Covering

Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.



Friday, May 15, 2015

Microsoft's 'How Old' app does the president good

Microsoft's new app, How Old Do I Look? tries its best to guess the age of people based off photos submitted to the How-Old.net web site.

The user clicks on 'use your own photo' (catchy language there) link to select a photo, then the app uses a number algorithm to guess the person's age and pins it to their forehead. 
Microsoft's How Old Do I Look? app makes the president younger than he is.  Photo/CD Brown.

We used 'our own photo' (we snapped it) to see how old the app says President Obama is.  

Not bad.

According to the app President Obama, who turns 54 in August, looks 37.  

By those standards, anyone who says the president has aged considerably during his presidency doesn't know jack.  Not even the president who, himself, makes jokes about his own graying hair.

To be fair, however, the app does make the following claim, suggesting their age-revealing technology might be a bit flawed.

The words, "Sorry if we didn't quite get the age and gender right - we are still improving this feature", are displayed beneath the photo.

Speaking of revealing, click here to see the president's (and vice president's) 2015 financial disclosure forms.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bob Dole, Eric Holder, Laura Murphy honored at civil rights dinner

Former Kansas senator Bob Dole was honored at the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award (civilrights.org) dinner Wednesday night.

Senator Bob Dole, awarded for his role in civil and human rights.  Photo CD Brown.
Dole is also known for championing the rights of the disadvantaged and the disabled.  He spent thirty-five years in Congress beginning in 1960 and was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1971 to 1972. Dole, 92, holds the record as the nation's longest serving Republican leader.  He is also known for his role and accomplishments in health care, foreign affairs and deficit reduction.

Also honored was former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder was the 82nd, and first African American attorney general serving under the first African American U.S. president Barack Obama, since 2009.  Holder came under fire for his stance on Benghazi, the Ferguson investigation and as of late, the so-called war on police.

Eric Holder and Laura Murphy (in red) pose for pictures after the
Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights awards dinner.  Photo/CD Brown.

In his acceptance speech Holder pointed out what he sees as his successes, saying to the audience that more had been done during his tenure as attorney general than at any other time in history.  He is known for taking on the issues. Among them, the voting rights act, stop and frisk policies, and harsh and unequal drug sentencing practices.

"If that isn't justice, then you show me what is", he said.

Still oponents, like Republican senator Ted Cruz, refer to Holder as "the most partisan attorney general in our history, repeatedly defying and refusing to enforce the law."

Holder resigned earlier this year and is succeeded by Attorney General Loretta Lynch who recently launched a police probe into the death of unarmed Baltimore resident Freddie Gray.

Dole and Holder shared the spotlight with iconic civil and human rights advocate Laura Murphy. Murphy is president of Laura Murphy & Associates, a D.C. political and management consulting firm and previously served as director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.

Her family started Baltimore's Afro newspaper.

Friday, May 8, 2015

"An equal shot", 'if' you're willing to work for it

President Obama, in an effort to extend his initiative to assist young men of color with opportunities, announces his My Brother's Keeper Alliance.  The Alliance is a new nonprofit organization of private sector organizations and companies that have committed themselves to  opening doors for young people.

Using his familiar 'no matter who, where, what, how' mantra, the president reiterated to a group of your men of color that, "if you work hard, if you take responsibility, America is the place where you can make something of your lives", said the president.

Adding, "We do strive to guarantee an equal shot for everybody who's willing to work for it."



The Alliance announcement comes on the heels of recent riots in Baltimore after a young, unarmed Freddie Gray, 25, died at the hands of cops who shackled him like an animal and put him in a police van, unrestrained. Gray sustained a spinal injury, paralyzing him from the neck down.  He later died after a week-long hospital stay.  It remains unclear how Gray became paralyzed after being arrested for no probable cause.

Six (6) police officers were used to arrest, Freddie Gray, who appears to not have weighed more than 170 pounds, without confrontation.   The six officers have been indicted on charges of misconduct, false imprisonment and other charges.  The decision was announced May 1 by State Attorney Marilyn Mosby.  Since her announcement, newly confirmed Attorney General Loretta Lynch called for an independent investigation from the Department of Justice into the practices of the Baltimore police department.

See also: Justice Department Opens Pattern or Practice Investigation into the Baltimore Police Department

Baltimore is one of America's high-poverty areas where young people lack opportunities.

Said the president on making lives better for all children, "We won't get there when we have impoverished communities that have been stripped away of opportunity, and where, in the richest nation on earth, children are born into abject poverty."

Abject poverty is still no excuse for brutality, and murder, by America's law enforcement.  The Gray police murder follows a long line of police induced (and involved) murders of young African American men - across the country, to include Ferguson and New York.

See also
Atlanta, GA police under investigation for death of Matthew Ajibades