I Don’t Care What You Say…

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Daschle-Confirmation Hearing

You fight for the ones that were with you from day one. Tom Daschle encouraged Barack Obama to run for President and not be intimidated by the Clinton Juggernaut, which he ultimately defanged and defeated. All the Senate old heads sat a brotha down and schooled him. “Your chance, if it comes at all, won’t come but once—grab it.” He did, and retired old heads like Daschle provided wise counsel along the path to ultimate power. Daschle, apart from being the ultimate Senate insider, health care expert, and former Majority Leader, knew the internal machinations of the Senate and its formidable personalities. His addition to the Obama cabinet and on the White House staff signaled that Tom was back in the saddle and czar of the most formidable reform effort, aside from the economic recovery, on Barack Obama’s plate. This is and was a serious portfolio and his tax status, irrelevant as it is, was no reason to cast him aside when his skill set is in short supply and his discipline, focus, and ideological purity on health care reform is so badly needed.

 

I simply don’t buy, given the reaction of Senate Democratic old heads, that Daschle removed himself from consideration. He was pushed—by whom, besides arse clowns like John Ensign, remains to be seen. This is a fine mess and I no longer have any warm and fuzzy feelings about health care reform in this Administration.


Nobody can tell me that throwing Daschle overboard and then fishing Judd Gregg’s right wing behind out of the soup is “Change We Can Believe In.”

About face on Burris

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Illinois Governor

It has been several days now and I’ve had time to chill and collect my thoughts. During that time, I have come to realize that my opposition to the seating of Roland Burris as the Junior Senator from Illinois is a mistake and a histrionic reaction to Rod Blagojevich’s mischievous and Machiavellian appointment of a qualified African American.

 

There is no way in hell that accepting Blagojevich’s appointment was the rational act of a black politician concerned about fair black representation in the upper house. Instead, it was the juvenile and selfish maneuvering of a washed up politician who equates the legitimate desire of the African American community to be represented by at least one African American Senator with his appointment. They are not one and the same.

The man or woman chosen to replace the President Elect should have been academically, politically, and professionally the best our community could put forward. Burris fails on that score. He is relatively undistinguished but qualified and is definitely over the hill.

 

But what’s done is done and the President Elect and the Democratic Caucus need to deal rationally with the unsavory politics of this appointment without casting aspersions, as many, including me, have done.

 

This is a legally unassailable appointment. Period. Rod Blagojevich retained the legal authority to make this selection and he made it because the Illinois legislature declined to strip him of this authority. Given the time-frame he constitutionally has to decide whether he would sign or veto any piece of legislation, he probably would have been able to stall long enough to make the appointment anyway and we would still be here. Most reasonable folk understand that he had no moral authority, but the law doesn’t require that.

 

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times dropped the dime on Blagojevich the other day. Reid actively maneuvered against any African American appointment. He opposed Jesse, Danny Davis, and Emil Jones. The fact of the matter is that no Senate Democratic leader has done any heavy lifting to benefit a black Senatorial candidate in a contested situation. Nobody has ever attempted to clear the field to benefit a brotha or sistah. Nobody has ever attempted to dry up a white candidate’s fundraising to help out a black senate candidate. It happens for whites all the time. Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, actively sought to dry up Kweisi Mfume’s money to benefit Ben Cardin in 2006.


 

The Senate Majority Leader has never done anything to benefit a black Senate candidate before appointment or before a contested primary. It’s a damn shame I didn’t see that before, but I see it now. Despite Bobby Rush’s clumsy, cartoonish injection of race into the initial press conference—he happens to be right. He also happens to be the worst messenger of the truth because of his unwillingness to support Barack Obama for this seat in the first place.

Rikyrah, CPL, y’all are right, and I was wrong.

What is baffling to me though is why some of the same black people who advocate seating Burris don’t castigate Barack Obama for siding against qualified black representation.

 

Jackson Jr informed on Blagojevich

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sandi

Hat Tip: By Don Babwin, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Shortly after his 2002 election, Gov. Rod Blagojevich told Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. he didn’t appoint the congressman’s wife for lottery director because he had refused to make a $25,000 donation to the governor’s campaign, a person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press.

“That’s why she’s not getting the job,” the person quoted Blagojevich as saying. The person, a Jackson associate who was interviewed Tuesday by the AP, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing federal investigation.

Jackson’s name has played prominently ever since Blagojevich was arrested last week on corruption charges, including allegations that the governor tried to sell or trade President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for personal gain.

Jackson has been identified as one of the candidates Blagojevich was considering for the seat, and a criminal complaint said his supporters were willing to raise $1.5 million for the governor if he picked the congressman.

The complaint quotes Blagojevich as saying on federal wiretaps that an associate of the candidate offered to raise money for him if he made the Jackson appointment happen.

Jackson spokesman Kenneth Edmonds declined to comment on the account of the exchange shortly after Blagojevich’s 2002 election but said the Democratic congressman, the son of civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, has approached federal investigators to discuss the governor and others for years.

“He has shared information with federal prosecutors about public corruption during the past several years, including information about Blagojevich and others,” Edmonds said.

Jackson has openly sought the Senate position but denies initiating or authorizing anyone to promise anything to Blagojevich on his behalf. The congressman has said federal prosecutors told him he is not a target of their investigation.

The Jackson associate interviewed by the AP did not know whether Jackson’s wife, Sandi had asked for the state lottery job. At the time, Blagojevich was the first incoming Democratic governor after years of Republican rule and had scores of state jobs to fill.

“The governor had kind of penciled Sandi in as lottery director and then asked for contributions from the congressman,” the person said.

Sandi Jackson, who has since been elected to the Chicago City Council, did not return a call to her office seeking comment.

In April, the Chicago Tribune reported that an examination of campaign donations to Blagojevich showed that three in four donors who gave exactly $25,000 received administration favors such as state board appointments or contracts.

It’s also the same amount of money that figured prominently in the testimony of a government witness in the political corruption trial this summer of political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

Rezko, who raised more than $1 million for Blagojevich’s campaign fund, was convicted of shaking down companies seeking state business for campaign contributions.

Senator Caroline Kennedy

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GET FILES-FRANCE-US-KENNEDY

I find it ironic and disengenuous that the Hillarycrat detractors of Caroline Kennedy, a New York resident for over four decades, would have the temerity to suggest that the Harvard University educated author, lawyer, and philanthropist lacks the necessary qualifications  to represent New York State in the United States Senate.   Ms. Kennedy has always been a dignified, understated and classy mover and shaker that has used her celebrity,  talent, and money to help other people.   Politically, nobody could beat her under any circumstances.   She can raise the money and would maintain the current number of women in the senate, which is already too few. Where the hell were these people when Hillary decided to accept the phony draft of New Yorkers to run for the Senate in a state she had never lived in?  Caroline Kennedy has been a New Yorker longer than the Queen of Triangulation has been a blond.   I am relieved that she has decided to throw her hat in the ring.   If David Paterson is smart, he’ll appoint Caroline without any more deliberation and secure his re-election at the same time.


			

Obama-Biden:Unconditional surrender to the Washington Establishment

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Late in the midnight hour, the Washington press corps informed the world definitively that Barack Obama had reached deep into the senior ranks of the Senate’s comb-over caucus of corporate has-beens to recycle Delaware’s ponderous windbag, Senator Joe Biden, as his running mate. Obama’s selection signaled his unconditional surrender to the tribal Washington power structure and the corporate media voiced its approval through endless rounds of substance free adoration and praise.

Receiving the campaign’s tired little text message this morning was anti-climatic given the aggressive reporting the night before. This Skeptical Brotha is unimpressed. I am assuming that you’ve chewed it over some. What say you?

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.

Senator Kennedy hospitalized

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Hat Tip: By DAVID ESPO and GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was airlifted to a hospital Saturday after suffering a seizure at his home, and did not appear to have had a stroke as initially suspected, his spokeswoman said.

The 76-year-old Democrat, the lone surviving son in a famed political family, was undergoing tests at Massachusetts General Hospital to determine the cause of the seizure, spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said.

“Senator Kennedy is resting comfortably, and it is unlikely we will know anything more for the next 48 hours,” she said.

Kennedy went to Cape Cod Hospital on Saturday morning “after feeling ill at his home,” Cutter said. After discussion with his doctors in Boston, Kennedy was taken to Massachusetts General.

An official who declined to be identified by name, citing the sensitivity of the events, had earlier said that Kennedy had stroke-like symptoms. The hospital declined to comment on his condition.

In October, Kennedy had surgery to repair a nearly complete blockage in a major neck artery. The discovery was made during a routine examination of a decades-old back injury.

The hourlong procedure on his left carotid artery — a main supplier of blood to the face and brain — was performed at Massachusetts General. This type of operation is performed on more than 180,000 people a year to prevent a stroke.

The doctor who operated on Kennedy said at the time that surgery is reserved for those with more than 70 percent blockage, and Kennedy had “a very high-grade blockage.”

On Saturday, Hyannis Fire Lt. Bill Rex said a 911 call came in from the Kennedy family compound at 8:19 a.m. A man was transported to Cape Cod Hospital and transferred by air at 10:10 a.m. from Barnstable Municipal Airport to Boston.

David Reilly, a spokesman for Cape Cod Hospital, said that Kennedy was brought to the hospital around 9 a.m. and stayed for about an hour before being flown by helicopter to the Boston hospital.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts did not talk to reporters when he arrived at the hospital shortly after 1 p.m.

Kerry later issued a statement, saying that Kennedy “been a fighter who has overcome adversity again and again with courage, grit, and determination. Teresa and I are praying” for Kennedy’s family.

“We know that everyone in Massachusetts and people throughout the nation pray for a full and speedy recovery for a man whose life’s work has touched millions upon millions of lives,” the statement said.

Kennedy, 76, has been in the Senate since election in 1962, filling out the term won by his brother, John F. Kennedy.

Kennedy is the lone surviving son in a famed family. His eldest brother, Joseph, was killed in a World War II airplane crash. President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and his brother Robert was assassinated in 1968.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, beginning a tour of hospitals in Eugene, Ore., told reporters that he had been in touch with the senator’s family.

“Ted Kennedy is a giant in American political history. He’s done more for health care than just about anybody in history. We are going to be rooting for him. I insist on being optimistic about how it’s going to turn out,” he said.

Obama’s rival for the Democratic nomination, New York. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, also issued a statement.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Ted Kennedy and his family today,” she said. “We all wish him well and a quick recovery.”

Kennedy gave Obama’s presidential campaign a big boost this year with his endorsement and has campaigned actively for the Illinois senator.