Daily Archives: September 26, 2010

Georgia pastor Eddie Long vows to fight allegations

I had made up my mind that I would give New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s Bishop Eddie Long the benefit of doubt regardingthe charges levied against him.  To a certain extent, I am still “there”.

I just have to wonder how so many of his parishoners feel after his so-called address to the congregation and subsequent “press conference” afterward?

The problem I’m having with The Bishop’s message to his congregation and subsequent message to the press is this:

He could have said what he said to both the congregation and the press on day one. 

He never stated whether he was guilty or innocent.  Merely that he was going to vigorously fight the charges.

I fear the majority of his congregation started cheering and shouting even before he completed certain sentences.  However, they came to hear two things, that their bishop was innocent and that he would continue to lead the church in the  good works that they are doing.

The latter was mentioned but the former never was.

CNN

 

Five days after the first of four lawsuits was filed claiming he coerced young males into sexual relationships, Georgia pastor Eddie Long took to the pulpit Sunday to tell his side of the story.

Speaking to the massive congregation packed into the Atlanta-area New Birth Missionary Baptist Church for an 8 a.m. service, Long said that “this is probably the most difficult time” of his entire life, but he intends to fight the allegations against him.

He said his first responsibility was his family, and the members of his Atlanta-area church. However, he joked that he would be “remiss” not to address “the world.”

“I’ve been accused, I’m under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, that I am not a perfect man,” he said. “But this thing, I’m going to fight.”

Long added that he’s “not the man that has been portrayed on the television. That’s not me.”

“And I want you to know one other thing,” he told the cheering crowd Sunday morning. “I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”  Continue reading…

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11 Great Stimulus Projects… GOP ‘Pledge’ To Cut

The emblem of Recovery.gov, the official site ...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Huffington Post 

Republican leaders insist, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that President Obama’s $800-billion-or-so stimulus package from last year hasn’t accomplished anything. (This is driving top White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein absolutely crazy.) 

Progressive groups — and most leading economists — say the problem with the stimulus was that it didn’t do enough, because it wasn’t nearly as big as it should have been. 

Lost amid those arguments is what exactly the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act did accomplish – which, by comparison to almost anything except the massive output gap it was supposed to fill, is a lot. 

On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the act added from 1.4 million to 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of 2010. 

In addition to $288 billion in tax cuts, the Recovery Act funded all sorts of worthy projects that created jobs, backstopped a number of safety-net programs, and made huge investments in infrastructure, energy independence, mass transit and other public goods. 

Here are 11 projects that got stimulus money. Do you think they deserved your tax money? 

Helping Wounded Warriors 

The Defense Department is using $100 million in Recovery Act funds to construct two complexes for the Warrior Transition program, which helps ill and injured soldiers recover and return to duty or to their communities. One of the two stimulus-funded projects is in Fort Bliss, Texas. The $41-million project includes design and construction of a barracks, an administrative building, and a “Soldier and Family Assistance Center.” 

Building Battery Factories 

The Recovery Act provided $2.4 billion for development of domestic industry to make lighter, more energy-dense lithium-ion batteries designed to power electric vehicles. A123 Systems, a battery-technology innovator that got its start at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received $249 million in stimulus grants to build battery factories in Livonia, Romulus and Brownstown, Mich. According to the New York Times, the company’s investment in southeast Michigan will total over $600 million, and more than 800 workers are expected to be employed at the two newest plants. 

Charging Stations For Electric Cars 

ECOtality in Phoenix, Arizona is helping bring the first public charging stations for electric cars to cities around the country. The company received a $114-million Recovery Act grant, which will help it deploy nearly 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities in six states (Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Tennessee and Texas) plus the District of Columbia. More than 8,000 qualifying drivers of the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt will be provided with a residential charger for free. Xconomy.com has more. 

Turning Wind Into Electricity 

 Iberdrola Renewables Inc. received a $170-million tax credit for its Streator Cayuga Ridge wind park in Livingston County, Illinois. The company’s 150 turbines will generate 300 megawatts of clean, renewable energy — enough to power over 86,000 typical American homes. It created 300 jobs during its construction. 

Building Wind-Energy Components Here 

Wind farms are great – but what about when all those turbines are made in China? Some stimulus money is going to help states like Michigan establish a new energy economy. Energetx Composites, a Holland, Mich.-based composite manufacturer, received a $3.5-million “Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing” grant funded by the Recovery Act. The company is using the grant to diversify its product line, developing and manufacturing wind-energy components. To meet its growing needs, the company has teamed up with Grand Rapids Community College — which received over $8.5 million in stimulus grants — to develop a new technician-training curriculum. 

See the other six here… 

Related Articles 

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Filed under Stimulus Programs, Stimulus Spending

Georgia pastor to address lawsuit allegations

 

CNN

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pastor Eddie Long will address his congregation Sunday morning
  • He has denied allegations he coerced men into sexual contact
  • Four lawsuits were filed in DeKalb County, Georgia, this week

The four men who brought lawsuits this week in DeKalb County, Georgia, State Court claim that Long took them on overnight trips to various locations within the United States and beyond, sharing a room and engaging in sexual contact with them, including massaging, masturbation or oral sex.

The lawsuit filed Friday by a Charlotte, North Carolina, man says Long uses church money and other accounts to entice young men with cars, clothing, jewelry and electronics.

Long’s spokesman and church members say it is appropriate he first speak in detail about the civil lawsuits with his church family.

“I stand behind the bishop because of the leader that he is. He is a true leader. The word that he gives is so rich, it is so life-changing,” New Birth member Gary Foster Jr. told CNN Saturday night.

He and two other young church members said Long is family-oriented, a mentor and a respected leader who has helped families and individuals.

Gabrielle Richards, who has attended New Birth for nearly eight years, said she has seen no evidence that Long is a sexual predator.

A former New Birth employee said he hopes the allegations are not true, but he wants to hear from Long so that the “cloud of suspicion over him can be dispersed.”

“The information is certainly damaging,” Kevin Bond said. “The evidence … all of that is very troubling to many of us in the gospel community, the Christian community.”

A Facebook page in support of Long had more than 6,000 members Saturday night.

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Church Member Speaks To CNN

 

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Roland Martin: Bishop Eddie Long must step down

Editor’s note: Roland S. Martin, a CNN political analyst, is a syndicated columnist and author of “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith,” and “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House.” He is a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host of a Sunday morning news show.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Four lawsuits have been filed against Bishop Eddie Long
  • Roland Martin says Bishop Long has tremendous influence in the black church and beyond
  • He says Bishop Long should step down to deal with the allegations
  • Martin: He should vigorously defend his name or admit the misdeeds if they happened

CNN

The power of any pastor over his or her parishioners is derived from their “calling” to minister the Gospel from God, or as some call it, the anointing by the Holy Spirit. But the role of a pastor — the Bible speaks to being a shepherd of a flock — also comes from the belief that it is their moral standing as the earthly representative of God to lead their congregations spiritually.

If you read the writings of Paul in 1 Timothy 3 (New International Version), he offers the following instructions: “Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church)…He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”

As we witness the salacious and troubling sex allegations leveled this week against Atlanta megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie L. Long, it is clear that many are confused to hear four young men come forward and allege that the man of the cloth, the husband and father, sexually coerced them and used the power of his prophetic position to engage in sex with them.

It is even more shocking considering Long has preached with conviction against homosexuality and gay marriage.

The details outlined in three lawsuits — a fourth man stepped forward on Friday — have rocked the Christian community. Bishop Long isn’t just a preacher with a storefront church. He oversees a massive 240-acre complex in Lithonia, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, a congregation of 25,000 members, schools, and an international ministry that is seen on TBN, Daystar, The Word Network and online. He is widely respected as a strong man of God who ministers annually to fellow pastors, men, youth and a mega women’s conference.   Continue reading…

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Robert Reich on the Super Rich Getting Richer While Everyone Else Gets Poorer

Robert Reich

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Robert Reich is the man whom I hope President Obama chooses to replace Larry Summers who is head of the White House’s National Economic Council, a position created by former President Bill Clinton during his presidency.

Robert Reich was then President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor.  Reich would be the ideal person to replace Summers.  Robert Reich is a progressive and knows his economics.  Obama decided to surround himself with a Wall Street alumni economic team.  I honestly hope that Reich and/or Paul Krugman will be called in to turn our economy around, to benefit “the people” and not Wall Street.

America Blog

At least we have a White House that understands the problem since he’s a Democrat and not just another run of the mill corporatist who is part of the problem. More from Robert Reich.

The super-rich got even wealthier this year, and yet most of them are paying even fewer taxes to support the eduction, job training, and job creation of the rest of us. According to Forbes magazine’s annual survey, just released, the combined net worth of the 400 richest Americans climbed 8% this year, to $1.37 trillion. Wealth rose for 217 members of the list, while 85 saw a decline.

For example, Charles and David Koch, the energy magnates who are pouring vast sums of money into Republican coffers and sponsoring tea partiers all over America, each gained $5.5 billion of wealth over the past year. Each is now worth $21.5 billion.

Wall Street continued to dominate the list; 109 of the richest 400 are in finance or investments.

From another survey we learn that the 25 top hedge-fund managers got an average of $1 billion each, but paid an average of 17 percent in taxes (because so much of their income is considered capital gains, taxed at 15 percent thanks to the Bush tax cuts).

 

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Filed under Economic Inequality, Economy

The fierce urgency of defending Obama

America Blog

A piece Peter Daou wrote in August.
[N]ever have I seen a more fierce reaction than from fellow Democrats when I criticize President Obama. It is a visceral anger, deeply personal, and sadly, it is directed at progressives who set party aside and critique the White House on principle.

I’ve finally realized the crux of the problem: it’s that many of Obama’s defenders are ignoring the difference between campaign mode and governance mode. In campaign mode, my job as a Democrat is to cheer my candidate on, to work overtime to get them elected.

On the day he took office, I switched from campaign cheering mode to fulfilling Obama’s request that we “hold him accountable.” I take those words and that duty seriously. It’s my job as a citizen. Since 2008, I’ve used the written word to tug at the administration from the left.

I truly respect and admire Obama. I’ve worked in past campaigns with a number of his staffers. I know they are good and decent people trying to improve their country and working tirelessly under extreme stress. There’s no denying that they’ve racked up an impressive list of accomplishments and they deserve credit for it. But that doesn’t mean I should set aside the things I’ve fought for my entire adult life. It doesn’t mean I should stay silent if I think the White House could do a better job promoting a progressive vision. And it doesn’t mean I should stand aside if I think mistakes are being made. Sure, I’m just one individual with an opinion, but why the fierce urgency of defending Obama whenever I express it?

Bill Maher calls it the “defending your boyfriend” mode. In essence, during the campaign Barack Obama is your boyfriend. After he’s elected, he’s more like someone who works for you. The former can do no wrong (mostly) and you’d better not criticize him, while the latter had better do his job or there’s no point in having paid him that large advance.

Some people get stuck in boyfriend mode. Idolatry overtakes ideology, and as Peter notes, it’s not like you give up your ideals when you vote for President. The President is supposed to help further your ideals, not take the place of them. So it’s not disloyal to try to hold the President accountable to his promises. In fact, I’d argue that you’re being disloyal to yourself, to your own principles, and to the entire reason you got into politics in the first place, when you don’t

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Filed under President Obama, Progressives

Early Sunday Morning Blog Roundup

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Robert Reich on the Super Rich Getting Richer While Everyone Else Gets..
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Senator Durbin calls out Coburn and the Party of No on food safety
Great find on DailyKos . The GOP never has any ideas but they’re always ready to say..

 

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