- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2009

Not mourning

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is already mourning the number of jobs he expects to be lost because of the Democrats’ climate-change legislation.

In the run-up to the House vote of the 1,200-page bill, Mr. Price asked for a “moment of silence.”

“It’s been estimated with great accuracy that between 2.3 million and 2.7 million jobs will be lost each year with this bill,” he asked solemnly on the House floor. “I would ask unanimous consent that the House rise for a moment of silence to recognize those who will lose their jobs as a result of this bill.”

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, a California Democrat, who co-authored the bill with Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey, objected to Mr. Price’s request. The bill narrowly passed the House on Friday evening.

Terror talk radio

California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, a Democrat, is so fed up with the impact conservative talk radio is having on Republican legislators in the state’s battle to close its $24 billion budget deficit that she likened anti-tax rhetoric to terrorism.

The Los Angeles Times’ Patt Morrison asked Ms. Bass during an interview, which was reprinted on the paper’s Web site, “How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?”

The speaker replied, “The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue.”

She went on, “Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: ‘You vote for revenue, and your career is over.’ I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist.”

“I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair,” she added.

Mourning

The House held a moment of silence for the late pop icon Michael Jackson on Friday morning. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus gathered for a moment of silence on the House floor, where Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Illinois Democrat, discussed Mr. Jackson’s legacy.

“Madam Speaker, if there is a God - and I believe there is - and that God distributes grace and mercy and talent to all of his children, on August 29, 1958, he touched Gary, Ind.,” Mr. Jackson said.

“His heart couldn’t get any bigger,” the Illinois Democrat said. “I come to the floor today on behalf of a generation to thank God for living in his era.”

MJ Day?

The members of the Congressional Black Caucus weren’t the only ones in the black community moving to honor Michael Jackson in the wake of his death.

The U.S. African Chamber of Commerce, which represents African businesses in the United States, called on the White House to declare an “Entertainment Day of the World to honor Michael Jackson as a global humanitarian, entertainer.”

“Michael Jackson was due to make his triumphant return to the stage in London next month, but instead his sudden death has left millions of fans feeling they’ve lost a lifelong friend,” said Martin Mohammed, president of the U.S. African Chamber of Commerce in a statement. “The dramatic death of the brilliant singer seemed to obscure his recent controversies and kindle warmer memories of Jackson the child star and Jackson the show-stopping, moon-walking headliner.”

Identity struggle

Michael Jackson’s contributions to the music industry and black culture were celebrated after his death, but one pundit brought up the struggle he seemed to have accepting himself as a black man.

“You saw it when he went from brown to literally almost looking white, the things that happened with his nose, the hair,” said Independent Women’s Forum President Michelle Bernard, a black woman, in an appearance on MSNBC.

“It was as if the whole world got to watch, unfortunately, him have a major identity crisis. A lot of people in the black community kept thinking, what on Earth could have happened in his childhood, and are we looking at someone that just - that has a lot of issues related to the fact that he was a black man?”

• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpen [email protected] times.com.

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