All Articles Tagged "Bill Clinton"
Just when folks were starting to speculate that there was some underlying tension between the Obamas and Oprah, we learned, today she was at the White House accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
It’s not often that celebrities or media personalities receive these awards but…it’s Oprah so apparently folks made an exception. Plus her personal story and the trajectory of her career certainly make her worthy. According to The Washington Post, Winfrey got the award for being “one of the world’s most successful broadcast journalists” and philanthropists. The highest honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian, the Presidential Medal of Freedom was given to 16 people, including feminist writer and women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, Washington Post editor Benjamin C. Bradlee and former president Bill Clinton. President Obama saved Clinton for last and thanked him for his advice, counsel and his work on helping natural disaster victims.
The Medal was also bestowed, posthumously, to Bayard Rustin, the openly gay civil rights leader who worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Post reports that when the president spoke about Oprah, he said: “…her bosses told her she should change her name to Susie. I have to pause here to say, I got the same advice. Oh, they didn’t say I should be named Susie, but they suggested I should change my name.”
He went on asserting that Oprah is living proof of the tenacity of the human spirit, referencing Oprah’s “childhood of poverty and abuse to the pinnacle of the entertainment universe.”
At the end of the ceremony, President Obama made these remarks:
“I hope we carry away from this a reminder of what JFK understood to be the essence of the American spirit. Some of us may be less talented, but we all have the opportunity to serve and to open people’s hearts and minds in our smaller orbits. So I hope that everybody’s been inspired as I have been, participating in being with these people here today.”
Congratulations to Lady O!
You can watch video of the ceremony below.
Not even Bill Clinton can get on board with Obamacare. The former president heaped a load of criticism on the Affordable Care Act in an interview with a new magazine called Ozy.
“Even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people, let them keep what they’ve got,” Clinton said. The former president is referring to Obama’s promise that all currently-insured Americans can keep their health care plans. Customers on the individual market are finding their insurance plans canceled due to new provisions outlined by Obamacare.
Clinton went as far as comparing the Affordable Care Act to President George W. Bush’s launch of the Medicare Part D program, which he called a “disaster.” He added that Obama should address the predicament that some Americans are facing amid the loss of their insurance.
Despite Clinton’s harsh words for the health care reform, he still has a little bit of faith in the landmark law. ”The big lesson is that we’re better off with this law than without it,” he said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) took the opportunity to further expand on Clinton’s perspective and added “These comments signify a growing recognition that Americans were misled when they were promised that they could keep their coverage under President Obama’s health care law.”
“The entire health care law is a train wreck that needs to go,” the Republican leader said.
For House Republicans, Clinton’s comments could not have come at a better time. On Friday, House Democrats will be faced with a “pressing political challenge,” CNN notes. ”[T]hey will have to vote on a House Republican plan [...] that allows people to keep the policy they like.”
The President is expected to announce administrative measures to allow customers to keep their insurance in remarks scheduled to begin at 11:35am ET.
[h/t The Washington Post]
Being a famous celebrity isn’t always about popularity and fortune. Sometimes, it entails battles with the law over money, criminal allegations and scandal. Bouncing back from these legal issues, these celebrities have made a significant career strides after problems that could’ve shelved their careers for good.
Considered New York’s “tabloid twins,” Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner, whose political pasts have been marred by scandal, are gaining ground in their candidacy because of African-American support, reports USA Today.
Spitzer, who resigned in 2008 for soliciting prostitutes, is ahead of his Democratic rival for comptroller Scott Stringer 49 percent to 45 percent. He’s leading his opponent because black voters favor him 63 percent to 33 percent. Among white voters, however, Spitzer falls behind Stringer by nearly 20 points.
Weiner’s support for his run for mayor plummeted when he revealed that he still sent indecent text messages to women after he resigned as congressman in 2011. A disappointing seven percent of white voters support Weiner which was down from 23 percent. Among black voters, 24 percent still support him — a not-so-dramatic fall from 31 percent.
Weiner is running against Bill Thompson, an African-American candidate. Both are drawing in equal amounts of votes from black supporters.
African-Americans have always had a knack for supporting the underdogs. “It is a truism in politics that African-American voters are more likely to forgive public figures for bad behavior,” USA Today added. “President Bill Clinton, for instance, remained popular with black voters throughout his impeachment after his affair with a White House intern.”
Rev. Al Sharpton attributed this African-American characteristic to the fact that most of the people who have stood for blacks have negative spotlight from the media. “Those we have respected the most have been attacked the most,” Rev. Sharpton said.
Black support for disgraced politicians doesn’t waver by much because of the low expectations they have of these candidates compared to whites. According to a poll conducted by the Marist Institute of Public opinion, 43 percent of African-Americans say all politicians have “something to hide” compared to 30 percent of white voters.
Well-aware of the support he is receiving from African Americans, Spitzer is appearing in churches and gospel concerts.
Would you vote for Spitzer and Weiner despite their scandalous past?
Yesterday, we gave you the beginning of our updated list of white people black folks love. Here’s the rest.
Sarah Jessica Parker
“Sex and The City,” need we say more? We ride for Miss Carrie Bradshaw and her fabulous fashion and her struggle to find a good man, and her love of Cosmos. She’s our white sister girl in our heads.
Politicians take an oath to serve the country with integrity when they are sworn in, but most don’t seem to feel that same obligation when it comes to their spouses. Despite being held to a higher standard than everyone else, these 15 public servants put it all on the line — including their jobs — when they got caught with their pants down cheating on their wives.
On his quest from the Terminator to the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was called a womanizer on the campaign. His wife, Maria Shriver, vouched for her husband and assured voters the former Austrian bodybuilder was not the man the media and his opponents painted him to be. But a few months after leaving office, it was reported that Shriver moved out of their California home and less than a week later, the public found out why: Schwarzenegger fathered a child with the maid, Mildred, during their 25-year marriage. Suspecting that her husband was the father of the boy, Shriver confronted the maid who confirmed her suspicions. Although the couple officially separated, they have reportedly attended marital counseling. Schwarzenegger has publicly admitted he would like to reunite with Shriver.
Tags:affairs, Anthony Weiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, cheating, dan burton, david patterson, david vitter, donna hanover, Eliot Spitzer, Elizabeth Edwards, jim mcgreevey, John Edwards, kwame kilpatrick, larry craig, maria shriver, Mark Sanford, monica lewnsky, newt gingrich, politicians, rudy guiliani, Scandals
You know when Chris Rock says, men are only as faithful as their options. (Maybe Chris Rock was speaking from experience since he ended up cheating on his wife.) Well, these men not only cheated they had to admit their infidelity to their wives, the nation and in some very high profile cases, (looking at you, Bill), the world.
Before living “green” was the trendy thing to do, Robin Wilson was working to create living spaces where customers’ wellness and environmental impact were top priorities. Suffering from childhood allergies and asthma while growing up in the eco-friendly town of Austin, TX made healthy living a passion of hers from an early age.
In 2000, she walked away from a successful corporate career to become president of her own interior design firm, Robin Wilson Home, focused on eco-friendly and hypoallergenic products.
Her success as an entrepreneur has exceeded her own dreams. In 2004, her design of the Harlem office of President Bill Clinton was profiled in O magazine. She’s gone on to launch her own textile line, and build a full-fledged lifestyle brand.
I asked Robin about what it takes to have the vision to stay ahead of trends and build a brand that stays true to her mission of wellness.
Madame Noire: Can you describe Robin Wilson Home for those unfamiliar with your brand? What differentiates you from your competitors?
Robin Wilson: Robin Wilson Home is a lifestyle brand with two business areas: interior design and brand licensing. We have worked with some amazing clients across the U.S. to design eco-friendly homes and commercial spaces. Plus, we are the first brand to license our name to eco-friendly kitchen cabinetry sold by over 500 dealers nationwide — and made in the USA by Holiday Kitchens. We also have a line of textiles sold on Bed Bath & Beyond’s website and they will be coming soon to select retail stores.
MN: You had a successful career dealing with environmental issues before you started your firm. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?
RW: I began my career at the Lower Colorado River Authority, a hydroelectric utility in Austin, and then worked at both a San Francisco and Boston-based consulting firms in their energy groups. These firms taught me best practices for corporate governance — but I also recognized that the founders of these firms were passionate visionaries. Since my family has a history of entrepreneurs, it was easy for me to understand the focus and charisma of those individuals. I made a goal on my bucket list to be an entrepreneur by the time I was 30… and was fortunate to see it come true for the past 13 years.
MN: What did the early days of Robin Wilson Home look like? How did you get your business off the ground?
RW: We had the wonderful opportunity to be self-funded due to a windfall received when the firm I was working for went public due to an IPO. I was the only employee and worked as a project manager and designer. The early days were amazing due to freedom from a desk, the chance to be casual everyday, and new projects through word-of-mouth.
MN: Did you know green living would take off the way that it has?
RW: It was never “green” to me… and I actually refer to our practices as eco-friendly (to your living space and the environment) and wellness-oriented. However, when the articles started to refer to us as in the “green” space, I had to accept the moniker as a way to describe our business. But I remain committed to telling people that the bottom line is “wellness” for you and your lifestyle.
MN: What gave you the courage to pursue a specialty that wasn’t mainstream at the time?
Robin: I live by the motto “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” So my focus has never been about what is mainstream but very much about what I believe is good for my friends and family.
It’s a select group of college students who can claim the title of a Rhodes Scholar. This year, a record three African-American female students were just chosen for the honor.
Joy A. Buolamwini, Rhiana E. Gunn-Wright, and Nina M. Yancy will be off to study at the UK’s Oxford University next year. The three women beat out 1,700 other American students who sought the scholarship.
The Rhodes Scholarships are considered by many to be the most prestigious awards given to U.S. college students. It was created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, an industrialist who made a fortune in colonial Africa. “Each year, 32 Americans are named Rhodes Scholars. The scholarships provide funds for two or three years of graduate study at Oxford University in Britain,” writes The Journal of Blacks in Education (JBHE).
Rhodes Scholars are also picked from 14 other destinations around the world for a total of about 80 Rhodes Scholars worldwide annually. Among the famous Rhodes Scholars are United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; Newark Mayor Cory Booker; Apprentice winner, entrepreneur Randal Pinkett; and former President Bill Clinton.
While their numbers are few, there have been other black Rhodes Scholars, such as Alain LeRoy Locke. He was awarded a scholarship in 1907 and went on to become a major philosopher and literary figure of the Harlem Renaissance. “It is generally believed that at the time of the award the Rhodes committee did not know that Locke was Black until after he had been chosen,” reports JBHE. The next African-American Rhodes Scholar wasn’t selected until 1962, when John Edgar Wideman, now an author and professor at Brown University, was chosen. Other African-American Rhodes Scholars include Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law School; Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore and now dean of the law school at Howard University; and Franklin D. Raines, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and former CEO of Fannie Mae. The first African-American woman selected as a Rhodes Scholar was selected in 1978, Karen Stevenson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The new awardees are already off to a great start. Buolamwini, a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and computer science major, is currently working at the Carter Center in Atlanta. She has founded or co-founded three businesses. At Oxford, she wants to obtain a degree in African studies. Yale University graduate Gunn-Wright holds a Bachelor’s degree in African American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. She has been working at Women’s Policy Research and plans a Master’s degree in comparative social policy at Oxford. Unlike the other two, Yancy is a still in school. She is senior at Harvard University where she majors in social studies. She has interned at CNN, the Center for American Political Studies and in the British House of Commons. She is also a member of the Harvard Ballet Company. Yancy plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in global health science as a Rhodes Scholar.
Someone once told me that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery. That was a long time ago, back when I was still wearing overalls and those clear sandals with the glitter on them, but it still rings true. Prime examples are when other cultures tan their skin, lock their hair, wear baggy garb and more. Over the past few decades, some of our favorite white celebrities and public figures have decided to do everything from rap, do black hair, wear grills and array of other very interesting things. A lot of these moments had us laughing more than we thought we would, and because of that, they deserve some recognition. Here’s a few white celebrities having some very “black” moments. And before you get your panties in a knot, these folks were having good, positive fun. Nothing offensive.
Before showcasing ballet skills as the black swan in Black Swan, SNL featured Natalie Portman, Harvard graduate and acclaimed actress, as a fiery and explicit rapper who took turned an innocent interview into a three minute opportunity to endorse drug and alcohol usage, threaten about a dozen people with bodily harm (and to go number two on their face), send love to Eazy-E and reject her fans. Done in good fun, the petite actress’ attempt at gangster (or “gangsta”?) was generally well-received.