Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!


Centrist Appeasement Dilutes the Public Option

healthcare reform hero Rep. Anthony Wiener

Media Alert- Black Men in the Age of Obama


- In the CNN Newsroom, Don Lemon moderates a roundtable discussion airing on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 10 p.m. (ET) and Sunday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. (ET). Conducted at historic Morehouse College, CNN education contributor Dr. Steve Perry, Bishop Eddie Long, author and entrepreneur Farrah Gray, Tyree Simmons (aka DJ Drama) and Morehouse senior Tyrone McGowan reveal their insights into what has changed, if anything, in their lives, families, workplaces and communities in the year since the 2008 presidential election. Follow Lemon leading up to the roundtable discussion for behind-the-scenes access on through the Newsroom blog and other social media platforms.

- Tony Harris highlights his interview with radio host Steve Harvey, who wrote a first-person essay “When A Man Loves A Woman” for ESSENCE Magazine, airing on Friday, Nov. 6 starting in the 11 a.m. (ET) hour.

- HLN presents a week-long series of interviews beginning Nov. 2 during the 4 p.m. (ET) hour. Richelle Carey sits down with actor and author Hill Harper on relationships; Harvard University professor and author Dr. Alvin Poussaint on education; and Syracuse University professor Dr. Boyce Watkins on finance; to name just a handful of the featured interviews.

- On the new, CNN, HLN and ESSENCE Magazine take an unprecedented look at President Obama’s impact on black men in America. President Obama has urged black men to take responsibility for their lives and families and he’s called on all Americans to volunteer to help restore their communities, located at Has President Obama inspired Americans to take action? What are the challenges still facing black men in America? Audience members are encouraged to share their thoughts in the discussion through iReport, the network’s user-generated online news community.

President Obama's Weekly Address

Friday, October 30, 2009

Interesting Political Articles: Organizing for America and Gerrymandering

Disorganized: What happened to Obama's massive network of grassroots activists?

from The New Republic
Last year, after winning the presidency, Obama decided to keep intact the backbone of his stunningly efficient, innovative campaign. Previous presidents had outsourced their activism to interest groups; Obama was going to create his own. OFA was supposed to be a new kind of permanent campaign: a grassroots network wielding some 13 million email addresses to mobilize former volunteers on behalf of the administration's agenda (and keep them engaged for 2012). "We've never had a political leader who has continued their organizing while in office like this at this scale," Tom Matzzie, former Washington director of MoveOn, told NPR in January.

As right-wing protesters dominated the news this summer, it would have seemed the perfect opportunity for Obama's much-touted organizers to drown out the conservatives with some coordinated agitation of their own. But they barely made a ripple. Where were they? And how could such a formidable grassroots operation--having just put Obama in office--fall quiet so quickly?

Full article at The New Republic

Redistricting and Gerrymandering: Can the Internet Help?

from the Personal Democracy Forum
Gerrymandering has long been one of the ugly little secrets of American politics, and absolutely one of the arenas where the role of technology has been to make politics worse, not better. Every ten years, after a new census is completed, state legislatures redraw district lines, using powerful computers that essentially enable them to pick their voters before the voters ever have a chance to pick them. Wonder why 94% to 98% of incumbent Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are have been re-elected every cycle since 1996? Or why so few House seats--generally only one-in-ten--are considered up for grabs each cycle? This has long been one of those problems mostly of interest to academics and good government groups, and while everyone wrings their hands about how the resulting lack of electoral competition is bad for democracy, fosters polarization and entrenches corruption, so far no one has figured out how to make ending gerrymandering into a more popular cause.

Enter, a new site built by Avencia, a firm that specializes in web-based geographic analysis, visualization and modeling applications. The site offers an intriguing way of breaking down the barrier to public engagement on this issue, and, if it manages to draw more support, could actually change the game by showing citizens how easy it is to draw fair political boundaries, and how corrupt the process is now.

Full article at the Personal Democracy Forum

Barack Obama & Jesse Helms? Michelle Obama - Stepford Wife?


hat tip: Michelle Obama Watch

Obama Not Comfortable With Women in Basketball, Golf ... or Anywhere Else
October 27, 2009 11:39 AM ET | Bonnie Erbe |
By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

President Obama drew heat last week for a story that surfaced outing his private White House male-only b-ball games. The story was that even though two female members of his cabinet were members of their college basketball teams, they were excluded, as were all women, from this most private of male-only clubs. The story became a metaphor for how the president views women generally and threatened to reveal some inconvenient truths about the man.

Now we see reports that gender-insensitivity charges have resonated with the Obama White House. According to Politics Daily, the president dragged chief domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes to the golf course on Sunday, and she became the first female to join his golf foursome since he took office. The event produced a photo op of global proportions.

President Obama could invite Chamique Holdsclaw to the private White House basketball court and Billie Jean King to play tennis with him. I still wouldn't believe he's any more comfortable dealing with women or concerned about "women's" issues than the dearly departed former Sen. Jesse Helms. President Obama talks the talk a lot better and a lot louder than Helms. But Jesse Helms was so rooted in his atavist traditions, he chose to remain true to his misogyny rather than pose for cameras with faux female golfing partners. President Obama must hide the side of his personality that is clearly uncomfortable with women because he needs their votes much more than Helms ever did.

Whether it was his treatment of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail (as in his condescending remark that she was "likeable enough") or his clearly career-oriented mate who has been toned down and remorphed into a Stepford Wife, I just don't get the impression this man is comfortable with women. Nor do I believe he cares about them beyond needing women's votes. It's an act and a thoroughly see-through, amateur one at that.

I thought my eyes were going to pop out reading Barack Obama and JESSE HELMS in the same vicinity.

I TOLD YOU, that story about the basketball and golf was absolute BULLSHYT.

She has the nerve to compare Barack Obama to JESSE HELMS?


Media Alert


The First Couple is the subject of an article in the upcoming New York Times Magazine on Sunday.

Here is the link to the article:The First Marriage

The 2010 Reforms in the House Healthcare Reform Bill

hat tip-djchefron

From DailyKos

A handful of the reforms will immediately address issues for Medicare beneficiaries, all solid reforms that should also provide some political help in 2010--seniors vote.

Here's the full list of what will start happening in 2010 under the bill.

1. BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE — Reduces the donut hole by $500 and institutes a 50% discount on brand-name drugs, effective January 1, 2010.

2. IMMEDIATE HELP FOR THE UNINSURED UNTIL EXCHANGE IS AVAILABLE (INTERIM HIGH-RISK POOL) — Creates a temporary insurance program until the Exchange is available for individuals who have been uninsured for several months or have been denied a policy because of pre-existing conditions.

3. BANS LIFETIME LIMITS ON COVERAGE—Prohibits health insurance companies from placing lifetime caps on coverage.

4. ENDS RESCISSIONS—Prohibits insurers from nullifying or rescinding a patient’s policy when they file a claim for benefits, except in the case of fraud.

5. EXTENDS COVERAGE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE UP TO 27TH BIRTHDAY THROUGH PARENTS’ INSURANCE— Requires health plans to allow young people through age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance policy, at the parents’ choice.

6. ELIMINATES COST-SHARING FOR PREVENTIVE SERVICES IN MEDICARE—Eliminates co-payments for preventive services and exempts preventive services from deductibles under the Medicare program.

7. IMPROVES HELP FOR LOW-INCOME MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES—Improves the low-income protection programs in Medicare to assure more individuals are able to access this vital help.

8. PROVIDES NEW CONSUMER PROTECTIONS IN MEDICARE ADVANTAGE— Prohibits Medicare Advantage plans from charging enrollees higher cost-sharing for services in their private plan than what is charged in traditional Medicare.

9. IMMEDIATE SUNSHINE ON PRICE GOUGING—Discourages excessive price increases by insurance companies through review and disclosure of insurance rate increases.

10. CONTINUITY FOR DISPLACED WORKERS—Allows Americans to keep their COBRA coverage until the Exchange is in place and they can access affordable coverage.

11. CREATES NEW, VOLUNTARY, PUBLIC LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE PROGRAM—Creates a long-term care insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who become functionally disabled.

12. HELP FOR EARLY RETIREES—Creates a $10 billon fund to finance a temporary reinsurance program to help offset the costs of expensive health claims for employers that provide health benefits for retirees age 55-64.

13. COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS—Increases funding for Community Health Centers to allow for a doubling of the number of patients seen by the centers over the next 5 years.

14. INCREASING NUMBER OF PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS — Provides new investment in training programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals.

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin

Confirmed last night in the Senate.

President Obama Lifts HIV Travel Ban

hat tip - the Daily Dish

U.S. President Barack Obama signs the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 as Jeanne White-Ginder (2nd R), mother of Ryan White, looks on in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, October 30, 2009. White was 13 years old when he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1984 after contracting the disease from a blood-clotting agent used to treat his hemophilia and was barred from school out of fear of spreading the disease.
-----REUTERS/Jim Young

Obama lifts HIV ban
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is lifting the United States’ travel ban for those who are HIV-positive.

Obama said Friday that the order will be finalized on Monday, completing a process begun during the Bush administration. The U.S. has been one of only about a dozen countries that bar entry to travelers based on their HIV status. The ban has been in place for over 20 years.

The announcement came during Obama’s signing of an extension of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS bill.

At a small ceremony at the White House, Obama signed legislation that authorizes the program created in 1990 to continue. The government’s Ryan White program provides medical care, medication and support services to about a half a million people, most low-income.

Submitted by Bill Dalton on October 30, 2009 - 11:33am.

President Obama's remarks on the subject:

A couple of years ago Michelle and I were in Africa and we tried to combat the stigma when we were in Kenya by taking a public HIV/AIDS test. And I'm proud to announce today we're about to take another step towards ending that stigma.
Twenty-two years ago, in a decision rooted in fear rather than fact, the United States instituted a travel ban on entry into the country for people living with HIV/AIDS. Now, we talk about reducing the stigma of this disease -- yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat. We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic -- yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people from HIV from entering our own country.If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it.

And that's why, on Monday my administration will publish a final rule that eliminates the travel ban effective just after the New Year. Congress and President Bush began this process last year, and they ought to be commended for it. We are finishing the job. It's a step that will encourage people to get tested and get treatment, it's a step that will keep families together, and it's a step that will save lives.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Roy DeCarava dies at 89; art photographer depicted the African American experience

hat tip-morphus



Roy DeCarava dies at 89; art photographer depicted the African American experience
He was known for his pictures of everyday life in Harlem and for his candid shots of jazz musicians. Shadow and darkness are hallmarks of his style.
By Mary Rourke
October 29, 2009

Roy DeCarava, an art photographer whose pictures of everyday life in Harlem helped clarify the African American experience for a wider audience, has died. He was 89.

He died Tuesday in New York City, his daughter Wendy DeCarava said. The cause was not given.

DeCarava (pronounced Dee-cuh-RAH-vah) photographed Harlem during the 1940s, '50s and '60s with an insider's view of the subway stations, restaurants, apartments and especially the people who lived in the predominantly African American neighborhood.

He also was well known for his candid shots of jazz musicians -- many of them taken in smoky clubs using only available light. Shadow and darkness became hallmarks of DeCarava's style.

"Roy was one of the all-time great photographers," Arthur Ollman, founding director of the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, said in 2005. "His photographs provided a vision of African American life that members of the white fine art photography establishment could not have accessed on their own."

DeCarava's first major exhibit was at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego in 1986. Ten years later, he was the subject of a one-man exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

"What's extraordinary about the pictures is the way they capture his lyrical sense of life," Jonathan Galassi, a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, said in a 1996 interview with ABC.

"You see pain, you see anger and you see an extraordinary quality of tenderness," Galassi said in a separate interview with CBS.

Using a small, 35-millimeter camera that allowed him freedom to roam, DeCarava captured spontaneous moments. He shot in black and white, creating highly impressionistic images, and printed in a style that produced velvety shades of gray and black.

Some of his earliest photos show young couples dancing in their kitchen on a Saturday night, and a father and his children dressed in their Sunday best, watching the Harlem River go by. He photographed men talking together in a basement that doubled as their clubhouse.

DeCarava told National Public Radio in a 1996 interview that when he started taking pictures "there were no black images of dignity, no images of beautiful black people. There was this big hole. I tried to fill it."

Rest of article at link above.

President Obama Honors the Fallen at Dover Air Force Base

hat tips-djchefron, Angelar and Icebergslim

returning soldier-doug mills NYT
---Doug Mills, NYTimes

Picture - Word association

Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats on a real, "robust" public option as part of Healthcare Reform.

Once again the Democrats cave. What happened to all of that solidarity when they issued their ultimatums and sent letters to the Senate demanding a (real) public option? It looks like most of the Progressives stuck together...but it isn't enough and was probably never enough. Pelosi probably never had the votes she needed (Although I could have sworn she had more support 6 weeks ago... so who were the defectors....who sold themselves out?).

Then you have moderate Dems caving to special interests.

I knew they had bitten off more than they could chew, because up until that point (when they drew their line in the sand) they had never proven that they could muster any real solidarity on anything and see it through. And of course, I was correct in my skepticism.

Now prepare for more watering down. One thing is for sure.... this legislation won't die due to a lack of water, lol.

But the Dems can't single out Republicans for blame this time. Nope. In this case, it is the Unions, moderate House Democrats from mixed districts, and pressure from the Senate (and probably lobbyists purchasing a few House Members) that is forcing them to cave.

Perhaps the moderates have the better idea.... paying doctors and hospitals more than the Medicare rates which might be too low for this program to work. But this may not be as effective when it comes to covering those who need the public option. It may cover fewer people, and may not offer enough competition to effectively control costs.

Pelosi screwed up by setting the Progressives up for failure. She should have realized earlier that she didn't have the votes to get the "robust" plan she said she wanted. But at least there will be some sort of public option.... so under these curcumstances, I guess that's progress.

But i'm still concerned about a bad bill being worse than none at all. I still believe it was a mistake for Obama to even try this right now during an economic crisis (when folks are scared to death about spending....a time when people normally pull back and are conscious of every penny). We are witnessing why this was a bad idea, at least in terms of timing. And throw in the sloppy way that Obama planned this and campaigned for it...and you almost have a trainwreck.

He'll sign something to save face....but I don't know if we'll be able to call it healthcare reform.

I have a feeling that this will be a gift to insurance companies....more hostages (American consumers) will be required to sign up to the very private system that is causing the problem.... meanwhile, all of the sickest patients will be dumped onto the public plan....setting that plan up to fail. Co-opts/exchanges will be weak. And we'll essentially end up with the same conditions we had before.... in some cases...just magnified.

Time will tell.

This is one of those cases where I hope i'm completely wrong.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Former Senator Edward Brooke Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

hat tip-morphus


WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 28: Former Senator Edward William Brooke (R-MA) speaks during a ceremony to honor him with the Congressional Gold Medal in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on October 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. Brooke, a two-term Republican senator from 1967-1979, was the first African-American elected to the senate by popular vote.
-----Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

Congress honors former Sen. Brooke
First black man elected by popular vote to the U.S. Senate receives medal
updated 2:16 p.m. CT, Wed., Oct . 28, 2009

WASHINGTON - With Democrats and Republicans engaged in a heated debate over health care, former Sen. Edward Brooke, the first black man elected by popular vote to the U.S. Senate, pointedly suggested Wednesday that lawmakers put aside their partisan differences awhile.

At a Capitol ceremony honoring him, the 90-year-old Massachusetts Republican addressed a multitude of issues on Congress' plate in addition to health care: overseas wars, restoring the economy and providing Americans with adequate housing.

"We've got to get together," Brooke said, turning his eyes to Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "We have no alternative. There's nothing left. It's time for politics to be put aside on the back burner."

Brooke was presented the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award Congress has to honor civilians for achievements and contributions to society.

Attending the ceremony, President Barack Obama called Brooke "a man who's spent his life breaking barriers and bridging divides across this country."

Chris Matthews on Public Disatisfaction with Both Parties

From an NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll out this week:

46% Say they would like to see a third Party candidate (a solid number if you look at it in a 3 way contest with the two legacy Parties). And it seems to fall in line with a similar poll from 2007. 57% believe both parties are to blame for partisanship (I somewhat disagree).

Another example of why we need political alternatives. Unfortunately the current system will never allow any real choice when it comes to voting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The GQ President

click to enlarge

Quite possibly the Miles Davis of our time in terms of style. The ultimate GQ President.

Look at James Baker. I could caption this....

Rachel Maddow explains what Harry Reid did in the Senate on healthcare

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hear an Interview with The Louisiana Couple Who Had Their Marriage License Request Rejected Due to Race

Hear an interview with Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay- the interracial couple from Louisiana who were denied a marriage license because of race. They discuss what it was like dealing with the racist Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell, their reaction to the decision, and what has happened since.

They were interviewed on the Tavis Smiley Radio program.

Listen Here


Harry Reid Settles on a Public Option with an Opt-Out Provision

But will that be enough to convince 60 Senators to Opt-In, and support the legislation?

Even Nancy Pelosi was having trouble getting all of the votes that she needed last week for a robust Public Option. The Democrats in the House were forced to cave, because of Senate opposition. So will this compromise be enough? Surely it should be enough in the House. But the Senate is another matter.

From the Washington Post Capitol Briefing Blog:

"The best way to move forward is a public option with the opt-out provision for states," Reid told reporters, adding that he "clearly" believes that such a bill would have "the support of my caucus."

It also has the support of the White House, which said that President Obama was "pleased that the Senate has decided to include a public option for health coverage, in this case with an allowance for states to opt out."

The proposal Reid discussed Monday is a merger of two bills previously passed out of Senate committees.

"Decisions had to be made as to what different issues would have to be eliminated from one of the two bills, and we did that," Reid said, adding that he would ask the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the effect of "a number of alternatives that is a different meld of those two bills."

Now we have to wait for the cost calculations....and determine whether Reid has the 60 votes he needs in the Senate. So far he has come up short. In fact, he has never had the votes.
Under pressure from liberal Democrats to include a public-option provision in any health reform bill, Reid has carefully canvassed the Senate in search of 60 votes. So far, he has not locked down commitments from every Democrat, Senate sources said.

The numbers aren't there yet. And I was always wondering why folks were counting Senators like Joe Lie-Berman. I wrote weeks and months ago that his vote couldn't be counted on....that he would probably vote with the Republicans. He stated as recently as last week that he would indeed vote against the Baucus Bill (which didn't even have a public option). So I doubt that he would support anything that actually includes a Public plan.

Harry Reid is only about 3 or 4 Senators short... that's probably the closest that they've ever been on any measurable Healthcare Reform legislation. Old fashioned political negotiations could probably close that gap.

Is this good legislation? I won't say that it's good....because it's not the best plan that could have been offered. However, it probably is the best plan that anyone could have hoped for under the circumstances. From a practical standpoint, this could work....if administered properly. There are a few problems... for example, the plan starts too late in my opinion. It would not take effect for several years. The late start is necessary for budgetary and logistical reasons, but it just seems as if they could have moved it up a few more years. Certain things would probably kick in sooner. The Obama Administration would have to make sure that they are effectively discouraging employers from eliminating healthcare coverage. The fines would have to be stiff enough to make employees believe that maintaining coverage would be a better deal for them in the long run. Then there will be all the attempts by businesses and insurance companies to game the new system.

This is still not the robust plan that I was hoping for. It was the compromise that I expected. But, if this is the outline of a final bill, it isn't a disaster either.

The opt-out option may actually be a stroke of brilliance. Why? Because what Governor or State Legislator is going to opt-out of this? Sure... several will try... and I can guarantee that the old Confederacy (home of the GOP base) will lead the way on that. But in most States, it would be political and economic suicide, especially with a majority of Americans saying they support some sort of public option. Even if you are a Republican Governor who is against the public option...because you are afraid that the Hispanics you hate might get free healthcare, or because it might put a strain on your already overburdened hospitals (because you closed all those public health centers and neglected fixing your healthcare/hospital capacity problems), do you want to put your State at such a fundamental disadvantage? Opting out would make it harder for States to compete in the long run. If workers, students, and families don't want to move to your State because of the out of touch healthcare policy... then that's a problem. It will kill revenue. And those who already live in such a State will slowly but surely leave for other States that have the public option.

Those who support the "Opt-out" measure (Confederate Governors) are hoping that new businesses will flock to their States to take advantage of the policy....that insurance companies will move their operations. They would love their States to become pro-business havens like the Northern Mariana Islands, where there are fewer regulations.They would love to create paradises for greed. But in the long run...this would turn out to be a losing strategy.

Limbaugh & Company Caught Peddling Phony News - How Shocking

Calls President Obama a "Little Boy"

Republican Party Leader Rush Limbaugh and the Right wing media were caught over the weekend peddling a fake story regarding Obama's Columbia thesis. In the story, Obama was critical of the U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers. (As if that would have been so bad even if it were true).

The bogus thesis excerpts were posted as satire back in August. But Michael Ledeen, supposedly a trained researcher, re-posted the information on the internet via Pajamas Media. It didn't take long for Ledeen to realize he had been mistaken, but by then Limbaugh and Company came across it and decided to run with it. But the idiots forgot to check with the main source for the story, columnist Joe Klein. Of course Klein had nothing to do with the made up story. When Klein found out about the bogus report, he responded:
"A report is circulating among the wingnuts that I had a peek at Barack Obama's senior thesis. It is completely false. I've never seen Obama's thesis. I have no idea where this report comes from--but I can assure you that it's complete nonsense."

The spreading of false information is nothing new for these clowns... it's an integral part of what they do. Lou Dobbs went with the story even after the debunking began. And the other blob, Rush Limbaugh, insists that the report is still true because he is sure that it's what Obama believes. The fact that there are millions of Americans (mostly folks who don't know any better) who are ready to believe anything they hear from Limbaugh and Co. is also nothing new. Critical thinking is not exactly a virtue here in Amerikkka.

But what was really interesting about Limbaugh's comments was his use of language when describing Obama. He described the President as a "Little Boy". Now the last time I checked Obama was the President of the United States, has been a U.S. Senator, an Attorney, a Father, a Husband, an Educator, and was a grown man when he attended Columbia University. Listen below:

Limbaugh has a history of this sort of nonsense. I've been listening to Limbaugh for well over a decade, although not on a daily basis.... but a few times a week, usually while driving. (yes, you must know the enemy). I also keep track of his comments via Media Matters, Think Progress, and other websites. Maybe it's just me....but I don't recall Limbaugh engaging in this kind of disrespectful behavior and using this kind of language when discussing White men. Not even Bill Clinton (and he's said some pretty sick and ugly things about Clinton....and even his daughter Chelsea in the past). Maybe he has called White men boys....and perhaps I just missed it.... who knows. But I damn sure can't recall Limbaugh using this language (repeatedly) when talking about White men.

It speaks volumes, in a Freudian kind of way, about what Limbaugh & Co. are all about.

Obama's Critics Aren't Driven By Racism, They Simply Don't Like His Policies

Well folks.... here's yet another example of Republican outrage against Obama's policies. (yeah, whatever). I'm wondering if I should start cataloging all of these incidents. Now I would expect this from the Birthers, from Glenn Beck, from Rush "Boss Hog" "Leader of the Republican Party" Limbaugh, Tea Partiers or those crazy Aryan Nation folks. But this was posted on an RNC affiliated webpage. Something was finally done about this little problem after Progressives started talking. Apparently Republicans weren't motivated to do anything about it on their own for 5 days.

This is part of a pattern with the Right. And their response is always so predictable....(let's all say it together)..... "But...we're not racists".

Comedian Lee Camp on net neutrality: Internet F*cking Freedom vs. Slow Porn

hat tip - Jack Turner

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Two for One - Alphonse Mouzon & Miles Davis

Miles 1964 - Miles' great 60's band featuring Wayne Shorter on Sax, Tony Williams on Drums, Herbie Hancock on Piano, and Ron Carter on Bass.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two-Party System Shills

Pundit Chris Cilizza pooh-poohed the idea of the “Rise of Independents” in this Washington Post article.

Despite the reported increase of Americans self-identifying as independents according to the latest poll results Cilizza decides to throw some rain on independents’ parade by saying:
Before we get too far down that road, it's important to remember that talk of a third party and the reality of it are too far different things.

He cites a study that shows deep divisions among people who consider themselves independent, the very real institutional hurdles to building a third party, and that even if a third party candidate does emerge in the 2012 or 2016 elections, that it is highly unlikely that their candidacy will lead to the creation of a viable third party. He cites the example of Ross Perot to illustrate this point.

Cilizza’s whole angle on the rise of independents irks me. Because the entire thrust of his piece was to defend the status quo of the two major parties. His entire piece was basically an argument directed to independents saying “you are in no position and will never be in a position to really challenge the status quo. You might as well just give it up and play politics the way the two major parties want you to play it. Get with the program and STFU!”

Cilizza wasn’t that blunt but he essentially meant the exact same thing if you followed his arguments to their logical conclusion.

There are so many ways Cilizza could have handled this. He could have asked the question: why are so many people so disgusted by BOTH major parties that they are self-identifying in rejection of them in far greater numbers than in the past? What makes them stink so much that people are rejecting their label?

Then perhaps rather than piss on independents and third-party supporters and condescend to them, he could have turned the tables on the major parties and asked of them: both major parties must be doing something wrong – what can they do to get people back into the fold? What can they do to get people to support them and self-identify along their lines instead of just being compelled to play politics on their terms because two-party politics is all the system supports and is built on?

Of course, he doesn’t do that. He would much rather poke a stick at independents without acknowledging the fact that they are constituents and that declaring independence is an effective way ordinary people can and have registered their disgust with the failed policies and politicians of the status quo. Isn’t that a democratic act and which deserve a bit more respect than he is giving them?

The bottom line for people like Cilizza is to defend the two-party system. The bottom line for independents like me is that democracy is broken, the two major parties are not cutting it in terms of representing the interests of Americans in any adequate way, and we must find a way to fix this broken system. The logical extension of the independent point of view is to ask: what needs to be done to revitalize democracy? What needs to be done to promote greater participation, transparency, and to involve ordinary people in democratic practices? What needs to be done so people in positions of representing The People can have their trust and confidence?

Cilizza and those who make the same arguments that he does completely miss and dismiss these points because deep down they could care less about participatory democracy. They only care about the two major parties and preserving the status quo. They are perfectly content to serve as shills to the two major parties without challenging them or demanding that they answer all the hard questions that deserve to be posed to them.

One Senator tears into those defending rapists; the other Senator tears into those helping domestic violence victims

hat tip:DailyKos

So. In one case, you have a U.S. Senator tearing apart a guy for trying to defend the gang rape, battery and imprisonment of a young woman.

In the other case, you have a U.S. Senator tearing apart a woman for trying to help domestic violence victims get medical attention.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dems Go After Antitrust Exemption For Insurers

Now, THIS was an interesting development.


Dems Go After Antitrust Exemption For Insurers
DAVID ESPO | 10/21/09 09:34 PM | AP

WASHINGTON — Democrats launched a drive at both ends of the Capitol on Wednesday to strip the insurance industry of its decades-old exemption from federal antitrust laws, part of an increasingly bare-knuckled struggle over landmark health care legislation sought by President Barack Obama.

If enacted, the change would put an end to "price-fixing, bid-rigging and market allocation in the health and medical malpractice" insurance areas, said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy said he would seek a vote on the plan when the Senate debates health care legislation in the next few weeks.

Leahy made his comments at virtually the same time the House Judiciary Committee voted 20-9 to end an industry exemption that dates to 1945. Three Republicans supported the move.

Senior Democratic officials in the House said the leadership was inclined to incorporate the measure into the broader health care bill expected to be brought to the floor for a vote within a few weeks. No final decision has been made, they added.

In response, an industry official said Democrats were targeting a problem that does not exist.

The events coincided with a vote in the Senate to sidetrack legislation averting a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments for doctors in January and raising their fees by $247 billion over a decade. The 47-53 vote was 13 short of the 60 needed to advance the bill, reflecting concerns that the measure would have raised deficits. The result was a defeat for Democrats and an embarrassment for the American Medical Association, which had mounted a seven-figure advertising effort to assure passage of one of its top priorities.

Republicans grumbled that Senate Democrats timed the offensive on antitrust matters to obscure their defeat on the bill setting pay rates for doctors, a measure that GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called "the Senate's first vote on health care this year."

Even so, taken together, the threats to revoke long-standing antitrust protections reflect the fury Democrats have projected in response to recent insurance industry attempts to influence the shape of legislation. The events occurred less than a week after the insurers' trade association issued a report saying a measure in the Senate Finance Committee would produce sharp increases in premiums for millions of people who currently have insurance.

Rest of article at link above.

This is very interesting indeed. Let's see how far they take this.

Baratunde Thurston Provides Comic Relief

Watch a recent performance...

Black Woman Faces 15 Years in Prison for Cutting Line at Walmart: KKK Threatens Her Family

From News Release Now:

Monday, October 19, 2009
Black Woman Faces 15 Years in Prison for Cutting Line at Walmart: KKK Threatens Her Family

For Immediate Release

Please call (901) 413-0203 or email for interviews

Kennett, MO. – Heather Ellis, a young college student out of Kennett, MO is now facing 15 years in prison if she is sentenced after being accused of cutting line at a local Walmart. Her case has gotten the attention of the nation, and has been the subject of extensive online protests.

Heather was in a Walmart store 3 years ago with her cousin. The two split up to find the shortest line. Since her cousin was in the shorter line, Heather joined him. That’s when the clerk accused Heather of cutting in front of the other customers. An argument ensued, leading to the manager and security guard being called, and finally the police.

The incident left Ellis, an honor student on her way to medical school, charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing and two counts of assaulting a police officer. After Heather refused to sign a plea agreement, Stephen Sokoloff, the town’s prosecutor, filed felony charges against Heather.

Ellis goes on trial on November 15th and faces 15 years in prison. The community has expressed its outrage with rallies and protests, which have led to threats from the Ku Klux Klan. A police officer delivered a card to the family from the Klan and Heather’s father believes that the officer’s delivery of the card was part of a broader plot to intimidate the family. He also argues that Walmart should release the surveillance tape to show that his daughter is innocent.

Sarah Palin's New Book Will Have Some Company

LOL This is too funny. I thought it was something from the Onion at first... then I realized it was from the NY Daily News. Progressives are finally learning how to play the game, and how to play on their terms.

Since it's clear that she isn't going to go away and the media's obsession with her will continue.... we might as well make the best of it. Highlight her as the joke she really often as possible.

Cops and Robbers

The Angry Independent revealed.

This was approximately 1977 in St. Louis. I was in the middle of playing cops and robbers (always playing the cop). Cross in one hand, gun in the other. lol (That's a cap gun by the way).

Was dirt poor back then....but luckily for me I had a Grandmother who was a Superwoman. My bio mothers head was somewhere else, that's when she wasn't drunk/high.

I may post a few more of these, but i'll probably do that on Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter

Media Alert -Any folks in Atlanta? ' Black Men in the Age of President Obama' - CNN would like for you to come to Morehouse


CNN has partnered with ESSENCE Magazine to produce an hour-long special on the one year election anniversary of President Barack Obama. The show, entitled, “Black Men in the Age of President Obama,” will be moderated by CNN Newsroom weekend anchor Don Lemon and will include six panelists who will discuss various issues related to the African American community.

Morehouse College has been selected as the site for the taping of this historic event. We are fortunate to have been asked to host this taping in the word-famous, Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel during our Homecoming week.

You and a guest are cordially invited to attend this special taping on
Wednesday, October 21, between 7-9 pm.
Please plan to arrive in King Chapel no later than 6:30 p.m.

Confirmed Panelists include:

Tyrone McGowan—Morehouse Senior
Dr. Steve Perry–CNN Education Contributor
Bishop Eddie Long–Pastor New Birth Missionary Baptist Church
DJ Drama(Tyree Simmons)–Youth/Hip hop generation/ biracial perspective
Orrin Hudson–Founder of Be Someone
Dr. Farrah Gray—Author/youth/wealth builder

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why The Democracy Corps Study On Race Doesn't Pass The Smell Test

See the story of Georgia Bar Owner Patrick Lanzo. I guess this is another example of someone who simply opposes Obama's policies.

Attention James Carville: Blacks don’t need a study to tell them what racism looks like. We know it when we see it.

A recent study by the James Carville group Democracy Corps has proclaimed that race was not a factor driving anti-Obama sentiment. Somehow they concluded that racism was not involved in the vitriol directed towards the first Black President. [1] Some would like us to believe that the increased level of hatred & animosity towards this President (as compared to previous Presidents) is simply a coincidence….that race is not an underlying factor. Frankly, as a Black American, I don’t need a study to tell me what racism looks like. I know it when I see it. But if someone decides to do a study to identify racist attitudes, it should at least reflect reality.

So what’s wrong with the Democracy Corps study? It’s grossly flawed. The main problem with the study has to do with the way that researchers gathered their information. When I learned about how authors of the report reached their conclusion about racial attitudes toward Obama, I hit the ceiling. Why a so-called Progressive organization would want to provide credibility to Fox News and Conservative Talk show talking points is beyond me. Why they would want to do it with a flawed report is even more of a mystery.

So how did Democracy Corps come to the conclusion that race is not playing a role in anti-Obama sentiment? Because the subjects of the study told them so. That’s right! Democracy Corps researchers (in association with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research) essentially gathered a group of older whites together for focus groups and took their word for it. This report apparently relied heavily on self-reporting - as if the participants were really going to call themselves racists. Here is a summary of the methods used (taken from the report): [1]

The Cleveland groups comprised of white, non-college weak partisans or independents – defined as self identifying ‘weak’ Democrats or Republicans, Democratic- or Republican-leaning independents, and non-partisan independents (those who do not affiliate closer with either party). Additionally, we examined combined data from Democracy Corps surveys conducted over the last four months that show Republicans enjoy a 17-point partisan identification advantage with this group. These voters also self-report to have voted for John McCain by a 20-point margin in the 2008 election.
These voters are white, “strong” or “weak” Republicans who ideologically self-identify as conservative or moderate and who voted for John McCain AND the Republican congressional candidate in 2008. The groups, conducted in Atlanta, Georgia, were comprised of voters aged 45-60, with one group of women and one of men. Our combined survey data reveals that the Georgia group definition fits more than three-quarters (77 percent) of conservative strong or weak Republicans of the 45-60 age group, and an even higher proportion – 85 percent – of white strong Republicans of the same age.

However, any good social scientist or anyone remotely familiar with research, particularly studies pertaining to race and prejudice, understands the problems associated with relying on self-reporting. Self-reporting is a notoriously poor method, particularly for obtaining accurate information about a persons racial attitudes.

Commenting on a study published earlier this year in the Journal Science about unconscious racial bias, Professor Anthony Greenwald of the University of Washington stated:
The study is consistent with decades of psychology research pointing to the same thing: People are really bad at predicting their own actions in socially sensitive situations.

“That point is getting renewed attention as researchers develop more extensive evidence establishing reasons to distrust self-report measures concerning racial attitudes,” said Anthony Greenwald, professor of psychology at the University of Washington, who was not involved with the study.
[2] [3]

Researchers have known for a long time that respondents are much less likely to come clean about their prejudices and racial attitudes in self reporting surveys, interviews, or in settings where they are dealing with researchers face to face. Settings such as focus groups, where other participants may be present during the process, may create even more embarrassment and an even greater reluctance on the part of participants to come clean about personal prejudices.

This is why scientists - who recognize the problems regarding self-reporting on racial attitudes and prejudice - have been working on better methodologies. One methodology that tends to garner more accurate results in such studies is the Implicit Association Test or IAT, which is well designed to detect prejudiced attitudes without necessarily tipping off respondents about the information being sought. [4] [5] [6] There are other methods as well that involve observation. The point is, other methodologies should be employed when attempting to objectively gauge racial prejudice. Single-blind studies tend to be much better for determining what is really in the minds of individuals. Some people are not even aware of the extent of their own prejudice, which is another reason why we should not draw conclusions or make definitive pronouncements based on what someone tells you through self-reporting. [2] Taking their word for it just doesn’t fly. Take the Louisiana Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell for example - the bigot who recently refused to grant a marriage license to an interracial couple. He swears he’s not a racist, so I guess we should take his word for it, right? I don’t think so. He’s giving the response that they almost always give when under scrutiny. This is why you have to observe people in their normal settings, when they’re comfortable, and when they don’t believe that anyone is watching, in order to gain good insight on what their prejudices might be. Self-reporting in this instance is a joke.

Another problem with the Democracy Corps report is that the sampling appeared to be small. It wasn’t clear from the study exactly where all of the respondents came from or how many were involved. But it appears that many or the participants came from areas in and around Atlanta Georgia and Cleveland Ohio. Urban and Suburban Atlanta and Cleveland, both with a large number of Black Americans, may not have provided a sufficient sample of attitudes across the nation, considering the divergent politics between rural & urban Americans and the fact that different parts of the Country often illicit different responses based on social and cultural differences.

This new “study” does not match up with realities on the ground. It does not explain the rise in racial incidents surrounding the 2008 election campaign. Nor does it explain the dramatic rise in the number of threats made against President Obama (compared to his predecessors), or the recent growth of hate groups. [7]
In fact, a recent report highlights the strain that the Secret Service is feeling due to the unprecedented number of threats being made against President Obama. [8]
Threats against President Obama have risen 400% over his predecessor according to journalist Ronald Kessler, who mentions the horrific figure in his book In the President's Secret Service. Obama faces 30 death threats a day. [9]

There are various other observable events that point to another conclusion, and raises doubts about the findings of this study. I am skeptical about the validity of the study…. It just doesn’t seem valid to me. Are we to believe that all of these things that we can see with our own eyes are simply coincidences…that none of it has to do with President Obama’s ethnicity? Take the inverse…. If you believe this study, you would also have to believe that all of the incidents surrounding Obama’s Presidency - the birthers, the lashing out from Right wing Talk Radio and Fox News, the racial incidents, the efforts to de-legitimize the President, the disrespect shown by other government officials, the increased xenophobia, etc would have all occurred had the man elected on Nov. 4th, 2008 been white and male. When you think of it that way you can see how ridiculous this logic is (the idea that race isn’t involved and in some cases playing a significant role in today’s political discourse particularly as it relates to President Obama). Of course race is playing a role….and of course most of the nonsense we are seeing….most of the anger, would not have manifested the way that it has if the President were white and male. If you believe this study you would also have to believe that cows are blue and that elephants can fly.

Now I will agree that most white critics of Obama are not primarily motivated by racism. It would be foolish & shortsighted for me to believe that and I don’t believe that anyone on the Progressive side has ever made that claim. However, for the hardcore base of the Republican Party, which now appears to include some parts of the Right wing fringe, like the birthers for example, race does play a significant factor. Race does play a more than marginal role for a significant number of those on the Right. Some White independents (emphasis on some), particularly Conservative independents, are also influenced in some ways by race. Race is certainly playing more of a role in how people feel towards this President than it has for previous Presidents. This cannot be denied, I don’t care how many flawed studies attempt to paint another picture of the reality. Xenophobia has been a common and steady thread throughout the last year and a half, since Obama gained national prominence and since Americans actually realized that he had a real shot at the Presidency. And I believe that buzz words like “Socialism” have become stand-ins for “Black”, or perhaps a slur. Think about that for a minute. Could the use of these other buzz words be a safe way for some Whites in this Country to express their prejudice? What do we usually think about when we think of “Socialism” or a dictator? Typically a White political leader from the West isn’t going to come to mind right away…although there have been plenty of White European dictators. Instead what tends to come to mind is the Third World, Africa, The Middle East, Central and South America…. Where more often than not, there is a leader of color, or someone in charge who is non-European white. This is what “Socialism” and dictatorship has become almost synonymous with over the past 20-30 years or so. Xenophobia, as it has been used against Obama, is a form of racism and prejudice.

This is more than just coincidence. The reactions that we see are driven by more than Obama’s policies. The idea that race is not playing a much bigger role than usual or is playing no real role at all is laughable. It simply does not match all of the other available facts.

Also Posted At The Daily Kos



1. Democracy Corps. (2009) The Very Separate World of Conservative Republicans. Washington, DC: Greenberg, S.B.; Carville, J.; Agne, K.; & Gerstein, J.

2. Landau, E. (2009) You May Be More Racist Than You Think. CNN online.

3. "Mispredicting Affective and Behavioral Responses to Racism.
Kerry Kawakami, Elizabeth Dunn, Francine Karmali, and John F. Dovidio.
Science Vol. 323. no. 5911, pp. 276 - 278; Published online 9 January 2009.
DOI: 10.1126/science.1164951.;323/5911/276 (Abstract) (article)

4. Southern Methodist University Research. Taboo prejudices can't hide from psychological testing tool

5. Schwarz, J. (2009). Study Supports Validity of Test That Indicates Widespread Unconcious Bias. University of Washington News.

6. Implicit Association Test from Harvard University.

7. Chen, S. (2009) Growing Hate Groups Blame Obama, Economy. CNN online.

8. Bender, B. (2009) Secret Service Strained as Leaders Face More Threats. Boston Globe.

9. Harnden, T (2009) Barack Obama Faces 30 Death Threats A Day, Stretching U.S. Secret Service. Telegraph.

A Discussion With Dr. Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West sits down with Tavis Smiley as part of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' Aloud Lecture Series. Dr. West talks about his new book, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, a Memoir, and a variety of other topics.

I disagree with him on a few issues, especially Hip Hop Culture (we see that from two completely different lenses). Most who have read this blog long enough are aware that I pretty much hate Rap Culture and find it to be (generally) a Cancer for Blacks. But those differences aside, I rarely miss an opportunity to hear him speak through whatever sources I find online. He still manages to be an influence for me.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Hear/Watch An Additional Interview Segment from Democracy Now.

Hear Dr. West giving his annual February address at the St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago. (From Feb. 2009).

The Job Search Is Starting to Drain My Spirit

Losing My Will to Keep Getting Up Everyday

My spirit was actually broken a long time ago.... i'm going on fumes at this point. Survival is my only motivation.

I have been looking for meaningful work for years with no luck (that's right, years). I started in 2002 when I earned my Bachelors...but I have really been looking with full determination since late 2006- 2007. At this point i'm ready to just give up.

I have been under-employed (or a member of what I call the working unemployed) for years now. The kind of work I want is in the government sector (State or Federal). But that has not panned out. State agencies are cutting back. And on the Federal level, you pretty much have to know someone. With the economy screwed up, everyone is applying for Federal jobs. And Federal Agencies (who once dealt with worker shortages) have all the leverage now. In recent years, Federal agencies have become extremely picky (even more than usual). Basically, if you don't have substantial experience with the Federal Government (or State government) doing the exact job that you are interested in, then you won't even get an interview. They are only calling those who have several years of specific (specialized) experience.

So someone like me....who has a 17 year work history, has a Masters Degree, is working on another Masters degree....can't even get a foot in the door for an interview. Not even for the entry-level "support" or "assistant" jobs that I am applying for. They always find a reason to reject my application/resume. Usually it's because I don't meet some specific job requirement (usually something trivial..that I could learn or be trained in after i'm hired). But sometimes they tell me that i'm over-qualified (WT_?). Often, as I mentioned, it has to do with not having experience doing the exact work that i'm seeking. But how can I get the exact experience if no one will hire me? And I always have the sinking feeling that being Black is not helping me either (but that's a topic for another post).

In the meantime, I am facing a financial catastrophe. I can no longer survive on what I earn.... I have more money going out each month, than I have coming in. The survival job that I have just doesn't cut it. Now my student loans are all coming due.... I am roughly $70,000 in the hole on those. Add my credit card debt (which has ballooned in recent years because I have to use my credit card to survive) and I am in the hole to the tune of at least $76,000.00. It would take a financial expert to unravel my situation. But within the next few months I will be looking at Bankruptcy and massive loan defaults. Keep in mind, I am someone who is responsible and who always pays his bills. I have never defaulted on anything. So to be in this situation is horrific.

Defaulting on Federally backed loans = Armageddon. Once you do can forget about government employment. You are blacklisted at that point.

I guess at that point i'll give up.

Hear a discussion from NPR about what the job market is like for recent college graduates.

Update to the Post on Dating and Race

NPR's Michel Martin provides some context for the report.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Charges To Be Filed in Balloon Boy Fiasco - Why Am I Not Surprised?

Authorities are seeking charges against Richard Heene, the father of the 6 year old who was reportedly trapped in an experimental balloon in Colorado earlier this week. My instincts were telling me that something was not right about this story right from the start. Certain things just didn't add up.

And the more I learn about the Heene's, the more I realize how good my instincts are.

The media just loves the sensational...(it doesn't actually matter if it's really newsworthy or not)....and they all want to be first to bring you the non-news. Just consider all of the more important stories that they broke away from or neglected because of this nonsense.... (President Obama's New Orleans trip for one).

And as I suspected...this family appears to be a mess. Richard Heene looks like a piece of work... He looks wasted to me. It's no surprise that authorities with Colorado family services have also launched an investigation.

I wonder how many poor urban kids were killed, attacked, or went missing that day and couldn't get news coverage even if their families begged (because their stories aren't sensational enough to be a money-maker for the corporate media)?

'Why do they hate you?'

President Obama's Weekly Address

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hendrix and Grusin Two for One

Hear a part two (alt. Take) "Three Days of the Condor"

Another Racist Republican In Race Flap Over Comments Targeting Obama - But I Forgot... It's Not About Race

Yet another racist incident that's not about race.... it's about Obama's policies.

I wonder how long Republicans will use that argument before finally conceding that their Party is made up of a lot of racist, bigoted jackasses like Bill Otto (and countless others). I mean really... those who stay informed about these incidents knew that this Republican response to criticism of the Birthers and the Tea Partiers - the argument that folks like President Carter had it all wrong -- was a phony argument from the beginning. Just how far will they try to carry it?

How many of these incidents have we had since the Republicans declared that they weren't part of a racist political party...that their criticism of Obama was purely driven by policy?

Onto this story from the Kansas City Star:

A video featuring a Kansas legislator criticizing President Barack Obama's policies while wearing a hat describing opossum as "the other dark meat" was removed Thursday from YouTube, where the lawmaker had posted it last month.

Republican Rep. Bill Otto said he didn't remove the video, titled "RedNeck Rap," and didn't know why it had been taken down. Google Inc., YouTube's owner, could offer no explanation.

Otto said criticism of the video was unfounded. He said the hat's saying, which he repeats at the end of the short video, refers to redneck stereotypes, not Obama.

The White House declined to comment Thursday, but Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, called the video "disturbing." He said it's logical to see the reference as being to the first black president's race.

In the video, Otto pauses after criticizing Obama and his policies, repeats the saying on the cap and adds, "A little greasy, but hey."

See the full report.

The video was mysteriously removed from Youtube.... but I was able to find a screen capture (I try my damndest to get as much information as possible).

Here is a great report from a Kansas City blog.

This doesn't surprise me considering it's a State Rep. from Kansas. I enjoyed the few years I spent there growing up. The white kids who were my age accepted me with open arms (this was in 1984,85). But it's also the first place where I experienced overt racism... being called "Nigger" by an adult. It was just some racist jackass driving by in his car...which was outfitted with a loudspeaker. And I also recall a rebel flag in the back window. But it stuck with me (I was only about 12 years old at the time). It caused me to want to find out more regarding what race was all about and where I fit in. It changed my perspective quite a bit.

But I believe that race and racism is just as much a generational thing as it is a geographical one.

4th Grader Asks Obama: Why Do People Hate You?

Children have a way of reflecting the truth...with no spin. A child tends to be more honest about the reflection that America reveals of itself when held to the mirror.

Looks Like I Was On To Something When I Wrote About Race and Dating

It looks like I am not going crazy afterall... in fact, I probably hit the nail on the head when I wrote about race and dating in the post "White Men Only".

I have written about this several times, but I believe that was my latest entry on the issue.


NPR Segment (Tell Me More with Michel Martin) provides some context for this report. Listen Here.

Interracial Couple Denied Marriage License In Louisiana

The Confederacy is still alive and well in the South, in Louisiana in particular.
It seems that one Justice of the Peace has a problem with interracial marriage.

By his own admission, this may not be the first couple who has had to deal with his discrimination.

From The AP

Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

''I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way,'' Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. ''I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.''

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.

Oh Thanks for letting us Blacks use your bathroom Keith.

''I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way,''


And of course he had to throw in...."I have Black friends".

But the kicker is the fact that he asks everyone who calls him if they are a mixed race couple.

How is someone who is openly racist allowed to serve as a Justice of the Peace? And how many lives has he impacted?

Apparently the couple is in the process of pursuing legal action. See full report here.

Link for Huffpo