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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) issued the ...
DETROIT – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign on Tuesday sued Ohio Secretary of State ...
Largest nonfarm payroll drop of the year CHICAGO, IL–The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced ...
The Sentencing Project and The Southern Coalition for Social Justice will host an Advocate Training ...
Assistance with unemployment claims and employment services to continue CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department ...
CHICAGO, IL - Planning to lose weight is often a part of ...
WASHINGTON, DC - The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and A. Philip Randolph ...
    Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has been endorsed by over 16 newspapers throughout Illinois.  The ...
 "Defeat at Waterloo: Fighting on the Front Lines" by Amanda V. Wilkerson shares a compelling ...
Grassroots Collaborative Responds to Mayor Emanuel’s Budget Address CHICAGO, IL - This morning Mayor Emanuel delivered ...

Archive for January 30th, 2014

GOP Again Spins Bogus Line of Obama the Dictator

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

GOP Again Spins Bogus Line of Obama the Dictator

New America Media

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The day before President Obama’s fifth State of the Union Address, Valerie Jarrett, assistant to the president, bluntly told this writer in an exclusive interview that Obama would not hesitate to use the power of his pen to get action on vital initiatives that he feels should be passed. At the same moment that Jarrett declared Obama would take action to attempt to break the GOP’s torpedo of vital legislation backed by the White House, House Speaker John Boehner was equally blunt and saber rattled Obama that he’d better not think of taking unilateral action on legislation or else. Boehner didn’t spell out what the “or else” would be. There was really no need, because Boehner – as a troupe of GOP Obama bashers before him – is again cynically spinning the bogus line that Obama is recklessly usurping the Constitution by skirting Congress and going it alone on passing legislation.

Obama is near the bottom on the list of presidents in the number of executive orders issued. The last president that issued orders at a lower rate than Obama was Grover Cleveland. GOP Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush issued far more executive orders per day in office than Obama. It’s not really the number or rate of executive orders, however, that Obama has issued that’s raised the hackles of the GOP. It’s the executive orders that he has issued that have given the GOP ammunition to attempt to intimidate and politically bash Obama.

The GOP saw an opening to raise the canard of Obama as the alleged Constitutional and congressional usurper when he signed a series of orders on gun control nearly a year ago. Obama took the action precisely because he knew that gun control legislation was a virtual dead letter in Congress at the time and that there was almost no chance that things would change given the iron grip that the NRA has on Congress. Obama would have had to spend precious time, energy, and resources jawboning anti-gun control congressional Democrats, wage an all-out battle with the gun lobby, and the NRA, and risk losing the political momentum that he needed to do battle with GOP congressional obstructionists in the battles over the debt ceiling, spending cuts, and deficit reduction.

The executive orders on gun checks were, as executive orders go, a last resort and piecemeal attempt to at least get something on the books on guns. Obama was under no illusion that the executive orders on guns could in any way take the place of comprehensive gun control legislation. Only Congress can pass a gun control law that would have the full force of law behind it.

Obama, as most presidents, knows that the whimsical or cavalier use of executive orders to bypass Congress or to legislate from the Oval Office not only will trigger a powerful public backlash, and reinforce the opposition’s usual charge of dictatorial abuse, but can and often have been overturned by Congress, which has the power to change (in this case scrap) an executive order. The courts also have the same power. And there have been times when the courts have declared an executive order unconstitutional or simply vacated the orders.

That’s not all. An executive order issued by one president is not even safe from another president. The textbook example of the transitory nature of an executive order is the so-called Mexico City Policy that required all non-governmental organizations that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services as a form of family planning in other countries. Reagan issued the executive order in 1984. Clinton overturned it in 1993. Bush reinstated it and Obama rescinded it as one of his first acts when he took office in January 2009.

The ultimate proof of the severe limits of what an executive order can actually accomplish is the executive order that Obama said he’d issue and the GOP’s cynical and contradictory response to it. The GOP adamantly opposes Obama’s proposal to hike the minimum wage. The executive order he’ll issue boosting the minimum wage extends only to new federal contracts issued and then only if other terms of a contractual agreement change. Boehner apparently suffered momentary amnesia from his full throated rip of Obama as a tyrant in the use of executive orders when he quipped that this executive order would have near zero effect.

Obama’s vow to wield the executive pen whenever and wherever he thinks he must amounts to a frontal challenge to the GOP to cease its relentless, dogged, and destructive campaign of dither, delay, denial, and obstructionism to anything that has the White House stamp on it. The GOP knows this but that won’t stop it from eagerly spinning its politically self-serving line of Obama the dictator. The aim as always is to tar him as a ruthless and ineffectual leader while painting itself as the supposed responsible guardian of the constitutional process and thus an innocent victim of a Democratic president’s legal abuse.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KTYM Radio Los Angeles and on the Pacifica Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter

New Fraud Hits Consumer’s Credit Cards, Warns Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – In the aftermath of the massive holiday data breach that effected Target and a number of other major retailers, consumers are now faced with yet another reason to be concerned about the safety of their credit cards.

Reports are surfacing that consumers are finding unauthorized charges of $9.84 on their statements. The business that levied the charge claims that the fee is for “customer support” and it may appear on the statement as one of many different websites. It appears their plan is fly under the radar when they hit individual accounts.


“These individuals are aware that small charges under ten dollars often go un-noticed, which would not be the case for larger amounts. For example, in the hundreds of dollars,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “This fraud relies on consumers being a little careless and not closely examining their statements.”


Bernas noted, “It is possible that some of the cards that have been hit may be the result of the data stolen in the holiday breach. However, authorities are still investigating that possibility.”


Victims of this fraud report that, when they’ve accessed the website listed on their statement, they were given a customer support phone number and email address. After calling the number, they were told that the charge would be removed. However, the only way that consumers can be certain that they have taken positive steps to protect themselves is to contact their card issuer regarding the suspected fraud and follow their recommendations.


The Better Business Bureau suggests consumers:

  • Request a new card.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit file. The Federal Trade Commission has easy to follow instructions on its website.
  • Closely monitor all of your accounts.

For more information on credit card fraud and Identity Theft visit www.bbb.org

A new frontier in job creation

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Opening ReMARCs

By Marc Morial

President & CEO, National Urban League


A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to deliver the “High Tech Policy” luncheon keynote at the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council’s 5th Annual Broadband and Social Justice Summit in Washington, DC.

With this year’s conference theme, “Bridging the Gap: Infrastructure, Education, & Equity in the Digital Economy,” as inspiration, I used this platform to discuss the wealth divide – and specifically how the technological revolution can help to bridge that divide.  We have discussed much about income inequality – and it is a deserving topic that we must continue to address.  But we have confronted the problem of the wealth divide to a much lesser degree.  If the income divide is a river, I liken the wealth divide to an ocean.

Previously, much of our focus on diversity in broadband has been around increased access, computers and education/training on the consumer side, while the corporate side has focused largely on traditional diversity measures such as hiring, retention, C-Suite and Board presence and supplier diversity defined by procurement.  These are each vital focus areas.  However, during my speech, I also introduced a concept called “Supplier Diversity: The New Frontier” – one which must take the conversation around supplier diversity and inclusion beyond procurement to wealth creation and asset ownership.

We must deliver on the potential and promise of innovation, competition and universal deployment of broadband and other game-changing wireless services by making MWBEs an integral part of the wireless industries and policies of the FCC – going beyond MWBE engagement only as service providers or app developers to ensuring their inclusion as licensees and spectrum owners.

It’s time to expand our concept of what supplier diversity really means in the 21st Century.  It’s time for a new frontier.

>>Download the MMTC “Supplier Diversity: The New Frontier” presentation
>>Watch the High Tech Policy Luncheon – 2014 BBSJ Summit online

State Senator Collins: “We won’t leave our wounded behind” as economy recovers

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Collins responds to Gov. Quinn’s State of the State Address yesterday

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement after Governor Pat Quinn’s State of the State address yesterday:

I was encouraged by the focus on extending a helping hand to those who bore the brunt of the recession and are not reaping the rewards of the recovery. I am resolved that as Illinois moves forward from this time of crisis, we will not leave our wounded behind.

That’s why I stand with the governor and many of my colleagues in support of increasing the minimum wage this year. As Pres. Obama leads the charge for a higher federal minimum wage to ensure the fair treatment of workers in all states, here in Illinois we are motivated by the core belief he expressed last night: that a man or woman working a full-time job should not have to live in poverty.

Doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit, focusing on job creation and extending access to early childhood education will likewise help break the cycle of poverty for families especially hard-hit by the housing crisis and recession. I look forward to working hard this year to enact policies that bring recovery and promise to the neighborhoods of my district and throughout the state.

Simon echoes governor’s commitment to grow economy

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Investing in education is key to job creation

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement in response to Governor Pat Quinn’s 2014 State of the State address.

“Illinois has come a long way over the last five years, and today Governor Quinn laid out a plan that will keep our state moving forward for years to come.

“I appreciate the governor’s commitment to strengthening our economy by investing in education and the jobs of the future. We need to put our students on the path to success early, which means equity in funding and making sure students can afford college degrees.

“Right now, our rural and low-income schools are losing out to those with more resources. We need to change the current school funding formula to promote equity across the K-12 system and increase MAP scholarships to make sure more students can complete college. I will continue working with Governor Quinn and the legislature to make sure that public education in Illinois means opportunity, no matter what zip code you live in.

“We should heed the calls of President Obama and Governor Quinn, and pursue a fair minimum wage. It is important to remember that many who are doing some of our hardest jobs and raising families are minimum wage earners.

“We have difficult decisions to make in the coming months, but we need to invest now or find ourselves playing catch-up down the road. I am committed to working with Governor Quinn, legislative leaders and members of the General Assembly to make our state an even better place to live and work.”

Simon serves as the state’s point person on education reform. In this capacity, Simon is working to increase the proportion of working-age adults with college degrees or certificates to 60 percent by 2025. As chair of the 25-member Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, Simon is also working to improve the delivery of state services and education opportunities to rural Illinois.

Again, Senators Kirk and Manchin attend State of the Union together

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Both Senators,  members of the No Labels Coalition, issued the following statement prior to President Obama’s  State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) released the following statement prior to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address:

“Tonight we will be sitting together at the State of the Union Address not only as best friends, but as a Democrat and a Republican who are working together on behalf of our nation. Together we joined the bipartisan No Labels Problem Solvers coalition to try and find common ground on our nation’s top priorities. We have hosted bipartisan lunches and encouraged thoughtful and productive discussion amongst our colleagues. As we prepare to sit together again tonight, we remain optimistic about the state of our union and we look forward to hearing the President’s plan for reducing our nation’s deficit, growing our economy, and ultimately leaving a stronger America to future generations.

Background:

Senators Mark Kirk and Joe Manchin sat together during the State of the Union Address for the second year in a row. When Senator Kirk was absent for the address in 2012 following a stroke, Manchin held the seat next to him to symbolize their friendship and Kirk’s representation in the Chamber.

National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial Issued the Following Statement in Response to President Obama’s Fifth State of the Union Address

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

We were encouraged to hear President Obama articulate a vision – and practical proposals – that speak to the hopes and aspirations of all Americans, particularly those who have yet to achieve their American dream.

In clear and unambiguous terms, President Obama expressed the critical point that the Urban League has long championed — that empowerment and prosperity begin with full employment and economic opportunity and equality.  The president offered a roadmap that supports those still striving for the dignity of employment at a living wage; invests in high-quality education for every child that prepares them for colleges and careers; and offers peace of mind and security for those with current or future healthcare challenges.

Our daily resolve to work on behalf of those whom economic, opportunity and income inequality affect most was further strengthened and fueled by the president’s expression of support for the kinds of “proven” jobs programs—like those included in our Jobs Rebuild America initiative —that help to put our communities across the nation back to work and on the road to recovery and empowerment.

As the nation moves forward from this speech, we urge Congress and our other elected officials  to abandon partisan politics and work cooperatively in the best interest of the millions of Americans who can no longer afford the American dream – no matter how hard they work.   We will continue to work to help ensure that the issues raised by the president do not get drowned in a sea of unproductive sarcasm and political posturing, but that they instead are the focus of real solutions that Americans so desperately need.

Yes, it is the job of all of us to reverse the trends – and put our country back on the right track.

Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Get ready to groove to Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s World Premiere R&B Family Musical, based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis, with music by Motown Legend lamont Dozier, now through March 2


CHICAGO, IL – Now through March 2, thousands of Chicago-area kids, parents and teachers are going to be grooving to Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s all-new, R&B family musical based on the popular children’s book by Newbery Award-winner Christopher Paul Curtis.

Original songs by Motown legend Lamont Dozier, and additional music and lyrics by his son Paris are turned out by a four-piece live band on stage. Kids won’t even know (but parents will appreciate) that they’re being treated to a live medley of popular musical genres ranging from Motown, disco, rap, rock, jazz and hip hop.

The story follows 10-year-old Steven, a self-proclaimed spy and president of the “Flint Future Detectives.”At the heart of this whimsical journey is an intelligent, entrepreneurial boy who must discover the secret to a mysterious dollar bill that appears to be legal tender but has way too many zeroes and an unexpected face. With his pals and their giant dog Zoopy, Steven discovers that family, friends, imagination and determination are the true keys to success; and sharing the spotlight with others can make one even richer.

Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money runs now through March 2, 2014 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, Chicago. Press openings are Friday, January 24 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, January 25 at 11 a.m. Single tickets start at $25. To purchase, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call (872) 222-9555. For information on discounted group rates for schools, playgroups, birthday parties and scouting organizations, visit GroupTix.net or call (773) 327-3778.

Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money is recommended for ages 6 and up. Running time is 75 minutes with no intermission.

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s All-Star Team for Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money

Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money brings together a Motown legend, the nation’s top African American children’s author, top producers in Chicago and New York, and an A-list cast and production team. The production is adapted from the best-selling young adult book by Newbery Award-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis, and boasts music and lyrics by Motown legend Lamont Dozier and his son, co-music writer/lyricist Paris Dozier. Derrick Sanders, director of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s recent smash hits Bud, Not Buddy and Jackie and Me, directs. The book is by David Ingber, with musical supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Brian Usifer. Kevin Iega Jeff (co-founder and artistic director of Deeply Rooted Dance Company) is choreographer.

As 10-year-old Steven, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, critically acclaimed as Benny in Paramount Theatre’s fall opener In the Heights, leads the A-list cast of Chicago’s top professional musical theater performers. Ashley Elizabeth Honore, seen in

Southbridge at Chicago Dramatists and Home at Court Theatre, plays Steven’s friend Richelle. Travis Turner, who played the title role last season in CCT’s Bud, Not Buddy and appeared in Porgy and Bess, Tartuffe and The Misanthrope at Court Theatre, is Steven’s friend Russell. Acclaimed Chicago soul singer Yaw Agyeman is Mr. Chickee. Alexis J. Rogers, 2013 Equity Jeff Award winner as Billie Holiday in Porchlight’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, plays dual roles – Steven’s mother Lynetta and Madame Director. Bear Bellinger, who appeared in Paramount’s Miss Saigon and Court’s Porgy and Bess, plays Steven’s father, Elmwood. Elena Flores, Lisa in the Broadway production and national tour of Mamma Mia, plays Agent 2. Brian Grey, recently in The Wheel at Steppenwolf and a veteran of CCT’s Bud, Not Buddy, plays Agent Fondoo. Puppeteer Sam Deutsch (Redmoon’s The Cabinet) brings fun, funky life to Steven’s loyal dog, Zoopy.

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s world premiere of Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money is presented in association with Funny Money Enterprises and Bisno Productions. CCT’s world premiere of Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money will be followed by a New York production at The Atlantic Theater Company in Spring 2014.

Top 10 black and minority business grants available in 2014 – and more for small businesses in general

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Thousands of dollars in grant money is available to help aspiring and established small business owners

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Contrary to popular belief, real business grants do exist. In fact, hundreds of Black and minority-owned businesses each year receive such grant funding from various government agencies and non-profit organizations. Such funds do not have to be repaid, but must be used to either start a new business or enhance an existing one. Others can be used for innovation research.

Here are the top small and minority business grant programs available:

#1 – The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is a nationwide competition that will award $50,000 in total to six deserving U.S-based entrepreneurs and business owners. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/fedex_small_business_grant_contest.html

#2 – The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program allows business owners to apply for a grant useful for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used their grant for computers, farm equipment, to hire part-time help, marketing materials and more. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/national_association_self_employed_nase_business_grants.html

#3 – The Dare to Dream Grant Program encourages students to move through the business creation process by offering business development seminars and up to $10,000 in funding. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/dare_to_dream_grant_program.html

#4 – The Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition (formally known as the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series) is an annual competition for minority business owners sponsored by MillerCoors. Designed to economically empower minority businesses, the program continues to invest in entrepreneurial dreams to empower urban communities. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/miller_lite_tap_the_future_millercoors_urban_entrepreneur_series.html

#5 – The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several competitive business grant programs, ensuring that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/sbir_small_business_research_innovation_grants.html

#6 – The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting minority businesses with mezzanine and second round financing. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/minority_business_development_agency_mbda_business_grants.html

#7 – The Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program provides grants to finance the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. The funds can be used for land acquisition, construction, renovation, technical assistance, project planning, and more. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/rural_business_enterprise_grants_rbeg_program.html

#8 – The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program awards grants and business resources to moms to further the development of original product ideas and startup businesses. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/huggies_mom_inspired_grant_program.html

#9 – The DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is intended to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Department’s highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance programs. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/dot_disadvantaged_business_enterprise_program.html

#10 – The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides grant funding to small businesses to engage in biomedical or behavioral research/ development that leads to a potential for commercialization. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/sbir_small_business_research_innovation_grants.html


To learn about more 2014 business grant programs, visit www.BusinessGrants.org

Photo Caption: 2013 Business Grant Recipients of the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series

IEMA announces availability of $25 Million in grants to Enhance Security at Schools, Campuses

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Public K-12, community colleges and universities can apply for grants


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Public elementary and secondary school districts, community colleges and state universities can begin applying for grants to enhance security for their students and staff under a program announced today by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). Grants totaling $25 million will be awarded under the Illinois School Security Grant Program administered by IEMA.

“Student safety is a top priority for every school district and college campus in Illinois,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “Through these grants, we can support efforts to enhance school and campus security throughout the state.”

IEMA this week emailed information about the competitive grant program to the chief official for each eligible public K-12 school district, inter-district special education cooperative, community college and university system in Illinois. The emails contained secure access information so school officials can develop and submit their grant application. Only one application from the eligible entity will be accepted.

Based on a review of national crisis situations and consultation with key security experts, the state prioritized protective measures, such as installing reinforced doors, shatter-resistance glass and physical locks for the primary public entrance at schools, to protect students and staff. Schools that have achieved this baseline capability will be able to implement other security measures for public elementary and secondary school districts.

Public community colleges and universities may request funding to install physical security enhancement equipment, inspection and screening systems, information technology and interoperable communication equipment for academic classroom buildings.

Grant applications are due no later than Friday, March 14. Applications will be evaluated on a number of criteria, including known hazards, threats and risks; ability of the project to enhance student safety; existence of a current Emergency Operations Plan at the facility where the project is planned; ability to complete the project within the grant period; and more.

Grant awards are expected to be announced this spring.

More information about the Illinois School Security Grant Program is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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