Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Campaign Obituary: John Edwards

Despite weeks of assertions that he would continue to campaign up to the convention, John Edwards unexpectedly dropped out of the race today. Making an announcement from the same place he began his campaign more than a year ago, Edwards appeared in New Orleans to confirm that he was abandoning his second presidential bid.

Overshadowed since the outset by two so-called celebrity candidates, Edwards struggled to keep up with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton financially, falling behind in a media war that painted a two-person race. Putting most of his chips in Iowa's kickoff caucuses, he narrowly edged Clinton for second, but the final blow was probably dealt by his distant third place finish on Saturday in his home state of South Carolina. The campaign had acknowledged that their path to the nomination had become extremely difficult, but argued they intended to win as many delegates as they could to gain influence at the convention. Edwards was the driving force of the policy debate for Democrats, coming out with detailed plans on health care, education, and poverty relief. "It's time for me to step aside," Edwards told the crowd of supporters, "so that history can blaze its path."

So what impact will the decision have on the race going forward? Let's start with what we know. A brokered convention, always a long shot, is now almost certainly out of the question. Such a scenario always relied on Edwards capturing enough delegates to prevent either Obama or Clinton from securing the nomination outright. Now, with the field shrinking to two candidates, the path to the nomination should be much clearer after February 5.

An endorsement didn't come today, but one wasn't ruled out for the future. Edwards noted that he had spoken to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both having pledged to make the fight to end poverty a central part of their campaigns. Despite a meeting with Clinton last week that set off rumors of a potential deal, it seems unlikely that Edwards would back the former first lady. Advisor David "Mudcat" Saunders said today, "I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure he does not endorse Hillary Clinton." Saunders doesn't speak for the candidate, but Edwards has criticized Clinton since the campaign began on Iraq, NAFTA, and representing the status quo.

The question regarding an endorsement seems to be whether he will give it to Obama or simply remain on the sidelines. Our sense, pure speculation, is that Edwards is not a man to remain neutral--expect an Obama endorsement and soon.

The far more difficult question to answer is where his supporters will go. Edwards' support seems to be made up of two separate groups, which could split between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In 2004, he campaigned as a Southern centrist who could win in November, attracting much of his support from white blue-collar voters, some of whom stayed with him this cycle. Since the 2004 campaign ended, however, Edwards has moved considerably to the left, attracting a great deal of liberal support and becoming a favorite of the lefty blogosphere.

These voters, 10-15% of the Democratic electorate according to recent national polls, now have a decision to make. Clinton has been more successful in courting blue-collar support, having equaled Edwards in union backing. Of course, Edwards' departure may also allow the anti-Clinton vote to align fully behind Obama. Edwards strongest support has come from white men and they could become the key swing group going forward. Some believe the racial overtones of the campaign will drive these voters to Clinton in the South, while others suggest they've already passed on Clinton and will turn to the next best alternative. In the end, Obama should stand to benefit the most, but perhaps not by as wide a margin as some would suspect.

One thing is clear--Edwards' withdrawal creates a head-to-head battle that will first present itself at a debate in California tomorrow night. With voters across the country now without a candidate, the stakes could not be higher.

Cross-posted at Political Realm.

Monday, January 28, 2008

New Magazine on Poverty and Inequality

Hat tip to the Education and Class blog for this information.

Stanford University's Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality is publishing a new magazine devoted to socio-economic issues. Pathways Magazine: A Magazine on Poverty, Inequality, and Social Policy was just published and there you will find articles by John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hilary Clinton on how they would alleviate poverty. Rebecca Blank writes an article comparing and critiquing the candidates’ platforms.

Particularly telling is this quote from Rebecca Blank's article:
How do the candidates stack up on their antipoverty proposals? If you’re a Republican, there’s really only one candidate who expresses consistent concern with these issues. That’s John McCain. For the other Republicans, poor Americans appear to be out of sight, out of mind, and off the agenda.

The magazine is available for free can be downloaded in PDF Format for no charge.

The Racialicious blog breaks down the candidate comparisons point by point.

A Discussion With Dr. Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West talked about American society, race, politics and class, at a recent event hosted by the New York Times. He was interviewed by columnist Frank Rich.

This event took place earlier this month, and was part of the New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend, held at The Times Center. The program runs for approximately 1 hour.

Watch Streaming Video

Watch Here (video is in two parts, and will automatically switch over from beginning segment to the main video. Allow video to load).

I'm not too happy with Dr. West's recent efforts to fraternize with organizations like BET and the rest of the Black elite. These are organizations that have not been working in the best interests of Black Americans....not even in the interests of helping the image of Black Americans. This is interesting considering the fact that Dr. West is known for his criticism of the likes of BET.

He has gone down several notches on my list of the few major Black figures and scholars who I respect. But (as of right now) he is still someone who I enjoy listening to. He is one of the few major Black figures who is offering a positive, thoughtful message about the issues that the Country faces, and especially the issues facing Black Americans.

Temporarily Out Of Commission

Under the Weather

I have come down with something terrible.

I think this might be the Plague. Whatever it is... it is merciless.
Can't even go to the ER... that would cost me $250.00. I live in the world of Bull---- healthcare coverage.

Anyway... I will be blogging light (and maybe not at all) for the rest of the week.

New African-American E-Zine Online

Hat tip: Jack and Jill Politics

There is a new E-Zine, edited by Dr. Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, called The Root.

The focus will be from an African-American perspective.

Some of today's stories are a point/counterpoint between Dr. Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. There is also a nice story about Michelle Obama called ' The Real Prize'. Another one is the 'Black/Brown Divide' that has been brought up as of late, and a story on Black Immigrants.

This is only a small portion of the stories there. Take a look.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Senator Ted Kennedy to Endorse Obama

Hat tip: heard this while watching CNN a few minutes ago.

This is from the

'Liberal Lion' Ted Kennedy To Back Obama
The Page Mark Halperin January 27, 2008 10:26 AM

Powerhouse Sen. Ted Kennedy is set to endorse Barack Obama for president.

The scoop was first reported by Time's Mark Halperin and confirmed by CNN. Suzanne Malveaux reported:

"This is really big and very big for Barack Obama. Senator Ted a giant in the party. A Clinton campaign source told me the Clinton campaign is in fact expecting it. Already a senior aide from the Clinton campaign reacting on the record to the news that they expect. 'They have been friends,' Senator Clinton and Kennedy, 'for a long time and Senator Clinton has a lot of respect for Senator Kennedy.' ... This is really kind of extraordinary when you think about the relationship between the Clintons and the Kennedys, the kind of personal relationship that the two have. Obviously this is a very big win for Barack Obama."
Kennedy is one of two potential superstar Dem endorsements -- the other being Al Gore. Read Halperin's report here. Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK, endorsed Obama in a Sunday New York Times op-ed titled "A President Like My Father."

Ben Smith reported earlier this week that the Clintons were concerned about Kennedy's endorsement and were making a full-court press:

I do know, however, that Hillaryland is worried: Two sources say she's directed a flood of calls the senator's way, with everyone from union leaders to his Massachusetts constituents scrambling to stop what Clinton's camp is worried could be an endorsement of Obama.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Caroline Kennedy Endorses Barack Obama

From tommorrow's NYTimes:

A President Like My Father
Published: January 27, 2008

OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.

Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.

Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process.

I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.

Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.

I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

Obama wins South Carolina

Barack Obama wins South Carolina.

With 96% of the precincts:

Obama - 55% 281,413
Clinton -27% 134,781
Edwards- 18% 90, 500

In 2004, the ENTIRE Democratic turnout in the primaries was 290,000.

Look at Obama's total.

The breakdown of the numbers.

Obama Clinton Edwards
Black Males 82 15 3
Black Females 79 19 2
White Males 27 29 43
White Females 22 44 34

Blacks 80 18 2
Whites 24 38 38

18-24 66 25 9
25-29 70 21 10
30-39 62 23 15
40-49 61 25 14
50-64 51 26 22
65 and over 32 40 27

Rest of exit poll is HERE

Shallow point - I like Michelle's Suit. ..LOL

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Story About The Racial Divide

I heard the following story on the Sunday before the MLK Holiday. The irony was hard to miss.

The story, told by performer Elna Baker, was from the program This American Life, and was the last act (Act 3) of a series with the general theme of "Matchmaking".

One part of me wants to see a more colorblind society, but another part of me (my realism) knows that it's probably not possible. Just look at the situation with Barack Obama for instance, and the issue of the "Bradley Effect" and being successfully characterized by the Clintons as the "Black Candidate", as opposed to the Candidate who happens to be Black. It shows that even when someone is focused on keeping race out of the discussion as an issue or a problem (as Obama had "hoped" to do), it still ends up being an issue.

Listen to the whole 16 minute segment

Summary from the website:

Act Three. Babies Buying Babies.

Elna Baker reads her story about the time she worked at the giant toy store, FAO Schwartz. Her job was to sell these lifelike “newborns” which were displayed in a “nursery” inside the store. When the toys become the hot new present, they begin to fly off the shelves. When the white babies sell out, white parents are faced with a choice: will they go for an Asian, Latino, or African-American baby instead? What happens is so disturbing that Elna has a hard time even telling it. (16 minutes)

Listen To Program (To get to Act 3, allow the audio stream to load and fast forward to the 41 minute mark)

Politics, Corporate Media, and the Economy

Click Image To Enlarge

Kucinich Drops Out of the Race, But....

Kucinich has announced that he is dropping out of the Race for the Democratic nomination for President. Although he was never a serious candidate, actually winning the White House was probably not his true goal. His goal was to try to keep the other candidates honest...or at least to the extent that he could. And in that mission, he did well. Once he saw how the media and certain candidates used the courts to block his participation, he may have felt that his mission was probably done.... at least in terms of being a candidate. Hopefully he will continue to highlight the lies of candidates in both Parties.

How would Kucinich have done in that Nevada debate? What would he have said? Since Kucinich was blocked from the debate, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now gave him an opportunity to take part in the debate anyway, and allowed him to say what he might have said if he had the chance.

Listen Here

Hillary Clinton and Those 35 Years of "Experience"

I ran across a great NPR segment yesterday that finally put Billary's experience into context.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Media's Three-Fifth's Compromise

This will be cross-posted over at, and I would like to thank for the invitation to post there.

I was wondering about what subject to write about, and I got my inspiration from reading some of the so-called Progressive blogs.

What upset me was the dismissiveness towards the South Carolina Primary.

A prevailing attitude comprised of, if Barack Obama wins South Carolina:
1. He only won because he's Black
2. It doesn't REALLY count as a win because of the sizeable Black population in South Carolina.

I'd like to concentrate on those two points.

1. He only won because he's Black

This is condescending to the nth degree. For this to be the case, then that would mean that Obama would have been leading in South Carolina from the moment he announced in February 2007. And, the truth of the matter is, the race in South Carolina, according to the polls, only has had Obama in the lead beginning THIS MONTH- January 2008.

In November 2007, Hillary Clinton had a ten-point advantage; December 2007, Clinton and Obama were tied. So, from February 2007 until December 2007, Barack Obama was trailing Hillary Clinton in South Carolina. So, what happened in December 2007? Did everyone Black in South Carolina JUST discover that Obama was Black and said , ' I'ze gots to vote for the Black guy!'

Or, could it be, as with Iowa, and New Hampshire, and Nevada, Senator Obama began from Ground Zero - little national name recognition and no organization. And, as with those other states, he began to build an organization in South Carolina, from the ground up, and through visiting and through campaign events, he began to become better known and present himself as a viable candidate for President.

You mean, Obama, gasp, actually campaigned for the Black vote in South Carolina?

Indeed, he did.

He said, from the beginning, that he would campaign for Black votes as he would any other group. And, he has done that.

What has he been up against?

Well, a Black Establishment in South Carolina full of Uncle Ruckus'. Uncle Ruckus, for those who don't know, is the self-hating,loathesome Sambo on The Boondocks. He's the type of Negro to which Harriet Tubman was referring when she said: " I freed thousands, and would have freed thousands more - if they only knew they were slaves."
Prime example of this is State Senator Robert Ford, who, back in February 2007, said the following about Obama's run for the Presidency:

Ford says he likes Obama, but thinks his candidacy would hurt Democrats. Ford says every Democrat on the ticket would lose with Obama as the presidential candidate because he is black.

"Then everybody else on the ballot is doomed. Every Democratic candidate running on that ticket would lose because he's black and he's at the top of the ticket. We'd lose the House, the Senate and the governors and everything. I'm a gambling man. I love Obama. But I'm not going to kill myself."

Lawd, Lawd, Lawd....The Black Man will DOOM US!


He still hadn't changed his mind after Iowa, in case you're wondering.

Obama was facing a very skeptical Black electorate, who just didn't believe that a Black man could actually be elected President. After all, this is America, and a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll asked if the country is ready for a Black president, 72 percent of Whites answered yes; only 61 percent of Blacks answered yes.

So, Obama faced a skeptical electorate; he was an unknown quantity, running against the most formidable Democratic Machine in a quarter century. All they knew about him was that he was a Senator from Illinois. And, what they did hear of him - Kenyan father, White mother, grew up outside of mainland USA - none of that translates well South of the Mason Dixon. Obama had work to do, and he did it. He did the grassroots organizing that helped him in the other first four states; he did the grunt work that a candidate starting with nothing does, and it helped him build himself in South Carolina. In this endeavor, Michelle Obama was Senator Obama's best campaign weapon, and she did a great job for him.

The tide began to turn Obama's way in South Carolina with the Oprah/Obama tour. Blacks were still hesitant. They were still on the fence. They were still skeptical that this was remotely possible. The coverage of the Iowa leg of the Oprah/Obama tour was very important. For Blacks to be able to SEE the response to Obama in that context. He could make 1,000 campaign commercials, and it wouldn't have matched that Iowa leg of the tour. When they arrived in South Carolina, to a stadium with a healthy percentage African-American audience, wondering, ' Could it be?' That was the question. While the demographics of Oprah's audience skew White, Oprah Winfrey is RESPECTED by Black women. Respected for all that she went through and still found a way, out of no way, as a visibly Black woman with Black features, to be quantified as an unmitigated American Success Story. And, along the way, Oprah never forgot that ' To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected', as her philanthropic efforts show.

Oprah basically told that audience that NOW is the time, and that this was the moment to believe. That don't listen to those who would tell you that Obama had to ' wait his turn'. That they KNEW what that meant; that, never in the history of THIS country, had ' Black' and ' the right time', ever been used together in a sentence.

Black South Carolina decided to believe; decided to ' go for it' on the night of January 3rd - when, in the middle of 90+% White Iowa, Barack Obama was declared the winner of the Iowa Caucus.

Some have derided Black South Carolinians for waiting for others to decide before making their own choice. I choose to believe that it IS a political sophistication and maturation on their part. After all, we've been through the symbolic runs for The Presidency: Shirley Chisholm in 1972, Jesse Jackson in 1984 & 1988. If this was about supporting ' The Black Candidate', when why didn't Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun do better? Because, Black folk had ' been there and done that', and if they were going to invest in it, they wanted a candidate with a serious chance. They knew that any Black candidate couldn't be elected without White support, and they needed to see if Obama would actually get support in states where the Black electorate is negligible. Iowa and New Hampshire answered that question.

So, it took from February 2007 until January 2008, for Barack Obama to become a clear choice in South Carolina. It took that time for Black South Carolinians to accept that Barack Obama WAS a serious candidate, and all that means. That, they had to accept this 'New' type of Black leadership as not only valid, but viable. To become comfortable with the pretext that Barack Obama COULD NOT be ' The Black Candidate Running for President' a majority of the time, but that he had to be 'The Candidate Running for President Who Happens To Be Black', and make peace with that.

February 2007 - January 2008: That doesn't scream obvious; that doesn't scream overnight sensation; that screams that the Black South Carolinian Population was deliberate about their decision making in terms of the Democratic Primary and should be respected as such. If those voters were such sheep, then wouldn't they be following in lockstep with the Black Establishment in South Carolina that, for the most part, has declared themselves for Hillary Clinton?

Which brings me to the second point - An Obama victory in South Carolina doesn't REALLY count as a win because of the sizeable Black population in South Carolina.

So, let me get this straight - Hillary Clinton wins White women in New Hampshire, and it's this great victory, but if Barack Obama wins South Carolina, after ten months of campaigning, because of sizeable Black support, it doesn't REALLY count?

What is this - are we back to being Three-Fifths once again?

The Black vote doesn't count as much as the White vote?

I'm going to say this as obviously as I can:


You simply don't.

There is this underlying condescension that has been creeping into the "Progressive" blogs that, ' oh, well , THEY - meaning Blacks- have nowhere else to go. So, the Clintons and their proxies, who are actually race-baiting, but we'll say that they aren't, and tell those Blacks who are informing us as to what they see that it's in their IMAGINATION - well, they'll shut up, go SIT IN THEIR PLACE and turn up in November like they're SUPPOSED TO. '

That's not a bet you want to take.

Black folk don't have to vote for McCain or any GOPer. They can just STAY HOME in several critical states, and the GOP wins. Thinking that you can scare folk with the GOP Bogeyman after you've been disrespecting Black folk, is both offensive and disrespectful.

James Brown said it:
We'd rather die on our feet
Than be livin' on our knees

I am part of the Hip-Hop generation, and those of us who are Post Civil-Rights have learned our lessons well. We learned to hear the Dogwhistle of Racial Politics; our parents taught us that for SURVIVAL, but what they afforded us that they didn't have, was the option of getting off of our knees.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Democratic Debate or the WWF?

I'm done with the "I said," "I never said,"and "she said." Hillary has taken a page right out of the Karl Rove playbook. She has twisted Obama's words. Barack Obama never said that he loved the Republicans. He never said that. (look at this post for the video and listen to what he really said) Instead, he said that Reagan was an agent of change. This is true. I hate the analogy but it is true. I would have used Ghandi or Teddy Roosevelt as agents of change. Unfortunately, those references would have sent some to the internet and would have left others scratching their heads.
What Hillary has done is not politics. It is down right nasty and dishonest. She starts attacking Obama because he hasn't spelled out exactly how he is going to pay for his foreign aid programs. Okay. But what about her health care program? Hillary Clinton has had 10 years to formulate a health care program. Where are her numbers? How would someone like me get paid? Physician reimbursement has dropped across the board for years. Hell, Cardiac Surgeons used to be able to make over $2 million per year. Now, if they are lucky they might be able to make a quarter of that. Nurses need a salary increase. Where is that in her progressive plan? Hospitals desperately need more social workers. Where is that in her plan?

I simply reject the politics of personal destruction. I reject the politics of Democrats eating their own. This is so disappointing. I'm pissed.

TCR has some thoughts.

(BTW, I'm at another trauma conference so I'm done blogging for tonight. I'll take some Pepto and watch the rest of the "debate" and post some video tomorrow.)

Update: Video added.

As I was driving back home today, I had a chance to hear Lynn Samuels and earlier I heard Alex Bennett. From listening to these 2 left wing talk show hosts, I learned that Barack Obama is an asshole and is full of himself. Again, these are not right wing talking heads but "thoughtful" progressives.

Alex Bennett tried to spin the argument that because Obama spoke on Martin Luther King day that he was using the holiday for personal gain which "proved" that he was an egotistical, ass. I wish I had time to call his show this morning because I would have asked what would have happened if Barack Obama didn't speak on MLK day. What kind of noise would he have heard from liberals and Blacks? Was he too good for Martin Luther King? Barack was in an impossible situation. If you can't see that and it appears that Alex Bennett couldn't, then Bennett isn't worthy of the national stage, IMHO.

Lynn Samuels basically stated that she is supporting Hillary Clinton because Hillary was a woman. What? If that is her position that's fine but at least try to foster some support for the other Democratic candidates. Nope. She didn't. If she is just going to be a gossip queen who is going to talk about fashion and not examine the issues then she belongs with Sally Jessie and Montel.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sparks Fly In South Carolina Showdown

In the most heated debate of the cycle, the three Democrats on stage tonight in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, noted clear distinctions of both policy and personality. The increased ferocity comes both as an extension of the typically behind the scenes surrogate fight that has been going on for weeks and as a signal of the increased stakes after split decisions in Iowa and New Hampshire with February 5 looming on the horizon.

Both Clinton and Obama dug into the opposition research file tonight, frequently referencing past votes and apparent contradictions. Obama appeared eager to stand up to the Clinton machine and prove he has the fire to withstand the grueling election season. Obama's frustration at weeks of Clinton needling was visible throughout much of the first hour. Obama and Clinton traded blows over Bill Clinton's role in the campaign, Obama's praise for Ronald Reagan, health care plans, economic stimulus offerings, and the Iraq War. Obama went to great lengths to defend himself from every change, which made him seem either sharp or defensive, depending on one's perspective.

Clinton, for her part, was not about to back down, though her aggressiveness was pushed into outright anger at times. Responding to Obama's suggestion that she was a "corporate lawyer on the board of Wal-Mart," Clinton sharply replied that Obama was "representing your contributor Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago." That exchange was the perhaps the most heated of the night, but it certainly wasn't the only tense moment.

All things equal, John Edwards was the clear winner of this debate. He made the most of his time--rising above the Clinton vs. Obama tit-for-tat and backing up his points with a wealth of specifics. All things, of course, are not equal, but Edwards showed he remained a formidable debater with courtroom prowess. Unlike previous debates, this wasn't a two-on-one against Hillary Clinton, rather Edwards frequently teamed up with the former first lady to drive a point against Obama. On issues like health care and voting 'present' in the Illinois Senate, Edwards was unusually sharp against his oft ally. Without a doubt, Edwards was good, but did he do enough to change the momentum of his campaign?

In the end, the trio offered interesting contrasts on a variety of issues, with differing visions of leadership beyond 2008. With a supportive audience, the King holiday as a backdrop, and a lead in the state's polls, Obama is our default winner, though none of the three should leave the debate disappointed.

Clip of a few of the bitter exchanges in the SC Debate.

Cross-posted at Political Realm.

There Was More To Dr. King Than "I Have A Dream"

This is an update of my 2007 MLK Day Post. I Couldn't top my post from last year, so I just decided on the update.

image description

There was much more to Dr. King than I Have A Dream. Americans will be bombarded today (and in February) with loops of the famous I Have A Dream speech being played 10,000 times. But you won't see or hear the speech here. The U.S. uses that speech as a way to disarm Kings message. It has been ironic to watch the U.S. government "honor" King over the last few years, particularly while the U.S. has been at war, yet they avoid mentioning anything about his well known moral and political position on War....and the War in Vietnam in particular. Just take out the word Vietnam and replace it with Iraq, and it sounds like King is talking in the year 2007.

It's a shame that his Holiday is not truly celebrated in this country. Most people see it as just another day. Most White Americans barely recognize the day. It's a shame and very ironic that a man who spoke against segregation has a national Holiday that is segregated in terms of how people recognize it.

Below, I have included 5 great speeches from Dr King, some of them dealing with his feelings about war.

What Would MLK Say About The World Today?

What Would Dr. King Think About What Was Going On In The World Today?

He basically told us 4 decades ago.... we were just a little late arriving to the show.
If we would just listen to these Prophets when they are here sounding the alarm, maybe we could avoid more disasters. Many of the things that King spoke of 4 decades ago, we see today. It is a combination of things not changing, and King being way ahead of his time, foretelling issues and threats decades ago that we are now seeing develop today in our lifetimes.

Listen to the speech The Drum Major Instinct, given in February of 1968. This is one of my favorite speeches, and one that never gets old. It is so relevant for today. It's also one of Kings great messages. However, his greatest & most powerful speech, in my opinion, has to be a speech titled "A Knock At Midnight". Scary speech. Unfortunately I don’t have A Knock At Midnight in a digital format. But Drum Major Instinct is also one of his great messages….one of my top 3 favorites.

I Have a Dream is a great speech but it is not his greatest work. But America often uses I Have a Dream to try to sanitize King, and box him into being a Civil Rights/Racial Equality leader. The fact is, between 1965 & 1968, King was the leading anti-war voice and leading voice for economic equality in the country. I think that is part of the reason that he was gunned down. This is the part of Kings history that is hardly ever told. It's the part of his history that America tries to smother every year when the nation goes through its so called "remembrance". If they really wanted to honor King they would rewrite the school books to tell the true story about his efforts. He was not just a civil rights leader. If they wanted to honor him, they would try to live up to his vision....a vision that went beyond race and civil rights. Peace was at the heart of his struggle. He was just as passionate as an anti-war advocate as he was as a civil rights advocate....and perhaps maybe even more so as a Peace advocate.

Other Great Speeches

Sticking Together

Beyond Vietnam (Speaking Out Against The Vietnam War in front of a national group of Clergy in New York, April 4, 1967; exactly one year before he died. )

See Text of Beyond Vietnam Speech

Related Article

Why I Oppose The War In Vietnam RIGHT CLICK AND SAVE FOR EASIER PLAYBACK (similar speech given in front of his own congregation at the Ebenezer Baptist Church)

But If Not

I've Been To The Mountain Top - His Final Speech, April 3, 1968, given in Memphis Tennessee. Under an unusually high number of death threats, and feeling ill, King went to speak anyway, braving the assassins and the bad weather.


Rev. Lowery

A video Interview with Rev. Lowery from a couple of years ago. Link To Webpage.


Isaac Hayes Talks About Working and Living During the 60's Civil Rights Struggle
Listen Here


Democracy Now Covers MLK

Great Story About Kings Last Hours In Memphis Helping the Sanitation Workers


Great Article

Reclaiming King: Beyond “I Have A Dream” Read Here.

Oprah Receiving a Backlash For Supporting Obama?

It seems that Race is rearing its head once again in the Democratic Presidential Primary.

According to reports, Oprah is suffering a backlash from her White, Middle-class & upper-class Female viewers. I can't say that i'm shocked. My cynicism realism told me that this might happen if Oprah explicitly supported a Presidential candidate, especially a candidate who was Black and Male. This is because of the demographic that you typically see on Oprah... mostly White, Middle Class and Upper Middle Class...and even elite fans from the suburbs. People who grew to "trust" Oprah over the last 2 decades. Now they feel that Oprah has betrayed Women in favor of her Race. Why her support of Obama has to be a Race issue, I don't know. But it seems to be an easy excuse for those upset by Oprah's Obama endorsement. Oprah was in a no win situation here. I understood her reasons for not entering the political fray in previous years. But now I really understand why she stayed out of politics for so long.

Obama was definitely naive to think that voters in one of the most racist Countries on Earth would treat him as a viable, capable candidate. No matter how qualified or competent a Black Man might be, he will never get the same respect from the wider society that non-Blacks receive.

It looks like "hope" is finally meeting reality.

It's ironic that on Kings Holiday there are so many things that remind us of just how little this Country has really evolved in terms of Race.

The Tale Of the Tapes - What Really Happened With The Iranian Speedboats in the Strait of Hormuz?

From The Public Radio Program On The Media:


Related Article

What To Make of the Iranian Videotape

Dennis Kucinich Speaks About His Exclusion from the Nevada Debate

Hear a brief interview with Dennis Kucinich, where he talks about his lawsuit against MSNBC.

He made some great points, despite silly questions from the host.

He pointed out the fact that media organizations should not be in the business of deciding who the President is going to be.

Corporate Elite Fear Candidate Edwards

By Kevin Drawbaugh / Reuters

WASHINGTON - Ask corporate lobbyists which presidential contender is most feared by their clients and the answer is almost always the same -- Democrat John Edwards.

The former North Carolina senator's chosen profession alone raises the hackles of business people. Before entering politics, he made a fortune as a trial lawyer.

In litigious America, trial lawyers bring lawsuits against companies on behalf of aggrieved individuals and sometimes win multimillion-dollar settlements. Edwards won several.

But beyond his profession, Edwards' tone and language on the campaign trail have increased business antipathy toward him. His stump speeches are peppered with attacks on "corporate greed" and warnings of "the destruction of the middle class."

He accuses lobbyists of "corrupting the government" and says Americans lack universal health care because of "drug companies, insurance companies and their lobbyists."

Despite not winning the two state nominating contests completed so far, with 48 to go, Edwards insists he is in the race to stay. An Edwards campaign spokesman said on Thursday that inside-the-Beltway operatives who fight to defend the powerful and the privileged should be afraid.

"The lobbyists and special interests who abuse the system in Washington have good reason to fear John Edwards.

"Once he is president, the interests of middle class families will never again take a back seat to corporate greed in Washington," said campaign spokesman Eric Schultz.

Open attacks on the business elite are seldom heard from mainstream White House candidates in America, despite skyrocketing CEO pay, rising income inequality, and a torrent of scandals in corporate boardrooms and on Wall Street.

But this year Edwards is not alone. Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, sometimes also rails against corporate power and influence, tapping a populist current that lies just below the surface of U.S. politics.

One business lobbyist, who asked not to be named, said Edwards "has gone to this angry populist, anti-business rhetoric that borders on class warfare ... He focuses dislike of special interests, which is out there, on business."

Another lobbyist said an Edwards presidency would be "a disaster" for his well-heeled industrialist clients.

After this week's New Hampshire primaries, where he placed a distant third behind New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Edwards might not seem so scary. He ran second in the Iowa Democratic caucuses last week, trailing Obama and just ahead of Clinton.

Edwards suffered a blow on Thursday when Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry snubbed him and endorsed Obama. Edwards was Kerry's vice-presidential running mate in Kerry's failed Democratic bid for the White House in 2004.


Asked which candidate their clients most support, corporate lobbyists were unsure. Clinton has cautious backing within the corporate jet set, as do Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain and former Republican Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, they said.

These candidates represent stability to executives who have much to lose if November's election brings about the sweeping change some candidates are promising.

Obama and Huckabee register largely as unknown quantities among business owners, both large and small, say lobbyists.

"My sense is that Obama would govern as a reasonably pragmatic Democrat ... I think Hillary is approachable. She knows where a lot of her funding has come from, to be blunt," said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Stanford Group Co., a market and policy analysis group.

But Edwards, Valliere said, is seen as "an anti-business populist" and "a trade protectionist who is quite unabashed about raising taxes."

"I think his regulatory policies, as well as his tax policies, would be viewed as a threat to business," he said.

"The next scariest for business would be Huckabee because of his rhetoric and because he's an unknown."

From Reuters

(Reporting by Kevin Drawbaugh; editing by John Wallace)


This just supports my earlier comments regarding the media's motive for blocking out John Edwards from the political race....and from the American political conscience entirely. I have mentioned before that Corporate America along with the Republican establishment were scared to death of John Edwards and his message.

The U.S. media is owned and controlled by some of the biggest Corporations in the World, and they would have a problem with many of Edwards's proposed policies.


Related Posts

Media Blackout Continues for John Edwards

A Look at the Media's Coverage of the Primaries- John Edwards Blackout confirmed

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tax Cuts should be the answer to every problem

President Bush who has been the "tax-cutter-in-chief" for last 7 years now faces a sagging economy. What to do? Housing sector which has pulled this economy along for the past 2 or 3 years is now in the toilet. The Military sector has gotten billions of dollars in government contracts so their are flush. So, it is time to revert back to the old standby tax cuts. Bush hasn't seen a tax cut that he didn't like. I don't believe that Bush's tax cut plan will work but I need to read the fine print.


From Economic Policy Institute:

There is always debate over what an effective stimulus package should look like. Many different policies are purported to stimulate the economy, but it is important to distinguish between those that will have their effect in the very near-term to offset rising unemployment this year and those policies that have longer-term effects. Any useful stimulus package should strengthen the recovery immediately and create more jobs in 2008. Some obvious examples of policies that fail this criterion are the ones just suggested by the Bush administration, including eliminating the estate tax and extending the high-end income, capital gains, and dividend tax cuts beyond 2010. These policies have nothing to do with the job creation we will need in 2008.

An effective, appropriate stimulus package should meet the following five criteria (I have added emphasis):

1. A stimulus package should generate growth and jobs to offset rising unemployment. The point of stimulus is to increase economic growth and thereby generate more jobs. The reason that employment growth is slowing and unemployment is rising (and will continue to do so) is that there is a shortage of demand for goods and services: we will have the capacity to produce much more than we will be consuming, and what is missing are customers able and confident enough to make expenditures.
The two feasible ways to boost demand are to increase consumer spending (for example through tax or monetary policy) or to increase government spending (at the federal, state, or local level). Any stimulus aimed at spurring more business investment will not be effective at this point, because business investment will remain sluggish until consumer and government demand picks up. For example, a recent study estimated that business investment write-offs and the dividend-capital gain tax reductions included in Bush's tax packages had a small "bang-for-the-buck." Without a rise in consumer demand, corporate tax relief and other business investment incentives will not be effective in stimulating growth.

Government spending is more effective than tax cuts in stimulating domestic demand for two reasons: a portion of the tax cut will be saved rather than spent immediately, and consumers are more likely than the government to spend on imports (rather than domestically produced goods). Approximately 10 cents per dollar of consumer expenditures will be spent abroad, while virtually every penny of investments in public infrastructure will be spent domestically. Especially problematic would be more tax cuts directed at the wealthy, which would not be as effective as tax cuts directed at the low- and middle-income households who would spend (rather than save) a larger share of any extra income.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Democrats Divided: NOW in PBS

I watched a fascinating segment in NOW on PBS that detailed the struggle within the Democratic Party between Progressives represented by bloggers such as Matt Stoller of OpenLeft who believe establishment Democrats have sold out traditional Democratic values and Centrists which are represented by politicians such as Bill Clinton who in the 90s sought to position the party to attract conservative voters. The struggle was framed along the lines of the contest in Maryland between incumbent Congressman Al Wynn and challenger Donna Edwards.

From the NOW web site:

In Maryland, six-term incumbent Al Wynn is facing a tough challenge from newcomer Donna Edwards. According to Edwards, Wynn has sold out to big business and the Bush agenda, including a vote for the war in Iraq and the 2005 energy bill. Wynn says his challenger is naive and doesn't understand that there are choices in politics between compromise and doing nothing. Fueling candidates like Edwards are the foot soldiers of the progressive battle—bloggers and other political outsiders like Matt Stoller of who are drumming up national support on the Internet. Maria Hinojosa speaks with the candidates and Matt Bai, author of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle To Remake Democratic Politics.

Although NOW is usually spot-on in its analysis, I couldn't help but be bothered by how the show framed the struggle as between Progressives who seek to move the party Leftwards and Centrists who seek to move it to the Center. The language being used--"left," "center," etc. are meaningless to me except as a shorthand way to describe the ideological character of the opposing sides. But this has an effect of pigeonholing both sides and reducing the struggle to one that is mainly about ideology.

Progressives who are frustrated with the Democratic Party usually do so not because of ideological disagreement but because the Democratic party has disappointed them on concrete issues such as: the Iraq war, NAFTA and other free-trade agreements, welfare reform, and that many Congressional Democrats routinely vote with the Republicans on key pieces of legislation. It's partly about ideology but it is moreso about does the Democratic Party truly represent their interests anymore?

Given such a situation, a Progressive Democrat has a choice to make: try to change the Democratic Party from within or go outside the party and become an Independent or a third-party advocate. The struggle presented in NOW illustrated the efforts of folks who chose to go the first route. Personally I have chosen to go the second route. However, I fully realize that the outcome of the internal struggle within the Democratic Party has implications for politics that will be wide-ranging.

The NOW web site has a few excellent links to several resources including a video of the segment, a guide to Progressive and Centrist Democrats, and a thoughtful response to Matt Bai's book.

Friday, January 18, 2008

More On the Clinton Dirty Tricks In Nevada

A Local Reporter caught up with Bill Clinton and asked him about the lawsuit against the Casino workers.

Slick Willy had the nerve the claim that the rules were "rigged" (in favor of Obama). But it was the Democratic Party that decided on the rules way back in March of 2007. The Clintons didn't have a problem with the rules until the last minute, after Obama was endorsed by the Culinary workers.

Now Clinton claims that the rules are unfair and that they didn't "uncover it" until now. NONSENSE!!!

I have never seen anything like this in my life. This is reminiscent of the dirty tricks that the Republicans often play. In fact, Hillary has seemed more like the Republican candidate, often using Republican talking points against opponents within the Democratic Party.

And this is the person who Democrats want to send to the White House? It's a joke!

Watch the video (video may drag & skip...but the audio works just fine)

A Discussion About Race & The 2008 Presidential Primaries

Hear an NPR discussion about Race and Politics, led by News and Notes host Farai Chideya. The discussion specifically looks at the Clinton Campaigns use of surrogates & coded racial language. The participants include Professor Charles Ogletree
and Professor Jewelle Taylor Gibbs.

Hear an analysis from the previous day, featuring Professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell, which also looks at how race is being used in the Democratic Primary, and the use of coded language in particular.

Clinton Supporters Lose Court Challenge Aimed At Blocking Workers From Caucusing

The Clintons Have Taken A Page From The Karl Rove Play Book of Dirty Tricks
But Hillary represents the "change" that people want?

It appears that the Clintons will stop at nothing to make sure they are coronated next November

From SF Chronicle

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama Thursday praised a judicial decision upholding Nevada caucus locations on the Las Vegas strip to aid casino workers - and strongly dismissed the angry accusations of former President Clinton who claimed the system was "rigged," saying that was "an implausible argument" rightly rejected by the courts.

"This caucus process was designed by Democratic party of Nevada in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee," said Obama, asked his reaction to the ruling in a meeting of the Chronicle editorial board Thursday. "I, as somebody who's not part of the establishment of the Democratic Party, had no say in the rules....(but) individuals like Harold Ickes, Clinton's key adviser, were a part of making these rules. And some of the people who filed the lawsuit were a part of making these rules."

"President Clinton now suggests they didn't understand the rules that they designed," said Obama. "This is coming from the campaign of extraordinary detail and thoroughness and experience," said the Illinois Senator, laughing, in reference to a theme which has been strongly emphasized by the campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton since the two met Tuesday for a Nevada televised debate.

"But somehow, they didn't know what these rules were," Obama said. "Six days before the caucus - two days before I received the endorsement of the Culinary Workers (Union), suddenly these rules are grossly unfair and a violation of 'one person, one vote'. And a lawsuit is filed that would disenfranchise mostly Latino maids, dishwashers, and bellhops from participating in the caucuses."

Obama's tough response to the former president came in reaction to a court ruling Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge James Mahan which rejected arguments of the teachers union, a group with ties to Sen. Clinton, which had argued that the special caucus sites for casino workers were discriminatory and unfair to other Nevada voters.

The Nevada caucuses will be held Jan. 19 - and ruling was widely seen as a victory for Obama, who has been endorsed by the 60,000 member Culinary Workers Union, which represents the lion's share of the workers who will use those locations.
The Chronicle reported Wednesday how President Clinton, following a roundtable discussion on the economy in Oakland, angrily debated with a television reporter who asked about the fairness of the lawsuit.

"Do you really believe that all the Democrats understood that they had agreed to give people who worked in the casino a vote worth five times as much as people who voted in their own precinct?" the former President told ABC 7's Mark Matthews.

"Did you know that? Their votes will be counted five times more powerfully, in terms of delegates to the state convention, compared to delegates to the national convention," Clinton said. '"None of them knew that the votes were rigged that way. They found that out later."

He argued that "the state Democratic party is in the position of defending a system that makes it easier for some people to vote, and counts those votes five times as one could have known that at the time."

Obama said that was "an implausible argument before the court rules. I am glad the court bought none of it. I think it took about an hour for the court to decide that this lawsuit had no merit."

"And I think at this point we should go out and persuade the caucus goers of Nevada who the best candidate is," he said.

Obama was in San Francisco and Silicon Valley Thursday as part of a campaign swing that included a roundtable discussion on the economy in the Mission District, and a fundraiser at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Sound Strategy: Go Local First

I get email updates from an organization called Progressive Majority. They are an organization which puts into practice the ideas that I touch upon in this blog post on the importance of running candidates on the local level and establishing a network of progressives in locally-based offices such as city councils, school boards, etc.

From their web site:
Progressive Majority recruits committed progressives to run for office at the state and local levels. More than 750 people have accepted our call to serve and, as a result, we've elected 259 to office. This work is changing American politics - we've helped flip control of four state legislatures and 27 local governments. Finally, the rise of the right wing is on hold and progressives are in charge!

Progressive Majority was founded in 2001 to serve as a multi-issue political action committee (PAC) by leaders from organized labor, Members of Congress, and progressive donors. Its network has since grown to over 50,000 progressives nationwide. They have programs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. Their aim is to grow the movement until it is in the top 24 battleground states.

Liberal Arts Dude sez:

Regardless of how you feel about electoral politics (most, if not all of PM’s candidates will run as Democrats) an infusion of progressive candidates and leaders on the local level is sound strategy in building a national, progressive agenda. PM’s approach is long-term in scope and recognizes the principle that to have a viable political movement, the foundation for it must first be in place.

That foundation, for PM, lies in electing candidates in locally elected offices in key geographic areas. Get enough of your people elected in those offices nationwide and pretty soon you will find the progressives competitive with the Republican-corporate backed political machine on a national level. But this time, with an active base of local and grassroots support.

This is an effort that was clearly designed with a long-term goal in mind. The goal is to build a national movement and not just throw support to a big name individual or high-profile candidate in high-profile races. The goal is to build a strong political infrastructure on a state-by-state basis—much like the conservatives did for themselves in the last 40 years.

This is the type of politics which excites me and which gives me hope for the future.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Kucinich Was Excluded from Nevada Debate Afterall

I had a feeling that this was going to happen. At the last minute, NBC appealed a lower Court judges ruling that Kucinich should be included in last nights debate. Just a few hours before the debate was to begin, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled in favor of NBC, which wanted Kucinich out of the way.

The other candidates, especially Hillary Clinton, were scared to death about the prospect of having Kucinich in the debate. I may have spoken too soon when I suggested that Clinton had not yet bought the State of Nevada. Clinton already has the mainstream media on her side (which is how she gained her frontrunner status) and has been their favorite all along. Look at the lengths that NBC and Clinton's minions were willing to go through to keep this man out of the debate. Unbelievable!

Kucinich tried to use the Civil Courts to get a temporary restraining order preventing NBC's effort to exclude him, but he ran out of time. Read up on how they hustled him out of the debate. Folks... I predicted this kind of nonsense before the campaign season even started. It's the same thing every 4 years.

Just another episode in America's False Democracy. If you thought that you lived in a free Country with an electoral system that is truly free & fair, then you thought wrong.

And the debate itself was pretty much recycled from many of the previous events. The moderators spent the first 45 minutes talking about trivial nonsense, attempting to fan the flames between the candidates in an effort to boost their ratings. I can understand one or perhaps even two questions...and then let's move on. But these hosts just didn't want to leave the subject alone. They didn't touch on any of the important issues that Americans are concerned about in the first hour or so of the debate.

Related Posts

NBC Tries to Pick the Next President

Read more about the Kucinich Lawsuit

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Activists Protest BET "Honors" Event

The Enough is Enough campaign held a protest outside of the so-called BET "Honors" event over the weekend. The event basically consists of the (Black trash) elite gathering for the cameras. Read more on the protest here.

Find out more about the Enough is Enough Campaign Here.

Corporate Pimp Bob Johnson Now a Spokesman for Civil Rights?

Bob Johnson, a man who made a fortune perpetuating negative images of Blacks and destroying Black Culture in this Country, is now positioning himself as a spokesperson for Civil Rights and proclaims to know what is best for Black voters. It wasn't that long ago that Johnson was a minion for the Bush administration. Now he is supporting Hillary Clinton.

Johnson's recent comments about Barack Obama's drug use was a clear attempt to demonize the candidate and to scare voters. This is part of what has turned out to be a pattern from the Clinton camp. It is true that the media has been hyping the Clinton/Obama mess for ratings purposes (the whole reason why these candidates were even made frontrunners by the media in the first place was because of the ratings potential) but the Johnson comments really seemed to be over the top. And it appeared to be an attempt by Clinton to sanitize the remarks and blunt any possible criticism by having the comments made by another Black person, instead of having the guts to say it herself.

Bob Johnson's latest hustle is telling Black folks how hard the Clintons have worked for so-called "Black issues", which is a bunch of nonsense. The Clintons have become this mythical couple in the "Black Community" mostly because of folks like Bob Johnson inflating their record. The hyperbole has gotten so bad in the years since Bill Clinton left office that some have called Clinton the first Black President.

But do Blacks really know about the history of the Clinton's or are they simply going by what the TV pundits have been saying? I believe the latter is the case. What exactly have the Clintons specifically done for Black Americans? If you pose that question to Black folks, most would not be able to recall two things that the Clintons have come up with to help the so-called "Black Community". That's because the Clintons record does not live up to the hype.

Just because Slick Willy loved to visit Black Churches and schmooze with Black ministers and celebs, does not make him a champion for Black Causes. But I guess all of the hype sounds good to certain ears in the "Black Community".

Bob Johnson partying with thug rapper Ludacris at the entertainers 30th Birthday bash

Take a look at the work of street thug Ludacris, enabled by Bob Johnsons BET. Warning: The Following Videos Are Not Safe For Work (or any other setting for that matter). This is generally the kind of garbage that Bob Johnson peddled to Blacks, & Black youth in particular, when he owned the network. It's still being pumped into Black households to this day. What a nice legacy of uplifting Black Americans. Video One, Video Two, Video Three.

In their attempt to be gain the so-called "Black vote" the Clintons have been reaching out to all of the wrong people. Last week, Bill Clinton ran to Rev. Al Sharpton (that guy who White Americans see as the "go to" man for all Black issues and who represents all Black people) in an attempt to clean up remarks from an earlier spat. Now they drag in Bob Johnson. They already have their hooks in the CBC (Congressional Black Circus) and those from the group who represent the traditional Civil Rights Industrial Complex. The Problem is.... none of these high profile figures represent the whole, or even a significant part of so-called "Black America". They don't represent the needs and concerns of real people on the ground in South Carolina, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, Memphis, Philly, Cleveland, Oakland, Miami, or any other place in the Country with a high concentration of African Americans in communities that are devastated.

Every week I am seeing a new clown on mainstream media who claims to be my representative. When will mainstream media, and phony politicians, stop playing this Rent-A-Negro game? When will they realize that Blacks in this Country are not part of a monolith? Blacks are more diverse than ever, socially, economically, and politically. If the Clintons are so comfortable with Black people, then why do they feel the need to use other people to speak to Blacks on their behalf? Why not speak directly to voters? What are they afraid of? Stop going out and renting people, or using other Blacks as some sort of filter to speak through....or as a source for validation.

See Post from Democratic Underground

Dennis Kucinich Back On Lie Patrol - Judge Rules that He Cannot Be Excluded From Nevada Debate

A Nevada Judge has ruled that Dennis Kucinich must be allowed to participate in the Nevada debate scheduled for later today. This is a big victory for Progressives.

Although Kucinich has no chance of winning the nomination, his participation will change the whole atmosphere of the debate- just by his very presense. This will pose a problem for Hillary Clinton. She will not be able to float through the debate and lie about her record, inflate her qualifications, or distort facts. Too often, the moderators of these debates allow her to get away with her lying by failing to challenge her, simply because she is Hillary Clinton. This is where Kucinich comes into play. He may be key to keeping her on the Defensive. Unlike Obama, who doesn't want to really go on the attack or say anything that would be deemed as wrong or "too negative" about Clinton, Kucinich has nothing to lose and nothing to gain. Without the burden of "political correctness" weighing him down, he will be free to tell the truth. I am quite sure that the Clinton camp is scrambling to adjust their strategy as I type.

The Clinton Camp would have loved to see Kucinich banned from the event, just like in New Hampshire. I guess she couldn't buy Nevada in time for this one.

Report from the AP

Judge grants Kucinich entry to NV

LAS VEGAS - A Nevada judge said Monday that Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich must be included in Tuesday's candidates' debate in Nevada.

Senior Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson said if Kucinich is excluded, he'll issue an injunction stopping the televised debate.

The judge sided with a lawyer for the Ohio congressman, who says debate host MSNBC at first invited Kucinich to take part and then told him last week he couldn't.

A lawyer for the network said MSNBC decided to go with the top three candidates after the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.

The judge called it a matter of fairness and said Nevada voters will benefit if they hear from more than just Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.

The cable network and the Democratic Party are calling the 9 p.m. EST debate a chance to hear issues from Nevada's minority communities. Tim Russert and Brian Williams are moderating.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Another Bush Ally Ready to Bite The Political Dust

Ma Ying-jeou, KMT Party candidate for Taiwan Presidency

Yet another Bush ally is ready to go down in defeat. It looks like Cowboy diplomacy is going out of style all over the World. Over the Summer it was Britain's Tony Blair. A few months after that, John Howard of Australia went down. And we can't forget Prime Minister José María Aznar of Spain and his government going down in defeat in 2004, and Silvio Berlusconi's defeat in Italy, and all of the other defeats of Bush allies around the World. All were a result of voters in those Democracies telling their leaders "No More" to the idea of following Bush & Co. and their Cowboy diplomacy. They realized that it was taking them nowhere.

The latest Bush ally in distress is Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, the radical leader who wants formal Independence from mainland China and who is willing to drag the U.S. into a war with China to meet that goal. The Bush administration claims publicly that it supports the "One China, Two Systems" approach (which exists in Hong Kong, and Macau), and that it does not support Taiwan independence. However, the Bush administration has insisted on getting the U.S. involved in a Civil War by supplying high tech weapons to Taiwan, and giving Chen tacit U.S. support for his plan to declare Independence and join the UN as an Independent State.

That would be the same as China supplying weapons to Puerto Rico if there was ever an internal conflict on our own Continent. Americans of course wouldn't stand for it. Yet American leaders feel that they have a special license from God to meddle in the conflicts of other Countries.

Well, Chen Shui-bian's DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) suffered a crushing defeat in recent days. Taiwan's opposition Party, the KMT (the original Party that engaged in Civil War with China and settled on the Island in 1949) is more open to the idea of listening and negotiating with China on the future of the Tawain-China relationship. The results of the Parliamentary elections likely foreshadows what will happen in Presidential elections in March 2008, when Chen Shui-bian is likely to go down in defeat. So as for now, Chen has only been put on the chopping block.

This is good for the U.S. because it reduces the chances of a future war with China over Taiwan. China and Taiwan, both economic powerhouses, would benefit from a more cordial political relationship, as both economies enjoy success. An economic and cultural partnership, or loose Federation of States, would be better for all involved, and would certainly be better than war. All three Countries in this complex relationship would be able to save face.

See Report from the Times UK

The Clintons Continue To Lie About Barack Obama

I'm no huge fan of Barack Obama, but I hate to see a good man vilified and lied on like this, especially by the Clintons of all people.

Last week, Bill Clinton, suggested that Obama really didn't oppose the war in Iraq before it began and that Obama's "good judgement" has been overstated. Experience is more important than good judgement according to Slick Willy.

Obama was clearly against the war before the invasion in March 2003.

Once troops were in Iraq (after the March 2003), of course Obama was in a position where he had to vote to fund them... to make sure they had everything they needed to carry out their missions and survive. So in that context he voted to maintain funding, just like most other Democrats in Congress, including Hillary Clinton. Not doing so would have been political suicide and would have been seen as putting troops on the battlefield at risk (something that most Americans do not support). That doesn't mean that he cannot still be opposed to the overarching policy (a policy built on lies, distortions, miscalculations and incompetence) that put the troops in Iraq in the first place. Obama voted for funding with the hope (and with the promises from the Bush Administration) that the troops would be brought home once Iraqi Police and Army personnel were ready to take control of their own Country. Slick Willy was attempting to mix two separate issues, to distort Obama's position on the War.

But let's not be confused about what Obama actually said....

See a longer clip of the interview with host Jeff Berkowitz.

Senator McCaskill Endorses Barack Obama

This is a good ensorsement for Obama because it has the potential to make him a little more competitive in Missouri. Hillary has been leading in the polls here by a substantial margin.

There is no doubt that McCaskill has solid support in the State, despite a Republican Governor. She has particularly strong support in the urban Centers of St. Louis and Kansas City, both of which put her in the Senate in 2006.

The question is, will White voters in the State support Obama and will the Clinton's mythical support among Black voters wane enough for Obama to gain any ground?

McCaskill formally backs Obama
The Kansas City Star

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri on Sunday endorsed fellow Democratic Sen. Barack Obama for president, calling him a “once-a-generation leader.”

The nod from McCaskill capped a prosperous few days for Obama, who also received the backing of several other prominent Democrats in recent days.

Among them: Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.

The backing comes at a critical time in the Democratic fight as Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton battle for supremacy in the upcoming primary and caucus states of Nevada, South Carolina and Florida.

Elected in 2006, McCaskill was widely believed to favor Obama. The question was whether she would publicly announce her support before the Feb. 5 round of primaries in Missouri, New York, California and a host of other states.

Both U.S. senators in Missouri have now endorsed candidates. Republican Kit Bond backs former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In Kansas, Sen. Sam Brownback has endorsed John McCain while fellow Republican Pat Roberts has not declared a preference.

In a conference call Sunday with reporters and Obama, McCaskill acknowledged the decision was difficult because of the historic first-woman nature of Clinton’s campaign. But she said Obama was a new-style leader whose freshness and smarts presented a rare opportunity for America.

He is, she said, “a gift,” a man unafraid to pursue new ways.

“I honestly believe that only once a generation a leader comes along who has that particular gift,” McCaskill said. “It will be a terrible disappointment to our country if we didn’t grab this opportunity right now.”

Referring to Obama’s stump speech reference to Martin Luther King Jr. who coined the phrase “the fierce urgency of now,” McCaskill added that she feels the same need to rush. “I feel it in my bones,” she said. “I get the fierce urgency of now.”

Obama and McCaskill have worked on several issues together, including support for military veterans.

Obama campaigned for McCaskill in Kansas City and St. Louis during her nip-and-tuck 2006 Senate race against Republican incumbent Jim Talent.

McCaskill said she realized early on that Washington was broken and saw in Obama a leader who could help fix it.

Waiting for four or eight years would be a mistake for Obama; McCaskill said the delay could rob Obama of the bold approach he advocates.

McCaskill said she didn’t expect to have a formal title or role in the campaign, but pledged to stump the state on his behalf.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Are American Voters Really This Feeble-minded?

I have heard a few reports of Women from New Hampshire who stated that they supported Hillary Clinton at the last minute because of her little emotional episode. The candidate who usually came off as robotic and scripted all of a sudden became human in New Hampshire. And that influenced who voters supported? Incredible.

This seems to be another indication that American voters react more to style than actual substance. This is one of the many reasons why we ended up with George W. Bush in back to back elections coronations. Americans rarely pay attention to actual issues and the track records of the candidates, or the plans and platforms that those candidates put forth. How voters "feel" about a candidate always seems to trump any of the substantive issues. This makes the American public easy prey for any snake oil salesperson with a pursuasive, feel-good message.

What makes American voters so feeble? I understand that the public education system is lacking and that has a lot to do with this problem, but there seems to be more to it than that.

But all is not lost. Some folks didn't drink the Kool-aid. The woman who asked the question that got Hillary so emotional, didn't quite buy it. In the end she voted for Obama.

More On The Bradley Effect

Hear two NPR discussions mentioning the problem of the "Bradley Effect" and how it may have impacted Barack Obama in New Hampshire. The problem is inherently difficult to measure. In Iowa, participants had to face their fellow citizens by making their vote known. But in New Hampshire, voters made their choices in a closed voting booth, free from peer pressure or any guilt. New Hampshire primary voters may have had an easier time switching their votes at the last minute and making a choice contrary to what they may have told pollsters just hours earlier.

I believe that Obama will have a serious problem with the "Bradley Effect" on February 5th, or in a General Election. The problem may be amplified in a General Election because all Party affiliations will be able to cast a ballot. The question may be, will the "Bradley Effect" be enough to overcome the groundswell of support that he has been receiving in recent weeks?

There are just some Americans who would not vote for a Black person under any circumstances. And these folks aren't going anywhere. Unfortunately this Country has not totally freed itself from the problem of race. I am not so sure that a Color Blind society is even possible. We may be as close to it as we are ever going to get.

This is one of the main reasons why I had doubts, and continue to have doubts about Obama's chances in a General Election.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Here's another one for the ' Isolated Incidents' File

You know...the ones that are ' in our imagination'.

Hat tip: dnA

From The Guardian:

In the words of that Clinton adviser: "If you have a social need, you're with Hillary. If you want Obama to be your imaginary hip black friend and you're young and you have no social needs, then he's cool."

But, of course, we're just making this stuff up.

Uh huh.

My ears are still ringing from yesterday's blow of the whistle.