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July 22nd, 2010
01:50 PM ET

Opinion: On Sherrod, blame White House, NAACP

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/21/navarrette.sherrod.race/tzleft.ruben.navarrette.sdut.jpg caption="Navarrette: Appalling how fast NAACP, administration threw Sherrod under bus for politics" width=300 height=169]

What does the rhetorical feud between the Tea Party and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have to do with the case of Shirley Sherrod, a black former Agriculture Department employee who resigned this week under pressure from the Obama administration?

Everything, if you ask Sherrod.

"[The NAACP] is the reason why this happened," Sherrod told CNN's Tony Harris. "They got into a fight with the Tea Party, and all of this came out as a result of that."

Before we get to "all of this," props to Attorney General Eric Holder. Last year, in a speech during Black History Month, Holder argued that the United States is "a nation of cowards" that can't talk about race. He was right. And now it turns out Americans are even more cowardly when it comes to talking about racism - real or alleged.

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July 22nd, 2010
09:37 AM ET

Arizona immigration law faces federal challenge Thursday

Lateef Mungin
CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/07/22/arizona.immigration.law.hearing/smlvid.jpg caption="Two lawsuits against Arizona law will be in court Thursday" width=300 height=169]

The Obama administration's challenge to the controversial Arizona immigration law goes before a federal judge Thursday.

The Justice Department's lawsuit, seeking to stop the law from going into effect, is one of two challenges scheduled for a hearing Thursday.

The first challenge by a group of more than 100 individuals and civil rights groups will be heard Thursday morning. In the afternoon, the Justice Department's lawsuit will have a hearing in a Phoenix federal courtroom.

Both cases will be in front of U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, according to court documents.

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Filed under: Immigration
July 22nd, 2010
09:35 AM ET
July 22nd, 2010
09:33 AM ET
July 22nd, 2010
09:29 AM ET

Video: SimplyFido making organic pet toys

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent


Filed under: One Simple Thing • Randi Kaye
July 22nd, 2010
09:25 AM ET

Letter to the President #549: 'Art for our sake'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/22/foreman.letter_web.jpg caption="Foreman: I believe, in hard times, we need art more than usual. It lifts us up. It reminds us that life is about more than worry and drudgery. It is about ideas, and imagination, and beauty." width=300 height=169]

Reporter's Note: One of the reasons I would like to be President is just to live with some of that glorious art in the White House. But who knows? Maybe the president will read this letter and decide to invite me over for a tour.

Dear Mr. President,

Many years ago I interviewed an old woman with an absolutely jaw-dropping art collection, filled with magnificent pieces. Many were from huge names like Monet and Picasso, and just as many were from people you’ve probably never heard of. (Well, maybe you have, but I haven’t.) She was donating her collection to a museum and they were very excited, and as we walked through she explained where each piece came from and what she liked about it. The collection was worth millions, but you could see that the real value was in her heart; in a lifetime of joy that came from seeing art that she loved on her walls, and sharing it with others.

I decided that day that I would buy art, too. Mind you this was back when I barely had enough money to buy sneakers. But I decided that I wanted some of that joy in my own life. And I have never regretted it. I have purchased small paintings and drawings that cost almost nothing, and I have bought others that cost much more. My wife and I have covered our walls with them: A mod, green horse looking over a shining river, a classic western stream shimmering, the rolling hills of the Great Plains, a girl reading a book, a stringer of fish from Russia, and on it goes. I don’t know how many we have, and I don’t know how much they are worth. Probably not much really. But they are priceless to our family.

I mention all this, because in the midst of our trip down to the Gulf this week for our Building Up America series I bought two small paintings by local artists. One is of a mountainside (tres impressionistic) and the other is a sort of…hmmm, how do I describe it? A modernistic, primitive, representational, whimsical angel of sorts. The artists, respectively, are Lori Gordon and Michelle Allee.

The paintings did not cost much and it was money well spent. Not just because I like them, but also because artists need encouragement in hard times just as much, heck maybe a lot more, than other folks. And I believe, in hard times, we also need art more than usual. It lifts us up. It reminds us that life is about more than worry and drudgery. It is about ideas, and imagination, and beauty.

So next time you visit the coast, or for that matter, any beleaguered community, I have a suggestion: Have one of your aides who has a sense of your taste go buy a piece of art from a local artist. There is so much talent out there, I am sure they can find something wonderful. Then show it off before you leave. Brag a little on how much you like it. Encourage the arts by example. Because they need it, and we need them now more than ever before.

I hope all is well. If you want to come over and see the paintings when I get home, just give me a buzz.

Regards,
Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

July 22nd, 2010
09:12 AM ET

Tropical weather could hamper effort to seal oil well

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/07/22/gulf.oil.disaster/t1larg.tropical.5.15.02.noaa.jpg caption="Several forecast models show the system heading for the Gulf of Mexico" width=300 height=169]

A tropical depression or tropical storm that formed near the Bahamas Thursday morning could threaten operations to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.

The system showed significant signs of intensification during the overnight hours with thunderstorm activity increasing, Morris said. Several forecast models show the system could move into the Gulf.

The National Hurricane Center said it would probably initiate tropical storm warnings and watches for portions of the Bahamas and southern Florida at 11 a.m. ET. Showers and strong gusty winds will spread over the Bahamas, portions of Cuba and southern Florida over the next couple of days, the hurricane center said in its 8 a.m. ET update.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • T1
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