FRIDAY OPEN THREAD

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Reading through the Supreme Court opinion of yesterday, I am struck by the whole put upon histrionics that are at the basis of this case. There really is no there-there. There simply is no harm here. Most school districts do not allow the level of choice that both of these districts did-and when they do, they don’t usually honor it 80% of the time.

Again, as previously stated, this is nothing more than an argument about the right of whites to assert white privilege to have whatever they want-whenever they want it. The Court has recognized their right to Equal Protection from diversity or anything else which might inconvenience them. In so doing, it affirms white supremacy and ignores the reality of the re-segregation in k-12 education. We did not get to where we are today by ignoring race and we shall not get to where the Court claims to wish to take us by ignoring it.

Asserting that efforts at preserving diversity are discriminatory is disengenuous at best, but really is just a face-saving method to cloak the destruction of equal opportunity.   Anthony Kennedy’s opinion-which kept Scalito, ThomAss, and Roberts from going all the way is really more frustrating than what the Chief wrote.  While he conceeds the compelling interest of diversity, he removes all the tools necessary to achieve it.

They’ve set up a nice little house of cards that will inevitably fall because of the mess they’ve created. At some point in the future, the Court will swoop down and “save us” from “race consciousness” and declare all types of Affirmative Action unconstitutional, the effect of which, will re-segregate this society, destroy equal opportunity and impose a straight jacket of indifference onto the Constitution.

Tell me your thoughts on this and anything else you wish.

Blogging the PBS Debate with Tavis Smiley at Howard University

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Photo

It is on and poppin’ at Howard University.  Share your thoughts.

What we do without long Negro introductions?

First question: Does race matter as it did for Du Bois at the  beginning of the 20th century?  Hillary-strong.   Obama-weak.  Couples personal responsibility with institutional racism.   Richardson looks uncomfortable talking about race.  Dodd-surpisingly strong.   Biden-strong.  Gravel and Kucinich hearts in the right place.

Now the journalists get a crack.

Dewayne Wickham questions Biden.  What do you attribute the inequity between the unemployment rate of black high school grads and white high school dropouts?  Biden starts rambling and unfocused.  Richardson-higher teacher salaries, at risk programs and parental involvement, full day kindergarten and pre-k programs and college education.

Edwards-No one single cause of poverty.  When young brothas surrounded by poverty and hoplessness its reinforcing.  Work needs to pay for young men-raise min wage, right to organize. 

Obama- early childhood education is key.   Parents and counselors needed.   $ left behind for No Child Left Behind.  The reason we have consistently had underperformance from our children is because we haven’t had a president take ownership and recognition of all children.

Kucinich-need to see connection between war and education.  need to cut 15%.

Gravel-people on this stage are all guilty for not placing enough emphasis on education rather than war.

Michel Martin’s question-69% of African American teens are HIV positive, what is the plan?

Richardson-rambles.    Edwards has facts together and has visited treatment center.  1, find a cure.  2. Fully fund Ryan White AIDS program, 3. Fully fund HIV/AIDS drug treatment.

I may remove all this stream of consciousness stuff later on, but for now I will leave it.   A lot of time was wasted intially with the long and unnecessary Negro introductions and perorations about their importance.   Did anybody mention reparations?

Roberts court overturns Brown v. Board of Education

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The racial reactionaries on the Roberts Court, the ones neither Hillary or Obama could be bothered to aggressively filibuster, have overturned Brown V. Board of Education without tacitly acknowledging that fact.  And have, once again, used the equal protection clause of the constitution, placed there to protect the rights of black folk, to defend white privilege.

The opinion and dissents are here.

The U.S. Senate, in another development, also killed Immigration reform for the year.

Campaign Mailbag: Barack’s deceptively funny spiel

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Barack Obama

Dear White Liberal,

It has now been over four months since we began this campaign for the hearts and minds of gullible liberals like your dumb ass. And let me tell you about the damn fools I’ve seen: there is an “awakening” taking place in white liberal America today.

From New Hampshire to California, from Texas to Iowa, we are seeing huge crowds we never dreamed possible. Foolish white liberals are falling up in my political events united in the delusion that it will mean something profound if I am elected President. It won’t-but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll ride this wave of stupidity all the damn way to the oval office.

They’re coming because they know that America stands at a crossroads—but also because of the Hope hustle I’ve perfected-Jesse had, “Keep Hope Alive” and I’ve got the,“Audacity of Hope.” It really ain’t nothing but a suburban friendly marketing ploy aimed at middle class yuppie’s who have the credit rating to afford more than a $1,000 contribution.

We’re facing a set of challenges we haven’t seen in a generation. We all know what these challenges are—Who’s gonna raise Anna Nicole’s baby, the scoop on the twin Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan meltdowns, endlessly obsessing over the missing white woman of the month nobody ever heard of, and the unfair length of Paris Hilton’s jail time-not to mention the smaller issues like the health care crisis, an education system that’s not teaching every child, and the disastrous war in Iraq.

We also know that what’s stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound leaders like Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee—it’s the smallness of the penises of the politicians leading this country down the path of failed leadership that’s really to blame. Mine is bigger—much, much, bigger and it IS true what they say….

In the last several years, we’ve seen Washington become a place where our problems are talked to death, while little is done to really solve them-I’m a prime example. Leaders who talk about real solutions get the Cynthia McKinney-isn’t-she-a-scary,-racist-Negro-treatment. Leaders who quietly acquiesce to the corporate agenda and front like they’ve done somethin’ get the cuddly, cutesy, corporate media darling, beautiful Negro treatment I’ve been gettin’ on the regular.

The time for the can’t do, won’t do, won’t-even try style of politics is over. Hold up! That’s what got me into position to run for President in the first damn place-Never mind what I just said, I just hafta keep saying that shit because it sounds earnest and y’all fall for it like a cuddly white newborn babe.

If you want the same kind of tired, DLC corporate friendly politics, please break me off a substantial contribution to Obama for America today.

I’m running or President because I believe it’s time to turn the page.

It’s time to turn the page on health care–This is the part where I’m supposed to say that if elected, I will enact a health care plan that will lower a family’s premiums by an average of $1000 and give every American access to the same health care members of Congress receive. In actuality, I haven’t even passed gas in the Senate, much less a damn bill of substance, so I’m a little short on the experience needed to radically change one fifth of the freakin’ economy. It’s just some pie-in-the-sky rhetoric I’m obligated to serve up to get your vote.

It’s time to turn the page on education—Again, this is where I’m supposed to say that we must move past the slow decay of indifference that says some schools can’t be fixed and some kids just can’t learn. Y’all heard this same song and dance from Bubba, Dubya and his daddy before him. The reality is that most of them hood rats are in schools that function as holding cells until they end up in damn jail or dead. It don’t really matter as long as I can steal their Mama’s vote away from Hillary.

With my book advance and royalties, I can afford private education for my babies and most of y’all already send your kids to damn near white public and private schools and are just like the gold digger Kanye rap’s about-you “ain’t messin’ with no broke nigga’s” in the hood and sure don’t want ‘em sitting next to your precious Biff and Buffy in the same classroom.

It’s time to turn the page on energy—Insert your favorite eco-liberal Sierra Club bullshit here. Ain’t none of that mess gonna help turn the page on the war in Iraq. –a war I claimed to be against and then I voted for every funding supplemental that came down the pike until political expedience dictated a vote against the one up this month. Resource wars are just a fact of life and I’m sure there will be at least one I wage to keep gas prices palatable for the touchy suburbanites I need to win re-election.

It’s time to show the world that I am still the last, best hope of the earth. This President may have sat his narrow behind in the seat of power in the Oval Office, but for the last six years, the position of leader and defender of the capitalist power structure has been open.

It’s time to fill that role once more with me-a safe Negro. Whether it’s Britney or Lindsay, Paris or Anna Nicole, America cannot meet the challenges of being the most celebrity obsessed, right-wing, imperialist country in the world alone. It’s time for us to lead.

We are America. We are the nation that liberated a continent from a madman, that lifted ourselves from the depths of depression after Elvis, John Lennon, and Curt Cobain died, that won civil rights, women’s rights, and voting rights for all people and then allowed George W. Bush to freakin steal the White House in plain sight.

What I’m saying is that I understand that Americans suffer from a profound political and racial schizophrenia. We preach compassion to others in need while we allow black bodies to float down the streets of a major American city. That’s who we really are. If y’all think that voting for me absolves you of all of your political and racial bullshit-I’m o.k. with that as long as y’all give me the power to put my finger on the button to annihilate all life, as we know it as your President.

Now, I am confident about my ability to lead this country. But I also know that I can’t do it without white idiots like you. This campaign is a corporate backed snow job-cynically calculated to be about your patriotic fantasies and desires for racial absolution because there are too many obstacles in basing a campaign on the universal truths that should bind us together as a people but never freakin’ have or will.

That’s why change has never really happened and why wealth and power is so concentrated along rigid racial and class lines. And that’s exactly why I will never be able to change a damn thing as President—nobody will in the coming months and years because that’s the genius of the system the framers designed.

I’m so grateful for the confidence you’ve already wasted in us and all that you’ve stupidly given. And I hope you’ll continue to be a dupe and stand with us. But while there are a number of ways you can help our fraudulent campaign-the only thing I really want is for you to break out the checkbook and write a damn check with three zeros to Obama for America.

With your moolah, I can maintain the status quo for my corporate affiliated contributors and reign like a damn King in the White House. In so doing, I can rid myself of the fear of failing like my father by accommodating the power structure like a kiss ass.

Sincerely,

Senator Barack Obama

P.S. Like munchkins who foolishly believed in the Wizard of Oz, I need white liberal munchkins like you to continue to believe so that I can mine the seemingly endless depths of white liberal guilt and continue down the political brick road to defeat, out-raise, and politically kill, the evil Wicked Witch of the East-Hillary Clinton.

It’s time to turn the page of your child like naïveté. It’s time to turn the page for capitalism. It’s time to turn the page and write the next chapter of imperial tyranny in the great American story. And we must write that story together. Please continue your foolish and delusional support of our campaign. And please cut a damn check today.

Obama reels in 242,000 donors in six months

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Hat Tip: By Nedra Pickler, Associated Press, Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has improved on his stunning support in the race for campaign cash, raising his total number of donors to nearly 250,000 people in the first six months of the year.

The freshman Illinois senator impressed rivals in the first quarter when he reported 104,000 donors, but he surpassed the mark in the second quarter with 138,000 more opening their wallets, the campaign announced Thursday.

The campaign won’t say yet how much the donors have given, but the large number suggests their fundraising will be competitive with the $25.7 million he raised in the first quarter. A campaign official speaking on the condition of anonymity tried to tamp down expectations by disclosing that the average donation in the second quarter is likely to be less than the roughly $247 in the first quarter.

The campaign said it’s goal is to attract 250,000 donors by midnight on Saturday, the next money reporting deadline, and was running a live tally on his Web site to help bring in more. It was about 6,000 short as of Thursday morning and said that 10,000 people had already donated this week.

The campaign said it collected more than 337,000 contributions _ meaning that many individuals made repeat donations _ and its goal will be to reach 350,000 by the deadline.

“This campaign has become a vehicle for hundreds of thousands of Americans who believe that the people can take control of the political process again,” campaign manager David Plouffe wrote in an e-mail to supporters that includes video links from donors.

“There are some who don’t think it’s possible,” Plouffe said. “But the reality is clear: Individual people with purpose, with passion and willing to make a small sacrifice can build a movement unlike anything presidential politics has ever seen. And we’re only just getting started.”

Obama’s campaign announced the final push for cash on the same day as a Democratic presidential debate, an announcement that could rattle his rivals.

Aides to his top competitor, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, say she will match her $26 million from the first quarter. That another candidate could even approach her fundraising prowess was unthinkable six months ago. But the freshman senator from Illinois has drawn supporters who have been inspired by his long-standing opposition to Iraq, his message of hope and his chance to be the first black president.

Like Clinton, Obama has attracted the Wall Street executives, Hollywood moguls and other rich donors who traditionally have fueled political campaigns. But Obama has also concentrated on smaller donors who can give just $25 or $50 each, a practice that other campaigns said they also have adopted in the second quarter.

Obama still trails Clinton in national and most state polls, but the money will give him the ability to fund an aggressive challenge to her front-runner status. He began his television ad campaign this week, with a spot in Iowa highlighting his biography.

The Obama campaign said it believes the number of donors is a record for six months of fundraising. Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean built a reputation for unprecedented grass-roots support when 70,000 people contributed about $10.5 million in the first two quarters of 2003.

Like Dean, much of Obama’s money comes in small-dollar donations made over the Internet.

Campaign experts say a large base of small donors can help build a candidate’s support in ways beyond funding. Michael Malbin of the Campaign Finance Institute said Obama sees small contributions as a leverage to get people to come out and volunteer.

“I don’t think most of the other candidates are at that point. That’s not what they’re doing,” he said.

He did point out that Clinton has the potential to tap a sizable donor base, noting that she had more small donors in her 2006 Senate effort than any other Senate campaign.

Mika Brezezinski, Hero of the Week

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MSNBC Anchor Mika Brezezinski ripped her up her producer’s Paris Hilton lead story yesterday on Joe Scarborough’s Morning Joe program.   “I am done with the Paris Hilton story,” she exclaimed after attempting to first burn it before tearing it up.   All that I can say is,”Good for you.”   After turning a blind eye to Don Imus’s racist and sexist banter for 10 years, they bet’ not touch her.   They know she is right.   This mindless celebrity coverage as news is just plain garbage.

Elizabeth Edwards confronts Ann Coulter, the fascist strumpet

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Hat Tip: The Hill by Klaus Marre

With the second quarter drawing to a close, the presidential campaign of former North Carolina senator John Edwards (D) on Wednesday again turned to one of its most reliable “fundraisers,” Ann Coulter.

In an e-mail to supporters, Edwards’ wife Elizabeth described why she called in to MSNBC’s “Hardball” Tuesday. The show featured the conservative pundit, who has often attacked Edwards. This week Coulter proclaimed “If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.

Elizabeth Edwards said she decided to call the show to appeal to Coulter to stop the attacks. “I told her these kinds of personal attacks lower our political dialogue at precisely the time when we need to raise it, and set a bad example for our children,” she said. “How did she respond? Sadly, perhaps predictably, with more personal attacks.”

The e-mail is coupled with an appeal for campaign donations. “Please give what you can right now to help raise the dialogue and show that Ann Coulter-style politics will never carry the day,” Mrs. Edwards wrote.

It is the second time in as many quarters that the Edwards campaign is using Coulter for a fundraising appeal. In March, the 2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate raised “Coulter cash” after the right-wing pundit called the senator a “faggot.”

Elizabeth Edwards is a good one, Y’all.   I woulda cursed the heifer out.  It may not have solved anything but at least it would have made me feel better.  I then woulda cursed out Chris Matthews for his craven ratings grasping.   The fascist strumpet is a mouthpiece of hate and doesn’t deserve the platform.  It only legitimizes her hate.  He is beneath contempt.

California 37 Special Election: Richardson elected, CBC keeps seat

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Hat Tip CQ Politics

State Rep. Laura Richardson and state Sen. Jenny Oropeza, both Democrats, jumped out way ahead of the rest of the 17-candidate field in early results from Tuesday’s special election in California’s 37th Congressional District.

Richardson and Oropeza had been regarded as the front-running candidates throughout the special election campaign to succeed the late Democratic Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, who died of cancer April 22.

The early count — posted by Los Angeles County election authorities shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) — included only ballots cast by absentee voters and those participating under California’s early voting rules.

But barring dramatically different results from votes cast at the polls Tuesday, the winner of the battle between Richardson and Oropeza will claim the Democratic nomination — and almost certain victory in the likely Aug. 21 runoff for the seat.

Tuesday’s primary had all 11 Democrats, four Republicans and two alternative-party candidates running on a single ballot, and that crowd of candidates made it unlikely that no single one would garner the majority vote needed to win outright and avoid a runoff.

But the runoff would be a contest between each party’s top vote-getter — and the 37th District, dominated by the city of Long Beach, is a Democratic Party stronghold in which Hispanics and African-Americans make up most of the population.

The advantage that the Democratic nominee will have was signaled by the early returns. Richardson led with 33 percent to 30 percent for Oropeza and 11 percent for the late congresswoman’s daughter, Valerie McDonald. The leading Republican candidate in the early voting, police sergeant and Iraq war veteran John M. Kanaley, had 10 percent of the vote.

The contest between Richardson, who is black, and Oropeza, who is Hispanic, had strong ethnic overtones. Hispanics make up more than 40 percent of the district’s population, but they make up a smaller share of the voting electorate. Blacks make up a quarter of the population, and many black activists have cited Millender-McDonald, an African-American, in calling for continued black representation in the district.

LAURA RICHARDSON       DEM                                11,027    37.76
   JENNY OROPEZA          DEM                                 9,144    31.31
   VALERIE MC DONALD      DEM                                 2,743     9.39
   JOHN M KANALEY         REP                                 2,230     7.64
   PETER MATHEWS          DEM                                 1,031     3.53
   TERI RAMIREZ           REP                                   560     1.92
   DANIEL A BREZENOFF     GR                                    352     1.21
   JEFFREY LEAVITT        REP                                   345     1.18
   L J “LJ” GUILLORY      REP                                   334     1.14
   ED WILSON              DEM                                   334     1.14
   HERB PETERS            LIB                                   315     1.08
   GEORGE A PARMER JR     DEM                                   220     0.75
   LEE DAVIS              DEM                                   181     0.62
   JEFFREY S PRICE        DEM                                   128     0.44
   BILL F GRISOLIA        DEM                                   125     0.43
   FELICIA FORD           DEM                                   109     0.37
   MERVIN EVANS           DEM                                    26     0.09
                                                                            
TOTAL PRECINCTS        334            PRECINCTS REPORTING       334   100.00 

                                                                            
  

Edwards, Obama on the Air; What I’m reading

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The story of the Obama Ads is here in the NY Times.   The Borq Queen’s resistance is futile tour continues as she attempts to assimilate the business community and Warren Buffett. 

I am also reading the extensive series the Washington Post has done on the enormous power Vice Preznit Dick Cheney wields behind the throne.   They’ve done stories Sunday, Monday, and Today that are quite illuminating.  I would encourge you to read each story in order so that you can get a true sense of what malevolence is.  The post reveals how he kept Condi and Colin, the doublemint twins of mass deception in the dark about his nefarious scheme to detain, indefinitely and without access to counsel, American citizens deemed terror suspects.  

Then there was yesterday’s extraordinary White House “Briefing” in which “Legally Blond” Deputy White House Press Secretary Dana Perino bobs and weaves around questions regarding whether the Vice President is a member of the Executive Branch and is able to be investigated by an executive branch agency.   

She seems to be saying that ,”I am only up here to look really pretty, sympathetic,  and answer nothing-because I’m an idiot.”   That’s truly why she’s “thoroughly confused.”

Election Day

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Today is Election Day, Children.   The ladies of California’s  37th Congressional District-Laura Richardson, Jenny Oropeza, and Valerie McDonald face off against each other to see who will win the Democratic Primary and subsequently, this seat.   Laura Richardson’s labor allies are involved in serious and well-funded member to member election contact on her behalf and the Indian Tribes are funding Oropeza’s voter contact program.   Tonight we’ll see who’s been most effective.  

Another wrinkle has been added in this race by the sharp elbow Richardson gave Oropeza for taking off and missing votes during her liver cancer treatment.   Most folk think that was a low blow and yet another foot inserted into the mouth of the leading African American candidate in this race.  

I will be pulling a late night tonight to blog as this race develops.  

Corrine Brown assimilated by Hillary

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The Clinton Campaign today announced the endorsement of Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

 Congresswoman Corrine Brown is among the lawmakers pushing mandatory service for young people

“Hillary Clinton has the best combination of strength, experience and intellect to be President and lead from her first day in the White House,” Brown said. “As she’s repeatedly done as Senator, she will bring people together to get results.”

First elected to Congress in 1992, Brown has been an outspoken advocate for expanding the Veterans Affairs budget to provide better healthcare and benefits for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. As Chair of the Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, Brown has worked to pass comprehensive rail safety legislation and strengthen America’s Homeland Security.

Before her election to Congress, Brown served 10 years in the Florida House of Representatives.

“I admire Corrine’s tireless work on behalf of our veterans to ensure they get the health care and benefits they need and deserve” Clinton said. “I am honored to have her support, and I look forward to working together as we bring our message of change across Florida.”

-Obama is now 0-3 with the CBC in Florida.    These Negroes were pivotal-as was the state-and he lost them all.   Of course with the GOP moving up the primary into the prohibited “pre-window period” in January, it effectively took the entire state out of the Democratic Primary process because the DNC will not honor whatever happens there or seat delegates.

NYPD Brutalize Human Rights Attorney

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 Attys Michael Tarif and Evelyn Warren leave 77th Precinct with supporters.

HAT TIP:  Black Electorate, By Amadi Ajamu, NY INDY MEDIA 

A human rights attorney known for handling cases of police brutality became a victim of police abuse last Thursday evening in Brooklyn. Attorney Michael Tarif Warren and his wife Evelyn, who is also an attorney, were driving along Vanderbilt Ave around 6:00 pm, when they witnessed NYPD officers “kicking and stomping” a handcuffed young black man. The Warrens pulled over to help.

Warren, a high profile attorney who has been practicing law for 28 years, said “We saw a young kid being chased by a horde of policemen across a McDonald’s parking lot. They tackled him and immediately put handcuffs on him. Then Sergeant Talvy, who appeared to be in charge, began kicking him in the head and ribs, and stomping him on the neck.” The other police officers followed suit. “They literally gave this kid a beating which was unconscionable.”

“Not only as people of conscience and moral decency, but as lawyers, we said this is outrageous.” They arrived and stood “more than ten feet away,” he said. Mr. Warren told Sergeant Talvy they were lawyers, and told him to stop and just take the young man to the precinct. In response he said, “Talvy shouted, I don’t give a f**k who you are, get the f**k back in your car!”

They returned to their car, and Mr. Warren began to write down the license plate numbers of the police vehicles as they watched them put the bleeding young man in a car. “Then Talvy comes to my car and viciously attacks me, repeatedly punching me through the window. Shouting, ‘Get out of the car!’ He dragged me out of the car, ripping my shirt and pants. My wife, very upset, asked him why are you doing this? He then punched her in the face.” Both were arrested and taken to the 77th precinct charged with obstruction, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

Michael Tarif Warren, has handled many police misconduct cases in the black community, including the shocking police murder of graffiti artist Michael Stewart, and Yvonne Smallwood, who was beaten to death by police in the Bronx. He also handled the case exonerating the five young black teenagers falsely convicted of raping the white bank executive “Central Park Jogger.”

Quickly, word of the Warrens arrest spread, and several hundred people descended on the 77th Precinct demanding his release. Organizations including the December 12th Movement, 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, Malcolm X Grassroots, International Action Center, CEMOTAP, the Muslim community, the Haitian community and many others were present and several media outlets were on hand.

NYC Councilman Charles Barron, Attorneys Roger Wareham, Reginald Haley, and Marisa Benton began negotiating their release with Brooklyn’s top brass, including Community Affairs Chief Douglas Zeigler, Brooklyn Borough Commander Chief Gerald Nelson, and 77th Precinct Executive Officer Michael Marino. At approximately 10:30 PM Evelyn Warren was released with a DAT (desk appearance ticket), Michael Warren was released with a DAT at 11:30 PM.

Councilman Barron and other community activists are demanding Talvy be fired and that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hines “drop the charges (against the Warrens) and charge the police.”

Barron further criticized recent NYPD policy of making cops who kill or assault people take Breathalyzer tests for alcohol. “We need to stop the killing. Police who murder and assault us must be charge with crimes and put in jail. That is the only deterrent.”

Evelyn Warren added, “We are professionals, if they do this to us in broad daylight on a crowded street, what do they do in the dark when no one is around? That’s what I’m concerned about. Officer Talvy must go and Police Commissioner Kelly must go, because his policy allows this behavior to continue.”

If charges against them are not dropped, Michael and Evelyn Warren vow to take the case to trial and use it as a community mobilizing and educating tool to fight police brutality.

Obama targets South Carolina for first primary win

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HAT TIP: By Lee Bandy, The State

Barack Obama showed a whole lot of savvy and political courage when he took his Democratic presidential campaign into the Republican heartland of South Carolina.

It was a huge success.

Democrats were ecstatic.

“We have complained bitterly over the years about the treatment we’ve received at the hands of the Democrats,” said Ron Romine, a Spartanburg party activist and long-time political science professor at the University of South Carolina. “Finally, we’re getting some attention.”

Barack, a U.S. senator from Illinois, drew large crowds at stops in Greenwood, Greenville and Spartanburg — a region heavily populated by Republicans.

Upstate voters haven’t seen a Democratic presidential candidate in years. The last time they voted for a Democrat was in 1976, when Jimmy Carter ran for president.

A Republican has won the congressional seat in the Greenville-Spartanburg area with at least 65 percent of the votes in five of the past seven elections.

But Obama’s campaign looked at the sheer numbers in the Upstate and decided it would be foolhardy to ignore the vote-rich region, even though it was clearly dominated by Republicans.

Obama made his first visit to the Upstate on June 15. And boy was he surprised when he arrived at McAlister Square in Greenville. Over 3,500 people — a good mix of blacks and whites — were there to greet him.

State Sen. Ralph Anderson, a black legislator from Greenville, said the Obama folks could have doubled the turnout if they had started organizing earlier.

Not lost on the Obama campaign is the fact that the S.C. primary is open, meaning any registered voter — Democrat, Republican or independent — can vote in the Democratic primary on Jan. 29.

Obama’s June 15 foray into the Upstate was hailed by political observers as gutsy and smart.

In the past, Democratic candidates have stayed away from the Upstate, conceding it to the Republicans.

“A mistake,” said Furman University professor Danielle Vinson. “You can’t ignore any group of voters. In the Upstate, we do have Democrats. Not many. But we do have a very vocal group of African-Americans. A candidate ignores them at his own peril.”

Also, an interesting phenomenon has arisen over the last few months. A growing number of moderate Republicans and independents, increasingly upset with President Bush, say they want to vote for Obama.

They particularly are drawn to his message about ridding Washington of partisan politics. They’re tired of the in-fighting, the back-stabbing.

They also find something appealing about the man. He’s new. He’s authentic.

A recent Mason-Dixon poll of South Carolina voters showed Obama favored over U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York in the S.C. primary.

Furman University analyst Don Aiesi said that finding should boost Obama’s standing and give him added strength heading into the 2008 primary.

Aiesi said it would be a mistake for Obama to ignore the Upstate support. “He has the potential to fire people up.

“Hillary is not liked,” Aiesi said, citing polls to support his charge.

He predicts that if Obama plays his cards right, he easily will dispose of the U.S. senator from New York.

“He has got 50 percent of the primary vote nailed down,” Aiesi said of Obama. “To me it’s over and done.”

Thanks to Obama, Southern Democrats finally have someone who doesn’t treat or see them as a lost cause.

Campaign Mailbag: Giuliani again reaches out to wingnut America

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RUDY GIULIANI


Dear Wingnut,

I believe in solving problems through intimidation-not weakness-from hubris, not vacillation.

I’ve seen the everyday racism and homophobia of Americans across our country. I’ve seen people create political careers from nothing-using nothing more than the inherent fear white folks have of colored folks. I’ve witnessed how well it always works and have good reason to peddle the white fantasy that anybody can grow up to be President. In America, we love to congratulate ourselves for our openness to diversity while simultaneously asserting white privilege.

I am running for President because when I look to the future, I see a fascist police state where Americans are confident that their President is in rigid control of the country.

When I was first elected Mayor, we looked at the places where the City, or bureaucracy, or racial liberalism, were taking away people’s white pride. We cracked down and focused our sights—we took the bull by the horns.

Wages, hard work and ingenuity were overtaxed and overregulated. Too many white people felt like they couldn’t get ahead if they allowed black folks a level playing field and played by the rules. So we took decisive steps to dramatically slash social services and cut the N****** off welfare.

When I was elected Mayor, half the blacks were on welfare clogging up the system and sucking decent taxpayers dry. Therefore, we took on the state-sponsored liberal welfare state bullshit and turned “Welfare Offices” into “Job Centers” that became an Orwellian nightmare only a fascist could love.

We were successful because we refused to define deviancy down-instead we raised expectations and told the lazy ass blacks to get a damn job. We frustrated legitimate job seekers and people eligible for assistance and took on the black groups in the spirit of my mayoral campaign slogan, “one city, one fascist dictatorship.”

I’m writing you because you are some loon on a right-wing mailing list the campaign bought. You fancy yourself influential in your community and give to various and sundry right-wing causes and candidates. You know what they say, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” It would be great if you could be parted with a gift of $ 1,000, $500, $250, $100, $50, or even $25 bucks. If you could send it today, our grassroots hand holding and pacification of the troglodyte right can begin immediately.

We stand at one of he most crucial points in the history of the campaign-I got Fred Thompson breathing down my neck and I NEED YOUR SUPPORT.

Like you, I believe that Ronald Reagan was the greatest thing since sliced bread and that we must look toward the future to reassert our core values of hate, fear, racial polarization, respect for law and order, and a commitment to scaring the bejesus out of stupid people about Arab ragheads out to get us at home and around the world.

And while we know damn well that the bullshit in Baghdad and Afghanistan ain’t going well, I need to fill your stupid head up with ridiculous rhetoric about victory so that I can win your vote and the nomination.

This campaign is about strong, fascist leadership. When I took office in New York, people were afraid of criminal blacks and felt like they were losing control of their own lives. Drawing upon the “Broke Negroes” theory of policing, we cracked down on the quality-of-life-crimes such as walking, driving, and just plain being-while black. We cleaned the riff-raff out of Times Square so that wholesome white families from Nebraska could feel safe visiting the Big Apple.

To usher in an era of dictatorship based on our shared right-wing fascist Republican values, we must win this race for the White House so that I can uphold our priorities and demand accountability.

We will impose discipline on the budget by kicking the blacks and Hispanics off welfare. By doing so, we will reclaim our Reagan tradition as the party that understands the importance of hostility to minorities wins elections.

At the core of our approach to reform is the basic concept of white supremacy.

I believe that every parent should have the ability to send their child to the all-white school of their choice, be it public, private, or parochial.

We cannot be discouraged or cynical in the wake of our Party’s disastrous midterm F-up’s. For the Republican Party to win the presidency in 2008 and take back the majority in Congress, we must wholeheartedly embrace our core principles-or simply steal it again.

From the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, our party’s greatest contribution is to expanding the wealth of the top 1% and keeping the blacks and Hispanics down in this land and around the world.

When I say we should reduce taxes on the rich to stimulate the economy, I say it to slavishly appeal to the anti-tax nutcases and government phobic wingnuts that get off on that bullshit and will vote for me. It worked in New York because I did it and saw it work like a charm.

As Mayor, I stood up to the politics-as-usual agenda, held fast to my unprincipled demagoguery, and proved that:

  1. Tax relief creates more wealth for the rich and leaves the rest behind.
  2. Picking fights with a cartoonish clown like Al Sharpton was good for my approval ratings.
  3. Shooting an unarmed black man 41 times because the NYPD have a vague sense that he might have committed a crime is a public relations bonanza and an opportunity to pander to the basest elements of the white electorate.

Our party is at its best when it connects to the primal racial fears of the white populace.

At a time of war and danger, the Republican Party must nominate a proven demagogue. At a time when Americans want to feel confirmed in their desire for white privilege, the Republican Party must boldly lead in this direction. Being a stubborn prick with strong beliefs and the arrogance to stick with them through unpopular times is an essential characteristic of our next president.

I’ve been tested, after all, I was the gigantic asshole that brazenly flaunted my whore in public and then announced the dissolution of my marriage in a televised press conference before I asked my wife for a divorce to her face. If y’all can let me get away that bullshit and still take me seriously, I deserve the Republican nomination for President.

Sincerely,

Rudy Giuliani

Campaign Mailbag: Michelle Obama’s humorous campaign solicitation

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Michelle Obama

May 4, 2007

 

Dear White Liberal,

It wasn’t exactly a typical date with an up-and-coming, Harvard-educated brotha who worked at a pretentious white-shoe firm. He didn’t take a sistah to a fancy restaurant. There were no tickets to the opera or ballet, nor did we rub elbows with bougie Negroes.

Instead, he took me to a neighborhood church in the hood on the south side of Chicago. And that was the day when I said to myself: “Girl, betta lock this brotha down quick.” I realized that Barack Obama, the man I was going to marry, was a very different, truly extraordinary, Negro.

I was a young lawyer, a token sistah, working for the Man at the firm where Barack was hired as a summer token; but he was unlike most of the professional uncle tom’s I knew. He seemed unconcerned with frontin’ as if he’d arrived. Barack always insisted altruistically that he didn’t go to law school to cash out. He went to try to make a change. I thought to myself, “Negro, please, I just ain’t figured out your hustle yet.”

And hustle is exactly what he was doing on the South Side that night: he was leading a training session for some naïve-honest-to-Gawd- community activists. And the moment he walked into that church, took off his coat, rolled up his sleeves, loosened his tie and began to speak, I knew the Negro had Game.

He broke them off something proper—a speech about the world as it is and the world as it should and ain’t never gonna be-as long as Y’all are still running the world. A chorus of “amen’s” filled the church as he spoke. By the time he was finished, he had snowed every single one up in that piece. It was somethin’, Baby. For real though, Chile.

I hurried up and married him, Baby. Today, we are some prosperous buppie’s with two of the prettiest little girls you ever did see. I’m pulling down 300k at the University of Chicago Hospital and I’ve got the Audacity to Hope that those damn royalty checks start rollin’ in quickly to support my spending. Honey, I almost forgot, Barack is running for President of the United States.

Barack is running this hustle-I mean campaign-the same way he organized neighborhoods-with a slick and sophisticated snow job that inspires empty-headed, pie in the sky white liberals like you to get involved and to take a stand.

That’s where your dumb ass comes in. I’m writing to you today not just as the wife of a candidate, but as a sistah, a mama, a professional and above all, a diva desperate for y’all to send in your change so I can make a change at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and tell Laura Bush, “Bitch, guess who’s coming to dinner.” Can you help a sistah out and break us off a $ 1,000 or even $ 1,500 to Obama for America today?

I suppose you could say we’ve come a long way, Baby. But the Barack Obama who’s a United States Senator seeking our nation’s highest office is still the brotha that snowed those Negroes in the hood the same way he’s snowed all y’all’s dumb assess.

He’s a beaming father who always delights in leaving my ass at home with the kids as he saves the world. He’s confident in the knowledge that I only tolerate this bullshit because the chance to become the most pampered and socially prominent diva in the world is too hard to pass up.

After several years in grimy, corrupt Chicago ward politics, it hasn’t dimmed his love of the quest for power one bit.

Barack’s experience working in the drug-infested ghettos of Chicago’s south side taught him something profound-Negroes will believe any damn thing as long as you quote scripture and play on their desperation for something better.

Barack’s innate predator instinct convinced him that no matter how bleak things look, desperate Negroes, stupid Negroes, silly Negroes could be used to set him up for a run at the big time-and they sho’ nuff did.

I see the genius of this hustle for what it is and am convinced that with fools like you falling for the magic of my man’s hustle, we can go all the way.

Everywhere I’ve traveled with Barack, I’m freakin’ amazed not just by the size of the crowds but by the fact that there are always so many smiling white faces wanting to touch the hem of my man’s garment because they think he’s the second coming.

Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus for fools like you snowed by the Audacity of Hope.

Barack’s counting on the people for whom he’s fighting—the corporations and the moderate republicans—to stand with him. That’s why I’m asking you to rush a generous contribution to Obama for America today.

Take it from a former skeptic—he’s got this hustle down, honey and we can win this shit.

And take it from a Sistah who first ventured into that ghetto church with Barack those many moons ago; this is a special Negro, a truly extraordinary Negro, a Safe Negro, and one who will not ever—no matter how much you wish or hope—upset the apple cart of the white capitalist power structure.

Thank You for your naïveté, and support

Sincerely,

Michelle Obama

P.S. When it comes to his corporate backed vision, Barack’s eyes are focused squarely on the ball-I’ve seen to that as his wife. Let me assure you that his family is keepin’ it real.

There was the time he called me after a Senate vote and told me how proud he was to have passed some bullshit I don’t remember and how very inspired he felt—to which I replied, “That’s nice, Baby, but Aunt Juicy is here in the kitchen and she done drunk all the Alize. Stop by the co’ner store and pick up a couple of bottles.

Well, we laugh about times like those, but in many ways, they remind me of what makes Barack so special-He got game and he just keep coming back stronger and harder serving up that special somethin, somethin’ that y’all can’t get enough of-like Sinefeld and bullshit like that.

Campaign Mailbag: Rudy’s 12 commitments

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12 CommitmentsDear Wingnut,

I’m running for President of the United States based on the fear and hate I can offer the American people. When I was the Mayor of New York, the city was in a crime crisis, a budget crisis and a financial crisis. When I left office, we had turned the city into a boiling cauldron of racial division and economic stratification.

Many of the things I did as Mayor of New York City are irrelevant to what America needs now. That’s why today I announced my 12 commitments to you, the American people. These commitments are intended to lift my megalomaniacal ass into the White House.

My 12 commitments to the American people are:

  1. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  2. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  3. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  4. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  5. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  6. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  7. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  8. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  9. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  10. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  11. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  12. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11

My focus – as it was when I ran for Mayor – is on the accumulation of unlimited power. Because real leadership is focused on handing our nation to the next white generation far more right-wing than it was when handed to us. Today, I’m asking you and all of my fellow White Americans to join me in this mission. Will you go to my website, JoinRudy2008.com, to sign my petition and show your support? I also ask that you forward this to 12 of your most right-wing, knuckle dragging friends and get them to sign it as well.

Nothing polarizes a government and a people better than a racist control freak that challenges it to deform, change and regress. I can divide this nation in ways nobody thinks is possible and can’t be accomplished. I did it as Mayor of New York City, and I can do it again in Washington.

It’s a hard job and I can’t do it alone. Will you join me? Please visit JoinRudy2008.com and sign my petition to show your support. Please ask 12 of your scariest wingnut friends to sign on as well. Together, we can destroy constitutional government forever.

If I am elected President, I want to establish a fascist police state. That is the kind of leadership I am offering. And that is why I am running for President.

Sincerely,

Giuliani Sig