Friday, June 27, 2008

FOX smears Obama

FOX's smears against Obama are out of control--have you heard about them? I just signed a petition telling FOX that their use of racism and prejudice is not okay. Would be great if you signed too.

First, a paid FOX commentator accidentally confused "Obama" with "Osama" and then joked on the air about killing Obama. Next, a FOX anchor said a playful fist pound by Barack and Michelle Obama could be a "terrorist fist jab." (Seriously!) And then, FOX called Michelle Obama "Obama's baby mama"--slang used to describe the unmarried mother of a man's child.

Nearly 100,000 folks have signed a petition that will be delivered to FOX. Can you sign too? The more names, the bigger the impact. Here's the link.

Learning to be Michelle Obama

At Princeton, she came to terms with being a black achiever in a white world
By Sally Jacobs
Globe Staff / June 15, 2008
The Boston Globe

As Catherine Donnelly climbed the stairs to her dorm room at Princeton University over a quarter-century ago, the Louisiana freshman felt ready for whatever lay ahead. But then she met Michelle.

Her full name was Michelle LaVaughn Robinson. She was so tall that her head seemed to brush the sloping ceiling of the cramped fourth-floor room. She was Donnelly's new roommate. And she was black.
Well, this was new.
Growing up in the South, Donnelly had gone to school with a handful of black classmates, but living together was quite another thing. Donnelly quickly warmed to Robinson, with her big sense of humor and riveting stories. But she was worried that her mother, who Donnelly said had grown up in a racist family, would not react well. She was right.
When Donnelly's mother, now 71, learned the race of her daughter's roommate, she was beside herself. She called alumni friends to object. And the next morning she marched into the student housing office.
"I said I need to get my daughter's room changed right away," recalled Alice Brown, a retired schoolteacher, who has since come to regret her reaction. "I called my own mother and she said, 'Take Catherine out of school immediately. Bring her home.' I was very upset about the whole thing."
For 17-year-old Robinson - who is now Michelle Obama and the first African-American woman to face the real prospect of becoming first lady - the incident was a stunning beginning to a formative chapter in her life. It was a time when her views on race and American culture began to coalesce - views that have helped make her a compelling figure but also somewhat of a lightning rod during the campaign. Just last week the Barack Obama campaign took on an apparently baseless rumor that she had once been taped talking of white Americans as "whitey."
Obama says she did not know about Alice Brown's actions until several weeks ago. But she wonders now if the incident might explain in part why she and Brown's daughter did not become better friends.
"We were never close," Obama said in an e-mail. "But sometime s that's the thing you sense, that there's something that's there, but it's often unspoken."
At the time Obama entered Princeton in 1981, the Ivy League campus was largely, if unofficially, segregated socially and Obama found her years there marked by questions about race and loyalty - much the same questions she and her husband often face today. Then, as now, Obama's focus was on overcoming differences rather than igniting them. The lesson she finds in the roommate incident is one of hope - Alice Brown is now considering casting her vote for Barack Obama.
"What it demonstrated was the growth that this parent had," Obama wrote. "What that told me is that, yes, the problems we face in this nation around race are real . . . but we also have to remember that people change and they grow."
Michelle Obama has often been cast as the more adamant half of the Obama household, when it comes to racial matters, and some have traced this thread to her Princeton years. But she was hardly a campus activist. Instead, she pursued quieter means of change characteristic of her practical nature, according to classmates with whom she remains close. In her efforts to understand the lot of black students, this determined young woman with the big hair and trademark strand of pearls attended meetings with school administrators about the African- American Studies department, helped bring black alumni to campus to address students, and worked afternoons in the school's Third World Center. It was, according to several professor s and friends close to her, a critical passage in her life.
"Princeton was a real crossroads of identity for Michelle," said Harvard Law School professor Charles J. Ogletree, who was her law school adviser and now works with the Obama campaign. "The question was whether I retain my identity given by my African-American parents, or whether the education from an elite university has transformed me into something different than what they made me. By the time she got to Harvard she had answered the question. She could be both brilliant and black."
Search for racial identity
Obama's questions became, in part, the subject of her senior thesis, called "Princeton-Educated Blacks and The Black Community." Much has been made in the blogosphere of Obama's observation in that work: "My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'Blackness' than ever before . . . Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with Whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second."
But her 1985 thesis is not just about her own experience, but also examines larger issues of racial identity. The thesis had been embargoed until after the presidential election, but when the campaign came under criticism, it was released in February.
"Michelle's central question was what good does a Princeton education do for the black community," recalled Howard Taylor, sociology professor emeritus, and former chairman of the Center for African American Studies. "What will it do for me? Will it separate me from the black community?"
Princeton in the early 1980s was not an easy place to be black. For young Michelle Robinson, reared on the South Side of Chicago and the daughter of a municipal pump operator, it was "a new frontier," as Katie McCormick Lelyveld, Obama's director of communications, described it. Long regarded as the most conservative of the Ivy League schools, its social scene was dominated by elite "eating clubs" where blacks sometimes worked but were rarely members. Many blacks socialized largely among themselves, according to some students, including the school's director of communications, Lauren Robinson-Brown, a classmate of Obama's.
"We ate together. We partied together. We were each others' support system," she said.
When Obama entered Princeton, she was one of 94 black students in a class of 1,141. Her transition from her family's one-bedroom urban apartment to the exclusive suburban campus was made somewhat easier by the fact that her brother Craig Robinson had arrived there two years earlier. Robinson, now the head basketball coach at Oregon State University, was a star basketball player who had been recruited to the campus and his success opened many doors for his younger sister. But still, the veil of race hung heavy.
Despite her mother's opposition, Catherine Donnelly was drawn to her new roommate, one of two young women with whom she shared the low-ceilinged room in Pyne Hall. She recalled that Obama, whom many called "Miche," "had these beautiful long-fingered hands that she used to tell great stories with. I loved her hands."
But when another room became available the following semester, Donnelly moved out. She says it was not because of her mother's racial concerns, but because the new room was larger. Once she moved out, she said she and Obama rarely spoke, even when they passed each other on campus.
"Michelle early on began to hang out with other black students," said Donnelly, now a lawyer in Palmetto, Ga. "Princeton was just a very segregated place. I wish now that I had pushed harder to be friends, but by the same token she did not invite me to do things either."
Obama herself often felt stigmatized on campus. In her thesis, she wrote that at Princeton, "No matter how liberal and open minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong."
Obama and her friends talked about the racial situation on campus a lot. "But Michelle kind of stayed away from the fray," recalled Lisa F. Rawlings, a classmate who is now a program director at Prince George's Community College in Maryland.
Asked if Obama experienced incidents of racism, Lelyveld said in an e-mail that, "So many years down the line, she [Obama] can't say for certain whether there were any specific incidents." Lelyveld initially said that Obama did not remember her freshman roommate.
But several of Obama's African-American classmates say they found the campus was as racially fragmented as it was elitist, and some white students agree. Hilary Beard, a friend of Obama's who is African-American and was a class ahead, recalls, "A lot of white students there had never been around black students. . . . They would want to touch my hair." And Rawlings says, "I cannot tell you the number of times I was called 'Brown Sugar.' "
While many found such incidents disturbing, Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, says that few got up in arms about it.
"We all viewed it as what you needed to do, to do business there," said Robinson. "You had to put up with certain things."
By her second year, Obama had settled in with three roommates of color in a suite of sparely furnished rooms. She quickly gained a reputation for her vast collection of Stevie Wonder records. An early riser, she was also known for her stylish appearance.
"Michelle was always fashionably dressed, even on a budget," remembers Angela Acree, Obama's roommate for three years and now a Washington, D.C., lawyer. "You wouldn't catch her in sweats, even back then."
But mostly Obama was recognized for her commitment to her studies. Part of it was the rigor of the school. And part of it was the expectations that she - like many black students who were the first in their family to go to college - knew awaited her back home.
"Michelle and Craig spoke a lot about their parents," said Beard. "She was going to succeed for them as much as herself."
Obama, who majored in sociology with a minor in African-American studies, dedicated her thesis to, "Mom, Dad, Craig and all of my special friends. Thank you for loving me and always making me feel good about myself."
Although Obama had friends who were both black and white, her social world revolved around several of the black organizations on campus, as it did for many other black students. Obama was a member of the Organization of Black Unity, a primary resource for black students on campus which arranged speakers and programs. There was also a Black Thoughts Table, a popular discussion group about current affairs and race.
Obama also took part in two fashion shows that were sponsored largely by black student groups. In one devoted to the Ethiopian Relief Fund in 1985, and dubbed "Secret Fantasy," she modeled a sleeveless red velvet ball gown. In the other, which benefited a local after-school program, she was clad in a yellow Caribbean peasant skirt. Lelyveld said that Obama does not recall the events, but the organizers remember her vividly. Karen Jackson Ruffin, who designed the dresses Obama wore, recalled that she asked Obama to participate, "because she is so tall and carries herself so well. Michelle is very mellow and she said, 'Sure.' "
A cultural home
One of the issues debated among black students at the time was whether they could partake in white-dominated schools and careers and still remain connected to the black community.
"The question was were you a traitor to your race to go to a white-dominated school at all," said Steve Dawson, a Princeton alumnus and the former head of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni. "Michelle had crossed that threshold in going to Princeton. But she was concerned as she considered law school, is it still an OK thing to do?"
While Obama was a familiar figure in many black circles, it was the Third World Center, a hub for students of color and different nationalities, housed in a boxy red-brick building, that was the center of her cultural life at Princeton. Obama was a member of the Center's governance board, and was coordinator of an after-school program for local children.
"The Third World Center was our life," Acree said. "We hung out there, we partied there, we studied there."
And Obama sometimes played the piano there. Jonathan Brasuell, the son of the former director of the Third World Center, who spent time in the after-school program there, remembers her playing the title theme of "Peanuts" for him when he was about 7.
"I could not go though a week without hearing that," recalls Brasuell, now 31.
At the center, there was also a lot of talk about the racial situation on campus.
"Michelle was very much a part of the conversation about this," recalled Beard, now a writer living in Philadelphia. "But while she would get annoyed, she had a lot of equanimity."
In her thesis, Obama observed that Princeton, like other predominantly white universities, was "designed to cater to the needs of the White students." She pointed out that there were only five tenured black professors and that "Afro American Studies is one of the smallest and most understaffed departments in the University." Activities organized by university groups, she added, "such as Student Government, rarely, if ever, take into account the diverse interests which exist at a University that is not 100 percent White."
During the years that Obama was at Princeton, there were a number of racially charged issues percolating on campus. There were demonstrations against apartheid, and protests over the university's investments in South Africa. But Obama took part in little of it. When the Rev. Jesse Jackson visited campus in her senior y ear - Obama was a childhood friend of his daughter - she did not attend.
"She was not at all politically motivated," Lelyveld wrote.
Even some who were politically inclined did not attend events where they stood a chance of getting arrested.
"Remember, most of us black students had no social safety net," added classmate Beard. "You had an opportunity to change the arc of your life and you were not going to mess it up."
By her last year at Princeton, Obama was looking ahead. As part of her thesis work, she surveyed a group of black alumni to see if their attitudes had changed during their years at Princeton, and in particular if they had become "more or less motivated to benefit the Black Community."
What she found surprised her. As students, she wrote, the alumni were closely identified with the black community. But after graduating, she wrote, "their identification with Whites and the White community increased." The finding seemed to give her some pause.
Going to Princeton had left her striving for the same goals as her white classmates, such as acceptance at a graduate school or successful corporation. Indeed, Obama would go on to Harvard Law School, and would ultimately work as a corporate lawyer and for a major city hospital. But in her final months of college, she seemed to balk at such a path.
Further assimilation into the white social structure, she concluded," will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant," she wrote.
Since graduating, Obama has not returned to the Princeton campus. But after leaving the college behind, she found a way to resolve her dilemma while remaining true to herself.
"Michelle answered the question by going to Harvard," Ogletree said. "And she came with no ambiguity about her race or gender. She would navigate corporate America, but she would never forget her father's values and where she came from."
Sally Jacobs can be reached at
© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Poll Shows Double-Digit Lead

Barack Obama holds a 12-point lead over Republican rival John McCain in a two-way matchup,A CNN analysis of several national polls shows Obama's lead is in the single digits, at 8 points ahead

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Barak"broken system" would be self-defeating. Opting out of the federal money

Obama said that while he is committed to campaign finance reform, he believes that abiding by a "broken system" would be self-defeating.

WASHINGTON -- Freed from a serious fundraising constraint, Barack Obama is positioned to mount a general-election campaign on a scale the nation has never seen, fueled by hundreds of millions of dollars in private donations.

Having rejected public financing of his presidential bid Thursday, Obama now faces no legal spending limits after he emerges from the Democratic convention in August and moves to the final stage of the race against the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain.

Obama turned down $84.1 million in federal money in system -- the first major-party candidate to do so since it started in 1976. His campaign is betting it will collect far more than that from his donors.

The Illinois senator intends to use the extra money to re-draw the electoral map. He will run television ads in traditionally Republican states where he hopes to compete and deploy field operations in places Democrats are not supposed to win.

"It allows him to go broader and deeper than any prior candidate has been able to do from a financial basis," said Don Sipple, a Republican political strategist.

McCain said Thursday that he would accept public financing, meaning he will be restricted to $84.1 million in direct spending in the two months between the Republican convention and election day.

He accused Obama of breaking a promise to abide by the federal spending limit. "This is a big deal, a big deal," McCain said. "He has completely reversed himself and gone back, not on his word to me, but the commitment he made to the American people."

Obama's ambitions are evident in a TV spot he rolled out Thursday. Called "Country I Love," the 60-second ad is airing in 18 states, many of which -- including Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia -- voted Republican in the 2004 presidential contest.

Though Obama's decision made strategic sense, it left some good-government groups discouraged, predicting it would only fuel the money chase in politics. Complicating matters for Obama, he wrote in a campaign questionnaire last November that he was committed to public financing.

"It's a mistake; I'm sure he's thinking more of his short-term advantage than the long-term success of his reform program," said Steve Weissman, associate director for policy at the Campaign Finance Institute. "Even though he's for fixing the public financing system, this could help erode support for that objective, because people will turn around and say, 'Why do we need to fix it? It worked fine for the Democrats last time.' "

Obama's campaign said the decision to reject public funding was tough. It is rooted in the unmatched success he has enjoyed in raising money. Through the end of April, Obama brought in more than $265 million, compared with less than $97 million for McCain, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Under the public financing system, McCain can raise and spend as much as he wants until he becomes the GOP nominee at the September convention. From that point, the Arizona senator can spend only the $84.1 million from a federal treasury fund. Taxpayers kick into the fund by voluntarily checking off a $3 contribution on their tax returns.

Obama's already deep pool of about 1.4 million donors is expected to swell. He is now absorbing New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's fundraising machinery, which will provide a jolt.

Obama's senior staff met in Chicago on Thursday with a half-dozen of Clinton's top fundraisers. Those in attendance included John B. Emerson of Capital Guardian Trust Co. in Los Angeles; Thomas F. Steyer of Farallon Capital Management in San Francisco; and Gary Gensler, who was Treasury undersecretary under President Clinton.

Clinton has called on 100 of her top fundraisers to meet with her and Obama next week in Washington, D.C.

Obama is also in a strong position because nearly half of his donors have given less than $200, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Contributions to the general election are capped at $2,300, so Obama is free to go back to his small donors and ask for more.

Chris Kofinis, a Democratic strategist who worked for John Edwards' 2008 presidential campaign, predicted that Obama could raise and spend $200 million in the "post-convention" period alone.

That kind of money would change the dynamics of the race. Obama can sink cash into historically Republican states, if he chooses, solely to force McCain to defend that territory.

Evan Tracey, head of the nonpartisan Campaign Media Analysis Group, said Obama's strategy against Clinton in the Pennsylvania primary foreshadowed what he might do to weaken McCain. Obama's forces did not expect to beat her, but they spent so much that Clinton was compelled to deplete her resources to preserve victory.

"He can complicate the McCain campaign's electoral math," said Tracey. "They can try to make any state in the country competitive."

Anthony Corrado, a political scientist at Colby College, said Obama will be able to avoid the kind of tough choices that other candidates have faced in the final days of the campaign when they were burdened by federal campaign spending limits.

In 2000, Al Gore took down his ads in Ohio to spend more against Bush in Florida. And John F. Kerry did not respond as quickly as he might have in August 2004 to television ads that questioned his image as war hero because he was husbanding resources for the final months of the campaign.

It is unclear whether Obama will pay any political price with voters. Although his image is that of a reformer, he is turning away from a system meant to curb the influence of private money in politics.

When he answered the campaign questionnaire in November, he was asked by the Midwest Democracy Network whether he would take part in the public financing system. Yes, he replied, adding that if he became the nominee he would "aggressively pursue an agreement" with his Republican counterpart to "preserve a publicly financed election."

An Obama campaign attorney, Robert Bauer, said Thursday that he met with a McCain lawyer earlier this month to discuss the matter but could not reach an agreement.

Obama took pains to explain his position, e-mailing a video message to supporters. Looking at the camera in jacket, tie and flag pin, Obama said the public financing system is "broken" anyway.

He suggested that the Republicans would exploit loopholes in the system by pouring money into outside entities that would subject him to "smears and attacks."

Obama said, "The public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system."

But some watchdog groups were not mollified.

Pointing to Obama's answers to the questionnaire, David Arkush, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch division, said: "You can slice up his comments, but it's pretty clear to everyone what he meant. No one thought he meant anything different. . . . It's very disappointing."

Times staff writer Dan Morain contributed to this report.Set Multi-Page View as Default

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lacy Thomas Update:

We will continue to show our love and support for Lacy Thomas…Cheech.

Anonymous, someone replies to you........

Anonymous said...
Everyone is entitled to due process including Mr. Thomas. How do you know that Mr. Thomas is guilty? Why were you forced to leave Las Vegas? Were you involved in any of these allegations? I don't know who you are but I feel your pain and disdain for Mr. Thomas however he is entitled to a fair trial and anyone who wants to support him certainly has the right to.

June 21, 2008 7:58

Friday, June 20, 2008

Anonymous on Lacy Thomas

For anyone to publish anything supporting or failing to condemn Lacy Thomas shows a complete lack of knowledge of the situation that occured at University Medical Center, Las Vegas. Simply put, Lacy Thomas is a criminal, he associates with criminals, he funneled money to himself and other criminals at the expense of the taxpayers of Clark County, Nevada and he belongs in prison for a long time. My spouse and I were forced to leave UMC and Las Vegas due in no small part to this criminals actions. May he rot for the full 70 years - or longer - more indictments are in the works.

June 20, 2008 2:39 PM

Double Duty Classic


Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 19, 2008, 7:59 am
In South Africa, Chinese is the New Black
A high court in South Africa ruled on Wednesday that Chinese-South Africans will be reclassified as “black,” a term that includes black Africans, Indians and others who were subject to discrimination under apartheid. As a result of this ruling, Chinese will be able to benefit from government affirmative action policies aimed at undoing the effects of apartheid.

In 2006, the Chinese Association of South Africa sued the government, claiming that its members were being discriminated against because they were being treated as whites and thus failed to qualify for business contracts and job promotions reserved for victims of apartheid. The association successfully argued that, since Chinese-South Africans had been treated unequally under apartheid, they should be reclassified in order to redress wrongs of the past.

Jacob Zuma, President of the African National Congress, with Hu Jintao in Beijing last week (Reuters)
This is not the first time the ethnic status of Chinese in South Africa has changed. In fact, the racial classification of Chinese-South Africans has often shifted with the nation’s political climate and its international relations.

The first significant group of Chinese came to South Africa in the early 20th century, before a formal system of apartheid existed, to work in the gold mines. They were not encouraged to settle permanently and by 1910 almost all the mine workers had been repatriated. Those who remained struggled with racism and lived in separate communities based on language, culture and socio-economic status.

As apartheid took hold with the ascendancy of the Afrikaner government in the late 1940s, the Chinese were classified as ‘colored,’ forced to live apart from whites, and were denied educational and business opportunities along with the right to vote. But after South Africa established an economic alliance with Taiwan in the 1970s, Taiwanese immigrants were welcomed as “honorary whites,” and other Chinese in South Africa began to be treated more like whites. Although they never attained the formal “honorary white” status of Taiwanese, Koreans and Japanese in South Africa and couldn’t vote, Chinese-South Africans were no longer required to use segregated facilities, and in the early 1980s they were exempted from some of the discriminatory laws that applied to other non-whites.

Since the apartheid ended in the early 1990s, the ethnic status of Chinese has remained in a gray area, though they’ve generally been lumped together with whites and denied the post-apartheid benefits available to other non-white ethnic groups.

Since 1994, South Africa has seen waves of immigrants and investment from China, and today there are as many as 300,000 Chinese living in the South Africa. But the new court decision is unlikely to benefit most of them or trigger another mass migration– it applies only to ethnic Chinese who were South African citizens before 1994 (and their descendants), a much smaller number of around 10,000 to 12,000.

-Sky Canaves

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Trinity United Church of Christ

Trinity Member(MIA)

What's up Mia? If this is true,it's something that both Wright and Moss have to address. I'm concerned about the source(Time.comCNN) and the recent events sourrouding Wright/Obama. Why are they now focused on Trinity? Cheech

Time.comCNN.comSearch Archive Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When Sen. Barack Obama severed ties with his Chicago church, most political observers saw the move as a way for the candidate to insulate himself from the controversies stirred by its retiring pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. But Trinity United Church of Christ does not have that kind of insulation. According to sources within Trinity, Wright, 66, who began the process of retirement two years ago, is resisting fully relinquishing his duties as senior pastor, hanging on to power in the church he helped build.

Wright was officially to have stepped down last Sunday, June 1. And from the pulpit at 7:30 a.m. that day, Wright's hand-picked successor, the Rev. Otis Moss III, preached what should have been his first sermon as senior pastor of Trinity, one of the Chicago's largest congregations and among the most influential religious institutions in America. Instead, on church bulletins on June 1, Moss was identified simply as "pastor" rather than "senior pastor," even as Wright assumed the title "pastor emeritus." Indeed, Trinity members familiar with the developments say that on May 27, Moss was summoned to the church's massive brown sanctuary for a meeting that included Wright, several church board members and other senior leaders. According to those sources, Moss, 37, expected the meeting to finalize transition plans. Instead, Wright suggested the board merely declare Moss "senior pastor-elect" because the younger cleric needed "supervision" — effectively ensuring Wright remains Trinity's preacher-in-chief. Wright's essential argument hinges on a technicality: Moss is an ordained Baptist minister who has yet to be fully ordained in the United Church of Christ, the predominantly white protestant denomination of which the roughly 8,500-member Trinity is the largest congregation.

As news of the situation traveled through the congregation, many Trinity members were baffled. "Two years ago, you felt God gave you the vision to bring Rev. Moss here," one Trinity member said this week, referring to Wright's explanation for hiring Moss. "Now," the same member added, "why are you second-guessing God's vision, and saying Rev. Moss isn't qualified, that somehow he needs to go through more hoops?"

According to Trinity members familiar with the situation, after the May 27 meeting, Moss was ordered to tell the first person he hired — his head of communications — that she could no longer serve in the paid pastoral staff position. At least one other Trinity staffer has also been relieved of her duties in recent days. One source familiar with the situation said of Wright and the dismissals, "He doesn't have to run it by the board."

Sunday June 1 lacked the fanfare that often marks the official start of a pastor's tenure. In fact, Wright didn't even show up, for reasons church officials have so far declined to explain. From the pulpit on Sunday, Moss didn't address the unseen drama, and later that evening he left for a vacation. "He has inherited this mess," one Moss supporter observes, "and his priority is to help a congregation heal and move forward. Hopefully Wright will let him do that." "The church is splitting," says one Trinity member. "It's sad, because this is a case of the older leader not being prepared to pass the mantle to the new leadership, and all that the new leadership represents."

Church officials have been evasive if not obstreperous in clarifying the precise timelines for the transition from Wright to Moss. Trinity's spokeswoman, Donna Hammond-Miller, responded to questions on the matter by e-mailing a reporter the church's already widely circulated response to the Obama family's departure. Pressed further on Sunday morning in between church services, Hammond-Miller said: "Those questions won't be answered at this time." When asked to help clarify points for the sake of accuracy, Hammond-Miller responded, "That's your problem, not mine." When queried by TIME again on Wednesday on the same issues, Hammond-Miller said, "They're not responding to those questions. That's the pastor's choice."

Officials at the United Church of Christ's national headquarters in Cleveland are aware of the leadership tension at Trinity. However, they say, individual U.C.C. churches are autonomous and the national body can do little to intervene. Barbara Powell, a U.C.C. headquarters spokeswoman, noted that "Trinity didn't follow the normal U.C.C. guidelines for the [pastoral] search" (Wright handpicked Moss, apparently without a formal search committee), but said it was hard to imagine that Moss wouldn't successfully complete the ordination process.

At several points in recent years, Wright has openly contemplated his retirement. But the rift between Wright and Moss was unexpected. In early 2006, Wright announced that Moss would be his successor. It was an interesting choice, considering Moss's pedigree: His parents were civil rights movement activists married by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his father is a prominent Cleveland minister. Educated at Morehouse and Yale, Moss had since 1997 led an Augusta, Ga., congregation, boosting its membership from 125 to some 2,100. In a January 2007 interview with Trumpet, a Trinity-affiliated magazine, Wright recalled introducing Moss to the congregation. "I had prayed to God to send someone to God's church. God answered my prayer in Otis," Wright told the publication. "Don't think," he added in the interview, "I would turn over 36 years to someone I didn't have complete confidence in."

In accepting the Trinity job, Moss apparently bypassed an opportunity to assume leadership at his father's church. Moss moved his wife and two children to Chicago, where he was to serve as an associate pastor at Trinity during the two-year transition. By most accounts, Moss quickly energized Trinity, particularly with his easy, unself-conscious references from the pulpit to both hip-hop culture and deep biblical scholarship. However, in an August 2007 Cleveland Plain Dealer article, Moss seemed to foreshadow his troubles in Trinity. The generation gap plaguing such institutions, Moss said, is "a gap of language, values. It's a gap in the best tactics on how to transform the black community. It's an intellectual gap in many ways. There has to be a dialogue between those generations [so] that you don't cast aside one generation or the other, or one generation doesn't demonize the other."

The church became an issue in the presidential campaign after Wright's videotaped comments on 9/11 and bitter aspects of the black experience in America were propagated widely over the Internet. In response, Obama delivered his widely praised March 18 speech on race, in which the candidate repeatedly referred to Wright as his "former pastor." Then came Wright's fiery April 28 speech and haughty question-and-answer session at the National Press Club, in Washington. The next day, Obama denounced his "former pastor" outright. Attempting to quell the anxiety at Trinity, Moss wrote a "Declaration of Interdependence," which began: "We pray for our pastor. We pray for our member, who is a public servant.... We, the community of Trinity, are concerned, hurt, shocked, dismayed, frustrated, fearful and heartbroken." Now, without Obama in the church, Moss must deal with the formidable figure of Jeremiah Wright alone.

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