Newswire: White House, Dems disturbed by Sen. Manchin’s Build Back Better betrayal

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Black Press photojournalist and social media maven Anthony Tilman assessed the death of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation this way:
“[Fifty] Republicans in the Senate don’t care about children in their own communities and want them to remain in poverty, and yet they still get re-elected. That’s the sad truth.”
While Tilghman accurately assessed the GOP blocking popular and needed legislation, the most consequential “no vote” came from a Democrat.
In an appearance, Sunday, December 19, on the Republican-friendly network Fox News, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin – who carries the “D” party tag but certainly has routinely demonstrated GOP views and values – said he would vote “no” on Build Back Better.
“I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’ Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia, and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation,” Sen. Manchin said in the statement.
The $1.75 trillion economic and climate package would transform America’s social safety net, particularly benefiting African Americans and other people of color. The monthly child tax credit payments to families have already significantly reduced child poverty. Still, Sen. Manchin has opposed that saying he didn’t want to continue government “handouts.”
Build Back Better would create a universal pre-K program, help families with childcare and send them the child tax payments for another year. It would also provide even more subsidies on the Affordable Care Act exchanges for four more years and offer more assistance for individuals and families who fall below the poverty line.
With climate change a major issue, the bill earmarks $570 billion into measures to blunt the effects of environmental damage.
It would address shortfalls in affordable housing and provide cash for parents to purchase food for their children during the summer months when they’re not in school.
Like many in the Democratic Party, Biden-Harris administration officials expressed their outrage with Sen. Manchin.
“[Sen. Manchin’s] comments were at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances,” The White House said in a statement after the senator’s Fox News appearance.
“On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted – to the President, in person, directly – a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President’s framework, and covered many of the same priorities,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki wrote in the statement.
“While that framework was missing key priorities, we believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all.” Psaki said Sen. Manchin “promised to continue conversations in the days ahead and to work with us to reach that common ground.”
“If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate,” Psaki asserted.
She added: “Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word.”
After getting word of his colleague’s decision to sabotage Build Back Better, Vermont Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted Sen. Manchin during an appearance on CNN.
“Well, I think he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do to the people of West Virginia, to tell him why he doesn’t have the guts to take on the drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs,” Sen. Sanders insisted.
“West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country. You got elderly people and disabled people who would like to stay at home. So, he’s going to have to tell the people of West Virginia why he doesn’t want to expand Medicare to cover dental hearing and eyeglasses.”
Sen. Sanders continued:
“I’ve been to West Virginia a number of times, and it’s a great state, beautiful people, but it is a state that is struggling. And he’s going to have to tell the people of West Virginia why he’s rejecting what the scientists of the world are telling us that we have to act boldly and transform our energy system to protect future generations from the devastation of climate change.”
“Joe Manchin voted for a huge increase in military spending. Manchin voted for an infrastructure bill that added $250 billion to the deficit. The truth of the matter is that if you look at the military budget $770 billion times that by ten years, it is four times is higher than what the Build Back Better plan is.”

Newswire : ‘Help Wanted’ at the White House as employment opportunities abound with nonstop resignations, firings

Written By Bruce C.T. Wright, Newsone

With all the bragging the president has done about how many people in the country have jobs, he may need to pay more attention closer to home as the White House resignation floodgates just can’t seem to stay shut.
Yet another key White House insider was reportedly set to leave the Trump administration just hours after the president proudly proclaimed that he liked the “conflict” that has routinely led to the departure of dozens of others. The Tuesday afternoon announcement that Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, has apparently had enough of the madness followed the revelation that another Trump adviser had violated a rule surrounding Alabama’s special election, casting doubt on her future in the White House, too.
The developments unfolded after the president hosted the Swedish prime minister in the White House and discussed the revolving door when it came to his staff.
“It’s tough, I like conflict, I like having two people with different points of view – and I certainly have that – and then I make a decision,” Yahoo News reported the president said.
Famous last words.
Soon afterward, it was reported that White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway has violated an election law known as the Hatch Act that says, according to CNN, “that with the exception of the president and the vice president, employees of the executive branch cannot engage in any sort of conduct or speech that might be construed as endorsing one party or one candidate over another.”

She apparently crossed the line pushing the senate candidacy of accused pedophile Roy Moore.
While the White House was licking those wounds with a steady stream of denials over the announcement by the Office of Special Counsel, Cohn was apparently plotting his escape over a disagreement – or, “conflict” – with the president’s plans to impose a controversial tax on steel and aluminum imports, according to the Associated Press.
The White House has lost at least 32 key staffers either through firings or resignations. A full list of those people follow, according to MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin. Conway could make it 33, depending on the consequences for her alleged violation.

Superintendent Carter honors retired school personnel School Board approves 4% pay raise for all its employees


School Superintendent, Dr. James Carter, presented Certificates of Recognition of Service to the school system to six retirees of 2016. L to R: School Board President, Leo Branch; retiree Mrs. Dorothy Branch; retiree Mr. Charles Carter. Honored retirees not shown are: Mr. Otis Crawford, Mrs. Jerdin Gray, Mrs. Billie Jean (BJ) Wallace, and Mrs. Fannie Aaron.

At the monthly Greene County Board of Education meeting held June 13, 2016, the board approved a 4% pay raise for all employees of the school system. The Alabama State Legislature approved a 4% raise for school employees with annual salaries of $75,000 and less and a 2% raise for school employees with annual salaries above $75,000. Individual school systems could opt to give the 4% increase to all employees, making up the difference for the upper pay levels with local funds. Superintendent James H. Carter stated that seemed to be the most equitable way to handle the raise. School personnel had not received a pay raise since 2008 and that raise was only 2%.

Dr. Carter presented special acknowledgements and certificates of appreciation to six retirees including Mrs. Dorothy Branch for 27 years in the school system; Mr. Charles Carter for 20 years; Mr. Otis Crawford for 25 years; Mrs. Jerdin Gray for 35 years; Mrs. Fannie Aaron, for 31 years and Mrs. Billie Jean Wallace for 25.5 years. Dr. Carter noted that efforts are continuing in preparation for the consolidation of middle school grades beginning with the next school session in August. “ The transformation continues with the consolidation of Paramount Jr. High School and Carver middle School into one campus. This should provide our middle school students, grades 4-8, with more course offerings and a nicer facility to teach and learn in for students and staff,” Dr. Carter said.
In his report, Dr. Carter remarked that he was pleased with the number of students enrolled in summer school, but he was perplexed that more students weren’t enrolled in the enrichment program. He stated that approximately 167 students are enrolled in summer school.
Superintendent Carter also gave a recap of the initiatives of the previous school year including choir, band, Performing Arts Program, Learning Academy, chess program, additional sports teams such as volleyball, softball, baseball and track. “At every stop, we saw most teachers using proven best practices in ways to engage students. We saw students who were more than capable, serious and focused and facilities that are conducive to learning,” stated Carter.
The board approved the superintendent’s request to declare as emergency projects the renovations needed at the former Greene County High School and the Peter J. Kirksey Vocational Facility. Carter explained that this action would speed up the process with the State Department of Education. The board also approved moving the Greene County Learning Academy from the former Greene County High School facility to the Peter J. Kirksey Vocational Facility.
In other business, the board approved the voluntary transfers of the following teachers for the 2016-2017 school term:
Katoya Quarles from 6th grade Math teacher at Carver Middle to 7th and 8th grade Math teacher at the consolidated middle school; Majorie Duncan from 5th grade teacher at Carver to 7th grade reading intervention teacher at the middle school; Rebecca Coleman from 2nd grade teacher at Eutaw Primary to computer science teacher at the middle school; Elona Washington from kindergarten teacher at Eutaw Primary to 1st grade teacher at Eutaw Primary; Sheila Tillman from 1st grade teacher at Paramount Jr. High to kindergarten teacher at Eutaw Primary; Charlease Smith from 3rd grade teacher at Eutaw Primary to 2nd grade teacher at Eutaw Primary; Cheryl Morrow from kindergarten/1st grade teacher at Paramount to 2nd grade teacher at Eutaw Primary.
The board approved a probationary 11 month contract for Toice Goodson as Principal of Greene County High School 9th Grade Academy.
The board also approved employment of the following for the middle school: Henry Miles, Jr. as elementary teacher; Frank Jackson as auto mechanics teacher 1/2 time; Migeual Catlin as long-term Math substitute. Employment for Greene County High School: Frank Jackson, auto mechanics 1/2 time; Jamar Jackson from custodian 11 months to custodian 12 months. Employment in Performing Arts: Vassie Brown, adjunct instructor, Theatre; Angel Cordona, adjunct instructor, Dance.
The superintendent recommended and board approved the recall of Shekitha Crowell as 5th grade teacher for the middle school and Jerome Franks as physical education teacher (TBA). The non-renewal recommendation of Cassandra Allen as business education teacher at Carver was also approved.
The board approved the following additional service contracts at Greene County High School for the 2016-2017 school term: Rodney Wesley, Head Basketball Coach (boys); Kendra Payne, Head Basketball Coach (girls); Gentrell Eatman, Head Football coach; Janice Jeames, Girls’ Volleyball Coach; Frederick Holmes, Band Director; Jerome Franks, Head Baseball Coach (boys); Jacob Sullivan, Head Softball Coach (girls); Walter Taylor, Assistant Football Coach. Dorris Robinson, Cheerleader Sponsor.
Additional service contracts approved for the middle school include: Corey Cockrell, Athletic Director, Head Football Coach, B-Team Basketball Coach (boys); Jacob Sullivan, Assistant Football Coach; Jeffery Wesley, Head Basketball Coach (boys); Marjorie Duncan, Head Basketball Coach (girls); Drenda Blackman, Cheerleader Sponsor.
Teachers employed for the Summer School Program include Carla Durrett, Gentrell Eatman and Angel Cordona for June 6 – June 17. Gloria Lyons was employed as manager for the Summer Feeding Program at Eutaw Primary for June 20 – June 30, 2016. Angela Harkness was employed as after school tutor – Special Needs, Summer School Teacher.
On the recommendation of the superintendent, the board declared various items from the Child Nutrition Program as surplus to be removed from the CNP inventory. Several buses were also declared as surplus to be sold and removed from the inventory of the School Bus Shop.
Various Out-of-State travel requests were approved for students, faculty and staff.
The board approved the summer school contract for the Resource Security Officers.

Black comedians react to Larry Wilmore’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner jokes

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA News Wire Contributing Writer)

Larry WilmoreLarry Wilmore

President Obama drops mic

 President Obama drops mic

President Barack Obama dropped his microphone at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, acknowledging what everyone had already concluded: he slayed it!  Larry Wilmore didn’t do so bad as host, either, at least depending upon who is doing the review and if you’re among those willing to dismiss his use of the N-word.   But, leave it to comedians like George Wallace to really sum up the evening – in Wallace’s case, probably better than anyone else. “Please come to my 2:17am show at the Waffle House Correspondents’ Dinner,” Wallace wrote on Twitter, right after the event ended.
“I’m getting from [Larry Wilmore] what I wanted and didn’t get from Chris Rock at the Oscars: Peak truth-telling…” said Erica Williams Simon, a comedian in her own right and a self-described recovering D.C. political strategist and activist.
Comedian Akilah Hughes had even more to say. “Someone come through with the ‘White Feelings about Larry Wilmore’ Bingo card,” Hughes tweeted as she followed the monologues and skits at the dinner. The comedian was even more impressed with Obama’s mic drop. “Literal mic drop from Mr. President #ObamaOut,” Hughes said.
Chris Acuff took note of those who were not laughing at Wilmore’s jokes.“D.C.-based journos, Republicans [and] everyone at CNN,” Acuff noted on his Twitter feed.
However, Rev. Al Sharpton called Wilmore’s remark in which the comedian saluted Obama by using the term “My N—-a,” distasteful. “It was in bad taste,” Sharpton said. Comedian Dick Gregory also said Wilmore could have done without the obscene word. “I wouldn’t have done it,” Gregory said.
Philip Lewis, an editorial fellow at the Huffington Post, tweeted that pundits should “save your N-word, think pieces. We don’t want them.” Lewis then signed his tweet, “Sincerely, the Black community.”
Brandon Patterson of Mother Jones, however, had a different take. “I wish White people were as offended by police brutality and mass incarceration as they are by black people using the N-word,” Patterson tweeted.
By dropping the N-word on Obama, Wilmore broke the cardinal rule of cutting-edge humor – he wasn’t funny,” said Leonard Greene of the New York Daily News.
However, Matt Wilstein wrote in “The Daily Beast” that, “Wilmore proved exactly why he was the perfect choice to host Obama’s final White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Even if the crowd of journalists in attendance didn’t seem to agree.” Wilstein continued: “More than ever before, the president was an impossible act to follow. Not only did Obama deliver a slew of jokes at Donald Trump’s expense, but he also presented an elaborate ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’-style video that included an epic John Boehner cameo.
Wilmore began by welcoming the guests in the house once again to the event, ‘or as Fox News will report, two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.’ He introduced himself as ‘a Black man who replaced a White man who pretended to be a TV newscaster,’ before adding, ‘so yeah, in that way Lester Holt and I have a lot in common,’ to groans from the crowd at Brian Williams’s expense.”
He was even more harsh to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, saying, ‘Hey, Wolf, I’m ready to project tonight’s winner: Anyone who isn’t watching ‘The Situation Room.’”
Perhaps, no one else captured the historical sentiment of the evening better than former Attorney General Eric Holder after Obama finished his speech in grand style. “Dropped the mic!! Obama out. POTUS killed at WHCD. You’re going to miss my man America,” Holder wrote on Twitter. “Consequential – and funny. #POTUS2016”

The Obamas play the roles of mom and dad perfectly at Easter Egg Roll

By: Jamie Feldman, Style Editor, Huffington Post


Obama with Easter Bunny at White House
Easter Egg Roll

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have a few months left to dress up for events at the White House, but there’s one job for which they’ll always know how to dress the part: Mom and Dad. After a whirlwind few weeks of sartorial stunners, the Obamas arrived at the 138th Easter Egg Roll on Monday looking more like America’s parents than anything else. Michelle wore a grassy green top, a long jacket and what appears to be leggings and sneakers, while Barack donned that gingham shirt and, well, dad jeans.
They then proceeded to do incredibly mom- and dad-like things: a dramatic reading of “Where the Wild Things Are,” delivering high-fives, making jokes about the whip and nae nae and listening to mom-and-dad favorite Idina Menzel sing the national anthem.

Malia Obama helps translate for her father during first family’s trip to Cuba

By: Eun Kyung Kim, NBC Today

Malia Obama translates for her father

Malia Obama translates for her father, President Obama in visit with people in Cuba

Her father may be president, but Malia Obama just proved he doesn’t always know best — or in this case, more.
The president’s 17-year-old daughter served as her dad’s personal interpreter during a visit with locals on their historic trip to Cuba, according to White House photographer Pete Souza. “The President and Malia share a laugh as Malia translates Spanish to English for her dad at a restaurant in Old Havana,” Souza wrote in the caption of the photo, which he posted on Instagram.
The first family arrived in Cuba on Sunday evening. The three-day trip marks the first time a U.S. president has visited the island nation in 88 years.
In addition to Malia, the president and first lady, Michelle Obama, brought their younger daughter, 14-year-old Sasha. Both girls are on spring break from school.
It’s been an eventful few weeks for the Obama girls. Earlier this month, they attended their first black-tie gala, a White House state dinner to honor the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Malia, who is a high school senior, will head to college in the fall.