Hello 360° bloggers! Ready for today's Beat 360°?
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Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama talks with Sen. Carl Levin as he shakes hands after his speech at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich., Monday.
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Chairman, Policy Bridge
As America wrestles with remaining competitive in an ever-changing, fast-paced global economy, one fact holds true. All Americans must be actively engaged in making and keeping the nation competitive. The challenging economic times that we currently face require “all hands on deck” to restore our nation’s economic vitality and prowess. Clearly, this “call to action” cannot and should not exclude any demographic group. Unfortunately, there is a demographic group that is slipping further away from opportunities to contribute to the nation’s economy. That group is African-American males, particularly in the 25-54 year old category.
As economists pontificate about the 5% unemployment rate being a clear sign of a looming recession, African-American males in many urban centers in America are unemployed at a minimum of twice that rate or higher. In Cleveland, Ohio, the unemployment rate among African-American men 25-54 years of age was 13% in 2006, according to the American Community Survey. In that same year, unemployment in Dayton for African-American males in the same age bracket was 26%, a rate higher than the national unemployment levels during the Great Depression. High rates of unemployment plague urban core cities in Ohio including Cleveland, Cincinnati and Youngstown, as well as cities in neighboring states such as Detroit, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia at equally devastating levels. FULL POST
State Legislative Director
Human Rights Campaign
There were plenty of good reasons for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to sign legislation Thursday repealing a nearly 100 year old law that prevented many out-of-state gay and lesbian couples from marrying in the Bay State: a fundamental belief in equality for all couples and all families, rejection of discrimination, simple fairness. But there’s one, perhaps unexpected, factor entering the discussion: equality makes good economic sense.
Five years ago this November, Massachusetts became the first state to recognize marriage equality, the equal right for gay and lesbian couples to marry, under state law (the federal Defense of Marriage Act denies married gay and lesbian couples federal rights and benefits).
California recently joined Massachusetts in providing gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry (although California voters will decide this November whether to turn back the clock and take away marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples). But there was one important difference: California would let gay and lesbian couples from out of state marry, while Massachusetts, in most cases, would not. This was (no) thanks to the so-called 1913 law, named for the year it was enacted, that prohibited out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would not be legally recognized in their home state. FULL POST
AC360 Senior Producer
Presidential campaigns always get rough. But it’s an interesting moment when a former top advisor in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and a former campaign manager of one of the candidates, both criticize an attack ad by that candidate.
David Gergen, a senior advisor to presidents ranging from Nixon to Clinton, yesterday said McCain is using code words to paint Obama as “outside the mainstream” and “uppity.”
“There has been a very intentional effort to paint him as somebody outside the mainstream, other, ‘he’s not one of us,’” Gergen, an AC360 contributor, said on ABC’s This Week. “I think the McCain campaign has been scrupulous about not directly saying it, but it’s the subtext of this campaign. Everybody knows that…
“There are certain kinds of signals. As a native of the sourth, I can tell you, when you see this Charlton Heston ad, ‘The One,’ that’s code for, ‘he’s uppity, he ought to stay in his place.’ Everybody gets that who is from a southern background. We all understand that. When McCain comes out and starts talking about affirmative action, ‘I’m against quotas,’ we get what that’s about.”
On the same day, Mike Murphy, a GOP strategist who managed McCain's 2000 Republican primary campaign, said McCain's ad calling Obama "the biggest celebrity in the world" and comparing him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton as "clumsy, juvenile, and a mistake."
"I think it was a dumb ad," Murphy said on Meet The Press. ""Not because it asked the question, 'is Barack Obama ready for the job?' That's a very legitimate criticism, and I think Barack Obama made it a little bit worse by his stumbling response later...
"The problem is that McCain, McCain's strategy has to hinge, in my view, on one thing: How does a Republican survive in October and November a huge anti-Republican vote?," Murphy said. "Luckily for the party, McCain is a different kind of Republican. So everything in the campaign ought to build toward that case. And when you get off into the small juvenile stuff about Britney Spears, I think you distract from that."
Paris Hilton's own mother even weighed in, calling the ad showing pictures of Obama, Hilton and Spears “a complete waste of the money John McCain’s contributors donated to his campaign.”
Kathy Hilton, with her husband, donated $4600 to McCain's campaign. But that ad, she wrote on the Huffington Post, was “a complete waste of the country’s time and attention when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs. And it is a completely frivolous way to choose the next president of the United States.”
But does it work?
It’s certainly reminiscent of the aggressive one-upmanship played from high society to playgrounds the world over.