27 Percent Of Democratic Convention Delegates Are African-Americans

Now to balance this post I want my readers to know that the GOP did have a diverse crowd on the convention floor—both for building the set, and tearing it down!  They also let African-Americans sing and play musical instruments during the convention.

The Democrats, though, actually have a diverse number of delegates.

There are 5,556 delegates and 407 alternates at the Democratic National Convention. 50 percent are women.  27 percent are African-Americans. 285 are currently students. The oldest delegate – Elzena Johnson, of Terry, Miss. -was born in 1914. The youngest delegate – Samuel Gray, of Marion, Iowa – was born in 1994

Mitt Romney’s Acceptance Speech Has Low Ratings From Voters

Any objective viewer of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech to the GOP convention could had predicted this outcome.

Romney’s acceptance speech this year scored low by comparison to previous convention speeches going back to 1996. Thirty-eight percent of Americans rated the speech as excellent or good, while 16% rated it as poor or terrible. The 38% who rated the speech as excellent or good is the lowest rating of any of the eight speeches Gallup has tested since Bob Dole’s GOP acceptance speech in 1996.

Chicago Teachers Should Be Supported As They Prepare For Possible Strike On September 10th

For now most of the national focus when it comes to union rights is concentrated on Chicago, where school teachers are demanding their rights be respected, and a contract that is fair to the profession be negotiated and concluded.

Too often workers are timid and reticent about standing up for their rights.  Workers jump as high as the employer wants, and never seem to understand their real place in the workplace is more important than the ones who call themselves ‘boss’.  Let the boss try and make it all come together without the workers.

Therefore, I am very proud of the efforts and resolve of the teachers in Chicago who are working to make sure their rights are protected.

Having said that I also am very much in support of the efforts made by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to lengthen the school day and the school year.  It is imperative such reforms are made in order for our students to become as competitive with the rest of the world which often takes the education of their children far more seriously than we do.

I am very much in favor of efforts to make our students better educated and ready for the world they face.  But I am also very aware that teachers need to be paid for the services they provide.

Already Chicago teachers, even before the longer school day goes into effect on Tuesday, are actually averaging a 58 hour work week, far beyond their contracted instructional time.

That is not right.

Now I know there are those workers who have the ‘good doobie syndrome’ which makes them think they should work all hours of the day and night at no extra pay or benefits.  They are the ones who make it hard for the other workers who have a life to live, and a code of personal respect for themselves they wish to honor.

I am proud of the Chicago teachers who have gained a winning record of a 90 percent strike authorization vote if a contract is not negotiated by September 10th.

It should be noted the strike anger is not just about the future hours and workload, but the fact that the mayor also stripped away a 4% pay increase that had been worked out prior to his taking office.

That is not right.

All are watching to see if an 11th-hour agreement can be reached.

If not I have little doubt there will be a strike.

If it takes place it will be nasty.

Bill Clinton’s Racist Remark About Barack Obama In 2008 Makes Headlines

This type of racist garbage is just awful.

Only days before he will nominate Barack Obama for re-election, a new report  claims that in 2008, former President Bill Clinton said of him: “A few years  ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.”

Clinton allegedly made the racially insensitive remark to Sen. Ted Kennedy as  he tried to convince the liberal lion to endorse his wife, Hillary, Obama’s  rival for the Democratic nomination, according to The New Yorker.

Kennedy correctly endorsed Obama.

Bill Clinton’s attacks hurt Hillary as much as they did Obama. The Times  denounced Clinton’s fairy-tale comment as a “bizarre and rambling attack” and as  exemplifying a campaign that was “perilously close to injecting racial tension” into the conversation. At a press conference in South Carolina the morning after  Obama won the state, Bill Clinton seemed to dismiss the victory as a fluke of  local demography. “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ’84 and ’88,” he said. “Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here.” Tim Russert  told me that, according to his sources, Bill Clinton, in an effort to secure an  endorsement for Hillary from Ted Kennedy, said to Kennedy, “A few years ago,  this guy would have been carrying our bags.” Clinton’s role in the campaign  rattled Obama. He told ABC News in an interview that Clinton “has taken his  advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling.” 

Pope Benedict Does Not Attend Funeral For Cardinal Martini

There were many who wondered what Pope Benedict would do when it came to attending the funeral in Milan of Cardinal Martini.

In the end the pope shuttered himself in the Vatican, and did not attend.  There will be lots to chew on about that decision.  The greatest ‘sin’ that Martini committed was speaking truth about the Catholic Church.  The institution is woefully out of touch for the vast majority of its members.

The danger of not attending the last obsequies of such a high-ranking prince of the Church is that it might appear cowardly, tantamount to a public admission that a rift had grown up between them. But to attend will take real nerves, and humility, for Carlo Maria Martini’s parting shot was a devastating and – coming from a cardinal – an almost unprecedented attack on the Catholic Church’s leadership, in effect on the Pope himself, in the form of a final interview with an Italian newspaper.

The Cardinal pulled no punches in his indictment of the contemporary Church, describing it as moribund and out of touch. It was 200 years behind the times on numerous social issues, he said, which was why churches built to hold great congregations now served huddles. By failing to accommodate itself to new kinds of patterns of family life, he added, the Church risked throwing away contact with the next generation. “Why don’t we rouse ourselves?” he concluded. “Are we afraid?”

The answer to that question from beyond the grave, is, alas, yes. The rest of the Catholic hierarchy is afraid of its authoritarian leader, and seems unwilling even to question, let alone oppose, his hard-line views on contraception, homosexual relationships, the remarriage of divorced people in church, the admission of women to the priesthood, the abolition of clerical celibacy and a lot of other issues.

This culture of silence is not surprising. A policy of replacing liberal bishops and cardinals with conservatives of the same stamp as the Pope, which has been in place since the late 1970s, when Benedict’s predecessor and hero, Karol Wojtyla, became Pope John Paul II, has cleansed the Church’s inner sanctum of questioning minds. Martini’s promotion to Archbishop of Milan in 1979 came just before the clampdown got going. In other words, we may have heard the last of the more open-minded Catholic leaders, and we may be wrong if we imagine that the Cardinal’s call for modernisation will restart a debate inside the Church on topics that the Pope regards as off-limits.

To the Pope’s conservative allies, this can only be good: the less discussion the better. They tend to see all or most of the changes that took place in the Church since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s as regrettable, and prize obedience as a virtue. Their allies, in a sense, are those militant atheists who draw satisfaction from the sight of the Catholic Church, and all the other churches, rendering itself ridiculous in the eyes of the modern world by tying itself up in the moth-eaten brocade of worn-out dogmas.

Most of the rest of us will feel regretful that the doors of the papal apartments remain so tightly closed to voices like that of the Cardinal – if only because what he said in his interview ought to have been blindingly obvious.