appears in the New York Times.  Robert Pear’s “Harvard Ideas on Health Care Hit Home, Hard,” is one:

“For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.

“Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed….

“In Harvard’s health care enrollment guide for 2015, the university said it ‘must respond to the national trend of rising health care costs, including some driven by health care reform,’ in the form of the Affordable Care Act. The guide said that Harvard faced “’dded costs’ because of provisions in the health care law that extend coverage for children up to age 26, offer free preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies and, starting in 2018, add a tax on high-cost insurance, known as the Cadillac tax.”

This may be one of the few good things to come out of ObamaCare.

The article should not only be read, but savored.  For example, some Harvard faculty are upset that their insurance policy will now include a deductible.  For an individual, that deductible will be—wait for it—$250!  Oh, the horror, the horror!!  How will those impoverished Harvard professors ever afford it?

Then there is the ignorance:

“But Jerry R. Green, a professor of economics and a former provost who has been on the Harvard faculty for more than four decades, said the new out-of-pocket costs could lead people to defer medical care or diagnostic tests, causing more serious illnesses and costly complications in the future.

“‘It’s equivalent to taxing the sick,’ Professor Green said. ‘I don’t think there’s any government in the world that would tax the sick.’”

If requiring people to pay more for their health care is equivalent to taxing the sick, then what exactly are wait lists for surgerydiagnostic tests and cancelled surgeries?  Perhaps Professor Green should travel to Great Britain and ask some of the patients there.

ObamaCare lends credence to William F. Buckley’s statement that he’d “rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”


Pulling Back the Curtain on Sharpton’s Activism and Obama’s Regulations

The following post was written by National Center staff member Bethany Whitlock:

It seems that Al Sharpton and President Barack Obama’s true colors are coming out – revealing that neither of them are really who they have pretended to be.  As National Center executive director David Almasi said in a recent interview, however, “It’s not something we haven’t seen before” with others from the liberal wing of American politics.

David appeared during the first segment of the 1/5/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network.  Leading into the segment, Amato made an interesting comment: “Racism pays off.”

In his interview, David explained what Amato meant, saying:

The New York Post printed an article where they talked about how [Al Sharpton] was getting money from… a plethora of America companies, and sometimes there appears to be a quid pro quo – other times it seems that they’re paying him off to get the protests to stop.

While the intention behind the rallies, protests and other civil disobedience acts may have been for a real cause, the Post report indicated, the goal of Al Sharpton and his supporters differed. 

As Project 21 member Lawrence B. Jones said last December: “Al Sharpton seems to have one agenda, and that’s garnering money and influence for himself within the liberal establishment.”

Obama also seems to be showing the public who he really is when it comes to regulations.  As he approaches the end of his presidency, he told NPR that he sounded somewhat liberated from campaign duties and free from political obligation to colleagues seeking reelection during an interview with NPR.  As a result, it  appearsobvious that he plans to spend the next two years pursuing a policy of regulating, using his pen for executive orders and making phone calls in pursuit of policy regardless of Congress.

But David said this strategy may still come at a political price over the long-term for other liberal politicians.  He explained:

[Obama] can be the radical leftist that he’s always wanted to be, because he doesn’t have any politicians that he really feels beholden to anymore… He does that at his peril, at least for his political party, because someone’s going to be running in 2016 to replace him, [who] will have to deal with his legacy…

The new regulatory burdens that David noted include coal emissions, water and property rights, e-cigarettes and tobacco products and crude oil transported by train.  Ironically, Warren Buffett, one of Obama’s staunchest allies, has a substantial investment in the freight train industry. In 2010 Berkshire Hathaway bought out Burlington Northern Sante Fe LLC, the second largest railroad network in North America.

Unfortunately, 2015 is shaping up to be an expensive year for businesses in America, and a disappointing one for those true believers participating in Al Sharpton’s crusades.


Horace Cooper on Hannity, Speaking on Scalise Non-Scandal

Horace Cooper, the co-chairman of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network, said charges still being made against Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) — despite that initial reports of him speaking to a white supremacist group a dozen years ago are now very much in dispute — are part of a double standard in which liberal politicos made a “non-event” into something they can “exploit.”  At the same time, they overlook problems in their own ranks that make the Scalise story minor even under its worst interpretation.

In a debate with liberal commentator Leslie Marshall on Sean Hannity’s 1/5/15 radio show, Horace brought up how President Barack Obama never apologized for his association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright — a relationship Obama carried on for around 20 years despite Wright’s radical racial views.  He also brought up how Vice President Joe Biden was also given a pass for recently referring to Jews by the derogatory term “shylock.”


But Horace raised the long and controversial career of the late senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) to really make his point about the Scalise double standard.  He noted:

What I want to see is what is the record of Mr. Scalise.

Now, Bobby Byrd has the record and distinction of being the only United States senator who twice — when having the chance to vote for the first or the second black man on the Supreme Court — voted no both times.  Now, progressives give him a pass all the way up until his death.  His actions — filibustering the Civil Rights Act, filibustering the Voting Rights Act — all of these actions have been given a pass.  And he got to become Senate Majority Leader with his record.  Never repenting.  Never having a day [when] he stood up and said, “it was wrong of me to do what I did.”  He went to his grave without having to make that repentance.

I wanna understand why it’s OK for that standard to be held by the Democrats, and a minor event that was a non-issue that was only brought up just for the purpose of creating the very news story that it has is now, somehow, an important issue.


With New Technology, FBI Has "No Business" Snooping on Cell Phones without Warrants 

Law enforcement agencies have the capability to create fake cell phone towers that may then be used to listen into peoples’ calls, and the FBI apparently believes they can do so without a warrant.

Senators are asking the Obama Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to elaborate on what the actual policy is, who in law enforcement can use this technology and whom they can use it against.  In the meantime, Horace Cooper of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network — a former constitutional law professor and former congressional leadership staff member — discussed this issue and its constitutional implications with former Senate candidate Sharron Angle and lawyer Allen Bloom on the 1/2/15 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network.

Horace said he has a “nuanced view” about such government surveillance tactics as they are portrayed right now.  He explained:


On the one had, my big concern is that the FBI and DEA have no business using this kind of technology without a warrant.  The Supreme Court has long made it clear [that] if you’re surveilling people, and you’re getting their private information off of their phones, you’re gonna need a warrant.  If that’s not what this is for, and if it is for a national security function, then the FBI and the DEA shouldn’t be the ones implementing it.  A different part of the government ought to be handling that, and they ought to be working with the intelligence committees to make sure — if that is really what they’re doing.

And part of the problem I have here is we don’t have these answers as to what is going on.  If this is really just a fishing-net exercise by the FBI and local law enforcement, I think it’s patently unconstitutional.  And that’s not gonna survive…

I want to make sure that what we don’t have is a situation where the FBI is piggybacking on the NSA or the CIA or other intelligence services.  If that’s happening, that’s not something that’s supposed to occur… I’m not bothered if we’re tapping into Osama bin Laden’s best friend’s phones, wherever they may be all across the planet.


Occupy Organizer Further Radicalizing Ferguson Protests 

It’s become known that at least one prominent radical affiliated with the Occupy movement has surfaced in Ferguson, Missouri with the obvious intention to train and further radicalize those people who are still protesting there.

There is little doubt that the intention by Occupy Wall Street veterans is to continue to pit the community against itself and to use the unrest for political gain.

Stacy Washington, a member of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network, said the Occupy organizers seem to be using their “most vicious” methods in order to co-opt and radicalize the Ferguson protests as well as seeking to create and control a narrative there that promotes a “drumbeat of victimization” that will continue to hurt police-community relations there and elsewhere and not help black Americans rise up the socio-economic ladder.

On the 12/23/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, Stacy said about the appearance of Occupy radicals in Ferguson:

They’re in town to agitate and to remind white people that they’re guilty, remind white people that if black people die it’s their fault and to remind the cops that they are racists and they’re against blacks and they deserve to die and they deserve to have their families harassed and they deserve to not have their jobs and that they’re cowards for standing behind their badges.

And they’re here to remind blacks in Ferguson that they’re victims and that their ideas and their hard work doesn’t matter.  What matters is how many days in a row you can go protest, and how you can wear that as a badge of honor on Twitter and Facebook.

And that if you say something like “What do we want?  Dead cops!  When do we want them?  Now!” that that doesn’t have any meaning.  And that if cops later die, it’s not your fault because “guns, you know – scary.”


Project 21's Emmett Discusses Police-Black Community Relations

As political talk shows focus on police power and allegations of a dysfunctional relationship between cops and the communities they are charged with protecting, Project 21’s Shelby Emmett has been there to promote her views on the issue and her recommendations for rectifying the problem from a black conservative perspective.

After the recent murders of two police officers in New York City, Shelby laid a lot of the blame for anti-police hostility at the feet of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.  On the 12/29/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, host Rick Amato said Shelby made an “excellent point” he had not previously considered when she said people such as de Blasio “took a group of people – in this case, African-Americans – and is using us, like liberals do” by pitting people against each other.  She added: “I’m proud to say the police are standing up to this… [De Blasio is] just concerned with power.”

Furthermore, commenting on the assumption that cops are consciously targeting blacks to the degree that his own biracial son is at risk, Shelby said:

I find it reprehensible that [de Blasio] would automatically assume that every single black young man in this country has this problem [of undue police harassment].  And then to automatically line up his son to these credentials [is unfair].

Speaking about officers who expressed anger at de Blasio for playing such politics against their vocation, Shelby said the anger crossed racial lines among officers.  From her own experience with black officers who are friends of hers, and including at least one who attended the memorial service in New York for one of the slain officers, she said cops were “standing behind blue – not black or white or anything else… just to be there for a co-worker.”

Regarding the responsibilities of the community in all of this, Shelby said that blacks need to have an “honest conversation” about dealing with police that includes self-reflection about “personal responsibility” and “accountability.”  She said children in black communities should be raised to want to become cops rather than fear them.

On the 12/19/14 edition of “The Big Picture” on the RT network, Shelby said alleged police abuses seem to have a root cause in the fact that officers are given too much power to enforce too many laws.  She explained that “whenever you give any entity power… that people are human and they are going to take advantage of that power.”  In her opinion, Shelby said police should be “limit[ed in] what they’re able to do.”

Shelby said: “Police should be focused on major, serious crimes… They should stick to very limited goals.”  When challenged about a racial aspect of the controversy by host Thom Hartmann, she replied: “I don’t think it’s much more of a racial component as it is a power move” on the part of certain cops.


The Steve Scalise Double Standard

Project 21 member Nadra Enzi, a community activist in New Orleans, had this comment about the alleged controversy involving U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) having addressed members of a white separatist group 12 years ago while serving as a state legislator:

U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA), the third highest-ranking member of the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives, made a 2002 speech that is coming back to bite him with a vengeance!  While a state legislator, he spoke to the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO, get it) — a group affiliated with David Duke, a Louisianan steeped in racial controversy.


I view this alleged controversy minus the histrionics for a couple of reasons.  Chief among them is the double standard imposed on white conservatives.

We have a president who wasn’t disqualified from running or serving despite spending around 20 years as a congregant of Reverend Jeremiah Wright — whose race-baiting on a slow day puts to shame any of the allegedly dire implications of Scalise’s comments made to a fringe group about boring tax policy .

America is only a mere 50 years or so out of its own apartheid era, so it’s not surprising if folks are still afoot spouting “euro” or “afro” attitudes.  But if Al Sharpton’s ugly record of civil rights hoaxes as well as his seemingly anti-police, anti-white, anti-Jewish and anti-American rambling hasn’t barred him from over 70 known visits to the White House, how can liberals say the Scalise story is “a big deal” with a straight face?

I notice that the local Red Cross chapter, which also had a representative speak at the 2002 EURO event, hasn’t yet been thrown under the bus.  Nor has the local sheriff’s office.  Neither has the Best Western hotel chain been targeted for a boycott for allowing the event to take place on their premises.

Need I also recite the excesses, misstatements and questionable audiences chosen by white liberals that did not cost them high office nor esteem to further underscore the breadth of this double standard?

The other major reason this episode is a non-issue to me is that the timing is nakedly political.  It smacks of a desperate desire to upset the upcoming political landscape.  Becoming the number-three man in leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives earns one serious attention and obvious enemies.  Those enemies seem to want to blunt Scalise before he can do virtually anything in the job.

If Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and a staunch Obama supporter, says he “do[es]n’t Steve Scalise has a racist bone in his body,” ‘nuff said as far as I’m concerned.


Project 21 Training Young Conservatives to Deal with Those Who Play the Race Card

Addressing some of the conservative leaders of tomorrow, Project 21 member Derryck Green counseled them on the importance of standing up for themselves at the inevitable moments when liberals are so desperately losing their arguments that they will find the race card played against them.

Derryck bluntly told his audience of high school and college students that “you’re not racist – you’re conservative.”  He explained that conservatives are all too often improperly maligned as racist and must immediately confront those who seek to discredit them on such false charges.

If they do not address and disarm the smear of racism, Derryck added, it may stick and unduly influence others despite being wholly invalid.

These words of wisdom came as Derryck when he spoke to dozens of young conservatives at the Reagan Ranch Center of the Young America’s Foundation in Santa Barbara, California on 11/15/14.  His remarks expanded on his recent Prager University lecture – “Who are the Real Racists: Liberals or Conservatives?” – that has been viewed over 263,000 times.

During his Young America’s Foundation talk, Derryck pointed out that anyone labeling conservatives as racist must be pressed to provide definitive proof of their allegation.  It is Derryck’s contention, derived from his journey toward acknowledging his own conservatism, that the policies of liberals are actually more condescending toward black Americans that any competing agenda promoted by conservatives.

For example, regarding racial preference policies for employment or school admissions, Derryck said affirmative action policies can actually be harmful to black students:

It robs them of an opportunity just so the school brochure can say “we’re diverse.”  I think that’s wrong.  I think that’s morally wrong.  But, most important, or maybe equally as important, is that it mismatches black students with institutions in which they’re just not prepared to succeed.

So, if we have a bunch of people who maybe have not have had the best education, but they applied to first-rate schools, just for diversity – well, we’re setting them up for failure because they haven’t been primed and they haven’t been exposed to the learning techniques and the speed at which they need to keep up to be successful.  So they’re going to more than likely drop out or fall behind.

If we’re going to have affirmative action that gets more students into schools, but the dropout rates are higher, what have we accomplished?

Derryck then talked about polling place protections to safeguard the will of American voters and voter ID requirements in particular.  Saying that the notion that blacks cannot obtain proper identification in “incongruent” with a respectful view of blacks, Derryck commented about voter ID laws:

They say it’s going to disfranchise blacks.  What does that mean, exactly?  “Well, blacks aren’t capable of getting ID.”  Why?  The majority of them have ID already.

Why are blacks singled out as the only group who cannot get an ID?  To me, that’s… that’s racist.  And, you know, it boils my blood… that we are singled out as incapable.  We don’t have the ingenuity.  We don’t have the tools – whether intrinsically or extrinsically – to be like everyone else.

But what really grinds my gears, in some fashion, is that blacks are running to use this defense – to say, “yes, we cannot do this.”

And I look at this and say: “Hey, wait a second.  You’re participating in your own condescension.”  And this is why people look down on black issues and don’t take black issues seriously.

School choice was Derryck’s third case in which he pointed out liberals are pursuing (actually opposing, in this case) a policy that would benefit black families.  He said:

I think that the idea of giving blacks the opportunity to pick what teachers teach their students, what schools their children go to, I think that should be given to every American.

For the President to send his two daughters to a school that costs over $37,000 a year per student, and doesn’t extend that freedom and liberty to many of his constituents – I think – is wrong.  And I don’t think he can defend that, morally…

I don’t want to conscript black children to poor education.  What do we do to these children that we say we are going to force [them] into these substandard schools.

To follow is Derryck’s full presentation and a lively question-and-answer session.


Unto You Is Born This Day

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Luke 2: 1-14

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


Project 21 Members Comment on St. Louis Police Shooting

Another St. Louis suburb erupted in violence after another police shooting.  This time, however, the situation seems more definitive.  An officer in Berkeley, Missouri, responding to a report of a theft in progress at a gas station, shot and killed a suspect who allegedly pulled a gun on him.

Members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network are speaking out about the situation, its root causes and the erosion of American society:

Project 21 co-chairman Cherylyn Harley LeBon, a former senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, said:

This tragedy in Missouri illustrates the fact that we need to address the underlying problems in many of our urban communities: the lack of viable employment opportunities and access to an equal, excellent education.

The protests will continue, but – until we address these very real problems of revitalizing the inner city with jobs, good schools and viable options for black youth – we will continue to have a misplaced dialogue.

Additionally, Project 21 member Christopher Arps, a St. Louis native who observed many of the events in Ferguson, Missouri first-hand, said:

Many in the St. Louis area and around the nation are asking tonight why another young African-American man was killed by the police.  But they need to be asking why another young African-American man was armed with a loaded firearm and pointing it at the police?

America slowly descends into anarchy in the streets while the enemies of America loudly demonize the heroic defenders of the blue line between chaos and civilization.


“Black America Has Allowed Itself to Be Used by Race-Baiters and White Liberal Elitists”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made a plea for calm and asked for a moratorium on anti-police protests after the assassination of two police officers there over the weekend.

Despite the Mayor’s attempts to defuse the escalating situation, it appears he has lost the respect of and any semblance of control over the leftist wave that brought him to power in 2014.  Angry protestors defied him and took to the streets in force on Wednesday night to try to block transit and disrupt commerce in the Big Apple.

Member of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network are speaking out against the racially-divisive and anti-police extremism that the left is feeding through their rhetoric and rallies.  The radicals’ double-standards and lack of decorum, especially at this time, are likely to only drive Americans further apart from each other at a time when people should be respectful of the rule of law and be mindful of our delicate system of justice.

Project 21 member Reverend Steven Louis Craft of suburban New Jersey is a prison minister:

The assassination of two New York City police officers by a man who obviously hated the police is an example of growing anti-police violence that seems to grip America.

Those who are sworn to “protect and serve” law-abiding citizens are under assault!

We desperately need a national platform to show our support for local law enforcement everywhere.

Project 21 member Shelby Emmett of Washington, D.C. is an attorney and former congressional staff member:

When we ignore the importance of all human life, with radicals only focusing on the lives of black Americans in this case, we create division and hatred.

It’s bad enough the #blacklivesmatter movement ignores 98 percent of the causes of black death – black-on-black violence and abortion.  Now the movement, if it ever truly was a movement, appears to have lost all crediblity.

Once again, black America has allowed itself to be used by race baiters and white liberal elitists.  And the only change we will get is more division and more violence.

Project 21 member Christopher Arps of St. Louis, who was witness to the recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, is the founder of the black social network

This is liberal logic: A YouTube video can cause people to riot in the Middle East and burn down our diplomatic consulate, but civil rights leaders demonizing the police and protestors chanting for dead cops here has absolutely nothing to do with last weekend’s police assassinations in New York City.

Project 21 member Nadra Enzi is a community policing advocate in New Orleans:

Now is not the time for law-abiding Americans, especially black ones, to quietly accept the left’s deceptive war on public safety.

Murdering police officers is, by default, murdering society.

By targeting cops, the goal of the left is undoubtedly to make the public hostages within their own country.

Keep these words from one of their protests in mind as you guard your part of America: “What do we want?  Dead cops!  When do we want them?  Now!”


Koch Brothers Lame Duck Loss Defeats Dark Money Meme 

When ultra-liberal talk show host Thom Hartmann suggested that conservative senators are going to “pay back the Koch brothers” by passing legislation promoting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper rebutted Hartmann by saying that the allegation of a quid pro quo relationship lacks merit because the Koch’s top priority went unfulfilled.

While the Koch brothers are likely pleased the Keystone XL pipeline will finally get the due consideration it deserves, such long-delayed consideration is a desire shared with other business leaders, organized labor and the American people.  Something more exclusive to the Kochs is the production tax credit on wind energy.  This credit, which had expired, was recently extended and made retroactive through 2014 as part of congressional action on tax credits.

Horace schooled Hartmann on this during the 12/17/14 edition of “The Big Picture” on the RT network.  Horace plainly stated:

If the Koch brothers were getting what they wanted, they have told us what their number-one priority was for the lame duck session – and that was to end wind energy subsidies.

And, guess what?  They did not get ended!

If the Koch brothers owned this man, [Mitch] McConnell, or the rest of the Republicans, wouldn’t they have gotten what they said was their number-one priority?


There Are Good Things in the Budget Deal

ObamaCare may have received funding through the “cromnibus” budget in Congress, but the National Center’s Dr. David Hogberg explained there are good things included in that fiscal deal making it harder for the government to implement the takeover of health care.

Pointing out that any further skirmishing over the budget “would just lead to a government shutdown” that would likely hurt conservative lawmakers over the long run, David told host Rick Amato there is now less chance of a bailout of insurance companies through the “risk corridor” provision created by the original ObamaCare plan.  “There’s now language in the omnibus,” David assured Amato, “basically prohibiting that from taking place.”  David called this “a win for taxpayers.”

On the 12/11/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, David added that there was also at least a “symbolic” blow against a threat from a Independent Payment Advisory Board “death panel.”

 The $10 million defunding of IPAB is considered symbolic for now because the board is “not up and running” yet, but that this cut would still apply when it does.  “I think the term death panel is correct because what these types of panels usually end up doing is they usually end up cutting health care for the sickest,” David noted.  He added that his concerns are borne out by the actions of similar bureaucracies in England under their nationalized health care plan. 


Obamas' Comments on Race in People Magazine "Just Reckless" 


In a new interview with People magazine, Barack and Michelle Obama claim that, in the words of interviewer Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, “their encounters with racial prejudice aren’t as far in the past as one might expect.”

As examples, Barack Obama claimed that “[t]here’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys” because they thought dressed-up black men such as Obama were valets.  Michelle Obama added a story that “somebody asked him to get coffee” when he wore a tuxedo at a formal dinner.

Michelle Obama herself discussed being asked to reach something from a high shelf for someone while she was shopping at a suburban Washington, D.C. Target store, saying: “The only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf.  Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her.  Those kinds of things happen in life.  So it isn’t anything new.”

Members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network don’t think the interview did anything to help with America’s currently strained racial relations.  In fact, it might have actually hurt them. 

By telling the average black American that the President of the United States and his wife cannot get a break — even while they’ve been in the White House — it is undoubtedly demoralizing.

For example, Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper said:

President Obama’s remarks are remarkably destructive.  He stokes racial resentment and creates the false impression that racism and bigotry play a real role in whether blacks can currently achieve their aspirations.

I have some questions for the President.  Do any of these experiences mean that it isn’t possible for black Americans to achieve in this country?  Do they mean that a black man can’t become the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet?

I don’t question the veracity of the President when he makes these claims, but I do question the validity of presenting them as legitimate examples of the barriers that hold black Americans back.  Racism and bigotry are not the drivers of high unemployment, broken families and elevated crime in the black community.

Obama’s comments undermine the will to achieve and, by doing so, he is rhetorically cutting off the bottom rung of the achievement ladder — the very one that he used to advance.  Using the highest office in the land to express personal resentments is divisive and will likely serve only to condemn legions of struggling blacks to poverty and no hope for experiencing the American Dream.

Also commenting on the People article and the potential fallout, Project 21 member Christopher Arps, appearing as a guest on the 12/17/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, added:

Right now, America is a racial tinderbox.  And, for the President and First Lady to make these types of comments, in my opinion, is just reckless.

Christopher thinks he might know why the Obamas said what they did.  Noting that Obama’s approval rating among all Americans is quite low, he pointed out that black Americans “are really carrying [Obama] right now” when it comes to political support.  But black support for the President is eroding, with some blacks referring to the controversy in Ferguson, Missouri as “Obama’s Katrina” — an allusion to the 2005 hurricane that hurt the reputation of former president George W. Bush.

Christopher thinks Obama is seeking to bolster his credentials with his black base at the peril of the nation as a whole.  He said:

I think that these comments he’s making are trying to authenticate himself [with other blacks].  I also think that this comes… when a lot of African-Americans are upset with him… Unfortunately, he’s further dividing the country instead of bringing it together…

To be intellectually honest, you have to bring up that he was elected a senator from Illinois, and he’d been elected president and re-elected president.  So you’ve got to qualify that with those things that happened also.

Additionally, Michelle Obama’s Target story, as told to People, conflicts with her description of it in a 2012 interview with late-night television talk show host David Letterman.  On Letterman, she said she was “undercover” while she told People it was “wonderfully publicized” (though press coverage was extensive, it was not until was after the trip).  She told Letterman, “I felt so good” helping the shorter woman get detergent from a high shelf, as opposed the People description of “she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her.”

Christopher said her new telling of the story was likely all part of a calculated strategy by the Obamas:

Everything is political.  And whatever they can use at the moment to try to gain some political points or curry some type of favor with a Democrat constituent group, they will do that.  And this is just an instance when she’s been caught.


New Obama Cuba Policy "Setting a Terrible, Extremely Bad Precedent"

Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper argued with RT host Thom Hartmann over the Obama Administration move to normalize diplomatic relations with the Cuban dictatorship.

On the 12/17/14 edition of “The Big Picture” on the RT network, Horace cited the human rights abuses and the hostility of the Castro regime toward the United States.  He rebutted Hartmann’s suggestions that American trade and tourism will soften the iron grip the Castro brothers have had on the Cuban government since the Eisenhower Administration, noting that not waiting until regime change occurs in Cuba would be “setting a terrible, extremely bad precedent, and I don’t think we should reward them while they’re alive with the behavior they’ve engaged in.”


"Race-Shamers" Stop Law School Test from Using Ferguson Facts

Officials at Columbia Law School allowed students to put off final exams due if they say they have aggrieved feelings over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers accused of possible criminal activities in their deaths.  Students at other prestigious law schools such as Harvard and Georgetown also petitioned to have their exams put off as well.

At UCLA, there was a different kind of testing controversy.  A law professor rescinded a test question that pulled facts from something that happened in the aftermath of the Brown case and used it as background.  The premise riled up students and other legal observers to the extent that the professor felt compelled to apologize.

Professor Robert Goldstein raised the issue of Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, shouting “burn this bitch down” to a crowd in Ferguson, Missouri after the grand jury did not indict Officer Darren Wilson.  Riots did occur locally that night, including structure fires.  Goldstein asked his students to assume the role of a staff attorney in the St. Louis County Attorney’s office and assess the First Amendment issues that might come into play regarding a potential indictment of Head for inciting violence that night.

After students complained and the question became a national news story, Goldstein apologized and said he would not use the question in the grading of the test.  Even though he said he had “drawn [questions] from current legal issues” to “make the exam educational and relevant,” he nonetheless reassessed that this topic was “too raw to make it a useful opportunity.”

Project 21 co-chair Horace Cooper doesn’t agree.  Horace, a former professor of constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia, is calling out blogger Elie Mystal in particular for his reported comments suggesting teaching students about the limits of free speech using real situations is “racially insensitive and divisive.”

Horace said:

What’s “racially insensitive” is refusing to teach attorneys that the training they have will involve real-life applications.  What’s “divisive” is implying that all students, black or white, can’t assess the proper application of legal principles when one of the parties involved is a minority.

This type of criticism not only a slap at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s colorblind vision, but it’s also a clear play of the race card.  This is neither relevant nor appropriate.

I commend Professor Goldstein for bringing relevant incidents for students to examine in the classroom.  I also recommend that “race-shamers” such as Elie Mystal stick to simply blogging instead of trying to limit inquiry and study at universities.


Sharpton March Didn't Address Major Problems Facing Black Community

As Al Sharpton rallied marchers in Washington, D.C. this past Saturday to call for more federal prosecutorial authority against local police, Project 21 co-chairman Cherylyn Harley LeBon lamented that the energies of the marchers were being squandered when they could be demanding more important policy innovations that the black community desperately needs.

Echoing her comments and the comments of other Project 21 members from a press release that was published prior to the Sharpton march, Cherylyn said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that was aired on 12/13/14 while the march was actually happening:

What we’d really prefer to see is a march on Washington for jobs, for improved education for kids in the inner cities and just a revitalization of these urban areas…

The other thing I think this march is missing the mark on is the fact that 93 percent of… all deaths of young black men are being committed by other blacks.  So, really, it’s a genocide on black youth, but it’s being committed by other black men.

Along with this CBC interview and coverage of it on The Huffington Post web site, 20 other interviews on the march have this far been conducted by members of the National Center’s Project black leadership network.


"This Blame It on the Whitey Stuff Is Dangerous and It Is a Lie"

Confronting the allegation that a history of racism in America is responsible for today’s problems in black communities, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper strongly rebutted the notion and laid much of the blame for current unrest at the feet of President Barack Obama for not using his position and personal history as a means of healing troubled and tense communities.

Taking on the myth that institutional racism still exists, Horace said:

Racism, to whatever degree it exists in America today, is not the reason for anyone’s lack of success.  The relic of a bygone era made up by a bunch of people running around with sheets over their heads and cones on their heads isn’t an explanation for the poverty.  It isn’t an explanation for the criminality.  It isn’t an explanation for the unemployment.  That is something that individuals must take responsibility for.

In a discussion with host Rick Amato on the 12/8/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, Horace specifically said President Obama squandered an opportunity to calm heated tensions and perhaps become known as a “remarkable leader” in the process, but that he shirked this leadership role in favor of “political resonance” among his leftist power base.  Horace explained:

The President of the United States ought to have been uniquely able to say not only is our system just, not only does our system work — look at me, I am living proof that if you apply yourself, that you become an achiever, that this country is open to anybody for taking on the most important political positions in the land.  Instead, he has said just the opposite.

Talking about the fractured relationship between blacks and the police, Horace again said that Obama abdicated his responsibility as a leader in not confronting and addressing the problem in a mutually beneficial manner.  He said that Obama “could have said: ‘I trust our criminal justice system.  I trust our ability of law enforcement — working together in the community to resolve this.’  He has suggested and aided actions that did exactly the opposite.”

Horace noted:

There always will be an element in any community that doesn’t want to abide by the basic norms of decency.  They will rob.  They will rape.  They will engage in mayhem.  And that’s the reason you have law enforcement.

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This criminal element “preys on those closest to it” — which is usually poor and minority communities.  Instead of embracing the cause of local leaders and the police on the scene: “What the White House is saying, what Mayor de Blassio is saying and what Eric Holder at the Justice Department is saying undermines that basic truth.”

Critical of the heated rhetoric, Horace warned that New York City Mayor Bill de Blassio, in particular, will have “blood on his hands” should things get any further out of control due to his comments.  Horace also added: “This blame it on the whitey stuff is dangerous and it is a lie.”


Grubers' ObamaCare: Candy Coating Over a Really Nutty Idea


Jonathan Gruber put a candy coating around the nutty ObamaCare idea to trick people into accepting it.

Just a reminder: Nuts can trigger deadly allergic reactions in some people.


Amazing: Eric Garner's Family Sees America More Clearly Than Its President Does

Project 21's Joe Hicks appeared for the third time in three weeks on the Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File" on December 8, 2014. He noted that Eric Garner's family does not see Garner's death as a racial issue, but President Obama and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio outspokenly do.

Said Joe: "It's very significant, I think, that you hear this dour, down, sour note kind of thing from the mayor of New York as well as the president of the country, yet you have a couple of relatively unsophisticated working people who just out of the gate tend to see it in a much more different way. I think that says something very significant about the leadership ranks of this country, the elites of this country, and what people down at the grassroots level of the country, in a daily kind of way, tend to see things -- very, very different."

Joe is the vice president of Community Advocates, Inc., a privately-funded Los Angeles-based political think-tank. He appeared on the show with host Megyn Kelly and Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal.

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For more than 35 years, Joe has been an active and high-profile figure. Beginning in the turbulent 1960s and into the 1990s, Joe's views were aligned with what he describes as the "orthodoxy of left - liberalism." By the mid-1990s, however, he began a lengthy re-examination process that resulted in dramatically-altered political views and positions. Today, Joe's views often stand at odds with the beliefs with which he was long associated, and he now identifies himself as a political conservative.

Joe's other recent appearances on Fox's "The Kelly File" on events in Ferguson, Missouri can be viewed here and here.

In August, the Orlando Sentinel published an op-ed by Joe on how President Obama's amnesty plan for illegal aliens would hurt blacks, available here (free registration required). That article said, in part:

...we now have America's first black president defiantly threatening to use his executive power to grant amnesty to perhaps as many as 11 million unauthorized immigrants. In doing so, Barack Obama would thumb his nose at a Congress that refuses to, in his words, "… pass a darn bill."

So far, however, what the U.S. House refuses to pass is a bill legalizing more competition for low-skilled black domestic workers.


Obama is effectively ignoring the plight of black workers who have lost economic ground and struggled mightily during a recession from which America has yet to fully emerge. The unemployment rate for blacks in 2013 without a high-school diploma was 20.5 percent; for those with a diploma, it was still disproportionately high at 12.6 percent. The rate for all races was 7.4 percent, and 6.5 percent for white workers.

Highlighting the dilemma is that unauthorized workers and black entry-level citizens have a similar median age — approximately 36 and 39 years old, respectively. Once settling largely in border areas, unauthorized immigrants are now migrating to major urban areas and rural areas in southeastern states that also tend to have higher black populations. This puts unauthorized immigrant workers in direct competition for jobs with black citizens...

In conclusion, Joe wrote, "As civil-rights leaders now converge on Ferguson, Mo., to claim racism in the police shooting of Michael Brown, they are strangely silent on the economic threat illegal immigration poses to millions of low-skilled black workers. Might it be that these leaders have simply become loyal foot soldiers to partisan politics and a president who looks like them?"