|Name: KRISTI WATTS||HAVE YOU SEEN THIS DELUSIONAL NEGRO?|
|Questionable Role: Pat Robertson’s un-be-weave-ably happy darkie co-host on the right wing 700 club.||KRISTI NEEDS YOUR HELP|
|Age: Old enough to know damn better.||Sex: Female|
|Date she left reality: The day her stupid arse went to work for Robertson’s talabangelical network in 1999.||Race: Black (Kristi’s membership in the race is under review.)|
|Latest Incident: Sitting there like a lobotomized coon while Pat Robertson attempted to discourage charitable giving to Haiti by spinning a fictitious tale of Haitians making a pact with the devil to gain independence from the French.||Height: 5’6″|
|City Last Seen: Virginia Beach||Weight: 140 lbs|
|State : Virginia||Hair: Weave|
|Country: United States||Eye Color: Brown|
|What You can do: Apparently Kristi doesn’t know that slavery is over and that she is free to leave Pat Robertson’s racist plantation network at any time to find legitimate work that doesn’t prey on her people’s religiosity and steal their hard earned money. Your generous contribution will help assist a team of professionals that will plan and execute an intervention on Kristi. They will show her that she doesn’t have to be Pat’s fuc*ing slave girl and that Christianity is not synonymous with the GOP. Should they fail to persuade Kristi, they’ll just beat her damn arse like she stole somethin.’|
The blackface minstrel the Republican Party installed as its chairman has had the audacity to call on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to resign. Yesterday on Meet the Press, the preeminent Salon of Sunday talk, Steele was asked if Senator Reid should resign for saying Barack Obama was a viable Presidential candidate because he was “light-skinned” and because he did not speak with a “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
I refuse to defend Harry Reid, but even an idealist like me knows the difference between a Majority Leader who advances the agenda of a black president and a Majority Leader who defended segregation.
Steele said, “[F]rom my perspective, whether he steps down today or I retire him in November, either way, he will not be the leader in 2011.” That is mighty curious statement because The Steele Sambo felt differently when Trent Lott found himself in a similar predicament.
The Politico has the scoop:
The Washington Post reported on Dec. 14, 2002: “Lt. Gov.-elect Michael S. Steele said last night that he was personally upset by U.S. Sen. Trent Lott’s praise for Sen. Strom Thurmond and his segregationist past, but said Lott should not be forced to relinquish his leadership position in the Senate. ‘Trent Lott apologized, but he needs to keep apologizing because this is a very sensitive issue to the black community,’ Steele (R) said at an event celebrating his election as Maryland’s first black lieutenant governor. ‘I know Trent Lott personally, and I know that this is not his intent. But it’s still unfortunate. And I think he needs to apologize a little bit more.’”
The New York Times quotes Steele:
What’s interesting here is when Democrats get caught saying racist things, an apology is enough,” Mr. Steele said. “If that had been [Senate Republican Leader] Mitch McConnell saying that about an African-American candidate for president of the United States,” Democrats would be “screaming for his head, very much as they were with [Former Senate Republican Leader] Trent Lott.
What the record proves, what it always proves, is that when Republicans say racist things an apology is usually enough and The Steele Sambo will be there to back them up.
Perhaps y’all remember this little tidbit from last year in Politico:
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says he has reached out to Rush Limbaugh to tell him he meant no offense when he referred to the popular conservative radio host as an “entertainer” whose show can be “incendiary.”
My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.
Class, let’s review what The Steele Sambo has enormous respect for.
Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?
Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.
The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.
[To an African American female caller]: Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.
[On Justice Sotomayor] “So here you have a racist. You might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist. And the libs, of course, say that minorities cannot be racists because they don’t have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone, because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he’s appointed one.”
At every turn, The Steele Sambo has used his race and status as a Republican leader to defend the most aggressive purveyors of the racism he now claims to be offended by. In the blogosphere we called creeps like The Steele Sambo concern trolls. It is a delicious epithet because they damn sure ain’t the least bit concerned about whatever they comment on. And they are almost always an ugly wingnut troll. To be fair, Michael Steele is not ugly, but the racism he consistently defends as the Chairman of the Republican Party is.
While I am no fan of Barack Obama’s safe establishment politics, I hope The Steele Sambo’s book and his rancid political agenda fails.
I am a little spent today and not able to be coherent. But did y’all see Keith Olbermann last night? He gets it. He gets it. Somebody send him a certificate of Negro membership. He tore Senator Clinton, a woman he respects and admires, a new one last night over Geraldine Ferraro’s racial remark about Barack Obama. Ain’t seen nothin’ like that in a minute. I’ve watched it over and over and I can’t get over how thoroughly he sets the record straight. I am in awe.
On another note, folks are blowing me up looking for Barack Obama’s Pastor, Jeremiah Wright. The Senior Pastor of Obama’s church made some comments that are getting attacked. What do you think?
OBAMA SPEAKS FOR HIMSELF
Hat Tip: Huffington Post
Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.
As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago. I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It’s a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.
Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he’s been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.
The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.
Let me repeat what I’ve said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.
With Rev. Wright’s retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good. And while Rev. Wright’s statements have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States.
Hi, I’m Sally Struthers, the whiny white girl from All In The Family and those annoyingly manipulative Christian Children’s Fund Commercials with starving black babies. I know you haven’t heard from me in a minute but President Clinton and I, seeing the tepid response that his face saving lies to church Negroes about his unconscionable attempts to racially polarize the electorate and smear Obama as “The Black Candidate” has been getting as of late, we decided change course, join forces and buy as many Negroes for Hillary as we possibly can. To that end, we have created the Christian Negro Voter Fund.
While serving as the first Black President I’ve understood for many years how gullible the average church Negro is and the fact that they’ll follow any B.S. their pastor says because they really worship him instead of the God they profess to serve. How else can you explain Creflo “Gimme a damn” Dollar? We need you to help us buy as many of these jackleg preachers and their politician friends as possible so that Hillary can stop the menace of Barack Obama and his “false hopes.”
Will you help?
Sponsoring a Negro is easy and very necessary because so many of them and their crooked preachers and politicians have their damn hands out like hookers on a corner ready to prostitute themselves to support a bad habit. Being a bigger P.I.M.P. and playa than R.Kelly, I should know.
The following charity case is just another sad example of a Negro in need. Can y’all help a sistah out?
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.)
Del. Donna Christensen (D-V.I.)
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)
Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.)
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)
Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.)
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-Ohio)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)
Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.)
If any of the listed Negro members of Congress supporting Hillary belongs to you, they need to hear a word from the people. I propose the following letter.
Dear Handkerchief Head:
You have been unconscionably silent in the face of Bill Clinton’s racially divisive tactics on behalf of Senator Clinton’s presidential campaign. I can only surmise from your silence that you either approve of Bill Clinton’s tactics or are too gutless to publicly register your opposition. Whatever the case may be, I have taken the liberty of writing to formally register my unbridled indignation and to withdraw whatever support I may have given to your re-election campaign.
Pretending that the President’s comments were somehow taken out of context or don’t mean what they plainly imply simply will not do. Burying your head in the sand or defending the indefensible won’t do either. It’s time to do-you know what-or get off the pot. You can delay addressing these comments if you want to, but you do so at your peril.
The Sunday morning talk shows were universally caustic against the Clintons.
On “Meet the Press,” Byron York of the right-wing National Review said, “You know, I don’t think you can overstate the amount of, of anger in–created in Democrats by Bill Clinton’s tactics. I mean, they were very, very unhappy with him. I was talking to a Democratic strategist the other day who said, “My wife just got in the car. She’s driving to South Carolina to volunteer for Obama.” They were that angry at what Clinton had done. And he also said, you know, Clinton is trying to turn him into Jesse Jackson. And sure enough, after Obama wins big, what does Bill Clinton say about it? “Well, you know, Jesse Jackson won here, too.”
Neo-Con Fox News Contributor and NY Times Columnist Bill Kristol wrote, “What do Jesse Jackson’s victories two decades ago have to do with this year’s Obama-Clinton race? The Obama campaign is nothing like Jackson’s. Obama isn’t running on Jackson-like themes. Obama rarely refers to Jackson.”
“Clinton’s comment alludes to one thing, and to one thing only: Jackson and Obama are both black candidates. The silent premise of Clinton’s comment is that Obama’s victory in South Carolina doesn’t really count. Or, at least, Clinton is suggesting, it doesn’t mean any more than Jackson’s did.”
“But of course—as Clinton knows very well—Jesse Jackson didn’t win (almost all-white) Iowa. He didn’t come within a couple of points of prevailing in (almost all-white) New Hampshire. Nor did he, as Obama did carry rural Nevada. And Saturday, in South Carolina, even after Bill Clinton tried to turn Obama into Jackson, Hillary defeated Obama by just three to two among white voters. So Bill Clinton has been playing the race card, and doing so clumsily. But why is he playing any cards.?
On “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director, provides a blunt answer to Kristol’s rhetorical question, “But, you know, it does feel like, though, that what Bill Clinton is doing is he reads a poll, and he said, “OK, when am—how am I going to get her to 51 percent. OK. We’ve got to figure out how to drive white men away from Barack Obama. We’ve got to figure out how to drive Latinos away from Barack Obama.” That’s what works on February 5th. And, you know, he may not ever say that, but it feels like it’s a very tactical thing that they’ve done, and I think that’s what, you know, is going to offend the Beltway corridor, the Amtrak corridor, and, and you’re seeing a lot of, sort of, the New York and Washington Democrats who are probably going to keep coming out against Clinton on this…”
Some of us were raised to believe that members of the Congressional Black Caucus were among the best Black public servants in the country. Your actions belie that notion and constitute a slap in the face to those that came before you in the Reconstruction era. They fought valiantly for a seat at the table for African Americans before they were disenfranchised through the white supremacist tactics of mob violence, grandfather clauses, literacy tests, and poll taxes.
Continuing to languish on the Clinton plantation in light of these racially divisive tactics is a betrayal of the progressive ideals of the Democratic Party and to the many unsung heroes of the civil rights movement who fought to make America a functioning and pluralistic democracy. As for me, I am through with the Clintons and I am too through with you.
Skeptical Brotha, a Negro who has some damn self-respect.
News just came over the wires that California Congresswoman Maxine Waters,69, has endorsed Hillary Clinton. Out of all of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Maxine is my favorite. Until today, she could always be counted on to hold up the blood stained banner of progressive politics. I am absolutely beside myself with outrage.
This craven capitulation to the Clinton machine after a series of racially polarizing statements by Bill Clinton and Clinton campaign surrogates is nothing short of amazing. Whatever she sold out for, I hope it was worth it.
This makes Hillary Clinton 3 in 1 for the members of the Congressional Black Caucus in California. Congresswomen Laura Richardson and Dianne Watson have also endorsed the Borg Queen. Oakland Congresswoman Barbara Lee is the sole holdout for Barack Obama.
As I was preparing to go back to work today, I put on the TV and happened to catch a little Court TV, now True TV. Star Jones, the phoniest human being God ever placed on this earth, was on, and she was dishing with True TV anchor Jami Floyd about the upcoming O. J. trial. As it turns out, the case against the Juice is falling apart and the sistahs were discussing how the D.A. could get a conviction despite that.
Jami turned to Star and alluded to Star’s infamous time as a New York prosecutor. Star said as long as she could establish that there was a gun involved and some property was stolen, she could get a conviction.
Then Star, in all of her ostentatious glory, broke out with a priceless vignette and said in that conspiratorial tone that only black women have perfected, “Gurrrrrrrrrlllllllll, there was that time I had a crackhead up on the stand and she fell asleep during my cross-examination. I had to clap my hands to wake her up….I got a conviction.”
I fell out laughing and was no good for the next ten minutes. I laughed all the way to work and laughed some mo’ when I got there and retold it. To hear tell of Star Jones and all of her celebrity pretentiousness, you’d never guess that she was just a country girl from little Bladen County, NC, puttin’ on airs. She punctured all of that today with her classless, pee-your-pants-funny vignette and ghetto girl routine. Designer clothes and expensive weaves don’t hide her lack of breeding.
The same could be said of Hillary’s billionaire minstrel, Bob Johnson. CNN reported his apology:
I’m writing to apologize to you and your family personally for the un-called-for comments I made at a recent Clinton event. In my zeal to support Senator Clinton, I made some very inappropriate remarks for which I am truly sorry. I hope that you will accept this apology. Good luck on the campaign trail.
His so-called apology is nothing more than a terse statement acknowledging what he, the Clintons, and their various blackface minstrels lied about since this weekend. He smeared Obama on television and should have apologized publicly in the same way. Apparently, the billionaire CEO of America’s most tasteless television network can’t find a camera to apologize in front of. Perhaps they’re too busy filming that classless, bootyshakin’ filth were subjected to 24/7.
Born into the rural poverty of Hickory, Mississippi, Bob Johnson didn’t have much growing up except his name and his word. Despite marrying into the black bourgeoisie and accumulating billions, neither his name or his word mean much now. The Negro, like Star Jones, has been faking the funk for years.
Black billionaire Bob Johnson, CEO and founder of the internationally embarrassing Black Entertainment Television, took his turn serving as a blackface minstrel for Hillary Clinton at a South Carolina black church.
Sounding like the fictional Pierre Delacroix in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, he lodged the following bomb at Barack Obama, “As an African American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues, when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood, that I won’t say what he was doing in the neighborhood but he said it in his book…”
His allusion to Barack Obama’s youthful indiscretion with drugs, discussed in his book “Dreams of My Father,” is unmistakably clear despite his later denial.
After smearing on another coat of burnt cork and adjusting his snappy corporate minstrel costume, he defended Bill and Hillary against their unjustified and racially patronizing comments that inflamed prominent African Americans like House Majority Whip James Clyburn and former Gore Campaign Manager Donna Brazile. He characterized as crazy the thought that “these two people would denigrate the accomplishments of civil rights marchers.”
In one fell swoop, Johnson unraveled Bill’s and Hillary’s damage control efforts of this weekend. After his remarks were disseminated to the media, they were immediately challenged by the Obama campaign.
They issued a statement from former state representative “I.S.” Leevy Johnson of Columbia, an African American and one of the first blacks elected to the legislature since reconstruction.“It’s offensive that Senator Clinton literally stood by and said nothing as another one of her campaign’s top supporters launched a personal, divisive attack on Barack Obama,” former representative Johnson said. “For someone who decries the politics of personal destruction, she should’ve immediately denounced these attacks on the spot.”
Senator Clinton said on Meet the Press that, “I don’t think this campaign is about gender, and I sure hope it’s not about race. It needs to be about the individuals. Each of us is running for the highest position, the most difficult job in the world. And, you know, I am, I think, very clearly someone who’s gone through a tremendous amount of criticism, you know. That’s fine. I’m more than willing to shoulder that. I think voters and viewers can draw their own conclusions when they watch whatever it is that we are doing.”
We damn sure can draw our own conclusions. Hillary’s calculated actions and those of her surrogates deliberately use criminal stereotypes about black men to raise suspicions and doubt about Obama. Her transparent efforts to manipulate folks into voting for her does not speak well of her or her blackface minstrels.
Lastly, her use of Bob Johnson, a corporate vampire willing to sell out black folks on social security, sends an unmistakable signal to brotha’s like me that another Clinton term will lead to a further evisceration of the social safety net with powerful corporate minstrels like Johnson enlisted to play defense against the financial interests of their own people.
Suffering from foot in mouth disease, due in part to their fear of losing their imperial grip on the Presidency to someone else, the Clintons have managed to piss off a power broker in their most loyal constituency-African Americans. Congressman James Clyburn, the House Majority Whip and the most influential and highest ranking African American on Capitol Hill, ain’t a happy camper at all. He is so displeased that he is seriously considering changing his neutrality in the Presidential nomination free for all.
The New York Times reports, “We have to be very, very careful about how we speak about that era in American politics,” said Mr. Clyburn, who was shaped by his searing experiences as a youth in the segregated South and his own activism in those days. “It is one thing to run a campaign and be respectful of everyone’s motives and actions, and it is something else to denigrate those. That bothered me a great deal.”
“In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Mrs. Clinton, who was locked in a running exchange with Senator Barack Obama, a rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, over the meaning of the legacies of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., tried to make a point about presidential leadership.”
“Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” Mrs. Clinton said in trying to make the case that her experience should mean more to voters than the uplifting words of Mr. Obama. “It took a president to get it done.”
“Quickly realizing that her comments could draw criticism, Mrs. Clinton returned to the subject at a later stop, recalling how Dr. King was beaten and jailed and how he worked with Johnson to pass the landmark law. Clinton advisers said her first remark had not captured what she meant to convey. And they said she would never detract from a movement that has driven her own public service.”
“She has spent the majority of her life working for poor families, poor children, fighting for the principles that Martin Luther King stood for,” said Minyon Moore, a senior adviser. “The Clintons have a track record.”
“Mr. Clyburn, reached for a telephone interview Wednesday during an overseas inspection of port facilities, also voiced frustration with former President Clinton, who described Mr. Obama’s campaign narrative as a fairy tale. While Mr. Clinton was not discussing civil rights at the time and seemed to be referring mainly to Mr. Obama’s stance at the Iraq war, Mr. Clyburn saw the remark as a slap at the image of a black candidate running on a theme of unity and optimism.”
“To call that dream a fairy tale, which Bill Clinton seemed to be doing, could very well be insulting to some of us,” said Mr. Clyburn, who said he and others took significant risks more than 40 years ago to produce such opportunities for future black Americans.”
I think that the Congressman is sending a warning to the Clintons that they had better heed. If they don’t, he will use his considerable clout against them and could bring the rest of the undecided membership of the Congressional Black Caucus with him.
On the other side of the ledger, Black Congressional surrogates are turning up with regularity to chew the fat on MSNBC. Gregory Meeks and Stephanie Tubbs Jones appeared today to defend the Borg Queen and her consort. Congresswoman Jones was aggressively negative saying that while Barack Obama talks about change, Hillary makes change. She also defended the Clintons foot in mouth remarks that pissed off James Clyburn. I like Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Gregory Meeks, but I have a deep seated mistrust of lawyers hooked up to the criminal justice system. Both Meeks and Jones have been prosecutors and I ain’t got no love for that.
It’s one thing to criticize Barack Obama, as I’ve done, for his departures from the progressive black consensus, its quite another to be a flack and volunteer handkerchief head defending the indefensible Clinton juggernaut.
In a nod to fellow Arkansan Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton released a holiday ad, however, the following parody ad I conjured up is the one she should have released.
A beautiful array of gifts is spread out before Hillary for Barack Obama. Hillary gets off her broom, smiles, extends a knarled finger and cackles menacingly: I’ve got something for your pretty boy smart ass.
The first gift is kneecapping Obama with deceptive direct mail from a labor union that looks like it comes from John Edwards.
The second gift is Andy Young, a so-called civil rights leader and present day sell-out, saying that Bill Clinton, and Hillary by extension, is “every bit as black as Barack,” and that there are “more black people that Bill and Hillary lean on,” than Barack.
The third gift is Bubba questioning Obama’s experience by saying that America would be “rolling the dice” with him as President.
Finally, Hillary says with saccharine sweetness: Where did I put Bill Shaheen’s and Bob Kerrey’s racist innuendo? There it is. (With an air of exasperated entitlement) How dare this boy challenge my claim to the throne. (Hillary’s expression turns into a scowl and she looks directly into the camera) I’m the Borg Queen and to all of you undecided people out there, resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.
After 35 years in the U.S. Congress, Mississippi Republican Trent Lott officially stepped down from the U.S. Senate last night after casting a series of late votes. Once at the pinnacle of power as Senate Majority Leader, he is famous for saying at former Segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmod ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our (racist) lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems (Uppity Nigra’s) over all these years, either.” He leaves the Senate to pursue other interests-presumably, as has been reported, a lucrative gig on K street as a lobbyist, corporate whore, and free lance segregationist. Mississippi’s right-wing governor, Haley Barbour, has a self-imposed ten day deadline to huddle with GOP grand dragons and select another pinstripe Klansman to replace Lott.
Former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen’s husband Bill, a prominent attorney and former Judge, put his foot in his mouth by his questioning of Barack Obama’s “background.”
According to the Associated Press, “Shaheen, an attorney and veteran organizer, had said much of Obama’s background is unknown and could be a problem in November 2008 if he is the Democratic nominee. He said Republicans would work hard to discover new aspects of Obama’s admittedly spotty youth.”
“It’ll be, ‘When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?’” said Shaheen, whose wife, Jeanne, is a former New Hampshire governor and is running for thenext year.”
“There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It’s hard to overcome,” Shaheen said.”
Senator Clinton apologized for Shaheen’s racially insensitive remarks Thursday and Shaheen stepped down from his role as Co-Chair of Senator Clinton’s New Hampshire campaign. I find it interesting that he would reveal his racial tone deafness in this fashion when his former law partner, New Hampshire Congressman Paul Hodes, is supporting Obama. This week, Hodes’ other New Hampshire colleague in the house, Carol Shea-Porter, endorsed Obama as well, reversing her stated intention to remain neutral.
Everywhere Obama stumped with Oprah, his poll numbers improved and the race has tightened considerably. For those who are buying the media line that Oprah doesn’t matter, the proof of the pudding is in the polls, especially among African American voters in South Carolina. The Clintonistas are running scared and her so-called inevitability has been dramatically deflated.
With anymore help like Bill Shaheen’s, he’ll help Hillary right out of the nomination.
Hat Tip: Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press, USA Today
NEW ORLEANS — A state appeals court on Friday threw out the only remaining conviction against one of the black teenagers accused in the beating of a white schoolmate in the racially tense north Louisiana town of Jena.
Mychal Bell, 17, should not have been tried as an adult, the state 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal said in tossing his conviction on aggravated battery, for which he was to have been sentenced Thursday. He could have gotten 15 years in prison.
His conspiracy conviction in the December beating of student Justin Barker was already thrown out by another court.
Bell, who was 16 at the time of the beating, and four others were originally charged with attempted second-degree murder. Those charges brought widespread criticism that blacks were being treated more harshly than whites after racial confrontations and fights at Jena High School.
Bell’s attorney Louis Scott said he didn’t know whether his client, whose bond was set at $90,000, would get out of jail immediately.
“We don’t know what approach the prosecution is going to take — whether they will re-charge him, where he would have to be subjected to bail all over again or not,” Scott said.
Civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, had been planning a rally in support of the teens for the day Bell was to have been sentenced.
“Although there will not be a court hearing, we still intend to have a major rally for the Jena Six and now hopefully Mychal Bell will join us,” Sharpton said in an e-mailed statement.
Said Jackson: “The pressure must continue until all six boys are set free and sent to school, not to jail.”
Jena, La., is a mostly white town where racial animosity flared about a year ago when a black student sat under a tree that was a traditional gathering place for whites. A day later, three nooses were found hanging from the tree. There followed reports of racial fights at the school, culminating in the December attack on Barker.
The reversal of Bell’s conviction will not affect four other teenagers also charged as adults, because they were 17 years old at the time of the fight and no longer considered juveniles, said attorney George Tucker of Hammond.
Prosecutors have the option of appealing to the state Supreme Court. District Attorney Reed Walters did not return a call Friday.
Judge J.P. Mauffray had thrown out Bell’s conspiracy conviction, saying it was not a charge on which a juvenile may be tried as an adult. But he had let the battery conviction stand, saying Bell could be tried in adult court because the charge was among lesser charges included in the original attempted murder charge.
Teenagers can be tried as adults in Louisiana for some violent crimes, including attempted murder, but aggravated battery is not one of those crimes, the court said.
Defense lawyers had argued that the aggravated battery case should not have been tried in adult court once the attempted murder charge was reduced.
The case “remains exclusively in juvenile court,” the Third Circuit ruled.
Hat Tip: Rachel Kapouchunas, CQ Politics
Richardson, the Democratic state lawmaker from California who on Tuesday won a special election runoff to become the newest member — and the 40th African-American — in the current U.S. House.
Richardson related to CQPolitics.com prior to the runoff in California’s 37th District that she is a child of a mixed-race marriage, with a African-American father and a Caucasian mother who divorced. Richardson said she watched her mother struggle with racism as she raised her and her sister in California during the turbulent 1960s, and recalled as a young child asking her mother why strangers threw eggs at their car and cursed at them while they shopped at stores.
“My mother tried to explain all those things to me, but eventually she just said to me, ‘You should be a person who makes better laws,’” said Richardson, who now is 45 years old. “And that’s what got me since the age of about six of wanting to be a public servant.” She added that her mother exposed her to politics and the news.
Richardson’s career trajectory is symbolic of the political progress made by African-Americans over recent decades. She won the special election to succeed the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, also a black Democrat, who was Richardson’s former boss and whose mentorship helped Richardson launch her own political career in local office and the California Assembly. Millender-McDonald’s death of cancer on April 22 created the vacancy that Richardson will fill after Congress returns to work from its summer recess.
In fact, the special election primary that ensured Richardson’s ultimate victory in the overwhelmingly Democratic 37th put a different spin on racial politics in the “minority-majority” district, which is located in Los Angeles County and is centered on the city of Long Beach.
Black activists who wanted to maintain African-American representation in the district mainly rallied around Richardson. Hispanics, who now make up a larger share of the district’s population but whose voting participation has lagged, found a candidate to champion in Democratic state Sen. Jenny Oropeza.
Running in a single-ballot June 26 primary that included a total of 17 candidates — 11 of them Democrats — Richardson prevailed by 37 percent to 31 percent over Oropeza. Though Richardson fell short of the majority vote needed for an outright victory, the seven-week runoff campaign was a formality: She won Tuesday’s contest with two-thirds of the total vote and a margin of well more than 2-to-1 over the Republican nominee, police sergeant and Iraq war veteran John M. Kanaley.
Though race and ethnicity were inescapable factors, particularly in the primary, Richardson told CQPolitics.com she was “disappointed” that most of the news coverage was focused on these matters rather than the candidates’ views on policy issues.
“I don’t run only from the basis of being African-American,” Richardson said. “That’s who I am, but when I’m running, I’m running to represent the people in my area, whoever they might be.”
Richardson believes her educational background — including a master’s degree in business — and her years working in the private sector combined with her political experience to boost her to a win. Before her six-year stint as a Long Beach City councilwoman, Richardson worked for Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, and prior to that, as a field deputy for Millender-McDonald.
Richardson states that public officials should advocate for issues that may not be popular and speak out for those who lack a strong voice in the political process. She will be representing a district that includes some of the state’s most underprivileged communities as well as a large portion of middle-class Long Beach. Minorities make up almost 85 percent of the population in the district: More than two-fifths of the total population is Hispanic and about one quarter of the district’s residents are African-American.
Richardson said she was eager to continue some of the late congresswoman’s legacies, such as her practice of holding “senior briefings” for residents in the district, which offered issue lessons on topics such as elder abuse and identity theft.
Richardson also intends to work with the late congresswoman’s daughter, Valerie McDonald, on remedying disparities in the health care system. McDonald was one of Richardson’s competitors in the special election primary.
Richardson would like to improve the region’s education and transportation systems and also reduce the number of unemployed residents in her district. She said the jobless rate in the 37th hovers close to 14 percent. Richardson also hopes encourage Congress to re-examine trade agreements which she believe do not help domestic unemployment rates.
The war in Iraq and its financial impact on the country are among Richardson’s major concerns.
“I just find it’s ironic that we can find money to fight a war but we can’t find money to help our own people in our communities,” Richardson said. She added that redeploying troops and placing the National Guard back in the states “can’t happen soon enough.”
Richardson likely will take liberal stances on many issues that will make her a reliable vote for the Democratic Party leadership. She already has been strongly critical of President Bush, to whom she has penned letters slamming his education, health care and Iraq policies — which she posted on her campaign Web site.
She hopes to win an assignment to the coveted Ways and Means Committee, but noted she would be pleased to serve on the Transportation or Homeland Security committees.
Richardson is cognizant of the fact she will enter Congress mid-session but said the outpouring of support she’s already received from members has helped her to feel comfortable entering her new position.
In addition, she portrays herself as having a strong work ethic that will help establish her early as an active participant in the lawmaking process.
“What I believe people know about me and respect about me is that I work extremely hard,” Richardson said. “I’m not going to Washington to go to another chicken dinner. That’s not what we’re here to do. We’re here to work.”
Hat Tip: Pat Milton, Associated Press
Don Imus has reached a settlement with CBS over his multimillion-dollar contract and is negotiating with WABC radio to resume his broadcasting career there, according to CBS and a person familiar with the negotiations.
Imus and CBS Radio “have mutually agreed to settle claims that each had against the other regarding the Imus radio program on CBS,” the network said in a statement Tuesday.
The terms of the settlement will not be disclosed, according to the CBS statement.
The settlement pre-empts the dismissed radio personality’s threatened $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit.
CBS confirmed only that the settlement had been reached. The person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press that Imus is taking steps to make a comeback with WABC. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details had not been announced, also said the deal with CBS calls for a “non-disparaging” agreement that forbids the parties from speaking negatively about each other.
The settlement and possible comeback come more than four months after Imus created an uproar over his racist and sexist comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.
Just before his dismissal, Imus signed a five-year, $40 million contract with CBS Radio (owned by CBS Corp.). Famed First Amendment lawyer Martin Garbus said in May that Imus planned to sue CBS for $120 million in unpaid salary and damages.
WFAN, the New York radio station that was Imus’ flagship, also announced Tuesday that former pro quarterback Boomer Esiason will take over the morning time slot along with Craig Carton, a New Jersey radio personality.
WABC is a New York talk-radio station that features political and topical shows with such stars Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
Imus, 66, was dismissed April 12 after describing the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” on his nationally syndicated radio program, which was also simulcast on MSNBC. (General Electric Co.’s cable TV channel now has the “Morning Joe” program with Joe Scarborough.)
Garbus had said Imus would sue for the contract’s unpaid part. He cited a contract clause in which CBS acknowledged that Imus’ services were “unique, extraordinary, irreverent, intellectual, topical, controversial.”
The clause said Imus’ programming was “desired by company and … consistent with company rules and policy,” according to Garbus