Anchor Intro: The city hosting the historic inauguration: Washington, D.C., is nearly 60 percent African-American, and in the district’s black communities, the swearing in of America’s first black president has particular resonance. Kat Aaron has more.
Anchor Intro: A recent decision by New York City’s Department of Education to close some special schools has left many high-school age mothers wondering
where they’ll wind up come September. Kat Aaron brings us the story.
On the eve of Tuesday’s historic inauguration, drummers drew a dancing crowd at the corner of U and 14th Streets — the scene where police and protesters clashed following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1968 assassination.
Now, 40 years later, people gathered there to celebrate the nation’s first black president.
Standing at the corner of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenues in Southeast Washington, Venisa Young had four words for America: “Get ready for change.”
Up the street, a cluster of children walked on the sidewalk, grabbing tight to a rope held by their teachers. One teacher, dressed in an Obama hat, a rhinestone-encrusted Obama T-shirt and an Obama button, called out “Who’s our president?”
“My name is Chantelle Bateman. I’m a corporal in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. I need to preface this by saying that I am still under an active contract, so anything I say here is a complete representation of myself, and not at all any way shape or form the Marine Corps, the United States Marine Corps Reserve, or the U.S. government.”
“Thanks for having so much courage, sister,” someone shouted from the audience.
Bateman, 24, was one of five veterans who spoke last week at an event celebrating the release of a new book, “Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations.” The book, produced by Iraq Veterans Against the War and writer Aaron Glantz, is a sweeping compendium of stories from veterans and Iraqi civilians, detailing in striking detail their experiences of the war, its leadership, and its aftermath.
with Nick Schwellenbach; American Observer, March 4 2009
Dave Wenhold thinks his profession gets a bad rap.
The president of the American League of Lobbyists argues he and his colleagues bring specialized skills to their myriad clients. And if people followed around a lobbyist on a typical day at work, the mysticism surrounding the profession would disappear, he added.
“Frankly, we have made a very easy punching bag,” said Wenhold, also the co-founder of Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies, a lobbying firm based in Fairfax, Va. Gallup’s 2008 poll of the public’s views of professional honesty and ethics rank lobbyists as having the worst, lower than car salesmen or telemarketers.
The presidential election is being watched closely not just in the United States but around the world. The Observer spoke with four foreign reporters covering the election here in the U.S. as part of a program organized by the International Center for Journalists.
Observer reporter Kat Aaron asked the foreign correspondents what people in their countries think about the two candidates. The interviews with these multilingual journalists were conducted in English, French and Spanish, and are presented as edited transcripts.
No matter who wins in November, the 2008 election has already made history.
The campaigns have been the most expensive ever, with candidates collectively raising more than $1 billion for the first time. And of course, the country will have either a black president or a female vice president, both firsts.
Another first this election season may be a record high turnout among voters 18 to 24. But some young people won’t be going to the polls this fall, despite being extremely politically engaged. They can’t – they’re not 18 yet.
For politically active teens, sitting on the sidelines of this historic election is frustrating. They think they deserve the right to vote, and they’re fighting for it.