obama throws hillary a lifeline

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The jaw dropping news broke yesterday of the President-Elect’s “secret” meeting with Her Royal Highness, the Queen of Triangulation, Hillary Clinton, about the biggest plum he has to offer-appointment as Secretary of State.  He also reportedly met with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who dropped out early and endorsed Obama in a dramatic gesture long before Obama clenched the Democratic nomination.  The corporate media dutifully reported the “Team of Rivals” concept advanced by Doris Kearns Goodwin in her book about Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet.

I’m not buying it.

I have no choice but to take seriously this trial balloon on Hillary’s behalf by the Obama team.  Hopefully, something I say will deflate this travesty before a colossal misstep occurs.  I have no idea what “turning the page” on the past is supposed to mean if the Clinton’s are magnanimously appointed to a sinecure in the new Administration.  What happened to “No Drama Obama?”  If the Clinton’s are known for anything, it’s drama.  I thought this new regime had limits on carry on baggage. The Clintons will bring enough to crash Air Force One.  I don’t mean no harm, as we say, but I’m tired of these people.  The only time I want to hear from Hillary Clinton is from the Senate floor, not from Foggy Bottom.

Once she and Bubba dipped a toe and then submerged the primary battle into the well of racial resentment and xenophobia, that should have killed any talk of a cabinet appointment in its crib.   Hillary can kiss my hind part, no offense.  During the heat of the primary battle, Hillary Clinton sighted a USA Today poll in Indiana and North Carolina:

I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on…Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.

Her performance at the convention and campaign trail was admirable, but it doesn’t make up for appealing to the unjustified fears of white voters skittish about a brotha occupying the Oval Office.  There are some lines you don’t cross and a penalty must be paid.  After reading an assortment of PUMA slights on various blogs, my opinions have hardened on this score.

For all we know, the President-Elect coulda told her in June that he would consider her for Secretary of State and that bought her cooperation.  We won’t know for sometime.   Hillary lost and Barack won.  Its time he acted like it.  I’d appreciate it if he ripped out a page rather than just turning it.   John Kerry, Bill Richardson and  Susan Rice are far more deserving.

Why I am pro-choice

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Mother n Child (late 1930s) by Omega418.

Several years ago, I was asked to do a project for a Women’s history class and interview a woman of a certain age in the family. I interviewed my great Aunt Alberta. My aunt was her mother’s namesake and she told me my great-grandmother’s story. According to the census of 1930, my great-grandmother was my grandfather’s second wife. Born in Mississippi in 1907 to a family of 15, she met and married my great-grandfather, a Baptist minister, sometime in the late twenties and to their union were born three children: Uncle Isiah in 1927, Lula, my grandmother in 1929, and my Aunt Alberta in 1930. About 1933 my great-grandmother Alberta became pregnant again.

The economic injustice of the Jim Crow south was intensified by the near total economic collapse brought on by the depression. Times were tough for blackfolks anyhow, but the misery of the depression made some of us long for the degradation of slavery because at least they could be assured of being fed. It was into this climate of desperation, penury and fear that my great-grandmother faced the prospect of having a fourth mouth to feed.

When a woman is intent on ending a pregnacy to preserve the family that she already has, there is nothing that she won’t do.  My great-grandmother searched high and low for an abortifacient that would work and settled on a method, which is lost in the mists of time, that took her life. Her death left a hole in the family that could never be filled. My great-grandfather re-married twice. The woman who raised my grandmother and her siblings was a cold, emotionally distant woman who expected her grown children still at home to pay room and board before each eventually married. My great-grandfather was a strict disciplinarian who had trouble understanding the difference between necessary discipline and child abuse.

Several years ago, my Auntie gave grandma an old black and white photo similar to the one here. My great-grandmother, who my grandma closely resembles, is holding an infant, my aunt, while her two toddlers stand to her sides. Grandma cried as she told us how much she missed her mother. Her loss is felt even now. Because of limited career choices available to their generation, my grandmother and her sister became nurses and I know that her mother’s death made grandma firmly and unalterably pro-choice. Out of respect for her and the memory of my great-grandmother, I am too.

It did my heart good to see that the National Organization for Women endorsed Barack Obama and Joe Biden today. They said in part, “Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, to strengthen access to contraception and reproductive health care, and prevent unwanted pregnancies. He strongly supports Roe v. Wade and will oppose any efforts to overturn it. …Sen. Obama opposed the nominations of George Bush’s extreme right-wing nominees to the Supreme Court, who have consistently ruled against women’s rights.”

“For more than a decade, Barack Obama has said “yes” to women’s rights, while John McCain has consistently said “no” – NO to pay equity, NO to contraceptive access and reproductive rights, NO to appointing Supreme Court judges who will uphold women’s rights and civil rights, NO to funding shelters and other anti-violence programs, and NO to supporting working moms and dads with policies that support work/life balance.”

Barack Obama is not perfect and is far too accomodating and corporate for my taste. However, he is the only candidate in the race who shares most of my values that is capable of winning. Anybody who claimed to be for Hillary Clinton that doesn’t support Barack Obama is lying when they claim to be feminists. Feminists support the rights of women–all women, to be free of patriarchy, racism, violence and economic discrimination. Supporting John McCain and his right-wing fembot is antithetical to the philosphy of feminism.

Hiding behind John McCain and Sarah Palin or Cynthia McKinney changes nothing. Sarah Palin is not a feminist, no matter what she claims, and she doesn’t support preserving the reproductive rights of women. Cynthia McKinney, on the other hand, is a good feminist, but she has absolutely no chance to win.

The choice for feminists is clear. Anybody who says anything different and insists on bludgeoning Barack Obama as the scapegoat for the slings and arrows of sexism is really more interested in preserving white supremacy than they are in defending Hillary Clinton from sexist patriarchy.

DNC day three: Obama Nominated By Acclamation

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I am just so overwhelmed and I can’t write anything coherent. It has finally happened at long last and all I can do is take it all in.  

Bill Clinton has finished his address, what say you?

Stephanie Tubbs Jones stricken by aneurysm; Dies

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Hat Tip: Cleveland Plain Dealer

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first African-American woman to represent Ohio in Congress, is in critical condition after suffering a burst aneurysm last night, officials said this afternoon.

Officials updated her condition this afternoon after conflicting reports that the congresswoman was dead. Numerous media outlets – including The Plain Dealer on its Web site cleveland.com, CNN and the Associated Press – reported that Tubbs Jones had died.

Tubbs Jones, 58, served as a Cuyahoga County judge and prosecutor before succeeding U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes. She has served five terms in Congress and is expected to easily win her sixth in November.

She was driving in Cleveland Heights Tuesday about 9 p.m. when a police officer pulled her over for driving erratically. The officer found Tubbs Jones unconscious but breathing. She was rushed to Huron Hospital.

The mood of supporters around noon was somber. Cleveland Councilman Roosevelt Coats was seen sobbing outside the hospital. He said Tubbs Jones was unconscious and her friends and relatives were preparing for the worst.

Tubbs Jones has long been one of the region’s most recognizable politicians. Often clad in red — the color of her sorority Delta Sigma Theta — she is a regular at parades, senior centers and schools. Her annual Labor Day picnic at Luke Easter Park is a must-stop for any serious Democratic candidate running in the city, county or state.

She has been outspoken in her support of black candidates. She backed Raymond Pierce in his unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2001. Four years later, Tubbs Jones played a key role in helping Frank Jackson defeat Jane Campbell. She also stumped for countless black judicial candidates.

Tubbs Jones drew attention this year for her staunch support of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination for president. Tubbs Jones drew some criticism for her support of Clinton and not U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

Her husband, Mervyn Sr., died unexpectedly in 2003.

UPDATE:  Stephanie Tubbs Jones has passed. 

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones’ family and officials at Huron Hospital have announced that the five-term congresswoman has died.

She was 58.

This is the statement:

Tubbs Jones Family, Huron Hospital and Cleveland ClinicAugust 20, 2008 – 6:40 p.m.

“Throughout the course of the day and into this evening, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones’ medical condition declined. Medical doctors and neurosurgeons from Huron Hospital and Cleveland Clinic sadly report that at 6:12 p.m. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones died.

She dedicated her life in public service to helping others and will continue to do so through organ donations.

Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”

Hate disguised as dissent

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Virginia blogger Vivian Paige, a good friend, is having a discussion on her space about the above graphic used by blogger Howling Latina, also a friend of mine. She highlights the fallout in the blogging community as Howling Latina was de-listed by Leftyblogs, a powerful ally in driving traffic to like minded progressive sites.

Vivian believes that the issue is purely one of free speech. She’s half right. However, there is no constitutional right to be listed on leftyblogs when your attacks on the Democratic nominee are either the same or worse than those on the far-right. I also believe that Hate Speech is not constitutionally protected. The aforementioned cartoon skirts a dangerous line between meanness and hate.

Keeping this in mind, I’ve written the following open letter to Howling Latina:

Dearest Mimi,

As a friend and fan, it surprised and pained me to see this graphic on your site. I have admired your strong Christian convictions and your committed and progressive Democratic activism. As a believer in the First Amendment I will always defend the right to free speech no matter how objectionable I may find it. But whether you’re ready to acknowledge it or not, this cartoon graphic crosses the line.

Sweetie, this cartoon graphic is gratuitously mean-spirited, disgusting and is rightfully construed as a racist insult. As a Cuban Latina, I thought that the inimical legacy of white supremacy in your ancestral home would be clear to you as a line never to be crossed. I say this as a progressive Obama critic capable of using provocative sexual innuendo and inappropriate imagery to make a legitimate point. I’ve made it clear to my readers that Obama has strayed far from what is both prudent and progressives many times. His equivocations on the road to the nomination enraged and saddened me, as well as others, but what you’re putting out there as criticism is neither principled nor Christian and I know that you’re better than that, honey.

Hillary has given up the ghost. She has endorsed Obama in the spirit of unity and he has praised her lavishly and returned the favor by asking the DNC to seat both Michigan and Florida‘s full voting strength. The race for the nomination is over, Mimi. The standard bearer of the Democratic party is an imperfect vessel named Barack Obama.

If you cannot accept that reality and support your party, then I can only draw the conclusion that your opposition is about race. Both you and Vivian dismiss the divisive and insensitive racial politics played by the Clintons during the nomination fight as acceptable. I respectfully disagree. But where we should all agree is that using the same racial attacks as the far-right on Barack will yield nothing positive and will continue to give aid and comfort to the supporters of John McCain and the criminal syndicate that masquerades as the Republican party.

This posture makes you look as ridiculous as the corporate whore and GOP sellout better known as Joe Lieberman. You remember him, right? He claimed to be against the Bush Agenda as he ran for and lost the 2004 Democratic Nomination for President and the 2006 Democratic nomination for the Senate. He then got in bed with them to win re-election and has been screwing us all ever since. It should be worth noting that Barack Obama endorsed him for re-election in the Democratic primary in addition to campaigning and raising money for him and that Lieberman returned the favor by endorsing John McCain.

This is not you, sweetheart. I encourage you to search your heart and to pray about this. I have every confidence that you’ll do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Skeptical Brotha

 

The Quickness

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THE QUICKNESS, a political homage to Jill Scott’s “The Thickness”

By Skeptical Brotha

Whoa!
Ain’t this some shit. He got,
Big ol’ ears,
Big ol’ eyes,
Big ol’ lips,
Big ol’ hands,
And a Big ol’ dick,

He so big!
He supposedly has an expansive mind
But he still looks 14,
Articulate, clean, supple, and fine,
Hear them,
all those oohs and ahhs slip as he licks his lips,
Oh, all the women wanna fuck him,

They want him to talk about it, (Hope)
Tell it,
Spread it,
Relive the conquest,
How he beat her stupid ass (Hillary) and how he knocked that shit, (outta her hands)

Blacks folks don’t stop,
Won’t stop,
To recognize that there’s more,
More underneath that quickness,
That sweet and round, brown, intellectual bigness,

Barack likes his Negroes mindless and eager,
Sweet and meager,
Shhhhh!
Don’t you complain about my shifting positions (Jeremiah Wright, FISA, Affirm Action),
Just drop that pro-black shit (Reparations),
And help me rise to the presidency with a quickness,

Black folks don’t stop (to think),
Won’t stop (to think),
Lift it, (his campaign)
Lift it,
Lift it baby,
Drop that pro-black shit again,
Cause I ain’t your tribesmen no more,
I ain’t your friend,
Come on y’all just let me get in,
Let me into all that thickness, (of imperial presidential power)
That sweet and round supple bigness,

Now that he’s won the nomination can’t nobody even try to reach yawl’s minds,
The Black Community has been degraded, exploited, NOT celebrated,
Saturated with self hatred,

Let me say that again please:
We’ve been degraded, exploited, NOT celebrated,
Saturated with self hatred,
Cause every time we turn on the TV,
What do we see, big ol’ Obama changing positions to please whitefolks who will never fucking vote for him,
And it don’t have nothing to do with what is right for all of America,

Thus, my definition of progressive betrayal,
Thus, my definition of progressive betrayal,

Jesse hit the nail on the head

Oh, oh, oh Lord,
Oh Lord,
Oh Lord,

Let him,
Let him recognize the magnificent opportunity you’ve created,
Lift him,
Lift him,
Lift him,

Let all of America be elevated,
Let all of America be elevated,
Lord, Lord,
Let all of America be elevated,
Let her be elevated,

Cause he is so big,
he’s so big,
he’s so big,
he’s so big,
he’s so big,
he’s so big,
he’s so big,
he’s so big,

Let her be elevated,
Let her be elevated.

 

Hillary’s Emancipation Proclamation

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By the rightful Democratic Nominee for President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the seventh day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand and eight, a proclamation was issued by the rightful Democratic Nominee for President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:


That on the seventh day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand and eight, all Negro congresspersons, lesser Negro politicians, sycophants and political hangers on held as slaves by my galactic ambition and arrogant sense of white entitlement in any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof in rebellion against the Clinton dynastic control of the Democratic Party, shall be then, thenceforward, conditionally free; and the Democratic Party of the United States, including every elected official and party officer, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such Negroes, unless Barack Hussein Obama loses the General Election.

Now, therefore I, Hillary Rodham Clinton, The rightful Democratic Nominee for President of the United States, by virtue of the power vested in me as wife of the 42nd President of the United States, in a time of actual rebellion against permanent Clinton dynastic authority over the Democratic Party of the United States, do, on this seventh day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand and eight, and in accordance with my purpose to publicly order a cessation of hostilities and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the notion of a black President of the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, California, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia,

And by virtue of the same illegitimate power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all Negro congresspersons, lesser Negro politicians, sycophants and hangers on held as slaves to my galactic ambition and sense of arrogant white entitlement within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Democratic Party of the United States, including every elected official and party officer thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said Negro persons unless Barack Obama loses the General Election.

And I hereby enjoin upon the Negroes so declared to be free to abstain from any strenuous effort on behalf of Barack Hussein Obama, and I recommend to them that they be ready to be re-enslaved on Plantation Clinton should he lose .

And upon this act of political expedience, warranted by a begrudging recognition of political reality, I invoke the considerate judgment of party leaders, superdelegates and the punditocracy, and beseech the gracious favor of Almighty God that Barack Hussein Obama loses the General Election.

Done at the City of Washington, this seventh day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand and eight.

By the rightful Democratic Nominee for President:

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Hillary Rodham Clinton

 

The Endorsement Speech

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Anne Kornblut wrote an interesting piece for the Washington Post’s Trail blog. I quote some of it below, but for me, what was more illuminating was what came after it. The comment section was filled with the bitterest Hillarycrat and GOP trolls ever. These people make it seem as if Obama supporters are delusional in believing that the brotha has a shot in the General Election.

Hat Tip: By Anne Kornblut, Washington Post

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the most successful female presidential candidate in U.S. history, officially left the race on Saturday with a forceful promise to help elect Sen. Barack Obama — and a powerful declaration that, even in defeat, a gender barrier had been crossed.

Four days after Obama secured the delegates to win the Democratic nomination, Clinton gave him her unqualified endorsement, finally putting to rest questions about whether she would help unite the party for the general election. In generous and at times soaring terms, Clinton described her cause as united with Obama’s, saying that only electing him would achieve the goals of universal health care, a strong economy and the end of the war in Iraq.

“We may have started on separate journeys, but today our paths have merged,” Clinton said. She discouraged rehashing the long and divisive Democratic primary campaign, instead asking her supporters — some of whom, still resentful, booed when she mentioned her former rival during the speech — to “take our energy, our passion, our strength and to do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States.”

“When you hear people saying, or think to yourself, ‘if only’ or ‘what if,’ I say — please don’t go there,” Clinton said. “Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.”

She continued: “Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Sen. Obama is our next president, and I hope and pray that all of you will join me in that effort.”

The trolls were in rare form today on this blog post:

“Sorry Mrs. Clinton, this life long democrat will vote Republican for the first time ever. After your speech today, I gave a donation to John McCain. He has my vote as well.

Obama is wrong for this country and I won’t be part of that choice. He will lose. He deserves to lose. He’s an empty suit.”

Posted by: Pansycritter | June 7, 2008 7:32 PM

“Well, there’s one thing for sure: NO MORE RACE CARDS!!!! If/when the U.S. elects a black President, then thankfully no more cries of discrimination. Nominating and/or electing a black President speaks volumes – that effectively, there is no more discrimination against blacks. Finally, an end to the whining.”

Posted by: tellthetruthnow | June 7, 2008 7:32 PM

“Hopefully, some time soon, people will recognize Obama for what he is. They’ll look back and see his trail of crooked, biggoted friends; the nuance that leaves us wondering what his hope for us is; his socialists [sic] friends.”

“His 20 year comfort in isolation with all of the above should give answer to why he is spiritually devoted to Africa? (A continent of perpetual revolution, starvation, disease, and murder.) We should see now, before it’s too late, that what he prays to be liberated from is the nation our forefathers built to provide us with the opportunities that initiative and hard work provide. Even worse is that he prays for our liberation from the fruits of our labor in order for him to provide the desires of his brethren.”

Posted by: rpatoh | June 7, 2008 7:31 PM

“I supported Hillary. There is no way in jell [sic] am going to vote for Barrack. He’s a liar and closet racist. No way!!”

Posted by: Lou | June 7, 2008 7:29 PM

What are your thoughts about the speech and these posters reactions to it?

Barack and Hillary take a meeting

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Hat Tip: MSNBC

WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton met late Thursday with Barack Obama, a day after saying she would end her quest for the Democratic nomination and endorse the Illinois senator.

A senior Obama campaign official confirmed to NBC News that Obama delayed his departure from Washington Thursday night to meet with Clinton at her home here.

Earlier, Clinton had disavowed efforts by some supporters who have urged Obama to choose her as his running mate.

“She is not seeking the vice presidency, and no one speaks for her but her,” communications director Howard Wolfson said. “The choice here is Senator Obama’s and his alone.”

Clinton was planning an event in Washington Saturday to thank supporters and urge them to back Obama’s candidacy. But as she was bowing out of the race, supporters in Congress and elsewhere were ramping up a campaign to pressure him to put her on the ticket in the No. 2 spot.

Bob Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television and a Clinton supporter, sent a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus Wednesday urging the group to encourage Obama to choose Clinton as his vice presidential pick. He said he was doing so with her blessing.

Obama is seeking to become the first black president.

Clinton has told other friends and supporters she would be willing to be Obama’s running mate. But her immediate task is bringing her own presidential bid to a close.

High stakes

In an e-mail to supporters, the New York senator said she “will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.”

Clinton expressed the same sentiment in a conference call with 40 members of her national finance committee, whom she urged to begin raising money for Obama and for the Democratic National Committee.

“She was in good spirits and totally supportive, without qualification, of Senator Obama and his campaign,” finance co-chairman Alan Patricof said of the call.

It was a shift in tone by the former first lady, who announced 17 months ago that she was “in it to win it.” Many of her supporters want her as the vice presidential candidate, in their minds a “dream ticket” that would bring Obama her enthusiastic legions and broaden his appeal to white and working-class voters.

But Obama indicated he intends to take his time making a decision.

“We’re not going to be rushed into it. I don’t think Senator Clinton expects a quick decision and I don’t even know that she’s necessarily interested in that,” Obama told NBC in an interview.

Clinton’s move to formally declare that she is backing the Illinois senator came after Democratic congressional colleagues made clear they had no stomach for a protracted intraparty battle. Now that Obama has secured the 2,118 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination, Clinton had little choice but to end her quest, and sooner rather than later.

Some of Clinton’s closest supporters — the nearly two dozen House Democrats from her home state of New York — switched their endorsements to Obama Thursday.

The public announcement from the 23 New York followed two days of private phone calls weighing her options.

“She was just as spunky as ever,” Rep. Charlie Rangel said of Clinton’s mood on the calls, as her friends and supporters urged her to come to a decision “sooner rather than later.”

Many of the lawmakers said it was important for them, as New Yorkers who are close to Clinton and helped launch her presidential bid, to work together to repair some of the rifts in the party.

“We’re Democrats. Dammit to hell we fight. When it’s over, we come together and go out there to win,” said Rangel, the dean of the New York delegation.

The New Yorkers, said Rep. Gregory Meeks, have a duty “to lead this transition” to full party support of Obama.

Another of Clinton’s most prominent supporters, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, also announced his “wholehearted and enthusiastic support” for Obama Thursday.

Exit strategy

The move to end her campaign came Tuesday, when Clinton told House Democrats during a private conference call that she would get behind Obama’s candidacy and congratulate him for gathering the necessary delegates to be the party’s nominee.

The only degree of uncertainty was how. Clinton is exploring options to retain her delegates and promote her issues, including a signature call for universal health care.

The announcement closed an epic five-month nominating battle pitting the first serious female candidate against the most viable black contender ever.

Obama on Tuesday night secured the delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination. But Clinton stopped short of acknowledging that milestone, defiantly insisting she was better positioned to defeat McCain in November.

“What does Hillary want? What does she want?” Clinton asked, hours after telling supporters she’d be open to joining Obama as his vice presidential running mate.

 

Bob Johnson, Hillary’s Billionaire Minstrel, reaches out to CBC

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Reaching out to the Big Dawg of the Congressional Black Caucus, James Clyburn, The House Majority Whip, Hillary’s Billionaire minstrel, Bob Johnson produced the letter below.    Too bad Bill showed his arse and cursed Mr. Jim out in January ensuring that he’ll do less than nothing for Hillary.  

To add insult to injury, Johnson, along with a collection of white Hillarycrats, wrote a letter a few months ago to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatening to pull their fundraising support of House Democrats if she intervened in this race for Obama.    In short, Bob Johnson ain’t got no shame and is a corporate vampire like Hillary that cares nothing about blackfolks and is more interested in advancing his own nefarious corporate interests.

Letter courtesy of Akech

June 3, 2008
The Honorable James Clyburn
U. S. House of Representatives
H-329, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Jim:

Now that you have endorsed Senator Obama as the Presidential Nominee of the Democratic Party; I, as a long-time supporter of Senator Clinton and of the Democratic Party, urge you to do everything possible to unify this party to win the Presidential election in November. For me and millions of other Democrats, I believe that the most important step that you can take now is to encourage the Congressional Black Caucus to urge Senator Obama to select Senator Hillary Clinton as his Vice Presidential running mate.

As a businessman I understand the vitally important role that a Democratic President can play in establishing programs and policies throughout the government that stimulate and support economic opportunities for African Americans. As African Americans we agree that the stakes in this election are far too high to take any chances that this party will not be unified from the top to the bottom in our effort to gain control of The White House.

You know as well as I the deep affection that millions of African Americans hold for both Senator Clinton and President Clinton. You also know that Hillary Clinton has been a long-term advocate for racial and gender equality, from her early days as a lawyer with the Children Defense Fund to her prominent leadership roles on these issues as First Lady and as Senator from New York. But most important, we need to have the certainty of winning; and, I believe, without question, that Barack Obama as President and Hillary Clinton as Vice President bring that certainty to the ticket.

Jim, as the highest ranking African American in Congress, I encourage you to follow your commitment to build a unified party by helping to make this a historic election of Senators Obama and Clinton who both have demonstrated that they have the courage and the ability to inspire and lead this nation to greatness today and for years in the future.

Warm regards,

Bob Johnson

The Last Dog Dies: Obama clinches the nomination

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Today is a time for supporters and skeptics alike to savor this seminal moment in American history and take a vacation from cynicism. I don’t have many elegant thoughts or well-turned phrases to bedazzle you with this evening. I have many irons in the fire and none are appropriate or ready for unveiling at this time. Today marks the fulfillment of the 25 year-old dream that I have been patiently waiting and hoping for and I feel numb.

It is much like the feeling I experienced when my grandmother informed Mom and I last week that she would have to put down her beloved dog, Homer. Homer, a pure bred Shar-pei, was her faithful companion of nearly 12 years. Mama cried some bitter tears over his inevitable decline in health and the decision was made to humanely put him down.

In the same vein, the indefatigable Clintons campaigned for America’s imperial throne with an air of white entitlement until all hope was gone and the last dog died. Now that her campaign has been euthanized, and they weep bitter crocodile tears, it is incumbent upon Senator Obama to put a stake through the heart of the Clintons permanent campaign and forever remove the possibility of a political resurrection through the lifeline of the Vice Presidency.

The specter of placing the Queen of triangulation and America’s most resilient corporate vampire on the same ticket with Obama is both repellent and counterproductive. I look forward to the coming days as Obama sets his sights on a running mate and shall continue to savor this moment for all its worth.

Hillary wins Kentucky

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Democratic Primary Results

Real-time Race Results: Updated May 20, 2008 – 9:08 PM (all times Eastern Standard)
Precincts Reporting 95%

Candidate Votes Vote % Delegates Projected Winner
Clinton 416,998 66% 33 Winner
Obama 189,908 30% 14  
Uncommitted 16,037 2% 0

 

Hat Tip: By DAVID ESPO and SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writers

Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Kentucky primary Tuesday, a victory of scant political value in a Democratic presidential race moving inexorably in Barack Obama’s direction.

The two rivals also collided in Oregon’s unique vote-by-mail contest, and Obama predicted he would finish the night with a majority of all delegates at stake in the 56 primaries and caucuses on the campaign calendar.

With votes counted from 41 percent of the Kentucky precincts, Clinton was gaining 57 percent support, compared with 40 percent for Obama.

Interviews with Kentucky voters leaving their polling places showed Clinton’s victory was roughly as sweeping as the rout she fashioned last week in West Virginia.

Almost nine in 10 ballots were cast by whites, and the former first lady was winning their support overwhelmingly. She defeated her rival among voters of all age groups and incomes, the college educated and non-college educated, self-described liberals, moderates and conservatives.

Though Clinton has had a strong run through the late primaries, Obama has steadily outpaced her where it counts, in the race for national convention delegates.

With her Kentucky victory, Clinton picked up at least 27 delegates, with an additional 24 to be awarded.

Overall, Obama had 1,917 delegates, little more than 100 shy of the 2,026 needed to become the first black presidential nominee of a major party. The former first lady had 1,749.

 

The numbers the networks are reporting are screwy.   One minute they have her at over 268,000, the next minute they revise the number down to 230,000.  What is the deal?

Too Little, Too Late

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Hat Tip: By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

Democrat John Edwards is endorsing former rival Barack Obama, fresh signs of the party establishment embracing the likely nominee even as Hillary Rodham Clinton refuses to give up her increasingly long-shot candidacy.

Edwards was to appear with Obama in Grand Rapids, Mich., as Obama campaigns in a critical general election battleground state, the Obama campaign said Wednesday.

The endorsement comes the day after Clinton defeated Obama by more than 2-to-1 in West Virginia. The loss highlighted Obama’s work to win over the “Hillary Democrats” — white, working-class voters who also supported Edwards in large numbers before he exited the race.

Clinton campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe said in a written statement, “We respect John Edwards, but as the voters of West Virginia showed last night, this thing is far from over.”

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and the 2004 vice presidential nominee, dropped out of the race in late January.

Both Obama and Clinton immediately asked Edwards for his endorsement, but he stayed mum for more than four months, even as the campaign focused on his home state in recent weeks.

Edwards considered making an endorsement in the weeks after leaving the campaign. People who talked to Edwards privately at the time said he was concerned about Obama’s readiness for the presidency and his electability. Clinton worked harder to woo both Edwards and his wife and impressed them both, those Edwards confidants said, but Edwards would have had a hard time endorsing her after criticizing her so much during the primary.

A person close to Edwards, speaking on condition of anonymity because the individual wasn’t authorized to talk to the media, said the former lawmaker wanted to get involved now to begin unifying the party. Obama also signed on to Edwards’ anti-poverty initiative, which he launched Tuesday with the goal of reducing poverty in the United States by half within 10 years.

When he made his decision, Edwards didn’t even tell many of his former top advisers because he wanted to make sure that he personally talked to Clinton to give her the news, said the person close to him. Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, who has said she thinks Clinton has the superior health care plan, did not travel with him to Michigan and is not part of the endorsement.

John Edwards, the real champion of working class voters, doesn’t want to be associated with the blatant racism of West Virginia Democrats and for whatever its worth, and it ain’t worth much anymore, he’d rather be associated with Obama. Friends of mine have breathlessly told me of Edwards desire to get back in the game and win the second spot on the ticket. I told them that its too little, too late. He should have done it back in February before Super Tuesday. It means nothing now because the fight is all but over. He will not be considered by Obama because he did nothing to merit consideration.

Till the last Dog Dies

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Democratic Primary Results

Real-time Race Results: Updated May 13, 2008 – 10:41 PM (all times Eastern Standard)
Precincts Reporting 61%

Candidate Votes Vote % Delegates Projected Winner
Clinton 144,518 65% 17 Winner
Obama 61,400 28% 8

Riding on an unprecedented wave of ignorance and fear, Hillary Clinton claimed victory over Barack Obama in West Virginia’s Democratic Primary tonight. The specter of the Safe Negro scared the hell out of a great many of West Virginia’s working class white voters and that is all right by her.

She has won a pyrrhic victory and another reason to continue her futile quest for imperial power by pandering to fearful white voters in all 50 states.

Trailing in the popular vote, pledged delegates, super delegates, and in popular opinion, the only reason to continue at this point is to exacerbate Democratic Party divisions and doom Obama’s general election viability.

Of blue collars and rednecks

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I have a confession to make. I am exhausted. Sadly, I’m too spent to muster any enthusiasm or energy to witness any of the history happening around me first hand. Nevertheless, it is happening and it has meaning that many too dependent on the misbegotten impressions of the establishment press corps fail to discern.

Hillary Clinton’s trail of crocodile tears into the bosom of blue collar, redneck America has been an interesting fall from the imperial heights from which this campaign began. Getting down and dirty with America’s great unwashed hoards was only supposed to be an indignity reserved for Iowa and New Hampshire before the coronation. Conventional wisdom told us that anything more would be unnecessary because it was obviously Hillary’s turn. Her claim to the throne as America’s Queen, ironclad.

Supposedly, the worldly celebrity sophisticates from Chappaqua now revel in having to come down from their $109 million dollar mountaintop to rub shoulders with ordinary farmers and shift workers, and enjoy being forced to engage in a morally bankrupt blood sport to deny Barack Obama the White House in order to preserve Hillary Clinton’s post 2008 Presidential viability. I don’t believe a word, baby.

As Hillary’s designated “Ambassador to rural America,” Bill Clinton has put on a good show of feigned sympathy and cornpone compassion for the plight of rural North Carolina’s put upon Jessecrats. “Who and what are Jessecrats,” you ask. To put it simply, they are rural white Democrats who rationalized Jesse Helms fealty to Segregation and White Supremacy as character.

During a stint as a security guard in a grocery store, a Jessecrat I’ll call Mr. Earl told me to my face that he respected and voted for Jesse Helms because he didn’t change what he believed. Mr. Earl shook my hand firmly and was a courtly, portly, older gentleman and native of the small town I live in now. Mr. Earl and Senator Helms personify the rural, closed social network and reactionary Bible belt values that I regard as commonplace and intuitively understand. In many ways, I am his younger black equivalent.

Anyhoo, Bill’s Hillbilly’s for Hillary road show shtick is damn interesting in what it reveals about the campaign and our politics. Race, as I’ve discussed umpteen times in the past, is undeniably a factor in this campaign. Moreover, it is the real reason for Bill’s bogus tour of rural seduction.

According to an account in the Dunn Daily Record about an appearance in Lillington, NC, a Harnett county town just a stonestrow from my home, “The political rhetoric got started before the former president even took the stage in Lillington, with former Sen. Robert Morgan introducing President Clinton, praising him and criticizing the current occupant of the White House, President George W. Bush. “He presided over the country when we had one of the largest budget surpluses in our history,” Sen. Morgan said of President Clinton. “The best I can tell he is the only president that has ever been in Harnett County, and I am proud to introduce him.”



The president said he was glad to have the opportunity to see Sen. Morgan again. “Bob Morgan has been a friend of mine for a lot of years and I am proud to be here with him today,” President Clinton said.
I am sure that it would please you to know that Senator Morgan was the campaign manager for the last candidate for Governor of North Carolina to run on an avowedly segregationist platform.

Yes, children, the candidate’s name was I. Beverly Lake Sr. A law professor, lawyer and state supreme court justice. He participated in oral argument against Brown v. Board of Education as North Carolina’s Assistant Attorney General. By 1960, he was the unquestioned leader of the state’s segregationists and he became a candidate for Governor.

As he describes in an oral history interview, “Those men whom I taught, not only in that class but in all the others before it, those men became the nucleus of my political campaign when I ran for Governor in 1960 and again in 1964.” Robert Morgan was one of those men.

Judge Lake’s boys became the most powerful men in North Carolina. CEOs of corporations, state supreme court judges, federal judges, and members of congress, they were a closed fraternity and were undeniably influential members of the white power structure. This is the network, which the Clintons turn to put them over. It is also the network that controls Democratic politics in North Carolina and it’s the reason for Democratic dominance over the Governor’s mansion for 24 of the last 32 years.

Bill and Hillary are intimately acquainted with closed Good Ole Boy and Girl networks of power, having benefited from the one that controls Arkansas. When she first arrived in Arkansas, Bill arranged for Hillary to be given a teaching position in the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville School of Law, where he also taught. After his election as Arkansas Attorney General, Clinton biographer Roger Morris, author of Partners in Power, recalls how Bill called up Herbert Rule III, a partner in the Rose law firm and Clinton fundraiser.

Morris quoted Rule “I got the word from Bill Clinton that she was coming and I tracked her down,” Rule said later. At the time the firm had few women or even Ivy League law credentials, and Rose rarely recruited from law school faculties or legal aid clinics. “Hillary was just a law professor, that’s all,” remarked one partner. But the firm saw her obvious value, offering the twenty-nine-year-old attorney a salary just under $25,000—far higher than the pay in Arkansas for teaching or public interest law and well more than Clinton himself would make as attorney general.”

“…The decision had been made when she decided to marry, to go with his career as the engine for her own ambition and power,” said someone who had known them since Yale. “By the time Rose came across with the offer, she was going to do whatever was best for Bill, whatever would get them to the top—and I mean all the way to the top—as fast as possible.”

“…Both sides recognized the mutual compact in Rose’s employing the wife of an attorney general and politician on the rise…For the firm she was a natural hireling. Formed before statehood and named for a founder of the American Bar Association, Rose had numbered among its partners judges and state supreme court justices, mayors, legislators, a US Senator, and , above all, the intimates of those in power, figures who exerted their force more discreetly, without potentially awkward public visibility, without accountability. It was a matter of appearance and reality in an Arkansas when the two were frequently not the same.”

“For a century and a half Rose represented and wielded the influence of the most powerful forces in the state—in land, timber, retailing, insurance, investment banking, agriculture, financial services—and, with governments at all levels, virtually the entire enveloping grid of political privilege and consequent private profit from the Ozarks to the Delta.

“What Arkansas was the Rose Law Firm had been well paid to make it—and to protect and maintain the result. The discreet firm’s own fortunes were inseparable from the economic and social system it served. Beyond any considerations of gender, resume, or name, Hillary Rodham’s presence on the letterhead was in a long tradition.”

Operating as a preserve of racial exclusivity is apparently a long tradition as well because not even one of the current crop of 30 plus attorneys practicing law as associates or partners with Rose Law, a firm Hillary Rodham Clinton served as a partner and had a say in running, is African American.

For Billary to attempt masquerading as champions of the working class is funnier than Larry Craig explaining his wide stance. For the record, Bill and Hillary Clinton got to where they are by servicing the needs of white corporate power. Period. Anybody who says anything different is crazier than Brittney Spears.

It’s funny how the questionable associations of the Clintons are not being placed under the same microscope as Barack Obama’s. Associations like these could be ferreted out, discussed and disseminated widely by the media and Obama’s post-racial campaign. But, then, it wouldn’t be post-racial if he obsessed over the corporate and segregationist allies of Bill and Hillary. And it would reveal that the deliberate lies about race and power told in the supposedly post-racial 21st century are essentially the same as the ones told in the twentieth.

Speaking of the past, Bill and Hill’s rustic pander fest is reminiscent of another road show that has been lost down the memory hole. It’s Lurleen Wallace’s 1966 campaign for Governor of Alabama. Lurleen Wallace, long term readers of this blog will recall, was the wife of Alabama’s term-limited segregationist Governor, George Wallace. She ran to continue her husband’s hold on power.

I ran across a beautifully written article in the Saturday Evening Post detailing the campaign, “A huge WALLACE FOR GOVERNOR sign hung behind speakers stand. It did not make a point of the fact that it was Mrs. Wallace who was the candidate. Along the sidewalls faded banners bore George Wallace’s old cry of defiance—STAND UP FOR ALABAMA. At the doors Wallace aides held out baskets into which the faithful dropped dollar bills. An elderly minister offered a long and fervent prayer. At the end of it he paused and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to present to you the First Lady of the State of Alabama.”

“Mrs. Wallace stood up and calmly began to read her little speech, “As you know,” she said, “I am a candidate for governor of Alabama. I am happy to offer to you a continuance of the honesty and efficiency so much in evidence during the administration of my husband,” In the back of the hall a man leaning against the wall muttered to a companion, “That’s enough of her—let’s get on to George,” Wallace could not possibly have heard this remark, but his political antenna were responding to the mood of the audience.

“He sensed its impatience. He rose and moved to his wife’s side, “My election,” she was saying, “will enable my husband to carry on his program for Alabama—we want to continue to serve you together.” This is the central argument of Hillary’s campaign and nothing symbolized it more than when they jointly eulogized Coretta Scott King from the pulpit.

“… He [Wallace] then went on to tell them that in his travels around the country he had not found any people anywhere who were “more intelligent or more cultured or more refined than the people of Alabama.” This is what I hear when I hear Bill and Hill tell folks that they matter more than the caucus states and when I hear tell of their shifting rationales for counting Michigan and Florida, contrary to the rules, and their proposed use of the so-called Nuclear Option to seat their people.

Bill seems to be consciously channeling Wallace as he panders his way through the country’s rural areas. Ecohoing Wallace’s infamous 1963 Inaugural, shortly before he stood in the schoolhouse door of the University of Alabama, can’t you just imagine Bill saying, “Today I have stood, where some segregationist once stood, and took an oath to my wife, the woman who single-handedly kept my presidency alive. It is very appropriate then, that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom in the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of Obama tyranny and I say Hillary today, Hillary tomorrow, Hillary forever.