On Monday, Nov 24th, President Bush chose to offer 16 prisoners commuted sentences and pardons. In that number was Fugees affiliate John Forte, who will be released from prison on Dec. 22nd . He’ll serve the next 5 years under supervised probation.
The rapper/producer, who is best known for appearing on Wyclef Jean‘s ‘We Trying To Stay Alive,’ was midway through serving a 14 year bid in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He was arrested at Newark International Airport in 2000 for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute. Police discovered Forte with two briefcases filled with liquid cocaine, which they estimated were worth $1.4 million.
Though he had no prior offenses, due to New Jersey’s “mandatory minimum” sentencing laws, Forte received an excessive sentence that many in the music community, including Senator Orrin Hatch and Carly Simon publicly lobbied against.
Many were surprised at Forte’s conviction as it seemed out of character for the rapper, who was known for his positivity and honor-roll background. After graduating from Phillips Exeter academy on a full scholarship, Forte had attended New York University, where his roommate was Talib Kweli, who in turn helped him land an A&R gig at Rawkus Records, where he met Lauryn Hill. He quickly began working with The Fugees, producing two songs on ‘The Score,’ before signing with Columbia, where he released his first album ‘Poly Sci’ in 1998.
Through his prison term, Forte has maintained his innocence, refusing to accept a plea bargain, and campaigning, along with Hatch, Simon and her son, a good friend who attended Exeter Academy with Forte, for his release.
Sources: BoomBox NY and Billboard
John McCain called Wednesday for the first presidential debate, scheduled for Friday in Mississippi, to be delayed (to Oct 2 in St. Louis from what Politico is saying…isn’t that supposed to be the VP debate date? Crafty, John, crafty. They would have to reschedule that too.) and urged Barack Obama to join him in Washington for a high-level meeting of congressional leaders to address the financial crisis. Obama responded that the debate should go on.
He also scrapped a planned appearance on David Letterman. Letterman was not having that. Um…did you not realize that he would see you taping an interview with Katie Couric after your girl, Sarah, tripped up and called our current economic mess what is really is…The Second Great Depression…2008 style?? Dumb. I agree with Letterman. You don’t suspend your campaign…you let your VP soldier on…oh wait…you can’t trust her. She can’t talk to the press without talking points. Oh well!
Meanwhile, President Bush has invited both men to come to the White House today for a summit meeting with congressional leadership. He needs to invite Warren Buffet (McCain suggested this…and I agree with him on that at least).
Obama rebuffed the proposal… “It’s my belief that this is exactly the time the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible with dealing with this mess,” he told reporters in Florida, where he has been prepping for Friday’s event. “What I think is important is that we don’t suddenly infuse Capitol Hill with presidential politics,” he said.
He also took a real shot at McCain: “Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time,” Obama said. “It’s not necessary for us to think that we can do only one thing, and suspend everything else.”
Multitasking, John. Multitasking!! You were in the military…Good Grief!
Debate organizers also said they have no plans to postpone. “We have been notified by the Commission on Presidential Debates that we are proceeding as scheduled,” said the University of Mississippi, which was to host Friday’s encounter. “We are ready to host the debate, and we expect the debate to occur as planned,” Ole Miss said in a statement. Continue reading
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…, but it’s when you get in the ring and face your opponent alone (without the benefit of speech writers like former George W. Bush scribe Matthew Scully) that the public will really be able to see how you fight you battles, and if you have the stuff in you to win, to be a true champion. You will not have the benefit of these well crafted words when you debate. You’ve set the bar very high with that speech. Your Republican supporters will expect much of the same, just like a reigning champ. There’s nothing like seeing the champ go down, huh?
I think you would have done better explaining yourself and who you will be as a VP than trying to just cut down Obama and Biden. I thought that was Rudy’s job, he’s gotten quite good at it over the last year when it comes to Obama.
Washington Post Full Article – In a 55-page report, the Black AIDS Institute argued that the disease should be viewed as a threat to the entire black population, and not just specific high-risk groups. Unlike in white Americans — and in the citizens of most industrialized nations — HIV in American blacks is increasingly transmitted heterosexually through “networks” where men especially have many sex partners at the same time, the report noted.
The report’s authors asserted that the black AIDS epidemic here is being overlooked as the United States is allocating unprecedented resources to fighting the disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
African Americans with HIV — at least 500,000 — are more numerous than in seven of the 15 “target countries” in the Bush administration’s global AIDS initiative, which has spent about $19 billion overseas in the past five years. Bush is scheduled to sign a bill today that will extend the program and authorize the spending of $48 billion for the next five years. The target countries consist of 12 in Africa and three others: Guyana, Haiti and Vietnam.
The report noted that with 39 million people, “black America” would be the 35th most populous country, and the 28th richest, if it were a separate nation. Two percent of adult black Americans are infected, the government estimates, and only four countries outside Africa have a higher HIV prevalence. It would rank 16th in the world in the number of people living with HIV.
“The U.S. response to the epidemic in black America stands in sharp contrast to our response to the epidemic overseas,” said Phill Wilson, a longtime AIDS activist who is executive director of the Black AIDS Institute.
He added that his purpose in making the comparisons is not to criticize the global program but to urge that more money and attention be directed to the domestic one.
But Kevin A. Fenton, the head of HIV/AIDS prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the argument that government prevention efforts are not tailored to the black epidemic is mistaken. “CDC prevention efforts have really tried to follow the epidemic,” he said. Continue reading
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LOL, I just love it when people act like they had nothing to do with a terrible situation when they were right in the midst of of. Scott…you were one of the main talking heads…the HEAD talking head when it came to the media. Now…years later you want to tell the truth? Well…thanks buddy! Thanks for lying to us and then writing about it. $$$ellout. Are you donating any of your book sales to veterans of the Iraq war?
Note to all you Politicos: Don’t tell the truth on the backend, be a whistle blower and help your fellow Americans. I’m sorry but blaming Bush is like blaming a 5 year old who’s mom dresses him funny. Sure he might want to wear that red and white stripped long sleeve shirt and pea green and orange pants, but mom and dad are supposed to bring guidance and direction. It’s a team effort.
Steve Holland / Reuters WASHINGTON – Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan charges in an explosive new book that President George W. Bush shaded the truth and manipulated public opinion to make the case for the “unnecessary” Iraq war.
McClellan, the first Bush insider to write a book criticizing his former boss and fellow Texan, drew instant condemnations on Wednesday from former White House colleagues who wondered why he stayed on the job.
“If he thinks he’s going to ingratiate himself to his critics, he’s sorely mistaken, and unfortunately, the only friends he had, he just lost,” said Dan Bartlett, who served as White House counselor.
McClellan, in “What Happened — Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” presents himself as a one-time true Bush believer who mistakenly fell in line behind “the campaign to sell the war” in Iraq.
McClellan, who had argued strenuously from the White House podium on why the war was justified, wrote that the decision to go to war in Iraq was a “fateful misstep.”
“What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary,” he said.
McClellan called Bush “a man of personal charm, wit, and enormous political skill,” and “plenty smart enough to be president,” while sprinkling criticism of him throughout the 341-page book. Continue reading
CNN.com is reporting that U.S. taxpayers may get hundreds of dollars from the federal government under a plan to stimulate the economy.
“Tens of millions Americans will have a check in the mail,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said at a Capitol Hill news conference. “It is there to strengthen the middle class, to create jobs and to turn this economy around.”
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, “I’m looking for quick action in the House. I hope that the Senate will follow quickly so that we can put this money in the hands of middle-income Americans as soon as possible.”
Speaking a few minutes later at the White House, President Bush said the package will “boost our economy and encourage job creation.”
Sources on Capitol Hill and at the Treasury Department said the plan would send checks of $600 to individuals and $1,200 to couples who paid income tax and who filed jointly.
Yipee! I need that money…how bout you?
Chris Rock does stand up before introducing Senator Barack Obama at his fundraiser at the Apollo Theater in Harlem Thursday evening. His jokes included jabs at Hillary Clinton, George Bush, and the aftermath of Katrina.
“Putting out fires with Katrina Water!” Lord have mercy!! LOL. I love it when black folk are just free to say what they want about politics. Being at the Apollo in Harlem will do that.
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