White House’s Guests with Disabilities Protest Silently


The President signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Proclamation today in the East Room of the White House, in front of an audience that included many Americans with disabilities.

Prior to the event, I noticed that a great many of the attendees were sporting the orange button you see in this photo.  The button says “Community Choice Act Now!”

This is the same cause about which activists met with Obama Administration officials in late April.  That meeting didn’t go so well:

On my way in to yesterday’s White House press briefing, already running late, I was unable to enter the White House at the North Entrance, and had to lug my 637lb briefcase in the 900º heat all the way to southwest entrance. The reason for this monumental inconvenience? Some protesters had chained themselves to the White House fence, so the entire street was closed.

I found this out after walking through a sea of electric wheelchairs. The security guard at the southwest entrance told me that they had had a meeting, they went in happy, but then they “went bad.”

From Alex Villanueva:  Leighann Spilman, an ADAPT activist from Kansas, told me that… in some states the option exists for Medicaid to pay for in-home care for the disabled as an alternative to nursing homes (all states that receive Medicaid must use a portion of the funds to pay for nursing homes). The Community Choice Act presents the option for those who require care to choose what is known as “community care”, which would allow them to remain in their own homes rather than living in nursing homes or similar institutions.

Protests for the Community Choice Act continue all over the country, and in a small, silent way, made it into the White House today.

Shocker: Why Robert Gibbs Doesn’t Do Twitter!


It’s not what you might think.  From C-Span:

Twitter is blocked on White House computers?!?  Hmmmm.  Could that have anything to do with this??

So, the White House is keeping Gibbs in the dark about UFOs and won’t let him use Twitter.  The President was obviously born on some other planet, perhaps Vulcan, and communicates with his home planet via Twitter.  Case closed!

President and Gibbs Play Fonzie on Stupid Police Apology

The President made a surprise appearance at today’s White House Press briefing to address the uproar over his comments about the arrest of Skip Gates at Wednesday’s press conference.  The President described a phone call he’d had with the arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley.  They apparently spoke for awhile, and the President even suggested that he, Crowley, and Gates might get together at the White House for a beer.  What he didn’t say would become the topic of most of the rest of the briefing.

The President stopped short of saying that he had apologized to Crowley, and did not stay to answer questions.  In the ensuing briefing with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the assembled press attempted to nail down that fact, without success.

For my part, I asked Gibbs if the President had expressed disappointment at the fact that all of the outrage centered on his word choice, and not on the circumstances of Gates’ arrest.  He referred me back to the President’s remarks.

It is remarkable that this comment has created such a firestorm that the President felt compelled to address it in this way.  I am a little bit surprised, however, that he didn’t stick around to take some questions.  While the President walked his statement back a little, he mostly stuck to his guns, saying both parties could have done better.  Left unsaid by the President was the fact that only one of those parties was specially trained to do better.

Will this story die here?  Perhaps in the mainstream media, after a weekend of talking-heads chatter.  Either way, an opportunity was missed to discuss the dynamic between black people and the police.  Instead, we get to focus on the words “stupidly” and “apology,” and parse the political effects.

What began as Billie’s Quickies….


This has been an odd and infuriating news week – I can’t wait for next week!  I started with rather light fare: “In a 3-3 vote this week, the board failed to approve a game license for the kids-themed food and entertainment venue on Harlem Road, citing concerns about violent video games.” The whole game room? Did they ban Air Hockey, too? But….

Infuriating:  “Editors have told me that their sales departments say black covers don’t sell. Sales reps have told me that many of their accounts won’t take books with black covers. Booksellers have told me that they can’t give away YAs with black covers.”

Reminds me of this:

which reminded me of this:

Which led to The Daily Beast pointing out this:

Which brings me to Tommy’s on the money post.

Yay! No more racism now that America elected a black President………?

Happy Friday everyone!