Friday, February 3, 2012

Strong U.S. Job Growth Leads to Lowest Black Unemployment in Years

Two job related news stories bring good news for Democrats and President Obama: The overall unemployment rate continues to drop; and the stubbornly high unemployment rate of black Americans has significantly improved.

On cue, the GOP and Mitt Romney will respond by claiming the growth is very weak and that Obama's policies and big government regulations are hindering a more robust economic recovery.

Two things: President Obama inherited a free falling economy that was losing over 800,000 jobs a month before he even walked into the Oval Office. His first mission was to stabilize the patient, hence avoiding a Great Depression.

Secondly, to add insult to the GOP created injury, the Republicans in congress, for over three years, have not lifted one finger to help bring the American people relief. No, they have - due to partisan politics - obstructed and refused to partner with Obama on anything for the good of the country. Obama's number one priority was to help the country recover; the GOP's number one priority was to defeat and frustrate the president. For example:

The Republicans announced that no matter what Obama did, they would oppose it. Jobs bill? No. Deficit solution? No. Nothing matters to them but defeating Barack Obama. source

Read the following two job report articles.

President Barack Obama hasn’t unfurled a “Mission Accomplished” banner just yet.
But Friday’s jobs report showing the unemployment rate dropping to 8.3 percent, the lowest level of his presidency, is an unexpected boon for Obama’s reelection bid and a serious hurdle for his top competitor, Mitt Romney, who has staked his campaign on a jobs-and-economy message.

While 8 percent-plus unemployment is still a perilous number for any incumbent, the clear downward trend in the jobless rate complicates the Republican narrative that Obama is an out-and-out economic failure who has no hope of turning around the economy.

The lower that number goes, strategists in both parties say, the harder it will be for Romney and others to rely on a glum national mood and a purely jobs-focused sales pitch to turn voters against the incumbent.

“Those numbers are good news for the country and they are good news, politically, for the president,” said Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “It puts particular pressure on Mitt Romney as the nominee to offer a big, bold, sweeping agenda of reform and economic growth and contrasts with the president’s vision. He’s simply not going to be able to run a campaign built on a foundation of criticism.”

It’s not just the political world where eyes widened in response to the economic news. Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago, said: “It’s certainly good news for Obama.” read more

And news on black unemployment:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS )reported Friday.
The number of unemployed persons declined to 12.8 million in January. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.7 percent) and blacks (13.6 percent) declined in January. The unemployment rates for adult women (7.7 percent), teenagers (23.2 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and Latinos (10.5 percent) were little changed.
Black unemployment saw the biggest drop — from 15.8 to 13.6 percent. And for the first time in a long time, those numbers aren’t being fudged (much) by people who have dropped out of the workforce. Unemployment overall is at 8.3 percent now, and the BLS says that workforce participation is holding steady.
“These numbers are important because one, we now have the lowest unemployment rate in nearly three years. It’s also one of the biggest drops in black unemployment—nearly two points—that the BLS has recorded in years,” said Shani O. Hilton,’s D.C. Correspondent. read more

Super Bowl Fun Facts by Greg Gee

Drum roll please...
I will now predict a sure winner of Super Bowl 46 with these two facts: 

1) All former super bowl champions have had double digits wins in the regular season...therefore, the New York Giants cannot be champions because they only had 9 victories during the season.  

2) No team with a defense ranked as low as 22nd best has ever won the super bowl, therefore the 31st ranked defense New England Patriots cannot be champions.

Ok, so I'm messing with yall. Here are some other fun facts with players from each team - enjoy the game:

Patriot Players:
Fun facts: Tom Brady, married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, was selected as a catcher (the least glamorous position in baseball) in the 18th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball draft by the Montreal Expos.
Fun facts: Wes Welker was nicknamed "The Natural" while at Texas Tech. … Only one player in NFL history – Gale Sayers – had more all-purpose yards in their first three seasons in the league.

 Fun fact: Rob Gronkowski's great-grandfather, Ignatius, was a member of the 1924 U.S. Olympic cycling team in Paris.

 Giant Players:
Fun facts: Justin Tuck was nicknamed "The Freak" by college teammates at Notre Dame. … He's the second youngest of seven children. … At Central Coosa County High School (Kellyton, Ala.), Tuck averaged 17.6 points and 11.3 rebounds as a senior for the Class 4A basketball State Champions.

Noteworthy: Jason Pierre-Paul was born in Deerfield Beach, Fla., to parents who emigrated from Haiti in 1983. Jean Gabriel Pierre-Paul, Jason's father, went blind and his last vision of Jason was as an eight-month year old child. His father listens to games on the radio.
Fun fact: Hakim Nicks never lost a game in high school and completed his senior year with MVP honors in the 4-AA state championship game for Independence High School (Charlotte) with eight catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns.

Fun facts: Born Elisha Nelson Manning on Jan. 3, 1981,… On his first career snap, Manning handed off to Tiki Barber, who ran 72 yards for a touchdown. … Eli married college sweetheart Abby and they have a daughter, Ava Frances, born in March 2011

Watch the NFL's Funniest Moments 2011 video:


 Related Stories: Greg Gee's Super Bowl Picks

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

‘Soul Train’ Host Don Cornelius Dead Of Suicide

Don Cornelius (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)With supreme sadness and heavy heart,  I report the apparent suicide death of Don Cornelius.
 He is and forever will be a monumental figure in black culture, music and entertainment. In our house-hold, each Saturday afternoon, Soul Train was must see TV. 

To Don we salute: Love, Peace and Sooooul!

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Don Cornelius, creator of the long-running TV dance show "Soul Train," shot himself to death Wednesday morning at his Los Angeles home, police said. He was 75.
Officers responding to a report of a shooting found Cornelius at his Mulholland Drive home at around 4 a.m., police said. He was pronounced dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 4:56 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.
"Soul Train" began in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV as a local program and aired nationally from 1971 to 2006.
It introduced television audiences to such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Barry White and brought the best R&B, soul and later hip-hop acts to TV and had teenagers dance to them. It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed. Cornelius was the first host and executive producer.
"There was not programming that targeted any particular ethnicity," he said in 2006, then added: "I'm trying to use euphemisms here, trying to avoid saying there was no television for black folks, which they knew was for them." source
Soul Train Golden Moment: Five Stairsteps sing - Ohh Child

Are the Clippers better than the Lakers?: Watch Blake Griffen Own Kendrick Perkins

With the addition of Chris Paul and the experienced Chauncey Billups, many NBA fans are daring to ask - the once unthinkable question: Are the LA Clippers the best basketball team in LA? My LA & Kobie fans (HGP sports editor Greg Gee included) don't sleep on the Clippers.

Blake Griffen/CP3 and crew are younger, more athletic and more exciting to watch(check out the video of Blake just posterizing Kendrick Perkins) - not to mention, after twenty some games into the season, the Clippers have the better record. To be fair, it's a bit premature to answer that question. But the mere fact we can even pose this question with a straight face is saying something.

And yes, Show Time at the Staples Center now has to be clarified: Clippers or Lakers?


  For more:

Lakers-Clippers rivalry? Are you kidding? This is now officially a street fight.
It used to be all that mattered when the Clippers played the Lakers was whether Jack Nicholson bothered to show.
No more. This one clearly mattered. By the final period, there threatened to be more technical fouls and near-fights than basketball plays. The basketball wasn't that bad, either. Spectacular, actually, if you are measuring intensity. The Lakers will measure it any way you want. Led by that old hand, Kobe Bryant, they prevailed in a rough and rugged fourth period to win, 96-91. read entire article

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cut Your Beverage Tab at Bars, Restaurants & Resorts

It's possible to spend less for drinks at bars, restaurants and resorts. Here's my list of do-it-mostly-yourself drink recipes.

  • Spiked & flavored coffees: At bars, restaurants and resorts you can save a lot by ordering plain American coffee and a shot of Baileys Irish cream liqueur or other liqueurs. One shot of liqueur is good for spiking several rounds of coffee, especially if the establishment offers bottomless cups of coffee. Final ingredient: Tip the waiter or bartender generously.
  • Virgin drinks: When lounging poolside at a resort, beach or hotel, save money by ordering the non-alcohol version ofpina coladas or other mixed drinks. Spike your virgin drinks with your own small bottle of rum or vodka. At one one resort, virgin drinks were $4-5 each, compared to $8-12 for the spiked versions. Note: Only use this recipe at resorts where it's customary for guests to carry DIY snacks, sodas and food. Many resorts have no problem with customers bringing brown-bag treats from hotel rooms, beach bags, the food court or other take-out establishments. Final ingredient: When you order the virgin drinks, be sure to tip the waiter or bartender generously. 
  • Watered down drinks: One area resort serves strong drinks. When I asked for a watered down version, one fellow customer chided me. She told me take the strong drink as-is and to request an extra glass of soda to dilute the original drink. In this fashion, it's possible to create your own two-for-one drink special. Final ingredient: Tip the waiter or bartender generously.
  • DIY iced tea or iced coffee: Some hotels and resorts offer guests free (hot) coffee and tea bars, with high-end herbal teas and gourmet coffee. At one resort where we were staying, I made a cup of hot passion fruit tea and requested a cup of ice from the bar area. With the ice cubes and the hot herbal tea, I was able to create a tall glass of iced tea at no charge. The same strategy works for turning hot coffee into a chilled-out drink. And of course, it's good karma to tip the bartender for the ice.
  • Drink water: It's healthier. It's cheaper.

Monday, January 30, 2012

For the love of the Super Bowl

My sister Karen sent me this astounding poll of what major life events people would skip to watch the Super Bowl.
Some of us love football, but a few select individuals said they love it so much they'd skip some major life events for Super Bowl tickets.
In an online survey sponsored by, of 2,625 U.S. adults polled, about 21 percent said they'd miss an important work-related duty to attend the NFL's big game, and about 20 percent said they would miss a loved one's wedding or a funeral to watch the ballet of bulldozers on the gridiron.
The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive from Jan. 9-11, also revealed that America's love affair with football is so deep that about 15 percent of those surveyed said they would skip the birth of their child to attend the game.
Quick Clicks
There's no word on how many football fans would sell their soul for Super Bowl tickets as that question was left out of the poll.