Thursday's intriguing people
Allen West is the first Republican to join the liberal Congressional Black Caucus since 1997.
January 6th, 2011
11:18 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Allen West

The freshman congressman and Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran from Florida became the first Republican to join the liberal Congressional Black Caucus since 1997. Fellow Republican Tim Scott declined to join.

"We need to bring those variant perspectives and voices to that body politic," he told NPR when asked about joining the caucus and African-American representation in politics. "You know, no one is really talking about an amazing story of this congressional cycle that you have 42 African-Americans who ran on the Republican ticket."

West pointed out that the last time there was an African-American Republican member of Congress from Florida was during Reconstruction.

"Somehow we've got to understand that historical tie, that historical bond, resurrect those principles," he said. "And, you know, everyone keeps beating up the Republican Party about not going to the black community. Well, that's why I'm there in the Congressional Black Caucus."

Marina Rozumovskaya

The 45-year-old high school teacher is one of the citizen symbols of a movement in Moscow to preserve freedoms that some fear are being slowly taken away.

Rozumovskaya is one Moscow resident who fears that her country is headed back to a totalitarian state. So she stood across the street from City Hall, in 10-degree weather, and exercised her right to free speech - but it was a difficult task. She withstood the cold temperatures and the "cold stares" of officers waiting to arrest her. She also had to make sure no other protesters came close, or she'd be arrested for not abiding by a law allowing only one person to picket without obtaining a permit.

"We live in a country of signals," Rozumovskaya told the Washington Post. "It's becoming clear we are on the way back to the 1940s and a totalitarian state. How can one sit and watch quietly as it happens?"

ThePost described the scene as people took turns holding the signs and one instance in which someone tried to join Rozumovskaya, and she quickly rolled up her sign and waited until they left to bring it out again.

"I am not a politician, just a teacher," she said. "I want my pupils to live in a civilized country. I don't want them turning into people without honor and conscience."

Greg Hill

Although many Groupon users flock to the site for big deals, Hill, who is an avid user, became the first to find a different use for it: proposing to his girlfriend.

A picture of the couple was at the top of the "coupon," titled "A Surprise for a Dana from a Greg." At the bottom, under The Fine Print, was: “Expires Jan. 5, 2011. Nontransferable. Groupon entitled to no less than 15% of your marital bliss."

Hill told the New York Times that he and his girlfriend, Dana Burck, were browsing the site when she noticed the deal and clicked on it. Confused, she turned to Hill, who was by that time down on one knee. She said yes and then clicked "buy" to seal the deal.

“I couldn’t get a better deal anywhere, never, never ever,” she told the Times.

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Chris

    It's amazing that once a man has done enough to get elected to congress, if the news media does not like what they stand for, they will misquote, or find old quotes, to discredit him. Of course, if the other side does it to someone the media likes, no one ever hears of it other then it being a racial or other prejudicial slur.

    January 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Todd

    Sorry Chris. That isn't the media, that's just CNN not fact checking. They have problems with that these days.

    Still, this uncle tom is no different from the last one (Steele). Though to Steele's credit, he did join the republicans, then spent their money without doing much. He may have been able to blab how diverse the repubs became, but not too many people believe him, anyway.

    I suspect his free ride is over. Hope he enjoyed the trip.

    January 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mhouston

    It's good to see another black man elected. And it's good to see another congressman with substantial military
    experience. It's disturbing, though, to see that he's dumb enough to join the party that put us in this economic
    meltdown. Here's a guy who'll make recovery a lot more difficult...I wonder what in the world he has in common
    with the likes of whacko's like Rand Paul and Michelle Bachman...Stupidity I guess.

    January 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Beth

    The proposal story at the bottom is adorable! If you click the link it leads you to the actual "coupon" he made to profess his love, which is beautifully written.

    January 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. martin

    Allen West was by far the best Batman

    January 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    Allen West was excellent as batman. Maybe one reason was because he had a strong demeaner, yet a calming face, voice, personality-perfect for Batman.

    January 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Patty

    Mr. West is a joke and will be gone with the election.


    January 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. leaning lefty

    how the heck does an idiot like Allen West get nominated? I hope he and his white jockey statue holding a garden gnome on his driveway end up in Boeners tanning bed!

    January 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nate griffin

    you Mr Allen know nothing re:black caucus!!

    January 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
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