Saturday, May 31, 2008

Barack & Michelle Obama Resign From Trinity UCC

From WaPo.com

Obama Resigns Church Membership
Updated 9:15 p.m.
By Keith Richburg


ABERDEEN, S.D. -- Sen. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, resigned their membership in the South Side Chicago church that had been their spiritual home for two decades but which, in recent months, had become a political liability in Obama's campaign for the presidency.


The Obamas announced their decision in a letter to Trinity United Church of Christ's Rev. Otis Moss III on Friday, saying, "We are writing to make official our decision to end our membership at Trinity."

"We make this decision with sadness. Trinity was where I found Christ, where we were married and where our children were baptized," the letter said. "But as you know, our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Reverend Wright, which sharply conflict with our own view."

Obama's unexpected decision came after a second controversy involving incendiary remarks from a pastor at the Trinity United Church of Christ, this time the Roman Catholic Rev. Michael Pfleger, who sharply ridiculed Sen. Hillary Clinton in a sermon last Sunday.

Obama scheduled an unplanned news conference Saturday evening here in Aberdeen, after news of the resignation began to spread. In the half-hour news conference, Obama said he and Michelle had been discussing leaving the church since his former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.'s theatrical and controversial appearance at the National Press Club in late April.

"It's not a decision I came to lightly, and it's one I make with some sadness," Obama said. But, he added, now that he is a presidential candidate, opponents were using the pastors' words to criticize him.

Obama said he never anticipated the storm of controversy his membership in Trinity Church would ignite. "This was one I didn't see coming," he said. "I did not anticipate my fairly conventional Christian faith being subject to such challenge and such scrutiny."

He also said his heightened profile was drawing unwelcome attention to the church. "It's also clear that Reverend Moss and the church have been suffering from all the attention my campaign has visited on them."

"I have no idea how it will impact my presidential campaign, but it's the right thing to do, for my church and for my family," he said.

Asked about choosing a new church, and whether he would more carefully vet his next pastor, Obama said, "I'm not going to approach this as a political exercise." He said in "whatever church you join," pastors may say things that members disagree with. But, answering a question, he acknowledged that joining another black church might be equally problematic. "There's a different religious tradition, or a worshiping style, in some of the African American churches," he said.

"I'm confident we're going to be able to find a church we're comfortable with," he added.

"Our faith remains strong," Obama said. "I suspect that we will find another church home for our family."



Rest of story at link above.


Can't say that I'm happy about this, but after the Father Pfleger incident, I'm not surprised. Just went through all of this yesterday listening to the radio, and still didn't know how I felt about it. I'm just sad about it, but I'm not sure when it would have been the ' right' time to leave the church.

"This is Barack Obama's party now."

From DailyKos:

Chuck Todd on MSNBC:

You know, there is a big thing we should be getting out of this party tonight, and that is the Democratic National Committee is not somehow controlled by the Clintons. Not by the Clinton campaign any more. We may have started this campaign believing that the Clinton campaign controlled, but this is Barack Obama's party now. He's already been winning the outside game, he now won the inside game. Yes it's true that Harold Ickes can threaten this stuff about the credentials, but Don Fowler really did signal today by being for the Michigan compromise that, "Guys, it's over."


That just about says it all.

DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee Meeting



Well, today is the day. The meeting of the Rules and Bylaws Committe about settling Florida and Michigan. I know that it's being shown on C-Span and MSNBC. So, if you're watching it, talk about it in here.

UPDATE: According to CNN.com, here's what happened today:

Florida, Michigan get all delegates, but each gets half vote

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After a day of wrangling in front of a sometimes unruly crowd, the Democratic National Committee's rules and bylaws committee reinstated all of Florida and Michigan's delegates to its party convention, with each getting a half-vote to penalize the states for moving their primaries earlier than the party had approved.

The move will leave front-runner Sen. Barack Obama's lead over rival Sen. Hillary Clinton intact.

"This results in Sen. Clinton obtaining a substantial number of additional pledged delegates, but I also understand that many members of the Florida and Michigan delegations feel satisfied that the decision was fair," Obama said after a campaign event in Aberdeen, South Dakota. "Our main goal is to get this resolved so we can immediately turn the focus of the entire party on winning Florida and Michigan and delivering on the needs of the people in Florida and Michigan -- states that are enormously important, states where a lot of people are struggling."

The Florida decision, which follows the pro-Clinton results of that state's primary, was greeted by virtually all sides as an acceptable compromise on a thorny issue. But Clinton backers vowed to fight the Michigan decision, which gave the New York senator a 10-delegate edge over Obama in a state where his name didn't appear on the primary ballot.

"Today's results are a victory for the people of Florida, who will have a voice in selecting our party's nominee and will see its delegates seated at our party's convention," said a joint-statement from Clinton advisers Harold Ickes and Tina Flournoy. "[But] we strongly object to the committee's decision to undercut its own rules in seating Michigan's delegates without reflecting the votes of the people of Michigan."

With no Michigan or Florida delegates included, Obama led Clinton by 202 delegates.

The committee's ruling gave Clinton 105 pledged delegates from Florida and 69 from Michigan, with a total of 87 votes.

Obama received 67 pledged delegates from Florida and 59 from Michigan, casting a total of 63 votes.

That tally leaves Obama ahead by the equivalent of 178 delegates.

If each delegate had been granted a full vote, Clinton still would have trailed Obama.




Rest of story at link.

According to DailyKos,

The Magic Number is now 2117.

Obama has 2053.
Clinton has 1876.5.

Obama's Number to clinch the nomination is now 64.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Michelle Obama Talks About the ' A' Word




Hat tip: Reader on Jack and Jill Politics

From the HuffingtonPost.com

Pertinent portion:

She called on another supporter, whose voice quivered and broke with barely contained emotion as she explained how important it is to her, personally, that our country change course. She explained that she had just returned from Oregon where she campaigned for Obama and attended the 75,000-person rally by the river. She had noticed, she said, that the Secret Service had increased security dramatically for Barack Obama's rallies since the Phoenix rally in January.

The room collectively gasped and murmured, some aghast that these fears were being spoken aloud directly to Barack Obama's wife. Some nodded, concern and fear on their faces. Others shifted on their feet, displaying a range of emotions -- concern, discomfort with the topic, indignation.

The woman continued: "What can you tell us..." and then her voice caught and broke as a sob rose up from her chest. She paused for a moment. "I'm afraid of what might happen. What can you tell us, after last week's comments--" another sob-- "after last week's comments, to make us feel more at ease?" She cried unabashedly after finally getting out her words.

The room that had been electrified with positive energy throughout the evening suddenly became still and quiet, all eyes focused on Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama's eyes, though, were focused on that concerned supporter. She paused, allowing the clearly distraught supporter to pull herself together. Maybe it was 30 seconds before Obama spoke, stretched out into imaginary minutes. Finally, she said firmly, "I'm ok. Really. I am ok. And if I'm ok, you should be ok.

"You know, we talked about this as a family."

She held the microphone with one hand, the other curved inward over her heart as she talked. Her tenor and body language was clear. Michelle Obama was talking as a mother. She was introspective and intimate, looking the questioner in the eyes as if they are the only two in the room.

"We talked about this as a family."

The room remained still and quiet. Imagine having that talk with your children. Then, she paused, gathering herself, pulling herself up, seeming to grow even taller, Michelle, the campaigning wife returns. She says,

"I've talked about this before. Barack is probably safer now than he was before. Kids are dying in the street in our community. They get shot walking to class, sitting in school, taking the bus home. They are dying in the street.... Send us good vibes. Pray for us. Think positive thoughts. But most of all, be vigilant. Be vigilant about stopping this kind of talk.
It's not funny. You don't have to like Barack to dislike that kind of talk. Be vigilant about stopping that kind of talk."


Then she reminded the crowd what we are fighting for, and why it is important to forge ahead without fear. "Fear is the reason this country is where it is today. Fear is a useless emotion. Don't ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn't. Don't ever make decisions based on fear."


The talk about questioning the patriotism of Barack and Michelle Obama is patently absurd. Practically, from the moment he announced, his life and the lives of his family have been threatened. Nobody who doesn't love this country is going to subject the ones they love most to this possible horror. Lack of patriotism? Patriotism is the only theme large enough to explain it to small children. To explain why Daddy is away so much. To explain why all these strange people are around. To explain why Mama is gone sometimes too. Patriotism and love of country is the only way to get a small child to envision something larger than themselves, and to ask them to understand that they must be less selfish - for love of country.

Flag pin?

BULL

Stepping out into the unknown everyday, knowing that all it takes is just one nut. One crazy person.

THAT is PATRIOTISM.

That is what Barack and Michelle Obama have.

The Attempt to Dehumanize Michelle Obama




I struggled with writing this piece, because I thought for awhile that I should just let it go. That I shouldn't spread this filth, but then I realized that not confronting it was a problem.

When I first saw this over at TheRoot.com, my mouth went open. Not that I didn't expect it, I did. I've said from the beginning that the entire Obama candidacy would be a Racial Rorschach Test for the country, and that a whole lot that had been bubbling beneath the surface would surface in this campaign.

The problem with this horrific picture is that it was published on DailyKos without someone going, ' um, I wonder if I should post this?'

See, this is what I feel is a residual effect of the active racebaiting brought on by Camp Hillpatine.

It's not that I didn't expect this kind of horror.

It's just that I believed it would be coming from the GOP.

There is NO WAY that any logical person would have posted this picture of Michelle Obama.

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the White Feminist Establishment to defend Michelle Obama. The better assumption, until proven otherwise, is that Michelle's on her own, and those of us out here, of all colors, who admire and respect Michelle - well, we're going to have to do our best to defend her, which is why I'm speaking out.

The image is wrong because it is diminishing, disrespecting, dehumanizing.

Tied to a tree? With the KLAN around her? In a RED DRESS? With a BRANDING IRON honing in on her back?

Just ONE of these images would be enough.

All 4 is sensory overload.
1. Tied to a tree
Do I need to go over what Black folk and trees means? The history of this country is littered with the violence against Black Men and Women who were treated as sport as they were hung from trees. Didn't Jena teach you anything that it's just not acceptable?

2. The KLAN
I don't even believe I need to explain why the image of the Klan is upsetting.

3. In the RED DRESS

Red is the color for harlots. Red is the color of a loose woman. Once again diving back into that stereotype that the only use a Black woman has is ON HER BACK as some receptacle for when the White Slavemaster strolled down to the slave quarters. The vulnerability that the Black woman not only had no virtue that a White man was to respect, but that she didn't have ANY VIRTUE PERIOD.

4. The BRANDING IRON

We brand ANIMALS in this country. In this image, any thoughts that Michelle was HUMAN is gone. She's no better than the cow grazing in the field, who is also branded.


But, Michelle Obama IS a human being. She is a woman. A loving wife. A devoted mother. A successful professional. Intelligent. Smart. She is all this, and more. And, it seems as if she's going to be under attack from now until the election, so those of us who support her, have to continue to be vigilant. I do believe we wouldn't be as weary; that we would have been more rested for the General Election, IF we hadn't of had to fight the RACEBAITING IN A DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY.

I've said it before,and I'll say it again...

It's not that I expected Obama to go through this campaign without having to deal with racebaiting on some level.

It's just that I didn't expect it to COME FROM ANOTHER DEMOCRAT.

The GOP never pretended to be Black folks' friends.

So, we were just supposed to roll over and let Camp Hillpatine racebait Obama from one end of the country to another without speaking up?

HELL NO.

But, for those of you who were SILENT as Obama was being racebaited during this time...

Just continue to keep your mouths SHUT when the GOP does it, because you no longer have any moral credibility. Your SILENCE spoke volumes and now has rendered you SUSPECT.

I thought about, on the off chance, that Malia and Sasha saw that image of their mother- my chest tightened. I thought about my 8 week-old great-niece; as a Black woman, will she STILL have to be subject to such foul and racist imagery when she matures? Imagery designed to strip her of her dignity and self-respect. I say no. We will have to confront these foul images when they come up. We cannot let them pass. We must label them UNACCEPTABLE on all levels. We must expose them for the ugliness that they are, and continue to have the Obamas' backs.


UPDATE: In the comments over at JJP, some have pointed out to me some of the other work of the poster. I'm coming down on the image. Do you realize that IF I had actually seen that on DailyKos, I wouldn't have been able to read the diary, because I just would have been stopped in my tracks? It might have been the best diary in the world, but that image would have stopped me from reading it.

And, I believe the poster would have been better off just posting the picture - as is.

Without a diary.

That would have been more powerful.

I don't think he understood the true extent of his imagery.

The image alone was a diary.

But, I can't get past the belief that the racebaiting during this campaign has lowered the bar. The same way I believe the Hillpatine South Dakota comments on Friday relate to the 'Obama Assassination' talk later on Fox. All part of the same cesspool.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Black CNN?

From the NYPost:

BLACK NEWS NET
CHANNEL SET FOR EARLY '09 WITH EX-REP. AT HELM
By DON KAPLAN

Former Rep. J.C. Watts is not giving up details like financing or the names of anchors.
May 27, 2008 -- FORMER congressman J.C. Watts is behind a major push to launch an all-news channel for black people.

The network, tentatively called Black Television News Channel and slated to launch in early 2009, already has an agreement with Comcast cable to be carried in several cities with large black populations including Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Baltimore.

As yet, there is no deal to carry the channel in New York.

"I'm not so sure that you see anything on CNN or Fox News that specifically targets the African American community," Watts told The Post.

According to recent U.S. census figures, nearly 81 percent of Detroit's population is black, while Baltimore is 64 percent, Atlanta is 61 percent, D.C. is 57 percent, Philly is 46 percent and Chicago is 37 percent. That means each city is a major potential market for the new channel and advertisers.

At least one news report on the new channel called Watts the "black Ted Turner," after the founder of CNN.

There has been a gap in black-targeted news on TV since Black Entertainment Television cancelled its "BET Nightly News" in 2005.


Watts says his goal is to push the news coverage beyond the usual crime stories.

"Our community features millions of people with all kinds of backgrounds. There's a much broader segment of the population than what we see in mainstream news," he says.

Watts is, so far, not giving any details about who is backing the channel, how much the initial financing will be or who will run it.

"Certainly [this channel] could cover issues from a different perspective," says Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and one of the authors of its respected annual report, State of the Media.

There has been no shortage of major news stories directly related to the black community, he says, including the public falling out between Presidential hopeful Barack Obama and his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the recent civil rights flash point, the Jena Six case.

"The question is, could it work on a regular basis?" asks Jurkowitz.

Tom Dolan, a news industry staffing expert, believes it will take Watts at least six months to staff a new channel, under the best circumstances.

"And that doesn't include anchors and reporters who you may target," he says. "Many times, they are still under contract with someone else."


Cable news is a big money proposition. The rule of thumb is that each hour of original programming costs about $7 million annually, once everything else is in place.

Industry sources believe starting a cable news network would cost at least $100 million.

Watts said only that he and "two cable industry vets" whom he declined to identify are bankrolling most of the start up. A list of private equity partners will be "released at a later time," he says.

Watts, the lone African American Republican in Congress until 2003 when he quit to start his own business, is a frequent commentator on both Fox News Channel and CNN. He is also on the board of radio giant Clear Channel.



Now, on the SURFACE...who could be against this?

Ah, but the devil's in the details.

Now, if it's truly a place where a divergent set of opinions will be able to be heard, from left to right, I could get on board with that.

BUT, if it's just going to be him, and the likes of Steele, Blackwell, You know the Dark Sith will weasel his way onto it, Star Parker, Shelby Steele, etc.

I'm gonna have to say a big NOPE to that.

There is an entire list of Black folk that I would love to get political analysis from - on the left and the right. The truly thinking right, the part that actually IS on the ground, dealing with 'The Community' is NEVER EVER seen on television, and I find that part of right wing sham. I know all of us could come up with a list of intelligent, respected educators, political professionals, PhD's, and journalists that we'd like to see on this channel. I'm just having a hard time believing I'll ever see a tenth of this list on this channel, because these folks are known for ' telling hard truths', if you know what I mean. It's why I get pissed when I see frauds like Mr. Horn-Rimmed Glasses and the likes of Stephen A. Smith on MSNBC, and DON'T see folks like, well,

Roger Wilkins
Patricia Williams
Ron Daniels
Ron Walters
DeWayne Wickham
George Curry
Bev Smith
Leonard Pitts
Robert Woodson
Charles Butler
Melissa Harris -Lacewell
Boyce Watkins
Colbert King
International reports from Charlayne Hunter-Gault and any other Black journalists living abroad.

Well, you get the gist of what I'm talking about. Heck, I'd want some of our true firebrands, like the Brothers and Sisters from BlackCommentator and BlackAgendaReport to be on there too.

But, there are things that make me raise the eyebrow: no telling of the backers, and Watts is on the board of Clear Channel. These are RED FLAGS. But, we'll keep a skeptical eye on his progress.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Randall Kennedy Discusses "Selling Out"



Prof. Randall Kennedy talks about his book, "Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal".

I really enjoyed what he had to say, and I like what he stands for in general terms, even though I don't agree with all of his ideas.

Listen to a discussion from KWMU public radio.

Hear an additional segment from NPR.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Let's Make Some Phone Calls to the CBC

Let's use the fingertips to reach out and touch these CBC folks.

These are either Uncommitted CBC Members or HHH.

It's time for a little activism around here.
I'd like to know where Hillpatine's APOLOGY to Senator and Mrs. Obama is, for starters, but, I'm sure that you all will be creative enough to find your own questions you'd like answers to, namely what's their justification for supporting Hillpatine, if they've declared for her, and if they are uncommitted, it's time for them to get off the pot.

Nobody will be working tomorrow, of course, but you can leave emails, and possibly voicemails for them, or call on Tuesday to their local offices, which will be listed on the websites.

Corrine Brown--- Clinton (Florida - 3rd)
2336 Rayburn
(202) 225-0123
Corrine Brown Website

Delegate Donna Christian-Christensen ---Clinton (U.S. Virgin Islands - At-large)
(non voting congressional delegate)
Donna Christensen Website


Yvette Clarke---Clinton (New York - 11th)
1029 Longworth
(202) 225-6231
Yvette Clarke Website

Emanuel Cleaver ---Clinton (Missouri - 5th)
1641 Longworth
(202) 225-4535
Emanuel Cleaver Website

Jim Clyburn---Neutral (South Carolina - 6th)
2135 Rayburn
(202) 225-3315
James Clyburn Website

Alcee Hastings---Clinton (Florida - 23rd)
2353 Rayburn
(202) 225-1313
Alcee Hastings Website

William J. Jefferson--- Uncommitted (Louisiana - 2nd)
2113 Rayburn
(202) 225-6636
William Jefferson Website

Stephanie Tubbs Jones---Clinton (Ohio - 11th)
1009 Longworth
(202) 225-7032
Stephanie Tubbs-Jones Website


Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick ---Uncommitted (Michigan - 13th)
2264 Rayburn
(202) 225-2261
Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick Website


Sheila Jackson Lee ---Clinton (Texas - 18th)
2435 Rayburn
(202) 225-3816
Sheila Jackson-Lee Website


Kendrick Meek --- Clinton (Florida - 17th)
1039 Longworth
(202) 225-4506
Kendrick Meek Website


Gregory Meeks--- Clinton (New York - 6th)
2342 Rayburn
(202) 225-3461
Gregory Meeks Website



Charles B. Rangel--- Clinton (New York - 15th)
2354 Rayburn
(202) 225-4365
Charles Rangel Website

Laura Richardson ---Clinton (California - 37th)
2233 Rayburn
(202) 225-7924
Laura Richardson Website

Edolphus Towns--- Clinton (New York - 10th)
2232 Rayburn
(202) 225-5936
Edolphus Towns Website


Maxine Waters--- Clinton (California - 35th)
2344 Rayburn
(202) 225-2201
Maxine Waters Website

Diane Watson--- Clinton (California - 33rd)
125 Cannon
(202) 225-7084
Diane Watson Website

Friday, May 23, 2008

Access to McCain's medical records - a joke

A selected press (only 20 people) was allowed to access 1,173 pages of Senator John McCain’s medical records for three hours. No one was allowed to Xerox or photograph the records. A reporter could take notes. Oh, no cellphones. So, what do we know? Not much. The types of tests done to look for cancer recurrence were not revealed in the AP article I reviewed. We do know that the cancer removed from his jaw was of an intermediate depth. We also know that his lymph nodes were negative.

If they read 1,173 pages in three hours, they would have to read a page every six minutes. You can’t get any detail from that. I’m not sure that we know more now than we did before the records were flashed in front of our eyes.

To be honest, this was a great piece of politics by the McCain camp. Release the information on a Friday, a slow news day. Release the information on a holiday weekend. No one is paying any attention. Then control what is said. The McCain camp got the exact headlines that they wanted. Reuters - McCain deemed in good health by doctors. The McCain camp couldn't have written it any better.

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment from Tonight

From Olbermann's Special Comment:

Full Content Here


Olbermann Special Comment Video


The entire Special Comment was on point, but this is where I began to say "Amen", louder and louder....

...We have forgiven you your insistence that there have been widespread calls for you to end your campaign, when such calls had been few.

We have forgiven you your misspeaking about Martin Luther King's relative importance to the Civil Rights movement.

We have forgiven you your misspeaking about your under-fire landing in Bosnia.

We have forgiven you insisting Michigan's vote wouldn't count and then claiming those who would not count it were Un-Democratic.

We have forgiven you pledging to not campaign in Florida and thus disenfranchise voters there, and then claim those who stuck to those rules were as wrong as those who defended slavery or denied women the vote.

We have forgiven you the photos of Osama Bin Laden in an anti-Obama ad...

We have forgiven you fawning over the fairness of Fox News while they were still calling you a murderer.

We have forgiven you accepting Richard Mellon Scaife's endorsement and then laughing as you described his "deathbed conversion."

We have forgiven you quoting the electoral predictions of Boss Karl Rove.

We have forgiven you the 3 a.m. Phone Call commercial.

We have forgiven you President Clinton's disparaging comparison of the Obama candidacy to Jesse Jackson's.

We have forgiven you Geraldine Ferraro's national radio interview suggesting Obama would not still be in the race had he been a white man.

We have forgiven you the dozen changing metrics and the endless self-contradictions of your insistence that your nomination is mathematically probable rather than a statistical impossibility.

We have forgiven you your declaration of some primary states as counting and some as not.

We have forgiven you exploiting Jeremiah Wright in front of the editorial board of the lunatic-fringe Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

We have forgiven you exploiting William Ayers in front of the debate on ABC.

We have forgiven you for boasting of your "support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans"...

We have even forgiven you repeatedly praising Senator McCain at Senator Obama's expense, and your own expense, and the Democratic ticket's expense.

But Senator, we cannot forgive you this.

"You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California."

We cannot forgive you this -- not because it is crass and low and unfeeling and brutal.

**This** is **un**-forgivable, because this nation's deepest shame, its most enduring horror, its most terrifying legacy, is political assassination.

Lincoln.
Garfield.
McKinley.
Kennedy.
Malcolm X
Martin Luther King.
**Robert** Kennedy.

And, but for the grace of the universe or the luck of the draw, Reagan, Ford, Truman, Nixon, Andrew Jackson, both Roosevelts, even George Wallace.

The politics of this nation is steeped enough in blood, Senator Clinton, you cannot and must not invoke that imagery! Anywhere! At any time!

And to not appreciate, immediately -- to **still** not appreciate tonight -- just **what** you have done... is to reveal an incomprehension of the America you seek to lead.

This, Senator, is too much.


... Because a senator - a politician - a person - who can let hang in mid-air the prospect that she might just be sticking around in part, just in case the other guy gets shot - has no business being, and no capacity to be, the President of the United States.



I will remind folks.....SHE NEVER APOLOGIZED TO BARACK OBAMA.

Clinton Staying in Race In Case Obama is Assassinated

I thought I could write a calm post about her evil, but I can't. So, here's my fellow blogger, Jill Tubman's from Jack and Jill Politics:


************************************************************

Honestly, seriously, what about this does not sound threatening? As an African-American, it's been chilling and unprecendented to hear people like Huckabee joke about Barack Obama, a presidential candidate, ducking from gunfire or Bill O'Racist O'Reilly imply that Michelle Obama should be lynched.

Can you imagine if people were saying the same things about George W. Bush or John Kerry during the 2004 race? My God, when did propriety, decency and a sense of responsibility leave the table? Oh and if anyone was still wondering if there would be an Obama/Clinton ticket? Yeah, I think this probably puts the last nail in that coffin.

From BlackPoliticsontheWeb.com:

- In an interview with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton made the following comments about staying in the race:

“”My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it.”

The campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, through spokesman Bill Burton replied, “Senator Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign.”


Matt Stoller on OpenLeft writes:

Howard Wolfsen clarified:

"Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson defended the comments to The Post, 'She was talking about the length of the race and using the '68 election as an example of how long the races in the past have gone -- she used her husband's race in the same vein.'"

In some sense, what he's saying is right. The call to drop out is premature by the standards of the 1992 and 1968 race. But her staying in the race has no precedent, since in both of those cases the race was not decided. It's not like Hubert Humphrey was waiting around in case someone went off and shot RFK, or Bill Clinton was hoping he could convince superdelegates to override the will of the voters in a clearly losing strategy. There were still primaries going on that could have a significant impact on the outcome of the race.

2004 is a better analogy. Did John Edwards or Howard Dean wait around, musing that perhaps John Kerry would be killed, even though he was clearly going to lock up the majority of the delegates? Of course not. They lined up behind the winner.


It's a doubly unfortunate reference given what the Kennedy family is going through as we speak. I am frankly shocked and disgusted by this statement and call upon the Clinton campaign to clarify and apologize immediately. The Wolfsen statement is inadequate given the horror of the analogy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

NY Governor Paterson Says Hillary "Tonya Harding" Clinton's Showing 'Desperation'

There may be hope for him afterall.

From TPM Election Central:


Top Hillary Supporter Says She's Showing "Desperation"
By Eric Kleefeld - May 22, 2008, 5:07PM


Here's some audio of a stunning rebuke that a top Hillary supporter gave her in response to her comparisons of the Michigan/Florida controversy to the country's historical civil rights struggles.

The supporter, New York Governor David Paterson, said flatly on a local radio show that Hillary was starting to show "a little desperation."



"I would say at this point we're starting to see a little desperation on the part of the woman who I support and I'll support until whatever time she makes a different determination," Paterson told a New York radio station, clearly weighing his words very carefully.

On the Michigan primary in particular: "You have to rule out the undecideds in Michigan. You have to assume she won 100 percent to nothing in Michigan. I don't think anybody in their right mind would do that, nor would they see it as a civil rights issue."


Well, I guess the Black folk here aren't the only ones a little peturbed by Hillpatine's assertion that Michigan and Florida was some big Civil Rights Issue.

McCain Hits Obama For Lack Of Military Service

From TPMElection Central:

McCain Questions Obama's Lack Of Military Service
By Greg Sargent - May 22, 2008, 3:42PM


This is noteworthy: John McCain is now officially making a campaign issue of Obama's lack of military service.

On the Senate floor today, Obama hit McCain for not supporting Webb's 21st Century G.I. bill. In response, McCain released a lengthy statement. Here's the key line, buried in the middle of it:

I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.



McCain is constantly said by pundits to be reluctant to bring up his Vietnam experiences in a political context. But this is now the third day in a row he's done this.

Yesterday and the day before he made oblique, but obvious, references to his torture in captivity. And today -- to my knowledge for the first time -- McCain directly attacked Obama for his lack of military service.


Rest of post at link above.

Now, you might ask, rikyrah, why is Senator ' Straigh Talk' McCain doing this today?

Well, Mirror On America readers, isn't it obvious?

It's to try and hide in the bush the fact that this War Hero

DIDN'T VOTE ON THE NEW G.I.BILL.

Not every soldier has a Daddy and a Granddaddy who were Admirals.
Not every soldier has family connections that get us ' pull' into Annapolis.

A great portion of today's Volunteer Armed Services come from the lower socio-economic classes in America.

The G.I. Bill was one of the best government programs America ever did - it created the modern Middle-Class.

And, the New G.I. Bill just wanted to give those opportunities to the present generation of veterans.

But, Senator 'Straight Talk' couldn't be bothered to vote on the bill.

The bill passed 75-22 by the way.

So, Senator 'Straight Talk', who couldn't be bothered to criticize President ' AWOL' Bush, or Vice President ' Five Deferrments/I had better things to do' Cheney, SUDDENLY is offended by those who lack military service.

Whatever.

Chairman Conyers Subpoenas Karl Rove

From The Gavel

Chairman Conyers Subpoenas Karl Rove
May 22nd, 2008 by Jesse Lee
From the Judiciary Committee:



Conyers Subpoenas Karl Rove

(Washington, DC)- Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) issued a subpoena to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove for testimony about the politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman’s case. Yesterday, Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, sent a letter to the Committee expressing that Rove would not agree to testify voluntarily, per the Committee’s previous requests.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Rove has failed to cooperate with our requests,” Conyers said. “Although he does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on cable television and in the print news media, Mr. Rove and his attorney have apparently concluded that a public hearing room would not be appropriate. Unfortunately, I have no choice today but to compel his testimony on these very important matters.”

Separately, Chairman Conyers recently received a letter from DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) indicating that the office has opened an investigation into allegations of selective prosecution of Siegelman and others.


IT'S ABOUT TIME.

Obama Begins VP Search

From Marc Ambinder:

Quietly, Obama Begins The Quest To Find A Running Mate

Very quietly, Sen. Barack Obama has begun the process that will end in his choosing a running mate, Democrats inside and outside the campaign said.

Obama has sworn a small group of his senior staff to secrecy. He is determined to start the vice presidential search on his own schedule and has said publicly, and repeatedly, that he will not talk about ticket-mates until the race for the nomination itself concludes.

But on his behalf, staffers are putting together a team to assist the search committee, and a hand-full of Democrats connected with the campaign will start to pull together dossiers (based only on open source research and press clippings at this point) on a large number of potential picks so that Obama can have something to read when he starts to think about the choice.

By June 4, the day after Democrats finish voting, the campaign hopes to have a full team in place.

"He wants this done right," said one person who is privy to the candidate and campaign's thinking on the matter. "He takes this very seriously."

James A. Johnson, who vetted potential nominees for Sen. John Kerry in 2004, is playing a major role. He has advised Obama and the campaign about the architecture of the process, though it is not clear whether he will reprise his role as head of the search committee. Ex-Sen. Tom Daschle is also providing advice.

"As always, we don't have anything to say about it," said Dan Pfeiffer, Obama's deputy communications director.


Rest of article at link above.

****************************************


So, Mirror On America readers, who would you like to see on the ticket with Obama.


Some of my prospects:

1. Richardson - Latino, qualified up the ying yang. But, would Black AND Brown scare too much of America?
2. McCaskill- Woman, From a swing state, she's been a very good surrogate for Obama.
3. Webb - Military man, former GOPer, can do the John Wayne stance so many Americans fall for, but could be a problem with the feminists.
4. Governor of Montana - I see him pushed on a lot of the Progressive blogs; the man speaks fluent Arabic, which automatically makes him sorta interesting.
5. Feingold- The Progressive's Progressive. But, he's Jewish and single - can't seem to keep a wife.



Of course, for me, it could be Obama/Winnie the Pooh....

I'm of the ANYBODY BUT CLINTON camp.

The latest piece of sanity on this garbage idea: Not the ticket of dreams

You DO realize that the only ones pushing this garbage is Hillpatine supporters.

I'm with our Obama Brothers and Sisters in Oregon who made it quite clear: 62% said, I.don't.think.so when polled about Clinton being the VP choice for Obama.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton LIES - SHE IS NOT AHEAD IN THE POPULAR VOTE

Ok,

I come home, check my computer, and my last Black nerve has been snapped.

Hillary Clinton and her merry band of lying snakes continue to perpetrate THE LIE that she is ahead in the Popular Vote count.

SHE IS NOT.

The ONLY way that this is possible is if they count Florida and Michigan - two illegal contests.

I'll remind people, Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan.

To which the lying racebaiter replies:

Now, I know that Senator Obama chose to remove his name from the ballot in Michigan, and that was his right. But his choice does not negate the votes of all those who turned out to cast their ballots, and we should not let our process rob them and all of you of your voices. To do so would undermine the very purpose of the nominating process. To ensure that as many Democrats as possible can cast their votes. To ensure that the party selects a nominee who truly represents the will of the voters and to ensure that the Democrats take back the White House to rebuild America.

Now, I’ve heard some say that counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules.

I say that not counting Florida and Michigan is changing a central governing rule of this country - that whenever we can understand the clear intent of the voters, their votes should be counted. I remember very well back in 2000, there were those who argued that people's votes should be discounted over technicalities. For the people of Florida who voted in this primary, the notion of discounting their votes sounds way too much of the same.


Hell no.

SHE AGREED TO THE PUNISHMENT OF MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA.

The Popular Vote isn't an acceptable metric because of the 4 caucus states -Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington-States, that, UNLIKE MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA PLAYED BY THE RULES, and didn't keep Popular Vote Statistics, because the Popular Vote was NEVER THE METRIC UPON WHICH THE NOMINATION WOULD BE DECIDED.

PLEDGED DELEGATES IS THE METRIC.


Not in my imagination that pledged delegates is the selection metric. Nancy Pelosi on PBS tonight:

"How our delegates are selected is by a process and the person who has the most delegates becomes the nominee of the party. It's not been about the popular vote....at the end of the day someone will have the winning number of delegates. Delegate vote is the currency of the realm at the Democratic National Convention."


I have some interesting news that I didn't know until today reading the paper: did you know that Barack Obama HAS ALWAYS LED THE PLEDGED DELEGATE RACE? From beginning in Iowa, he wasn't behind one day in this Election Season.

Then I read that she has the nerve to invoke SLAVERY TODAY IN FLORIDA?

This LYING RACEBAITER has the nerve to INVOKE SLAVERY?

HELL NO.

Not only HELL NO

But, Hell Muthafuckin' No.

It is clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she fully intends to either:
a) steal the nomination from Obama
b) bloody him so she can run in 2012.

Take your pick, but this is all she can be doing right now.

I'm not the only one who sees it this way. From PoliticalInaction.com:

The Clinton victimhood syndrome is in full effect right now...."I just don't think its right to take the nomination away from the leader in the popular vote" Bill says. "More people voted for me" Hillary says. This is why they win. They take a precarious position based on lies and simplify it and sell it to people to busy and trusting to pay attention to the details. They are pure evil and they aren't positioning themselves for the VP. They are trying to take the nomination away using sexism claims, racism, and lies.


Rachel Maddow today, from DailyKos:

Just now Rachel Maddow explained her theory that the Dem's have 10 days to save this election. Unless Obama get's the Supers to come on board NOW to get the 2026 necessary today, the Rules committee will meet on May 31. If that meeting happens, then the 2026 is no longer the number. The rules committee will meet and decide how to seat the FL/MI delegates, but that decision will be appealed by Clinton to the Creditials committee. They will meet in DENVER, at the convention!!! Clinton's people know the rules and will succeed in dragging this to the convention. I don't know if this is accurate, but it definitely needs to be checked out fast///



That's the bottom line.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again..

John McCain or no..

I.WILL.NEVER.

UNDER.ANY.CIRCUMSTANCES.

VOTE.FOR.THIS.LYING.RACEBAITER.

Time for the Democratic Party to MAN UP and Put this Rabid Dog out of its misery.

(PS-don't post in the comments about the offensiveness of this metaphor. I chose my words deliberately.)

Hillary " Tonya Harding" Clinton's Campaign - 20 Million Dollars in Debt

Hat tip: justice58 at Jack and Jill Politics:

From the Los Angeles Times:


Money shocker! Hillary Clinton's campaign debt soars to $31 million


No wonder Sen. Hillary Clinton was so late filing her required campaign financial reports Tuesday night. Her political team didn't want the shocking news in it to overshadow her lopsided thumping of Sen. Barack Obama in Kentucky.

But here's the morning after, pay-up time. Clinton's campaign debt has now soared to nearly $31 million, according to numbers crunched early this morning by The Times' campaign finance guru, Dan Morain.

She added another $9.5 million in unpaid bills to vendors this past month alone, pushing her total debt to vendors and herself to the new astronomical figure, about a 50% debt increase in one month.

According to a campaign release put out Tuesday evening as election returns revealed her big win in Kentucky and loss in Oregon, Clinton raised "approximately $22 million" from other people in April. The release also touted that $10 million had poured in within 48 hours of another lopsided Clinton victory over Obama, that one in Pennsylvania, and said it was the second best fundraising month of her entire campaign.

But the number collected is actually closer to $21 million and the release also neglected to mention that she spent $28.9 million, nearly $8 million more than she took in. She used personal loans to make up part of the difference. She also delayed payments to consultants. Including the $9.5 million in unpaid bills from April, she owes consultants and other vendors $19.5 million.

Not to mention the total $11.4 million she has loaned herself.


Rest of article at link above.

*********************************************
UPDATE: Someone posted that a correction had been made, so I adjusted this post too.

From the LA Times: (*UPDATE: Due to a mathematical error, Hillary Clinton's loans to herself were added twice in the calculation of this item. Her total debts are about $20 million, not $31 million. A corrected item will be published shortly.)


Obama, on the other hand, has 36 Million cash-on-hand and pretty much no debt. So, he has a 55 million dollar advantage in the fundraising arena.

I keep on referring back to that piece on the HuffingtonPost.com that I just randomly clicked on after Pennsylvania. The premise of it was that Barack Obama had competed as hard as he had in Pennsylvania, not because he thought he could win; but because he was trying to bankrupt the Clinton campaign, due to the fact that there wouldn't be enough time in the rest of the calendar for her to get her financial bearings back.

I didn't believe the writer when I first read it. I do now.

Why I Hate Being Black No. 899

Black Women And The Race To The Bottom: Will the Fascination With the Bad Boy/Thug Ever Begin to Wane? And How Are Black Celebrity Women Contributing To This Problem?

Does their position as validators, legitimizers and apologists for a destructive culture harm young women (and young men) and drag down the Race? I don’t think there is any question that their role is and has been harmful. The question is…. how harmful has it been and can their influence be curtailed?



There is all sorts of data that suggests that the Rap industry and the Rap culture are problems for "Black America". (1) (2) (3)
Even Black youth see it as such. Yet the Black culture, especially its women, continues to embrace it, even though it is a culture that degrades the image of young Black women (and literally dehumanizes Black men to the point where they are seen as animals).

Over the last several years I have noticed the trend of famous Black women…. Women who are role models to thousands, who seem to be attracted to Bad Boys…. Those who represent a negative Black male image. An image that only helps to perpetuate negative stereotypes. What has this done to the Black image as a whole? Black women in particular seem to be afflicted especially hard by this sickness (The Bad Boy disease). I don’t believe that this is a coincidence.

This is a part II of a commentary from back in 2006 entitled "Why Are Women Attracted to Thugs". I think we are now far beyond the question of whether this is a problem. Clearly there is a certain narrow image of the Black male that has been mainstreamed. So I want to raise the questions of how and why it has happened.



The image of the Black Bad Boy “thug” has become enormously popular over the last decade, largely due to the impact of the Black celebrity culture and its acceptance by the larger American celebrity culture. But something else has catapulted this negative Black male image into mainstream acceptance- Black women…or “women of color”. (Can’t forget about those like Jennifer Lopez who blur the lines and straddle two or more worlds at once). But this is a problem instigated especially by Black celebrity women. These celebrities (more than any other group in my opinion) have popularized the “thug” male image, and the “Rap Culture” with its negative & damaging value system.




The vast majority of Black female Pop stars & actresses either currently date Rap stars or have dated them at some point in their careers. It has pretty much become the norm to see Black or minority female stars dating the hot rapper of the moment, or the producers or the so-called “moguls” of the industry (translation- thugs who happen to have the most money in the industry). In fact, it is rare for Black celebrity women not to be with someone who personifies the “thug”. I’d say many of the women do it for the same reasons that Gold diggers seek the financially well-off alpha-male- they see them as a meal ticket perhaps. In the case of celeb women…. These men could represent some sort of boost to their careers. Sometimes, simply for the controversy and publicity created from the public relationship. This is not the case for all…but I suspect that it is the case for some. I have a term for these women.... but I will refrain from using that language here.

But who pays the brunt of the consequences for these celebrity relationships? Certainly the celebrity women themselves don’t carry the weight of all the social problems created by the trends that they set. These women have the money and the means and all the safety nets to avoid the pitfalls that come out of the “thug life”. And actually…I have read that many of the so-called “Bad Boys” are really not as bad as the images that they portray…and they too have the safety nets to avoid the real pitfalls that come from the lifestyle that they promote. So who is paying the price? Ordinary, everyday young Black women (and young men) who end up emulating the thug image personified and perpetuated by their superstar role models (and yes, these people are role models whether we like it or not…that argument is a dead one). Lakisha doesn’t have the safety net. So why in the Hell are Black celebrity women promoting this lifestyle?




The impact of this phenomenon is twofold:

#1. These women help to sanitize & validate this negative Black
Male image. They send the message to the rest of the so called “Black Community” (I hate that term because it suggests that Blacks are a monolith…but for the sake of discussion) that this Black male image is harmless, is acceptable and in fact, it should be seen as the ideal. This is why thousands of Black boys from urban communities & beyond, aspire to be rappers, and why young minority women want to embrace the Hip Hop/Rapper thug culture and aspire to be with men who carry this persona, despite the damage that it has done to Black women. That in itself is fascinating to me.

#2. These women help to establish the ideal image of Black men and set the trend for young Black women in the wider community. Black youth, especially young Black women- emulate what they see in the celebrity world. …everything from fashion, makeup, hair, music, and what kind of male is hot or ideal. Black men are almost like a fashion accessory for some women, particularly a certain kind of Black male. This is particularly the case in a Black culture where parenting is lacking and where youth are being raised by the Television and by the Rap culture.

Some may say (usually apologists for the degenerate Black Rap culture) that the “Bad Boy” is also popular in society in general. There are many White women who prefer these men as well. And I will agree with that to a point. Women have been attracted to s---heads since the beginning of time. It’s biological. “Bad Boy” traits are often mistaken for strength, power, & confidence…all markers that women pick up on that suggests a strong male. But women often can’t make the distinction between good examples of male strength & confidence and bad examples of the same. Their hormones cause all kinds of confusion. This is how women go for criminals, drug dealers, playboys, etc. The comment that I often get from women is that these men make good protectors. But these women fail to realize that these men can’t protect them or be good fathers from the grave or a prison cell.

Yes the wider society has this problem but it does not have the same impact on the larger society- particularly on the White society, as it does for “communities of color”. The larger white society has many more positive images of white men & women (white men in particular). There is much more of a balance in terms of images. In contrast, the negative Black male thug image has become the predominant image of Black men, both within so-called Black culture & within the wider society. When people see me walking by (esp. Whites) & they don’t know me…they don’t see Dr. Ben Carson, nor do they see any positive potential I may have. Instead, they see the “Hip Hop” TV image & everything negative that has become associated with the Black male. This is the case even though there is nothing about me that says “Hip Hop”, criminal, thug, etc. I don’t dress Hip Hop, nor do I speak Hip Hop. I have come to despise the Hip Hop /Rap culture, yet, because I’m Black, I cannot escape being associated with it in terms of perception.



(I don't want to read any nonsense about Kim Kardashian being White... i'm well aware of that fact).

The fact that these women help to perpetuate, sanitize, & legitimize this image drives me crazy. It seems as though most of the negative stereotypes that harm Blacks today are perpetuated by those of the same ethnic group. Black Hip Hop culture has become a laughing stock nationwide, providing fodder for non-Black Americans who enjoy seeing their racist predispositions reinforced by the images and lifestyles that they see promoted in popular culture (mostly by Blacks.... not whites... there is no need for Blackface minstrel shows today...Black folks have that job covered). Basically these women are helping to perpetuate their own degradation in many cases, and certainly the degradation of the image of Black women as a whole. By bolstering the status of men who symbolize the thug or Bad Boy, these women send the wrong message to their counterparts in the general community.

Now this undercuts the arguments of Black women who complain about the treatment that they get from such men. On one hand, they complain about maltreatment from the thug/Bad Boy community, yet these are the kinds of men who these women (for the most part) seem to pursue time and time again. In the world of glaring contradictions, this one is near the top. Like the Black women who complain about their negative image in the degenerate Hip Hop culture, yet they continue to court men who are steeped in that very same culture, and continue to buy the music that supports the rap entertainers who they are complaining about.

This represents one of the fundamental underlying problems that I have with Black women & women in general. In High School & College I never bothered to pursue the opposite sex. I noticed that the young women around me (particularly Black women) always seemed to go for the jocks, thugs, the troublemakers, the gang members…and the wannabe Rap stars. Any guy who was concerned about actual schoolwork, came to class everyday, took notes, etc.. was most often seen as boring and socially unattractive. That seemed to be the easiest way to ensure that you would be ignored by young Black women in school- carry lots of books. It acted as a repellent to Black women, although I didn’t intend it to be as such. It wasn’t until years later that I got a better understanding of this or realized why it happened. I saw the same pattern in adulthood, only worse. I also came to realize that if I ever wanted a partner, that I may have to look outside of the Race….even though that is something that I don’t necessarily want to do as a purpose driven thing. But it may become necessary. It may be my only option once I start to date seriously (after I reach financial viability… only God knows when that will be). As much as I want to love Black women…. I have too many issues with the culture….so many that I don’t see Black women as the most dateable. It goes back to the issues that I have mentioned… Black women who are racing to the bottom with the kinds of choices they are making, particularly with men….ultimately dragging the Race down the tubes.

This is why I call this phenomenon “The Race To The Bottom”. Women (especially Black women) seem to be making exceptionally poor choices in terms of what kinds of men they seek. And it’s not all women out there. But it is certainly a large portion - I will go out on a limb and say that it is a majority, although it may be a slight majority. Many women, particularly in minority communities, seem to be after the lowest common denominator. The impact is that it is slowly but surely harming the Race. These kinds of bad choices are a main factor, in my view, behind the breakdown of the “Black Family”- lack of fathers in the home, the out-of-wedlock births, low marriage rate, etc.

This situation of men choosing the “Bad Boy” image (because they think this is what women like), and women choosing to be with these men is such a normal practice that it’s as if this is a Right of Passage.


The Hovey Street Murders


A few months ago a horrible mass murder of two young Black women & their babies took place in Indianapolis, Indiana. The incident became known as “The Hovey Street Murders”, and is famous nationwide (Look it up for detailed background or follow the links provided below).

One of the young women was a resident in the home, and the other was simply a visitor, at the wrong place at the wrong time, although I’m sure that she knew what was going on at the home. A group of armed thugs barged into the house through a bedroom window and brutally gunned down the 4 victims in cold blood…as the women begged for their lives and the lives of their babies. The motive? The thugs were hoping to steal money and drugs from the home. The house on Hovey Street was a known drug location. One of the victims resided in the home with her drug dealer boyfriend who was not there at the time. This young lady was apparently aware of what was taking place in the home, and was likely a willing participant in the drug activity along with her boyfriend. (link 6) (link 7)

Read the Official Police Probable Cause Affidavit /Investigative Report on this case (names of officers & witnesses have been blacked out).

I felt sick inside after reading about this case. Of course I felt sorry for the victims, especially the children. But I also noticed that there was a lot of misdirected blame taking place…. That only the home invading monsters had a hand in the demise of these 4 victims. I simply wanted to suggest that the blame for these incidents (which play like a broken record in “Black Communities” all across the Country) can’t be laid at one doorstep. I simply wanted to mention that, although they were victims here and didn’t deserve this ending, the young women shared at least some blame for the positions they placed themselves & their children in.

When I raised the issue of choices & personal responsibility on a fellow bloggers site, suggesting that the adult female (I’m purposely leaving names out) who lived in the Hovey Street home bore at least some responsibility for putting her life & her baby’s life in such danger, as well as the lives of her friend and the other child, I was absolutely vilified. Vilified for even making the suggestion that Black women shared any responsibility whatsoever (not for being harmed…but for knowingly putting themselves in such dangerous positions where the risk of harm is high). One of the Black bloggers (a female) stated that “The victim was just doing what she had to do… we shouldn’t blame her for that”….and she was part of a chorus of Black women who dismissed my statement as an attempt to blame the victims and to side with the thug animals who targeted the house- an idea that couldn’t be farther from the truth….anyone who has read my postings long enough knows better. If you’ve read some of my creative suggestions for dealing with criminals, thugs, & rappers…you would probably get the urge to contact the authorities. But I swear…all of these measures would be legal and just (if I were in charge). (Just kidding). But many of the responses were discouraging. But it wasn’t surprising that the attacks came from Black women.

I raised the issue because I hear/read about such tragic stories constantly. It seems as though there is a similar story played out each week, either locally in my hometown (The St. Louis Metro Area) or nationwide. Frankly I’m tired of reading about the same stories over and over again. I knew ahead of time that I would be attacked by Black women for bringing up the issue of choices that women make which place them (and their children) at serious risk. As I have stated, this lifestyle has been so accepted & embraced and has become so much of the “norm”, particularly for Black communities, that it is a Right of Passage- so much so that many young women see nothing wrong with the choices made by the Hovey Street victim who placed herself, her child, and her friends in danger. They (Black women) don’t even recognize and/or refuse to acknowledge that raising a baby in a drug house is even an issue. Half of the young Black women who responded to my comments about choices saw no problem whatsoever with the idea of a young Black woman dating a known drug dealer & raising a baby in that kind of environment. (A Right of Passage).

To most people in the wider non-Black society, such a situation - a baby being raised in a drug house- would be viewed without question as appalling, deplorable & unacceptable. They would balance their rage- expressing empathy for the victims, but also calling into question the choices made by at least one of the women. That’s the normal response to such a tragedy. And this is all I wanted- a balance…an acknowledgement that this was not right. But no. Not according to at least half of the Black women who participated in the discussion. They immediately made excuses for the women….and demonized ALL Black males…as animals. Somehow I allowed myself to be personally offended by that…. Because I get enough of that in the general society….simply for being a Black guy.

According to these women, the young lady from Hovey Street bore little if any responsibility for the increased risk she found herself in. I believe this condition of normalization & acceptance of this kind of lifestyle…the mainstreaming of it, has had a numbing affect on these women. They can’t even recognize that the situation was wrong, that the choices were harmful and they can’t even empathize with the babies on that basis. The women in this case (and similar cases) are seen by Black women as helpless victims, not smart enough to make good choices, as women who should not be expected to be held accountable for anything. First we had the pre-women’s Suffrage era, when women were essentially seen as helpless, unintelligent, dependant on men, and even seen as the private property of men. Then we went through the Suffrage era of the late 1800’s - the 20’s and 30’s when women gained more independence, more legal rights, gained control of their own bodies, and gained the right to vote. Then we went through the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 60’s and 70’s. Then to the empowerment, independence and equality that women worked to establish in the 80’s and 90’s. And now in the 2000’s we are back to Pre-Suffrage times, when women were not responsible for their actions, were helpless, were taken care of by men and couldn’t make their own decisions. At least that is what some people would like us to believe. On one hand, women (especially Black women) want to be seen as strong, independent, smart, and responsible, but on the other hand they want to be seen as helpless damsels who can’t possibly be responsible for the decisions they make. What is really happening here is that these women want it both ways.

What I am getting at is that this issue is like the elephant in the room.

People want to ignore the issue of legitimization and validation of this negative Black male image, and the role that some women are playing it in. People want to gloss over the consequences that this is having on Black youth and on society as a whole. And it’s an image that is just as harmful to Black men as it is to Black women. Black women are helping to create & prop up this negative image…of the kind of man that they claim is harmful to them.

Do you believe that Black Hollywood (particularly its women) are playing a harmful role in encouraging young women to seek the wrong image in a mate? Do they promote the wrong image of Black men? Is this trend harmful to the “Black Family”?

And why are Black women so reluctant to criticize other Black women on this issue? Why are they so reluctant to point out the negative role that some Black women are playing in the deterioration of the Black social condition? This kind of criticism seems almost taboo. Instead, Black women (some, not all) seem to defend & make excuses for certain behaviors of other Black women that are helping to destroy the Race.

I understand that there is a need to love these women as a way of helping them, but you can’t get to the point of helping them when no one wants to point out what the negative behaviors and choices are. Without identifying them, and acknowledging them, the problems cannot be corrected. Black folks are in a serious state of denial on many of these issues.

**********************************


UPDATE: R. Kelly Getting Support from Black Women, Even His Victims.

Child rapist R. Kelly gets support from an unlikely (but somehow not surprising) source- Black Women. It seems that the victim in this case, along with her mother, have been bought out by R. Kelly. The victim now claims that she is not the girl on the tape. Obviously, with all the time that was allowed to elapse between the videotaping and the trial, R. Kelly has been able to influence the victim.

As if that's not bad enough, Kelly has a loyal group of cheerleaders who attend the trial, some being so "supportive" that they disrupt the proceedings. Who are they? Black women. The scene described in the Courtroom literally mimics the Boondocks episode which featured the trial....with mindless Black folks rooting for Kelly.

So now it is o.k. to rape underage Black girls....as long as you are wealthy and you can buy the girls and their mothers? When did Black women (and Black families) begin this practice of literally putting their daughters up for sale?

Hear an NPR report about the proceedings

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

War Drums Beating Again For Iran Attack?

Did Israel let the Cat out of the bag about the Bush Administrations plans for Iran?

I hope this is just more fluff, designed to get Irans attention. I believe that the window of opportunity for an attack against Iran has passed. The latest optimal time would have been late last year or earlier this year. It just doesn't make sense to launch an attack at this point. We are well into an election year. Such a move would have unclear, but serious consequences, both domestically and internationally. Domestically, it could either harm the Republican candidate, or increase Republican support (which tends to happen for the office holders Party in wartime). But an increase in support for Bush or McCain is very unlikely in this case.

In addition, the U.S., being tied up in Iraq, does not have enough troops on standby to blunt an aggressive Iranian counter-attack, once airstrikes commence. So an attack under these conditions would be a case of outright recklessness and stupidity. But that's nothing new for Bush and the Republicans. The U.S. can't hold ground in Iraq with 150,000 troops, and the neocons want to attack a Country that is three times the size and population of Iraq? The U.S. would need 200,000 to perhaps 250,000 troops just to contain a counter-attack and push the Iranians back (That's on a good day).

Internationally, the consequences could be grave. Iran would almost certainly use Iraq and Lebanon as fronts in any confrontation. It would put U.S. troops and allies at serious risk. Any conflict could also draw in regional powers like Russia, Israel, etc. Such a conflict could spread quickly like a wildfire....with no one being able to control it. This is a very bad environment to fight a war in because there are so many flashpoints.... no clear red lines anywhere....all the red lines are blurred.

This would also be a stupid time for an attack considering that the Iranian government is domestically unpopular right now. Attacking Iran would be a gift for the Iranian leadership because it would rally their people to support them (and they will do so by the millions). It would be a lot better to talk to Iran, re-establish UN monitoring of nuclear facilities, provide a boost to nuclear negotiations (with UN leadership) and quietly work with the people of Iran. The same revolution that brought the Mullahs to power is the same revolution that could remove them. Why anger the Iranian people (many of whom are pro-Western....not so much in terms of politics, but in terms of culture). Ordinary Iranians are this Country's greatest asset.

Lastly, I see no signs of any immediate confrontation. There are no Aircraft Carriers steaming towards the Persian Gulf in unusually large numbers. A serious attack would require at least 3-4 Carrier battle groups, considering that Iran has a considerable military capability (as compared to other countries in the region). Keep in mind that the U.S. used 6 Carrier battle groups against Iraq in 1991...and Iran is a nation 3 times the size of Iraq, in land and in population size...and has a military capability that is larger than what Saddam Hussein had at that time.
It should also be noted that few Countries, if any, will be willing to help the U.S. in any kind of Bush neocon military adventure in Iran.

The problem with the above is that it is a common sense assessment. The Bush administration doesn't operate under any common sense assumptions. Bush & Co. has always done things that simply don't make sense in the real world. We are not dealing with normal people. That's what is scary.

Obama's Speech in Iowa Tonight

Obama's Speech In Iowa

Full Speech:

You know, there is a spirit that brought us here tonight – a spirit of change, and hope, and possibility. And there are few people in this country who embody that spirit more than our friend and our champion, Senator Edward Kennedy. He has spent his life in service to this country not for the sake of glory or recognition, but because he cares – deeply, in his gut – about the causes of justice, and equality, and opportunity. So many of us here have benefited in some way or another because of the battles he’s waged, and some of us are here because of them.

We know he is not well right now, but we also know that he’s a fighter. And as he takes on this fight, let us lift his spirits tonight by letting Ted Kennedy know that we are thinking of him, that we are praying for him, that we are standing with him, and that we will be fighting with him every step of the way.

Fifteen months ago, in the depths of winter, it was in this great state where we took the first steps of an unlikely journey to change America.

The skeptics predicted we wouldn’t get very far. The cynics dismissed us as a lot of hype and a little too much hope. And by the fall, the pundits in Washington had all but counted us out.

But the people of Iowa had a different idea.

From the very beginning, you knew that this journey wasn’t about me or any of the other candidates in this race. It’s about whether this country – at this defining moment – will continue down the same road that has failed us for so long, or whether we will seize this opportunity to take a different path – to forge a different future for the country we love.

That is the question that sent thousands upon thousands of you to high school gyms and VFW halls; to backyards and front porches; to steak fries and JJ dinners, where you spoke about what that future would look like.

You spoke of an America where working families don’t have to file for bankruptcy just because a child gets sick; where they don’t lose their home because some predatory lender tricks them out of it; where they don’t have to sit on the sidelines of the global economy because they couldn’t afford the cost of a college education. You spoke of an America where our parents and grandparents don’t spend their retirement in poverty because some CEO dumped their pension – an America where we don’t just value wealth, but the work and the workers who create it.

You spoke of an America where we don’t send our sons and daughters on tour after tour of duty to a war that has cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars but has not made us safer. You spoke of an America where we match the might of our military with the strength of our diplomacy and the power of our ideals – a nation that is still the beacon of all that is good and all that is possible for humankind.

You spoke of a future where the politics we have in Washington finally reflect the values we hold as Americans – the values you live by here in Iowa: common sense and honesty; generosity and compassion; decency and responsibility. These values don’t belong to one class or one region or even one party – they are the values that bind us together as one country.

That is the country I saw in the faces of crowds that would stretch far into the horizon of our heartland – faces of every color, of every age – faces I see here tonight. You are Democrats who are tired of being divided; Republicans who no longer recognize the party that runs Washington; Independents who are hungry for change. You are the young people who’ve been inspired for the very first time and those not-so-young folks who’ve been inspired for the first time in a long time. You are veterans and church-goers; sportsmen and students; farmers and factory workers; teachers and business owners who have varied backgrounds and different traditions, but the same simple dreams for your children’s future.

Many of you have been disappointed by politics and politicians more times than you can count. You’ve seen promises broken and good ideas drown in the sea of influence, and point-scoring, and petty bickering that has consumed Washington. And you’ve been told over and over and over again to be cynical, and doubtful, and even fearful about the possibility that things can ever be different.

And yet, in spite of all the doubt and disappointment – or perhaps because of it – you came out on a cold winter’s night in numbers that this country has never seen, and you stood for change. And because you did, a few more stood up. And then a few thousand stood up. And then a few million stood up. And tonight, in the fullness of spring, with the help of those who stood up from Portland to Louisville, we have returned to Iowa with a majority of delegates elected by the American people, and you have put us within reach of the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

The road here has been long, and that is partly because we’ve traveled it with one of the most formidable candidates to ever run for this office. In her thirty-five years of public service, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has never given up on her fight for the American people, and tonight I congratulate her on her victory in Kentucky. We have had our disagreements during this campaign, but we all admire her courage, her commitment and her perseverance. No matter how this primary ends, Senator Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and changed the America in which my daughters and yours will come of age.

Some may see the millions upon millions of votes cast for each of us as evidence that our party is divided, but I see it as proof that we have never been more energized and united in our desire to take this country in a new direction. More than anything, we need this unity and this energy in the months to come, because while our primary has been long and hard-fought, the hardest and most important part of our journey still lies ahead.

We face an opponent, John McCain, who arrived in Washington nearly three decades ago as a Vietnam War hero, and earned an admirable reputation for straight talk and occasional independence from his party.

But this year’s Republican primary was a contest to see which candidate could out-Bush the other, and that is the contest John McCain won. The Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans that once bothered Senator McCain’s conscience are now his only economic policy. The Bush health care plan that only helps those who are already healthy and wealthy is now John McCain’s answer to the 47 million Americans without insurance and the millions more who can’t pay their medical bills. The Bush Iraq policy that asks everything of our troops and nothing of Iraqi politicians is John McCain’s policy too, and so is the fear of tough and aggressive diplomacy that has left this country more isolated and less secure than at any time in recent history. The lobbyists who ruled George Bush’s Washington are now running John McCain’s campaign, and they actually had the nerve to say that the American people won’t care about this. Talk about out of touch!

I will leave it up to Senator McCain to explain to the American people whether his policies and positions represent long-held convictions or Washington calculations, but the one thing they don’t represent is change.

Change is a tax code that rewards work instead of wealth by cutting taxes for middle-class families, and senior citizens, and struggling homeowners; a tax code that rewards businesses that create good jobs here in America instead of the corporations that ship them overseas. That’s what change is.

Change is a health care plan that guarantees insurance to every American who wants; that brings down premiums for every family who needs it; that stops insurance companies from discriminating and denying coverage to those who need it most.

Change is an energy policy that doesn’t rely on buddying up to the Saudi Royal Family and then begging them for oil – an energy policy that puts a price on pollution and makes the oil companies invest their record profits in clean, renewable sources of energy that will create five million new jobs and leave our children a safer planet. That’s what change is.

Change is giving every child a world-class education by recruiting an army of new teachers with better pay and more support; by promising four years of tuition to any American willing to serve their community and their country; by realizing that the best education starts with parents who turn off the TV, and take away the video games, and read to our children once in awhile.

Change is ending a war that we never should’ve started and finishing a war against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan that we never should’ve ignored. Change is facing the threats of the twenty-first century not with bluster, or fear-mongering, or tough talk, but with tough diplomacy, and strong alliances, and confidence in the ideals that have made this nation the last, best hope of Earth. That is the legacy of Roosevelt, and Truman, and Kennedy.

That is what change is.

That is the choice in this election.

The same question that first led us to Iowa fifteen months ago is the one that has brought us back here tonight; it is the one we will debate from Washington to Florida, from New Hampshire to New Mexico – the question of whether this country, at this moment, will keep doing what we’ve been doing for four more years, or whether we will take that different path. It is more of the same versus change. It is the past versus the future. It has been asked and answered by generations before us, and now it is our turn to choose.

We will face our share of difficult and uncertain days in the journey ahead. The other side knows they have embraced yesterday’s policies and so they will also embrace yesterday’s tactics to try and change the subject. They will play on our fears and our doubts and our divisions to distract us from what matters to you and your future.

Well they can take the low road if they want, but it will not lead this country to a better place. And it will not work in this election. It won’t work because you won’t let it. Not this time. Not this year.

My faith in the decency, and honesty, and generosity of the American people is not based on false hope or blind optimism, but on what I have lived and what I have seen in this very state.

For in the darkest days of this campaign, when we were dismissed by all the polls and all the pundits, I would come to Iowa and see that there was something happening here that the world did not yet understand.

It’s what led high school and college students to give up their vacations to stuff envelopes and knock on doors, and why grandparents have spent all their afternoons making phone calls to perfect strangers. It’s what led men and women who can barely pay the bills to dig into their savings and write five dollar checks and ten dollar checks, and why young people from all over this country have left their friends and their families for a job that offers little pay and less sleep.

Change is coming to America.

It’s the spirit that sent the first patriots to Lexington and Concord and led the defenders of freedom to light the way north on an Underground Railroad. It’s what sent my grandfather’s generation to beachheads in Normandy, and women to Seneca Falls, and workers to picket lines and factory fences. It’s what led all those young men and women who saw beatings and billy clubs on their television screens to leave their homes, and get on buses, and march through the streets of Selma and Montgomery – black and white, rich and poor.

Change is coming to America.

It’s what I saw all those years ago on the streets of Chicago when I worked as an organizer – that in the face of joblessness, and hopelessness, and despair, a better day is still possible if there are people willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it. That’s what I’ve seen here in Iowa. That’s what is happening in America – our journey may be long, our work will be great, but we know in our hearts we are ready for change, we are ready to come together, and in this election, we are ready to believe again. Thank you Iowa, and may God Bless America.

Obama Reaches Majority of Pledged Delegates




Per CNN.com:


May 20, 2008
CNN projects Obama reaches majority of pledged delegates
Posted: 09:21 PM ET


(CNN) — Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has won a majority of the pledged delegates in the Democratic race for president even after losing Tuesday's Kentucky primary to Sen. Hillary Clinton, according to CNN estimates.

Clinton, the New York senator and former first lady, beat Obama by a wide margin in Kentucky. But Obama is still expected to claim a minimum of 14 of the 51 delegates at stake in Tuesday's contest, giving him 1,627 of the 3,253 delegates that will be awarded during the Democratic primaries and caucuses.

Results from Oregon, the second contest of the night, are not expected until after 11 p.m. ET. Published polls showed Obama leading Clinton there.

A total of 2,026 delegates are needed to win the party's presidential nomination, however. That means the race is likely to be settled by the party's "superdelegates" — governors, members of Congress and party officials who will cast votes at the Democratic convention in August.

***********************************************

Link to Obama's Speech in Iowa tonight is HERE.

Obama April Fundraising Numbers -$31 Million; Approaching 3 Million Donations

From HuffingtonPost.com:

Obama Nearing 3 Million Donations, Raises $31 Million In April
The Huffington Post May 20, 2008 09:27 PM

ABC News reports:


Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., hauled in $31.9 million in April (including $600,000 for the general election) to continue his battle for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, ABC news was first to report tonight. Obama out-raised Clinton -- who raised close to $22 million -- by almost $10 million.

Two hundred thousand new donors joined Obama's effort last month.

Obama has an mighty $37.3 million on hand with $9.2 million tucked away for the general election.


Here's the full breakdown via the Obama campaign:

By the numbers....

New donors in April: 200,000

94% of contributions were under $200

93% of contributions were $100 or less

77% of contributions were $50 or less

52% of contributions were $25 or less


Number of donors to the Obama campaign overall at the end of April: 1.475 million

Number of contributions given: 2,929,000 million

Average donation: $91

Amount raised in April: $31.3 million (plus an additional $600,000 for the general election)

Cash on Hand: $37.3 million (plus an additional $9.2 million for the general election)

Ted Kennedy Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

From DailyKos

Kennedy Diagnosed with Brain Tumor
by MissLaura
Tue May 20, 2008 at 10:19:17 AM PDT
AP:



BOSTON - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor. Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.


We'll have to wait for more news, including a prognosis, but of course "malignant brain tumor" is never good news. To hear it in connection with Ted Kennedy is awful.



My prayers go out to the Senator and his family.