ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

Contact -- Mission -- Nathaniel Turner -- Marcus B. Christian -- Guest Poets -- Special Topics --Rudy's Place -- The Old South -- Black Labor  

 Film Review --Books N Review -- Education & History -- Religion & Politics -- Literature & Arts -- Work, Labor & Business -- Music & Musicians

Baltimore Index Page

Educating Our Children

The African World

Editor's Page     Letters

Inside the Caribbean

Digital Links

Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

Google
 

Online through PayPal

Or Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal / 2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048  Help Save ChickenBones

Obama 2008 Table

 

 

Books by Barack Obama

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance  / The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

Obama's Greatest Speeches (CD set) / Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

*   *   *   *   *

Overview

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya, where he grew up herding goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British.

Barack's mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in small-town Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression, and then signed up for World War II after Pearl Harbor, where he marched across Europe in Patton's army. Her mother went to work on a bomber assembly line, and after the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved west to Hawaii.

It was there, at the University of Hawaii, where Barack's parents met. His mother was a student there, and his father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams in America.

Barack's father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983. More

5January 2009

The Action Americans Need—This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending—it's a strategy for America's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education. And it's a strategy that will be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability, so Americans know where their tax dollars are going and how they are being spent.

In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis—the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges such as energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.

I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. They know that we have tried it those ways for too long. And because we have, our health-care costs still rise faster than inflation. Our dependence on foreign oil still threatens our economy and our security. Our children still study in schools that put them at a disadvantage. We've seen the tragic consequences when our bridges crumble and our levees fail.—Barack Obama

*   *   *   *   *

Racism: A History, the 2007 BBC 3-part documentary explores the impact of racism on a global scale. It was part of the season of programs on the BBC marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. It's divided into 3 parts.

The first, The Colour of Money . . . Racism: A History [2007]—1/3

Begins the series by assessing the implications of the relationship between Europe, Africa and the Americas in the 15th century. It considers how racist ideas and practices developed in key religious and secular institutions, and how they showed up in writings by European philosophers Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.

The second, Fatal Impact . . . Racism: A History [2007] - 2/3

Examines the idea of scientific racism, an ideology invented during the 19th century that drew on now discredited practices such as phrenology and provided an ideological justification for racism and slavery. The episode shows how these theories ultimately led to eugenics and Nazi racial policies of the master race.

And the 3rd, A Savage Legacy . . .  Racism: A History [2007] - 3/3

Examines the impact of racism in the 20th century. By 1900 European colonial expansion had reached deep into the heart of Africa. Under the rule of King Leopold II, the Belgian Congo was turned into a vast rubber plantation. Men, women and children who failed to gather their latex quotas would have their limbs dismembered. The country became the scene of one of the century's greatest racial genocides, as an estimated 10 million Africans perished under colonial rule.

*   *   *   *   *

Latest Update

 

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Prepares to Authorize Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens for First Time Since McCarthy Era

The $662 billion National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress last week includes controversial provisions that could usher in a radical expansion of indefinite detention under the U.S. government by authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. "Congress, with the Democrats in control of the Senate and a Democratic president, is about to enact into law the first bill that will say that the military and the United States government do have this power," says Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com blogger and constitutional law attorney.

"It’s muddled whether it applies to U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, but it’s clearly indefinite detention, and there’s a very strong case to  make that it includes U.S. citizens, as well, which, as we know, the Obama administration already claims anyway, and that’s what makes it so dangerous."SeeingBlack 

 

Murder as Instrument of Foreign Policy—Liaquat Ali Khan—3 November 2011—President Obama has openly deployed murder as an instrument of foreign policy. Soon after assuming office, Obama authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to plan and execute the murder of terrorists and other enemies, regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens. Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and Muammar Gaddafi are the prominent murder victims while numerous others in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iran, and Pakistan have been purposely targeted and killed. The legitimization of extra-judicial killing is a disturbing development in international law as other nations are certain to follow suit. In pursuit of pre-meditated murders, the collateral damage (the killing of the obviously innocent) has been extensive. The claim that such murders can be executed with electronic precision, though false, serves as an incentive for other nations to develop drones to perpetrate their own surgical assassinations. For now, however, the CIA enjoys the monopoly over drone kills.—InformationClearinghouse

Obama could take history lesson from FDR’s 1936 re-election—H.W. Brands—Getting elected to the presidency is difficult; getting re-elected is harder; getting re-elected when the economy is dragging is nearly impossible. In American history, only one president has won a second term when the economy was in dire shape: Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1936. This bleak record would seem to bode ill for President Barack Obama as he looks toward 2012 across a clouded economic horizon.

But Roosevelt’s exception to the historical rule leaves some hope for Obama and his supporters. Despite an unemployment rate above 15 percent -- compared with less than 10 percent today -- Roosevelt won 61 percent of the popular vote and swamped Republican Alf Landon, of Kansas, by the widest Electoral College margin in American history: 523 to 8.

Of course, Roosevelt held some key cards, not all of which Obama enjoys. First, his party commanded large majorities in both houses of Congress throughout his first term: Democrats outnumbered Republicans more than two to one in the House after the 1932 elections, and in the Senate by only a bit less. They increased their majorities in both houses in the 1934 midterm contests. Not every Democrat endorsed everything Roosevelt did; Southern conservatives, in particular, disliked aspects of the New Deal. But when Roosevelt asked something of Congress, he usually got it.HostMadison

*   *   *   *   *

Table

Post Election Files

 

Address to University of Michigan Grads (speech)

Avoiding Phony Religiosity, Listening to Him

Barack Obama at Bowie (speech)

Blood of Africa Within Me  (speech)

A Caring and Just Society  (speech)

Commencement Speech at Hampton University

The Country We Believe In (speech, April 2011)

Election Night Speech (speech)

A Fictional Interview with President Barack Obama (Marvin X)

From Nobel to Nobel: A Letter to Barack Obama (Adolfo Pérez Esquivel)

Funeral Service for Dorothy Height (eulogy)*

I Have the Blood of Africa Within Me

Letter to Barack Obama:  Adolfo Perez Esquivel

Libya Situation (speech)

Maya Soetoro-Ng on Family and Brother Barack (interview)

New Call for Letters for sequel to Go, Tell Michelle‏

Nobel Peace Prize Speech

Obama Bombs Africa: Targets African Unity

Obama On Tax Cuts and Unemployment Benefits

Obama, Political Cynicism, and the Tea Party (Lewis)

Obama Women and Racist Exceptionalism  (Wilson J. Moses)

An Open Letter to President Obama (Lewis) 

Open Letter to President Barack Obama (Wilson J. Moses)

Open Note to President Barack Obama (Jerry W. Ward, Jr.)

The People are the Change (John Maxwell)

Proclamation Women's Equality Day (speech) 

Remarks at Xavier University  (speech)

Remarks to the Troops of Afghanistan (speech)

Responses to Barack Obama Winning

Responses to Post-Midterm Elections (press conference)

Single Payer Health Care and Auto Industry

Speech on Libya Situation

Tucson Memorial Speech

This is What Change Looks Like (speech)

 An Unmistakable Shade of Red & The Obama Chronicles 

Wilson's Obama Poem, et al

*   *   *   *   *

How to Turn Up the Heat on Democrats—Occupy Obama—John Stauber—21-23 October 2011—The “Occupy Obama” event is being organized in part by veteran rabble rouser Hugh Espey and his highly effective Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a grassroots force that has been fighting for economic and social justice since the 1970s.  CCI members are already participating in Occupy Wall Street actions in nine Iowa towns.  Occupy Obama seems a logical next step to escalate the movement further into national view and create the potential for debate and organizing within the Iowa presidential caucuses in January.

Espey criticized Obama by name in a Des Moines Register guest editorial of October 6, 2011 announcing CCI’s support for Occupy Wall Street actions in Iowa.  “Our political leaders are too busy asking big banks and Wall Street corporations for campaign contributions to push the ‘put people first’ policies that this nation needs,” he wrote.  CCI will march on Obama’s campaign headquarters in Des Moines on Saturday.  This Occupy Obama action could catch fire nationally, especially given the frustration widely voiced that not one prominent Democrat is willing to oppose Obama in the Democratic Party’s primary races.  Occupy Obama could partly fill that void.  “We’ll deliver a simple, powerful message to Obama staffers, and do a speak-out as well.  We want regular folks telling the Obama staffers what they think.  We want Obama to understand that the 99% demand action from him to put communities before corporations and people before profits,” says CCI.—TheGlobalRealm 

*   *   *   *   *

Last Days of Kenya Colony

This autobiographical documentary revisits the Mau Mau Rebellion of the 1950s. More than 50 years after the conflict, in which the director participated as a young British soldier stationed in Kenya for his national service, he confronts his past with audacity and unflinching self-inquiry. Combining McWilliams' own photographic record of the times with original animation and archival imagery, A Time There Was crafts a thoughtful account of the Mau Mau Rebellion – one of the most contentious episodes in Britain’s imperial endgame.

Maya Soetoro-Ng on Family and Brother Barack (Interview with  Kam Williams)

*   *   *   *   *

Power in Words: The Stories behind Barack

Obama's Speeches from the State House to the White House

By Mary Frances Berry and Josh Gottheimer

Whatever his policies and actions, President Obama is widely regarded as a powerful speaker. Berry and Gottheimer offer a collection of 18 of Obama’s most important speeches, illustrating his ascent as a politician and subtle changes in style and consistency of message—one of unity, responsibility, and change. The editors include historical context for changes in style, delivery, use of speechwriters, and media for presidential speeches since George Washington and how Obama fits into the tradition. The collection begins with Obama’s speech against the war in Iraq in 2002 when he was still a state senator; it also includes his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that launched him into the national spotlight; his presidential campaign announcement in Springfield, Illinois, in 2007; his speech on race in Philadelphia; and concludes with his election night speech in Grant Park in Chicago.

The editors precede each speech with commentary from speechwriters, journalists, and political analysts on the behind-the-scenes context for the speech and how it illustrates Obama’s development as a candidate. A revealing look at the power of words.—Booklist

Obama's Greatest Speeches (CD set)

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Humiliates the Black Caucus—“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,” Obama hectored. “Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

Black Caucus chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver had earlier told reporters, “If Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this [Black unemployment] problem, we probably would be marching on the White House."

But Obama came to lay down the law: any marching that you might do will be for my re-election. The well-oiled crowd cheered. Los Angeles congresswoman Maxine Waters seemed to be the only Black lawmaker capable of an adult response:

“I’m not sure who the president was addressing. I found that language a bit curious. The president spoke to the Hispanic Caucus… he certainly didn’t tell them to stop complaining and he never would say that to the gay and lesbian community who really pushed him on don’t ask don’t tell or even in a speech to APEC, he would never say to the Jewish community stop complaining about Israel.”BlackAgendaReport  / Obama Loses Cool At Black Caucus Dinner

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Murder as Instrument of Foreign Policy—Liaquat Ali Khan—3 November 2011—President Obama has openly deployed murder as an instrument of foreign policy. Soon after assuming office, Obama authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to plan and execute the murder of terrorists and other enemies, regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens. Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and Muammar Gaddafi are the prominent murder victims while numerous others in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iran, and Pakistan have been purposely targeted and killed. The legitimization of extra-judicial killing is a disturbing development in international law as other nations are certain to follow suit. In pursuit of pre-meditated murders, the collateral damage (the killing of the obviously innocent) has been extensive. The claim that such murders can be executed with electronic precision, though false, serves as an incentive for other nations to develop drones to perpetrate their own surgical assassinations. For now, however, the CIA enjoys the monopoly over drone kills.—InformationClearinghouse

*   *   *   *   *

 

A Singular Woman

The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother

By Janny Scott

Award-winning reporter Janny Scott interviewed nearly two hundred of Dunham's friends, colleagues, and relatives (including both her children), and combed through boxes of personal and professional papers, letters to friends, and photo albums, to uncover the full breadth of this woman's inspiring and untraditional life, and to show the remarkable extent to which she shaped the man Obama is today.

Dunham's story moves from Kansas and Washington state to Hawaii and Indonesia. It begins in a time when interracial marriage was still a felony in much of the United States, and culminates in the present, with her son as our president- something she never got to see.

It is a poignant look at how character is passed from parent to child, and offers insight into how Obama's destiny was created early, by his mother's extraordinary faith in his gifts, and by her unconventional mothering. Finally, it is a heartbreaking story of a woman who died at age fifty-two, before her son would go on to his greatest accomplishments and reflections of what she taught him.

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Mr. Netanyahu, Please Don't Speak to My President That WayBy Jeffrey GoldbergIsrael depends on the U.S. for its survival, while America, I imagine, would continue to exist even if Israel ceased to exist—I would find myself feeling resentful about the way Netanyahu speaks about our President. Netanyahu had an alternative, of course: He could have said, as he got on the plane to Washington, where today— awkward!—he will be meeting with President Obama: "The President today delivered a very fine speech. His condemnation of Hamas and Iran, his question about whether the Palestinians actually seek peace; his strong language against Syria; his recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; his re-assertion of the unshakeable bond between our two nations—all of this and more brought joy to my heart.

There are a couple of points in the speech, having to do with borders and refugees, that I would like to clarify with the President when I see him, and I'm looking forward to a constructive dialogue on these few issues." [Palestinian Activist Omar Barghouti Says Obama Speech "Irrelevant"]

Of course, he didn't say this. Instead he threw something of a hissy fit. It was not appropriate, and more to the point, it was not tactically wise: If I'm waking up this morning feeling that the Israeli prime minister is disrespecting the President of my country, imagine how other Americans might be feeling. And, then, of course, there's this: Prime Minister Netanyahu needs the support of President Obama in order to confront the greatest danger Israel has ever faced: the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran.TheAtlantic

*   *   *   *   *

 

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

By Barack Obama / Illustrated by Loren Long

 

 

In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O’Keefe to the courage of Jackie Robinson, from the strength of Helen Keller to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children. . . .This beautiful book is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths. It celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from our nation’s founders to the generations to come.—Excerpted from the inside cover

Of Thee I Sing is basically a baker’s dozen, brief biographies of important figures in American history, from Father of the Country George Washington up to Maya Lin, the artist/architect who, while still an undergraduate at Yale, designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located on the National Mall.

Each subject’s entry is accompanied by an evocative airbrush portrait by Loren Long, an award-winning illustrator who has previously collaborated with the likes of Madonna and Walt Whitman. For example, the drawing of Jackie Robinson’s captures the late baseball great at bat in his Brooklyn Dodgers uniform, while that of artist Georgia O’Keefe shows her in the midst of painting one of her trademark flowers in full bloom.

My only quibble with President Obama’s picks here is with his predecessor Washington, a wealthy plantation owner who never emancipated his 300+ slaves at Mount Vernon, not even upon his death. This opus conveniently makes no mention of that glaring moral failing, opting to focus instead on the first President’s “principles” and on his patently hypocritical belief “in liberty and justice for all.”  

Although I’m willing to give the author a Mulligan since he presently has many more pressing issues on his plate, I was nonetheless pleased by the inclusion of the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sitting Bull, and Albert Einstein. There was a method to Obama’s madness, here, as each choice is hailed for a prevailing trait, ranging from creativity to intelligence to bravery and beyond. The literary equivalent of a “Yes We Can!” rally led by our charismatic Commander-in-Chief for the benefit of the Sesame Street set.Kam Williams  

*   *   *   *   *

Obama calls India creator of US jobs

Obama Will Triumph—So Will America—By Frank Schaeffer—Before he’d served even one year President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds—including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious right wing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter—are sticking with our President. Why?—because he is succeeding.We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.Obama’s steady supporters will be proved right. Obama’s critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst.Frank Schaeffer Blogspot

*   *   *   *   *

Act Like We Know (Baraka) The Parade of Anti Obama Rascals (Baraka)

*   *   *   *   *

 

Elena Kagan Tapped for Supreme Court

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama on Monday nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, declaring she would demonstrate the same independence, integrity and passion for the law exhibited by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kagan would become the third woman on the high court. At 50, she is relatively young for the lifetime post and could help shape the high court's decisions for decades.

The former Harvard Law School dean "is widely regarded as one of the nation's foremost legal minds," Obama said. He introduced her in the White House East Room as "my friend." —HuffingtonPost

*   *   *   *   *

President Obama Announces Vote 2010

If Only Arizona Were the Real Problem—To the “Take Back America” right, the illegitimate Obama is Illegal Alien No. 1. It’s no surprise that of the 35 members of the Arizona House who voted for the immigration law (the entire Republican caucus), 31 voted soon after for another new law that would require all presidential candidates to produce birth certificates to qualify for inclusion on the state’s 2012 ballot. With the whole country now watching Arizona, that “birther” bill was abruptly yanked Thursday.

The legislators who voted for both it and the immigration law were exclusively Republicans, but what happened in the Arizona G.O.P. is not staying in Arizona. Officials in at least 10 other states are now teeing up their own new immigration legislation. They are doing so even in un-Arizonan places like Ohio, Missouri, Maryland and Nebraska, none of them on the Department of Homeland Security’s 2009 list of the 10 states that contain three-quarters of America’s illegal immigrant population.

Outbreaks of nativist apoplexy are nothing new in American history. The last derailed George W. Bush’s apparently earnest effort to get a bipartisan immigration compromise through the Senate in 2007. At the time, the more egregious expressions of anti-immigrant rage — including Arizona’s self-appointed border-patrol militia, the Minutemen — were stigmatized as a fringe by the White House and much of the G.O.P. establishment. John McCain, though facing a tough fight for the Republican presidential nomination, signed on to the Bush reform effort despite being slimed by those in his party’s base who accused him of supporting “amnesty.”

What a difference the Tea Party makes. NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

Ritual terrorism: Hating Obama as a new form of religion—The irrational, some might say, rapturous hatred of Obama is not new, of course. Nor are the sulphur and the poison which inform Obama's revilers in the pro-Israel hard right.

Until now, though, many in the Obama-hate movement have confined their religious revivals to the relative privacy and safety of the Mother Church of All Satans, the internet.

The Kahanists, the dedicated Luddites of Zionism, have little use for discretion. They take their obscenity public at every opportunity. This one, however, is, even for them, a whole new level of low.

Part of it is the imagery. Fire is to the Jewish imagination what rope is to the African-American.

But that is only part of it. Because, wherever it is—whether the issue is health care, student loans, immigration policy or settling East Jerusalem—when taken to the extreme, the religion of reviling Obama is, at its core, the sacrament of hatred.

For that reason, it matters little that extremists can practice co-existence in hating Obama's guts, whether they may see themselves as God-fearing Jews or God-fearing anti-Semites.

What has Barack Obama done to the Kahanists, or, for that matter, to Israel and the Jews as a whole? He has endorsed a two-state solution—something which George Bush also did. Obama has pushed for a settlement freeze [Bush's road map, Phase One, includes the clause: "Israel also freezes all settlement activity"]. And, in a precedent which somehow also managed to draw the ire of Obama-haters, he has held Passover seders at the White House, which neither Bush nor any other president ever had.

What the Kahanists are saying, in effect, is that there is no longer any difference between the Occupation on one hand, and Judaism on the other. In that sense, one may reasonably view the pro-Kahane camp as among the worst anti-Semites of all. . . . Curious, isn't it, that they never mention what he actually is. Which is, for many of them, enough reason to revile him, all by itself: Black. Haaretz

*   *   *   *   *

Presidential Violence!—Obama is clearly continuing the Clinton and Bush policies of militarizing Africa. This is obvious in the expansion of US military “interventions.” For example, US support to the Nigerian ruling elites efforts to eliminate the resistance movements in the Niger Delta. Consider also the expansion of the US International Military Education and Training (IMET) program as well as the increased US arms sales to African countries. . . . A “Black” US president is a deadly thing because dead and dying African (black) bodies are the grounds on which white power stands. White power in black-face also stands on those same dead African and other racialized peoples bodies. . . .  But of what value is hope predicated on African death and dying? To the extent that his achievements requires that we valorize capitalist imperialism, male supremacy, militarism, and white supremacy . . . we must question the value of a “Black” US president.  BlackAgendaReport

*   *   *   *   *

House passes historic healthcare overhaul—The vote, which comes amid unanimous GOP opposition, alters the landscape for consumers and insurance firms—Noam N. Levey and Janet Hook—March 22, 2010—Ending the Democrats' decades-long quest to create a healthcare safety net to match Social Security, the House of Representatives on Sunday night approved sweeping legislation to guarantee Americans access to medical care for the first time, delivering President Obama the biggest victory of his young presidency.

The bill, which passed 219 to 212 without a single Republican vote, would make a nearly $1-trillion commitment in taxpayer money over the next decade to help an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans get health coverage.And it would establish a broad new framework of government regulation to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage and, advocates hope, to begin making healthcare more affordable to most Americans. LATimes

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

And the conservative freakout beginsSalon  / Obama's Greatest Speeches (CD set)

*   *   *   *   *

Michelle’s Family Tree

By  Margaret Kimberley

BAR editor and senior columnist 

*   *   *   *   *

"Mongrel”: Historically, and from Obama’s Mouth—By Glen FordThe crime unfolded casually. Asked about his racial background, the president replied, "We,” meaning African Americans, “are sort of a mongrel people." Could it be that the First Black President does not know the country over which he presides, its history and peculiar vocabulary? Even as the Tea Party’s white nationalists strive to resurrect a White Man’s Country, this president bandies about a term that not long ago packed as much concentrated bile and murderous intent as any in the English language—a racial epithet with a more powerfully shaped political charge than the ubiquitous “nigger!” “Mongrelization” was the bane of American Manifest Destiny, an ever-present threat to white notions of “civilization.” The extermination of Native Americans and the fire and whips of daily white terror during slavery and Jim Crow kept “mongrelizing” influences at bay, but protecting the gene pools of “Anglo-Saxons” and other Europeans later allowed into the “white” fold required constant vigilance. . . .

Sen. James Vardaman, of Mississippi, was implacable in his resistance to granting self-rule to Filipinos, much less treating them as equal to white Americans. “Preparing the Filipino or any other Mongrel race for the duties of citizenship or self-government can not be done,” he railed.Black Agenda Report

*   *   *   *   *

Table

posted 15 February 2008

*   *   *   *   *

Video: "South Side Story" Ta-Nehisi Coates author of The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood discusses Michelle Obama with Paul Coates an outspoken publisher and former Black Panther—his father.

“American Girl"

By Ta Nehesi Coates

When Michelle Obama told a Milwaukee campaign rally last February, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country," critics derided her as another Angry Black Woman. But the only truly radical proposition put forth by Obama, born and raised in Chicago's storied South Side, is the idea of a black community fully vested in the country at large, and proud of the American dream.

*   *   *   *   * 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

Democrats Discover Their Base—In the last month, the political movement that stirred during the campaign suddenly revived. Liberal, left-wing, and labor groups ran ads—Moveon.org spent $300,000 on an ad plugging health care reform, and Health Care for America Now, which is largely labor-backed, spent $1.4 million—primarily in the districts of wavering Democratic House members. They threatened to withhold contributions and run primary candidates against Democrats who opposed the bill.

In New York, the Working Families Party, which has attracted labor voters for Democrats, threatened to withhold endorsement from Representative Mike Arcuri. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) told Rep. Mike McMahon that if he voted no, they would fund a challenger. The Steelworkers staged a sit-in at the Western Pennsylvania office of Representative Jason Altmire. The American Association of Retired Peoples (AARP), not your stereotypical protest organization, held a demonstration at the offices of New York Representative Scott Murphy.

The administration’s somnolent Organizing for America suddenly woke up during the health care battle. Members demonstrated in Salt Lake City and Royal Oak, Michigan. They annoyed Texas Representative Chet Edwards with repeated demands that he back the bill. Most interesting, groups that had opposed or been wary of the existing legislation from the left fell into line once the real choices became apparent. When Moveon.org, which had campaigned for the public option, held a referendum on whether to back the current bill, 83 percent of their members favored doing so. AFL-CIO unions unhappy with the excise tax pressured Massachusetts Representative Stephen Lynch to back the bill. TNR

*   *   *   *   *

 

 

Address to University of Michigan Grads

By Barack Obama

President of the United States

Funeral Service for Dorothy Height  /  This is What Change Looks Like  /  Obama's Greatest Speeches (CD set)

*   *   *   *   *

A frustrated caucus keeps complaints quietCBC members say key people in the Obama administration have taken them for granted, in the belief that black members of Congress have no stomach for a fight with the country's first black president. . . .On Thursday, CBC members participated in a rare one-hour policy meeting with Obama at the White House to discuss their concerns, most notably their disappointment over a jobs bill that they regard as largely a package of tax breaks for employers, noticeably bereft of job-training programs, new infrastructure projects and summer employment opportunities for youth. Such issues are vital to the CBC, many of whose members represent districts with high levels of unemployment. . . . Despite the caucus's entreaties, the administration has not provided targeted help to black communities and other struggling areas suffering from disproportionately high unemployment, members complain. Many caucus members say they feel largely ignored by key White House advisers. Their communication with Obama himself is minimal to nonexistent. . . .Maxine Waters (Calif.). "We must not shy away from targeted public policy that seeks to address the specific and unique issues facing minority communities."

Obama has a 91 percent approval rating among African Americans, according to the latest Gallup poll. But Clyburn cautions the administration against becoming complacent about that support. "Depressed [African American] voter turnout would be something no White House politico could do anything about in the next election." WashingtonPost

 *   *   *   *   *

Obama's Nobel Prize money going to 10 charitiesThree months after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama announced Thursday the charities that will benefit from his $1.4 million cash award.In a statement issued by the White House, Obama said, "These organizations do extraordinary work in the United States and abroad helping students, veterans and countless others in need. I'm proud to support their work."

*   *   *   *   *

 

Is Your Hair Like Mine?‏

I had to fwd this one.

I left the comments of friends:

I had nothing better to add . . .

Here is an image of humility: 

a scene of empowerment. 

There is only ONE picture.

Many of us still can't believe our eyes,

understand how unreal to every

little black boy and how each sees

every day for the rest of their lives.

That what change means . . . 
  
Little boy visiting the White House. He wants

to feel Obama's hair. He wants to know if the

President's hair feels just like his. Obama obliges.

Priceless.

                                         Found poem, 10 June 2009

*   *   *   *   *

It Still Felt Good the Morning After—The actual real America is everywhere. It is the America that has been in shell shock since the aftermath of 9/11, when our government wielded a brutal attack by terrorists as a club to ratchet up our fears, betray our deepest constitutional values and turn Americans against one another in the name of “patriotism.”

What we started to remember the morning after Election Day was what we had forgotten over the past eight years, as our abusive relationship with the Bush administration and its press enablers dragged on: That’s not who we are.

So even as we celebrated our first black president, we looked around and rediscovered the nation that had elected him.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Obama said in February, and indeed millions of such Americans were here all along, waiting for a leader. This was the week that they reclaimed their countryNYTimes  Obama and the War on Brains

*   *   *   *   *

 

Roland Martin:  Election Night Coverage (Kam Williams Interview) / Election Night Speech (Obama)

America, We Cannot Turn Back (Text of Barack Obama Acceptance Speech) / Obama Roasts John McCain

BaracK Obama: The Time Interview/ Obama 2008 Table   Yes We Can (video)  Speeches & Sermons Table

Why White America Perhaps Fears Michelle More Than Barack  / Obligation to Fight for the World as It Should Be (Michele Obama)  /

*   *   *   *   *

Fear Strikes Out—Paul Krugman—The day before Sunday’s health care vote, President Obama gave an unscripted talk to House Democrats. Near the end, he spoke about why his party should pass reform: “Every once in a while a moment comes where you have a chance to vindicate all those best hopes that you had about yourself, about this country, where you have a chance to make good on those promises that you made ... And this is the time to make true on that promise. We are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true. We are not bound to succeed, but we are bound to let whatever light we have shine.” . . . Without question, the campaign of fear was effective: health reform went from being highly popular to wide disapproval, although the numbers have been improving lately. But the question was, would it actually be enough to block reform?

And the answer is no. The Democrats have done it. The House has passed the Senate version of health reform, and an improved version will be achieved through reconciliation.

This is, of course, a political victory for President Obama, and a triumph for Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker. But it is also a victory for America’s soul. In the end, a vicious, unprincipled fear offensive failed to block reform. This time, fear struck out. NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

A More Perfect Union Barack Obama Speech on Race  / Barack Obama: On My Faith and My Church   

 

*   *   *   *   *

Notes on an Orientation to the Obama Presidency—Linda Burnham—In these circumstances, among our biggest challenges is how to attend to building the capacity of the left without succumbing to the siren songs of dogma, the old addictions of premature platform erection, or the self-limiting pleasures of building parties in miniature.  For the anti-capitalist left, this is a period of experimentation. There is no roadmap; there are no recipes. Those organizational forms and initiatives that enable us to synthesize experience, share lessons and develop broad orientations and approaches to seriously undertaking our first two tasks should be encouraged. Those that would entrap us in the hermetic enclosures of doctrinal belief should be avoided at all cost.

The Obama presidency is a rare confluence of individuals and events. There is no way to predict how things will unfold over the next 4-8 years. But this much we can foresee: if the opportunity at hand is mangled or missed, the takeaway for the left will be deepened isolation and fragmentation. If, on the other hand, the left engages with this political opening skillfully and creatively, it will emerge as a broader, more vibrant force on the U.S. political spectrum, better able to confront whatever the post-Obama world will bring. 
Alainet

Left Obamites Prefer Kool Aid to Struggle—Glen FordBurnham’s gushings are remarkable for their abject surrender, not just to Obama’s persona and mystique, but to the institutional trappings and annexes of corporate-tethered rule. She wants us all to take lessons from the corporate-bought structures – to better serve the people? No. Burnham is telling us that now that she’s seen the Big Party, she doesn’t want to leave. She’s tasted that vintage wine, drank the good stuff, and is determined not to go back to movement rations.

I do agree that Burnham can use some political education. “For the anti-capitalist left,” she writes, “this is a period of experimentation. There is no roadmap; there are no recipes.” Maybe, but there are abiding truths that she has willfully forgotten: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

Those elements that refuse to make demands of Power ought to stop calling themselves part of the Left. Unless the Left is in power, it is a contradiction in terms.
BlackAgendaReport

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Best Book of 2009

 

Go, Tell Michelle

 Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram

Women Talking to Michele

Vas-y, Parle à Michelle

Par: Jacqueline Jean-Baptiste

 

*   *   *   *   *

Table

Pre-Election Files

 

Alice Walker Endorses Barack Obama (Video)

Al Sharpton and Barack Obama  (DNC 2004)

America We Cannot Turn Back*

The Ancestral Spirits Are Watching  (Jeannette Drake)

The Audacity of Hope (book review)

Barack Obama Speaks at Dr. King's Church

Barack Obama: The Death of White Supremacy? (Discussion)

Baraka: Act Like We Know (Amiri Baraka)

Bill Richardson Endorses Obama (video)

Black Enterprise Endorses Obama for President

A Brief for Whitey  (Pat Buchanan)

Character is the real issue (Maxwell)

Clinton and Obama Legislative Records

Clinton and Obama on Darfur (Morse)

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

Confronting an Economic Crisis (Colorado speech)

Cynthia McKinney Deserves Your Support, Obama Does Not (Ford)

Down with the Clintons (Hayes)

Flagrant Racism: Democratic Party Crisis (ChickenBones editorial)

Forward Is Where We Have to Go (Baraka)

Give Peace a Chance  (Drake)

The Handwriting is On the Wall: It's a Clinton-Obama Ticket in ‘08

Hillary Clinton as Walking Eagle

Hillary Clinton Revisited and Reviled (Williams)

Hillary! Stop the attacks! Love, Obama Girl (video)

History in the Making  (Tananarive Due)

Human Rights and Women's Rights (Discussion)

Hunger for a Black President  (Lewis)

In Kenya, Obama's relatives 'pray' for victory (CNN)

Is Obama Black Enough  (Boggs)

It's a Clinton-Obama Ticket in ‘08  (Dixon)

Jackson's Not Down for the Count

Meditation for Obama (Jeannette Drake)

Middle Passage  (Jeannette Drake)

Native Americans say NO to Hilarary Clinton (Carter Camp, Ponca Nation)

The Need for a Democratic Electoral Sweep (Lewis)

New Yorker Cover Depicts the Obamas as Terrorists (Willliams)

Nomination (Mary Weems)

Obama in Berlin Speaking (Grossman)

Obama Is African American Enough for Me if  (Johnson-Redd)

Obama 3 and Other Poems (Bomani)

Obama and Bitterness (Moses)

Obama and the Hunger for a Black President (Lewis)

Obama and the Israeli Lobby   (Uri Avnery)

Obama Victory Creates African Excitement

Obama Declares Victory (speech)

Obama Insults Half a Race (Ford)

Obama Photogallery

Obama Prayer  (Jeannette Drake)

Obligation to Fight for the World as It Should Be (Michele Obama)

Of Obama and Oakland  (Norris)

On My Faith and My Church

An Open Letter to Barack Obama (Tom Hayden, et al)

Palin Is "Racist, Sexist, Vindictive. and Mean" (Charley James)

The Parade of Anti Obama Rascals (Baraka)

Plato on Obama Drama (Marvin X)

Portrait of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

Playing the Race Game in South Carolina (Gray)

Putting the Country First  

Radical in Pursuit of Peace and Justice (McKinney)

Reaching Racial Heights (ChickenBones editorial)

Reconciling Faith and Politics (video)

Robert Reich Endorses Obama

Running to the Right: Barack Obama (Dixon)

Seeing The Real Clintons (Stanton)

Seize This Opportunity for Change (Gore)

Setting Record Straight with New York Times (Wright)

Sexual Morality and Black Male Abandonment (Lewis)

Shelby Steele: The Why Obama Can't Win

Speeches (Obama website)

Straying from official orthodoxy (ChickenBones editorial)

The Three Faces of Republican Change  (Lewis)

Time to Take Back the Country We Love (Hillary Clinton)

Toni Morrison's Endorsement Letter to Barack Obama

Unforgivable! New Yorker Cover Depicts the Obamas as Terrorists (Williams)

Victory Speech in South Carolina  (video)

Vote Fraud Costs Obama (Williams)

War in Iraq Has Burdened American Working Families (Obama video)

We’re Seeing the Real Clintons (Junious Ricardo Stanton)

White America Fears Michele Obama (Jack and Jill)

Why South Sudan Wants Obama to Lose (Badru Mulumba)

Your Whiteness is Showing (Tim Wise)

  *   *   *   *   *

Related files

A Case for Condoleezza Rice 

Cynthia McKinney Confronts Corporate Media 

A Game of Character: A Family Journey (Craig Robinson)

Hillary Clinton as Walking Eagle

Hillary Clinton Revisited and Reviled

Hillary Turns on the Demo Light

Juneteenth and the Emancipation of Whom: Niggers or Enslaved Africans?

Just Another Dead Nigger! 

Killens and the Black Man's Burden 

Market for Ni$$as (video)

The Origin of Violence in Virginia: A Brief History

Psychology of Black Oppression

Speeches and Sermons Table

Staying Alive for the New Struggle 

Time To Impeach Bush   

 Village Cry

Will George Bush Be Impeached  

Time To Impeach Bush  

  *   *   *   *   *

 

Sometimes a President Is Just a President

The other day a friend of mine confided that in the weeks leading up to the election, the Obamas’ apparent joy as a couple had made her just miserable. Their marriage looked so much happier than hers. Their life seemed so perfect. “I was at a place where I was tempted daily to throttle my husband,” she said. “This coincided with Michelle saying the most beautiful things about Barack. Each time I heard her speak about him I got tears in my eyes — because I felt so far away from that kind of bliss in my own life and perhaps even more, because I was so moved by her expressions of devotion to him. And unlike previous presidential couples, they are our age, have children the same age and (just imagine the stress of daily life on the campaign) by all accounts should have been fighting even more than we were.” NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

America, We Cannot Turn Back

Text of Barack Obama Acceptance Speech

Obama Roasts John McCain   YouTube

Obama 2008 Table   Yes We Can (video)  Speeches & Sermons Table

 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

17 Newspapers Endorse Obama, 2 for McCain—Barack Obama picked up at least 17 newspaper endorsements this weekend, including six in swing states Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri. John McCain, as far as we know, gained just two.

The Wisconsin State Journal and The Sun of San Bernardino had backed Bush in 2004. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called Obama's opponent, John McCain, "the incredible shrinking man" who had made a horrific pick for his running mate.

Backing Obama: In Ohio, The Blade in Toledo and the Dayton Daily News; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The Tennessean of Nashville, the Wisconsin State Journal. the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times, and in California the Fresno Bee, Sacramento Bee, Contra Costa Times, The Herald of Monterey, The Satna Cruz Journal and The Sun of San Bernardino (which had picked Bush over Kerry), plus the New Bedford Standrd-Times in Massachusetts.

Joining the Obama team in battleground states were the Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle, the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Express-Times and Springfield (Ohio) News.McCain registered two pick ups: The Wheeling News-Register in West Virginia and the Napa Valley Register in California.—EditorandPublisher

  *   *   *   *   *

Baraka Message: Taking Up Obama's Mantle—My line at Black Left meeting & Black Radical Congress is solidify a political line, with that admitted united front as broad leadership and then mobilize masses of Black and Progressive people to descend on Denver for Dem convention with demonstrations, signs, petitions, literature and strategy and tactics for influencing what is sure to be the attempt at the crookedest of all conventions. The people are already excited by the primaries and the crude tricks of the bourgeoisie. We shd take up Obama's mantle, both serving as his defense (the defense of democracy) and using this presence to make impact on the campaign. The Rev Wright "flap" was actually positive, now the race question is squarely in the campaigns and the bourgeoisie will push and push it, but it should serve to further inflame the masses, who have real ties with the Black church and know what Wright said is historically true.  Amiri Baraka. I will raise this at a meeting in Harlem next week. 

*   *   *   *   *

I'm pretty sure that his White grandmother is still living, and is eagerly following his election from her home in Hawaii (I heard it on CNN), although both of his parents are dead. His American-Indonesian sister, who's 8 years younger, is in Hawaii campaigning for him; apparently they are very close, and he took her under his wing when they were growing up. I think what first impressed me about him is that he really cares about his family and writes so lovingly of them in his autobiography. He brought his Kenyan half sister, Auna, to the U.S. on numerous occasions and has reached out to many of his Kenyan relatives. His mother and grandparents really have to be credited with bringing him up with such wholesome values. He strikes me as a man who is so comfortable in his own skin. In spite of the campaign, he flew home to take his kids trick or treating, went to buy the family Xmas tree, took his wife out on their anniversary in Jan. and took her out to dinner on Valentine's day. He really has his (human) priorities in place.Miriam

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Newspaper EndorsementsThe Obama-Biden ticket maintains its strong lead in the race for daily newspaper endorsements, by 112 to 39, more than a 3-1 margin, picking up 70 or more papers in the past three days, including (see separate stories), the Detroit Free Press, Buffalo News, Cleveland's Plain Dealer, Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, New York's Daily News, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, Portland's The Oregonian, Denver Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Salt Lake Tribune, Kansas City Star, and Chicago Sun-Times. EditorandPublisher

Mighty Sparrow: Barack the Magnificent (video) / Maya Soetoro-Ng, Barack's Half Sister

*   *   *   *   *

A national mood swing˜We can end a war.—We can save the planet.—We can change the world.'—All of a sudden, Democrats are on the offensive. 'Change' isn't just this year's most ubiquitous campaign slogan, it seems to be something that's already happening out there in the real world, in small towns, on college campuses and yes, even at Super Bowl parties.

Who knows just what caused the shift in mood? Iraq? Katrina? Global warming? Rising income inequality? Disgust with Bush and Cheney? Whatever the causes, Americans seem eager to reclaim a spirit of idealism that many thought ended with the 1960s, to embrace a heritage that acknowledges conflict and struggle but also hope and progress.

Obama's Super Bowl ad represented a gamble: a bet that the symbolism of past social movements is now more likely to give Americans a thrill than a chill. And the matter-of-factness with which his ad was greeted - and Obama's electoral success so far - suggest that his campaign correctly read the national mood. LATimes

*   *   *   *   *

Who Is Michelle Obama?—Princeton undergrad, Harvard Law School alum, corporate vice president and mother of two young girls—Michelle Obama's professional and personal résumé already is impressive. And since she could be the next First Lady, let's take a look at her. To her friends, Michelle Obama seems to manage public and private pressures with effortless poise. She is intimately involved with her husband's work, reading drafts of his major speeches and tweaking his big ideas and little punctuation choices alike, reports Newsweek. She has been his link to African America, its civil-rights movement and its power elite. Diversity Inc.

*   *   *   *   * 

 Victory Speech in South Carolina  (video)   /  Shelby Steele on Obama (video) /    Obama's Grandmother (video) / Obama in New Orleans (video) 

Debate '08: Obama Girl vs Giuliani Girl (video)  / "I Got a Crush...On Obama" By Obama Girl  (video)  / Chris Rock's 2008 Election Analysis (video)

*   *   *   *   *

Blackness and ObamaWell, I think everybody should be aware of their heritage. See, blackness is a powerful, powerful symbol in America. Because we were taught to be ashamed of being black. And in a society in which you are taught to be ashamed of it, then to overcome that, you have to affirm it. So, you shouldn't be bashful about talking about it. Because to be bashful about talking about it is to, in some sense, to be ashamed of it, at least from the perspective of those who are black and who don't have the kind of position that Condoleezza Rice or Barack Obama would have. So, all they want is to say, you know, express some identity with our history and our culture. It's okay to identify with the larger culture. Because we are one community. But that should not entitle one to just forget about one's own particular culture of blackness. . . . Because the more you express identity with the community from which you come from if you're black, the more fear white people have. Now, that's not true for Italians. That's not true for Germans. That's not true for any other group, hardly, except us. Because there-- it's because we haven't been talking about that lynching tree. We haven't been talking about slavery, the ugly side of that.

So, if Barack Obama comes out and says, "I'm black and I'm proud of it,"  well, whites would get nervous. And they would be careful about whether they would vote for him. So, he has a narrow, a narrowroad in which to walk. Because he won't be elected if he doesn't get the white vote. It's hard to get the white vote if you express a kind of affirmative identity with black people. So, you get caught between a rock and a hard place. And that's where he's caught. . . . That's why it's hard for Barack Obama or Condoleezza Rice to talk about blackness; 'cause it'sif they talked about blackness in the real, true sense, it would be uncomfortable. But America can't be what America ought to be untilAmerica can look at itself, the good, the bad, so that we can work on making ourselves what we oughta be.James Cone  Bill Moyers Interviews James Cone

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Wins Iowa --A record outpouring of Democratic voters gave Obama a victory last night with 38 percent support, while John Edwards, with 29.8 percent, barely edged out Clinton, who finished third at 29.5 percent.  Obama's Iowa Win Bolsters Bid for New Hampshire

*   *   *   *   *

Obama: What's in It for Us?—A poll this fall by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a black think tank, shows the wide disparity of support for Mr. Obama among blacks. While 75% of blacks who went to college had a favorable or very favorable view of the candidate—rising to 88% among blacks who went to graduate or professional school—support dipped to 62% among those with just a high-school degree and to 42% among blacks who haven't finished high school. A similar pattern shows up as income levels fall among blacks. And while 83% of blacks employed full time had a favorable view of Mr. Obama, just 55% of unemployed blacks did. . . . . A CNN poll released last week showed Mr. Obama with almost 60% support among black voters across the U.S., compared with 31% for Mrs. Clinton. Here in South Carolina, several polls have shown Mr. Obama leading Mrs. Clinton by about 8% overall with wide leads among black voters.Obama's Bid Turns Focus On Class Split Among Blacks

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Supporter, Derrick, Responds to the Video and Explains Emotional View

Rudy, I had seen this interview that the young man did and I just had a chance to listen to his (Derrick's) follow up. If you haven't heard this young man, check out his interview and monologue. He's terrific--an immigrant from Ghana who's just been able to vote since coming to the U. S.—and he makes a passionate explanation of his reason for supporting Obama. There is hope for the country with young people like that.—Miriam

*   *   *   *   *

Report on primary Wins and Losts

Obama Close Second in New HampshireWith 91 percent of the electoral precincts reporting, Mrs. Clinton had 39 percent of the vote, Mr. Obama 36 percent, and John Edwards 17 percent. On the Republican side, Mr. McCain had 37 percent, Mr. Romney 32 percent and Mike Huckabee 11 percent. NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

Barack Obama claims big win in South Carolina—With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Obama had 55 percent of the vote. Clinton was second with 27 percent, followed by Edwards, with 18 percent. Obama's likely victory capped a heated contest in South Carolina, the first Democratic primary in the South and the first with a largely African-American electorate. CNN // “Tonight, the cynics that said what began in the snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the good people of South Carolina,” Mr. Obama said . . .“After four great contests in every corner of this country, we have the most votes, the most delegates and the most diverse coalition of Americans we’ve seen in a long, long time.” NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Wins Super Tuesday: Wins Most States, Wins Most DelegatesObama won majority of delegates (908 to 884,  Time Delegate Count) and majority of states (Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, and Utah), and tied in New Mexico. "It's a choice between going into this election with Republicans and independents already united against us, or going against their nominee with a campaign that has united Americans of all parties, from all backgrounds, from all races, from all religions, around a common purpose," he said. "It's a choice between having a debate with the other party about who has the most experience in Washington, or having one about who is most likely to change Washington, because that's a debate that we can win." WashingtonPost  

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Defeats Clinton in 3-State SweepSenator Barack Obama won the primary in Louisiana (53 % to 39 %) and the caucuses in Nebraska (68% to 32%) and Washington (68% to 31%) on Saturday, defeating his rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as the two scrambled for delegates in their fiercely contested battle for the Democratic nomination. "We won in Louisiana, we won in Nebraska, we won in Washington State," he said. "We won north, we won south, we won in between, and I believe we can win Virginia on Tuesday if you're ready to stand for change." Before today, Clinton held a slight edge over Obama in the delegate count—1,055 to 998—with 2,025 delegates needed to claim the Democratic nomination. . . . Obama stood to pick up as many as 170 delegates tonight. Washington Post

*   *   *   *   *

Three More Primaries in the Bag—Senator Barack Obama rolled to victory by big margins in Virginia (64 to 35%), Maryland (60 to36%) and the District of Columbia (75 to 24%) on Tuesday, extending his winning streak over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to eight Democratic nominating contests since Saturday. Mr. Obama’s victories gave him a lead over Mrs. Clinton among pledged delegates . . .Obama aides calculate that he also leads in delegate counts that include so-called superdelegates, the party officers and elected officials who control 20 percent of the total delegates to the Democratic convention. . . . An exultant Mr. Obama told a rally in Madison, Wis.: “This movement wont stop until there’s change in Washington. Tonight, we’re on our way.” . . . . Mrs. Clinton . . . signaled that she would not vigorously contest two Democratic races next week, a primary in Wisconsin and a caucus in Hawaii . . . If she loses in those two states, she will be 0 for 10 in nominating contests from Feb. 5 to March 4, when Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont hold primaries.NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

Facing Zero Degrees Wisconsin Gives Obama Win Over Clinton— Senator Barack Obama (56%) won the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday by a comfortable margin, extending his victory streak to nine contests and forcing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (43%) into a must-win scenario on March 4 as the nominating fight heads to the crucial states of Ohio and Texas. The victory reinforces Mr. Obama’s position as the front-runner in the Democratic race, even as the Clinton campaign hopes [for] a comeback next month when a large haul of delegates are up for grabs in Ohio and Texas. . . . “The change we seek is still months and miles away and we need the good people of Texas to help us get there,” Mr. Obama said in a speech in Houston. “We’re here because we believe that change is possible and that we have never needed it more than we do right now!” Almost two-thirds said Mr. Obama would be more likely to unite the country and about 55 percent considered him more likely to improve foreign relations. Democratic voters were evenly divided on whether Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama was most qualified to be commander-in-chief . . . NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

Vermont gives Obama 12th straight win—Barack Obama drew strong support across the board in Vermont on Tuesday from white women, working-class voters and other groups that have backed Hillary Clinton in earlier presidential contests, according to preliminary data from exit polls of voters. The Illinois senator had the backing of about six in 10 white women, a group that has been a crucial source of strength for his rival this year. In 22 previous competitive Democratic primaries, Obama has prevailed among that group only in New Mexico and his home state of Illinois. Clinton has had a cumulative 21-percentage-point margin among white women in the prior contests. Obama was easily ahead among both men and women overall in the largely white, liberal state, the early data showed. He was getting about six in 10 votes of people over age 65, self-described Democrats and voters without college degrees. He also was winning the votes of two-thirds of those earning less than $50,000 annually. Guardian

 

*   *   *   *   *

Obama win Wyoming—Barack Obama’s campaign reclaimed lost momentum Saturday [9 March], beating Hillary Clinton by double digits in the Wyoming caucuses . . . With all precincts reporting, Obama had 61 percent to Clinton’s 38 percent. . . . The caucuses only offered 12 total delegates [Obama 7 delegates Clinton 5], . .  . . drew rare attention to the state as well as historic turnout. . . .  The candidates were already shifting their attention toward the Mississippi primary Tuesday, which offers 33 delegates. . . the next big contest for them is Pennsylvania, which votes April 22 and offers 158 delegates. It is the biggest prize remaining on the election calendar, and polls show Clinton ahead in the state.  .  .   Obama still holds a comfortable lead in delegates. After Saturday’s caucuses, the count stood at 1,578 for Obama and 1,468 for Clinton. It takes 2,025 to win.  FoxNews

*   *   *   *   *

Obama coasts to victory in Mississippi Primary—Returns from 92 percent of Mississippi's precincts showed Obama gaining 59 percent, to 39 percent for Clinton. Obama picked up at least 17 of Mississippi's 33 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, with five more to be awarded. He hoped for a win sizable enough to erase most if not all of  Clinton's 11-delegate gain from last week, when she won three primaries. The Illinois senator had 1,596 delegates to 1,484 for Clinton. It takes 2,025 to win the nomination. Neither of the two rivals appears able to win enough delegates through primaries and caucuses to prevail in their historic race for the nomination, a development that has elevated the importance of nearly 800 elected officials and party leaders who will attend next summer's national convention as unelected superdelegates. . . . After losing 12 straight primaries and caucuses, Clinton rebounded smartly last week with primary victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. Obama won the Vermont primary, led in the Texas caucuses, and suffered a loss of only 11 delegates. . . . Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota have primaries remaining. Yahoo

*   *   *   *   *

Obama increases lead in delegate count—The Illinois Democrat won handily in the Mississippi Democratic primary Tuesday. Obama beat Clinton 61 percent to 37 percent with 99 percent of the precincts reporting. With the victory, Obama added 17 delegates to his total while Clinton picked up 11, CNN estimates. The Mississippi win was Obama's second win in a row, having won the Wyoming caucuses Saturday. . . . Clinton beat Obama 51 percent to 47 percent in the Texas primary that was also held on March 4, but Obama was expected to win a majority of the 228 Texas delegates due to his caucus win. Two-thirds of the state's 193 delegates were at stake at the primary, while the remaining third were decided by the caucuses. With the wins in Mississippi and Texas, Obama now leads Clinton 1,611 to 1,480 in the total delegate count, CNN estimates. Neither candidate is expected to obtain the 2,025 delegates needed to win the nomination outright before the national convention in August. CNN                                                                               Barack Obama inspired Bronx high school students (video)

*   *   *   *   *

Senator Barack Obama won a commanding victory in the North Carolina primary on Tuesday [6 May 2008] and lost narrowly to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Indiana, an outcome that injected a boost of momentum to Mr. Obama’s candidacy as the Democratic nominating contest entered its final month.

*   *   *   *   *

Which Womanhood?"For too long the history of women has been a history of silence," Clinton told the World Conference then. But almost exactly a year later, she supported her husband's signing of the so-called Personal Responsibility Act, which successfully shifted responsibility for poverty in an affluent society off that society and onto the backs of poor mothers. Those moms barely got to say a word, while DC pols slandered and steamrollered them. Clinton writes in her autobiography Living History  that she would have opposed her husband over welfare reform if she thought it would hurt young children. (One wonders what she thinks happens to kids in poor working and over-working families.) On the campaign trail, she recalls her dedication to Marian Wright Edelman's Children's Defense Fund. But I can't forget Peter Edelman's resignation from the Department of Health and Human Services in protest. In 1996, welfare "reform" cut almost 800,000 legal immigrants off aid entirely and even denied them food stamps, but no one denies that it helped get Bill Clinton re-elected. "Welfare reform became a success for Bill" writes Hillary in Living History. It was all about politics, not poor people, said Edelman. The Nation    Hear Bill 'Blacken' Obama

*   *   *   *   *

Clinton’s Hispanic edgeThe ethnic gap jumped out at pollsters who surveyed Nevada caucus-goers. Clinton won the backing of white voters by 18 points and Hispanics by a more than 2-1 ratio over Obama, while Obama won 83 percent of the African-American voters. Clinton also was preferred by 55 percent of Hispanic Democratic voters, compared with 6 percent for Obama and less than 5 percent for Edwards and Richardson in a recent survey of Latino voters in the top five Hispanic states — California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois. . . .

The notion of an undercurrent of political tension between African-Americans and Hispanics flows from the fact that blacks led the civil rights struggles that also benefit the faster-growing Latino population. Opponents of expanded immigration rights also have openly played to the rift by arguing that Latino immigrants are driving down wages or taking jobs that blacks could hold. While black voters express those concerns in polls, the immigration issue is not a deciding factor in their votes. Nor do those issues have anything to do with whether Latinos will vote for African-American candidates, according to political analysts. Politico

*   *   *   *   *

Hillary: The Wrong ExperienceObama has advocated easing the Bush-imposed ban on Cuban-Americans visiting the island and sending money to their relatives. He makes a broader case for a new Cuba policy, arguing that capitalism, trade and travel will help break the regime's stranglehold on the country and help open things up. Clinton immediately disagreed, firmly supporting the current policy. This places her in the strange position of arguing, in effect, that her husband's Cuba policy was not hard-line enough. But this is really not the best way to understand Clinton's position. In all probability, she actually agrees with Obama's stand. She is just calculating that it would anger Cuban-Americans in Florida and New Jersey. This is the problem with Hillary Clinton. . . . The Clintons' careers have been shaped by the belief that for a Democrat to succeed, he or she had to work within this conservative ideological framework. Otherwise one would be pilloried for being weak on national security, partial to taxes and big government and out of touch with Middle America's social values. CubaWatch

*   *   *   *   *

  Cynthia Mckinney Accepts Green Party Nomination‏  (video)  / Cynthia McKinney Deserves Your Support, Obama Does Not (Ford)

Hillary Wins Michigan and FloridaHillary celebrated a "victory" (No delegates won) in Florida that is not a victory. She campaigned after a promise not to campaign. . Many see it as a sign of desperation after the 2 to 1 defeat in South Carolina. . . . We are less than a week away from the 20-state-primary of February 5. . . .

Since Iowa we have put considerable emotional energy into the primary process. Super Tuesday will probably be the decider of who will be the DNC nominee. Many progressives feel it is all for nought as far as the state of America affairs. But I for one won't ignore or denigrate Obama's charisma and oratory. Nor will I deny his growing national influence, and its symbolical representation of the need of Americans to feel better about their lives in a world filled with so much murder and mayhem? The innocence, the enthusiasm, and idealism  of the young are a balm for the soul. One cannot but admire the growing ranks of Obama girls and boys. Such full commitments always lead to a lost of innocence. Politics indeed makes us all a bit sordid and makes all a bit mad like hearing the songs of Sirens. —Rudy

*   *   *   *   *

Unstoppable ObamaClinton can put forth all the policy proposals she likes – and many of them are admirable ones – but anyone can see that she’s of the same generation and even one of the same families that got us into this checkmate situation in the first place. True, some people miss Bill, although the nostalgia was severely undercut by his anti-Obama rhetoric in South Carolina, or maybe they just miss the internet bubble he happened to preside over. But even more people find dynastic successions distasteful, especially when it’s a dynasty that produced so little by way of concrete improvements in our lives. Whatever she does, the semiotics of her campaign boils down to two words – “same old.”

Obama is different, really different, and that in itself represents “change.” A Kenyan-Kansan with roots in Indonesia and multiracial Hawaii, he seems to be the perfect answer to the bumper sticker that says, “I love you America, but isn’t it time to start seeing other people?” As conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan has written, Obama’s election could mean the re-branding of America. An anti-war black president with an Arab-sounding name: See, we’re not so bad after all, world!

So yes, there’s a powerful emotional component to Obama-mania, and not just because he’s a far more inspiring speaker than his rival. We, perhaps white people especially, look to him for atonement and redemption. All of us, of whatever race, want a fresh start. That’s what “change” means right now: Get us out of here!Ehrenreich Blog

*   *   *   *   *

Jill Nelson's NYTimes "Identity Politics" review of Randall Kennedy. Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal. 228 pp. and Shelby Steele. A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win  is worthy of a read. She seems to nail them to their underlying self exposure. A few excerpts:

Perhaps most troubling about both Steele and Kennedy is the virtual absence of any acknowledgment of the ways in which white racism, and the more subtle and prevalent white privilege, influence black identity and necessitate, for some, a strong collective identity as a defense against white power. “Obviously, black responsibility is the greatest — if not the only — transformative power available to blacks,” Steele says. But this is simply not true. Ditto for Kennedy’s assertion that “open expression of racial prejudice is politically and socially suicidal.” Tell that to Trent Lott, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond and Don Imus, to name but a few. Lott and Imus were finally taken to task for their racist comments, but after what has become an American ritual of denial, apology and a brief stay in the woodshed, they were back.

Steele and Kennedy say they have been attacked as a result of ideas that go against a black orthodoxy. It’s difficult to be sympathetic. Both men have been mightily rewarded. The irony is that the criticism these authors evoke increases their visibility. Kennedy knows this. “Supporters have praised me for being ‘brave.’ The fact is, however, that I have not felt threatened by any ideological enemies. At no point have I felt that I was putting myself into serious jeopardy.”

In truth, black orthodoxy, as embodied both by the traditional entrenched black (male) political leadership and by the more recently emerged black (male) academics and public intellectuals, is passing into oblivion. These books have a Rip Van Winkle feel to them, as if the writers fell asleep at a crucial moment and missed a seismic shift. Both books, especially Steele’s, tell us more about what has been than what lies ahead.NYTimes

[Jill Nelson is the author of Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience and, most recently, Finding Martha'sVineyard ]

 *   *   *   *   *

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

Drops the Hammer on McCain and Palin

Runoko in Papua New Guinea

Travel Writing by Runoko Rashidi

 

Letter Demanding Bailout Conditions

A Call for Common Sense

Obama Notes

Glen Ford and Rudy Lewis

Dear Rudy,

It aggravates me to no end that folks do not understand that Obama is playing the same game as Randall Kennedy - addressing the racial anxieties of white men by as thoroughly de-racializing the discourse (itself a blatant race game) as Kennedy did in giving the OK for whites to use the word "nigger." Obama is a hustler of Kennedy's own kind, only on a much larger scale: world power. Everything he says is at Black people's expense, but Blacks are euphoric that "one of us" has a podium to say it.

Why can't we take Obama's statements on war, Katrina, Jena, etc. at face value? White folks do. That's why they are voting for him: because of his implicit and often explicit promises to take race off the table. That means "us" off the table!

I'm tired of all this phony academic and fake literary exploration of our collective navels that serves as diversion from what is right in front of our faces. Obama wins because he has courted white folks, especially males - the most backward demographic in the nation. He makes promises to them, to betray us. And we love it.

I don't anticipate, at this point, changing you or anybody else's minds about joining the Obama-bration, and calling it a "movement." In fact, it is a capitulation, and history will prove it so, much sooner than you might think.

I say this with all love and respect. Sincerely, Glen

*   *   *   *   *

Glen, I have no problem whatsoever with your criticism of Obama. Yours is fairly gentle and fully rational compared to that of Pinkney's at Black Commentator. We need persons to keep the heat under Obama's feet and wherever one might apply it.

I am not into an "Obama-bration." Nor am I part of an Obama movement. Someone has to be the Democratic nominee. I prefer it to be Obama than Clinton, for reasons other than Obama's world power politics. That is the long and short of it. And I think that is where most black people are at this point.

My only concern with some of the black radical Obama critics is that they as it often occurs are too far out in front of the people that they end up castigating the majority of black voters, that is to say, they have no respect for what these voters see and where they are. I think there is a political danger in those kinds of "I know better than you" attitudes.

Of course, few if any of the masses read either Kennedy or Steele. Their audience is primarily liberal and conservative whites and some educated blacks. I do not align myself with them. I am interested in a rhetoric that counters or shoots holes in their oiled up arguments. Thus I admire what Jill Nelson has accomplished in her reviews of their books. Hers is in great contrast to that of many black reviewers who soft pedal in order to get their reviews published.—Rudy

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

More News Excerpts

Transforming our politics + the “Asian vote” in CA—Name recognition played a huge role in what had happened. But there is a clear difference between Obama and Clinton. The New York Magazine recently described Obama’s campaign as a “white boy campaign“. Despite the usual spin on race and ethnicity from mainstream media, I find that this article’s analysis is incredibly off. Obama’s campaign is a break from the old way of politics. His campaign is about movement building, not name recognition. What electrifies me about Obama is that he is talking about transforming our politics and ourselves, not giving out quick, token favors to our leaders and figureheads. . . . Remember, it was the media that asked if Obama can “transcend race” — Obama never spoke these words himself because his message is not about colorblindness at all.

I’m confident the numbers will change and that more Asian Americans will change support for Obama’s campaign. In some weays, our “loss” in California is very positive because it is continuing the contest between Obama and Clinton, giving us an important moment to talk to our community, peers, friends and family members. We can really highlight what sets Obama apart from Clinton. I don’t think we are last minute at all — Transformation is very different from identity and coalition politics, which is what Clinton is solely relying upon. We’ve seen the upsurge in the last two weeks, where folks went to the poll en masse to change their vote for Obama. Let’s keep building and reaching our communities.Softheart WordPress

*   *   *   *   *

On the California Primary: The Future is Now—The Obama campaign is about transcending the “minority politics” mentality that carves us all up into “interest groups” and pushes the hot buttons that reinforce our sense of victimization and vilify the other side. Mainstream observers focus on Obama’s invocation of “hope” as a rhetorical device, which appeals to the common decency in all of us to both transcend partisanship and support an agenda driven by the discourse of change. No doubt this is part of the appeal he is making, especially as he seeks to fashion himself as someone who can unite voters in both “blue” and “red” states and also “change the way Washington does business.”

But I sense there is something much deeper to both Obama as an individual and his campaign, which has the potential to develop into a movement. Obama has a deep respect for what historian Charles Payne (in I’ve Got the Light of Freedom) has called the “organizing tradition” that sustained the Black freedom struggle in the South. He recognizes the debt we owe the likes of Martin Luther King, Ella Baker, and Rosa Parks, but more importantly the lessons we must learn from their struggles. If you are just a “minority leader,” then you’re not really a leader at all. If you are only fighting for your “fair share” of the riches controlled by those in power, you’ll never address the root causes of oppression. Above all is the sense that none of us can be free in America until we change the whole country. Obama speaks in poetry and he is writing a song of redemption.Scott Kurashige WordPress

*   *   *   *   *

SEIU MEMBERS ENDORSE SEN. BARACK OBAMA (February 15, 2008)—Washington, DC—Nurses, childcare workers, janitors and other service workers endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president today, calling him the candidate with the best vision, best plan and best strategy to lead the country to a new American Dream. . . . Members of the Service Employees International Union endorsed Obama to achieve economic justice, quality, affordable healthcare for every American, the freedom for workers to unite in unions, and an end to the Iraq war. . . . “This is about more than one election. It’s about building for the next generation of America," said SEIU President Andy Stern. “Barack Obama is creating the broadest and deepest coalition of voters we’ve ever seen.”  . . . . With 1.9 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America. Focused on uniting workers in three sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide, SEIU is the largest health care union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union.—SEIU

*   *   *   *   *

BARACK & BARAKA—In a Harlem Church, locals debate the Obama message with famed poet Amiri Baraka.—The quiet thickened. Whatever Obama meant; whatever energy he represented, seemed far away. Amiri Baraka got in. He eased behind the microphone and spoke with beat poet rhythms, sending ripples of laughter through the audience. “We got to move beyond this is-he-black-enough question. He’s blacker than Hillary. Hell, he’s at least hooked up to the Motherland. Most African-Americans are African indirectly.” His foot bounced on beat as he gripped the microphone. “We can’t stay on the sidelines calling names; we got to use the energy of this campaign to mobilize the black community. We are not going to have a revolution. The most we can do is create a people’s democracy.” Baraka pulled the audience out of its sullenness, but Dr. Tony Monteiro from Temple University in Philadelphia stepped into the echo of Baraka, and flashed history. “I’d like to use a historical analogy,” Monteiro began. “W.E.B. Du Bois said of Booker T. Washington that he filled a particular psychological need that whites had. They wanted to take race off the table. They wanted to build empire and move past the guilt of slavery. Booker fit that role. Does Obama fit that role today?”—NYPress

*   *   *   *   *

The Grand Old White Party Confronts Obama—Whatever the potency of his political skills and message, Mr. Obama is also riding a demographic wave. The authors of the new book “Millennial Makeover,” Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais, point out that the so-called millennial generation (dating from 1982) is the largest in American history, boomers included, and that roughly 40 percent of it is African-American, Latino, Asian or racially mixed. One in five millennials has an immigrant parent. It’s this generation that is fueling the excitement and some of the record turnout of the Democratic primary campaign, and not just for Mr. Obama.

Even by the low standards of his party, Mr. McCain has underperformed at reaching millennials in the thriving culture where they live. His campaign’s effort to create a MySpace-like Web site flopped. His most-viewed appearances on YouTube are not viral videos extolling him or replaying his best speeches but are instead sendups of his most reckless foreign-policy improvisations — his threat to stay in Iraq for 100 years and his jokey warning (sung to the tune of the Beach Boys’ version of “Barbara Ann”) that he will bomb Iran. In the vast arena of the Internet he has been shrunk to Grumpy Old White Guy, the G.O.P. brand incarnate.

The theory of the McCain candidacy is that his “maverick” image will bring independents (approaching a third of all voters) to the rescue. But a New York Times-CBS News poll last month found that independents have even a lower opinion of Mr. Bush, the war, the surge and the economy than the total electorate and skew slightly younger. Though the independents in this survey went 44 percent to 32 percent for Mr. Bush over John Kerry in 2004, they now prefer a Democratic presidential candidate over a Republican by 44 percent to 27 percent.

Mr. McCain could get lucky, especially if Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination and unites the G.O.P., and definitely if she tosses her party into civil war by grabbing ghost delegates from Michigan and Florida. But those odds are dwindling. More likely, the Republican Party will face Mr. Obama with a candidate who reeks even more of the past and less of change than Mrs. Clinton does.NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

Transformation time—Texas voters have two remarkable candidates from which to choose in the March 4 Democratic presidential primary. Regardless of the outcome of this state's vote and those across the nation, history will be made. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama represent change, but in decidedly different ways. . . . On an international stage, his face representing the United States of America would speak volumes to a world community that has turned away from assisting this great nation.

The expectation and pressure on him to deliver change on a worldwide scale will be tremendous. If he continues to deliver the kind of turnout at the polls that he has shown so far, he would move onto that stage with a commanding mandate from the American people. The historic turnouts in the Democratic primaries and caucuses thus far can't all be credited to Obama. Clinton is a worthy and experienced opponent who has drawn her share of new voters. But Obama is smart and experienced in working directly with low- and middle-class Americans to better their lives, and he brings a message of hope that the country needs in this moment. Yes, we know, hope is not a strategy. But it can get people working together to find one.

The Star-Telegram recommends Barack Obama in the Democratic primary for president. Star-Telegram

*   *   *   *   *

For Obama: The Chronicle endorses the senator from Illinois for the Democratic presidential nomination.—The presidency of the United States is a powerful bully pulpit. The occupant of the White House must not only issue orders, but also inspire and advocate for all Americans. Of the two finalists for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Chronicle believes Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is best-qualified by life experience, skill and temperament to be the standard bearer for his party. In a conference call, Obama told the Chronicle editorial board that "more than any other candidate, I can bridge some of the partisan as well as racial and religious divides that have developed in this country that prevent us from getting things done." . . . The 46-year-old Obama has expanded his base of support, winning new legions of supporters. The more people see and hear him, the more they like him. As the Hawaiian-born son of a Muslim Kenyan father and an Anglo Midwesterner, the devoutly Christian Obama transcends race and religion. His life has been one of involvement with disadvantaged Chicago residents, excellence at Harvard Law School and eight years as an Illinois state senator. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, only the third African-American to serve there since Reconstruction. Obama is both the epitome of the American Dream and well-positioned to reach out to an international community alienated by recent U.S. go-it-alone policies.

The passion and excitement that Obama has brought to the race can only stimulate more citizens to participate in the electoral process. The Chronicle urges Texas Democrats to cast what could be decisive ballots for his presidential nomination.Houston Chronicle

*   *   *   *   *

Mr. McCain says . . . “Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change,” . . . “promises no more than a holiday from history.”. . .  Mr. McCain says: “I’m not the youngest candidate, but I am the most experienced.” . . .  Mr. McCain ends with, “I don’t seek the office out of a sense of entitlement. I owe America more than she has ever owed me. I have been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. I have never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I haven’t been proud of the privilege.” Transcript

*   *   *   *   *

Clinton's campaign outflanked by Obama's ground troops—Obama is inspirational, of course, but in a particular way: His message has been constant since his boffo Nov. 10 speech at an Iowa Democratic dinner. He is less specific about policies than he is in describing the frustrations voters feel—with Bush, with Washington, with divisiveness, with partisanship. His consistent promise is not to pass a detailed program, but to change the mood and style of politics. Clinton has offered experience and some well-thought-out policies. That might be enough in a different year. But when it comes to a larger theme, her campaign has been all over the lot. You can tell a campaign has difficulty establishing a message when its slogans keep changing.

In recent weeks, the Clinton campaign has featured one banner after another: "Big Challenges, Real Solutions," "Working for Change, Working for You," "Ready for Change, Ready to Lead" and "Solutions for America." Obama has stuck confidently with the slogan "Change You Can Believe In." Clinton must either get voters to stop believing in the change Obama promises, or make them an alternative Big Offer that they can believe in more. Seattle Times

*   *   *   *   *

Clinton Sharpens Attack Against Obama“It is time to get real,” Mrs. Clinton, of New York, said. “To get real about how we actually win this election and get real about the challenges facing America. It’s time we moved from good words to good works, from sound bites to sound solutions.” It is a familiar theme, but Mrs. Clinton delivered it with fresh intensity after the crushing defeats in Wisconsin and Hawaii on Tuesday. . . “Today, Senator Clinton told us that there was a choice in this race and you know, I couldn’t agree with her more,” Mr. Obama said. “But contrary to what she’s been saying, it’s not a  choice between speeches and solutions, it’s a choice between a politics that offers more of the same divisions and distractions that didn’t work in South Carolina and didn’t work in Wisconsin and will not work in Texas.” . .

One day after victories in Wisconsin and Hawaii, Mr. Obama drew about 17,000 people to a rally at the Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas. While the primary is on March 4, early voting began on Tuesday and Mr. Obama encouraged his supporters to cast their ballots soon. “As this movement continues, as this campaign builds strength, there are those who will tell you not to believe,” Mr. Obama said. “There are those who will tell you it can’t be done.” Saying he offered voters a chance to break from the policies of the past years, including the war in Iraq and the current economic situation, Mr. Obama said the race was a choice “that is not just about turning a page on the politics of the past but of turning the page on the policies of the past.”

David Plouffe, the campaign manager for Mr. Obama, said that Mr. Obama had amassed a 159-delegate lead over Mrs. Clinton, based on his campaign tally. Following a win in Wisconsin by 17 percentage points, Mr. Plouffe said Mrs. Clinton would need to win in Texas and Ohio by double-digits to gain an edge in the fight for delegates. “We have opened up a big and meaningful delegate lead,” Mr. Plouffe said, speaking in a conference call with reporters. “They are going to have to win landslides to reverse it.” NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Friend,

Voters in places like Atlanta, Brooklyn, St. Louis, and Inglewood have made clear their choice for president: Barack Obama. So why are some members of the Congressional Black Caucus threatening to use their power as "superdelegates" to undermine those votes and nominate Hillary Clinton? Voters should decide elections--not politicians. And members of the Congressional Black Caucus should amplify the political voice of their constituents, not silence it. I've joined ColorOfChange.org in demanding that the CBC to listen to the voters; let's tell them to vote with the people, not against us: http://www.colorofchange.org/superd/?id=2325-521384. Thanks. Cassandra Wells, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing, Morehouse College, 404-681-2800 x2565

*   *   *   *   *

Obama wins Democrats Abroad primaryBarack Obama won the Democrats Abroad global primary in results announced Thursday, giving him 11 straight victories in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The Illinois senator won the primary in which Democrats living in other countries voted by Internet, mail and in person, according to results released by the Democrats Abroad, an organization sanctioned by the national party. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has not won a nominating contest since Super Tuesday, more than two weeks ago. More than 20,000 U.S. citizens living abroad voted in the primary, which ran from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12. Obama won about 65 percent of the vote, according to the results released Thursday. Voters living in 164 countries cast votes online, while expatriates voted in person in more than 30 countries, at hotels in Australia and Costa Rica, at a pub in Ireland and at a Starbucks in Thailand. The results took about a week to tabulate as local committees around the globe gathered ballots. . . . Obama's delegate total, which includes new superdelegate endorsements, increased to 1,358.5 Thursday. Clinton was at 1,264. It will take 2,025 delegates to claim the nomination at this summer's convention.Yahoo

*   *   *   *   *

Texas—Viva Obama Mexican! In this great nation Viva Obama! Viva Obama! Families united and safe and even with a health care plan Viva Obama! Viva Obama! Also beautiful video Marachi Band style Viva Obama Mexican. Full of passion and makes all the points through music. Amigos de Obama


Toronto Obama talk is every where. Yesterday on the bus as I was reading Ebony's article on Obama an older Sikh man started talking to me about him. He supports Obama and sees him as an agent of change and made reference to his own religion drawing lines between what Obama is saying and what the last Guru of the Sikh faith said. A man  in Toronto in the deep freeze  claiming that he saw Obama at a rally . . . same bus, man shouts out "yes just got back from an Obama rally." Jamaican restaurant trying to eat my dinner, three men started talking about Obama shouting across the restaurant  then they stopped eating stood up and with full of Caribbean style passion discussed Obama at a table not too far from me. I may have started it as I walked by with my Yes We Can button on my suit lapel and the next thing I heard is chanting by two men YES WE CAN. As I was leaving I told them to pray for him and one shouted at me "ARE YOU PRAYING FOR HIM"? I said yes everyday and lighting a a candle for him once a week. He then more subdued said, "Thank you very much." Well there you have it in Toronto and of course the whole world wants peace. Now I just have to pay a visit to a barber shop or a hair salon on a Saturday morning with my YES WE CAN button and get in on the mix. My students are now tuned in without me having to assign it as homework and are watching the debates.Claire

Nader Runs, Obama Responds Wisely—Ralph Nader is running again for president. After four previous bids, mounted in varying forums and with varying goals, Nader is used to the slings and arrows that will be tossed his way. He is conscious and committed. He will not back off. . . . "I think the job of the Democratic Party is to be so compelling that a few percentage [points] of the vote going to another candidate is not going to make any difference," says Obama. That is the bottom line with regard to Nader's latest bid. If Obama runs as a progressive, Nader will have little room to manoeuvre. If Obama runs to the center, Nader's space will open up—a bit.The Nation

*   *   *   *   *

Obama's Call for Change Speaks Loudly to Women—Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, voters have a choice between two smart, capable and energetic candidates, either of whom would be far preferable to the current president. Both will champion many of the changes we want to see, including fair pay, living wages, workers' right to organize and new workplace standards so family values don't end at the workplace door. What tipped the balance for me are two key factors: the damage caused by the war in Iraq and my belief in grassroots organizing, rather than great leaders, as the primary instrument of social change. How is the war a women's issue, reporters ask me. How is it not? Women are among the troops; so are women's loved ones. The war has squandered sums with more zeros that I can imagine--funds that could have gone instead to combat poverty, provide health care, rebuild schools and pay teachers an adequate wage, finance quality child care, repair infrastructure--all of this creating jobs and training opportunities. And let's not forget the war's disastrous consequences on women in Iraq and on our country's reputation in the world. Clinton didn't just make one bad vote. She was a persistent, vigorous and highly visible supporter of the war, a lack of judgment reinforced recently when she voted to classify the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Obama, on the other hand, opposed the war from the start, even though that position was unpopular in his state and he was already a candidate for the U.S. Senate.—Ellen Bravo

*   *   *   *   *

Hillary's Scarlett O'Hara Act—Black women voters are rejecting Hillary Clinton because her ascendance is not a liberating symbol. Her tears are not moving. Her voice does not resonate. Throughout history, privileged white women, attached at the hip to their husband's power and influence, have been complicit in black women's oppression.  Many African American women are simply refusing to play Mammy to Hillary.

The loyal Mammy figure, who toiled in the homes of white people, nursing their babies and cleaning and cooking their food, is the most enduring and dishonest representation of black women. She is a uniquely American icon who first emerged as our young country was trying to put itself back together after the Civil War.  The romanticism about this period is a bizarre historical anomaly that underscores America's deep racism:

The defeated traitors of the Confederacy have been allowed to reinterpret the war's battles, fly the flag of secession over state houses, and raise monuments to those who fought to tear down the country.  Southern white secessionists were given the power to rewrite history even as America's newest citizens were relegated to forced agricultural peonage, grinding urban poverty and new forms segregation and racial terror. Mammy was a central figure in this mythmaking and she was perfect for the role. The Mammy myth allowed Americans in the North and South to ignore the brutality of slavery by claiming that black women were tied to white families through genuine bonds of affection. Melissa harris-Lacewell

*   *   *   *   *

Why I support Barack Obama—I am not so naive to believe that every single policy that a President Obama might support would be great, from my perspective. But I do believe that unlike any other candidate, he can inspire all of us to rise above our differences. I have now spoken with individuals who have known Barack growing up, in high school, in college, in law school, and on the streets of Chicago. To a person, they all attest to his honesty, integrity, openness, and most importantly, his ability to lead. He is special. So special, that while he may be a once-in-a-lifetime President for my children, this could be the second time in my life that I truly can be inspired by the President of the United States—a President who has the ability to inspire Americans to come together, to engage in community service, to be better persons, to strive to do great things in the interest of humankind. A President who is not afraid to share his inspirational idealism. Bill Ong Hing

*   *   *   *   *

 

Support ChickenBones: A Journal

We need your help. Any level of support would be greatly appreciated ChickenBones: A Journal. Please send your check or money order to: 

ChickenBones: A Journal / 13219 Kientz Road / Jarratt, VA 23867

Or online through PayPal

 

 

Sermon on the Mount  / What if there was no God 

WalterCotton, Outlaw African Retentions /    

<----Sketch Left ("Buckhead")--Chuck Siler

*   *   *   *   *

Black delegates under pressure to switch to Obama—In Cleveland, Ohio, a predominantly African-American city, black voters are hoping Obama becomes the next president of the United States. But that's making it very difficult for the people who represent them. Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Conwell, a onetime supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton, is switching sides to the Obama camp. It had little to do with Clinton and everything to do with pressure from people who voted him into office. "I thought that I would never see an African-American going for president of the United States of America..

 This is a dream and you need to get on the right side of history, and my residents want me to be a part of this dream," Conwell said. .  .

Other nationally prominent politicians have experienced similar pressure. Three African-American superdelegates have also defected, including Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a longtime Clinton ally. . . . With all due respect to my colleagues, whoever you are, I firmly believe if you don't have loyalty and integrity, what do you have? ... I am a woman of my word. I will not leave her," said Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Neither will California Rep. Diane Watson, though she said she's received not only pressure, but also threatening e-mails. CNN

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Notes 2

Peggy, Rudy, and Kola

Peggy: Rudy, all I know is that I like what is going on very much.  What I do feel a bit amazed about are those black women politicians who are super delegates and who are staunch Hillary supporters who have been on CNN protesting the pressure put on them to change their vote.  Their comments strongly indicate that they are being pressured by blacks to ditch Hillary.  They in turn swear that they will not abandon Hillary "just because Obama is black."  And, that they will take any political heat that they have to because of their stance. 
 
That means to me that they do not see any redeeming qualities in Obama whether he is black or white.  I guess I am reading that correctly.  Further, I was struck by a black woman that I barely know who approached me at an affair last night where I received a black radio station award for contributions to my community.  She was talking to me and my colleague.  She walked up to us and placed her arms around us together and whispered.  "Who are you voting for"?  We both loudly chimed Obama, of course. 
 
She responded, still clinging to us.  You are voting for him because he is black.  I responded, "You must be out of your mind to say such a thing to me.  I am voting for him because he is just as qualified and more than Hillary and he is a black man."  She responded saying, "Well you know he cannot win because he has fear in him and that is not good."  I responded, you must be crazy, he has been fearless in the face of all kinds of attacks and continues to be so." 
 
She responded, "Well we just cannot let him get the White House because he would be fearful."  My response was, "You must be crazy."   I have a special feeling about that conversation.  It made me think that there might be a kind of "underground network" in the Hillary campaign that sees black women as a secret weapon again Obama and hoping that this sort of "whispering campaign," could have some legs with unsteady voters.  I do not wish to give any more 'legs" to this absurdity but there has always been a white strategy to divide black women and black men.  Any comments?

Rudy: Yes, I think the Hillary campaign is playing the race game against Obama, ever since she lost in Iowa. Maybe her black female campaign manager has put the black female politicians and their organizers up to this kind of bullying and scare tactics. In that Hillary is more desperate, losing 11 primaries in a row, the more insidious the game becomes. These kind of tactics are more available than the ability to inspire. Let's pray it'll be all over by March 4 so that a more vital stage of this political contest can advance. Let's hope too ill feelings are not left so that Obama cannot mount an effective campaign against McCain. 

 Kola Boof: Rudy, after this coming Tuesday, I believe there will be Mass Defections from Hillary, as it finally becomes clear that she has no chance of winning the nomination. There isn't much left after Ohio and Texas, and I'm predicting that Obama will take both. I think we'll be seeing a lot of pressure on Hillary to drop out this week from the DNP, because even Hillary's husband has made it clear that she must win these two states.

*   *   *   *   *

Obama power broker new face of black politics—West is one of the California finance co-chairs of Obama's campaign, helping him raise a record $65 million in the state, and he also advises the candidate's national finance committee. And he is more than Obama's confidant. West is part of a new generation of African American politicians who grew up outside the black churches or the civil rights community and now are finding their voice - and political power - in the tone of Obama's campaign. West's bulging Rolodex, like Obama's, is full of contacts made while studying at an Ivy League university (Harvard) and editing his law school review (at Stanford). That network, in West's case, was augmented by working on six presidential campaigns (including both of Bill Clinton's) and at an A-list San Francisco corporate law firm (Morrison & Foerster).SFGateAnother example of a major shift—a generational shift—that we are witnessing in Black leadership in this country, a new leadership that isn't dependent on the civil rights oligarchy or historically-Black institutions like the church. I was particularly interested in [Tony] West's experience in defending terrorist Lindh and his resulting recommitment to democratic principles.—Miriam

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

More News Excerpts

She’s the Strife of the Party—Hillary Rodham Clinton can not win the Democratic nomination without destroying her party. Going into last night's voting, she trailed Barack Obama by more than 150 delegates. In order to catch up, Clinton must rack up unprecedented victories in all the upcoming contests—a tall order. The only way she wins without such mystical intervention is if superdelegates - the party insiders loyal to her and her husband for whatever political reasons - step in and throw the election to her.

The other trick she's trying is to change the rules long after the game was finished in Florida, which she lists as one of her precious victories. A big reason she won there is that it was an uncontested race. Now that she's losing she wants it counted. He is the movement candidate. She is the retro candidate. If she wins the Democratic nomination in spite of the overwhelming demand for Barack Obama, many of his supporters - including the party's crucial bloc of black voters - will desert the party. Whenever Clinton finally does surrender - or she's booted out of the convention - she can rest assured she will have left her mark. Republicans have already begun crafting all the nasty ads against Barack Obama based on the attacks invented by her campaign. NYPost

*   *   *   *   *

Obama momentum slowed by 'Archie Bunker' votersThe white, blue-collar voters personified by the 1970s fictional television character cost Obama this week. His Democratic presidential rival, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, beat him 54 percent to 44 percent in industrial Ohio, and 58 percent to 40 percent in predominantly white Rhode Island. In Ohio's 10th district of Cuyahoga County, a suburban enclave on Cleveland's west side that includes a large population of Polish-Americans, Clinton trounced Obama 61 percent to 37 percent, according to exit polls. In the state's Belmont County, an economically depressed Appalachian border area that is predominantly white, she had a 50-point lead over Obama, the first black candidate to have a shot at the White House. ``Race played a significant factor in Ohio,'' said Cuyahoga County Commissioner Timothy Hagan, who supported Obama. The state's white voters aren't ``bigots, but the image they see every day of black America is drugs, crime, guns and violence.'' Clinton's March 4 victories in contests in Texas, Rhode Island and Ohio -- and just one defeat, in Vermont -- pumped new life into her candidacy after 11 consecutive losses to Obama. She now has renewed momentum heading into the next big test on April 22 in Pennsylvania, where the electorate looks much like Ohio's. Yahoo News

 *   *   *   *   *

And then there were three—Hillary Rodham Clinton—After posting convincing — and crucial — wins in Rhode Island, Ohio and Texas, the New York senator plans to march toward a strong showing in Pennsylvania on April 22 by continuing to ask pointed questions about Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s qualifications to lead the nation. Clinton is preparing to press her attacks on Obama’s commitment to economic populism and his readiness to serve as commander in chief. Those arguments also will be used to make a case that is crucial to Clinton’s ultimate ability to win the nomination — the idea that she can win in tough, large-scale elections in key states, notably Ohio, and that Obama is wilting in the face of her attacks. . . . Clinton plans to visit Mississippi on Thursday, and Bill Clinton is also being dispatched Friday for stops in Hattiesburg, Meridian and Tupelo — but even her most devout supporters have no illusions that she can win the state. Her campaign there is far less visible than Obama’s, and the sheer demographics of the race — 56 percent of Democratic primary voters in 2004 were African-American, according to exit polls — mean that her aides can at best hope to narrow her margin of defeat.T he seven week lead-up to Pennsylvania will also offer the press time to return to some troublesome topics for Clinton that got lost in the tightly packed weeks before March 4. Recent reports on everything from Bill Clinton’s business and charitable dealings in Kazakhstan to Hillary Clinton’s representation of an alleged rapist as a lawyer in Arkansas have brought new information to the table, much of which hasn’t been fully digested. Politico Stories

*   *   *   *   *

And then there were three—Barack Obama—After two days of rest in Chicago, Obama will go first to Wyoming, which holds caucuses Saturday, and then to Mississippi, where voters head to the polls March 11. But it was clear from the earliest exchanges following Tuesday’s primary election that both campaigns were looking beyond the next two states to the April 22 contest in Pennsylvania, where the candidates have six weeks to woo voters in a state that has never seen such attention in the midst of a primary fight. David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, said the senator would campaign hard in Pennsylvania but it wouldn’t be his sole focus in the coming weeks. Obama will also spend time in Indiana and North Carolina, which do not vote until May 6. Obama and his aides appear to be rolling out a two-pronged attack on Clinton: one on her foreign policy credentials and the other on ethics. He told reporters on his plane before leaving San Antonio that Clinton must back up her experience argument with evidence. . . . Just as his chief strategist, David Axelrod, hinted Tuesday, Obama also sought to draw a brighter line with Clinton on ethics issues. After taking hits in the past week over his relationship with a Chicago businessman currently on trial on federal corruption charges, Obama said she would lose a fight over ethics. “She has made the argument that she is thoroughly vetted. I think it is important to examine that argument,” Obama said. “If the suggestion [is] that on issues of ethics or disclosure or transparency, that she is somehow going to have a better record than I have or could better withstand Republican attack, then that is an issue that should be tested.” Politico Stories

*   *   *   *   *

Go Back to Black—Everywhere I travel, from North Africa to Europe to Asia, dark-skinned people approach me and, usually gently but sometimes aggressively, establish a bond. When, early on in the race for the Democratic nomination, people wondered if black Americans would vote for Mr. Obama, I never doubted. During the last two years I’ve learned to decipher his name in almost any pronunciation, because on finding out that I’m an American, all other black people I meet, whether they are Arabic-speaking Moroccans in Casablanca, French-speaking African mobile-phone-store clerks in the outer boroughs of Paris, or thickly accented Jamaican black Brits, ask me eagerly about him. Black people all over the world feel a sense of pride in his accomplishment.

It’s hard to understand why black Americans ever tried to use the term African-American to exclude people. The black American community’s social and political power derives from its inclusiveness. . . . On Mr. Obama’s behalf, American blacks have set aside their exclusive label. Polls show that about 80 percent of blacks who have voted in the Democratic primaries have chosen him. And all of the black people in the mountains of Morocco, the poor suburbs of Paris, the little villages in Kenya and the streets of London are cheering Mr. Obama’s victories because they see him as one of their own. Black Americans should honor that. It’s time to retire the term African-American and go back to black. NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

Sen. Barack Obama delivered an animated rebuke to suggestions from the Clintons he could run as her vice president—“Now first of all with all due respect, with all due respect," he said here during a town hall meeting. "I won twice as many states as Sen. Clinton. I won more of the popular vote than Sen. Clinton. I have more delegates than Sen. Clinton. So I don’t’ know how someone in second place can offer the vice presidency to someone in first place. If I was in second place I could understand but I am in first place right now. He referenced comments from Bill Clinton in 1992 that his “most important criteria” for vice president was that person must be ready to be commander in chief. “They have been spending the last two or three weeks” arguing that he is not ready to be commander in chief, Obama said. “I don’t understand. If I am not ready, how is it that you think I should be such a great vice president?” Obama asked the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation during his defense. “I don’t understand.” “You can’t say he is not ready on day one, then you want him to be your vice president,” Obama continued. “I just want everybody to be absolutely clear: I am not running for vice president. I am running to be president of the United States of America.” Obama was responding to comments from Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson on a conference call earlier today, in which he suggested that Obama could pass the "threshold" and become commander in chief material this summer."Senator Clinton will not choose any candidate who has not at the time of choosing passed the national security threshold. But we have a long way to go until Denver, and it's not something she's prepared to rule out at this point," he said. Politico

*   *   *   *   *

Dick Morris To Clinton: It’s Over--The race is over.The results are already clear. Obama will go to the Democratic Convention with a lead of between 100 and 200 elected delegates. The remaining question is: What will the superdelegates do then? But is that really a question? Will the leaders of the Democratic Party be complicit in its destruction? Will they really kindle a civil war by denying the nomination to the man who won the most elected delegates? No way. They well understand that to do so would be to throw away the party's chances of victory and to stigmatize it among African-Americans and young people for the rest of their lives. The Democratic Party took 20 years to recover from the traumas of 1968 and it is not about to trigger a similar bloodletting this year. HuffingtonPost

*   *   *   *   *

Gary Hart—Breaking the Final Rule—It will come as a surprise to many people that there are rules in politics. Most of those rules are unwritten and are based on common understandings, acceptable practices, and the best interest of the political party a candidate seeks to lead. One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party's nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned. By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party's nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her. . . . Senator Obama is right to say the issue is judgment not years in Washington. If Mrs. Clinton loses the nomination, her failure will be traced to the date she voted to empower George W. Bush to invade Iraq. That is not the kind of judgment, or wisdom, required by the leader answering the phone in the night. For her now to claim that Senator Obama is not qualified to answer the crisis phone is the height of irony if not chutzpah, and calls into question whether her primary loyalty is to the Democratic party and the nation or to her own ambition. HuffingtonPost

*   *   *   *   *

Robert B. Reich—Will Clinton spoil the party?—In the days leading up to the Ohio and Texas primaries, we had HRC's statement that both she and McCain have the experience to be commander-in-chief but Obama doesn't. This is the first time in my memory that a major candidate in a primary has said that the other party's nominee would be a better president than his or her own primary opponent. We also had the outpouring of negative advertising from her campaign that both candidates had largely managed to avoid up to this point. And while I can understand her decision, bolstered by last week's results, to fight on in this primary election, the reality is that she can only win by convincing large numbers of superdelegates to join her and re-engineering the Michigan and Florida primaries to her advantage, and then taking the fight all the way to the convention in August - which if she gets that far, will be one of the most divisive in 40 years. . . . . The Clintons would prefer to write off Obamania as a passing fad, but the reality is that idealism and inspiration are necessary preconditions for positive social change. Nothing happens in Washington unless Americans are energised and mobilised to make it happen. HRC's tactics are the old politics the nation is recoiling from - internal division and national fear. This only serves to deepen Americans' cynicism about politics, and makes social change all the harder to achieve. Guardian

*   *   *   *   *

Clinton's foreign experience is more limited than she says—To bolster the claim, she's trumpeted her role as first lady in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, helping to open Macedonia's borders to Kosovo refugees and challenging China on women's rights, all as proof that she has what it takes to manage a foreign crisis. Yet while it's impossible to know how much she conferred privately about such matters with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, when he was in power, public records and interviews with former Clinton administration officials and others strongly suggest that Clinton overstates her role. Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton's White House chief of staff, and Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton's national security adviser, both said that Hillary Clinton wasn't privy to the president's daily intelligence brief, nor did she sit in on National Security Council meetings. It's unclear whether Clinton had a national security clearance when she was first lady. Several former top-level Clinton White House officials couldn't recall, and a Clinton campaign spokesman didn't respond when asked on Tuesday. On the stump, Clinton takes credit for helping to bring peace between warring Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. George Mitchell, the former Maine senator who helped negotiate the peace agreements, has said that Clinton's visits to the region and meetings with female activists there were "very helpful" in the peace efforts. But one of the key Irish negotiators last week called Clinton's description of her role in the process a "wee bit silly." McClatchy

*   *   *   *   *

Orlando Patterson—The Red Phone in Black and White—To be sure, it [this Clinton ad] states that something is “happening in the world” — although it never says what this is — and that Mrs. Clinton is better able to handle such danger because of her experience with foreign leaders. But every ad-maker, like every social linguist, knows that words are often the least important aspect of a message and are easily muted by powerful images. I have spent my life studying the pictures and symbols of racism and slavery, and when I saw the Clinton ad’s central image — innocent sleeping children and a mother in the middle of the night at risk of mortal danger — it brought to my mind scenes from the past. I couldn’t help but think of D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society. The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat. The ad could easily have removed its racist sub-message by including images of a black child, mother or father — or by stating that the danger was external terrorism. Instead, the child on whom the camera first focuses is blond. Two other sleeping children, presumably in another bed, are not blond, but they are dimly lighted, leaving them ambiguous. Still it is obvious that they are not black — both, in fact, seem vaguely Latino. Finally, Hillary Clinton appears, wearing a business suit at 3 a.m., answering the phone. The message: our loved ones are in grave danger and only Mrs. Clinton can save them. An Obama presidency would be dangerous — and not just because of his lack of experience. In my reading, the ad, in the insidious language of symbolism, says that Mr. Obama is himself the danger, the outsider within. NYTimes  

*   *   *   *   *

Something to help you stay focused: Obama now leads Hillbillary by 700,000 popular votes.  Will Bubba now try to finesse this golden boy under his wing?  Will Obama be seduced and not fight for superdelegates?  What will ultimately become the abiding argument for keeping unity within the Party?—Mackie

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Denounces PastorDemocratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday denounced inflammatory remarks from his pastor, who has railed against the United States and accused the country of bringing on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by spreading terrorism. . . .  In a sermon on the Sunday after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Wright suggested the United States brought on the attacks. "We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Wright said. "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

In a 2003 sermon, he said blacks should condemn the United States. "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme." He also gave a sermon in December comparing Obama to Jesus, promoting his candidacy and criticizing his rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton. "Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people," Wright told a cheering congregation. "Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain't never been called a nigger."

Obama told MSNBC that he would not repudiate Wright as a man, describing him as "like an uncle" who says something that he disagrees with and must speak out against. He also said he expects his political opponents will use video of the sermons to attack him as the campaign goes on. . . .

Obama wrote on the Huffington Post that he never heard Wright say any of the statements, but he acknowledged that they have raised legitimate questions about the nature of his relationship with the pastor and the church. He wrote that he joined Wright's church nearly 20 years ago, familiar with the pastor's background as a former Marine and respected biblical scholar who lectured at seminaries across the country. AOL

*   *   *   *   *

Obama Notes 3

Rudy, Ralph, Crystal, Kiwana, Mackie

Can White Folks Stand the Pain—They dug up some real zingers from the good Reverend Wright. David Gergen (white guy) was pretty good: he mentioned Frederick Douglass's 4th of July speech. But of course the "pained white folks" are just aghast that Black PREACHERS could be saying such things.—Joyce

Thanks for bringing to my attention this latest campaign development. I wonder do black Obama opponents think he is now "black" enough, and that the Obama campaign is all a corporate conspiracy. We know that some ethnic whites already think he is too black and too male. For the rabbit seems to have been quite tarred by his former pastor. Can Obama in the white imagination sufficiently distance himself from such black militant outpourings? Or will there be more rain to come to sully our black prince?
 
Well, white folks need a real dose of the urgency of black reality. It is not just Cornel West's criminal black nihilists that have to be dealt with but there are also those who educate the black middle class that are too of concern. Will Obama-loving whites go forward subjugating the words of his former pastor for his YES WE CAN, or will they go back to Hillary's 3 AM fears. I suppose this is where the rubber meets the road. Oh, what lessons we will learn about white America during this campaign year. Will I salute the flag to honor an American conversion, or turn my back again with its denial of the PROMISE?
 
What a schzoid rollercoaster ride we are on. Can white folks stand the pain? Or will we be forced to eat more Jim Crow? Well, let's pray that grandma keeps humming. For, according to Baraka, when she stops humming all hell will break loose. Let it be written, come hell or high water, I won't be voting for a Clinton or a McCain.

Obama Denounces Pastor-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday denounced inflammatory remarks from his pastor, who has railed against the United States and accused the country of bringing on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by spreading terrorism. . . .

In a sermon on the Sunday after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Wright suggested the United States brought on the attacks. "We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Wright said. "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

In a 2003 sermon, he said blacks should condemn the United States. "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme." He also gave a sermon in December comparing Obama to Jesus, promoting his candidacy and criticizing his rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton. "Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people," Wright told a cheering congregation. "Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain't never been called a nigger." Obama told MSNBC that he would not repudiate Wright as a man, describing him as "like an uncle" who says something that he disagrees with and must speak out against. He also said he expects his political opponents will use video of the sermons to attack him as the campaign goes on. . . .

Obama wrote on the Huffington Post that he never heard Wright say any of the statements, but he acknowledged that they have raised legitimate questions about the nature of his relationship with the pastor and the church. He wrote that he joined Wright's church nearly 20 years ago, familiar with the pastor's background as a former Marine and respected biblical scholar who lectured at seminaries across the country. News AOL

—Rudy

*   *   *   *   *

I got so tired of watching all the indignation on CNN and MSNBC.  The week started with Spitzer, and ended with Jeremiah Wright.   I couldn't stand it so switched to Larry Kudlow on CNBC.   Anyone who knows anything about black religion knows that Wright was simply issuing one of those periodic "Jeremiads" that have been well known among black Christians since the days of David Walker.   No news here.—Wilson

*   *   *   *   *

Pain!

The clash of the orthodoxies! What is street orthodoxy in the African community intends hurt for hurt, lashing out instead of taking it quietly. Because Rev. Jeremiah Wright theologically reflected on the experience of South Side Chicagoans effectively and on similar experiences across the nation he enjoyed a reputation as a Revival preacher, an effective voice in a predominantly Anglo denomination.

Theology always frustrates religionists who seek a steady, conformist message. Even in the Bible, conflicting voices contradict each other, arising as they did, from very different experiences, teaching us that theology always reflects on the sacred dimension of lived experience, usually at points of suffering and crisis.

Ultimately, political scientists and their students, the politicians, must accept and identify with the real, lived experience of the people. How the various segments of the USA electorate have expressed their experiences so far has baffled pundits and commentators who have not been among real people who suffer and experience crises of all kinds lately. Our sanitized news broadcasts seldom, if ever, report on the social, cultural, and religious aspects of suffering and the crises people confront. They confine their reports on these matters to their personal, familial dimensions and the band aid approaches of charities, churches, and celebrities.

God's radical Hope is a dangerous thing.Ralph—www.actionpreaching.com  

*   *   *   *   *

Inflammatory & Appalling?  Get Real!—I am so disappointed in Senator Obama for letting white folks punk him out to the point that he denounced his own pastor for telling the simple TRUTH.  I’d have more respect for him if he’d stood his ground and faced the truth head on.  I am an Obama Mama but today I am very disappointed.  While I realize that he has to play the politically correct game to a point I think that flaking out about the very real issues faced by Black folks in order to court the votes of racists is pointless.  They were never gonna vote for him anyway.  But by denying the racial differences that divide & corrupt this nation makes him appear less credible & weak... which in the long term is going to lose votes of those that have supported him so staunchly.  Everyone knows that what the minister said was true.  Everyone globally knows that this nation is run by wealthy white men.  So what it was actually articulated.  Martin Luther King said pretty much the same thing, he just said it in a poetic manner but he never tried to deny the differences between the socio-economic status of Black & Whites.  Why is Obama trying to deny his blackness? Even letting them attack his wife for speaking the truth about her/our feelings about the racial disparity between anyone with white skin/straight hair & Blacks in this nation. Get real brother.  Remember the One Drop Law.  To racists you are just another nigger.  Never forget it.  There is nothing anyone else can say to change my mind about voting for you... but YOU.Crystal Cartier, Denver, CO

*   *   *   *   *

Hey Rudy, I agree with you both. However, Obama has to play the American game as you both stated. I felt what Crystal was saying, but I wouldn't go as far to say that he's denying his blackness. Crystal is right when she stated that Dr. King addressed the same issues, but Dr. King said it in a much more tactful way. When you're in those type of positions, you may want to embrace a more "poetic" style as Crystal stated. Obama is a black man. He knows that! I think he happens to be a very smart black man and knows how to play this game. I am however, getting tired of the public making it Obama's business to try to explain his supporters' opinions. If we keep this up, we will be repudiating someone's comment every week.—Kiwana             

*   *   *   *   *

Crystal, of course, is correct to be angry. So am I certainly, but I also know it's easy to be faster thinkers when we are not wrapped up in the campaign in any direct way. Though I also wish Barack had people working for him who are as smart as we are. I am not being facetious. Don't get me wrong. Let me explain.

Barack has missed three perfect opportunities to counter-finesse the Limbaugh but berries out there setting the Nation up against him and he has let all three instances pass him by.

"MONSTER"
When Samantha Power called Hillary a monster, Barack could have explained that Samantha was referring to the "monstrous" behavior of Hillary's aides and to some of the exaggerations of Hillary herself. He could have gone on to point out that he had promised from the beginning not to act "monstrously" against any opponent. Do you see what I mean?  Barack let the noun "monster" stand out there in broad daylight, when he could have finessed it back into the adjective "monstrous" and the adverb "monstrously." Those are weaker forms and don't impugn direct agency on Hillary but do imply a shared agency on the behavior of her entire crew, including, of course, Hillary herself. And Barack could have uttered all of this while laughing at how ridiculously funny the whole thing was. It would have disappeared. And his letting Samantha Power go reminded me too much of Bill Clinton dismissing Lani Guanier.

FERRARO
Poor Geraldine. She does not realize  the extent to which she was diminishing her own womanhood. She implied that she was chosen only because she was a woman and Mondale wanted a woman. She implied that she was chosen because of her gender and not her contributions. Well, Barack should have stepped up and made that observation. And then he should have gone on to point out that no one in the party said, "Hmmm. We also need us a black candidate this go-round. Let us go pick us a black fellow." No one picked Barack! He chose himself because he felt prepared and ready. He should have made that point also.

REV WRIGHT
This is the most heinous context Obama haters are riffing on. Obama needed to have taken a deep breath on camera and taken his time to point out the obvious—namely, that Rev. Wright throughout that sermon reminded everyone in the congregation, including white parishioners, that he was always in the Good Text, that he never was about to veer away from the Word, that he was speaking from Love and the lack of Love, and that he was pointing out that the shadows of evil fall where there is not an expression of Divine Love in the behavior of people and a nation. The Pastor said all of this as refrains as he preached!  How come Barack is not pointing this out?

The reaction to the pastor reminded me of something I learned in the early 1980s when I returned back to the South. I learned from my white students that Blacks and Jews were racists because all they ever did mostly was to complain about slavery or the Holocaust. In other words, a racist is one who always talks about racial pain because a racist is one who always raises the race issue. My God! I am still shocked over that one, especially when I am reminded of it even still today. Ferraro pulled that one in claiming that "they" are the ones bringing up the issue of race, so "they" are racists, meaning Obama and his camp.

Why isn't Law professor, Critical Thinker Obama parsing this crap?  Why isn't he introducing observations like these into the discourse? I am sure that he could do this without sounding professorial!

One more point about Black preachers like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  Christians, white and black, of the liturgical churches (Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican) are very uncomfortable with the cadence of Black preachers like Rev. Wright. That style and voice are not found in the liturgical churches and it sounds "too black" for comfort. There are, of course, white folks who love that style of preaching because it does grab a person in the viscera. So I am sure that people who use Rev. Wright against Obama by replaying parts of his sermon over and over again, especially on daytime radio, know that that style of preaching shivers the timbers of the red necks and the almost recovering racists among us.

This Rev. Wright trope created by the Rush Limbaugh butt berries can cost Barack the nomination, as can the Ferraro trope of calling us racists when we point out the "unconscious" racism in their so-called benign objective observations.—Mackie

*   *   *   *   *

Why isn't Law professor, Critical Thinker Obama parsing this crap?  Why isn't he introducing observations like these into the discourse? I am sure that he could do this without sounding professorial!—Mackie

*   *   *   *   *

Is this a rhetorical question? Of course, you have done some excellent parsing of three situations. In theory Obama would agree with you as any reasonable person would. But let me try to respond to the question. One issue is that Obama has set standards of political behavior that locks him into a corner, and, second, he does not know seemingly how to sidestep when his self-positioning becomes too dangerous, like a Muhammad Ali, and be on the toes creative. 
 
It's all right to rope a dope, but sometimes you have to step out the corner and sting the opponent with a jab or shake him up with an uppercup to slow him down. So maybe he does not know how to fight this kind of fight. He's not an American Negro. Nor his key advisors, as you suggested.
 
One item in this cornering is the speed of the response. His camp accused the Clintons of the slowness of their response, with the Ferraro situation and others. And so he quickly responds without making use of criticisms from his camp as a means of teaching a broader understanding, which makes one wonder will he take this kind of behavior into his administration.
 
Connected to this cornering is the nature of the media itself, which does short clips and repeats and exaggerates. It's not easy to get settings in which to explain the complexities of say the Wright-kind-of sermonizing on race and racial oppression. Or even Ferraro's sermonizing on the gender/race divide. In both instances his parsing might be mistaken for a defense of racial ideologies in the first instance and an attack on white women in the second instance. Plus he says he's not familiar with Wright's liberation theology, which seems rather incredulous. And maybe going into second-wave feminism, like liberation theology, is really not his forte. He chose to denounce it quickly rather than validate it, in order to get back to the "issues."
 
But it would be nice to hear how others respond to your central questions of Obama's response.—Rudy

*   *   *   *   *

Political expediency—nothing more, nothing less. If he dumps Michelle I'm through with him.—Jean

*   *   *   *   *

More News Excerpts

A More Perfect Union

Barack Obama Speech on Race

Yesterday, Barack Obama delivered one of the most powerful, honest, and insightful speeches on race in American politics by an elected official in decades. He spoke with refreshing clarity about the real issues that divide us and the choices we face. One choice is to ignore the history of racism and its present-day legacy--which will keep us divided. The other choice is for Black people and our allies to understand that history in order to move beyond it, building an America that we can be proud of, one that truly stands for justice and equality.

It was a speech that all of us can appreciate, no matter which candidate we support. And it speaks to what we are trying to build with ColorOfChange.orga nation where, despite our difficult racial history, Black people are able to broaden our coalition and raise a strong voice for justice. Color of Change

*   *   *   *   *

Mr. Obama’s Profile in Courage—He did not hide from the often-unspoken reality that people on both sides of the color line are angry. “For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation,” he said, “the memories of humiliation and fear have not gone away, nor the anger and the bitterness of those years.” At the same time, many white Americans, Mr. Obama noted, do not feel privileged by their race. “In an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero-sum game,” he said, adding that both sides must acknowledge that the other’s grievances are not imaginary. He made the powerful point that while these feelings are not always voiced publicly, they are used in politics. “Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan coalition,” he said. Against this backdrop, he said, he could not repudiate his pastor. “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community,” he said. “I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother.” That woman whom he loves deeply, he said, “once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street” and more than once “uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.” There have been times when we wondered what Mr. Obama meant when he talked about rising above traditional divides. This was not such a moment. We can’t know how effective Mr. Obama’s words will be with those who will not draw the distinctions between faith and politics that he drew, or who will reject his frank talk about race. What is evident, though, is that he not only cleared the air over a particular controversy—he raised the discussion to a higher plane.NYTtimes

 *   *   *   *   *

A Candidate Chooses Reconciliation Over Rancor—In a setting that bespoke the presidential, he began with the personal: He invoked his own biography as the son of a black Kenyan man and a white American woman, grandson of a World War II veteran and a bomber assembly line worker, husband of a black American who carries “the blood of slaves and slave owners.” Seared into his genetic makeup, he said, is “the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts—that out of many, we are truly one.” He condemned Mr. Wright’s remarks as divisive but at the same time embraced him as family, “as imperfect as he may be.” He traced the roots of black church preaching deep into “the bitterness and bias” of the black experience. He offered a primer on the link between today’s racial disparities and the system of legalized discrimination that prevented blacks from owning property, joining unions, becoming police officers and firefighters, and accumulating wealth to pass on to future generations. “For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away,” Mr. Obama said. “Nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table.” And occasionally, he said, “in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews.”

He acknowledged white anger, too — over things like affirmative action and forced school busing — but urged both sides to address the subject to find a way forward.

“Race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now,” Mr. Obama said. He said the controversies over the past couple of weeks “reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through — a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.” Historians and others described the speech’s candidness on race as almost without precedent. John Hope Franklin, a Duke University historian who led an advisory commission on race relations set up by President Bill Clinton, said Mr. Obama pointed out how easily the question of race can be distorted in this country, “which has three centuries of experience with it and yet we act like this is something new.” Julian Bond, the longtime civil rights activist, said the speech moved him to tears. Orlando Patterson, a professor of sociology at Harvard, said he believed the speech would “go down as one of the great, magnificent and moving speeches in the American political tradition.” “I hear so many people saying we want a national conversation on race but it’s never quite worked,” he said. “He was able to do this in one speech. But he was able to do it in a nonpartisan way in that he saw both sides.” NYTimes

 *   *   *   *   *

Racists for Obama?—“Not all whites associate the generic African-American with Obama,” said Ron Walters, a longtime student of race and politics and aide to the senior Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns. “They give him credit for having half a Caucasian ancestry, and give him credit for his education, and give him credit for his obvious ability to take complex subjects and parse them.” Politico

 *   *   *   *   *

Black, White &  Gray—The black and white plaguing the Obama camp was not only about skin color. Facing up to his dubious behavior toward his explosive friends, he had his first rude introduction in his political career to ambivalence, ambiguity and complexity. Obama did not surrender his pedestal willingly. But he was finally confronted by a problem that neither his charm nor his grandiosity would solve.He now admits that he had heard the Rev. Wright make “controversial” remarks in church, and that he had a “lapse of judgment” when he let the much-investigated Rezko curry favor by buying the plot of land next to his and selling a slice back so Obama could have a bigger yard. Newly alert to the perils of not seeming patriotic enough, he ended a speech in Pennsylvania the other morning with “God bless America!” A little disenchantment with Obama could turn out to be a good thing. Too much idealism can blind a leader to reality as surely as too much ideology can. Up until now, Obama and his worshipers have set it up so that he must be so admirable and ideal and perfect and everything we’ve ever wanted that any kind of blemish — even a parking ticket — was regarded as a major failing. With the Clintons, we expect them to be cheesy on ethics, so no one is ever surprised when they are. But Saint Obama played the politics of character to an absurd extent. For 14 months, his argument for leading the world has been himself—his exquisitely globalized self. He should be congratulated on the disappearance of the pedestal. Leaders don’t need to be messiahs. Gray is a welcome relief from black and white. NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

The Origin of Obama’s Pastor Problem—The speech he delivered at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia was an artfully reasoned treatise on race and rancor in America, the most memorable speech delivered by any candidate in this campaign and one that has earned Obama comparisons to Lincoln, Kennedy and King. But that doesn't mean it will succeed in its more prosaic mission of appealing to voters who have their doubts about Obama and his preacher. It left unanswered a crucial question: What attracted Obama to Wright in the first place? When Obama joined Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ in 1988, the Afrocentric church and its pastor held particular appeal to a 27-year-old son of an African father he barely knew and a white mother from Kansas. Obama was searching for an identity and a community, and he found both at Trinity. And he found a spiritual guide in Wright. Much of white America is unfamiliar with the milieu of the black church. When clips from Wright's sermons began circulating, many whites heard divisive, angry, unpatriotic pronouncements on race, class and country. Many blacks, on the other hand, heard something more familiar: righteous anger about oppression and deliberate hyperbole in laying blame, which are common in sermons delivered in black churches every Sunday. The Rev. Terri Owens, dean of students at the University of Chicago Divinity School, says the black church tradition has its roots in the era of slavery, when African Americans held services under trees, far from their white masters. "Churches have always been the place where black people could speak freely," she says. "They were the only institutions they could own and run by themselves."  Time

*   *   *   *   *

Now the Other Bill Cripples Hill’s Wobbly Campaign—Bill Richardson's escape from the Clinton orbit yesterday was one more crushing blow to the hollowed-out establishment campaign that once traded on its own inevitability. The Hispanic governor's enthusiastic endorsement of Barack Obama is a stinging professional, political and personal rebuke of Hillary Rodham Clinton. One of the most experienced diplomats in the Clinton circle, Richardson blew a crater in the Clinton argument that Obama's inexperience with foreign affairs means he cannot be trusted to be commander in chief and leaves as phony the suggestion that Obama is less qualified than Hillary to answer that 3 a.m. call on the red phone.

In some ways, Richardson's endorsement comes at a crucial time, suggesting just how much the former Bill Clinton appointee wants to see the end of the Clintons' grip on the Democratic Party.

By offering his support at the end of a bad week for Obama, Richardson helped the campaign change the subject from Obama's anti-American preacher. It also comes at a time when Obama's nomination appears a little less certain, meaning that Richardson chose a moment where he risks backing the wrong candidate and enraging a vindictive former ally. And as if that weren't insulting enough, Richardson even added the extra dig by calling Obama a "once-in-a-lifetime leader." NYPost

*   *   *   *   *

The Tightrope and the Needle—It appears that all the mainstream, high-profile feminists got the same talking-points memo from the Clinton campaign. Ferraro, pit bull that she is, was just a little more raw in her delivery. If you didn’t get the memo, here are the talking points.

Ø Though the Democrats are blessed with an embarrassment of riches, with a black man and a woman contending for the nomination, Clinton is unequivocally the only one prepared for the rigors of the presidency.

Ø Obama is all fluff, no substance, glib and attractive, but also a cocksure, ageist upstart.

Ø Given the depths of Obama’s inexperience, his present popularity can only be explained by the reverse discrimination effect: he’s unfairly benefiting from his status as a black man.

Ø Older white women are supporting Clinton because they recognize bottom-line competence, know how to vote in their own best interests, grow more radical with age, and are ready to make history.

Ø White men are supporting Obama because of their latent or blatant sexism. They’re confused by the unfamiliar choices presented them, and more freaked out by the prospect of a woman in the White House than they are by the prospect of the first African American president.

Ø Maybe Obama will be a candidate to consider once he’s more politically seasoned, i.e., after eight years of Clinton.

Ø Sexism is the most pervasive and persistent form of discrimination.

Ø Racism is on the run, nearly vanquished save a few remnants.

From Gloria Steinem to Robin Morgan to Geraldine Ferraro to Erica Jong, they’re all playing the same tune. Now we can’t blame the women for fighting hard for their candidate, but it is disappointing, to say the very least, that in heralding Clinton as the proper choice for every feminist and all women they have also managed to dredge up some of the least attractive features of liberal feminism.

For nearly forty years feminists have wrangled over how to integrate issues of race, class, sexual orientation and other markers of inequality into a coherent, powerful gender analysis. Women of color insist on the complex relationship between racism and sexism and the central significance of racism in the lives of people of color. White feminists nod their heads, “Yes, of course, we understand, we’re with you on that.” Then comes the crunch, when the content of your feminism actually matters – as it does in this campaign – and they revert to the primacy of sexism over all other forms of discrimination and oppression.

All the tendencies that got feminism tagged as a white, middle-class women’s thing are, brutally, back in play. There’s a lot of twisting and turning going on in the effort to explain Obama’s viability. If he’s so completely inexperienced, why are people coming out to vote for him in record numbers?

 Must be that racism is dead but sexism isn’t. Must be that he’s an affirmative action baby. Must be that people are mesmerized, charmed and bewitched by his silver tongue. Must be that people are voting with their hearts for hope instead of with their heads for hard-headed competence. IndyBay News

Story behind the story: The Clinton myth—There are 566 pledged delegates up for grabs in upcoming contests. Those delegates come from Pennsylvania (158), Guam (4) North Carolina (115), Indiana (72), West Virginia (28), Kentucky (51), Oregon (52), Puerto Rico (55), Montana (16) and South Dakota (15).  If Clinton won 60 percent of those delegates, she would get 340 delegates to Obama's 226. Under that scenario — and without revotes in Michigan and Florida — Obama would still lead in delegates by 1,632 to 1,589. The only remote possibility of a win in delegates would come if revotes were held in Florida and Michigan — which, again, would take a political miracle. If Clinton won 60 percent of the delegates in both states, she would win 188 delegates and Obama would win 125. Clinton would then lead among pledged delegates, 1,777 to 1,757.  

The other elephant in the room for Clinton is that Obama is almost certain to win North Carolina, with its high percentage of African-American voters, and also is seen as extremely strong in Oregon. . . . To foster doubt about Obama, Clinton supporters are using a whisper and pressure campaign to make an 11th-hour argument to party insiders that he would be a weak candidate in November despite his superior standing at the moment. “All she has left is the electability argument,” a Democratic official said. "It’s all wrapped around: Is there something that makes him ultimately unelectable?”

But the audience for that argument, the superdelegates, will not easily overturn the will of the party’s voters. And in fact, a number of heavyweight Democrats are looking at the landscape and laying the groundwork to dissuade Clinton from trying to overturn the will of the party rank and file.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has not endorsed either candidate, appears to be among them. She told Bloomberg Television that superdelegates should "respect for what has been said by the people.” And she told ABC’s “This Week” that it would be “harmful to the Democratic Party” if superdelegates overturn the outcome of elections. Yahoo News

*   *   *   *  *

Obama at the crossroads of a revolution?—Obama is not a revolutionary but he has been caught up in a revolutionary moment in world history. The electoral campaign of Obama is riding on a wave of peace and change desired by ordinary Americans. There are limitations to the electoral project insofar as the task of restructuring US society is a gigantic one that cannot be done overnight. Obama may not be the solution, but is a small step in the direction of making the break with the old binary conceptions that dominated enlightenment thinking. It is the laws of unintended consequences that will emanate from this break that can lead to a new direction with the new positive bottom up organizing for transformation to a democratic society where all can live in peace. A clear understanding of the nature of US politics and limitation of the structures of the in-built conservatism of the system means that Barrack Obama would only be trapped by this social system if those who are being drawn into the audacity of hope do not build their own political movement and political organization. It is only a bottom up movement that can prevent Barack Obama from becoming a racial decoy for the Wall Street forces. Self mobilization, self organization, and emancipatory ideas will create new spaces so that the political space will be expanded beyond the media, the lobbyists and the ritual spaces of the White House, Congress and the Senate Chambers. Safe and clean neighborhoods, children who are reared to respect all human beings and a society that support repair of the planet earth awaits these new self organizing forces.T he campaign of Barack Obama is the story of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people. These are the people who are participating because they believe that politics can mean something again. Pambazuka

   *   *   *  *   *

The Long Defeat—Hillary Clinton may not realize it yet, but she’s just endured one of the worst weeks of her campaign. First, Barack Obama weathered the Rev. Jeremiah Wright affair without serious damage to his nomination prospects. Obama still holds a tiny lead among Democrats nationally in the Gallup tracking poll, just as he did before this whole affair blew up. Second, Obama’s lawyers successfully prevented re-votes in Florida and Michigan. That means it would be virtually impossible for Clinton to take a lead in either elected delegates or total primary votes. Third, as Noam Scheiber of The New Republic has reported, most superdelegates have accepted Nancy Pelosi’s judgment that the winner of the elected delegates should get the nomination. Instead of lining up behind Clinton, they’re drifting away. Her lead among them has shrunk by about 60 in the past month, according to Avi Zenilman of Politico.com.

In short, Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects continue to dim. The door is closing. Night is coming. The end, however, is not near. Last week, an important Clinton adviser told Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen (also of Politico) that Clinton had no more than a 10 percent chance of getting the nomination. Now, she’s probably down to a 5 percent chance. Five percent. Let’s take a look at what she’s going to put her party through for the sake of that 5 percent chance: The Democratic Party is probably going to have to endure another three months of daily sniping. For another three months, we’ll have the Carvilles likening the Obamaites to Judas and former generals accusing Clintonites of McCarthyism. For three months, we’ll have the daily round of résumé padding and sulfurous conference calls. We’ll have campaign aides blurting “blue dress” and only-because-he’s-black references as they let slip their private contempt. NYTimes

*   *   *   *  *

With a Powerful Speech, Obama Offers a Challenge—The speech, which has gotten wonderful reviews, should be required reading in classrooms across the country — and in as many other venues as possible. With a worldview that embraces both justice and healing, Senator Obama is better on these issues than any American leader since King. Unfortunately, what is more likely to happen is that the essence of the speech will be lost in the din that inevitably erupts whenever there is a racial controversy in the United States. The fundamental message that Senator Obama is trying to get across is that the racial madness that has perverted so many elections needs to stop — and stop now. Time and again, that madness has been employed to undermine efforts to create what the senator characterizes as “a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America.” Racial prejudice, ignorance, hostility — whatever — has caused millions of Americans to vote against their own economic interests, and for policies that have damaged the country. “It’s hard to address big issues,” Mr. Obama told me, “if we’re easily diverted or distracted by racial antagonism.” NYTimes

*   *   *   *  *

Progressives for Obama—Clinton’s most bizarre claim is that Obama is unqualified to be commander-in-chief. Clinton herself never served in the military, and has no experience in the armed services apart from the Senate armed services committee. Her husband had no military experience before becoming president. In fact he was a draft opponent during Vietnam, a stance we respected. She was the first lady, and he the governor, of one of our smallest states. They brought no more experience, and arguably less, to the White House than Obama would in 2009. We take very seriously the argument that Americans should elect a first woman president, and we abhor the surfacing of sexism in this supposedly post-feminist era. But none of us would vote for Condoleeza Rice as either the first woman or first African-American president. We regret that the choice divides so many progressive friends and allies, but believe that a Clinton presidency would be a Clinton presidency all over again, not a triumph of feminism but a restoration of the aging, power-driven Wall Street Democratic Hawks at a moment when so much more fresh imagination is possible and needed. A Clinton victory could only be achieved by the dashing of hope among millions of young people on whom a better future depends. The style of the Clintons’ attacks on Obama, which are likely to escalate as her chances of winning decline, already risks losing too many Democratic and independent voters in November. We believe that the Hillary Clinton of 1968 would be an Obama volunteer today, just as she once marched in the snows of New Hampshire for Eugene McCarthy against the Democratic establishment.

Tom Hayden is author of Ending the War in Iraq, a five-time Democratic convention delegate, former state senator, and board member of the Progressive Democrats of America. Bill Fletcher, Jr., who originated the call for founding “Progressives for Obama,” is the executive editor of Black Commentator, and founder of the Center for Labor Renewal; Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of Dancing in the Streets[2007] and other popular works and, with Hayden, a member of The Nation’s editorial board. Danny Glover is the respected actor, activist, and chairman of the board of TransAfrica.  PDAmerica

*   *   *   *  *

Our Sad State of Democracy 

A Portrait of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

By Scott Kurashige 

*   *   *   *  *

Obama to Get Endorsement of Lee Hamilton—Former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton is backing Sen. Barack Obama in an endorsement that could boost the presidential hopeful's national security standing, The Associated Press has learned. . . . Hamilton, who during a three-decade House career rose to be chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees, also was vice chairman of the Sept. 11 commission. He planned to announce his endorsement of Obama on Wednesday. In an interview Hamilton said he viewed the Illinois senator as a champion of "the politics of consensus and not of partisan division." "I think he is driven by the search for the common good," Hamilton said. Hamilton is best known as the top Democrat on the panel that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He also was co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan commission that assessed U.S. policy in Iraq. Although Hamilton is not a Democratic superdelegate, his backing comes on the heels of several high-profile endorsements for Obama, who leads Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in delegates for the party's nomination. Sens. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota endorsed Obama in recent days.Hamilton is the highest-profile Indiana Democrat to back Obama before the state's May 6 primary. Sen. Evan Bayh and the bulk of Indiana's Democratic Party leadership have campaigned actively for Clinton in a state where neither candidate is regarded as a natural front-runner. AOL News 

*   *   *   *  *

This is what the Pew Research Center learned in a poll conducted in late March.The poll also found that while large numbers of voters do not ascribe negative qualities to Mr. Obama, views of him are heavily influenced by certain social beliefs and attitudes held by his critics. Specifically, white Democrats with unfavorable views of him are much more likely than those who have favorable opinions of him to say that equal rights for minorities have been pushed too far; they also are more likely to disapprove of interracial dating, and are more concerned about the threat that immigrants may pose to American values. . . .

Indeed, it is “all about the voters” when it comes to Mr. Obama. And in the race for the Democratic nomination, the positive emotions he evokes, at least from the Democratic electorate, outweigh the highly conservative social attitudes that he stimulates. In a general election, this may or may not be the case.

Should he win the nomination and then the general election, Mr. Obama’s ability to inspire could serve him well in convincing citizens to go along with his programs, even if his plans call for sweeping changes and require sacrifice. Or he could face the challenge of having to live up to high expectations among voters who were hesitant about his lack of experience. NYTimes

*   *   *   *  *

Three More Primaries in the BagSenator Barack Obama rolled to victory by big margins in Virginia (64 to 35%), Maryland (60 to36%) and the District of Columbia (75 to 24%) on Tuesday, extending his winning streak over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to eight Democratic nominating contests since Saturday. Mr. Obama’s victories gave him a lead over Mrs. Clinton among pledged delegates . . .Obama aides calculate that he also leads in delegate counts that include so-called superdelegates, the party officers and elected officials who control 20 percent of the total delegates to the Democratic convention. . . . An exultant Mr. Obama told a rally in Madison, Wis.: “This movement wont stop until there’s change in Washington. Tonight, we’re on our way.” . . . . Mrs. Clinton . . . signaled that she would not vigorously contest two Democratic races next week, a primary in Wisconsin and a caucus in Hawaii . . . If she loses in those two states, she will be 0 for 10 in nominating contests from Feb. 5 to March 4, when Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont hold primaries.NYTimes

*   *   *   *  *

Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause—"Will there be some folks who probably won't vote for me because I am black? Of course," Obama said, "just like there may be somebody who won't vote for Hillary because she's a woman or wouldn't vote for John Edwards because they don't like his accent. But the question is, 'Can we get a majority of the American people to give us a fair hearing?' "

Obama has won 30 of 50 Democratic contests so far, the kind of nationwide electoral triumph no black candidate has ever realized. That he is on the brink of capturing the Democratic nomination, some say, is a testament to how far the country has progressed in overcoming racism and evidence of Obama's skill at bridging divides.

Obama has won five of 12 primaries in which black voters made up less than 10 percent of the electorate, and caucuses in states such as Idaho and Wyoming that are overwhelmingly white. But exit polls show he has struggled to attract white voters who didn't attend college and earn less than $50,000 a year. Today, he and Hillary Clinton square off in West Virginia, a state where she is favored and where the votes of working-class whites will again be closely watched.

For the most part, Obama campaign workers say, the 2008 election cycle has been exhilarating. On the ground, the Obama campaign is being driven by youngsters, many of whom are imbued with an optimism undeterred by racial intolerance. "We've grown up in a different world," says Danielle Ross. Field offices are staffed by 20-somethings who hold positions—state director, regional field director, field organizer—that are typically off limits to newcomers to presidential politics.

Gillian Bergeron, 23, was in charge of a five-county regional operation in northeastern Pennsylvania. The oldest member of her team was 27. At Scranton's annual Saint Patrick's Day parade, some of the green Obama signs distributed by staffers were burned along the parade route. That was the first signal that this wasn't exactly Obama country. There would be others. WashingtonPost

*   *   *   *  *

Obama wins backing of Senate dean Robert ByrdByrd, 90, was one of five Democratic "superdelegates" to endorse the Illinois senator Monday and add new momentum to his drive to capture the party's presidential nomination from Hillary Clinton. The distinguished dean of the Senate went public with his endorsement despite his state of West Virginia voting overwhelmingly for the former first lady last week. Both Clinton and Obama were "extraordinary individuals," [Robert} Byrd said in a statement. But he stressed: "I believe that Barack Obama is a shining young statesman, who possesses the personal temperament and courage necessary to extricate our country from this costly misadventure in Iraq, and to lead our nation at this challenging time in history. "Barack Obama is a noble-hearted patriot and humble Christian, and he has my full faith and support," said Byrd, who has served in the Senate since 1959 and has long since renounced his youthful dalliance with the Ku Klux Klan, the secret, white supremacist group -- known for their distinctive white robes and pointy hats -- which has terrorized blacks and other minority groups since immediately after the US Civil War. Google  Image by Charles Siler

*   *   *   *  *

Obama used party rules to foil Clinton—Careful planning is one reason why Obama is emerging as the nominee as the Democratic Party prepares for its final three primaries, Puerto Rico on Sunday and Montana and South Dakota on Tuesday. Attributing his success only to soaring speeches and prodigious fundraising ignores a critical part of contest. Obama used the Democrats' system of awarding delegates to limit his losses in states won by Clinton while maximizing gains in states he carried. Clinton, meanwhile, conserved her resources by essentially conceding states that favored Obama, including many states that held caucuses instead of primaries. In a stark example, Obama's victory in Kansas wiped out the gains made by Clinton for winning New Jersey, even though New Jersey had three times as many delegates at stake. Obama did it by winning big in Kansas while keeping the vote relatively close in New Jersey.

The research effort was headed by Jeffrey Berman, Obama's press-shy national director of delegate operations. Berman, who also tracked delegates in former Rep. Dick Gephardt's presidential bids, spent the better part of 2007 analyzing delegate opportunities for Obama. "The whole Clinton campaign thought this would be like previous campaigns, a battle of momentum," said Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "They thought she would be the only one would who could compete in such a momentous event as Super Tuesday." Instead, Obama won a majority of the 23 Super Tuesday contests on Feb. 5 and then spent the following two weeks racking up 11 straight victories, building an insurmountable lead among delegates won in primaries and caucuses. Yahoo News

*   *   *   *  *

Democratic Convention predictions
 
The
San Franisco Gate  polls are all so funny. But HRC's walls are tumbling -- Rudy

*   *   *   *  *

Good news about the California poll!   Nonetheless, my predictions: The Democratic convention (unless Obama gets assassinated) turns into a real zoo.Shrieking bands of maenads rove the streets of Denver, and grim-faced Erinyes hover over the convention. Clinton takes the nomination when she rips open her bodice and gives her Sojourner Truth speech. Stunned Negroes revolt across the nation, and the state governments of at least nine states are forced to declare martial law as their ghettoes erupt in flames. John McCain wins the election by a landslideWilson

That's funny, funny, funny . . . Your scenario has possibilities. I will send it to Charles Siler. Maybe he can put your predictions into several political cartoons for ChickenBones: A Journal Rudy

*   *   *   *  *

I laughed til I goddamn cried when I read these—damn! Funny . . .will forward....PeaceMary Weems

*   *   *   *  *

Or Hillary could do a Scarlet O'Hara scene from Gone with the Wind--probably more to her liking. Who would play Butterfly McQueen? LOTS of Black women have been out on the stump for her.
 
Given current "security laws" on the books, the scene might be more like "Space invaders" with black folks being rounded up and "renditioned" to some other country for controlled processing, given the currently over-stuffed prisons. Joyce

*   *   *   *  *

Pflegergate: Reverend Michael Louis Pfleger
 
Pat Buchanan, himself a Catholic calls Reverend Louis Pfleger a radical socialist, and blames Obama for being friendly with him. YouTube Wikipedia reports: "The Reverend Michael Louis Pfleger (born May 22, 1949[1]) is a Roman Catholic priest and social activist in Chicago, Illinois. A German American[2] from the south side of Chicago, Pfleger attended Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary South,  Loyola University and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 14, 1975. Since 1981, Pfleger has been pastor of the mostly African American Saint Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago's Auburn Gresham  neighborhood. When he was appointed to his present position, at the age of 31, he became the youngest pastor in the Chicago archdiocese.[1] His parishioners have affectionately referred to him as a "blue-eyed black soul". Under Pfleger's leadership, Saint Sabina has established an Employment Resource Center, a Social Service Center, and also an Elders home."

*   *   *   *  *

Very funny, funny, funny . . . I been grieving I needed that laugh. Thank youRudy

*   *   *   *  *

DNC’s Statement on the Florida and Michigan Delegations

The revised total of delegate votes needed to secure the nomination is 2,118.
 
“This decision was not made easily or lightly but after listening to oral arguments made by the complainants, State Parties, and both presidential campaigns, we believe this to be the most fair and equitable solution allowed within the rules. The Committee arrived at its decision with three basic principles in mind: One, that we must be fair to the voters in both states. Two, that we must be fair to both campaigns who abided by the rules in good faith and three, that we must be fair to the 48 states that followed the rules. We believe today’s decision is a step forward in unifying our Party as we work together to put a Democrat back in the White House so we can bring the Iraq War to a responsible end and get our economy back on track. . . " Wall Street Journal Blog

*   *   *   *  *

Hillary obviously plans to take this all the way to Denver.    At least 200,000 women, snakes hanging from their hair, will fill the streets, where with bloody fingernails they will rake their naked breasts! This will be the mad scene from Medea. Mark my words!   They will not give up until they have won the nomination. And they will win it!Wilson

I am unsure what impact these new rules will have on Obama winning the Democratic nomination. It's only 80 more votes and HRC has an even higher hill to climb. So the hill has been raised for both candidates. And I am certain there will be a lot of forces in Denver in August. Baraka said he would be there. Maybe a shorter campaign for the general election might indeed be better, though others had hoped that Obama could start running in June. In any case the Michigan and Florida problem has been dealt with—Rudy (1 June 2008)

*   *   *   *  *

Savor the MomentKennedy had been accused of dreaming when he said in the early 1960s that a black person could get elected president in the next 40 years. The fact that even a dreamer could imagine nothing shorter than a 40-year timeline gives us a glimpse of the nightmarish depths of racial oppression that people of goodwill have had to fight. The United States in 1968 (the same year in which the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated) was a stunningly different place from the country we know now, so different that most of today’s young people would have trouble imagining it. The notion in ’68 that a black person — or a woman — might have a serious shot at the presidency would have been widely viewed as lunacy. . . . Women in 1968 were mired in depths of misogyny that were as soul-destroying as racism. Discrimination on the basis of gender was so pervasive as to barely attract notice. Many retail stores refused to issue credit cards to married women in their own names. Employers could fire women with virtual impunity if they got married or pregnant or weren’t attractive enough or turned 30. According to the National Organization for Women, in a statement of purpose issued in 1966, fewer than 1 percent of all federal judges were women, fewer than 4 percent of all lawyers, and fewer than 7 percent of doctors. Racism and sexism have not taken their leave. But the fact that Barack Obama is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, and that the two finalists for that prize were a black man and a white woman, are historical events of the highest importance. We should not allow ourselves to overlook the wonder of this moment. NYTimes

*   *   *   *  *

Progressives and Netroots Feeling Abandoned as Obama Tacks Rightward—But am I going to "hold Obama accountable" for this action? Well, no, frankly. I don't think there's a way to do that without doing something far worse. It's the nature of the American political system: winner take all, no instant runoffs, no fusion voting (except in a few states).

In the months before a Presidential general election, I can't think of another alternative re the Presidential race other than doing everything I can do to help Obama win.

The harsh reality is, Barack Obama can and will tack towards the center on issues that are important to progressives during the general election. We can argue until we're blue in the face that this is not a smart thing to do, and by extension, that the country is ready for real progressive leadership, but Obama will do what he wants to do. Unless we are willing to actively work against him, we have no leverage.

I am not willing to actively work against him. I'm not willing to call on people to pull their money and their volunteer hours either. But two can play at Obama's game.

To me, Obama's methods are obvious. He is selling out a constituency without leverage (progressives) to burnish his centrist image, which he believes will bring him more votes in November. Obama is practicing, as BooMan puts it, "raw political calculation." Well, guess what; I can do that, too! Guardian

*   *   *   *  *

Bill Clinton says Barack Obama must Beg for his Support—Bill Clinton is so bitter about Barack Obama's victory over his wife Hillary that he has told friends the Democratic nominee will have to beg for his wholehearted support. Mr. Obama is expected to speak to Mr. Clinton for the first time since he won the nomination in the next few days, but campaign insiders say that the former president's future campaign role is a "sticking point" in peace talks with Mrs Clinton's aides.

The Telegraph has l earned that the former president's rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronising attitude to Mr Obama, and believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence. A senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could "kiss my ass" in return for his support. A second source said that the former president has kept his distance because he still does not believe Mr Obama can win the election.

Mr Clinton last week issued a tepid statement, through a spokesman, in which he said he "is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next president of the United States." Mr Obama was more effusive at his unity event with Mrs Clinton on Friday, speaking fondly of the absent former president, who attended Nelson Mandela's birthday celebrations in London instead. The candidate told the crowd: "I know how much we need both Bill and Hillary Clinton as a party. They have done so much great work. We need them badly."

But his aides said he has so far concentrated on cementing relations with Mrs Clinton first. They say they are content to let relations with Mr Clinton thaw gradually. It has long been known that Mr Clinton is angry at the way his own reputation was tarnished during the primary battle when several of his comments were interpreted as racist.

But his lingering fury has shocked his friends. The Democrat told the Telegraph: "He's been angry for a while. But everyone thought he would get over it. He hasn't. I've spoken to a couple of people who he's been in contact with and he is mad as hell."He's saying he's not going to reach out, that Obama has to come to him. One person told me that Bill said Obama would have to quote kiss my ass close quote, if he wants his support.
Telegraph
 

*   *   *   *   *

McCain Accuses Obama of Race Card—Obama long has talked about his physical appearance in speeches, but McCain advisers argue he crossed a significant line by accusing the GOP of scare tactics and alluding to his own race in the same breath. The back-and-forth was the latest spike in a contest that's grown increasingly negative despite pledges by both Obama and McCain to run aboveboard campaigns. The daily rhetoric has turned red-hot as both maneuver for advantage and polls show the race competitive three months before the election. . . . Opening a new front Wednesday, the GOP campaign rolled out a hard-hitting commercial that uses pictures of 20-something stars Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to suggest that Obama is little more than a media darling who is unqualified to be president. AOL

*   *   *   *   *

Has John McCain started to aggressively court the white vote?—It sounds like a question with an obvious answer. But when facing the first black nominee of a major party for president, the manner in which John McCain addresses white voters is bound to be a careful one—and we may have just seen the first toe-dip. As several reports have pointed out, McCain's newly announced support for Arizona's anti-affirmative action ballot initiative over the weekend represents a reversal from ten years ago, when he called a similar effort "divisive." HuffingtonPost

*   *   *   *   *

AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Middle Passage

By Charles Johnson

A savage parable of the black experience in America, Johnson's picaresque novel begins in 1830 when Rutherford Calhoun, a newly freed Illinois slave eking out a living as a petty thief in New Orleans, hops aboard a square-rigger to evade the prim Boston schoolteacher who wants to marry him. But the Republic , no riverboat, turns out to be a slave clipper bound for Africa. Calhoun, a witty narrator conversant with the works of Chaucer and Beethoven and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, hates himself for acting as henchman to the ship's captain, a dwarfish, philosophizing tyrant. Before the rowdy, drunken crew can spring a mutiny, African slaves recently taken on board stage a successful revolt. Blending confessional, ship's log and adventure, the narrative interweaves a disquisition on slavery, poverty, race relations and an African worldview at odds with Western materialism. In luxuriant, intoxicating prose Johnson (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) makes the agonized past a prism looking onto a tense present.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

 

Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice.Lisa Adkins, University of London

*   *   *   *   *

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination. Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.Publishers Weekly /  Derrick Bell Law Rights Advocate  Dies at 80

*   *   *   *   *

The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance

Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It

By Les Leopold

How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it? In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance. He also asks some tough questions:  Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large? Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes? Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy?

How do we make sure we never give our wages away to gamblers again? And what can we do to get our money back? In this page-turning narrative (no background in finance required) Leopold tells the story of how we fell victim to Wall Street's exotic financial products.

Readers learn how even school districts were taken in by "innovative" products like collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, and how they sucked trillions of dollars from the global economy when they failed. They'll also learn what average Americans can do to ensure that fantasy finance never rules our economy again. The Economy

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues


1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

 

 

 

 

 

update 5 March 2012

 

 

 

Home