FROM Cheryl Contee
Barack Obama Begins His Second Term America's first black president was sworn in for a second term today, on the national holiday dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Barack Obama's traditional call for unity and equality echoed King's words at the same time he acknowledged what he called, "skepticism of central authority." He renewed commitments to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, promised response to climate change and emphasized the equality of gay Americans. Did he reach out to Republicans or challenge them to more political conflict?
First Lady Paints Personal Portrait of President At the Democratic convention in Charlotte last night, First Lady Michelle Obama told the story of a rise to the White House from humble origins without losing family values. Without ever mentioning Mitt and Ann Romney, she created an image of stunning contrasts. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro also electrified the delegates, the first Latino to keynote a Democratic convention. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick lauded President Obama's long list of accomplishments, made even more impressive considering that "Congressional Republicans have made obstruction itself the centerpiece of their governing strategy." We hear some highlights.
Barack Obama and Black America Since the election of Barack Obama, the economic plight of blacks has declined more than that of whites and other Americans. Has he ignored the crisis? When the President addressed the Congressional Black Caucus a week and a half ago, he said black unemployment is almost 17 percent, the highest in almost three decades. He called it "heartbreaking" and "frustrating" that 40 percent of African-American children live in poverty with fewer than half believing they can achieve the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But he also chided the CBC for "complaining" and "crying." We hear the reaction of African-American leaders and the possible consequences for Obama's re-election.
Barack Obama and Black America Since the election of President Obama, black unemployment has risen to twice that of whites, and white families have 44 times more wealth than black families. The President's support has declined among black voters, and black leaders have been divided over how much to criticize America's first black president. When he addressed the Congressional Black Caucus a week and a half ago, he noted that black unemployment is at almost 17 percent, the highest in almost three decades, and called it "heartbreaking" and "frustrating" that 40 percent of African-American children live in poverty, with fewer than half believing they can achieve the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But he also chided the CBC for "complaining" and "crying." Will his most loyal constituents be discouraged from going back to the polls? Is he caught in a vice created by race and politics in America?
From King to Obama: America Receives Its First Black President Barack Obama declared that Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday should begin a new tradition of service. Today, with the First-Lady-to-be, he surprised a group of volunteers in Washington, DC sending cards, letters and packages to troops serving overseas. Photo: US President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle (L) pose with a group of volunteers during a National Day of Service Project. MANDEL NGAN/Staff/Getty Images News
From King to Obama: America Receives It’s First Black President Barack Obama declared that Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday should be a day of service and today, with the First-Lady-to-be, he surprised a group of volunteers in Washington, DC sending cards, letters and packages to troops serving overseas. Barack and Michelle Obama then circulated through a crowd of very excited people, shaking hands and getting their pictures taken. There is, of course, heavy symbolism in the coincidence of Dr. King’s birthday falling on the day before the inauguration of America’s first African American president.
The Curtin Rises on the Democratic National Convention Barack Obama 's campaign began with the promise of change from business as usual in Washington. Then came the primaries; now comes the selection of veteran Delaware Senator Joseph Biden . Today, Obama has four days to reverse the slide, which now has him virtually tied with John McCain in what's supposed to be a Democratic year. This week's convention could be a lot more important than anybody expected. The delegates are still getting used to Obama's vice presidential choice, and it's not certain how many Hillary Clinton supporters are on board. Why Denver? What's the "western states strategy?" How about the pressure on tonight's main speaker, Michelle Obama ?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.