Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member

Cooley Hurd

Cooley Hurd's Journal
Cooley Hurd's Journal
May 28, 2016

Cassandra Butts, Former Deputy White House Counsel, Dies

Source: ABC News

Cassandra Butts, former deputy White House counsel and a classmate and friend of President Barack Obama, has died, her family and Obama said. She was 50.

Butts' family said in a statement that her sister found Butts dead Thursday in her Washington home. The statement said Butts had suffered from a brief illness.

Butts served as deputy counsel during Obama's first year in office. She left the next year to serve as a senior adviser to the Millennium Challenge Corp.

Obama nominated Butts in 2014 to be the U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas. Hers was one of several nominations that the Senate has failed to act on.

The president said in a statement


Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/cassandra-butts-deputy-white-house-counsel-dies-39443469

Cross gently, Ms Butts.

More about Cassandra:


Cassandra Quin Butts (August 10, 1965 – May 26, 2016) was a United States lawyer, policy expert and former Deputy White House counsel. On December 23, 2008, Butts was selected by President-elect Obama to serve as Deputy White House Counsel, focusing on domestic policy and ethics. She was also on the advisory board for then-president-elect Barack Obama's presidential transition team. She stepped down as Deputy White Counsel in November 2009 and served as Senior Advisor in the Office of the Chief Executive Officer at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. In February 2014, Obama nominated her to be the ambassador to the Bahamas, but as of February 1, 2015 the Senate has yet to confirm her to the post. She was re-nominated to the position on Thursday, February 5, 2015.
May 22, 2016

Retired SU and NBA player Etan Thomas denied seat on train due to racism



The former NBA player, who spent much of his career with the Washington Wizards, shared a story about a woman who told Thomas the seat next to her on a full train was occupied before accepting another man's request for the seat just a few moments later.

After he took a photo of her to share on Facebook with the story, she threatened to tell the conductor—who, as it turns out, was a fan of Thomas.

Here is the full transcription of his Facebook post:

Ok so I'm getting on the train and there are no open seats and I ask this lady if I could sit next to her (very politely and I soften my voice as to not frighten her) and she says someone is sitting here. So I go to the next seat. Now, less than 2 mins later a man (who happens to be white) asks if he can sit there and she says why sure let me move my stuff. So I have to say something so I ask ummmmm did you just not want ME to sit next to you ? Were you scared ? Not comfortable with a Black Man sitting next to you ? And she says lol smh don't pull the race card stuff with me I dated a Black guy in college. So the guy (who was a nice guy) said listen I'll get up and I said no need I'mma just take this pic and make a Facebook post about it. So then she says did you just take a pic of me ? Well I'm going to tell the conductor that you're over here illegally taking pics of ppl without their consent. So the conductor came up and said hey Etan Thomas love what you're doing in the community loved you with the Wizards big Cuse fan man the Knicks sure could use you .... And I said was there something you wanted to tell my man ? And she rolled her eyes smh some ppl I tell ya

If you're not familiar with Etan, he's a very dynamic guy:


Political activism and social causes
In September 2005, Thomas was one of several celebrities to speak at an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C. He also spoke out at the September 15, 2007 anti-war protest in Washington D.C. He regularly posts blogs for The Huffington Post.

Thomas actively supported Barack Obama's 2008 campaign for U.S. president. On August 16, 2008, he appeared with Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean at stops in northern Virginia as part of the Democratic National Committee's "Register for Change" bus tour to encourage local voter registration drives. Thomas gave speeches at two stops in Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria.

Described by NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar as “The Poetic voice of his generation” and by hip hop artist Chuck D of Public Enemy as “A Portal of our future” Etan Thomas has made his mark far beyond the boundaries of a basketball court. Never afraid to voice his opinions he has been an outspoken pillar in the community. Recipient of the 2010 National Basketball Players Association Community Contribution Award as well as the 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation Inc Legacy Award. His body of work includes serving as a Surrogate for Barack Obama ’08 Presidential Campaign; A guest speaker with DNC Chair Gov. Howard Dean during the “Register For Change” 50 State Bus Tour Campaign.

In 2005 Thomas released a collection of poems called More Than An Athlete; In January 2013 he released Voices Of The Future a collection of poems and essays from young writers from around the country on topics such as Racism, Trayvon Martin, President Obama, Gun Violence, Aids etc. On May 2012 he released his 2nd book called Fatherhood (Rising To The Ultimate Challenge) and started a Fatherhood Movement in which he goes from city to city holding panels and town hall meetings to discuss Fatherhood. In each city he recruits different celebrities to join him in inspiring an entire generation. He takes his message to prisons, Universities, churches, high schools, middle schools and various conventions including The NAACP convention and The Congressional Black Caucus. His writings have appeared in CNN, ESPN, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Hoopshype.com and slamonline, as well as his personal website and Twitter account.
May 16, 2016

'Worst' charity for veterans run by VA employee



Charity president works at VA
The CEO and founder of the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation, himself a veteran, is J. Thomas Burch, who is also a federal employee working as an attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Burch is deputy director in the VA's Office of General Counsel, where he pulled down $127,000 in salary in 2014. That's the same year he drew a salary of $65,000 as head of his "zero-star" charity.

A VA spokesman told CNN Burch's position at the veteran's charity is not a conflict of interest "per se". But the spokesman added the VA is now "reviewing" the situation and that the agency's Office of Inspector General is handling that review.
When contacted by CNN, Burch asked that we not contact him at his job at the Department of Veterans Affairs, but he refused to answer phone calls placed to his home. CNN tried to confront Burch as he drove home from work in a black Rolls Royce, but upon seeing a CNN camera crew, Burch gunned the Rolls Royce down his suburban Washington, D.C. street and disappeared.


May 15, 2016

Tony Barrow, PR man for The Beatles, dead at 80


Tony Barrow - the man who coined the phrase “The Fab Four” for The Beatles - has died aged 80.

Mr Barrow had worked for the Beatles in the 1960s as a press officer having previously been a freelance record reviewer fo the Liverpool ECHO.

Today Beatles and Merseybeat expert Spencer Leigh tweeted “Just heard that TONY BARROW the Beatles press officer, the man who named them the Fab Four died last night. He was 80 last Wednesday.”


Cross gently, Tony...
May 13, 2016

Hi Skinner. Isn't there a "whitelist" of acceptable news sources?

The reason I ask is because I'm trying to figure out why this was locked:


The content is four paragraphs, and it reads like (and, by all metrics, IS) a news story. The subject line mirrors the linked article. I have no idea why it was locked (without a hosts' locking message), other than CommonDreams isn't considered a news source anymore? IIRC, it was, back when I was an LBN mod in early 2004.

I'm confused.

Hope all is well,

May 6, 2016

79 years ago today...


The Hindenburg disaster occurred on May 6, 1937, as the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. Of the 97 people on board (36 passengers and 61 crewmen), there were 35 fatalities (13 passengers and 22 crewmen). One worker on the ground was also killed, making a total of 36 fatalities.

The disaster was the subject of spectacular newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison's recorded radio eyewitness reports from the landing field, which were broadcast the next day. A variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The incident shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the abrupt end of the airship era.

May 5, 2016

Bernie Sanders, don't drop out By Paul Begala



Dear Bernie:

Don't drop out of the race; redefine it.

As you know, I am a friend of Hillary Clinton's. I also advise a super PAC that helped re-elect President Obama and now supports Hillary. But I also have known, liked, respected and admired you for many years, and you know that, too.
We shared the stage at the 2011 Tom Harkin Steak Fry in Iowa, and I cheered as you lit the crowd on fire that soggy afternoon. You seemed to like my barbs aimed at the GOP, too.
I recall two decades ago, when you and Hillary were both fighting for universal health coverage -- back when it was called Hillarycare -- you hosted the first lady on a trip to Vermont and I tagged along. I still remember how gracious you were -- and how good the ice cream was.

Despite my devotion to Hillary I do not think you ought to withdraw from the race, and it is wrongheaded for anyone on my side of the Democratic contest to presume to tell you to. To quit or not to quit; that is not the question. The question is: Will you use your campaign to show Donald Trump how to attack Hillary -- or to show Hillary how to attack Donald Trump?


Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 26,877

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Cooley Hurd's Journal