Aunt Nikki

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Move over Aunt Jemima. There is a new corporate mammy in town. EMILY’s List, the “feminist” political action committee that uses the pretext of gender equality to support status quo females in their quest for power and prestige in the halls of congress, has endorsed Nikki Tinker, Harold Ford Jr’s malevolent protégé, against progressive Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen.

The decision to support Nikki Tinker is typical of the brand of corporate feminism that EMILY’s List is known for. There are only two requirements for endorsement: the resourcefulness to raise sufficient cash to be viable enough to justify turning on the pac spigot, and the good fortune of being born female. Matt Stoller wrote a post on the same topic some weeks ago. One reader of Matt’s post couldn’t have said it better, I never got the sense that EMILY’s List was a progressive organization. Its goal is to provide funding for people with vaginas [and] …some semblance of a pro-choice orientation, especially against opponents who don’t fit those two criteria.”

Skimming through Aunt Nikki’s campaign finance reports, I saw that EMILY’s List founder Ellen Malcolm has taken a personal interest in the corporate mammy by contributing $1250.00 of her own money. The criticism that EMILY’s List is primarily a benevolent pocket for aspiring white women apparently struck close to home and is underscored by the paltry $15,870 in bundled contributions it supplied this year. That’s hardly the level of beneficence provided to the corporate mammy in the last cycle.

Moreover, It is frustrating that the organization will sometimes support a genuine black progressive like Donna Edwards against a corrupt incumbent, then turn around in the same year, and endorse a fraud like Tinker against a more acceptable pro choice and progressive Congressman like Steve Cohen.

Longtime readers of this blog know of the animosity I have for Harold Ford Jr and his demagogic brand of corporate prostitution that masquerades as political centrism. Everything he touches turns to shit and the same could be said of his protégé.

I didn’t think it was possible to be more repellent than Ford, but Aunt Nikki is the willing overseer on Pinnacle Airlines corporate plantation as Vice President for Labor Relations and General Counsel. Aunt Nikki is representative of the lowest form of human life and is the worst kind of counterfeit Negress imaginable. As an employment lawyer, she specializes in destroying employee rights to collectively bargain and be free from workplace racial discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Her campaign report is full of two kinds of people, acquaintances from her home state of Alabama and her motley collection of crooked contacts in the business world. The CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, Phil Trenary, her boss and corporate puppet master, is represented, as are Republican corporate employment lawyers from her former law firm, John and Ruth Alley. Finally, there is a member of Pinnacle’s Board of Directors, GOP rainmaker and real estate magnate James McGehee and his kith and kin.

JOHNINE BARNES and NIKKI TINKER-Corporate Doppelgangers separated at birth

Johnine Barnes, an employment lawyer for Washington D.C.’s high-powered Baker & Hostetler, is a fellow corporate employment law predator, Delta Sigma Theta sorority sister, and gal-pal of Nikki Tinker. She is emblematic of the employment lawyer/corporate whore type. Her web profile on the firm’s webpage says it best:

Johnine P. Barnes is experienced in various phases of employment law, including litigating and defending administrative claims of harassment; retaliation and discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, and disability; wrongful discharge and breach of contract issues;

This essentially means that the sister is a professional Uncle Tom who uses her race as a shield to defend corporate clients when they actively discriminate against their employees on the basis of age, race, sex, and disability.

By kicking into Nikki’s congressional kitty, she curries favor with a potential Congresswoman for her firm and its malevolent clients, and she enhances her own prestige, which rightfully ought to be lower than a pedophile.

I am given to colorful hyperbole and I love to kid around, but this is serious “bidness” as my girl Molly Ivins used to say. Baker and Hostetler as a powerful player in the employment law racket because they specialize in defending corporate clients against legitimate discrimination and retaliation suits and they say so on their own damn website.

Baker and Hostetler touts its win over the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when it challenged their client’s callous layoff of a pregnant woman during a workforce reduction. They conceded that she was a good employee with solid performance reviews and they happily defended the company’s effort to cut her loose in the middle of her pregnancy and leave her without income or insurance. We carefully explained the legitimate business reasons for the employee’s inclusion in the reduction (relatively weak technical skill set) and focused on the EEOC’s aggressive treatment of company witnesses at trial. We ultimately succeeded in portraying the EEOC as oppressive and overreaching in attacking the character of reasonable people who honestly made the difficult business decision of whom to include in a workforce reduction.”

Additionally, Baker and Hostetler markets itself as a firm that specializes in using technicalities to get legitimate lawsuits dismissed in the earliest stages of litigation and for ultimately destroying class action lawsuits against guilty clients who had the misfortune of being sued by competent counsel. Employment-related class action lawsuits are on the rise. The potential for large recoveries, adverse publicity and expensive litigation threaten a company’s bottom line, stock value and reputation. At Baker Hostetler, we are known for our ability to end class actions before they begin through creative case management, motion practice and aggressive defeat of class certification.”

As further proof of their mendacity, they site their triumph in a sex discrimination case where they denied hundreds of women their day in court, “After obtaining denial of a motion for class certification of a class of several hundred female employees, we obtained summary judgment on behalf of our FORTUNE 100 client on the plaintiff’s individual claims.”

Finally, I ran across an actual opinion in an Ohio case defended in part by Baker and Hostetler that they actually lost initially. A white plaintiff sued his employer because they fired him in retaliation for informing his only black co-worker that the company had a legal obligation to extend health insurance coverage to him because it extended coverage to everybody else. Several weeks before his termination, the partners in the business wanted him to buy into the company as a partner. After he “betrayed” them, and tried to do right by a brotha, and the brotha brought a legitimate discrimination suit against the company, they cut him loose.

Johnine Barnes is a doppelganger for Nikki Tinker. They’re cut from the same cloth and serve the same nefarious corporate interests on the Dark Side of the Force. One doesn’t get a prestigious job on a corporate plantation before 35 by being the vapid, southern fried, syrupy church lady spouting the self-serving, racially manipulative bullshit we’ve heard from her on the campaign trail.

Aunt Nikki ain’t no fool because a fool isn’t capable of raising close to a million dollars to contest a seat in congress in two election cycles.

CORPORATE MAMMY AND GOP TROJAN HORSE

The corporate tentacles of GOP power are all over the corporate mammy’s campaign filings. Phil Trenary, the CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, gave, along with his board members McGehee, Schockley, and Hunt, other executives, and their wives, nearly $25,000 to Nikki’s campaign.

McGehee and his kith and kin in particular, are major GOP moneybags having contributed more than $49,000 to the Republican Party and its candidates since 1997 and collectively kicked $8,600 into Aunt Nikki’s campaign coffers.

Other Airline industry players like Colgan Air, Sky West, and Jet Blue funneled nearly $13,000 through their executives to Nikki.

Moreover, law firms specializing in the employment law racket also took special notice of the corporate mammy. Baker & Hostetler, a major right-wing pocket, kicked in $4900. Baker & Hostetler lobbyists and lawyers have given more than $ 70,250 to Republican candidates and organizations in the last three election cycles; a sum, which is four times what they gave to Democrats.

Ford & Harrison, Aunt Nikki’s former law firm and a major employment law predator, kicked $5200 into the coffers of their former colleague. Nine of her colleagues had a favorable impression of Nikki’s Trojan Horse campaign. The Alley’s—both Ruth and J.E. Alley, are Florida attorneys and major Republican donors to both Dubya and Jeb Bush.

Other major employment law firms like Baker & Donnelson, Bryan Cave and Patton Boggs also kicked into Nikki’s kitty with $4,200, $1000, and $1050 respectively.

My colleagues at Black Agenda Report, in their former incarnation as the writers behind Black Commentator, came up with the nifty moniker of Trojan Horse to describe Black Democrats backed surreptitiously by Republican money and the corporate and right-wing foundation elite. They highlighted BET’s Bob Johnson and politicians Cory Booker and Harold Whore, Jr. Speaking of the Whore, he has used his new wife, Emily Threlkeld Ford, to funnel more than $3300 to his protégé. The Trojan Horse moniker definitely fits Nikki Tinker to a T because as her campaign finance report shows, she is a a member in good standing of this right-wing club.

As the moniker from Greek mythology implies, Aunt Nikki is a stealth weapon of the right-wing that optimally would be used to destroy progressive black representation and the social, political, and economic viability of Black Memphis. Unfortunately for our corporate enemies on the right, Aunt Nikki’s campaign exploded today like an IED in a war zone when it released an ad which strikes a note of false religiosity and implies that Steve Cohen is a Jewish interloper unwelcome in black churches and alludes to a bill to protect “religious freedom” and the unfettered right of religious organizations to discriminate against gay and lesbian people. This is the culmination of her clumsy attempts to make inroads with the black ministerial community by pandering to the homophobia of a select group of black pastors.

It looks like the wounds are fatal. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of cynical operators and puppet masters—especially Harold Ford. As of this afternoon, Emily’s List was forced to denounce the ad with egg on their faces. Finally, with the entrance of Black state representative Joe Towns in this race and the loss of prominent civil rights leaders like Maxine Smith, Aunt Nikki’s fantasy of being the power structure’s corporate mammy in Washington is just 24 hours from a lethal rejection by the voters from which there will be no appeal.

Extorting Nancy: White Hillarycrats threaten to lynch Speaker Pelosi

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Nancy Pelosi First Woman Speaker of The House 

 “If the votes of the superdelegates overturn what’s happened in the elections, it would be harmful to the Democratic party.”    -Speaker Nancy Pelosi

I agree with the Speaker that it indeed would be harmful to the Democratic Party and harmful to the goal of replacing the brain dead, wingnut cabal atop our federal government.   It is apparent, however, that a well-heeled group of white Hillarycrats, with a billionaire blackface minstrel and wealthy Indian couple thrown in to make it look kosher, think otherwise.  

According to TPM, the group sent a threat letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi which reads in part, “Several states and millions of Democratic voters have not yet had the chance to cast their votes.   We respect those voters and believe that they, like the voters in the states that have already participated, have a right to be heard.  None of us (meaning your ass) should make declarative statements that diminish the importance of their voices (votes for Hillary) and their votes.  We are writing to (threaten your ass if you don’t take it back) say that your remarks on ABC News This Week On March 16TH did just that. “

“…We have been strong supporters of the DCCC (the campaign arm of House Democrats). We therefore (are extorting you) urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments (exactly what we fu*#ing tell you) a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the national convention in August.   We (don’t give a sh*t who the hell you think you are because you wouldn’t be there if not for our money) appreciate your activities in support of the Democratic Party and your leadership role in the party and hope you will be (compliant with our demands) responsive to your major enthusiastic supporters.

The brazen extortion evident in this arrogant missive really ticked a sistah off, which is probably why TPM got a hold of this letter.   I love the Illusion of inclusion that asking the colored folks to sign implies so that the strong-arming of Nancy Pelosi would look less like the high tech lynching that it is.  These Mofo’s ain’t slick.  It’s just another example of the lengths the Clinton crime family will go to in order to win. I really don’t have more to add, I just thought y’all would benefit from a few edits to put it all in the proper context.  

Big Backers: The Democratic contributors who wrote Nancy Pelosi have been major donors to the party and its candidates.

Donor Name Total to Democrats Total to Clinton Total to Obama Total to DCCC
Haim & Cheryl Saban
$10,892,848
$31,600
$0
$1,142,000
Bernard L & Irene Schwartz
$4,245,750
$32,400
$0
$1,082,300
Robert L. Johnson
$1,535,800
$24,800
$4,500
$117,500
Mark & Susie Tompkins Buell
$1,066,625
$79,200
$13,500
$207,550
Steve & Maureen White Rattner
$1,062,144
$31,300
$1,000
$45,500
Jay T. & Tracy M. Snyder
$824,999
$28,200
$0
$27,666
Alan J. & Susan Patricof
$770,918
$39,200
$1,400
$62,841
Hassan & Sheila Nemazee
$523,000
$21,200
$0
$28,000
James R. & Mary K. Pritzker
$492,900
$18,400
$8,200
$12,900
Stanley S. & Sydney R. Shuman
$454,082
$51,300
$1,000
$21,666
Marc & Cathy Lasry
$422,000
$23,900
$0
$100,000
Pradeep R. & Amy J. Rao
$341,850
$46,200
$2,000
$66,000
Sim & Debra S. Farar
$252,450
$38,800
$2,500
$0
Clarence A. & Jacqueline A. Avant
$227,300
$19,200
$15,600
$26,000
Lynn Forester de Rothschild
$218,679
$39,700
$2,000
$39,000
Christopher G. & Irene Korge
$189,600
$18,300
$0
$0
Mark A. & Judith M. Aronchick
$80,300
$9,950
$500
$7,000
 
Grand Total
$23,601,245
$553,650
$52,200
$2,985,923

Campaign mailbag: Hillary’s desperate appeal

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Dear Fool,

It should be abundantly clear to even the comatose that my imperial campaign is falling apart, my inevitability is a myth, and Darth Bubba is too self absorbed to cede the limelight to me. My maniacal dream of dynastic restoration is crumbling into a morass of arrogance, ineptitude and racist condescension.

We tried to make nice with Negroes; they rejected us, now its time to prove to them how awful it is to be on the wrong side. And we’re going to keep proving them wrong as many times as we need to until we win back the imperial throne of the White House.

You and I know that only the white power structure, not the people; get to decide where this race for the Democratic nomination will end up.
And, before very long, the nefarious corporate interests who depend on us the most – the investment banks, the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical companies and the defense contractors who have given more money to me than to any Republican – will have their say in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Pennsylvania and others.

Yield to the power of the Dark Side. Contribute now.

Don’t forget what we’re fighting for: the unlimited power to do the bidding of the same white capitalist patriarchy that has always run America. They’re the reason our campaign was flush with cash in the beginning, and why I will do whatever it takes to win. And winning means having the M.O.N.E.Y, and a ruthless game plan to even this race up so I can aggressively steal this nomination away from Barack Skytalker with more super delegates at the convention.

It’s MY TURN, dammit. I command you to make a contribution now.

When we embarked on this journey, I promised you crumbs from my imperial table and you bowed in submission. I command you to kneel at my feet again. That’s what you’ve got to do — right here, right now.

With sincere condescension,

Hillary

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Empress of Triangulation

P.S. Remember, no matter how many Negroes bail on us, you and I will keep courting and brainwashing Hispanics to vote against their class interests in an effort to help drive our campaign to victory in the weeks ahead. I refuse to go down without a fight.

Hillary and Obama to pull in about $20 million in 3rd Quarter

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 Obama_vs._Hillary

Hat Tip: By John King, CNN Political Ticker Blog

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Fundraising dropped off dramatically for the two leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, but Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama will still report raising in the neighborhood of $20 million each over this three month time period, sources close to both candidates tell CNN.

Clinton will show she has pulled in between $17-$20 million, while Obama will report he raised between $18-$19 million. Fundraising is historically slow in the third quarter, which covers the final two months of summer and the first month of fall. In the second quarter, Obama shattered fundraising records by reporting that he raised $32.5 million, $31 million of which he could use in his bid for the Democratic nomination. Clinton raised $27 million during this same time period, and all but $6 million of it could be used in the primary.

There are still three days remaining for candidates to raise money for this fundraising period.

On the Republican side, Arizona Sen. John McCain is expected to show he raised more than $5 million this quarter, but a McCain advisor noted that his recent poll numbers in New Hampshire and a busy fundraising schedule next month shows that they “have some life.” Sources close to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggest that he will lead the GOP pack in fundraising this quarter, but would not reveal their fundraising totals.

Obama snags Oprah and Hillary courts Magic

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Hat Tip: by Michael R. Blood, Associated Press

Hillary Rodham Clinton pursued votes Friday in the city’s historical black heartland with basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson at her side. Less than a week ago, her rival Barack Obama banked $3 million at a fundraiser at Oprah Winfrey’s seaside estate.

For the two leading Democratic presidential contenders, the dueling events just six days apart highlighted the stiff competition for support and dollars within one of the party’s key voter groups — blacks.

Johnson, the former Los Angeles Lakers star whose sprawling business interests range from movie theaters to health clubs, was also holding a fundraiser for Clinton at his Beverly Hills home Friday night. It was expected to be considerably smaller than the lavish event staged by Winfrey for Obama, an Illinois senator, on Sept. 8.

Johnson’s fundraiser was co-hosted by music industry heavyweights Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy and Clarence Avant, and scheduled guests included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Guests at the Obama event included Sidney Poitier, Forest Whitaker and Chris Rock.

The divided loyalties among blacks show “the community just isn’t going to go lockstep behind any candidate, even a black one,” said University of California, Los Angeles, political scientist Franklin D. Gilliam Jr.

When it comes to competing celebrity endorsements, “I don’t know if anybody stands equal with Oprah,” Gilliam said. But Clinton, a New York senator, is not conceding the black vote to Obama and “she can compete for it in a legitimate way.”

On Thursday, the California Legislature’s black caucus endorsed Obama — but one of its eight members is backing Clinton. And independent polls in California suggest the black vote is divided, largely between Clinton and Obama.

Obama, whose late father was Kenyan, gives blacks a chance to put one of their own in the White House for the first time. But Clinton benefits from the strong relationship her husband, former President Bill Clinton, maintained with blacks for years.

“People in the black community love Bill Clinton; she’s seen as comfortable in the community,” Gilliam said. And “there’s concern about Obama being electable, period, because he’s black.”

The rivalry between Obama and Clinton also showcases the clout of black political influence and money.

Obama has predicted that black voter turnout could swell by at least 30 percent if he wins the presidential nomination, giving Democrats victory in Southern states that have been voting Republican for decades.

Asked last month why she would be a better candidate for blacks when Obama was in the race, she cited her years of public service and advocacy, and described herself as the more experienced candidate.

“My attitude is, I don’t deserve anyone’s vote. I have to earn everyone’s vote,” Clinton said.

At an event earlier Friday at a school in a heavily minority neighborhood near the Watts section, Clinton shared a stage with Johnson, Villaraigosa and other local leaders. She told a largely minority crowd including many students and supporters that she would bring a new style of leadership to Washington to take on issues like health care, education and ending the Iraq war.

“When I’m president, there will not be any invisible Americans,” she said.

Several people in the audience said they were comfortable with Clinton, in large part because of her long record in the public eye and efforts in her husband’s administration.

John Bruce, 45, a Democrat from Los Angeles who works in security, said the black community is looking for leaders and Obama “seems to be heading in the right direction.” Bruce, who is black, said race was not an issue in picking a candidate.

He said he remains undecided on 2008 but added, “I’m an all-Clinton Democrat.”

Black community activist “Sweet Alice” Harris, who is backing Clinton, said she worked closely with her during her days in the Clinton White House.

What about Obama?

“I don’t know him, but I know her,” Harris said.

Earlier in the day, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, held a private fundraiser for Clinton at a Mexican restaurant in Lynwood, a Los Angeles suburb.

Bynum loves husband but needs to move on

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Hat Tip: D. Aileen Dodd, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Evangelist Juanita Bynum’s lawyer said Monday the pastor is seeking to divorce her husband on the basis of cruel treatment and irreconcilable differences.

The divorce filing states that the marriage has been “irretrievably broken,” said Bynum’s attorney Karla Walker of Valdosta, Ga.

by her husband Thomas W. Weeks III on Aug. 21 in a hotel parking lot near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

“She loved her husband,” Walker said. “But she does feel it is necessary to stop the domestic violence and go on with the divorce.”

The divorce paperwork was sent to the Ware County Courthouse early last week, but an error delayed the filing. The legal documents were officially filed on Monday.

Bynum, 48, spent the weekend in California where she attended a fund-raiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama. The party was held at Oprah Winfrey’s estate.

Bynum has said she is moving forward with plans to start a domestic violence ministry. Last week, she resurfaced in the spotlight, saying she had recovered from the alleged attack and would like to serve as an advocate against domestic violence.

Weeks, 40, was charged with felony aggravated assault, felony terroristic threats and two counts of simple battery in connection with the attack. He could face up to 27 years in jail if convicted.

Oprah Obama Fundraiser update

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Hat Tip: Lynn Sweet Blog, Chicago Sun Times 

MONTECITO, CALIF. — Oprah Winfrey opened the high iron gates of her highly guarded estate here Saturday to raise more than $3 million for White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), his biggest single-day haul ever, in a fund-raising spectacle rarely seen in U.S. politics.

“I haven’t been actively engaged before because there hasn’t been anything to be actively engaged in. But I am engaged now to make Barack Obama the next president of the United States,” a source said Winfrey told the crowd just before the concert, starring Stevie Wonder.

Introducing Obama, Winfrey said that “nobody can stand in the way of destiny.”

“It’s unbelievable,” said Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias as the Great Gatsby party scene unfolded before him on Winfrey’s meadow under a gorgeous sky.

Real celebrities mingled with Obama’s best donors and bundlers rewarded for their fund-raising efforts with a star-studded afternoon. Among those present at the event featuring the two most famous Chicagoans in the world: actors Lou Gossett Jr.; Cicely Tyson; Forest Whitaker; Ellen Pompeo; Sidney Poitier; Linda Evans; Tyler Perry; Chris Rock; Hill Harper (who attended Harvard Law with Obama); music producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds; Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, football quarterback Rodney Peete; Winfrey beau Stedman Graham; radio personality Tom Joyner; sports legends Ernie Banks, Bill Russell and Dave Winfield; tennis great Jimmy Connors, and model Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber.

There was a contingent from Obama’s Chicago-based kitchen cabinet, including Habitat honcho Valerie Jarrett and John Rogers, the Illinois finance co-chair.

The most important VIPs got to drive right up to the mansion, with most of the estimated 1,500 attendees who either gave or raised $2,300 shuttled by bus to Winfrey’s from the Earl Warren Showgrounds eight miles away in Santa Barbara.

At 3 p.m., there was Oprah/Obama gridlock on the Highway 101 Las Positas off-ramp leading to the staging area. Two women wearing leis waiting in the traffic jam said they flew in from Hawaii for the event. Judge Greg Mathis, who presides over the “Judge Mathis” show taped in Chicago, was in line, idling in his convertible Mercedes SL500.

Security was tight. The event was closed to the press. At the showgrounds, people dressed out of the pages of Vogue and GQ, despite the admonition to wear “garden attire,” were delivered in limos and sharp cars. Everyone had to give up cameras as they went through security. A reporter trying to interview people on the showgrounds was threatened with arrest.

Inside the fund-raiser, there were separate levels of access, depending on how much money people were raising for Obama, with the most prolific bundlers staying for a dinner.

Food stations offered mini-burgers, corn-on-the-cob on sticks, guacamole and chips; lemonade and vodka; red or white wine, and a full bar.

The Obama campaign’s regional professional fund-raisers brought their best contributors, with the high-rollers bunking at the spectacular Fess Parker resort in Santa Barbara.

Making the entire experience pleasurable for Obama’s best donors; Oprah, Obama and wife Michelle were posing for individual pictures, according to a person at the party.

As the evening wore down a stream of tired-looking but exceedingly well-dressed people, some carrying green souvenir blankets, poured past the wooden doors of Winfrey’s yard, leaving the home she calls “the Promised Land” to board buses to take them back to reality.

Roland Martin: Oprah could be a kingmaker

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Hat Tip: By Roland S. Martin
CNN Contributor

(CNN) — It’s big news that the goddess of talk, Oprah Winfrey, is throwing a huge shindig for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama at her California estate that is expected to bring in $3 million.

art.martin.cnn.jpg

Oprah Winfrey should go all out in her support for Sen. Barack Obama, says Roland S. Martin.

That is more than what Hollywood honchos Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and others raised in separate fundraisers for Obama and his chief rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton.

No one knows for sure what the effect will be with Oprah backing Obama because she has never thrown her full support behind a political candidate.

The Washington Post made it plain as to her influence on the general public, courtesy of her massive media platform: “the television program that reaches 8.4 million viewers each weekday afternoon, according to the most recent Nielsen numbers. Her Web site reaches 2.3 unique viewers each month, ‘O, the Oprah Magazine,’ has a circulation of 2 million, she circulates a weekly newsletter to 420,000 fans and 360,000 people have subscribed to her Web site for daily ‘Oprah Alerts’ by e-mail.”

Although Oprah is a billionaire, by law, all she can contribute to the Obama campaign is $4,600 — $2,300 for the primary, and if he wins the nomination, he can use the other $2,300 for the general election campaign. Video Watch analysts talk about Winfrey’s influence »

On CNN’s “Larry King Live,” she said that her support is bigger than any check she could write.

Not quite.

Although The Post reported that Oprah is in talks with the Obama campaign about taking an active role — appearing at rallies or cutting campaign commercials — she could instead choose to launch her own 527 political group that wouldn’t have any spending restrictions.

Imagine this scenario: Oprah chooses to create the “O for Obama” 527 group. She then seeds it with $5 million, and plans a series of radio and TV ads touting Obama in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Arizona.

In Iowa, she might shoot a commercial in a cornfield. In New Hampshire, the setting might be outside the state capitol. How about the Geechee islands in South Carolina? And for Arizona, the infamous — only because of its sheriff — jail in Maricopa County.

She could tailor each ad for residents of that state, and flood the airwaves as Obama is doing the same.

Now, the laws says the 527s can’t coordinate their messages with the campaign, and there are other restrictions. But it could be a huge boost to a campaign lagging Clinton in national polls.

You don’t think they matter? Ask Sen. John Kerry. The Swift Boat Veterans launched a 527 group that developed devastating ads that helped derail his message, and the campaign.

Oprah may get some heat for trying to buy the election, but many rich benefactors have used their money for partisan purposes.

The talk show diva has been on record that Obama is the first, and likely last, candidate she publicly backs. If that’s the case, why not simply go all out?

Juanita Bynum files for divorce

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Teach Me How to Love You

Hat Tip: by D. Aileen Dodd, S.A. Reid, Atlanta Journal Constitution

National evangelist Juanita Bynum apparently has filed for divorce, more than two weeks after the alleged attack by her husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III.

A relative on Thursday said that Bynum has filed for divorce but court records were not available early Thursday. Bynum’s publicist, Amy Malone, would not comment.

the alleged beating by Weeks, the pastor and co-founder of Global Destiny Ministries in metro Atlanta.

Bynum called a press conference on Tuesday, a few hours before she hosted an international Christian talk show on Trinity Broadcasting Network. She appeared poised and soft-spoken before news cameras. She wore her wedding ring on her right hand. The pastor has been separated from her husband for more than three months.

Calling herself “the new face of domestic violence,” Bynum is expected to be part of an A-list crowd Saturday at a fund-raiser for Barack Obama’s presidential bid.

The party is being hosted by media magnate Oprah Winfrey at her 42-acre estate in California.

Bynum is part of a guest list that includes celebrities, politicians and other news makers.

“She received an invitation to attend the event at Oprah’s home,” said Malone. Bynum is hoping to talk directly with Obama or members of his presidential campaign team about national domestic violence concerns.

Weeks’ lawyer, Louis Tesser, has said that Weeks “hopes he doesn’t wind up getting a divorce.” On Wednesday, Weeks broke his silence for the first time since the alleged Aug. 21 domestic violence incident by issuing a written statement through his lawyers.

In it, Weeks cautioned against a rush to judgment and said he would share his version of what happened that night at the appropriate time.

Bynum was allegedly beaten, choked, and stomped to the ground in an attack. Weeks was charged with felony aggravated assault, felony terroristic threats and two counts of simple battery in connection to the incident.

Weeks’ appearance in Fulton County Superior Court originally set for Friday has been postponed indefinitely. The case has been reassigned to a different judge. He could face up to 27 years in jail if convicted.

A final word on the Debate

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Having won both High School and College Student Government elections, I am struck by the unoriginal observation that running for President these days bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the shallow preening and empty symbolism employed by children trying to impress and influence each other.   

The so-called mainstream press has labeled Hillary and Barack the cool kids to be admired and emulated because they possess magical leadership qualities that are nothing more than cynical pronouncements about how much money they’ve raised. 

Eight years ago, we were right where we are now and the belated love the press corps has found for Al Gore after five years of the mess in Mesopotamia was non-existent.   Eight years ago, former Senator Bill Bradley was keeping pace with Al Gore’s fundraising.  Eight years ago, Bill Bradley was speaking with true candor about a great many issues with a forthrightness altogether lacking in our distinguished former Vice President.  Bradley twisted a rhetorical knife in Al Gore’s gut at Iowa’s Black and Brown forum over racial profiling.  He made the point that Al Gore had the power to get Clinton to act in a way nobody else could.   

Bill Bradley spoke about the racial divide and the racial disparities in our nation with an eloquence and conviction that Gore didn’t.  None of it mattered in the end.  Gore out organized Bradley and wiped the floor with him on Super Tuesday, blowing him away in a front loaded calendar from coast to coast.  That’s what Hillary is fixing to do with the “Safe Negro” formerly known as Barack Obama.   

The game is rigged for the organization candidate and Hillary is the organization candidate.  The stumblebum, tone-deaf days of the listening tour are over. Hillary got her shit together and she’s kept it together. There won’t be any mistakes from here on out. It’s one thing to speak to an advanced crowd of 10 or 20 thousand, its another to turn the same folk out to vote for you.  That’s the difference between a movement and a machine.  Hillary has a machine and it’s programmed to crush Obama’s aspirations like a steamroller and to leave him broken and alone licking his wounds.  

The Clintons have never and will never lose a national election-period.  It is not going to happen.  Barack Obama will not be asked to join Mrs. Clinton’s ticket no matter what Mr. Bruce and others have speculated.  I think it will cause her profound problems in the black electorate. It will if we haven’t all fallen asleep. It should because most of us are in the profound grip of the delusion that the President is something other than the chief guardian of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. A black man cannot flip that script no matter what magical powers we believe him to wield. The genius of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy is that we are all its servants, no matter how we resist.

CNN Debate Tonight

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The first of six officially sanctioned Democratic debates will be held tonight with CNN and Youtube as co-sponsors.  Tonight’s debate will be availble in its entirety on this space as soon as Youtube makes it available and I can put it up.  

The pundit class has been chattering actively that its put up or shut up time for Barack Obama.  Senator Clinton continues to solidify her poll numbers even as Obama outraises her.   She, however, has plenty of cash to end his Presidential aspirations and enough street cred with African American women to prevent him from solidifying and expanding his base with black folks.  Mama is perfectly positioned to take her place as the head of the Clintonista’s in this era of dynastic politics.

It would take a pretty big applause line and counterattack on Obama’s part, and a weak comeback on Hillary’s, to make this debate seem more than routine.   I’m not looking for any surprises.   Debate time commences in less than one hour.  Stay tuned here for a re-cap.

UPDATE: the debate has been lively and intersting. The questions sent in via Youtube have been excellent.  From Reparations to Iraq, from Same-Sex marriage to Darfur, they have truly been great.  Gravel drew some blood from Obama pointedly revealing the fact that despite Obama’s good government spiel, he has the CEO of foreign owned UBS bank bundling contributions for him.

Obama also dodged the reparations question deftly as did Edwards-Kucinich came out for it strongly.   Edwards stumbled on the same-sex marriage question by a North Carolina minister and they had the minister in the audience do a follow up and said that he didn’t really answer.

Senator Gravel’s point about following the money in this race is important and it says more about the state of our democracy than we think.  In 2008, a candidate willing to raise money under federal campaign finance guidelines to receive matching funds cannot win the Presidency.  The state of our Union is rotting from the inside out and an honest candidate willing to rise or fall by trusting the people cannot be elected.

New California PAC launched to promote Obama

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The website for Vote Hope 2008 has the look and feel of Barack Obama's official page, but the group is a political action committee trying to garner votes for Obama in California.

WASHINGTON — The website has the look and feel of Barack Obama’s official page, and the headline says it all: “Bank it for Barack.” The site asks for contributions of up to $5,000 per person to help the Illinois Democrat win the crucial state of California.

The effort employs a tactic that could transform the way campaign-related money is collected and spent in presidential campaigns .

The group sponsoring the Web page is not Obama’s campaign, but an independent political action committee called Vote Hope 2008, which says that its goal is to help Obama become president and that it will spend $2 million to get out the vote for him.

Federal law prohibits political action committees, or PACs, from spending more than $5,000 in support of a candidate.

But Vote Hope’s founders argue that this restriction does not apply to their group because they do not plan to coordinate their spending with Obama’s campaign. Thus, there’s no limit to what they can spend promoting him, they said. What’s more, the group said contributors who have given the maximum $2,300 individual do nation to Obama’s campaign can give $5,000 to Vote Hope 2008, the maximum individual donation to a PAC.

Vote Hope then would spend these donations promoting Obama, giving donors a way to nearly triple their maximum contribution to Obama’s cause. The implications are potentially dramatic, according to campaign finance specialists, especially if other PACs follow Vote Hope’s example for Obama or other candidates.

“I haven’t seen another one like this,” said Kent Cooper, a former Federal Election Commission official and co founder of PoliticalMoneyLine, a nonpartisan group that tracks money and politics. If the group is able to raise money successfully, it could be copied by others and that in turn “would create a wide new avenue for campaign-related cash.”

The pro-Obama PAC was set up by a group of liberal activists, including Steve Phillips, a former president of the San Francisco Board of Education and son-in-law of Herb and Marion Sandler, who are high-profile backers of Democrats.

Bill Burton, Obama campaign spokesman, when asked about the effort, distanced the campaign from Vote Hope 2008, saying: “We appreciate the tremendous grass roots. But if people want to help out our campaign, we prefer they would do it directly through our campaign.”

The creators of Vote Hope consider themselves pioneers, working to find a way to elect Obama in a state that they say will be crucial for Obama but that has not received as much attention as early-voting states such as New Hampshire, which has a tentative primary date of Jan. 22.

California has moved its primary to Feb. 5, but the state is so expensive for campaigns that many candidates are putting off major expenditures there. That is where Vote Hope sees its opening: It wants to tap donors who have already given the maximum to Obama’s campaign in order to raise more money to help the senator win in California.

“The combination of unbridled grass-roots volunteer energy and an unprecedented number of maxed-out donors this early in the calendar makes something like Vote Hope possible in states that are expensive to organize and have a large donor base,” said Vote Hope spokeswoman Jenifer Fernandez Ancona.

She said the group will help elect Obama by working to “identify infrequent voters in communities of color and young people in California” and getting them to vote. Vote Hope said campaign finance laws allow a PAC to solicit individual donations of up to $5,000 and then to spend unlimited funds on Obama as long as certain conditions are met.

The rules say that donors to PACs cannot “give with the knowledge that a substantial portion will be contributed to, or expended on behalf of, that candidate.” The same rule says, however, that such donations are permissible if donors don’t retain control over how the money is spent.

Vote Hope maintains that because its donors can’t specify how their money will be spent, these contributions to the PAC are legal. “Everything Vote Hope is doing is above board and permissible under the law,” said Vote Hope’s lawyer, Joseph M. Birkenstock, who served from 1998 to 2003 as chief counsel for the Democratic National Committee.

The Globe interviewed a number of specialists in campaign finance who said they could think of no other example of a major PAC being set up specifically to work for the election of a candidate during a presidential primary, aside from PACs set up to draft candidates or established by the politicians for themselves.

“It is a novel idea that hasn’t been utilized in this fashion before that I’m aware of at the presidential level,” said Keith Davis of Huckaby Davis Lisker, a firm that works with Republican campaigns on compliance with federal election law.

“If it works, then, obviously, there will be a lot of people who try to do the same thing . . . in both parties,” he said. “The same structure could be used for House and Senate campaigns.”

Davis and other specialists said a key question is whether enough people who have contributed the maximum $2,300 to Obama’s campaign will also want to contribute $5,000 to Vote Hope for the organization to meet its $2 million goal. Ancona said the group has raised $108,000, and “there are more than enough donors in California who are inspired by Vote Hope’s strategy to get us” to $2 million.

Separately, Vote Hope has set up what is known as a 527 organization, which can collect unlimited funds from individuals but is not allowed to support a candidate directly. Both Vote Hope groups have the same name, which has led to some confusion, including reports that a few wealthy individuals are contributing large amounts to a Vote Hope 527 formed to elect Obama.

In fact, the organizers said, only the PAC will work explicitly for an Obama victory by getting Californians to register and vote by mail starting Jan. 9 , and have 500,000 Obama votes “in the bank” by the primary on Feb. 5.

Vote Hope is distinct from PACs set up by many candidates. For example, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney established his federal Commonwealth PAC and state affiliates prior to announcing his candidacy. He used those PACs to travel and support other candidates. Funds from such PACs cannot be transferred to Romney’s campaign.

According to the Romney campaign, there does not appear to be an independent PAC working on behalf of Romney in the way that Vote Hope is helping Obama. But campaign specialists said that could change quickly if Vote Hope’s tactic proves viable. 

Oprah to host Obama fundraiser

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Hat tip: Huffington Post/Los Angeles Times-photo courtesy of AP

Invitations have been sent out for what promises to be a must-attend event for much of California’s Democratic elite, particularly those in the entertainment industry: a Sept. 8 fundraiser for Barack Obama at Oprah Winfrey’s home in the Santa Barbara area.

In the best tradition of Hollywood, the e-mail touting the afternoon gathering doesn’t mince words, promoting it as no less than “the most exciting Barack Obama event of the year anywhere …” And the invite urges haste in responding, saying: “Please get back to us soon before it sells out.”

Getting in the door costs $2,300 — the maximum individual contribution for the primary season. But, as is usually the case at such high-profile shindigs, there are incentives to gain a little extra face-time with the candidate.

Those who can tap friends and relatives for contributions to Obama’s presidential campaign that total at least $25,000 gain entree to a VIP reception; those responsible for at least $50,000 in donations make the cut for a VIP dinner.

The workers at the Santa Barbara airport best rest up before the fundraiser; we’re guessing the tarmac there is going to be packed with private jets.

As The Times’ Tina Daunt wrote in early June, Hillary Clinton — bolstered by Steven Spielberg’s decision to endorse her presidential candidacy — appeared to have beat back an early challenge from Obama for supremacy among the Hollywood crowd. But the Oprah event signals that the Obama camp is not going to cede ground without a fight, which Daunt will report on in Wednesday’s print edition.

Oprah endorsed Obama, who she got to know through their mutual home bases in Chicago, back in the spring — the first time she had ever officially embraced a White House contender. At the time, she told CNN’s Larry King, “I haven’t done it in the past because … I didn’t know anybody well enough to be able to say, ‘I believe in this person.’ ”

Obama and Clinton report over $ 30 million in campaign coffers

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HAT TIP: By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press 

Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton ended the first half of the year with more than $30 million each for the presidential primaries, a formidable financial performance for the two leading Democratic White House contenders.As the two rivals basked in money, Republican John McCain’s presidential campaign reported spending more than it raised from April through June, leaving him financially strapped with $3.2 million cash on hand and a $1.8 million debt.

Those contrasting financial pictures emerged Sunday from quarterly financial reports filed by the campaigns with the Federal Election Commission. Obama reported having about $34 million in primary cash on hand; Clinton reported $33 million. Obama had an edge on money owed by the campaign; he reported less than $1 million in debts and Clinton reported $3 million.Obama led in fundraising for the period covering April though June, raising $32 million for the primary election and nearly $800,000 for the general election.Clinton raised about $21.5 million for the primary and $5.6 million for the general election, her campaign said. Neither candidate can use the general election money unless he or she wins the nomination.John Edwards, the Democrat closest to the two fundraising leaders, reported having $12 million in the bank for the primary.

Hindered by unpopular stands on the war and on immigration, McCain raised $11.26 million in the second quarter, short of his first quarter donations. He spent $13 million. Overall, McCain has raised $25 million so far in his campaign and spent $22 million.

The Arizona senator upended his campaign organization last week as his financial straits became apparent. His campaign manager, Terry Nelson, left and his longtime strategist, John Weaver, resigned. The repercussions caused changes down the chain of command. While his financial straits have been known for more than a week, the reports show that McCain spent more on staff than either of his better financed rivals. McCain’s payroll grew after the first quarter, despite initial cutbacks. Overall, McCain payroll was nearly $3.6 million for the year so far.

Obama enters the third quarter with more fundraising momentum than Clinton. Not only has he aggressively gone after money, he has also worked to expand his donor base. His efforts have netted him more than 250,000 donors for the year. Overall, he has raised nearly $59 million, with all but about $1.7 million devoted to the primary election.

Despite his vaunted base of small donors, Obama is a favorite among employees of some of the nation’s largest investment banks and hedge funds. One of them, Kenneth C. Griffin, president of Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel Investment Group, gave Obama $4,600 this quarter, the maximum allowed. Other Citadel employees gave him $147,550.

Lehman Brothers employees gave Obama $160,760 this quarter; Goldman Sachs, $103,550; and JP Morgan Chase, $101,950. About half of Obama’s fundraising total for the year comes from about 10,000 donors who have given him the maximum donation.

New York Sen. Clinton has raised $53 million, with $12.6 million of that usable only in the general election. Clinton boosted her revenue in the first quarter by transferring $10 million into her campaign from her Senate election account.

The Clinton campaign reported spending $12.2 million.

Obama dramatically increased the size of his staff in the second quarter. His payroll went from less than $1 million in the first three months to $3.2 million in the second quarter. The campaign has hired more than 100 staffers and has 29 field offices in Iowa and six in New Hampshire.

Obama’s campaign paid nearly $3 million for travel during the quarter and spent about $1.3 million in telemarketing, one of its top single expenses.

Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina and 2004 vice presidential nominee, raised about $8.8 million for the primary from April through June; he also raised $250,000 for the general election, money he can’t use unless he becomes the Democratic nominee.

Overall, Edwards has raised $21.8 million for the primary and $1.3 million for the general election. While trailing Obama and Clinton, Edwards retained his place ahead of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

Dodd reported raising nearly $3.3 million with nearly $6.4 million in the bank. For the year, Dodd has total receipts of $12.1 million, which includes a $4.7 million transfer from his Senate campaign account. Richardson on Saturday reported raising $7 million in the second quarter and having a similar amount in the bank.

Among Republicans filing Sunday, Ron Paul, the Texas congressman running a long-shot campaign, reported raising nearly $2.4 million from April through June and ended the quarter with a similar amount in the bank.

The total is a remarkable showing for Paul, putting him in a better financial position — with less cash on hand but no debt — than McCain. Paul still barely registers in public opinion polls and raised far less than McCain or the other leading Republicans. But his libertarian views and opposition to the war in Iraq have lit a fire among nontraditional contributors, particularly on the Internet.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who are leading the Republican field in money and in public opinion polls, reported their finances on Friday. Romney had $12.1 million cash on hand and has lent his campaign nearly $9 million since the beginning of the year. Giuliani reported $14.6 million in the bank for the primary election.

Republican presidential candidates filing second quarter reports Sunday:

_Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas raised $1.4 million, slightly more than his campaign brought in during the previous quarter. The candidate reported having $460,236 in the bank.

_Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee raised $764,000 and had $437,000 cash on hand at the end of last month.

_Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson raised $461,000. He reported nearly $122,000 cash on hand, but also listed debts and obligations of more than $127,000.

_Rep. Duncan Hunter of California raised $806,000 and had $213,000 cash on hand.

Lackluster performance in the second quarter already caused one Republican candidate to quit the race. Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore announced Saturday he was withdrawing. On Sunday he reported $62,000 cash on hand and $129,000 in debts and obligations.

Obama tops Hillary by $5 million

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Hat Tip: The Swamp, By John McCormick and Mike Downing

Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama reported today that he raised at least $32.5 million during the second quarter of the year, enough to likely make him the top money raiser among Democrats during the latest quarter and for the year so far.

The second-quarter figure showed Obama’s fundraising pace is accelerating even from the staggering $25.7 million he raised during the first quarter. His campaign said that about $31 million of the second-quarter total were dollars that can be used for the primary campaign.

“Together, we have built the largest grassroots campaign in history for this stage of a presidential race,” Obama said in a statement. “We now have hundreds of thousands of Americans who are ready to demand health care for all, energy independence, and an end to this war in Iraq. That’s the kind of movement that can change the special interest-driven politics in Washington and transform our country. And it’s just the beginning.”

Obama’s campaign Web site on Sunday morning reported nearly 258,000 overall donors for the first six months of the year, meaning about 154,000 new donors gave him money during the second quarter.

“Every day over the past three months, over 1,500 Americans have made clear to Barack Obama that they believe in his vision for our country by contributing to his campaign,” Chicagoan Penny Pritzker, Obama’s national finance chair, said in a statement.

Earlier this weekend, the campaign of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said it had raised more than $9 million during the quarter, down from the $14 million he raised during the first three months of the year.

The campaign for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Friday that he raised more than $7 million during the second quarter.

For her part, Sen Hillary Clinton is expected to raise somewhere north of $27 million, based on guidance provided by her campaign late last week. That would be up from the $26.1 million she raised during the first quarter.

The Clinton campaign did not break down how much of her funding was available for use in the primary. During the first quarter, about three-quarters of Clinton’s total funds raised were available for use in the primary campaign.

Federal campaign finance rules limit contributors to a $2,300 contribution to a candidate’s primary campaign. But big-dollar donors also can contribute up to an additional $2,300 for use only during the general election campaign.

Barack’s hustle is working like gangbusters-the “Safe Negro” is on fire

Campaign Mailbag: Barack’s deceptively funny spiel

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Barack Obama

Dear White Liberal,

It has now been over four months since we began this campaign for the hearts and minds of gullible liberals like your dumb ass. And let me tell you about the damn fools I’ve seen: there is an “awakening” taking place in white liberal America today.

From New Hampshire to California, from Texas to Iowa, we are seeing huge crowds we never dreamed possible. Foolish white liberals are falling up in my political events united in the delusion that it will mean something profound if I am elected President. It won’t-but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll ride this wave of stupidity all the damn way to the oval office.

They’re coming because they know that America stands at a crossroads—but also because of the Hope hustle I’ve perfected-Jesse had, “Keep Hope Alive” and I’ve got the,“Audacity of Hope.” It really ain’t nothing but a suburban friendly marketing ploy aimed at middle class yuppie’s who have the credit rating to afford more than a $1,000 contribution.

We’re facing a set of challenges we haven’t seen in a generation. We all know what these challenges are—Who’s gonna raise Anna Nicole’s baby, the scoop on the twin Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan meltdowns, endlessly obsessing over the missing white woman of the month nobody ever heard of, and the unfair length of Paris Hilton’s jail time-not to mention the smaller issues like the health care crisis, an education system that’s not teaching every child, and the disastrous war in Iraq.

We also know that what’s stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound leaders like Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee—it’s the smallness of the penises of the politicians leading this country down the path of failed leadership that’s really to blame. Mine is bigger—much, much, bigger and it IS true what they say….

In the last several years, we’ve seen Washington become a place where our problems are talked to death, while little is done to really solve them-I’m a prime example. Leaders who talk about real solutions get the Cynthia McKinney-isn’t-she-a-scary,-racist-Negro-treatment. Leaders who quietly acquiesce to the corporate agenda and front like they’ve done somethin’ get the cuddly, cutesy, corporate media darling, beautiful Negro treatment I’ve been gettin’ on the regular.

The time for the can’t do, won’t do, won’t-even try style of politics is over. Hold up! That’s what got me into position to run for President in the first damn place-Never mind what I just said, I just hafta keep saying that shit because it sounds earnest and y’all fall for it like a cuddly white newborn babe.

If you want the same kind of tired, DLC corporate friendly politics, please break me off a substantial contribution to Obama for America today.

I’m running or President because I believe it’s time to turn the page.

It’s time to turn the page on health care–This is the part where I’m supposed to say that if elected, I will enact a health care plan that will lower a family’s premiums by an average of $1000 and give every American access to the same health care members of Congress receive. In actuality, I haven’t even passed gas in the Senate, much less a damn bill of substance, so I’m a little short on the experience needed to radically change one fifth of the freakin’ economy. It’s just some pie-in-the-sky rhetoric I’m obligated to serve up to get your vote.

It’s time to turn the page on education—Again, this is where I’m supposed to say that we must move past the slow decay of indifference that says some schools can’t be fixed and some kids just can’t learn. Y’all heard this same song and dance from Bubba, Dubya and his daddy before him. The reality is that most of them hood rats are in schools that function as holding cells until they end up in damn jail or dead. It don’t really matter as long as I can steal their Mama’s vote away from Hillary.

With my book advance and royalties, I can afford private education for my babies and most of y’all already send your kids to damn near white public and private schools and are just like the gold digger Kanye rap’s about-you “ain’t messin’ with no broke nigga’s” in the hood and sure don’t want ‘em sitting next to your precious Biff and Buffy in the same classroom.

It’s time to turn the page on energy—Insert your favorite eco-liberal Sierra Club bullshit here. Ain’t none of that mess gonna help turn the page on the war in Iraq. –a war I claimed to be against and then I voted for every funding supplemental that came down the pike until political expedience dictated a vote against the one up this month. Resource wars are just a fact of life and I’m sure there will be at least one I wage to keep gas prices palatable for the touchy suburbanites I need to win re-election.

It’s time to show the world that I am still the last, best hope of the earth. This President may have sat his narrow behind in the seat of power in the Oval Office, but for the last six years, the position of leader and defender of the capitalist power structure has been open.

It’s time to fill that role once more with me-a safe Negro. Whether it’s Britney or Lindsay, Paris or Anna Nicole, America cannot meet the challenges of being the most celebrity obsessed, right-wing, imperialist country in the world alone. It’s time for us to lead.

We are America. We are the nation that liberated a continent from a madman, that lifted ourselves from the depths of depression after Elvis, John Lennon, and Curt Cobain died, that won civil rights, women’s rights, and voting rights for all people and then allowed George W. Bush to freakin steal the White House in plain sight.

What I’m saying is that I understand that Americans suffer from a profound political and racial schizophrenia. We preach compassion to others in need while we allow black bodies to float down the streets of a major American city. That’s who we really are. If y’all think that voting for me absolves you of all of your political and racial bullshit-I’m o.k. with that as long as y’all give me the power to put my finger on the button to annihilate all life, as we know it as your President.

Now, I am confident about my ability to lead this country. But I also know that I can’t do it without white idiots like you. This campaign is a corporate backed snow job-cynically calculated to be about your patriotic fantasies and desires for racial absolution because there are too many obstacles in basing a campaign on the universal truths that should bind us together as a people but never freakin’ have or will.

That’s why change has never really happened and why wealth and power is so concentrated along rigid racial and class lines. And that’s exactly why I will never be able to change a damn thing as President—nobody will in the coming months and years because that’s the genius of the system the framers designed.

I’m so grateful for the confidence you’ve already wasted in us and all that you’ve stupidly given. And I hope you’ll continue to be a dupe and stand with us. But while there are a number of ways you can help our fraudulent campaign-the only thing I really want is for you to break out the checkbook and write a damn check with three zeros to Obama for America.

With your moolah, I can maintain the status quo for my corporate affiliated contributors and reign like a damn King in the White House. In so doing, I can rid myself of the fear of failing like my father by accommodating the power structure like a kiss ass.

Sincerely,

Senator Barack Obama

P.S. Like munchkins who foolishly believed in the Wizard of Oz, I need white liberal munchkins like you to continue to believe so that I can mine the seemingly endless depths of white liberal guilt and continue down the political brick road to defeat, out-raise, and politically kill, the evil Wicked Witch of the East-Hillary Clinton.

It’s time to turn the page of your child like naïveté. It’s time to turn the page for capitalism. It’s time to turn the page and write the next chapter of imperial tyranny in the great American story. And we must write that story together. Please continue your foolish and delusional support of our campaign. And please cut a damn check today.