John Edwards announces for President

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John Edwards announced his presidential campaign bid from the Ninth Ward of New Orleans today emphasizing the theme of poverty and the lack of resources we devote to it. The backdrop of devastation and a small group of kids were all that were there to herald the announcement.  It has become increasingly clear that this poverty platform is not a phase for Edwards and that he is serious.  He seems to be channeling Jimmy Carter more and more while taking positions calculated to keep his political viability like opposition to same-sex marriage. 

He has more going for him this time than last and an updated and more compelling message than two years ago.  As a North Carolinian, I felt that he should have run for re-election to his Senate Seat concurrently with running for Vice President.  State law was re-written to allow it.  I’m kind selfish that way. I felt he needed the seasoning and still do.  However, I will be looking at Edwards harder this time round. 

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Sheila Dixon set to become Baltimore Mayor

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Baltimore City Council President Sheila Dixon is set to become Baltimore’s first female Mayor after Mayor Martin O’Malley assumes the office of Governor.  Embroiled in a nepotism, contract fraud investigation and scandal, her political position has been weakened. She seems to have the support of  the incoming Governor and political heavyweights like Kweisi Mfume who has said “I don’t have any plans to run for Mayor. [Dixon]’s worked for and deserves an opportunity to lead…I want her to succeed. I want the city to be united.  I think at this point we owe her at least the opportunity to try to lead it.” City Comptroller Joan Pratt and Delegate Jill Carter, a critic of Martin O’Malley and the Baltimore Police also announced candidacies. 

It is clear that she will not have a free ride and that she must demonstrate decisiveness and fundraising prowess in order to win.  Even after the supportive comments made by Kweisi Mfume, he moved subsequently to form a committee to raise funds for a local campaign.  Mrs. Dixon faces a formidible set of obstacles: drugs, gangs, violence, and black-on-black crime. The next Mayor elected must put forward an aggressive and progressive agenda for change that will amelorate these systemic ills.

President Gerald R. Ford 1913-2006

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The 38th President of the United States has died.  Gerald R. Ford became President following the aftermath of the Watergate scandal embroiling the Administration of his predecessor, Richard M. Nixon.   Nixon’s Vice President Spiro Agnew, resigned in disgrace after pleading no contest to taking bribes as Governor of Maryland. President Nixon selected then Congressman Gerald R. Ford, the House Republican Leader to succeed Agnew.   Upon assumption of office, Ford said “I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it. Those who nominated and confirmed me as Vice President were my friends and are my friends. They were of both parties, elected by all the people and acting under the Constitution in their name. It is only fitting then that I should pledge to them and to you that I will be the President of all the people.”

Ford stunned the nation after he pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed.  A decent and honorable man, Ford was a conservative republican who didn’t allow policy disagreements keep him from developing personal relationships with colleagues of the opposite party.  His personal decency was his greatest strength as a politician and it helped him defeat Ronald Reagan to win the GOP nomination but it didn’t prevent his loss to Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter in 1976. He will be remembered as the President who truly restored honor and integrity to the Oval Office.

DREAMGIRLS THE MOVIE

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If there is a movie that you’re thinking of taking the family to this month, make it Dreamgirls, Y’all.   I never got to see the musical, so the movie is the next best thing.  Take it from me y’all, It is da bomb.  To say that the movie is both poignant and funny is to understate it dramatically.  The music is beautifully done and the major cast members with the exception of Danny Glover sings beautifully.   Eddie Murphy’s performance is particularly funny and bittersweet in light of today’s events.  You’ll understand if you see it.   I don’t want to spoil it for y’all.   Jennifer Hudson of American Idol fame really is a singular talent and this movie signals the beginning of a bright future for her.   The costumes and acting are all top notch and Beyonce’ is always breathtakingly slamming.   Seeing is believing so see it.

Sandi Jackson to run for Alderman

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Jesse Jackson, Jr. > Casual photos photo

The savvy, beautiful, and accomplished Mrs. Sandi Jackson, the wife of Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr has filed her paperwork to run for Alderman against the daugther of Alderman Beavers, setting up an interesting contest and another step for the Jackson political dynasty. Mrs. Jackson, an attorney like her husband, is training director for the Democratic National Committee and a shrewd political operative in her own right.   Jesse’s aborted run for Mayor set the stage for Mrs. Jackson’s assent to power.  

Focused on the House of Representatives, I am hoping Congressman Jackson will use the opportunity of Democratic power to challenge his homestate colleague Rahm Emmanuel to become the next Democratic Speaker of the House.  A right-wing DLC Democrat, Emmanuel would be a disaster for progressives.  These two seasoned black politicians could become, in time, the most formidable black power couple in the nation.  As Speaker of the House, Jackson could become the most powerful black politician in the history of the country. Especially if Barack Obama doesn’t make the next ticket.  Jackson has a great set of political skills that uniquely qualify him to turn the Congressional Black Caucus around from a corporate front group into a progressive force.  His actions in the coming years of Democratic control will tell the tale of his suitability and I don’t think he will disappoint.

Mrs. Jackson  personifies the belief that behind every successful black man, is an equally successful and accomplished black woman.

James Brown, Godfather of Soul 1933-2006

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Sad news came this morning that the Godfather of Soul has passed.  I am shocked and deeply saddened.  He was admitted to Emory Long Hospital yesterday here in Atlanta and died early Christmas morning at 1:45 A.M. of heart failure.  He will be remembered as one of the greatest R&B artists and showman of all time.   His music, zest for life, and passion for the well-being of our people touched me.  I thank God for his life and example. Pray for his family and children and may he rest peacefully in the arms of God.