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Archive for February, 2014|Monthly archive page

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (February 6, 2014)

In Audio on February 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm
UI Benefits

CLICK PICTURE FOR PODCAST:
On the brink of another jobs report, does the US Senate come through for the unemployed of America?

 

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (February 6, 2014) – PODCAST TOPIC:On the eve of “Disappointment Friday” – no hope for the unemployed from the US Senate.

 

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

 

Catch this version of Get Right with Lenny McAllister by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. 

 

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (February 5, 2014)

In Audio on February 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm
Feb 5 - Youtube template

CLICK PICTURE FOR PODCAST: Is the new normal and the new “American Dream”?

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (February 5, 2014) – PODCAST TOPIC: Is the new normal and the new “American Dream” one of sleeping one’s life away at home instead of on one’s feet?

 

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

 

Catch this version of Get Right with Lenny McAllister by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. 

 

WATCH: Batra, McAllister Talk Keystone XL on Sun News Network

In Video on February 6, 2014 at 10:22 am
Feb 4 Sun News Network

CLICK PICTURE FOR VIDEO: 42,000 jobs from Keystone XL? The State Department’s recent report may push America closer to this new reality.

 

TORONTO / PITTSBURGH  (February 4, 2014) – (Courtesy Sun News Network)

 

Adrienne Batra talks to Republican insider and political commentator Lenny McAllister as he reacts to a State Department report on the Keystone XL pipeline and President Obama’s response.

 

 

 

Catch this version of “Straight Talk” on Sun News Network by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above.

 

 

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (February 4, 2014)

In Audio on February 5, 2014 at 3:20 pm
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CLICK PICTURE FOR PODCAST: Who do you believe on Obamacare and American workers over the coming years: the Congressional Budget Office or the folks that brought you “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”?

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (February 4, 2014) PODCAST TOPIC: …And the other shoe drops concerning Obamacare and the outlook for the economy…

 

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

 

Catch this version of Get Right with Lenny McAllisterby clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. 

 

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (February 3, 2014)

In Audio on February 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm
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CLICK PICTURE FOR PODCAST: Are the critics right in the non-English singing of “America the Beautiful” or does the commercial reflect the Melting Pot of the world?

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (February 3, 2014) PODCAST TOPIC: Should a global brand push America as a beautiful global brand on the nation’s largest stage?

 

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

 

Catch this version of Get Right with Lenny McAllister by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. 

 

Black History Month Must Yield Results, Not Just Reflections, in 2014

In Articles on February 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm
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5 years after a noteworthy shift in politics for African-Americans, Black History Month must be fruitful, not just reflective, to garner better times ahead

NEW YORK CITY / PITTSBURGH  (February 3, 2014) 

“5 years ago heading into Black History Month, African-Americans had a deep sense of political optimism with hope riding at a level never reached before. Black Baby Boomers had reached the pinnacle of their respective political parties. Barack Obama had become the first African-American president in the nation’s history, affording him the de facto role as top of the Democratic Party as well. Michael Steele had endured a 6-round vote at the RNC Winter Meeting to become the first African-American head of the Republican Party. I even focused my Fox Monday Morning commentary on this unique opportunity heading into February 2009.
“Yet, 5 years later, the Republicans’ relationship with Black voters is hardly any better, chronicled in part by President Obama’s near-record percentage of the Black vote again in 2012 as African-Americans voted at a higher clip than any other ethnic group nationally. For the president, the past 5 years hasn’t been any rosier, as official numbers for Black unemployment once approached 20% under his watch with unofficial numbers for Black male adults and Black youth joblessness hitting depression-era levels. From comments by Attorney General Eric Holder in February 2009 to the “take off your bedroom slippers…put on your marching shoes…” statement from the president himself as he geared up for his re-election bid – all alongside events such as the Trayvon Martin tragedy and others – this president has not bridged Black America over recent troubled waters.
“With this all in the rear view mirror along with the tough roads of high unemployment, large education and economic disparities, and the New Jim Crow threatening Black youth in an ongoing fashion, now is not the time for President Obama, leading Black politicians and civil rights leaders, or the rest of America to merely reflect upon the accomplishments of those of African-American descent during the month of February.

“Tangible goals that elevate the cumulative GPA of Black students across the nation by 0.5 of a grade point should be put into place by Black leaders and educators, giving us a new standard of excellence to shoot towards over the next 5-10 years. This modest goal, if accomplished, would provide America a newly-capable pool of talent that is active in the pursuit of academic prowess and life-changing innovation. Tangible goals that encourage business investment in urban areas and a rise in Black entrepreneurship over the next 5 years can shift the focus from spreading wealth in America to growing wealth across the diversity of America. This new reality would impact the abilities of fathers and mothers to maintain economic optimism and family stability for their children as we seek to overcome the lingering effects of the Great Recession.”

Read “Black History Month Must Yield Results, Not Just Reflections, in 2014” on Global Grind .

WATCH: 4802 – Final Friday Kicks Off on WQED Pittsburgh

In Video on February 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm
4802 Final Friday panel Jan 31 2014

Join the panel during this debut discussion on “4802: Final Friday” from WQED Pittsburgh

 

PITTSBURGH  (January 31, 2014) – (Courtesy WQED) WQED’s studio at 4802 Fifth Avenue in Oakland is the central point for a live and lively conversation about the events making up the news of the week. Host Chris Moore leads the discussion for the new show, “4802: Final Friday” with regular panelists Lenny McAllister, Olivia Benson, Dave Powell, and Cindy Fernandez.

 

 

 

Catch these clips from “4802: Final Friday” by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. You can catch the full episode from the long-standing WQED series by clicking HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pen, A Phone, and a Dangerous Tone

In Articles on February 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm
Obama pen and microphone

President Obama’s willingness to bypass Congress in 2014 should be more of our focus than Tuesday’s State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, DC / PITTSBURGH  (January 30, 2014) 

Don’t get too caught up in the 2014 address from President Obama this week.

Don’t mind too much the pomp-and-circumstance that came with the prime-time event.

The most important – and attention-worthy – things to watch in 2014 will not be the president’s State of the Union Address, the reactions by key congressional members, the spin by activists and pundits, and the poll numbers coming out over the coming days about his speech.

The most vital things demanding your attention are President Obama’s pen and his phone – as well as the tone he is trying to set with his remarks about them.

Granted, President Obama will not be the first president to attempt to circumvent the constitutionally-driven balance between the executive and legislative branches of our federal government. However, despite the comparatively-low number of executive orders issued by President Obama to date, the collective impact of Mr. Obama’s executive maneuvers since 2009 should prompt all Americans to take notice whenever this president threatens to “get things done” by way of sidestepping Congress and the American way of lawmaking.

This executive’s willingness to skirt the normal order of American government to pass initiatives through executive “prerogative” – often times with harmful effects – means that his tone concerning using “his pen and his phone” should be more disconcerting than any tone taken Tuesday night during the State of the Union Address.

President Obama’s “the pen is mightier than Congress and the Constitution” retort to the White House failures of 2013 may sound bold for the sake of the American people. However, just a glance at some of the moves of executive “prerogative” since 2009 provides insight into what 2014 may have in store should President Obama look to follow through on this:

diverting millions of taxpayer dollars to provide abortion-related services overseas in January 2009, only to cut funding for the DC Voucher Program for disadvantaged Americans in his only backyard just months later;

crafting a non-binding, 11th-hour executive order in 2010 to convince the Bart Stupak Bunch to come on-board to pass the Affordable Care Act in a fully-partisan fashion, the last of several intra-Democratic Party deals forged to prompt legislative cooperation;

advancing an immigration policy that circumvented American immigration laws on the books, which worked to embolden wavering Latino voters to support the president as his re-election weakened during a tough 2012 campaign; and

re-writing his own landmark (and namesake) legislation outside the rule of law through a series of politically-motivated moves that act as an ongoing self-repeal of Obamacare by the White House, including select delays set past the 2014 elections and permanent exemptions for key constituents of Democratic leaders.

America’s regular complicity in Mr. Obama’s pattern of flirting with the wrong side of presidential temperance and constitutional reverence has more to do with the currently-tarnished Republican brand and the American Idol style of pop politics we encounter nationally than it does any set of tangible successes for the American people. Instead, the president has taken advantage of the Akin-ness of the GOP and the 9% approval woes of Congress in attempts to justify going the path of law-making alone at this point. Yet, so far during his tenure in the White House, these results have been only politically-driven, not universally altruistic. President Obama’s order to reverse the “Mexico City Policy” pleased his Planned Parenthood constituency, all while he later began his years-long attack on school choice for poor African-American students, even as he wishes to proclaim himself as the “education president”. His last-minute order to sway Stupak’s group of Democrats holding out on Obamacare only gave us a woefully-crippled healthcare reform law, its terrible roll-out, and rising premiums for many. His 2012 order helped provide a 70%-30% advantage for the president in the November 2012 election, yet we arrive in 2014 without long-term solutions for immigration despite Democrats’ control of Washington from 2009-2011. The White House’s on-going self-repeal and retreat from previous claims about Obamacare (namely, “…if you like your plan, you can keep your plan…”) only signify that this administration is fixated on pushing political agendas Chicago-style more than it is concerned about fixing problems for everyday Americans that are not card-carrying Democrats or their fervent supporters.

Presidents use the veto, the bully pulpit, and their presidential poise to guide laws into being by massaging the process and wooing political enemies into allies. Politicians threaten to circumvent the process through unilateral decisions that abscond accountability. President Obama’s new-found public tone concerning his “pen and his phone” are only an extension of his presidential actions over the past five years, leaving the tone of the State of the Union Address Tuesday as nothing more than political window dressing. If the perspective of the Oval Office continues to be one that seeks to skip past congressional cooperation and even Obama’s own landmark legislation, it is incumbent upon Americans to set our sights on supporting legislators and activists that will restore constitutional balance and order, not allowing even more power to reside simply in a pen and a phone.

Lenny McAllister is a political commentator featured on various local, national and international outlets including PCNC, CNN, and Sun News Network. He is the host of “The McAllister Minute” which appears weekly on “The Bev Smith Show” and the American Urban Radio Network. The Pittsburgh-based pundit is the former host of of Launching Chicago With Lenny McAllister on WVON The Talk of Chicago 1690 AM. He is a former congressional candidate. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Forget SOTU Address: Obama Needs State of Reunifying Action Post-January

In Articles on February 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm
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Ignore the platitudes we heard from President Obama during the State of the Union Address. Without presidential leadership that unifies in action throughout 2014, this year’s address rings hollow

WASHINGTON, DC / PITTSBURGH  (January 29, 2014) 

We know how the speech began: with some variation or series of initial statements proclaiming how strong the Union is as we start 2014. We heard about the added jobs to the economy. We heard about the lowered unemployment rate. We heard about stories of heroism from everyday Americans, some of whom were noted as special guests in attendance Tuesday evening.

While we were told of our strengths at the beginning of the prime time speech, we were subsequently brought back to the realities that millions of Americans face daily in the Obama-driven economy. We heard the buzzwords and catch phrases that indicate to us that, perhaps, our Union is not as strong as we were just told by the second-term president.

Income inequality. Poverty. Debt ceiling negotiations. “We still have work to do.”

Jobs are scarce, while good jobs are mostly filled by frightened Americans scared to lose what they currently have. People have given up on looking for work as the labor force has hit record lows for workforce participation rates. Poverty has also risen to record numbers as well, with far too many Americans counting on unstable food stamp availability and eroding unemployment benefits to get through the daily grind. People are losing labor hours, healthcare insurance plans that worked for them for years – and hope for better days ahead, all during the Age of Obama.

Yet, as long as we continue to see from President Obama – in tone, in verbiage, and in action – a sentiment suggesting that these woes are the exclusive work of one political party versus another, these hardships will not subside in 2014, making the State of the Union Address another annual exercise in futility akin to my new year’s resolution to give up Dunkin Donuts’ coffee.

Forget what you heard from President Obama Tuesday night as Commander-in-Chief during the State of the Union Address. If he does not lead as Unifier-in-Chief from February through December, his words will ring hollow and their positive impact on the nation will be negligible – just as they have over the past 5 years.

President Obama has overseen an unfortunate string of disappointing efforts on the part of the American government collectively and from his administration individually throughout the duration of his presidency. From the roll-out of Obamacare last fall on back to the failure to cap unemployment at 7.0% by way of the stimulus package enacted 5 years ago, there has been an array of heartaches and adjustments that the American people have endured without the energy of “hope and change” to carry them through effectively.

From camera-ready bi-partisan debates on healthcare reform that never happened to hastened starts of not-ready projects (such as the administrative errors around the AIG bonus payouts and the red tape woes with the stimulus money along with Obamacare’s initial website problems), President Obama has been dead-set on pushing his political agenda through instead of focusing on pushing for tangible success, even if that means bridging the gap with Republicans during times of super-majorities on Capitol Hill as well as of divided government. As a result, Americans have suffered through ongoing economic hardships and a jobless “recovery” from the Great Recession. All the while, the tone of the nation has turned increasingly bitter as waves of political and social rhetoric rip this traumatized nation further apart.

Ironically, Mr. Obama – once the promise of a post-partisan and post-racial America – now stands as flashpoint for America’s regression, not progress, on multiple grounds. In many ways, unless his presidential style changes, this “Obama Effect” will go on overseeing a divided country, not a state of union.

The most disappointing aspect of the 44th President has been his continued failure to live up to the unifying rhetoric and vision that he projected as a candidate in 2008 and as a newly-minted president in his inaugural days in office. Talk of President Obama as the new Camelot, this generation’s President Reagan, or an inspiring Nobel Peace Prize winner for the good of the nation has constantly been drowned out by the political noise of blaming Republicans and the political missteps of 2009 and 2010 when Obama’s political capital was at its height. Major legislative items such as immigration reform, education reform, infrastructure re-development, and joblessness could have been addressed better (or, in some cases, addressed at all) if the focus on the president stayed on addressing the historic needs of the nation, not on the political advantages in Congress in 2009 and subsequent bickering afterward. Being historic as a president has nothing to do with winning unexpected elections. At one point in 1980, Reagan was an underdog to an incumbent president. Being historic – particularly for the sake of the Union – involves taking the nation to a new place for enriching and successful partnerships, prosperity, and posterity. Talking at political opponents in January, then talking around them for the rest Presidential addresses create debate. Presidential action – or any void of successful action thereof – creates legacy.

If President Obama wants a presidential legacy that will be honored by all Americans once his tenure has completed, he must look past the flowing words that he has offered us at this time each year during the State of the Union Address. He must advance a state of mind and a mode of governing that reunifies a politically-, socioeconomically-, and culturally-divided nation. Flowery words in January and fiery rhetoric for the following eleven months simply has not gotten results for Americans on his watch. Therefore, in 2014, we must ignore the words of an address in January and hold accountable a president for his actions from February onward.

Lenny McAllister is a political commentator featured on various local, national and international outlets including PCNC, CNN, and Sun News Network. He is the host of “The McAllister Minute” which appears weekly on “The Bev Smith Show” and the American Urban Radio Network. The Pittsburgh-based pundit is the former host of of Launching Chicago With Lenny McAllister on WVON The Talk of Chicago 1690 AM. He is a former congressional candidate. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

WATCH: McAllister and Other Break Down SOTU on PCNC (January 29, 2014)

In Video on February 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm
SOTU Review Jan 2014

Clifford Levine, Bill Green, and Lenny McAllister break down President Obama’s State of the Union Address

PITTSBURGH  (January 29, 2014) – (Courtesy PCNC)

In this segment from PCNC’s “Pittsburgh Now” with host Chris Moore, political strategists Clifford Levine, Bill Green, and Lenny McAllister break down President Obama’s State of the Union Address and the political outlook nationally for 2014.(courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel, sister station of NBC’s WPXI Pittsburgh)

Catch this version of Pittsburgh NOW by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above.