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The latest from Brandon, Garlin, & Steve

How to end the debate on the ‘Stimulus Bill’

by Garlin II

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I’m pretty sick of all of the debating and posturing on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as the “Obama Stimulus Bill”. All of the partisan rhetoric and time-wasting by Republicans, Democrats, and the President could have been avoided by framing this bill properly and sticking to that frame.

The bill is going to pass. No one, not even Conservative critics, dispute this inevitability. It would have passed with little opposition if one thing would have been done differently: if they would have called it from jump a Jobs Bill, not a Stimulus Bill.

What’s the difference between a Jobs Bill and a Stimulus Bill?

No Congressperson, no matter how much they hate it, can make a justifiable political argument against job creation. Politicians and pundits can, however, make arguments against stimulus. By the way, what exactly is stimulus? Is it spending? Is it tax cuts?

President Obama and I think it’s the former, but the problem is there is room for debate. There is room for conservatives to attempt [with some success] to recast this bill as aspending bill, which to hardcore conservatives make it the Devil’s bill.

Winning the War on Policy happens when you win the War of Words

The President in recent days has gone on the offensive to defend this legislation. This is the right thing to do. What would have been even better to do was not even talk about stimulus plans in the first place, even during the campaign. After all, saying stimulus plan conjures up images of the Bush “Stimulus Checks”, which barely evened registered on any scale of positive economic impact. When you describe your plans and policies with the same language as failed plans and policies, it gives people the wrong mental images. And it is those mental images that are crucial for achieving buy-in in politics.

I’ll be watching this administration and how it frames policy debates. The Obama team was pretty good during the campaign season at framing. They shouldn’t forget that going forward.

One Love. One II.

More Posts

No more Black History Month?

by Brandon Q.

What’s up fam,

Let me first start out by saying Happy Black History Month. For starters, let me say that I am truly dismayed at the plethora of Black writers that are claiming in large part due to Obama, we should no longer celebrate Black History Month. Obama’s presidency is the culmination, promise, and continuation of Black History. For all the Black people believing this garbage, let’s cut a deal. When Black History is honored and celebrated in our history books and cultural norms as much as White folks, let’s stop celebrating Black History month. Until then, stop propogating the mistaken myth that Obama represents the end of Black history.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

Elections have consequences, right?

by Brandon Q.

I always get this weird sense that regardless of election outcomes, Republicans find a way to win. If you look at Obama’s charm offensive towards House Republicans regarding the stimulus package, it resulted in no Republican votes. I am sure there will be some Republican votes once the final bill comes out of conference. The larger point however, (with full complicity from MSM) is that Obama has somehow failed because no House Republicans voted for the bill.

Last I checked, the Democrats control the White House, Senate, and House so if the Democrats can pass bills without Republican support, why are we so committed to Republican ideas, especially now. To help illustrate, Bob Herbert said in a recent column,

The truth, of course, is that the country is hemorrhaging jobs and Americans are heading to the poorhouse by the millions. The stock markets and the value of the family home have collapsed, and there is virtual across-the-board agreement that the country is caught up in the worst economic disaster since at least World War II.

The Republican answer to this turmoil?

Tax cuts.

They need to go into rehab.

The question that I would like answered is why anyone listens to this crowd anymore. G.O.P. policies have been an absolute backbreaker for the middle class. (Forget the poor. Nobody talks about them anymore, not even the Democrats.) The G.O.P. has successfully engineered a wholesale redistribution of wealth to those already at the top of the income ladder and then, in a remarkable display of chutzpah, dared anyone to talk about class warfare.

I applaud Obama’s efforts at bipartisanship but I hope that Obama’s bad cop is really, really good. In a normal world, Obama’s success won’t be determined by how many Republicans he can win over. I just hope that Obama and Democrats do not feel compelled  to have to trade away tax cuts for any legislation that they think requires broad bipartisan support. The problem is that tax cuts as an answer to everything is not good public policy. Elections do have consequences right?

Stay up fam,

Why justice is not enough

by Brandon Q.

1 Comment, Post a comment

What’s up fam,

Long time I know but I wanted to share some thoughts regarding where we are in history. Like you I was excited to see Obama inaugurated as President of the United States but my heart is still heavy when I reflect on Oscar Grant. Right now I am reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s book entitled, Where Do We Go From Here and it is an excellent read. One of the most powerful ideas is when King makes the argument that America has received justice on the cheap and needs to make a real investment in justice and equality. (more…)

A Handicapped Inauguration

by Garlin II

15 Comments, Post a comment

No place for the handicapped

The Inauguration of Barack Obama was an historic, life-changing, captivating experience for nearly everyone who refers to themselves as a citizen of this country or an inhabitant of this planet. Unfortunately, a seat in history’s theater was denied to myself and hundreds of others that wanted to watch the ushering in of an epoch of a renewed American spirit. Amidst the tears of joy, achievement, and progress, existed tears of pain and missed opportunity. Alongside the jubilation, frustration. With triumph, tribulation.

I write here to tell my story of the Inauguration. It may differ from most others that have been written, but all accounts are important. I especially want to thank the angels that were in the crowd to help Ellen and I on Inauguration Day. Warning: this post is very long.


  • Political Playoffs
  • Happy 2009
  • Garlin is Getting Married! Now I Need Your Help…
  • Help the Big Three
  • Accountability and your money? Spare me
  • What are we fighting for…
  • Thoughts on Obama

The latest comments

  • Garlin II commented on How to end the debate on the ‘Stimulus Bill’:
    For those of you watching tonight’s press conference with President Obama, pay special attention to the number of times he says the word stimulus compared to the number of times he says the word jobs. If he says jobs more, we’re in good shape. If he says stimulus, it’s gonna be a long recovery. Framing matters. Words…
  • Clarence commented on How to end the debate on the ‘Stimulus Bill’:
    My thoughts exactly. Stimulus is too broad a term, and from jump provided way too much wiggle room for anyone wanting to oppose it….
  • Ms. T.Epps commented on No more Black History Month?:
    This is funny. Nope, down right hilariously. I generally think of these type of people as “not having sight of the big overall picture”. Obama’s presidency thus far signifies a celebrated moment to be marked off the ” 1st Black to” list. This is frame of mind is a) putting all…
  • Tyler commented on Elections have consequences, right?:
    I think he genuinely believed that politeness would make the Republicans open themselves up to playing ball. I think that was a mistake. I also think he made a mistake by letting the House Democrats craft the bill, which I think is a mess, and gave Republicans rhetorical cover (“it has too much…
  • Garlin II commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    @Baratunde, thanks for spreading the word. I definitely want this experience to spur positive, productive action. @marquis-desade, I sincerely hope that we will not limit our efforts to include everyone that desires inclusion. As for the decision to go forward with the trip, there were other factors that I didn’t discuss here. Your analogy fails because…
  • marquis-desade commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    compassion is an admirable quality… but to what end? how far do we have to go to make sure everyone is included? I chose not to attend in person, and I watched the inauguration on television — from the comfort of my own home — on high definition. sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet…
  • Baratunde Thurston commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    finally read this, wow. and I thought i had it tough at the oversold Youth Ball line I know this was a sad and frustrating story, but I’m very impressed that you went further than a rant into real analysis. I too have been temporarily handicapped by surgery and injury and I too quickly forget the accessibility…
  • Olumide commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Man that’s a crazy story. I’m sorry that such an historic day turned into such an unfortunate experience for you. I’m glad you made it out safe with your health intact. I live in the D.C. area and as much as I wanted to witness history, I had to decide against…
  • Gwen Taylor commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Garlin & Ellen, Your story made me cry also but it also made me proud that I have a man who is like Ellen. We have been married almost 40 years and I have to tell you that after reading your story I really know that I have a friend like Ellen. His…
  • Angela Blanchard commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Garlin (& Ellen), I am so sorry to hear about your experience. But your story of being a part of this historic day and the love and compassion you two experienced will be a great story to share with your children and grandchildren. Good Luck to the both of you!…
  • Alfreda Robinson commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Too bad there wasn’t any footage of your ordeal. It should be presented to the Hill because this is a problem for so many that don’t have any support and are in this condition permanently. You are blessed to have Ellen and all was not lost. Even though you did not make…
  • Garlin II commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Ellen and I thank y’all for the kind words. The experience was bananas, absolutely bananas. We are glad that even though we were pulled away from the Inauguration festivities, we were also pulled closer to one another. @Geno, I also saw the Wonderland portrayals of the event, and for many people it was indeed true. I…
  • Nicole Taylor commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Garlin, your account made me cry!!! I am so sorry you had such a horrible experience, but as someone else stated, the blessing in it all is that it strengthened your relationship with Ellen and served as a sober reminder of what “love” is truly about. I am so grateful you found such…
  • Geno commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Amazing! I know how excited you two were about attending, and how fortunate you were to be able to plan such a trip and have it all put together so nicely. So I can only imagine how you must have felt given the events described here. But, this you actually have one of the better…
  • mojustice commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Your article illustrates why we need more focus on the adherance to the Americans w/ Disabilities Act. We should all be concerned by these issues because as we age, they become more important. Thank goodness for the kind people you encountered who tried to help. We really appreciate your sharing this story and understand…
  • steven m devougas commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Lord have mercy man. All that. You and the rest are real troopers for even braving it. Obviously though, you were able to see God working for you in the midst of your adversity and it brought you and the future Mrs. Gilchrist closer together. Plus, you lived to tell the…
  • clarence commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Great story…there is always some beauty in the tragic…….
  • Suzanne Yada commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Thank you so much for telling this story. Its as wonderful as it is deplorable….
  • Char commented on A Handicapped Inauguration:
    Garlin, your story made my teeth chatter. I’m so glad that you and Ellen survived this experience. And that it brought you even closer as a couple….
  • kd commented on Is There Anything Good About Being Black in America…:
    I agree with many of your points…however, the whole “class/race” issue is a bogus one. Social stratification of race and class are primary tools that have been used to perpetuate, control and sustain power, wealth AND white supremacy. Class was a social construct develop many thousands of years ago when benevolent kings and some not…
  • Brentt commented on Is There Anything Good About Being Black in America…:
    Well, On the 20th of January 2009, there will be a Black person incharge of America :]…
  • Christine commented on Race Talk in America:
    Does anyone know the photographer for this picture with the hands? I’d like to get a copy. Thanks!…
  • Uncle Rosy commented on Color of Change responds to Baisden’s apology:
    Bamma of the week is George”Wanna be funny”Wilborn{from The Michael “Lying Sex Crazed”Biasden Show} for trying to be funny with weak material that didn’t get him any love 20 years ago on Def Jam….
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    consolodation debt best credit consolodation debt…
  • Willie McDonald commented on Do you want more Independent TV?:
    Report: The Truth about Global Warming-The Apocalypse In the future the only thing to eat will be other people …
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  • Sherry commented on Education reform pt 1: Context:
    Thanks for your work on Ed Reform in Detroit. Are you aware of any collaborative initatives working on Ed Reform in Detroit?…
  • Jenny B commented on My Umi Says…:
    I like this, I really do… Sometimes when I listen to this song I feel free, because I do understand what he means. And God is wonderful to inspire him with this song. And about the flesh talking part, your right about that… Because doing you is just like being selfish and not thinking of others…
  • Booli commented on My Umi Says…:
    i like how your takin a muslim rappers perspective and making reference to your christian beliefs! MUSIC UNITES!..

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