Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nothing New About So Called "Newbos"

For three years, Lee Hawkins a Wall Street Journal Staff Reporter has been working on a project about the rise of what he calls the "Newbos," a slang term for New Black Overclass. Tonight, in a primetime slot on CNBC, he premiered his one-hour documentary, "Newbos: The Rise of America's New Black Overclass." I am sorry to report, but there was nothing novel or inspiring about Hawkins's documentary. The idea of the documentary was to profile black individuals who are so-called overclass. The word overclass gives the impression that these people have surpassed lower class, middle class and upper class and are now what Hawkins calls overclass.

Hawkins's documentary is unoriginal and just about as boring and annoying as CNN's "Black in America." The documentary did not provide any insight into this so called black overclass, individuals who are supposedly riding the wave of the Obama Presidency. The show featured the same run of the mill wealthy African-Americans who fall into one of two categories; entertainers or athletes. He profiled Lebron James, Kirk Franklin, Bob Jones, and Lil' Wayne among others. Sure Bob Jones is neither an athlete nor entertainer but legend has it he once owned an entertainment network. There is nothing new about this so called uber wealthy or overclass blacks. We have always had the same people, they have just had different names; Michael Jackson, MC Hammer, or Michael Jordan. If Hawkins' argument was that rich people of color just began to emerge in this century then he would have a documentary. Rather, his documentary if anything was stale and just a poor attempt at notoriety. Further, the narration in the documentary was boring and monotone.

I was hoping his documentary would profile wealthy African-Americans who are entrepreneurs with no ties to either entertainment or sports. I was looking forward to seeing scientists, attorneys, writers, engineers, and maybe the occasional movie producer who truly can be described as a new breed of African-Americans. African-American who have become wealthy by means other than atheletics and entertainment do exist. They live in almost every major American city! He did not have to profile Lil' Wayne who is notorious for drunken performances and profane lyrics as the new black overclass. Hawkins falls into the class of individuals who are hell bent on becoming noted for coining a new word. Throughout the one-hour special, he used the word "overclass" over and over in a painful attempt to make sure the viewer walked away believing that overclass is the new metrosexual.

Besides being stale and poorly produced, there is an actual danger in the idea of an "overclass black." Low income or even middle income blacks who watched the show or become familiar with the new word are somewhat liable to walk away thinking they have less worth because they do not fall into a certain income bracket. Further, the term overclass, and the focus of Hawkins' documentary further feeds into the mentality that to be a successful person of color, one has to be either an entertainer or an athlete. Becoming either of the two seems even more promising as the nation is in a recession. Hence, rather than tough it out in academia and face the uncertainty of unemployment, the get rich quick fields of entertainment and athletics are once again being peddled as perhaps the only channels to success for people of color. Sadly, the documentary seemed liked a cheap attempt for Hawkins to meet and fraternize with celebrities he fancies under the pretext of showing the American people something they already know. Want a real documentary made by a person of color? Then check out Mr. Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke." Hawkins needs to find new material and ditch this idea of a black overclass, it's a train that is sure to derail.

My Adventures in Twitterland

I just joined about 6 million or so other users on Twitter on Tuesday. Friends of mine have been on twitter for a long time but I really did not care about the social network until I saw Meghan McCain on a morning television show. The younger McCain was talking about how her dad who is a self proclaimed computer illiterate is now on the social network. He has been twittering about everything from his football team to "porkiest projects on the Congress spending bill." Not to be outdone by Senator John McCain I made a mad dash to my computer and signed up on the social network.

Ranked after social networks Facebook and MySpace, Twitter is an online networking site that allows users to update their profile in 140 words or less. Their updates are made available to either a few people in their circle or to a an open feed based on the selected preferences of the user. So far, I have left my preferences open and I currently have about 7 people who receive my twitter feeds. There are many joys of using Twitter, one been that users can update their profiles using a host of devices including a BlackBerry. Since joining, I've only updated my profile once.

Joining Twitter is somewhat out of character, for I have always repudiated the idea of people who go on Facebook to update every single detail of their existence. There was this particular girl I know on Facebook but have never met in person (she left Facebook a short while ago). I felt like I knew her because she updated her profile several times a day. From waking up, to mundane tasks as using the bathroom and getting meals she put every detail on Facebook. She missed the memo on discretion in ones personal life. At one point I felt she needed to be cautioned because she could be abducted or even worse seriously hurt by a stalker who was privy to her indiscretions. So why am I twittering now? I will not be outdone by a man who was born in 1936 and needs time to remember how many homes he owns.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Bobby Jindal Fiasco

Last night's Republican rebuttal by Governor Bobby Jindal was if anything, comical, laughable and a downright disaster. Despite having access to the President's speech before it was presented before the Joint Session of Congress, Jindal's rebuttal was a missed opportunity for his personal ascent within his party as well as a blow to the Republican party as a whole. I am not sure what happened last night, but when Jindal came on screen, the first words that came out of my mouth where "He does not look Presidential at all." The purpose of using Jindal was an attempt by the Republican Party to offer a fresh face and someone who could possibly be a candidate for the Presidency in 2012. In his first speech on a national scale, Jindal received a failing grade. His speech was stale and he did not look the part at all. For someone as smart as Jindal, something went terribly wrong last night. His response was completely off topic and did not match the oratorical display or content of President Barack Obama's speech at all.

His remarks focused on the concerns of his party and did not address the larger problems of the American people. He did not attack the stimulus bill or the tax cuts that many in his party are vehemently opposed to. He spoke about everything from Disney land to volcanic eruptions and everything in between. He failed to show that the Republican Party was aware and would be ready to hold the President accountable if the stimulus plans fail to deliver. The Republican Party has to look elsewhere because thus far they have performed dismally at all attempts to present what might be a suitable candidate for 2012. Sarah Palin was an embarrassment and judging by Jindal's performance last night, the Republican Party has a full plate. I remember back in the Bush years, when I looked forward to the Democratic response after State of the Union addresses. I feel so bad for Jindal. Hopefully he'll be able to repair his image when he comes to the understanding that the country needs to be united now and not resort to divisive comments like his famous line from last night, "we can't trust the Federal Government."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Milking the Madea Franchise

Tyler Perry once again proves that although his movies may not be considered Oscar worthy, he is the undeniable king of the box office. His latest movie "Madea Goes to Jail" ended the weekend with a staggering $41.1 million. Tyler needs to share the secret of his movie success becaue Madea seems like she can do no wrong! Even when she lands in jail she still manages to rake in the cash and send Tyler smiling all the way to bank.

Bollywood Stuns at the Oscars

There are award shows and then, the Academy Awards. I respect the Oscars not only for its class, but because it is such a beautiful award show, an ode to the movies it celebrates. From the glitz and the glamour of the red carpet, to the presentations and performances, the Academy Awards definitely is the mother of all Award shows. Despite a few changes to the show, it was still spectacular. How about leading man, Hugh Jackman? I hope he returns as a performer and next I would be pleased to have the lovely Ms. Tina Fey host the show. Tina is so composed but at the same time is a comedic train wreck, in a good sense.

Tonight, there weren't any major surprises in my opinion. I was certain "Slumdog Millionaire" would win in most of the categories and I didn't have to stretch my imagination. I am so thrilled and believe this is not only an accolade for the minds behind the movie but also an affirmation of the magic Bollywood has brought to the silver screen. As I child growing up in Nigeria, I remember sweeping through my chores on Saturday mornings to make it to the front of the television to watch a Bollywood flick. Those mornings saw my sisters and I huddled on the floor and the couch watching these mostly subtitled movies. Often times we never got through these pictures without crying, and doing so immensely.

Although I haven't seen a Bollywood flick in a long time, I am so amazed that Bollywood finally gets her day at the Oscars. For all the awards for the movie, I was most thrilled for the Best Director category. I would have jumped out of my bedroom window if Danny Boyle had not won the Award. I watched as Danny cried and laughed with others from the movie who won and it would have been ultimate treachery if he was snubbed.

Other winners tonight included Penelope Cruz for supporting actress, the late Mr. Heath Ledger winnning posthumously for Best Supporting Actor, Kate Winslet winning the award for Best Actress for her performance in "The Reader," proving that a Holocaust movie is a sure fire way to win an Oscar, as was echoed at the Golden Globe Award. And my all time favorite, Sean Penn taking home the ultimate award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Harvey Milk in the biopic "Milk."

As I watch the Oscars I am reminded of dreams. The Oscars certainly and the movies they honor teach us that anything is possible. With the current recession, one industry that hasn't suffered much is the movie industry. Movies are other worldly and have the power to take us to faraway lands. Movies help us dream and definitely broaden our scope. Movies also inspire hope and for a few seconds or if we wish to prolong the euphoria, can for a few years make such an impression that is transformative and inspiring.

I can still remember some scenes from some of my favorite movies...the little girl in the red coat from "Schindler's List," crossing the Alps in "The Sound of Music," Rosebud from "Citizen Kane," and of course Clark Gable walking into the fog as he utters those famous words in "Gone With the Wind." That's the beauty of motion pictures, bringing to life ideas that are awe inspiring and at the same time imaginative. Everyone is a winner tonight and I am so privileged to be able to participate in the show.

Friday, February 20, 2009

NY Post Apologizes...Sort Of

After much pressure and criticism the New York Post finally made an apology for cartoonist Sean Delonas' cartoon which was published on Wednesday February 18. The Post claims the cartoon was just that; a cartoon, the intent being to mock those who wrote the stimulus bill and was in no way intended to hint at the race of President Barack Obama. Those who expressed dissent over the cartoon have been criticized for being overly sensitive and for making a mountain of a mole hill.

While the apology by the Post might be a bit genuine, the cartoon was just not a cartoon. Although the cartoon made reference to Travis the Connecticut chimp who was shot earlier in the week anyone with a little common sense can deduce that Travis was not the intended brunt of the joke. Comparisons of people of African descent to chimpanzees is not novel. And while it may be argued that President Obama did not directly write the stimulus bill, the bill is still the President's agenda. We may have an African-American president in office, but Delonas' cartoon shows that race is still an issue and not even the President is exempt.

I Heart Hugh Jackman!

I have watched the Academy Awards for as long as I can remember. This year, I am going to have an even bigger reason to watch the show. Hugh Jackman is hosting the Oscars! I love, love Hugh Jackman. I seriously think he is illogically good looking and definitely the sexiest man alive! I fell in love with Hugh Jackman all over again after seeing him in "Kate and Leopold." Hugh is the complete package. He is extremely handsome, talented and will never know what the short man syndrome is. Adding to his looks is his uber sexy accent. And what's not to love about an Aussie! I absolutely love Hugh and heard he will be singing and probably dancing during the show.

Undeniably, the Oscars has been struggling with ratings, and this year will be tough as a few changes have been made to the show. Nonetheless, I hope Hugh's charm can definitely give the show the boost it needs this year. Past hosts of the show have included Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, and David Letterman. Hugh has admitted to having a case of nerves which of course is natural and somewhat necessary for any presenter. So, with great anticipation, I am awaiting Sunday night like a child waiting for Christmas morning!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Got That Loving Feeling...

To jump start Valentine's Day, I've put together a list of some romantic movies. The top five are movies I like and the rest are on the list just because. What are your favorite romantic movies?

1. Gone With the Wind
2. Love Story
3. Sweet Home Alabama
4. Brown Sugar
5. Coming to America
6. Kate and Leopold
7. The Notebook
8. Raising Helen
9. The Sound of Music
10. Sex and the City
11. The Color Purple (hehe)
12. Titanic
13. Casablanca
14. Beauty and the Beast
15. Wall-E

Thursday, February 12, 2009

NAACP Turns 100

Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Founded February 12, 1909, the NAACP is one the largest and most well recognized grassroots civil rights organizations in the United States and the world. The organization was founded by about 60 people, seven of whom were African-Americans and included Ida B. Wells, and W.E.B. Du Bois in response to lynchings and riots in Abraham Lincoln's home state of Illinois. The founding of the organization was set to coincide with the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln. The focus of the organization since its inception has been to foster civil rights and fight for equality mostly for individuals of African-American descent. However, lately there has been some dissent in the African-American community over the organization's focus, with calls made to change the focus to one that encourages economic development and progress to aid African-Americans who are trapped in a cycle of poverty.

In 2004, Kweisi Mfume resigned his position as president of the organization after serving for nine years. He was replaced by Bruce Gordon, who left the position after only 19 months at the helm. Gordon came to the organization after many years of service in corporate America. His vision was to transform the organization from one that was primarily focused on fighting injustice to one that championed economic empowerment. He was unable to do so because he had to contend with an unweilding board comprised of 64 members, most of whom differed in opinion when matters of the organization's direction arose. Although many critics had suggested that Gordon wouldn't be a good fit for the organization and rightfully so, he was instrumental in restoring the relaitonship of the organization with the White House. When President George W. Bush assumed office he broke tradition by refusing to address the organization, making him the first President since Herbert Hoover to turn down an invitation to speak at the organization. The organization is currently headed by Benjamin Jealous who succeeded Gordon.

Crticism of the group is not without merit. The group ranks as one of the lowest rated charities with the highest paid executives. Also, I question the relevance of the organization today. The most visible participation of the organization comes in form of the NAACP Image Awards which honors African-Americans for their achivement. It is possible the organization is making positive change, but the visibility is not over arching. While the group has other civic functions and roles it plays in the community, it is fair to say that the issues that are relevant to African-Americans today are on the organization's back burner. There are still issues of poverty, increasing high school drop out rates, teenage pregnacy, and other social issues in the community which seem to be worsening. I am not placing the onus of fixing our ailing inner cities on the organization, but the organization has failed in its duties and instead become another social hub that has as its most visible role organizing luncheons and dinners for the rich and famous to fraternize, while those who need the aid watch in awe.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Salmonella Pleads the Fifth or When Peanuts Wouldn't Speak

Earlier this week, I attended a luncheon given in honor of Georgia Farmers by the State of Georgia and Governor Sonny Purdue. Addressing the audience, Governor Purdue criticized the owners of the peanut plant who have recently been in the news for accusation of salmonella contamination. It's interesting to note that despite being aware of the contamination, the owner of the plant begged the Food and Drug Administration to allow him "turn the raw peanuts on our floor into money." Eight deaths and five hundred and fifty salmonella related illnesses later, Stewart Parnell the President of the Peanut Corporation of America and owner of the plant in question today refused to testify before Congress, citing his Fifth Amedment rights against self incrimination.

For many years the plant owned by Parnell had been in a sorry state. There was a constantly leaking roof, rodent invasion and positive results for salmonella testing. In general there was gross mismanagement and utter negligence of the worse kind, especially for a food processing plant. Parnell, has had his day before Congress and before long may have his day before a Judicial panel of some sort. Whatever punishment he receives will only be a tap on the wrist and nothing compared to the punishment China's Zheng Xiaoyu received. Zheng, the former head of China's FDA was executed by the government for allowing untested medication be sold in exchange for monetary compensation.

Today in the news, it was reported that companies owned by Parnell filed for bankruptcy. This is only the beginning, but the real punishment will come when Parnell is made to face the full brunt of the law. Zheng had his day and didn't live to tell his story. Parnell will have his soon, hopefully, but will possibly live to tell his story in a state sponsored facility payed for by federal tax dollars. He'll live alright thanks to the democracy that is the United States. But soon, the chickens will come home to roost.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Domestic Violence and the Dame

There's a new face of domestic violence. Over the weekend Chris Brown and his long time girlfriend Rihanna got into a fight that supposedly left the singer bruised and battered. I remember how the story broke. It all began with the Grammy pre-show on E! with Ryan Seacrest. While Seacrest was speaking, he was interrupted with some important news. The story was that Chris Brown wouldn't be performing because he had been in an unfortunate domestic incidence with a female who was in his car the previous night [Chris Brown and Rihanna both attended an event hosted by Clive Davis on the night of the alleged incidence]. A few minutes later, Seacrest then announced that Rihanna wouldn't be performing at the Award show as well. For anyone who remotely reads any gossip blogs, it's easy to guess whom the unidentified female was. There's no Chris Brown without Rihanna and vice-versa.

I'm not sure when the entire Chris Brown Rihanna relationship began, however, I have been disturbed by their relationship for as long as I can remember. For one, Chris Brown and Rihanna are constantly together and have been so for the last year and half or perhaps more if I remember correctly. When Rihanna went on tour last summer Chris accompanied her. Further, I am constantly forced to endure stories and pictures of the two traipsing around the continent. I don't want to sound like the bitter old aunt, but I always wondered where the parents were in the picture. I understand that Chris Brown is supposedly "a country boy from Tappahannock, [Virginia]" and princess RiRi as she is fondly called by Perez Hilton is a Bajan idol. Chris is from a single parent home and his mother resides in Virginia and RiRi's folks are miles away in Barbados. It's understandable that their parents have other concerns besides their children's careers, but they are two of the biggest stars I know whose families have been totally out of the picture. Michael Jackson's parents were a constant presence early in his career. Same with Beyonce, Usher, Brandy, Miley Cyrus, the Jonas brothers, Lindsay Lohan and a bunch of other celebrities.

Not all of these celebrities turned out right, however, the argument can be made that having that parental presence was reassuring even if the parents were train wrecks; Joseph Simpson and Joseph Jackson prime example of cabooses that lost their minds. For as long as I've known Rihanna and Chris Brown, there have been almost no references and few sightings of their parents. I've seen pictures of them in pools in far away lands, partying in clubs in Europe, and jumping all around the continental United States. They are often photographed drinking alcohol even though neither of them is of legal drinking age and just engaging in all sorts of cavalier behavior. I know it's different because they are celebrities, but somehow, I believe they got carried away with their fame and forgot they were still young adults and teenagers who may have missed out on a "normal life" because they found fame and fortune too soon. Thanks to Michael Jackson and Britney Spears we've all become acquainted with the so called "Arrested Development" syndrome and its devastating effects.

It's unfortunate because these two suffer from mild AR and adding to their angst, they seem like they are constantly left to their own devices. I am not in any way advocating that Rihanna deserved to be abused by Chris Brown, but I am making the point that perhaps parents should reconsider their roles, even more so when their children are thrust in the spotlight. Several teenagers and young adults get abused regularly by their love interests even with parents present, but the Chris and RiRi saga was just totally crazy. I'm reminded of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears all over again and we all know how unpleasant that episode was. Now, there's a battered young lady who's being labeled victim and a young man whose better days may be behind him. Given the times we live in I'd expect them to know better. We live in the age of MTV's "Parental Control," and if that's any indication of a sign of the times, it's only going to go down hill from here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Etta James is NOT Dead

This week has seen some diva drama between Etta James and Beyonce Knowles. Miss James is miffed that Beyonce got to sing her classic "At Last" at the Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama and his wife's first dance. Over the weekend she supposedly joked that she wanted to "whoop Beyonce's ass" and called out President Obama for having "big ears." She went on to say that for what he did "he ain't her President." Now if all of that isn't funny I don't know what is.

On the night of the Inaugural Ball, I was tempted to do a post with the above title. I was equally miffed that Etta was alive and the Obama team had Beyonce singing her song. That was really, totally wrong. That's what is called a big-time "diss." Imagine what Aretha Franklin would have done if they had Fantasia singing "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" at the Ball. Trust me, there would have been more than threats of "ass-whoopings." We would have had saucer shaped hats flying in all directions. There's nothing as volatile as a woman scorned.

How dare they let Beyonce sing her song, while the woman was on her couch back at home? No wonder she's pissed. I bet she'll rather have two Bushes over Obama, but that may not help because Bush is just as pitiful as Obama in the "ear" department. So Dear Inaugural team, we need some damage control. Etta James is mad as a hatter. Even though she recanted what she said and argues it was all a joke in good faith, trust me, the sister is angry and just might give Bey a good beat down should the opportunity arise. And finally when that day comes, she'll have good reason to belt out..."At last she got a good ass whooping, now she won't be singing my song no more..." So Mrs. Jay-Z, next time, sing one of your originals like "Upgrade You," or "Bootylicious." Leave the classics to the real pros like Etta-you-know-who.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Editorials and Opinions

About two weeks ago, I posted a piece in reaction to President Obama's policies on abortion and funding. In order to be fair and engaging I wanted the parties affected to voice their opinions on what the current legislature on abortion means for their orgnizations. Below are reactions from the Executive Director of the Georgia Right to Life, Nancy Stith and from Leola Reis, Vice President for Extenal Affairs for the Planned Parenthood of Georgia Incorporated. The first article is from the former and the article following is from the latter.

The Pro-Life Response
Nancy Stith, Executive Director, Georgia Right to Life

As the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade approached just days after our new president was inaugurated many of us in the prolife movement knew change was coming, but not the change that his supporters have been chanting about in the last several months. As hope has now been revived that we live in a country where race no longer is a barrier for anyone to achieve their dreams, we want to believe that this can and will also be a country where a child of every race will survive his mother’s womb with the chance of achieving those dreams as well.

As the commencement of service of our 44th President, Profilers across the nation feared the inevitable striking down of the ban of giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information. Also known as the "Mexico City policy" or “Global Gag Rule”, this ban is mistakenly said to prevent necessary health care to some of the world's poorest women. What the ban truly does is prevent US tax payer dollars to fund international abortions. It isn’t bad enough that today in this country we have abortion on demand all nine months of pregnancy for any reason or for no reason; we are now funding the killing babies all over the world. Before the ban funds were distributed to those who provided healthcare to some of the poorest women in the world, it just didn’t allow them to “terminate” their pregnancies with U.S. tax dollars. One of the hardest things for me to understand is how ending a pregnancy is considered such a big part of a woman’s healthcare.

President Obama has mentioned on several occasions on how he wants to reduce the number of abortions and that the government should not be allowed to intrude on our most private family matters. Does anyone not see the contradiction in this? The government should not be able to tell us what to do, but the tax payers are obligated to fund it. How is funding abortions a way to help reduce abortions here or abroad? A Gallup Poll recently published on President Obama’s approval rating has shown only 35% support of his allowing funding for overseas family planning groups that provides abortions. This puzzles me. Why didn’t the average American understand during election time that a candidate that is staunchly pro-choice would not be supporting these types of programs?

The average American does not want to look abortion in the eye. This pill is a little too bitter for many of Americans to swallow. Statistics show that 93% of woman have abortions for social issues (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient). No one really wants to talk about that. We are killing our children, our legacies and our future out of inconvenience. We cannot own up to it though even though it is shown in black and white. God forbid, that would mean we are cruel, heartless and just plain selfish. Our country has voted in the kind of change that will allow us to continue to kill millions of babies and create apathy for death instead of compassion for life domestically and globally.

The Pro-Choice Response
Leola Reis, VP, External Affairs, Planned Parenthood of Georgia, Inc.,

The news about the reversal of the Global Gag rule, affecting a federal funding stream that has existed for many years, is a tremendous step forward in preserving women's health around the world. These funds, which have existed for many years, go to developing countries. No US funds can be used for abortions or abortion counseling. However, under the previous administration, no US funds would go to any country that used its own funds for abortion counseling or services. President Obama's reversal of the Global Gag Rule means that these countries can use US funds for contraception and other health care initiatives.

Clearly, we now have a President who understands the importance of protecting and strengthening women's health. Planned Parenthood fully supports the Freedom of Choice Act, but there's a long list of things to get done: increasing access to affordable birth control, move funding for family planning, comprehensive sex education to keep our teens healthy and safe, and health care for all Americans. FOCA is a part of that list, but not at the top.

The American people have clearly stated that they reject the divisive politics of the past and are looking for a future guided by common sense solutions to the real problems we face. Americans want policies that address the root causes of abortion, such as poverty and health care inequities, and they simply tune out the din of extremist language.

There is much to be done in our own state to address health care issues and to help women prevent unintended pregnancies and plan for healthy ones. We are hoping that Georgia legislators on both sides of the isle will work together to improve access to reproductive health care that includes cancer screenings and birth control

Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General

Born on January 21, 1951, Eric Holder is the 82nd Attorney General of the United States. Confirmed on February 2, 2009, he is the first African-American to hold the position of Attorney General of the United States. Mr. Holder received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and his Juris Doctor for Columbia Law School. He is married to Dr. Sharon Malone, an obstetrician and they have three children together.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Michelle Obama

Michell Obama is the wife of the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama. She has two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Born in Chicago Illinois to Fraser Robinson and Marian Shields Robinson on January 17, 1964. Michelle was raised in the South side of Chicago and attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She worked at the law firm Sidley Austin after graduation from law school. She also was part of the staff of former Chicago mayor Richard Daley and worked at the University of Chicago Medical Center before becoming first lady of the United States. Michelle Obama is the first African-American first lady of the United States of America.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Rafa Rules!

In a match that lasted four hours and twenty three minutes Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer to win his 6th major title. Although today's match pales in comparison to the almost six hour match between the two rivals last year at the All England Club, Rafael Nadal showed Roger Federer who's boss. Nadal has more wins that Federer overall, and his win this morning at the Rod Laver Arena doesn't seem so surprising. This time though there was no roof top scramble in a bid to reach his Mom. After returning the volley in the last set, Rafa fell to the floor even before he was sure he had won the point.

Nadal has displayed tremendous sportsmanship, and even when the tables are turned against him he still gives the fans their money's worth. Federer on the other hand needs to work on his sportsmanship. He hates to lose and he makes it so clear. At Wimbledon last year, he already brought his "winners" oufit. I bet he must have pictured what he'd look like on the front page of every daily in his nice white v-necked ensemble. Federer is a more mature player though, managing to rein his emotions and maintain some consistency. Nadal is more fun to watch though sans his stringy hair.

If the game was interesting, the award ceremony was a certified tear-jerker. Federer cried uncontrollably and was unable to give his speech. He was helped with tissue and soothing words but still couldn't help the Colorado River from flowing from his tear glands. Winning today's match would have tied Federer with Pete Sampras at fourteen wins at major championships. Federer's sadness is quite understandable. He will be headed to Roland Garros next for the French Open where potentially he might face Rafa on the clay. Rafa has a record with several wins over Federer on the clay courts. So with three more grand slams to go this year, the Rafa has more chances to show Federer who's king of the court.