Saturday, November 26, 2011

Van Jones: It's Yes We Can not Yes He Can

As announced, Van Jones is back.

Who is Van Jones? unabashed and high-profile liberal on President Barack Obama’s White House staff, former “green energy” czar Van Jones was to Republicans what a red cape is to a snorting bull: an irresistible target.

So when he resigned in 2009 under withering fire from the right — triggered by a video of him disparaging the GOP, followed by revelations of a tenuous connection to Sept. 11 conspiracy theorists — few doubted Jones was finished in Washington. He acknowledged as much a year later, writing in The New York Times that politics has become “a combination of speed chess and Mortal Kombat: one wrong move can mean political death.”

Van Jones is now the face, voice and high-powered organizer of the progressive Occupy Wall Street movement that is advocating on the behalf of middle, working and struggling class Americans.

He is giving credit for bringing under one banner several disillusioned and disconnected progressive organizations.

Jones helped organize a September summit, “Take Back the American Dream,” drawing more than 200 progressive organizations, and worked with groups in Ohio to defeat a bill which would have tightly restricted unions’ collective-bargaining power. And the themes of jobs and economic equality pushed by “Rebuild the Dream” — as the umbrella organization is known — dovetail with the economic message of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

This is exactly the spirit, tone and energy the progressive movement needs.

I have long believed that after mobilizing, supporting and electing 2008 - Yes We Can - candidate Barack Obama, the left/progressives said job well done and job completed.

We gave the newly elected President Obama marching orders and we retreated back to our distraction of choice. Our chant seemed to be, Yes We Did and now it was time for Yes He Can. From time to time we peeked in to check out if Obama was doing his job - fighting the richly funded (think billionare Koch brothers and friends) right-wing army.

On the other hand, the right got more than just angry, they got fighting mad and organized and via FOX and friends their message had a bully pulpit. By summer of 2009, when the Health Care debate was at a feverish pitch among Tea Party folks, many on the left - offering little or no rallying support - became disappointed in President Obama. He became, in the eyes of many progressives the Compromiser- and- Chief.

But fortunately Van Jones was actively laying the groundwork to change the narrative...

In his words:

“I’m not mad at the tea party for being so loud,” he said. “I’m mad at the progressives for being so quiet the past couple of years and not having that fire and that intensity at the grass-roots level to give both parties something to respond to that’s not just cut, cut, cut.

“You hear people talking about a disappointment [in Obama] and this kind of thing. I’m still of the view it was never, ‘Yes, he can.’ It’s supposed to be, ‘Yes, we can.’ And the ‘we’ was not evident in a couple of those years.

And Van Jones adds:

Real, systemic change requires “both a willing leader at the White House level” but strong grass-roots organizations supporting him, Jones said. “If we had been [organizing and protesting] in 2009 and been disappointed with the White House, that’s one thing. But when we aren’t even doing those things — and the only people who are marching and rallying are the tea party — I don’t think you have a fair experiment” to determine which ideology should prevail. read more

Well said. Welcome back my friend!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fox News Viewers Know Less Than People Who Don't Watch Any News: Study

The following story is not a News Flash for anybody paying one iota of attention to the GOP cast of characters running for president.

The dumber ish they say, the bigger applause they get!

Let's just say, if I were invited to a Republican meet and greet affair, I would not drink any beverage that was not hand delivered in a hermetically sealed container. These folks are drinking some Kool-aid that has them daffier than that duck.

And don't get me started on FOX News (mis-news), when their CEO, Rupert Murdock and company are not hacking phones, they are hacking brains cells. Just read this...

Fox News viewers are less informed than people who don't watch any news, according to a new poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The poll surveyed New Jersey residents about the uprisings in Egypt and the Middle East, and where they get their news sources. The study, which controlled for demographic factors like education and partisanship, found that "people who watch Fox News are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government" and "6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government" compared to those who watch no news.

Overall, 53% of all respondents knew that Egyptians successfully overthrew Hosni Mubarak and 48% knew that Syrians have yet to overthrow their government.

Dan Cassino, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson, explained in a statement, "Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News. Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all."

This is your brain (cue normal brain) and this is your brain on FOX (cue abby normal brain)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Frugal Duchess: How to go green and cut energy costs

Editors Note: At this time it gives us great pleasure to welcome our newest blogger to HGP, the award winning journalist and best selling author, Sharon Harvey-Rosenberg, aka, The Frugal Duchess (FD). Via FD, Sharon will provide money saving tips for families and households.

Small changes have reduced electrical charges in my home. On a year-over-year basis, we have used 20 percent less electricity due to two minor adjustments. We have switched most of the light bulbs to compact florescent bulbs (CFLs), an energy-saving option. Additionally, during the day and vacations, we turn off the water heater, a move that generates cool savings.

(photo by Yael Rosenberg)

Those are just a few of the ways of finding additional space in a tight budget, according to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Palm Beach County, Fla., and the Treasure Coast. How do you cut the fat if your budget is already lean? A reality check will help you write smaller checks for household bills, according to the folks at CCCS.

"Successful saving starts with a realistic look at how you are spending money now and what changes you can realistically make," said Jessica Cecere, president of CCCS.

For example, consumers can cut electric bills by $50 or more by washing clothes in cold water, using energy-efficient bulbs and installing a programmable thermostat, Cecere said. Here are other recommended changes:

•Trim salon visits. It's possible to save several hundreds of dollars annually with do-it-yourself haircuts, manicures and pedicures. If you're hooked on salon pampering, stretch out visits to the professionals with home-grooming sessions.

•Free movies. Libraries and community centers are a source of free movie rentals. One credit counseling client saved $20 to $40 every month by borrowing movies from the library. Another option: Set up an informal movie library with friends, neighbors and co-workers.

•Review monthly expenses. Periodically review automatic bill-paying charges, credit card statements and other monthly bills. Automatic debits may include gym fees, vacation clubs, publications or other subscription services that you may no longer use, according to CCCS. Scan bills for overcharges and other errors.

•Go green. Energy efficient appliances use less energy and save money over the life of the product. In my home, we were surprised to learn that our old refrigerator and stove were energy hogs. Likewise, a CFL bulb uses 75 percent less energy than a standard light bulb and last 10 times longer, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Sharon Harvey-Rosenberg: The Frugal Duchess: How To Live Well and Save Money

Available at Amazon

Radio One & Songza partner to launch BLACKPLANETRADIO.COM

RADIO ONE has partnered with SONGZA to launch BLACKPLANET RADIO, the digital industry's first social radio website targeted towards African Americans. BLACKPLANETRADIO.COM allows users to discover new music in a variety of ways, as well as create playlists from a library of more than 14.5 million songs to share with their social network communities.

"BLACKPLANET RADIO makes creating music playlists more fun by allowing users to play DJ and share their creations with their online friends, for free from their desktop browser or via our mobile iPHONE and ANDROID apps," said INTERACTIVE ONE Pres. TOM NEWMAN. "Personal expression and connecting with friends is the essence of and this new extension of the social networking site is a great way for people to connect online through music." read more