Tag Archive: President

Welcome to Camden, President Obama. Here are some things I think you need to know – about education

Barack ObamaKeith E. Benson is Education Chair at Camden County NAACP, a teacher at Camden High School, and a Doctoral student at Rutgers University GSE. This is the 2nd post today addressed to President Obama – the first was from James Harris, immediate past president of NJ NAACP. Read that here. Promoted by Rosi

On November 4th, 2008 I, as well as many other Camden residents celebrated your victory in the Presidential election against John McCain. Indeed I remember residents of Greenwood Avenue in the Parkside section of Camden, literally celebrating in the streets with the election of the nation’s first black president – something many of us believed we would never see in America with its deplorable history regarding its treatment of black and brown people. A new optimism was apparent and visible on November 5th, 2008 and lasted for some time, until the reality of what an Obama presidency meant for urban America became apparent. By many metrics, things have gotten worse for the most vulnerable urban Americans under your administration, due in part to the intransigence of our US Congress, hostile policies put forth at the state and local levels, but also because of some your very own policies. In Camden, NJ there is no clearer embodiment of the harm some of your policies have wrought upon the urban poor, than in education.

Deep Thought: Why Will Christie Keep Day Job While Running For President?

promoted by Rosi

It seemed sort of odd that Chris Christie would say he’s going to keep his job as Governor of New Jersey even if he decides to run for President.  There’s NJ and federal rules against certain moneyed folks donating if he’s Governor, and then there’s the pesky reality that when out of state a NJ Governor has no authority or power and to run for President you have to be in a lot of other places.

The only thing I can figure is Christie thinks he himself is a longshot for the nomination, and he doesn’t want to give up his day job.

So all you donors out there clamoring to give him cash, keep this in mind: Chistie is hedging his bets, which means maybe you should not bet at all.

September 10th


September 10th. The last good night, the last before of 2,996 afters. The 12th anniversary of the last night of not knowing something we wish we didn’t know now, of what we’ve seen – planes into buildings, memorandums floating on the air, mangled fire trucks – that we can’t unsee now.

September 11th was the rallying cry of the worst president in history, arguably, though most of America was only too happy to tie yellow ribbons on everything, fly the stars and stripes (cheerfully made in China) on every auto. I hit the street in protest as that war started; most everybody here did. But America was still chanting about towelheads and willing themselves, in misguided Freedom isn’t Free! patriotism, to believe it was Iraq on 9/11 so George Bush could have his Daddy’s war. Propaganda so effective that fully seven years later the Republican Party actually made a serious try to lob an underbright Alaska governor to the heartbeat-away slot in the White House, who actually thought 9/11 was Saddam. And wasn’t kidding.

1239666_474682075972374_565442930_nThe takeaway for the American people, after years of being fooled, was finally to see the world as progressives saw it plain and almost immediately; that ‘enemies’ aren’t interchangeable, that it’s better to understand the attack in some context, however painful, that our hands are not clean says much of the world, and that we owe our precious soldiers the respect of deploying them only when absolutely necessary.

Clearly, the president had some trouble with that takeaway. And that’s troubling, given why we elected him, and how he took pains to distance himself from his foolhardy predecessor.

But I think what we saw in tonight’s inelegant speech is a president forced by the rest of us – war-weary voters, stoplossed military families, and congress members across all spectra – to do the harder work of finding diplomatic solutions, and engaging the community of nations (where there’s some doubt who perpetrated this). This is not what President Obama wanted, but in the spirit of something other than trumpeting American exceptionalism, it is a saner approach – particularly from the nation with which napalm, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are associated. I know I’ll take a hit from some people on that.

Without the wisdom, the questions, even the anger of the American people, without the brakes Congress applied, and without the takeaways of more than 10 years of war by fools, President Obama might have made a different speech tonight. We have many people to thank for the possibility of a non-military solution now. Obama gets credit for listening.

Every year this night I begin reliving September 11th. I’m not alone. Part of this is the guilt of the dislocated; I was in Detroit, where National Guardsmen sat in Jeeps on Woodward Avenue, rifles on their shoulders. But I wasn’t here where middle school kids learned their fathers were missing when hysterical mothers came to collect them, where ordinary people tried to drive carloads of boots to the city, because they heard on the radio the steelworkers needed them. Most of all I relive it to keep faith with my Ohio fire chief grandfather, who I see in the faces of all lost firefighters. And to acknowledge the unknowable stories of the jumpers, whose quarter-mile fall from the sky are the mysteries of my nightmares.

I support public release of more of the video and info members of Congress have seen; we owe to the dead of Syria to witness it.  But if I thought lives would be saved in Syria if we bombed, I’d back the President right now. I don’t see how we can even consider it until all non-military solutions are exhausted.

And it’s a bad day to remind me of battles begun in the name of a war on terror.  

Rush Holt on President Obama’s Visit to Jersey Shore

Rush Holt, New Jersey’s physicist congressman, released this statement after attending President Barack Obama’s visit to Asbury Park Convention Hall to check on how New Jersey’s doing rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy:

“Disaster relief is a key responsibility of the federal government, and I’m grateful that the president continues to return to New Jersey to check on our progress after Hurricane Sandy.

“As climate change causes more and more floods, storms, and hurricanes, we’re going to have to find ways to rise above politics to prevent disasters when we can and to repair damages when we must.”