April 9th, 2010
08:03 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Newt Gingrich

The former House speaker told those attending the Southern Republican Leadership Conference on Thursday night in New Orleans, Louisiana, that President Obama is radical, left-wing and socialist, among other adjectives.

Although he has not declared his attention to run in 2012, Gingrich, whose entrance to the GOP meeting was accompanied by the song "Eye of the Tiger," went on the attack soon after a standing ovation.

"The most radical president in American history has now thrown down the gauntlet to the American people: 'I run a machine. I own Washington, and there's nothing you can do about it,' " Gingrich said.

And during a question and answer session afterward, he said, "What we need is a president, not an athlete. Shooting three-point shots may be clever, but it doesn't put anybody to work."

CNN video: Gingrich takes jabs at president

Tanya Bachand

The Connecticut Tea Party Patriots still want to raise a symbol of political defiance, the Gadsden flag - that bright yellow "Don't Tread on Me" banner - over the state Capitol in Hartford on Friday, even though State Capitol Police say they won't permit it.

The Hartford Courant reports that Tea Party activists had received permission to fly the flag through April 15, but the OK was rescinded when it was announced the Tea Party group had planned to hold a news conference featuring political candidates after the flag-raising.

Bachand, a Tea Party Patriots coordinator, told the newspaper that her group isn't allied with Democrats or Republicans. "It's a nice encapsulation of the American spirit," Bachand said. "We are a strong-willed, independent people and given the chance, we can flourish." She said her group may simply bring its own flagpole to the Capitol.

"Since when did liberty become a controversial topic?" Bachand asked.

Hartford Courant: Tea Party's Capitol ceremony grounded

Adam Clayton Powell IV

The New York state assemblyman is scheduled to announce formally Monday that he will run against U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel of New York in the Democratic primary, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Powell, 47, is the son of the congressman whom Rangel defeated four decades ago for the same seat. Adam Powell Sr. was a Baptist minister who died in 1953. His son, Adam Powell Jr., was a civil rights leader who became the first African-American elected to Congress from New York. He was first elected in 1944.

Accused of allegedly misusing congressional funds, he was defeated by Rangel in the 1970 Democratic primary, an election that brought Powell's political career to a halt. Today, Rangel, 79, faces his own ethics questions. In March, he stepped down temporarily from his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee.

"The fact is, it is time to turn the page," Adam Powell IV said.

The Wall Street Journal: Rangel challenged by a historic foe

Martha Burk

The 68-year-old activist still says women should be allowed to become members at Augusta National Golf Club, where Tiger Woods is now pursuing his fifth Masters title. No woman has been invited to join the Georgia club since 1934.

In 2003, Burk, president of the National Council of Women's Organizations, organized protests against Augusta National, and the Toronto Sun reports she received death threats, wore a bulletproof vest and got FBI protection. She said the threats continue to this day, and so does the discrimination at the club.

"The most powerful men in the United States are [at the club], doing business, finalizing contracts," she told the Sun. "Women are completely excluded from these transactions."

But rather than focusing on Augusta, the newspaper reports that Burk files discrimination lawsuits against the Wall Street companies whose presidents are members there. Through a project called Women on Wall Street, the paper reports she has won some $80 million in court.

Toronto Sun: Crusade for women at Augusta continues

Neil Gaiman

April 11-17 is National Library Week, which celebrates the contributions of the nation's libraries and librarians. Best-selling fantasy and science-fiction writer Gaiman is the 2010 honorary chairman of the week.

His 2001 novel, "American Gods," won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, SFX and Locus awards, among others. "The Graveyard Book" won a Newberry Medal in 2009. He co-wrote wrote the script for the 2007 film "Beowulf," which was directed by Robert Zemeckis and starred Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie. He created and wrote the DC Comics "Sandman" series. His best-selling children's novel "Coraline," published in 2002, was made into a stop-motion animated movie last year.

Gaiman was born and raised in England, and now lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to his Web biography, "He has somehow reached his forties and still tends to need a haircut."

American Library Association: Neil Gaiman named honorary chair of National Library Week

Gaiman's Web site

soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Craig from Texas, California, Arizona, Georgia, Bosnia, Kuwait, Italy, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan (tax returns to back me up)

    Is this post serious? Most all who posted here call names with demeaning qualities. Is it to difficult to address the thought that is brought forth? He gives specific instances for his reasons of allegations. And no one here debates his allegations! It's amazing beyond comprehension. Instead of saying "No, Pres. Obama is not!", show strength in your string of words. Explain to us why he is not and back it up with two pieces of facts. Lord, what has happened to backing your statement up, what has happened to real debate, and what has happened to CNN, the countries listening skills will be the demise of us all.

    April 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DadFatT

    One may conceptualize fools in two camps: those of the natural fool type and those of the licensed fool type. Whereas the natural fool was seen as innately nit-witted, moronic, or mad, the licensed fool was given leeway by permission of the court. In other words, both were excused, to some extent, for their behavior, the first because he "couldn't help it," and the second by decree.

    May 10, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
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