Harold Ford’s gay marriage reversal is a bad omen

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Writing of Harold Ford in the past, I have made snarky references to the fundamentalist end times theology in the book of Revelations about the Antichrist and the Omen trilogy of horror films. I make no apology because the evil that the corporate whore from Tennessee represents cannot be understated by my use of a provocative rhetorical device.

That said, I think if somebody were to check underneath Harold’s fade, I sincerely believe you’d find a 666 birthmark in the back of his head. The way Harold has effortlessly revived his political career in the most cutthroat place imaginable and become a contender for New York Senate seat is, to be frank, fu*#ing scary. He pushed up and outmaneuvered the top dog in New York politics, Chuck Schumer, like a seasoned ward heeler.

The last several months of maneuvering reads like the script from the Omen. To review, the son of Satan is “born” to an influential political family and the minions of the devil eliminate all obstacles and kill off all people that seek to thwart his rise to the presidency and his eventual dominion over the earth.

Yesterday’s nakedly political and deeply disingenuous reversal on Same Sex Marriage is just further evidence that Harold Ford Jr is a congenital liar that will say or do anything to beat Kirsten Gillibrand’s political career to death.

In October of 2006, right in the middle of his fevered Tennessee Senate Race, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimously that gay unions had to be recognized under the state’s constitution. A majority of the court left it up to the legislature to design what shape the recognition would take. After the decision was announced, Harold Ford Jr released the following statement:

I do not support the decision today reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding gay marriage. I oppose gay marriage, and have voted twice in Congress to amend the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. This November there’s a referendum on the Tennessee ballot to ban same-sex marriage – I am voting for it.

Harold’s position, as wrong as two left shoes, was unequivocal. Gillibrand’s people have done some good work in poisoning the well against Harold because of his positions on choice and same sex marriage. He finally responded. On the Today Show the demonic spawn said, “My support for fairness and equality existed long before I moved to New York.”

Bull*hit

He continued spinning the lie after being asked if this was a major change. He said, “Maybe in the language.” “…But I’m a believer that benefits should flow to same sex partners and if indeed the fiction of the language, the title, should be changed, much like Chuck Schumer who changed his mind on it and Bill Clinton’s evolved, I’m of the opinion now that nothing is wrong with that.”

The following clip must be seen to be believed. It puts to bed any notion of Harold’s veracity.

The Whore must defeat NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand because she stands in the way of Harold’s nefarious designs on the seat of ultimate power. Moreover, he is running to put himself into a position to one day become President.

Everything seems to be falling into place in the complicated chess game that is New York identity politics.

Last week, according to the New York Times, Al Sharpton and Ford, “chatted warmly for about 10 minutes. Mr. Sharpton did not seek to discourage Mr. Ford from running, and recommended that he begin to reach out to the state’s black leaders and clergy.”

They end the article by telling us, “Mr. Ford will be the keynote speaker next month at the conference of the state’s Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators.” And that the organization’s leader believes Harold will encounter a “receptive” audience as he debuts before the state’s Black and Latino establishment.

Taken together, these developments are a bad omen indeed.

Phil Bredesen, Corporate Pedophile

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Imagination Library Week

When Skeptical Brotha regular Zeitgiest9000 posted yesterday that the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder is reporting that the Obama Administration is vetting Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen for Secretary of Health and Human Services, my head exploded. I damn near stroked out, y’all. A diehard Hillarycrat, this is his transparent way of saying that we would have been better off with the Queen of Triangulation, and by extension, her approach to health care reform. I don’t know if that’s true, but if Barack Obama gives a mutha%$#*ing bastard like Phil Bredesen the reins of HHS, I do know we’ll all wish we had been volunteer slaves on the Clintons neo-liberal plantation.

Placing Governor Bredesen in charge of the Administration’s health care reform effort is analogous to giving a pedophile unfettered access to children. At least an establishment tool like Tom Daschle has a few scruples left; a capitalist pig like Phil Bredesen has none. It’s my moral obligation to sound the alarm so that this capitalist piggy screams “wee, wee, wee,” all the way home.

I know what you’re thinking. “Damn, Skeptical Brotha has gone off his meds.” If you must know, I ain’t on no meds, at least not for that, but if I were, and I depended on Tennessee’s Medicaid program, for example, a mutha%$#*a like Phil Bredesen would be rationing my sh*t to “2 name brand drugs and 3 generic prescription drugs monthly, the lowest in the country.” This is done without any regard for the maladies people have or what doctors say their patients need. Thanks be to Gawd that my therapist thinks my depression is situational and not clinical. That is a conversation for another day and I need to stay on task.

Let me be clear so there can be no misunderstanding. Phil Bredesen is a corporate pedophile whose unconscionable greed as a former HMO executive made him a multimillionaire and unscrupulous politician who elects to balance Tennessee’s state budget on the backs of sick children and vulnerable adults by using the spurious pretext of cost to deny them access to proper medical care.

Old habits die hard and Bredesen’s unconscionable greed was made manifest by the deliberate denial of medical care to an unsuspecting public covered by his HMO. His private sector “success,” in turn, made him the type of slimy prick the corporate power structure encourages to run for public office. He began his career as the Mayor of Nashville and subsequently became Tennessee’s Governor. If I do this right, he’ll never receive a cabinet appointment in the Obama Administration because of his shameful record as the business lobby’s nefarious servant directing the state of Tennessee to follow his callous and right-wing business model.

Before Bredesen eff’ed it up, TennCare was the most generous and cost-effective Medicaid program in the country. Not only did it cover indigent care, its intended function, it also drew down ample federal subsidies to expand coverage to adults who couldn’t gain access to health coverage because of pre-existing conditions or prohibitive cost. The subsidies kept hospitals and clinics operating in areas that provided essential care to the isolated rural poor and reduced the rate of uninsured to one of the lowest in the country. The program operated in the black until a Republican governor started messing with it. Bredesen was (s)elected by the power structure in 2002 to finish the job.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund wrote to the Governor in 2004 about their fear that Bredesen’s “reforms” would give the state or its contractors “sole discretion to decide whether a service is covered, without meaningful regard to widely accepted standards of medical care or appropriate deference to the professional judgment of the treating physician.”

“…This invites physicians and/or the TennCare Bureau and its contractors to apply a standard of care to an already vulnerable population that could threaten a patient’s health and cause ‘life-threatening consequences.”

Given the terrible way in which the black poor were and continue to be treated and the fact that forty percent of the African American population of Tennessee was dependent on the state’s Medicaid program for basic access to medical care; a number, which included at least 50 percent of black children, the NAACP’s fears were well founded.

Bredesen ignored the concerns of his detractors and they sued the hell out of the state. They attempted to make the Governor and his minions accountable for a draconian, bare bones Medicaid program that cut over two hundred thousand elderly and disabled people off from assistance they formerly received resulting in “an increase in preventable deaths by a rate that equals an additional death every 30 hours.”

A federal Court found in 2001 that the state and its managed care contractors were systematically violating quality of care standards governing the treatment of low-income TennCare children, including those in the state’s troubled foster care system. There was extensive evidence that children suffered serious harm as a result of those violations. In 2006, state officials claimed to have fixed the problems. But a panel of court-appointed monitors issued a lengthy report last year (2007) finding that the state had not proven that claim, and there remained evidence of widespread problems.

In June last year, a federal appeals court authorized a computer expert to determine whether the Bredesen Administration had altered computer records to evade court orders to produce records documenting the state’s systematic denials of care to 650,000 children covered by the state’s Medicaid program. According to the Tennessee Justice Center, “the Governor and other officials disclosed that they had used Bredesen’s personal email system and their personal computers for state business. They claimed that by putting the public records on personal computers, officials could shield them from inspection.”

Bredesen’s heartlessness is borne out by numerous horror stories documented by Families USA:

Could you sleep at night if your budget cuts eliminated an elderly woman from receiving treatment for schizophrenia and lung cancer?

Could you cancel a prostate cancer operation for an elderly senior living on less than $1000 a month just days before the procedure?

Could you look at yourself in the mirror if you prevented anyone suffering from emphysema or some other respiratory condition from getting round-the-clock oxygen?

Could you face the public knowing that you cut off insulin dependent diabetics from their medication?

Phil Bredesen can because he is a monster. The cumulative impact of his evil is unfathomable. It doesn’t take a genius to understand why Republicans vote for him or why my favorite neo-liberal ass clown’s at the New Republic fetishize his massive cruelty.

Any sentient Democrat who believes that a bastard like Phil Bredesen merits consideration for Barack Obama’s cabinet should be fitted for a straight jacket and locked away forever in a padded cell. I am compelled to write today. I am ringing the bell and sounding the alarm. Let the word go forth, from this time and place, that the progressive blogosphere finds a Bredesen appointment totally unacceptable. It is the highest insult for progressives for him to even be vetted by this Administration. His appointment would be a stench in the nostrils of God and a sick joke on the most vulnerable among us, especially sick and disabled children and adults, like the elderly and the uninsured, the people his green eyeshades target as the expendable poor that are socially acceptable to kill.

Cohen/Tinker election results

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WITH 72% OF PRECINCTS REPORTING, CONGRESSMAN STEVE COHEN CRUSHES AUNT NIKKI, THE CORPORATE MAMMY, WITH A LANDSLIDE 60% MARGIN!!!!!!!!

STEVE COHEN 44,995 79%

NIKKI TINKER 10,676 19%

JOE TOWNS 844 1%

Black voters, especially those of us in the South, have always been able to judge our politicians by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. We’re never given credit for having that ability when racially polarizing tactics are injected into a political race by one of us, but we’ve always had it and always will. Now Mr. Cohen can go back to the halls of power confident in the knowledge that he has unequivocally earned the trust of a majority of his black constituents. In order to keep it, he must continue to provide the same common sense, progressive leadership that has been known as his trademark.

The epic collapse of the Tinker campaign is one for the history books and closes a sad chapter in the book of political rivalry between Harold Ford Jr and Steve Cohen. His transparent maneuvering to shield his allegiances to Tinker by using his wife as a conduit for campaign cash, and his politically expedient denunciation of Tinker’s tone-deaf tactics should be enough for Barack Obama to remove the Whore from any consideration for a prominent role in his administration.

Harold and Snowflake jump the broom

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Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and America’s favorite Negro Corporate Whore, was on “Meet the Press” yesterday in his paid capacity as a “political analyst.” He announced that he and Snowflake, the white fiancé he hid better than Strom Thurmond’s black daughter, jumped the broom three weeks ago. How precious.

I’ve been trying to figure out the quadroon from Tennessee’s career plans, and I’m stumped. At first, I thought he was gearing up for another Senate run because his campaign website was up for more than a year after the last campaign. When it finally came down, I heard tell of a run for Governor. Then, the engagement to Snowflake was announced. Some of y’all speculated that Tennesseans weren’t gonna allow any miscegenation in the Governor’s mansion.

I just don’t know. If Obama is elected, it could go either way in Tennessee. Part of me believes that the rednecks will think that Negroes are taking over and they’ll reject him. The other part believes that Obama’s election will make it easier. Only time will tell.  

Today, I think he’s angling for a cabinet spot and seeking to make himself a prominent Washington fixture and corporate tool. If he accepts anything lower than a cabinet spot, like Secretary of the Army, he’ll soon be running for something again. In any event, he’s just 38 and has nothing but time. Senator Alexander is over seventy, Senator Corker is up again in 2012 and the Governorship is term-limited. Ford is a political vulture and opportunist. He is clearly circling wounded Republicans in Tennessee waiting for an opportunity to strike.  

Anyway, the Whore, as I prefer to call him, was busy spouting a gusher of corporate propaganda. He suggested the following running mates for Obama: Colin Powell, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, the corporate pedophile who balances state budgets on the backs of children he eliminated from Medicaid.

None of those corporate fossils is acceptable. He should choose somebody who adds something to the ticket and somebody he can work with.

The first people that come to mind are Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill and a Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. I would prefer either of them. They are mainstream pols, however, so we probably can look forward to nothing innovative, but they are decent people and they bent over backwards for Obama. Loyalty should not be a trait to be overlooked. Both possess the sharp political instincts to be good advisors to a President.

The second tier would be the Hillary people. Some of her peeps ain’t bad. Washington Senator Patty Murray comes to mind. With 16 years on the Hill, she is a senior member of the Senate and has the experience to aid and guide Obama like few others do. A solid progressive, she is also pragmatic and determined. She ain’t no great shakes in the speech-making department, but she can work on that. Her personal story is very interesting and inspirational and she would make a good addition.

Finally, the unaligned folks in the third tier. Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold comes to mind. Nobody would be better in the role of Vice President. His eloquence, experience, and progressive tenacity are unmatched by anybody. There is just one problem; the prickly progressive can’t keep a wife. The twice-divorced Senator ain’t got a spouse and that ruins the solid family man portrait party bosses like to paint for their tickets.

Whatever happens, I would sincerely hope that Obama’s pledge to keep lobbyists out of his White House is sincere and that one of the first names he crosses off his list of political appointees is that of the Whore.

Harold Ford Jr, Prince of Tennessee

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The flag of Tennessee

Like an apocalyptic vision, I have been tormented by the frighteningly real prospect that the man I have referred to as the Dark Sith, the Whore, and the Anti-Christ, is once again on the make. And, like Revelations teaches, once that evil is unleashed, ain’t nothing or nobody safe.

Tennessee is a small, benighted, southern backwater that has always been ruled by a corporate oligarchy of rapacious capitalists. Three sons of Tennessee have assumed the nation’s highest office and all have been significant historical figures in their individual capacities. They are Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson, each a more dangerous fascist war hawk than the last.

This year, another son of Tennessee is running for President, and no, I am not referring to former Senator Fred Thompson or former Vice President Al Gore. I am talking about Harold Ford Jr, the new Prince of Tennessee, now that Al Gore has so unmistakably abdicated his title and the throne that went with it.

Ford is planning to make one last stab at capturing the imperial throne of the presidency and the first step on this long march to power is the Governorship of the Volunteer State. Two of Tennessee‘s Presidents have used the office of governor as a stepping-stone toward national office. All three manipulated the levers of power and were the willing facilitators of the aristocratic South’s class war to defend white supremacy and preserve slavery.

In this respect, Harold Ford Jr is no different. A corporate whore with no peer, Harold Ford Jr plays the political game with the gusto and virtuosity of a chess master. One only had to watch the brotha work as his 2006 Senate Campaign Chairman, Congressman Lincoln Davis, stabbed him in the back and announced his 2010 candidacy for Governor on October 8, 2007. Davis was quoted as saying to the Associated Press “I don’t think (Ford) is going to run because I would imagine that if I’m in the race, he’ll step aside.”

Bullshit.

The same article said, “an advisor to Ford and the head of the Tennessee Democratic Party confirmed that Ford is “seriously considering” a run to succeed Governor Phil Bredesen in 2010.” Two days later Davis abruptly reversed course and announced that his “immediate focus will be on working every day for the people of the 4TH district.” The Associated Press summed up by saying Davis said he remains interested in running for governor, but will wait to make a decision later.”

Throughout this whole spectacle, Harold Ford Jr didn’t say a mumblin’ word and dispatched his rival with a thoroughness and skill rarely displayed by someone of his age. His corporate contributors have invested much into his corporate friendly political career and they are intent on recouping their investment by making him governor and subsequently making him President.

In the furtherance of this presidential objective, Ford has taken great pains since his 2006 loss to locate himself at the nexus of financial and political power by taking positions at both Merrill Lynch and as Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council. In August, he and Governor Martin O’Malley wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post beseeching their party’s presidential candidates not to forsake the “center” which is code for not forsaking the corporate agenda of continued globalization, privatization of public assets, and imperialism. O’Malley-Ford sounds like a future Democratic ticket if you ask me.

Back home in Tennessee, there will be some competition from the GOP for the gubernatorial throne in the form of former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who retired from the Senate to run for President. Too bad for him that his candidacy withered on the vine of wingnut indifference. Two Thousand and Ten is an opportunity to revive his career and reach for the brass ring again, just as it is for Harold. I promise you that this will be the race to watch.

As a DLC acolyte wedded to war and eliminating estate taxes for the wealthiest among us, Ford has been a Negro cog in a Democratic machine of deceit. He has been a vocal supporter of sitting Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen, a former HMO executive, and corporate pedophile, who pimps the plight of uninsured children as a ruse to slash the state’s Medicaid caseload by over 200,000 people in a corporate jihad on behalf of the HMO’s, thus jeopardizing health care access for everyone, rationing health care access to the state’s poorest and most vulnerable, and disproportionately impacting the health care of African Americans negatively.

As you know, while not actively participating in the classist and racist destruction of health care access for the African American community, Ford comes from a black political dynasty headed by his father, Harold Sr, who aggressively sought to loot the program before its ignominious demise. This makes Prince Harold guilty by association.

Writing about this for the first time last year in the post Jake Ford, Tale of a Puppet, I said, You see, Mr. Harold is a lobbyist of high standing, having turned to the profession after two decades in Congress and a perilous brush with a fraud indictment. In a short space of time, Harold, Sr. has made untold millions while conspiring with his clients to loot TennCare, Tennessee’s formerly world class, top-shelf medicaid program.

“According to an article in the Commercial Appeal by Marc Perrusquia, TennCare subcontractor MIM Corp paid Harold, Sr. $1.6 million between 1998 and 2001. In addition, he received more than $1 million in lobbying fees from other firms and MIM corp to look after their interests in Nashville.”

“Mr. Harold or surrogates, Harold, Jr. or Newton conspired to contribute more than $15,000 to state politicians with a say on gutting TennCare, a program that serves 40% of the African American population and 50% of our children. In addition, two of the crooked black politicians who were caught up in the Tennessee Waltz bribery scandal received contributions from Ford.”

The Governor received $ 12,500 from Harold,Sr., Harold, Jr., and Newton “Jake” Ford. 114 contributions totalling over $206,000 flowed to the Governor’s campaign coffers from Health Care affiliated interests, which in turn, were handed a big payoff in the form of TennCare’s destruction.”

TN State Senator John Ford, Harold, Sr’s. brother, also received a contribution of $1,000 from his brother. In addition, Senator Ford pocketed over $237,000 from a TennCare dental health care provider, in a separate side deal apart from Harold, Sr. and Jake’s hustle.”

John Ford went on to be indicted and convicted by the feds for an unrelated bribery scheme and now faces charges for the aforementioned chicanery. Calls surreptitiously recorded by federal investigators had Mr. Harold warning his brother that what he was doing was highly improper and would get his black behind locked up. He didn’t listen. After beating two federal prosecutions for bank fraud, Harold Sr. knows exactly what not to do. Some Negroes think they are untouchable and never learn, as two of Mr. Harold’s politician brothers who got locked up can attest. Others listen to what their Daddy has to say and take copious notes.

Without a political godfather like Mr. Harold to guide him Barack Obama’s ill timed presidential bid is imploding because of a series of arrogant missteps and the deleterious effects of his vacuous rhetoric. It is clear that he will never be President and that Prince Harold knows this too, uses his DLC chairmanship as an excuse not to endorse him, and is positioning himself for his own run in the future.

In the final analysis, Harold Sr and Harold Jr operate on a different level than their kith and kin and are the skillful practitioners of a corporate friendly influence peddling that will always steer clear of illegality and be one step ahead of clever and one notch below that of blackface minstrelsy. It’s enough to make Mr. Harold a black kingmaker and possibly the father of the first black President of the United States.

Stopping Tennessee’s crown prince of deception should be the first priority of black progressives everywhere. However, with his engagement to Snow White on tap, he might have already done our jobs for us. Only time will tell. Expect to see an elaborate roll out of professional PR touting this twosome and don’t be surprised if you see them on Montel or some such program cooing and cuddling and whispering sickening platitudes about family, home and hearth. Any day now I expect the future Mrs. Ford will be wearing a conservative string of pearls and be attired immaculately in an age appropriate and politically correct Donna Karan ensamble. Whatever happens, Harold Ford Jr is on a collision course with the aspirations of the black community and we all stand to loose if he wins.

Southern Comfort

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I drink rarely and when I do, wine is usually my drink of choice. If I’m feeling really adventurous, Southern Comfort is my favorite liqueur. Wikipedia describes it as, “a fruit, spice, and whiskey flavored liqueur produced since 1874. It is made from a secret blend of whiskey, peach brandy, orange, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon flavors.” It is so damn yummy and the perfect metaphor for the focus of this and subsequent posts I’ll be doing this week on Louisiana and Tennessee.

Wikipedia goes on to say that “Southern Comfort was first produced by Irish bartender Martin Wilkes Heron (b. 1850 c. 1920), the son of a boat-builder, at McCauley’s tavern at the corner of Richard and St. Peter Street, in French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1889, patented his famous creation, and began selling it in sealed bottles with the slogan “None Genuine But Mine” and “Two per customer. No Gentleman would ask for more.” Southern Comfort won the gold medal at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.”

“The plantation depicted on the label of Southern Comfort since the 1930s is Woodland Plantation, an antebellum mansion in West Pointe a la Hache, a small town in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.”

Being a lover of history, even the history of this liqueur evokes the right image of warmth and cozyness that I feel once I’ve downed a glass and settled in for a rich discussion of political history and southern politics. That being said, here we go.

Looking around the web I spotted the latest campaign finance reports of several races I have my eye on and found several interesting things.

Starting in Memphis, Tennessee, there is the race between the sistah I have dubbed the Corporate Mammy and her opponent, Steve Cohen. Cohen, you’ll recall, is the white successor to Harold Ford, Jr’s Memphis Congressional seat and is set to defend it next year against Nikki Tinker, a corporate tool cut from the same cloth as her mentor, Harold Ford, Jr.

At this point, its all about the benjamins and sistah ain’t no slouch having raised $176,000 so far this year with $171,000 on hand. Her white opponent is running scared and clocked a healthy tally of $374,000 on hand. The Commerical Appeal is reporting that the corporate mammy ain’t playing fair and has resorted to push polling to get her campaign jump started. This race has only begun to get interesting. The racial angle is what we thrive on here at Skeptical Brotha.

Next up is the race in Maryland between challenger Donna Edwards and her opponent, Congressman Al Wynn, a corporate butt buddy of Harold Ford Jr in the DLC. I’ve got much love for this sistah and have endorsed her for this seat. She’s been endorsed by Democracy for America and hopefully after the corporate pod people at Emily’s list are whipped mercilessly with a wet noodle-Emily’s List. Something tells me that we’ll all turn blue black and die holding our breath on that one.

Sistah Donna has rasied over $214,000 for this race with $115,000 on hand. Fat Albert has raised over $592,000 with $400,000 on hand. He is giving new meaning to running scared because he clearly is terrified. She is burning money at a fairly good clip and that concerns me, but I think that whatever she’s doing, she’ll have the money to continue and win this February primary over Wynn.

Finally, there are two races I’ve classified as no way in hell. My favorite two candidates for the Senate: Vernon-I-didn’t-rape-her,-I’m-just-a-little-freaky-Jones, and Vivian-I’ve-lost-my-damn-mind-Figures. Vernon Jones, the DeKalb County CEO, is term-limited and running for the Senate seat of Saxby Chambliss, the shameless xenophopbic bastard that accused his opponent, former Senator Max Cleland, of coddling Osama Bin Laden in a series of ads so foul that they are still infamous to this day-5 years later.

Jones has no hope of unseating the senator and his millions in campaign cash. Jones is being aided in his hopeless quest by raising over $376,000, which is more than respectable at this point. He has over $265,000 on hand. Dekalb county, the largest suburban county outside Atlanta is booming and he can rightfully take credit, but it still won’t help. We are talking about Georgia after all. I wonder if he takes a page out of Marion Barry’s book when his supporters ask about the rape allegation and tells them “The Bitch set me up.”

Anybody who knows me knows that I enjoy Alabama politics because like all southern politics, its colorful and interesting. The most interesting race in Alabama of late was the Mayor’s race in Birmingham in which they ousted their two term Mayor in favor of Jefferson County Comissioner Larry Langford. They were so pleased with the Mayor that he got only 8% of the vote. Ouch.

It also featured a wealthy candidate endorsed by CBC corporate whore Artur Davis. He came in second. Hallelujah, Thank You, Jesus. Anyhoo, the Alabama Senate race has none of the same Pizzazz. Instead, its tired and as over as Whitney’s marriage to Bobby.

To put it simply, State Senator Vivian Davis Figures is delusional. Her campaign report states clearly why: she ain’t raised but $24,636 dollars in the short time she’s been in this race. Not an auspicious start at all. Senator Jeff Sessions, a neo-confederate racist, has $3.5 million on hand. Like I said, the sistah is delusional and needs to check herself into a private funny farm somwhere before she’s involuntarily committed to a padded cell she can permanently call her own.

I almost forgot the little matter of Harold Ford, Jr’ s up and coming nuptuals to his fiance and his impending announcement of a run for Governor.

Before I comment on that fully in another post, what do y’all think about that. Y’all think he’s been hitting a bottle of southern comfort on the regular or do you think that it’s a mental thang for him to believe that jumping the broom with snowflake is not gonna make his gubernatorial run an exercise in futility.

I’ll let you all in on a little secret. There is a certain black female politico that I met a few years back and she met Harold Whore Jr at one of the Democratic National Conventions and has been pining for him ever since. Like Harold, she is fair skinned. What we used to call “Light, bright, and damn near White.” I’m sure if she got the chance, she’d tell him what Lonette McKee told Wesley Snipes in Jungle Fever “I wasn’t light enough for ya, you had to get you a white girl.”

Another Ford rises, Herenton re-elected

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Another Ford made his mark Thursday night in Memphis as the returns trickled in from the board of elections.   Edmund Ford Jr, cousin of the imfamous Harold Ford Jr, the worst corporate whore in the history of the Congressional Black Caucus, was coming in first in his District 6 City Council race.   He faces a run-off with Dr.  James Ketchings.  

A Ford with bad timing, Edmund Jr is running to replace his daddy on the council, a funeral director with a penchant for accepting bribes.  It seems that Edmund Sr has been indicted, along with another council colleague, in a federal bribery probe separate from the one his brother, former State Senator John Ford, was caught up in. 

Also in today’s news, it seems that former Congressman Harold Ford Sr’s right to vote is being called into question.  The elder Ford, the first African American elected to congress from Tennessee since reconstruction, is now a corporate lobbyist and fixer, has been living full-time in Florida in a lavish $2.5 million dollar estate and has claimed it as his primary residence.   Seems that could pose a problem with retaining his voter registration in Tennessee.

Lastly, Memphis’ long-term Mayor Willie Herenton, the first black elected Mayor in Memphis, was handily re-elected to a fifth term despite strong bi-racial opposition.  With 99% of precincts reporting, Mayor Herenton was re-elected with 69,626 votes to Councilwoman Carol Chumney’s 57,061 and Herman Morris’s 35,068.   Mayor Herenton remains undefeated and the undisputed choice of the African American voter.

Nikki Tinker, Corporate Mammy

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Stunningly beautiful, flawlessly dressed, seemingly cosmopolitan and well educated, Pinnacle Airlines Attorney Nikki Tinker looks nothing like the plantation throwback and sellout that she is.

Yes, Children, she ain’t nothin’ but a corporate mammy and Trojan horse for white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

A protégé of Harold Ford, Jr, Tinker is an agent of the Memphis corporate power structure and has been running behind her corporate slave master, Phil Trenary, CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, like a 21st century Mammy.

The mammy archetype is such a powerful symbol of black subjugation. For some, it is soothing, and for others, it enrages. I’m one of the latter. For me, the mammy stereotype is evocative of a particular Memphis twist to the racist mammy image, and is so appropriate to a discussion of the impending primary challenge Tinker is mounting to freshman Congressman Steve Cohen.

  

During the forties, Memphis blacks continued chafing under the dictatorial rule of E.H. “Ed” Crump, the local political boss who ruled both Memphis and Tennessee for over forty years.

Crump ran a sophisticated operation in which his operatives paid the poll taxes of African Americans and he voted them for his slate of candidates. Crump supported white supremacy and never backed a black candidate. For years, most could be bought off with copious amounts of walking around money, beer and barbeque.

Others needed something more and sometimes got it as Jim Crow weakened. G. Wayne Dowdy penned an article in the Journal of Negro History entitled “The White Rose Mammy: Racial Culture and Politics in World War II Memphis.” He wrote, “…forty years of Crump rule allowed blacks access to the political process through him or his subordinates. Better schools, housing and city employment were results of this alliance between white and black. To be sure, the relationship was at best an unequal one, leaving most African Americans with little protection from the overall practice of white supremacy. Indeed, when individual blacks challenged Crump and the local Democratic Party, retribution followed.”

Population changes as a result of the war swelled the black population to 41% and racial tensions increased and dissent from the black community followed. Dowdy takes up the story, “As this unrest was spreading, the White Rose Laundry Cleaners erected a mechanical sign on Linden Avenue, which was not very far from prominent Peabody Avenue where Mayor Chandler and Mr. Crump both lived. The sign depicted an African American woman, dressed in traditional mammy garb, bending over a wash tub.”

“Founded by Jewish immigrant Henry Klyce in 1928, the White Rose Laundry was representative of the economic importance of the local Jewish community. Nominally a minority, the Jews of Memphis had almost completely assimilated into the prevailing white southern culture. Several Jews even held important posts within the Crump organization. The depiction was apparently done in a humorous fashion, with the woman bending over and revealing her undergarments. Many blacks saw little humor in this and instead were angered.”

African Americans protested and wrote Mayor Chandler, “The advertisement represents a complete effrontery to Negro people, in its subtle although effective ridicule of the race.” Chandler intervened on behalf of the offended African American community and asked the owners of the White Rose Laundry to take down the offending mammy sign. While it is unknown the extent of Boss Crump’s involvement in this case, what is known is that nothing of consequence happened in Memphis without his consent and the sign came down, although when is not remembered.

Today, what should offend the black community is the Trojan-horse candidacy of Nikki Tinker, a twenty-first century white rose mammy, and the machinations of her plantation puppet master, Phil Trenary. Her $100,000 haul at the end of the last fundraising quarter has proven that she’s still as serious a contender as she was in 2006, when she raised over $577,000. The Corporate Mammy’s candidacy is an affront to the black community, fueled as it is by the corporate friends and associates of her plantation puppet master, and is inimical to our social, political, and economic interests in Memphis. If black folk ain’t careful, they’ll empower another Boss Crump in the form of a present day corporate executive, or they will continue to empower the slightly less objectionable Steve Cohen, a man who has coveted this seat for years and who ran for it and lost to Harold Ford, Jr back in 1996.

It used to be different. Proud black women like Ida B. Wells and Maxine Smith, a civil rights crusader, school board member, and community elder, showed the young how its supposed to be done. They used whatever community resources they had to work on behalf of the community and to hold the white power structure to account. Today’s black politicians worship at the altar of the corporate power structure and like American Express, don’t leave home without it.

Campaign receipts and news stories to date reveal Tinker to be a Trojan horse candidate willing to pander to homophobia in the black ministerial community. The names of prominent black homophobes like Rev. LaSimba Gray, a supporter of last year’s “independent” candidacy of Jake Ford, are littered throughout her campaign report. It won’t work with bloggers like Thaddeus Matthews and me willing to spread the word.

Steve Cohen

More progressive than either Ford, Jr or Tinker, Cohen’s motives in running for this seat aren’t as pure as he claims. He won this seat because of divisions in the black community and a slate of too many black candidates. Only in Congress for nine months, it hasn’t taken him long to travel to Israel and cavort with the most extreme right-wing political actors in that country-the same people who brought last summer’s war with Lebanon that was roundly condemned by human rights groups. Nobody was blameless during that war-Hezbollah was not, but like a fight among children, somebody started it. Israel started the conflict last summer with cluster munitions supplied by the United States.

While a strong opponent of the Iraq War, Cohen has said nothing that I can find about the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions by Israel to kill innocent civilians in Lebanon. That war was an abrogation of the international rules of war and a stench in the nostrils of God. What is needed in Memphis is a real progressive candidate willing to stand up and fight all forms of injustice. Neither the Corporate Mammy nor Cohen fit the bill. However, in the absence of a true progressive, Cohen will have to do until the real thing comes along.

 

Southern Political Report

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Complicating Harold Ford, Jr’s nascent bid for the Tennesse Governor’s mansion is the fact that Uncle John, a former state Senator, has been sentenced to 66 months in prison for taking bribes. The Memphis Commercial Appeal has the scoop:  

John Ford sentenced to 66 months in prison

John Ford was sentenced to 66 months in prison this morning for his April conviction of accepting $55,000 in bribes in the FBI’s Tennessee Waltz public corruption investigation.

U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen carefully noted his interpretation of advisory federal guidelines that suggest enhanced punishment for factors such as the amount and number of bribes, threatening witnesses, acceptance of responsibility and the fact that Ford was an elected official.

The judge said he was not convinced that Ford truly believes he did anything wrong and that the sentence must be a deterrence to others.

“The court is not convinced that a reduction for acceptance of responsibility is warranted in this case,” Breen said. “This trial reflects a person of greed and avarice, but at the same time a man with the ability to help others. This is the tragic dichotomy of this case.

“The sentence, therefore, should reflect the serious nature of this offense.”

Breen said he would impose no fine.

Ford, who showed no reaction to the sentence, will remain free pending notification from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons when and where he will report.

Ford, 65, was one of 12 lawmakers or aides charged in the sweeping statewide investigation, 11 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted in trial.

Earlier this morning defense attorney Michael Scholl criticized the media and the government for “the persecution of John Ford” over the years.

“What I have seen is John Ford singled out in all of this,” Scholl told the judge, noting that other legislators have been convicted and faced lighter sentencing. “John Ford could have gone out and robbed and shot somebody and he would be facing less time than he is now. What I want to emphasize here is all the good that John Ford has done. We can’t just wipe out 30 years in the legislature.”

Witnesses have testified that the county has suffered in money it gets from the legislature because Ford is no longer there, Scholl added.

He also issued a plea for the judge to consider Ford’s support responsibilities for seven of his 12 children.

“John Ford has suffered for two years,” Scholl said. “They have taken everything he has. One of the things I’ve seen in this case is the awesome power of the government.”

Federal prosecutor Lorraine Craig said Scholl’s comments reflect the problems that the government has with Ford.

“He has been persecuted? He has suffered?” she said. “Is it a surprise that his family and friends did not see the side that we saw on those (undercover) tapes? This was Mr. Ford, the man who makes the deals. The man who goes first class. That’s the Mr. Ford we saw.”

She said Ford accepts no responsibility for his offense.

“The only thing he says he did wrong was that he trusted too much,” Craig told the judge. “No one persecuted Mr. Ford. He is here in this courtroom because of his own criminal conduct.”

 Speaking of Memphis Politics, Nikki Tinker, the corporate protege of Harold Ford, Jr is ramping up her campaign to take back Tennessee’s Ninth Congressional District for the Congressional Black Caucus against Steve Cohen.  The Memphis Commercial Appeal has the scoop:

WASHINGTON — Nikki Tinker began her 2008 campaign for the 9th Congressional District seat the night she lost the Democratic Party Primary to Steve Cohen last August by just 4,459 votes.

Cohen did too.

Cohen, who is white, says voters in Memphis will consider the job he’s doing rather than his skin color in deciding whether to re-elect him. Meanwhile, he tells anyone who will listen that he votes with the sensitivities of a black woman.

He and others suspect that a recent brouhaha among members of the Baptist Ministerial Association over his support of hate crimes legislation may be the opening salvo in a battle that Tinker would like to have center on, as she puts it, changing “the face and pace of our leadership.”

Tinker did not respond to repeated phone calls for this story, but her Washington-based spokesman, Cornell Belcher, explained Friday that she’s not interested in talking issues or Cohen’s record yet.

“Here’s where we are, to be straight with you: At this point, we want her talking to voters and raising money,” said Belcher, a partner in Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies. Talking about her differences with Cohen “is something that we really would rather not get into right now. … It will come, but it’s just not going to come right now.”

Cohen isn’t waiting. He says he doesn’t know where his opponent stands on most issues, and points out she’s never cast a legislative vote.

Tinker has spoken to the ministerial association and arranged for the company she works for as general counsel to provide a free airplane ride to members of the ministers’ congregations in June — after declaring her candidacy. Pinnacle Airlines flew the group in circles around Memphis on June 23 but, through spokesman R. Phillip Reed Jr., said the flight was “not directly or indirectly associated with the Tinker for Congress campaign.”

The ministers say the hate crimes bill passed by the House would limit what they could say about homosexuality from their pulpits, although the language of the law indicates it won’t. It’s pending in the Senate.

Among those who suspect that politics is involved in the hate crimes issue is Downtown developer Henry Turley, who has been Cohen’s campaign treasurer since he ran for the Shelby County Commission in the late 1970s.

“You can’t help but wonder, is this an effort to discredit Cohen?” Turley said last week. “It certainly makes you wonder since it’s an incorrect or spurious charge. …Why would they make that incorrect statement? … Why would someone say that unless there was an agenda?”

The issue didn’t draw fire during Ford’s terms. Records show Ford co-sponsored the hate crimes bill, broadening federal jurisdiction over crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, four times between 1997 and 2004 and voted for it in 2005. His stance never made headlines or drew criticism from the churches.

Turley said Tinker’s prodigious fund-raising in 2006 was impressive and he attributed it to two things: the influence of her boss, Philip H. Trenary, CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, and her endorsement by the pro-abortion rights group Emily’s List, whose acronym stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast.

Some in Memphis publicly objected to Tinker receiving the February 2006 endorsement, saying Cohen’s abortion rights bona fides were better established, but hundreds of thousands of dollars poured in for Tinker from across the country.

A spokesman for Emily’s List, Ramona Oliver, said last week that no decision on an endorsement in the 9th Congressional District race has been made.

Cohen acknowledges he’s asked “a few people at the national level” to help derail future Emily’s List endorsement. The group endorses women only.

“I’d be shocked if Emily’s List would get involved in this election,” Cohen said.

African American State Senator Vivian Davis Figures is gearing up to challenge ignorant confederate incumbent U.S. Senator Jefferson Sessions in 2008

MOBILE — Democratic State Sen. Vivian Figures said Saturday she is running against Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions in the 2008 election, pledging to give Alabama “new progressive leadership.”

Figures, 50, made her announcement at Mobile Government Plaza where she began her political career in 1993 on the City Council. She moved from the council into her husband Michael Figures’ legislative seat after his death in 1996 and has served 11 years.

Sessions, 60, also of Mobile, won his second term in 2002 and will seek re-election. No other challengers have announced plans to run.

Senator Figures is delusional if she thinks she can win in Alabama.

Turning to Louisiana, State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy announced his change of party from Democratic to Republican in preparation for a run for U.S. Senate against Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, in 2008:

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

BATON ROUGE — State Treasurer John Kennedy has switched political parties and will seek re-election to a third term this fall as a Republican, he announced Monday.

The change immediately vaults Kennedy to the top of the list of potential challengers to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La, who is up for re-election to a third term in 2008 and is considered vulnerable by national Republicans.

Kennedy has been publicly considering the party switch for months, and he has become an increasingly ascerbic critic of Gov. Kathleen Blanco and the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate on a variety of spending issues. 

In an e-mail message to supporters, Kennedy cited “certain fixed, bedrock principles” that he believes are more in line with the Republican Party than the Democrats, and said GOP officials have been more responsive to his proposals in recent years.

“For the past several years, it has increasingly been the case that those public servants who have embraced my ideas and my philosophy of trying new approaches are primarily Republicans,” Kennedy wrote.

He had been courted to switch parties by U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and met recently with senior White House aide Karl Rove to discuss the matter.

The switch comes at a time when Republicans are losing ground nationally, having lost control of the U.S. House and Senate in the 2006 mid-term elections, but appear to be ascendant in Louisiana, where U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-Kenner, enjoys a wide lead in the governor’s race.

Best Sex Scandal of 2007

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By Marc Perrusquia, Memphis Commercial Appeal 

Memphis police are investigating allegations by a former topless club cocktail waitress that she was recruited as bait in a plot to blackmail Mayor Willie Herenton by luring him into a sexual rendezvous. 

 

The waitress, who has told her story to Herenton and Police Director Larry Godwin and who says she will file legal papers today, says the plot was never consummated.

Yet, Gwendolyn D. Smith has touched off an official inquiry with her account, contending that she’s been paid as much as $18,000 — money she says came from rich businessmen trying to smear Herenton, the city’s first black elected mayor, to keep him from seeking a fifth term in October.

“I think the city of Memphis should know what so-called powerful businessmen are doing to their leaders,” Smith told The Commercial Appeal on Wednesday.

“I think it should upset not only the African-American community, but the whole city.”

Herenton confirmed that Memphis police took a tape-recorded statement from Smith after she approached him earlier this spring with her account. Herenton said he was initially suspicious but became convinced after she repeated it to Godwin and another officer.

“I’m utterly appalled, disappointed and I’m just simply shocked that individuals in this community would go to an unreasonable extent to try to embarrass me by orchestrating such a diabolical plot,” Herenton said.

Smith, 29, contends the plot’s mastermind was Richard Fields, a prominent Memphis attorney who represented her in a criminal forgery case and who also once served as Herenton’s personal lawyer.

“I’m amazed that Richard, who was my former attorney, an individual who purported to be a friend, really just went off the deep end,” Herenton said.

Reached Wednesday evening, Fields said legal ethics forbid him from commenting on Smith’s contentions.

“This is totally untrue. I wish I could go further,” Fields said. “If she waives the attorney-client privilege, I’ll be happy to respond to all allegations. Ms. Smith has some serious problems personally as well as legally.”

Smith, a cousin of one of Fields’ ex-wives, said the lawyer recruited her into a plot to smear Herenton after he represented her in a criminal case in Nashville.

Smith pleaded guilty in 2004 to five felony forgery counts after she defrauded merchants with stolen American Express gift checks and counterfeit identification. Faced with a drug charge that violated her probation, Smith hired Fields in 2005 and he worked out a deal to keep her from jail by extending her probation.

Smith said she was smoking marijuana at the time, but has since amended her ways. “I’ve learned my lesson,” she said.

Smith said Fields later learned that she had worked in 2000 as a waitress at Platinum Plus, a notorious East Memphis topless club closed by state and federal authorities in December.

She said Fields initially asked her to help in an FBI investigation but that his interests later turned to her having a secretly videotaped sexual encounter with the mayor.

“He told me to try to sleep with him and (Herenton’s longtime friend and former mayoral aide) Reginald French,” Smith said.

The plan, she said, was to approach Herenton at The Peabody’s lobby, where he and French were known to socialize. Smith said Fields paid her $2,000 a month between January and March — money she was told came from a prominent Memphis businessman — and that Fields also gave her the use of an account at a boutique where she bought expensive handbags and accessories.

Smith said Fields promised her a free apartment and other perks paid for by businessmen who were behind his plans.

One offer, she said, came from car dealer Russell Gwatney, who offered to give her a new Chevy Tahoe. Smith’s account caused Herenton to summon Gwatney, an old political supporter, to his City Hall office.

“I got a call from Willie Herenton wanting me to come down to his office. He said, ‘Russell you’re going to be named in a lawsuit,’ ” Gwatney told a reporter Wednesday. Gwatney said he told the mayor he knew of no plot but confirmed that Fields and Smith had come to him about two months ago inquiring about a car.

“She came in our dealership one time, and Rich Fields came in there and told me that he needed to buy a car for the girl,” Gwatney said. “And he told me that people were going to pay for the car, but they wanted to me to basically front all the money on the car.”

Gwatney said he refused.

He told the newspaper Fields was interested in getting Smith a small SUV and assured the car dealer he would be paid back.

“They wanted me to front the money to pay for the car so they could pay me back over time. I got real uninterested real quick.”

“I don’t know who the business people were, don’t even know.”

If I were to start giving out awards for the best sex scandal, this would be it. 

Tennessee’s Ninth Congressional District Brawl

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A bitter and protracted battle for Tennessee’s Ninth Congressional District is heating up this summer between former Harold Ford, Jr. campaign manager and corporate attorney Nikki Tinker , and incumbent Congressman Steve Cohen. 

Steve Cohen

Congressman Cohen took the majority black congressional seat after a bitter primary battle which saw the black vote splintered by more than five serious black candidates.  Some quarters in the community are less than thrilled by Cohen’s representation and are encouraging this re-match.  

The general election was a match between Cohen and a younger brother of Harold Ford, Jr. for the seat.  The younger Ford showed himself to be out of his league, unprepared, and lacking the necessary skills to make his candidacy viable.  He resorted to unnecessary racial appeals and homophobia in a failed attempt to keep this seat in the family.

Ms. Tinker announced her long rumored intention to file for a re-match and the battle looks to be joined.   Black rivals to the Ford family emerged last year to back Cohen in the form of Shelby County Mayor Wharton and Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

Since then, both Herenton and Wharton have been seriously damaged politically by scandal.  This race looks like one to watch because it parallells in intersting ways the Obama vs. Hillary match up.

Whore’s Uncle convicted of bribery

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 John Ford Trial

HAT TIP: (AP) MEMPHIS, April 27 — Former state senator John Ford (D), a prominent member of a politically powerful family, was convicted Friday of accepting $55,000 in bribes.

But the federal jury deadlocked on the more serious charge of extortion, creating a mistrial on that count. Ford was acquitted of three counts of witness intimidation.

The prosecution’s case depended heavily on showing jurors videos of the once-influential state senator stuffing his pockets with $100 bills counted one by one by an undercover FBI agent.

Ford’s defense contended that he thought he was being paid as a business consultant for a computer recycling company. But the company was a fake created for an FBI investigation of corruption among state officials.

The sting, code-named Tennessee Waltz, resulted in the arrests of five sitting or former lawmakers and several local government officials.

Ford served in the state legislature from the 1970s until May 2005, when he resigned a few days after his arrest. He is the brother of Harold E. Ford Sr. (D), Tennessee’s first black congressman, and the uncle of Harold E. Ford Jr. (D), who replaced his father in Congress and served 10 years until losing a race for the U.S. Senate last year.

The Whore loves oral gratification

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Skeptical Brotha’s favorite Fox News corporate whore, Harold Ford, Jr has been turning tricks again for his corporate benefactors.  This time he has decided to pleasure them the best way he knows how-orally.  Oral gratification is the Whore’s specialty and the nasty bastard was in rare form as he addressed the Democratic Leadership Council last week.   If there was any question about his self-serving agenda and his transparently obvious aspirations for the Senate, he removed all doubt.   His address was an orgy of self-congratulation and vacuous rhetoric calculated to positon him and the organization he leads at the corrupt nexus of power.  His paen of praise for former President Bill Clinton was downright sappy and starstruck.   Monica-let-me-lift-up-my-dress-and-show-the-president-my-panties-Lewinsky couldn’t have done it any better. 

The Whore turns another trick

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Hat Tip: Shenanigans blog at Politico.com

Shenanigans has learned that former heartthrob Tennessee Rep/Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council Harold Ford, Jr. has inked a deal with Fox News Channel as a political contributor.  Lest we forget, they just signed former Pennsylvania Rep Rick Santorum last week – look out Mort and Fred — we see their own TV show in the making. Still, Santorum last week, Ford this week: it’s all about being fair and balanced.

Nobody bet’ not EVER say another mumblin’ word to me again about Harold Ford, Jr not being a corporate whore.   Y’all hear me?   The evidence is overwhelming:  Chair Democratic Leadership Council,  VP at Merrill Lynch, and the coup de grace: a perch on Fox News.   Barack Obama is a true disappointment but his craven machinations pale in comparison to Harold Whore, Jr.   Harold, like Elvis before him, is the King.   
 

Thanx dbl Helix for the heads up.

The Whore lands a Sugar Daddy

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NEW YORK, February 14, 2007Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MER) today announced that Harold E. Ford, Jr., former congressman, Ninth District of Tennessee, will join the company as vice chairman and senior policy advisor, effective March 5. Mr. Ford will advise senior management on domestic policy issues, serve as a member of the firm’s public policy and social responsibility management committee, and support a variety of business development initiatives in the institutional and retail markets. He will report to Greg Fleming, president of the firm’s Global Markets and Investment Banking group, and maintain offices in New York and Nashville.

Mr. Ford was elected to Congress in 1996 at age 26 and served five terms. He sat on the House Budget Committee and the House Committee on Financial Services. In addition, Mr. Ford co-chaired the Congressional Savings and Ownership Caucus, a bipartisan coalition dedicated to advancing policies to build savings and assets for all Americans, and low-income Americans in particular, and the Community Solutions and Initiatives Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers that seeks to help faith and community-based groups solve social challenges. Earlier this year, he was elected chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, the progressive policy and issues advocacy organization, succeeding Iowa Governor Thomas Vilsack, who resigned to take steps in advance of a run for the presidency.

“We are delighted to have a dynamic, energetic visionary like Harold Ford join Merrill Lynch,” said Stan O’Neal, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. “At a young age, Harold has excelled in virtually every assignment he has ever taken on, distinguishing himself in the Congress and bringing fresh ideas and solutions to government that transcended partisan politics. We have every expectation that Harold will be equally successful supporting Merrill Lynch in its efforts to pursue new business opportunities and be responsive to the communities we serve around the world.”

“Harold’s experience, enthusiasm and perspective make him a valuable addition to our management team,” said Mr. Fleming. “We look forward to his contributions to Merrill Lynch’s business development efforts and expect to benefit greatly from his government experience and personal insight as we address the public policy implications of our various business activities over the next few years.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the executive team at Merrill Lynch,” said Mr. Ford. “For generations, the Merrill Lynch brand has represented the path to economic opportunity for millions of Americans and citizens the world over. It’s a great tradition that I look forward to helping build on during my tenure with the firm.”

Mr. Ford earned a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a bachelor’s degree in American history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Merrill Lynch is one of the world’s leading wealth management, capital markets and advisory companies with offices in 38 countries and territories and total client assets of approximately $1.6 trillion. As an investment bank, it is a leading global trader and underwriter of securities and derivatives across a broad range of asset classes and serves as a strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions and individuals worldwide. Merrill Lynch owns approximately half of BlackRock, one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management companies, with more than $1 trillion in assets under management.

The Whore finds a John to ride

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My good sista, Rikyrah, has alerted Skeptical Brotha to a new developement with America’s favorite Corporate Whore, former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. He seems to be angling for a new a new position practicing the world’s oldest profession at the Democratic Leadership Council, the corporate protection arm of the Democratic Party.  How nice.  I thought the whore would have found a more lucrative John to ride in the downtime between Senate runs.  Well, no matter, it seems that the media generated sympathy machine for his close loss has the entire right-wing of the party at his beck and call.  The ink is not dry on the deal and they might be able to dig up another, more acceptable white hack to drive their corporate agenda.  I’ll be paying attention to see what else develops.