My brain is so fried, I can’t even contemplate writing more than a sentence.  I luv y’all.  If I sufficiently recover, you’ll hear from me again tomorrow.


18 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD

  1. dblhelix

    What do you all think about Sharpton’s words today?

    SB — come back soon, we need your skeptical brain.

  2. rikyrah


    Come back when you can. Look forward to reading you again. But, get some rest.

    Your loyal posters will be here. 🙂

  3. lol

    I was like that last week. I feel your pain.

    There is just too much s**t going on for one man to try to cover.
    I luckily have 2 co-bloggers….but only one posts.

    Sometimes my brain shuts down when i’m overloaded with stuff….especially when I have other things going on as well…..
    When I get like that I don’t want to be bothered with politics or blogging for about a week.

  4. dblhelix

    Here’s what’s going on in MD:

    Democrats are trying to move up the primary, from Super Tuesday to Feb 12th to join DC & VA and create a “mid-Atlantic” primary.

    The boy who died of a tooth abscess is driving efforts for statewide and national health initiatives.

    Business interests killed a good bill in the state house — to collect statistics on broadband service options by zip code to identify/prevent redlining.

  5. vevspeaks

    They are also trying to move up the NY primary also.

    I want to hear SB’s take on the $100,000 that Barack invested that he had no clue that he invested with folks that financed or are financing his campaign??


  6. Denise

    Interesting news coverage of Rev. Sharpton regarding brother Obama.

    What is interesting is the fact that the mainstream press is using this event to FINALLY unleash on Rev. Sharpton. The white folk are stepping up in droves to defend Obama.

    I find that rather odd.

    Listen, I know Rev. Sharpton has baggage and flaws, but I like him. But I will never allow myself get too grand or too educated to listen to the non-elite, non-assimilated black voices like Rev. Sharpton. When I do, I am always mindful to do as my own pastor advises: “eat the meat, and leave the bones”.

    Moreover, anyone is generates disdain in the white community, given our history in the country, deserves to be heard; not necessarily followed, but heard.

    More importantly, it’s time for someone to stop drinking Obama’s Kool-aid long enough to step up and hold him accountable to the interests of the non-elite black and brown communities.

    I don’t buy the charge that Rev. Sharpton is jealous of Obama. The way I see it, he is an additional check and balance on the Senator – and any other political figure who poses for the cover of Ebony magazine as the next best thing for black folks.

  7. Good update on Maryland. The Dearmonte Driver incident has been getting a lot of media play, but sadly, little action is being taken. The medicaid bill was severely cut by the conservative democrats in the legislature. It no longer covers drug treatment or smoking cessation, and it now covers on 100,000 as opposed to 250,000. The idea was for this bill to cover all the uninsured children in Maryland, but it seems like that won’t happen now.

    Maryland may seem like a progressive state, but the truth is, our legislature is controlled by corporate interests. Look at this recent anonymous quote from a Maryland Assemblyperson:


    We bend over backwards to avoid the perception that the enviros or labor or health advocates, etc, are winning too much. Enviros are told they get abill or two a year, labor gets a bill a year, etc so very different advocates are pitted against each other. But no one in leadership would dream of telling the Chamber, the Tech Council, the insurers, the restaurants, the Manufacturers Council, the high-tech industries, the local chambers, the NFIB, the anti-union construction contractors, the developers, the tobacco firms, and the banks that they should all get together, decide what one bill they want, and then we’ll pass that one. But leadership does that to labor and enviros and anti-poverty groups, despite the fact that most of the stuff they’re pushing is supported by 60-80% of the public.

    A damn shame really.

  8. dblhelix

    Andrew — had that Sun blog post not attributed the quote to a House member, I would have guessed that anonymous is Paul Pinsky, D-22 senator from northern Prince Georges.

    A friend on wordpress tells me that posts w/ links are getting deleted, so just google “Paul Pinsky Life as a Progressive Leader.”

    For corporate Maryland, maintaining this suffocating presence in Annapolis costs. In 1979 only $3 million was shelled out for lobbying in Annapolis. Nine years later, 545 special interests spent more than triple that amount. By 2000, 924 interests had registered lobbyists, and total lobbying expenditures topped $22 million. But these expenditures pay off. Together with private campaign contributions, they have created a corporate culture that permeates every corner of state politics.
    For progressive lawmakers, it’s tempting to just vote “no” on every flawed bill that this corporate-dominated culture produces, but that’s not legislating. To make any impact at all, a lawmaker needs instead to be “part of ” the process. So you try to improve the junk that crosses your desk. Meanwhile, you feel your time, your energy and your focus as a progressive slip away.

    At least some scaled-back junk is crossing desks. My personal opinion is that we need to regularly throw out incumbents until they shape up.

  9. I read an article where Al Sharp makes excellent points about Obama. He said Obama supports Tort reform(reducing so called frivolous lawsuits) and questioned if he is so anti war why did he fly to CT. to support Joseph Lieberman’s bid for re-election?

    I believe he was booed at that event. I saw the footage. Interesting times…. *vev munches popcorn*

  10. dblhelix

    I suppose I need Rev Sharpton, or someone, to step up to the plate and ask questions I’d like answered.

    If I had the $4600 to get that personal 5 min with Barack, I would ask about the ‘personal responsibility’ component of his message.

    youngblackman has added an interesting perspective which appears to be in line with Obama’s viewpoints. I strongly disagree with ybm’s contention that diversity programs are intended for minority benefit and not for mainstream interests. I’ve witnessed first-hand, too many times, how the benefits only “trickle-down” to the intended beneficiaries while the more mainstream interests take their top-heavy chunk to “administer” and the like.

    I think all agree on ybm’s (1) is there a level playing field? (no). On to the more difficult issue:

    However, because affirmative action is ending (regardless of what either of us think) we need to come up with practical solutions to deal with the mass of minorities that will not be able to attend the elite universities and the mass of students that will flood HBCUS.

    Currently, they (HBCUs) are not up to par.

    So, there’s a lot to be said for a ‘personal responsibility’ component and striving for excellence: it is difficult to argue against controlling one’s own destiny.

    But we are in a climate where all public universities are being told by state leges to look to the private sector — to operate as quasi-public entities. Some examples: state flagships are building up their alum donor bases or entering PPPs (public-private enterprises) for the “basics,” like student housing or are hiking their tuition at alarming rates.

    And they are increasingly enrolling and offering financial aid to the more affluent students who can afford the tuition/fee structure.

    From the Education Trust report “Engines of Inequality”:

    These types of choices at the flagships have resulted in undergraduate populations that are less and less and reflective of the states these institutions were established to serve. For example, though minority students comprise more than 35 percent of Georgia’s high school graduates, they represent less than 7 percent of the entering 2004 freshmen at the University of Georgia. Even more alarming, this underrepresentation is actually getting worse at most flagship campuses. The report documents similar trends for low- and middle-income students, who are being displaced at the flagships by students from the most affluent families.

    “The shifting of financial aid resources away from students who genuinely need more support shows that these schools are not merely victims of bad choices by policymakers or bad preparation in K-12. The data make it very clear that these universities are independent actors in shrinking educational opportunity in their states,” Haycock said.

    If we demand that HBCUs step it up, then two things come to mind immediately. First is that HBCUs start at a distinct disadvantage as compared to state flagship institutions which have a developed infrastructure for bringing in the bucks, whether it’s the alum base or the research programs that attract grant $$, etc. Second, if HBCUs adopt similar strategies to be competitive, how is the outcome any different?

    So, I still need Sharpton to ask some questions.

  11. Rick

    Having supported Lieberman in the last election, at least he chose the eventual winner, meaning he’s got that much more pull in the Senate Chamber (as opposed to the eventual loser). Rev Al for some reason did not mention that Senator Obama is helping to push a bill that would bring our troops home in 2008. How could he did mention that?

    Also, endorsements are over-rated. How many times has B. Clinton endorsed a candidate only to see that person lose?(Kerry 04 anyone?). Will any of you cast your vote based on who Rev Al decides to support? I wont. I think people vote based on other factors: like if they can identify with that candidate, party-line, and/or their stance on issues.

    Hence, I don’t think Senator Obama will lose any sleep if Rev Al doesn’t support him. If nothing else, I see Rev. Al doing Senator Obama a TREMENDOUS favor in the general electorate by attacking Obama in this way – not necessarily because they necessarily like Obama, but because the general electorate doesn’t like Rev Al, who is a polarizing figure. (Do a Google blog search on “Al and Obama” and see what you uncover 🙂 Either Rev Al overestimates his influence, or he underestimates his ability to Help a candidate by speaking out against them. Probably both.

    Most troubling, blacks are always hating on other blacks. I know it’s politics but it must be disheartening to take a stand for something positive, you have a broad coalition, and your very blackness (and identity) is being questioned by blacks that don’t support you. This is not Clarence Thomas here. And unfortunately, this dynamic is not limited to national politics level. This is on the local grass-roots level. Blacks who serve as snipers aren’t “checks and balances” as someone else above described…they are outright OBSTACLES.

    God bless you Obama. I support you 100%

    Brooklyn, NY

  12. dblhelix

    Blacks who serve as snipers

    is dey in a white van?

    is dey the same ones who helped Al Wynn Steal the Election?

    vev, can I get some of that popcorn?

  13. Rick

    Blacks who serve as snipers. No, dey not be in a white van.
    Dey be right next to you.

    Dey be the colleague who sits right next to you, smiles in your face, but is secretly trying to sabotage your career.

    Dey be the high level execs who say they will seriously consider your proposal for corporate-community involvement, but who doesn’t even give your idea a second thought. That’s because if he/she didn’t come up with the idea, then it’s not going anywhere. If he/she doesn’t get credit, no one gets credit.

    Dey be the ones you grew up with who told you that you were a loser because you were studying to get good grades; studying because you had dreams of going to college and having a better life (more than what drugs and what sitting around the block had to offer).

    Snipers. They try to assassinate character instead of addressing key issues. Dey be the ones who try to stop any black man or any black woman from trying to achieve their destinies by creating fear, manufaturing uncertainty, or instilling doubt. They say things like: “If XYZ wins the ticket, then everyone on that ticket will lose.” (State Senator Ford, SC). (Hence, dey be in nice offices too).

    Everything I mentioned above are vestiges of a slave mentality that still exists in 2007. Everything from “crab in a barrel” antics to “we can’t do for ourselves.” In 2007, that *ish is still in full effect.

    Snipers. Just ss Redman rhymed in “Rated-R” (in what? thee album) , Obama too will “WALK BEHIND THAT SPRAY *ISH” and carve his name, not in pavement, but in the Oval Office of the United States of America.

    No weapon formed will prosper.

    Brooklyn, NY

  14. Sorry, Rick, but Obama didn’t start pushing that bill until his ass got called on his “pro-war” stance by, and when he got nation-wide attention as prospective candidate for POTUS.

    Let’s be clear – he started mouthing mush on this war:

    Then, changed his tune when he saw Hillary getting trashed for her support. He took advantage of the opportunity to distinguish himself from Hillary at that point. Will be all well and good if he follows through on it, whether or not he wins the nomination….

  15. Rick

    Political Junkie: You point out some potential manuevering by the junior Senator. Ok, fine. Can you, or someone else, please tell me of another candidate who foresaw some of the specific problems we would face going into Iraq (before the invasion), and who is working right now to try to bring our troops home?

    Obama on Iraq before the Invasion (2002) :


  16. Uh, Rick:

    Try Russ Feingold, Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton. Russ Feingold was the only Senator to vote against giving Bush all that war power back in 2002, at a time he was up for re-election and vulnerable.

    Kucinich and Sharpton called out this back in 2002 as well.

    The guy we went for in 2004, John Kerry? He voted for authorization, as did his running mate, John Edwards – however, Edwards is the only candidate to apologize for his vote.

    All I’m saying is that you might want to act as if the jury’s out on Obama for the present. You might get disappointed if you raise your expectations about him.

  17. Rick

    Exactly! Obama is the only candidate (currently running for office) who foresaw some of the specific problems we would face going into Iraq (before the invasion), and who is also currently working right now to try to bring our troops home. No one you mentioned fits that criteria. And should Rev. Sharpton decide to run – as some suspect he will – then individuals will be able to assess his candidacy as well.

    Finally, As a Christian, I put my trust in God, not in man, so I never have to worry about a politician or anyone else disappointing me because the Bible says, and my experience says, that all human beings are fallable. However there is no other candidate, perhaps there has never been another candidate, that speaks to the issues in a way that I can relate to in such a manner: whether it’s speaking out against the Sean Bell case and calling the police behavior “excessive”, to saying that it’s not “acting white” for a black person to achive academically, to fathers taking care of their children, to having the foresight to explain the dynamics in the middle east and how our invasion might be a catalyst for civil war, to other issues as well.

    I’m not a blind follower of anyone, but I’ll admit this: My inclination, however, is to be more SUPPORTIVE of Obama, than to automatically try and discredit him, or to see him being popular in the white community as an automatic reason to discredit him. That too goes against my experience living in this country. Just as not everyone in the black community is a friend, not everyone in the white community is an enemy either. Some, many, actually are sympathetic to the issues in the black community and are willing to roll up their sleeves and try to help. I won’t get into here who I’ve seen more willing to help out on the grass roots level when it’s time to go into our own communities and volunteer to teach our children. Well, maybe I will: why do brothers and sisters have to be convinced to go into their own communities to volunteer when other groups in many cases are willing to do so simply by when a call to action has been made? It boggles my mind.


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