Trayvon Martin: Barack Obama says America should do some ‘soul searching’

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President Barack Obama addressed the killing of Treyvon Martin for the first time this morning, and in personal terms, calling for “soul-searching” not only about the specifics of the case, but regarding the Stand Your Ground law and the “context for what happened.”

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I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead

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In his first public remarks since he delivered his victory speech Tuesday night, President-elect Barack Obama vowed Friday that restoring the nation’s economic equilibrium will be a major priority of his administration.

“I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead,” he told reporters at the Hilton Hotel. “We have taken some major action to date and we will take further action.”

Obama said that, if the lame-duck Congress fails to pass a stimulus package before he takes office January 20, passing such a package will be his first move.

Obama pointed to Friday’s release of unemployment figures and bad news from auto industry as the reason that his administration will have to move quickly on the economic crisis.

“We are facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime and we are going to have to act swiftly to solve it,” Obama said.

Obama said the country is facing several immediate challenges, including a rescue plan for the middle class. Obama said a fiscal stimulus plan to jump start economic growth is “long overdue.”

Obama stressed the need to focus on the spreading impact of the crisis globally, as well as on small businesses facing payroll issues.

Read more at cnn.com

Are we going back in time???

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A predominantly black church under construction in Springfield was destroyed by fire November 4th, just hours after Barack Obama’s landmark victory, triggering concerns that the building was purposely set ablaze in a possible hate crime.

The blaze started at Macedonia Church of God in Christ at 3:10 and caused an estimated $2 million in damage.

Church officials pledged to rebuild, but the concerns that their building was targeted dampened a mood that had been so uplifted in the night of Obama’s historic win to become the nation’s first black president-elect.

“This was a special time in our nation’s history, but I also know not everybody was happy and celebrating,” said Bishop Bryant J. Robinson Jr., head of the church. “After 71 years of being an African-American, you know these things happen.”

Located on King Street, the church was moving to the site at 215 Tinkham Road, where the fire occurred.

Continue reading at Boston.com

Michelle Obama Portrait

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The New Museum on the Lower East Side revealed a portrait of Michelle Obama, the wife of President-elect Barack Obama, painted by Elizabeth Peyton, on Wednesday. The work, above, titled “Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008,” is an oil painting that depicts Mrs. Obama in the audience at her husband’s convention speech as the couple’s younger daughter, Sasha, rests her head in her mother’s lap. The painting joins the New Museum’s exhibition “Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton,” a collection of portraits of noteworthy personalities like Kurt Cobain, Matthew Barney, and Marc Jacobs. The exhibition is to run through Jan. 11.

Source:  NYT