The President’s address introducing his jobs bill was a masterstroke of simplicity and cunning I’ve come to expect from this White House. If Hill Republicans are serious about job creation, they will pass the Obama jobs package which is heavy on payroll tax cuts and tax credits for small business—an approach to job creation that no Republican can object to philosophically. If they refuse they reveal themselves as charlatans hell bent on sabotaging our nation’s economy for political advantage in 2012, no matter what the cost. Either way, Obama wins.
GOP Culture of Corruption
Obama in the Lions DenStandard
Sorry, y’all. I am one of the poor people that doesn’t have internet access at home and I messed around and got snowed in. But if y’all ain’t seen this nearly hour and half long exchange with the President and the House Republicans, you really need to. It is one thing to know the president is brilliant, it is quite another to see it in real time. They knew the brotha was coming and they knew his purpose was to engage them in serious dialogue. They brought less than nothing to the table. These are the fools the good people of Massachusetts sought to empower through the election of Scott Brown. The Republicans are revealed here in all their ostentatious glory as the ignorant, obstinate, and fact challenged dilettantes that they are. The president is nothing short of amazing. This is the president that I voted for.
We’re in HellStandard
I remember it like it was yesterday. In the fall of 1994, I was an intern for the North Carolina Democratic Party. The 1994 elections were a watershed of fear, racist projection, and ignorance. The election night parties were full of tears and slack jaws as damn near everyone went down. I went home with my tail between my legs.
Devastated by the previous evening’s events and looking for solace I stepped into the HBCU counseling center office of my play mom, Ms. Chisholm. A South Carolina native, she made everyone feel like family but wasn’t a stereotypical, syrupy sweet, southern Mom. She looked up and saw the newspapers I had collected announcing the Republican sweep and said gravely, “we’re in Hell.”
This week has felt like that as a veil of ignorance and fear descended over Washington in the wake of Scott Brown’s election to the United States Senate in Massachusetts. A wake up call to be sure, it provoked some interesting reactions and farcical moments. As the president finally located his stones and called for a broad tax on the predatory banks to recoup the trillions in bailout largess they extorted from the U.S. Treasury, the Supreme Court reversed a century of precedent and plunged the United States back into the Gilded Age of Robber Barons and monopolistic trusts.
President Obama only had a year-long window to make any kind of change and he squandered it by trying to compromise with the Republicans, the banks, and the insurance companies. Everything from here on out will be filibustered unless Harry Reid uses reconciliation. But even that handy little tool will be useless with the new toy the Supreme Court has given our corporate overlords.
Campaign Finance Reform, an issue I care deeply about but never discuss was front and center yesterday as the Supreme Court struck down any limits on corporate independent expenditure campaigns on free speech grounds. They now have the power to use their general treasuries and their billions in profits to buy every friendly politician in sight or mount saturation level campaigns targeted at their political enemies.
Scared by the browning of America and the Presidency of Barack Obama, the Supreme Court finally pulled the trigger on fascism, shredded the constitution under the guise of interpreting it, and effectively destroyed our Democracy. The Republicans will finally be able to rely on an endless tsunami of cash to fund their campaigns and elections will be nothing more than contests to see who can most effectively whore out to the corporations.
I refuse to participate in, to borrow a phrase from Keith Olbermann, a “farcical perversion.” I will finish this election season out and work for the candidates I have committed to but this is Skeptical Brotha’s last campaign. I’m done. I am going to do what I should have done years ago and finally learn Spanish and French. I am going to leave this country and go somewhere that doesn’t elevate the rights of corporations over the rights of people. I love my Momma. I love my Daddy. I love my family, but I refuse to stay here and be a slave on this corporate plantation.
Condi Busts a MoveStandard
Condoleezza Rice has made a series of overtures in recent weeks toward the wingnut establishment which indicate that she is surreptitiously campaigning to be named as John McCain’s running mate. Now that her time as Bush’s concubine and plantation Negress is drawing to a close, she is busting a move toward conservative apostate John McCain. Her fealty toward Bush no longer has the cachet it once did and she is looking to replace one massuh with another.
Content and empowered as Bush’s Foreign Minstrel and the black face of American Imperialism and White Supremacy, Condi now sees it in her best interests to contest for the Vice Presidency at this time. The GOP consensus is that Barack Obama has a lock on the Democratic nomination, so the time is right for Condoleezza Rice. I have written of this possibility in the past and I clearly wasn’t too far off the mark.This has been out there for awhile but I felt that today is the perfect slow news day to discuss it. Have at it
MSNBC cancels Tucker CarlsonStandard
Word came today that Tucker Carlson’s show on MSNBC has been canceled. Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus. No word or term adequately describes how much I loathe Tucker Carlson. He reminds me of the grade school classmates that I despised as a child. Their privilege and disdain of Negroes was some kind of a birthright that they wore proudly on angelic faces that showed me nothing but expressions of contempt.
I rarely call adults significantly older than me by their first names. Living in the south for more than 15 years has intensified that trait. I use Ms. or Mrs. or slap Mr. or Ms. in front of a first name. I can recall going home to the Midwest once and going to the grocery store my semi-retired grandma worked in as a demo-lady and came across some teenage boy calling her by her first name. It was like fingernails on a chalk-board. I almost lost it before grandma shooed him away. Mama confessed that she didn’t like children in the store calling her by her first name, but had resigned herself to that Midwestern habit.
I told grandma that I considered it HIGHLY disrespectful and hoped that she would say something. It was all I could do at the time to keep it together and not go off on the kid. Nothin’ makes me see red quicker than oblivious or deliberate disrespect. All of that brings me to Tucker Carlson, the subject of this post. He reminds me of that boy in the grocery store: disrespectful and oblivious.
Tucker Carlson is the kind of smug prick that causes sweet, Christian ladies like my grandma to bake up sumptuous batches of homemade cookies laced with rat poison and offer it to him with honeysuckled sweetness. Tucker ain’t got no home training and is contemptuous and disrespectful of any and everything black, or anything which could level the playing field. In short, he is addicted to white supremacist notions of superiority and is in desperate need of an intervention.
I know what you’re thinking, “Skeptical Brotha, that’s kinda strong isn’t it?” Sadly, no, Carlson is an unrepentant critic of Affirmative Action, Black politicians, Democrats, or anybody else more liberal than a movement conservative with an affinity for the confederacy.
Four years ago he asked Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton the following question about the University of Michigan case, “At the heart of one of these cases is a story of a woman named Jennifer Gratz. She applied to the University of Michigan. She had a 3.8 grade point average and she didn’t get in, partly because she was white. Now if your daughter was applying to college and she didn’t get in part because she was black, meaning her race counted against her, I think you would call that what it is, it’s racism. And I think you’d call it that. Why not call it that here?”
Where to begin? First, Tucker
Second, you should discard these antiquated and illogical fallicies about Affirmative Action. He wouldn’t know what was fair if it came up and bit him. It is supremely insulting that anybody could actually say with a straight face that stealing someone’s labor for two centuries and actively discriminating against them for another 75 years doesn’t merit some form of recompense. It’s completely absurd.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, before it was denatured and de-fanged with the addition of a stable of right-wing Handkerchief Heads, wrote, “Discriminatory actions by individuals and organizations are not only pervasive, occurring in every sector of society, but also cumulative with effects limited neither to the time nor the particular structural area in which they occur. This process of discrimination, therefore, extends across generations, across organizations, and across social structures in self-reinforcing cycles, passing the disadvantages incurred by one generation in one area to future generations in many related areas.”
“These interrelated components of the discriminatory process share one basic result: the persistent gaps seen in the status of women and minorities relative to that of white males. These unequal results themselves have real consequences.”
Tucker Carlson fails to recognize the context of America’s persistent inequality and fixates on the fiction of “reverse discrimination” to the exclusion of the routine “every day” racism which genuflects to white privilege and grants him two shows on two different networks to disseminate his ignorance to an unsuspecting public.
Lastly, Tucker has a rather odd fascination with the United Church of Christ-or rather Barack Obama’s church. It seems that Obama’s membership in a mainline protestant denomination is troubling to the Episcopalian Carlson. Senator Obama himself has said, “Commitment to God, black community, commitment to the black family, the black work ethic, self-discipline and self-respect. …Those are values that the conservative movement in particular has suggested are necessary for black advancement.” He added, “So I would be puzzled that they would object or quibble with the bulk of a document that basically espouses profoundly conservative values of self-reliance and self-help.”
His attacks on Obama’s “separatist” faith and the black church are tinged with the acceptable racism of snarky disdain and contempt I felt from my white peers many moons ago. Coupled with the right-wing inspired Muslim smear and fear bomb, they are a potent cocktail too strong for the average member of the white working class and bedrock of the GOP coalition.
Thanks be to God that the preppy klansman no longer has two mainstream media perches from which to spew his racist condescension and religious bigotry. I know Grandma is just as pleased as I am. Perhaps now that MSNBC has finally given Tucker the boot, they can find a woman or person of color ” to diversify their all white-male line up.
Grandpa McCain’s chick on the sideStandard
WASHINGTON — Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.
A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.
When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.
Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.
It had been just a decade since an official favor for a friend with regulatory problems had nearly ended Mr. McCain’s political career by ensnaring him in the Keating Five scandal. In the years that followed, he reinvented himself as the scourge of special interests, a crusader for stricter ethics and campaign finance rules, a man of honor chastened by a brush with shame.
But the concerns about Mr. McCain’s relationship with Ms. Iseman underscored an enduring paradox of his post-Keating career. Even as he has vowed to hold himself to the highest ethical standards, his confidence in his own integrity has sometimes seemed to blind him to potentially embarrassing conflicts of interest.
Mr. McCain promised, for example, never to fly directly from Washington to Phoenix, his hometown, to avoid the impression of self-interest because he sponsored a law that opened the route nearly a decade ago. But like other lawmakers, he often flew on the corporate jets of business executives seeking his support, including the media moguls Rupert Murdoch, Michael R. Bloomberg and Lowell W. Paxson, Ms. Iseman’s client. (Last year he voted to end the practice.)
Mr. McCain’s confidence in his ability to distinguish personal friendships from compromising connections was at the center of questions advisers raised about Ms. Iseman.
The lobbyist, a partner at the firm Alcalde & Fay, represented telecommunications companies for whom Mr. McCain’s commerce committee was pivotal. Her clients contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his campaigns.
Mr. Black said Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman were friends and nothing more. But in 1999 she began showing up so frequently in his offices and at campaign events that staff members took notice. One recalled asking, “Why is she always around?”
That February, Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman attended a small fund-raising dinner with several clients at the Miami-area home of a cruise-line executive and then flew back to Washington along with a campaign aide on the corporate jet of one of her clients, Paxson Communications. By then, according to two former McCain associates, some of the senator’s advisers had grown so concerned that the relationship had become romantic that they took steps to intervene.
A former campaign adviser described being instructed to keep Ms. Iseman away from the senator at public events, while a Senate aide recalled plans to limit Ms. Iseman’s access to his offices.
In interviews, the two former associates said they joined in a series of confrontations with Mr. McCain, warning him that he was risking his campaign and career. Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman. The two associates, who said they had become disillusioned with the senator, spoke independently of each other and provided details that were corroborated by others.
Separately, a top McCain aide met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station in Washington to ask her to stay away from the senator. John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said in an e-mail message that he arranged the meeting after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about her.
“Our political messaging during that time period centered around taking on the special interests and placing the nation’s interests before either personal or special interest,” Mr. Weaver continued. “Ms. Iseman’s involvement in the campaign, it was felt by us, could undermine that effort.”
Mr. Weaver added that the brief conversation was only about “her conduct and what she allegedly had told people, which made its way back to us.” He declined to elaborate.
It is not clear what effect the warnings had; the associates said their concerns receded in the heat of the campaign.
Ms. Iseman acknowledged meeting with Mr. Weaver, but disputed his account.
“I never discussed with him alleged things I had ‘told people,’ that had made their way ‘back to’ him,” she wrote in an e-mail message. She said she never received special treatment from Mr. McCain’s office.
Mr. McCain said that the relationship was not romantic and that he never showed favoritism to Ms. Iseman or her clients. “I have never betrayed the public trust by doing anything like that,” he said. He made the statements in a call to Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, to complain about the paper’s inquiries.
The senator declined repeated interview requests, beginning in December. He also would not comment about the assertions that he had been confronted about Ms. Iseman, Mr. Black said Wednesday.
Mr. Davis and Mark Salter, Mr. McCain’s top strategists in both of his presidential campaigns, disputed accounts from the former associates and aides and said they did not discuss Ms. Iseman with the senator or colleagues.
“I never had any good reason to think that the relationship was anything other than professional, a friendly professional relationship,” Mr. Salter said in an interview.
He and Mr. Davis also said Mr. McCain had frequently denied requests from Ms. Iseman and the companies she represented. In 2006, Mr. McCain sought to break up cable subscription packages, which some of her clients opposed. And his proposals for satellite distribution of local television programs fell short of her clients’ hopes.
The McCain aides said the senator sided with Ms. Iseman’s clients only when their positions hewed to his principles
A champion of deregulation, Mr. McCain wrote letters in 1998 and 1999 to the Federal Communications Commission urging it to uphold marketing agreements allowing a television company to control two stations in the same city, a crucial issue for Glencairn Ltd., one of Ms. Iseman’s clients. He introduced a bill to create tax incentives for minority ownership of stations; Ms. Iseman represented several businesses seeking such a program. And he twice tried to advance legislation that would permit a company to control television stations in overlapping markets, an important issue for Paxson.
In late 1999, Ms. Iseman asked Mr. McCain’s staff to send a letter to the commission to help Paxson, now Ion Media Networks, on another matter. Mr. Paxson was impatient for F.C.C. approval of a television deal, and Ms. Iseman acknowledged in an e-mail message to The Times that she had sent to Mr. McCain’s staff information for drafting a letter urging a swift decision.
Mr. McCain complied. He sent two letters to the commission, drawing a rare rebuke for interference from its chairman. In an embarrassing turn for the campaign, news reports invoked the Keating scandal, once again raising questions about intervening for a patron.
Mr. McCain’s aides released all of his letters to the F.C.C. to dispel accusations of favoritism, and aides said the campaign had properly accounted for four trips on the Paxson plane. But the campaign did not report the flight with Ms. Iseman. Mr. McCain’s advisers say he was not required to disclose the flight, but ethics lawyers dispute that.
Recalling the Paxson episode in his memoir, Mr. McCain said he was merely trying to push along a slow-moving bureaucracy, but added that he was not surprised by the criticism given his history.
“Any hint that I might have acted to reward a supporter,” he wrote, “would be taken as an egregious act of hypocrisy.”
Statement by McCain
Mr. McCain’s presidential campaign issued the following statement Wednesday night:
“It is a shame that The New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit-and-run smear campaign. John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election.
“Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter politics, and there is nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career.”
Barack Obama, a proxy for racial equalityStandard
Barack Obama is a proxy for some people for the conversation about race that they have no courage or inclination to have. At best, he is a denatured Negro and political centrist acceptably black and mainstream to the white power structure chiefly because of his moderate Senate record and because he refused to discuss the incendiary, racial polarization games of Bill Clinton. After sweeping 13 states from coast to coast and running up 7,369,798 votes, 41% of white voters, and 48% of white males, some pundits, like Juan Williams, are still calling Obama, “the black candidate,” a charge I find both ludicrous and offensive.
What’s the matter Juan, Fox News looking to replace you with a more rabid right wing Uncle Tom? Wasn’t your recent softball interview with Dubya enough to prove your fealty to the dark side? Somebody else got their eyes on your prized perch of televised Negro servitude?
All last year, I mined the depths of my ambivalence for Barack Obama, and exposed and explored his politically expedient positioning for this White House bid. I was brutally honest and as fair as I knew how to be. The crux of my criticisms, in a nutshell, was his departures from the consensus of black opinion regarding slave reparations, voting to confirm Condoleezza Rice, and voting for tort reform and free trade-which seems like slavery to those ensnared by it. He is most certainly not “the Black Candidate” and Black voters, not known for reading the fine print, know little about that record.
Instead, Black voters support Barack Obama because of the extraordinary marketing campaign being run by his team and the compelling power of surrogates like his wife Michelle and Oprah Winfrey. It also didn’t hurt that Clinton surrogates tried to smear Obama with a criminal label and the epithet of “Black Candidate” like Bill Clinton and so many others have tried to do. The brotha makes us proud and lets us hold our heads up high for a change.
Truthfully, this is as good as it gets. We won’t have a chance like this again for some time-if ever, we know that, and we’ve fallen in line. The power structure has allowed this brotha to compete as long as he is clear on a few ground rules: no material changes will be made to the racist global economic order, Africa will not be liberated from its economic dependence on the World Bank and the IMF, and incremental changes in domestic economic institutions like the health care system will be permitted within certain limits.
Race and the deleterious effects of institutionalized racism are not on the white power structure’s agenda of sanctioned items for the next President because his very election will be misinterpreted to mean that this nation has moved past race. It will be up to us to put it on the agenda where it belongs until it is properly dealt with. We’ve got to be realistic as a community. A candidate who risks political suicide by having a truthful discussion about race will never be the progressive champion we envision without pressure.
While not hostile to black interests per se, Obama will probably be less than helpful in implementing a “black agenda,” as defined by the esteemed Black Agenda Report. A President Obama will need to be treated like any other president and held to a high standard by the black community.
Most of us are hopeful that the example of a black man as President will change things and change people in positive ways. I am sure that it will but I am less sure that the positive change will be lasting or that he will be able to implement a transformative agenda. Tom Bradley was Mayor of Los Angeles for twenty years, a mentor to good brothas like Tavis Smiley, and still gangs and drugs are prevalent in our community.
Ten years ago, Gary Orfield, a professor of Education at UCLA, speaking on a panel with Michael Eric Dyson in Dyson’s Book “Debating Race,” said, “There are tremendous inequities in our society today, [measured] by race and by poverty. They’re growing. We have the most unequal distribution of income and opportunity of any major democracy. In the mid 1960’s and 70’s we developed a set of policies to try to make that work better. We’re now dismantling them on a very large scale under the leadership of a Supreme Court that was constructed by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.”
“We do not have an alternate plan. We think it will just work out automatically, and it won’t. And we have to face up to that. We have not cured the problems of our history. We have not achieved equality for even one day, in terms of outcomes in this society. We can’t deny that, and we have to try to resolve it. And we have to resolve it, those of us who are white, before we become the minority, and minority rights become not just a theory but something we have to worry about also.”
Nothing has changed under this President Bush. His malevolent agenda has made things even worse than those that came before. This week, speaking to my Grandma, I reminded her to caucus this weekend for Barack Obama. During the course of the conversation, Mama told me that she went to a mall in my Midwestern hometown to have her blood pressure checked. An older white man from the Carolinas checked her pressure and then broke down crying asking Mama for her forgiveness for all whites had done to our people.
I was speechless.
While confession is good for the soul, I don’t know how good that confession really was for Mama. She had the conversation about race that I wish we all could have but it lacked any discussion of remuneration. I would have preferred that she’d been paid what she was worth as a nurse for 37 years at a Veterans Administration hospital.
Mama never did make the top pay grade after all that time, a fact I found out when I worked as a nursing assistant at her hospital during college. She would be getting more in retirement now if she had and could rest a little easier. Rhetoric about hope aside, which we desperately need, we still need to get down to brass tacks about the inequity in this society.
Progressives are being drowned out by opportunistic handkerchief heads like Juan Williams who know damn better. They undermine the consensus of opinion in the black community and make it difficult for savvy and pragmatic politicians like Barack Obama to advance by pushing a progressive agenda. I have been clear that I don’t like the accommodations Obama made to get to this point, but I realize that his candidacy would be impossible without them.
The tragedy of our system is that corporate accommodation is mandatory for political advancement and I remain hopeful that the inspiration Obama provides to young brothas and sistahs will mitigate the damage our plutocracy inflicts on their dreams and aspirations for the future.
Bastardizing the Dream: Alveda KingStandard
This is the week set aside in honor of one our own, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Normally a time for celebration, I have come to dread our annual commemoration because of photo-op’s like the one above with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Dr. King’s niece, Alveda King, has fallen off the mountaintop, bumped her damn head, and become a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy.
Employed full-time by the religious right, she is an aggressive pro-life activist, minister, and professional public speaker. As she has moved steadily to the right, Alveda has provided political cover and given full license to those who would distort, defame, and destroy the dream of her late Uncle in the name of a fictitious colorblindness that is really white supremacy.
A long time opponent of Affirmative Action, she is entangled in a network of right-wing preachers hell bent on destroying the progressive social change that Dr. King fought for. While Dr. King spoke of the power of love and the creation of the beloved community, the glue that holds their little movement together is hatred, homophobia and a fixation with stopping same sex couples who love each other from having the right to marry.
In the month of Mrs. King’s death, Alveda participated in “Justice Sunday,” a wingnut gala consisting of the full constellation of reactionary politicians and their talabangelical brethren dedicated to fighting for the confirmation of Bush’s judicial nominees like Samuel Alito. Alito, an archconservative with a history of hostility to civil rights, provided the fifth vote to strike down voluntary Affirmative Action plans in the public schools last year. Weakening the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education without the guts to admit it, Alito and his allies on the court dealt the principle of ending separate but equal education a mortal wound.
Among those beating the drums of fascist religiosity with Alveda were Justice Sunday colleagues Tony Perkins, Head of the right-wing Family Research Council and a former Louisiana politician who paid white supremacist and neo-Nazi David Duke for his mailing list, and Jerry Falwell, a former segregationist who smeared Martin Luther King, Jr. as a tool of communists.
During most of Dubya’s first term, he found some way to paw Coretta Scott King in a manner that made my blood boil. Born on the same day as my grandmother two years apart, Mrs. King was always an icon in my household. I would NEVER allow George W. Bush to put his damn hands on my grandmother and I could never understand why Mrs. King visited the White House of a man who stole the Presidency. Her graciousness was always taken advantage of by this White House and she invariably became a colored prop in Dubya’s annual racist stage play of deceit every third Monday in January.
My personal favorite was the 2003 King Holiday. Within days of the holiday, the Administration announced a bold frontal assault on Affirmative Action by filing a brief against the Affirmative Action Admissions programs for both the University of Michigan and its School of Law. Writing a powerful Five-to-Four opinion upholding the principle of Affirmative Action, Sandra Day O’Connor ended her twenty years of steady opposition to Affirmative Action programs. Within two years, she resigned from the court only to be replaced by Alveda’s choice, Samuel Alito. It is only a matter of time now before Affirmative Action is destroyed by the Roberts Court.
Monday, I kept hearing reports of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee being invited to attend King Day services at Ebenezer Baptist Church by a member of “the King Family.” While not identified, I have a hunch that the black fool in question was Alveda. She was the one sitting next to the presidential contender that told White South Carolina Republicans that they shouldn’t tolerate anybody dictating to them about where, when and how to fly the confederate flag. After desecrating the sanctuary with his presence, Huckabee used the occasion to accept the endorsement of a group of black wingnut preachers, the “Coalition of African American Pastors,” a group Alveda has claimed a board membership of on her website.
This week, Martin Luther King III, “deeply” concerned about politicians misappropriating the legacy of his father, wrote John Edwards a beautiful letter telling him to keep fighting and stay in the race. If he was truly concerned about folks distorting the dream, he would have stopped his Mama from being used by George W. Bush, stopped his sister Bernice from demonizing gays and lesbians, put his foot down to permit the man who paid for his Daddy’s funeral, Harry Belafonte, to eulogize his mother instead of the ignorant patrician in the White House, and done something to put his cousin Alveda in check.
As adherents of the drum major for justice who preached non-violence, it would be unseemly for the members of the King family to take Alveda aside and beat her ass until she remembers what the hell the dream is really about. Nevertheless, let me be the first one to say to the King family that all of black America would happily forgive y’all if you laid down the principles of non-violence temporarily to “lay hands” on Alveda with “the love of the Lord.”
I won’t tell nobody and I am quite sure that Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, a King family friend, would help. After all, she has kept her girls outta jail, despite the mess they’ve been involved in, and I’m very sure a discrete word from the mayor to the Po-po would squash it. If Shirley can’t help, somebody can always call Bishop Thomas Weeks, Juanita Bynum’s soon-to-be ex-husband. The way I see it he’ll pop either the question, Alveda, or both.
Although I can’t help but lampoon Alveda and make light of this situation for the sake of my fragile sanity, bastardizing Dr. King’s dream is no laughing matter.
Giuliani’s Christmas Ad (Revised)Standard
Copying front runner Mike Huckabee and sinking in national polls like a stone, a desperate Rudy Giuliani came out with his own holiday ad to deceive and reassure gullible Republicans.
Rudy: There a many things I wish for this Holiday Season. I wish for peace with strength, secure borders, a government that spends less than it takes in, lower taxes for our business and families, and I really hope that all the presidential candidates can just get along.
Santa: Ho, Ho, Ho, I was with ya right up until that last one.
Rudy: Can’t have everything. I’m Rudy Giuliani and I approved this message. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.
This is the parody ad I would have him release.
Rudy: There are many things I wish for this Holiday Season. I wish for another 9/11 to scare the American people into voting for me, a government that spies on its own people, huge tax loopholes for the rich, and I really hope that before Bernie Kerik goes to jail, his mob friends will help me rub out the smug prick with perfect hair, Mitt Romney.
Judi, the social climbing homewrecker: I wanna be First Lady and America’s Queen.
Black Santa: Ho, I was with ya right up until that last one.
Rudy: You black bastard, I’ll teach you to never say everything that pops into your head to a white woman.
Rudy’s security team shoots Santa in the back 41 times and calls it justifiable homicide because Black Santa “fit the description.”
Rudy: I’m Rudy Giuliani and I enthusiastically approved this gross display of racist police state fascism. Merry Christmas. Seig Heil.
National Enquirer report: John Edwards has a love childStandard
The National Enquirer is reporting as fact the juicy tidbit that Presidential candidate John Edwards, aka”the Breck Girl,” has allegedly gotten a campaign staffer knocked up with his love child. The struggling presidential contender might do well to be perceived as a Clintonesque rogue and alpha male so that folks would get off the dime nationally and support him. Of course, straight-laced Iowans might feel differently about him if faced with the nauseating prospect of more Oval Office hanky panky. If Clinton fatigue means anything, it means folks are tired of the Clinton style soap opera, Bush style B.S., and just want some damn competence. If Mrs. Edwards comments publicly and alludes to not being a Tammy Wynette stand by your man patsy and to a vast right-wing conspiracy, then we’ll know what’s up.
Al Sharpton’s 2004 Presidential Committee being investigatedStandard
In what could only be charitably called suspicious timing, the FBI announced a federal investigation into Al Sharpton’s 2004 campaign finances. The Village Voice covered this in depth and shows us how shaky and nefarious all that bidness was and so I won’t do so again here. However, after this was announced late last week and a Grand Jury impaneled for December 26th, I waited for a plausible explanation from the Department of Injustice about why they seem so damn pressed about this crap now. This whole series of events is tailor made for skeptical negroes like myself to point the finger and say, “See they messin’ wit him again because he done got on their cases for ignoring the rash of nooses and racial terrorism in this country and the Jena 6.” I would respectfully submit that if its political corruption that y’all are after, Chicago Mayor Rich Daley, a Barack Obama patron, is a more ripe target for a corruption probe.
Lieberwhore endorses John McCainStandard
Hat Tip: Jennifer Loven, Associated Press
Sen. John McCain, trying to keep momentum in this state’s critical Republican primary race, brought in something unusual on Monday — an endorsement from the other party’s former vice presidential nominee.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Democrat Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, said he had intended to wait until after the primaries to make a choice for the 2008 presidential race. But McCain asked for his support and no Democrat did.
Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said he chose his longtime Senate colleague because he has the best shot of breaking partisan gridlock in Washington. Both men also support the war in Iraq.
“On all the issues, you’re never going to do anything about them unless you have a leader who can break through the partisan gridlock,” Lieberman said. “The status quo in Washington is not working.”
Independents can vote in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 8, and they are the people McCain is targeting, much as he did in winning the state’s Republican primary in 2000 over George W. Bush.
Traveling with Lieberman Monday morning to Hillsborough’s American Legion hall, McCain said the Connecticut senator is his answer to the people he hears in every town hall meeting who ask, “Why can’t you all work together?”
Lieberman said McCain’s approach to Iraq and his credentials on national security are the main reasons he is supporting a Republican for president.
But both men said the election seems increasingly about the economy and domestic issues rather than Iraq. On those issues, Lieberman acknowledged he does not always see eye-to-eye with his 2008 pick. But, said Lieberman, McCain is always straightforward about where he stands.
For McCain, behind in the polls here but gaining, the endorsement carries the risk of alienating conservatives who have been critical of his support for immigration and campaign finance reforms.
“If I get some criticism for aligning myself with a good friend I have worked with for many years, I will be more than happy to accept that criticism,” McCain said.
For Lieberman, it marks another turn away from the Democrats.
“Political party is important, but it’s not more important than what’s good for the country and it’s not more important than friendship,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman won re-election to the Senate in 2006 as an independent, after losing the Democratic primary largely because of his support for the war. High-profile Democrats abandoned him after the primary defeat.
This has to be the most epic betrayal of all time. The Majority Leader, Harry Reid, mumbled something about having “the greatest respect for Joe.” Greatest respect, Harry? F*#@, Joe and F*#@ You.
Mitt Romney’s Christmas Card (Revised)Standard
I’m dreaming of White Christians
Just like the ones I need to win
As my hypocrisy glistens,
and white folks listen
To a slick Arkansas huckster trudging around Iowa in the snow
I’m dreaming of White Christians
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all the rapists Huckabee lets out of prison be white
I’m dreaming of White Christians
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all the rapists Huckabee lets out of prison be white
From my right-wing stepford family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas.
Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season and he wants you to support the strongest possible GOP candidate to beat Hillary Clinton and her radical leftist, homosexual agenda.
Mitt Romney’s Faith in America Speech (re-written)Standard
As prepared for Delivery at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, December 6, 2007
Thank you, Mr. President, for your kind introduction.
It is an honor to be here today. This is an inspiring place because of you and the First Lady and because of the exaggerated film propping up your fragile ego exhibited across the way in the Presidential library. For those who have not seen it, it shows the President as a young pilot in a segregated unit, shot down during the Second World War, being rescued from his life-raft by the crew of an American submarine.
It is a moving reminder that when America has faced challenge and peril, Americans rise to the occasion, willing to risk their very lives to defend white anglo-saxon protestant privilege and preserve our economic and political supremacy. We are in your debt. Thank you, Mr. President.
Mr. President, your generation rose to the occasion, first to defeat Fascism, and first to incorporate its ruthless cruelty and amoral ideology to unapologetically crush European style democratic socialism. You left us, your children, an ignorant, strong, and jingoistic America. It is why we call yours the greatest generation. It is now my generation’s turn. How we respond to today’s challenge to defend white anglo-saxon protestant privilege will define our generation. And it will determine what kind of America we will leave our children, and theirs.
America faces a new generation of challenges. Radical violent Islamofascists seek to destroy us. An emerging yellow peril in China endeavors to surpass our economic leadership. And we are troubled at home by government overspending on unproductive black welfare cheats, overuse of foreign oil, and the invasion of our borders by illegal aliens.
Over the last year, we have embarked on a national debate on how best to preserve white anglo-saxon privilege. Today, I wish to address a topic, which I believe is fundamental to America’s greatness: our shallow religiosity. I will also offer perspectives on how I would use faith to pander to and trick bigoted, anti-Morman evangelicals into giving me the Presidency.
There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation’s founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator to enslave the African and kill the Indian. And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of white supremacy and the promotion of theocracy.
Fascism requires the complicity of religious zealots just as religious zealotry requires fascism. Fascism opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs in communion with a God that validates his evil. Fascism and religious zealotry endure together, or perish alone. Given our grand tradition of religiosity and faux liberty, some wonder whether there are any questions regarding an aspiring candidate’s religion that are appropriate. I believe there are. And I will answer them today.
Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was a right-wing anti-communist war hawk running for President, not a Catholic running for President. Like him, I am right-wing anti-communist war hawk running for President. Unlike him, I define my candidacy by a phony profession of religiosity. A person should not be elected unless he is willing to shamelessly pander to right-wing people of faith.
Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert visible influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, exercised secretly within the nefarious province of religious institutional back channels, and it ends wherever the limitations of their imaginations begin.
As Governor, I tried to position myself to run for President as best I knew how, serving my ambition and subverting the Constitution. I openly comingled the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution – and of course, I would unapologetically do so as President. I am not above using any doctrine of any church to obtain the plain power of the office to subvert the sovereign authority of the law.
As a young man, Karl Rove described what he called America’s ‘political religion’ – God, Guns, and Gays. When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my ticket to unlimited power. If I am fortunate to become your President, I will serve no one religion, no one group, and no one cause, except white anglo-saxon protestant privilege. A President must serve only the common cause of the white people of the United States.
There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I sometimes endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers – I will be as true to them and to my beliefs as the political expediency of this campaign will allow.
Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, they can kiss my grits. But I think they underestimate the shallow stupidity of the American people. Americans claim not to respect believers of convenience but never seem to tire of voting for those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world.
There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? The answer that I am required to give to be elected is that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. I say that to distract you about the fact that my church’s beliefs about Christ may not be the same as those of other faiths. I will then appeal to our country’s fake tradition of religious tolerance after reassuring you that what I believe isn’t all that different from the theology of the evangelical rubes I need to win the nomination.
There are some who would have a Republican presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines, which enables the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. However, the reality is that no non-believer will ever be nominated by the Republican Party. And if the besotted wingnut we eventually nominate ever becomes President, you all better get on your knees and pray.
I believe that every GOP candidate I have encountered claims to be closer to God than me. And in every candidate in my party I have come to know, there are features in each I wish were in my own: I love the profound and shameless hypocrisy of the Catholic adulterer Giuliani, the slick Willie approachability of the Evangelical Huckabee, the lazy spirit of the Pentecostal Thompson, the confident fanaticism of the libertarian Ron Paul, the ancient Episcopalian McCain, unchanged through the ages, and the endless commitment to the frequent, fruitless prayer to God for the miracle it will take to elect Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter or any one of us for that matter.
As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of our electoral bread and butter.It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the Republicans in America, we share a common creed of amoral religiosity. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the vacuous religious principles that urge us all on a common course.
Whether it was the cause of abolishing Affirmative Action, or denying America’s racist holocaust, no movement of false conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the racial delusions of white people.
We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for no good reason. Religion should dictate to the state and no state should interfere with the free practice of theocracy. The secular humanists are intent on driving religion from the public square and they are wrong. The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square.
We are one nation ‘Under a greedy capitalist God’ and in God, we do indeed trust. We should begrudgingly acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in word but not in deed. God should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of historical propaganda, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places.
Our greatness would not long endure without the respect earned by our cluster bombing warmongering, upon which our political power as a nation rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any non-white Christians, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who’s blind to our tyranny.’ Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage.
Perhaps the most important question to ask a person of faith who seeks a political office, is this: does he share these American values: a fealty to helping the rich escape taxation, the obligation to serve the fascist power structure, and a steadfast commitment to white supremacy? They are not unique to any one conservative. They belong to the great amoral indifference we hold in common. They are the firm ground on which Republicans of different faiths meet and stand as a fascist theocracy, united.
We believe that every single white human being is a child of God – we are all part of God’s chosen people. The conviction of the inherent and inalienable worth of every white life is still the most elementary political proposition ever advanced. Trent Lott put it, “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”
White Americans acknowledge that white privilege is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government. No people in the history of the world have sacrificed so many for privilege. The lives of hundreds of thousands of America’s sons and daughters were laid down during the last century to preserve white supremacy, for us and for freedom loving Europeans throughout the world.
America obviously learned nothing from that Century’s terrible wars. –Which is probably why we let the ignorant patrician in the White House lie us into a quagmire in Iraq. America‘s resolve in the defense of false religiosity has been tested time and again. It has not been found wanting, nor must it ever be. America must never falter in holding high the banner of fascist theocracy.
These American values, this great amoral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours. I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbors. I ignored my father marching with Martin Luther King. I forgot my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements. Totally ignoring my parents noblesse oblige, I am now deeply moved by George Herbert Walker Bush’s broken pledge: Read my lips: No new Taxes.
My faith is grounded on these truths. You can witness them in Ann and my sickening “Father Knows Best” marriage and in our family. We are a long way from perfect, I don’t think Ann has ever had an orgasm, and we have surely stumbled along the way, but our aspirations, our values, are the self-same as those Republicans from the other faiths that stand upon this common, porous foundation of phony religiosity. And these convictions will indeed deform my presidency.
Today’s generations of Republicans have always known of a Bush in the White House. Perhaps we forget the long and arduous path the Bushes took to achieve it. They came here to Texas from Connecticut to seek freedom from patrician obligation. Upon finding it for themselves, they ran for office in the longest quest for dynastic power in the nation’s history.
After twelve years of supply-side mismanagement, they found themselves out of power. Eager to get back in the game and repulsed by her liberal beliefs, Ann Richards was destroyed to make way for Dubya and she was exiled from Texas so the fortunate son could propel himself from Austin to D.C. As a former governor of Massachusetts and the father of five sons, perhaps I can install one of my boys in the White House just like the ignorant patrician’s daddy did for him.
It was in Houston that founding father Bush defined a revolutionary vision of dynastic power, grounded in self evident truths about the supremacy of oil, and the inalienable right to plunder the world in search of it, which is endowed by the Creator. We cherish these sacred rights, and secure them by shredding the Constitutional order.In such a fluid campaign, I am deeply thankful that we live in a land where hypocrisy and religiosity are friends and allies in the cause of fascist theocracy, joined against the evils and dangers of another Clinton presidency.
And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, had better do it with one eye open because I am liable to say or do anything to win this race. In that spirit, let us give thanks to the divine ‘author of liberty.’ And together, let us pray that this land may always be blessed with a nuclear arsenal capable of annihilating our enemies.
God bless the United States of Hypocrisy.
Acquiescing to white supremacy by any means necessaryStandard
“We declare our rights on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” -Malcolm X
Southern Segregationists always reacted to Malcolm X and those of like mind with alarm and repudiation. In time, they came to understand the utility of the mantra “by any means necessary” and adopted it as their own. Today, Dixie Dianne Feinstein played her self-assigned role to assist her neo-confederate colleagues Trent Lott and Thad Cochran in preserving white supremacy by any means necessary as they pushed through the nomination of their judicial minion, former Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick, for a lifetime position on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In my Dixie Dianne’s Betrayal post, I wrote that she approved a nomination for “a judge who makes light of the fact that he ordered the reinstatement of a white female state employee that called a black female co-worker, “a good ole nigger.” As I’ve said before, there is no circumstance where it is ever acceptable for a white person to call a black person a nigger in freakin’ Mississippi. Never. He also concurred with his collegues homophobia by taking away a woman’s child in a child custody case because he objected to her being a lesbian.
Her reasons for this betrayal were less than convincing. She said yesterday, “In my conversations with Judge Southwick, I have gotten a sense of the type of person that I believe him to be. He is not either insensitive or a racist but one who is thoughtful and analytical and a strong believer in the law. As an appellate court judge, he evaluates the specific legal issues of the case before him, not necessarily the veracity of the parties involved as would a trial judge.
“…While I respect the views of my colleagues who oppose this nomination, I also respectfully disagree. I think Judge Southwick made mistakes by concurring in the two opinions in question, but I don’t think those rulings define his views. I don’t believe they outweigh the other factors that suggest Judge Southwick should be confirmed.”
Southwick’s record in criminal cases reveals a troubling pattern of racist myopia. According to the Alliance for Justice, “Judge Southwick has participated in numerous cases involving challenges to the racial makeup of a jury under Batson v. Kentucky, in which the United States Supreme Court held that peremptory challenges to jurors cannot be used in a racially discriminatory manner.
“In 59 of the 70 Batson cases reviewed for this report, the defendants challenged their convictions on the ground that the prosecution had used peremptory challenges to strike African-American jurors. Judge Southwick, voting with a majority of the Court in every case, voted to uphold the convictions in all but five of these cases.”
“In 10 of these 70 Batson cases, the defendants challenged their convictions on the ground that the prosecution had unfairly prevented them from using their peremptory challenges to exclude white jurors (in one case the juror whom defendant sought to strike was Asian American). Defendants, with Judge Southwick again joining the majority of the Court in every case, lost all ten of these challenges. In the final case, the defendant challenged his conviction on both grounds and lost on both grounds, with Judge Southwick again in the majority.
“In other words, Judge Southwick and a majority of the judges on the Court of Appeals routinely rebuffed allegations of prosecutorial racism against African Americans in jury selection while upholding allegations of anti-white discrimination levied against defendants.”
Mississippi Senators have an unbroken record of white nominations to the Fifth Circuit and they intend to keep it that way. Since 1985 when they broke the color barrier to nominate an African American to the Federal District Court, they have adhered to a rigid whites only policy for the Court of Appeals. They’ve nominated women and a judge with a Turkish background but no African Americans. As a general rule, nobody has to worry about Trent Lott or Thad Cochran sniffing around their law offices looking for federal judicial nominees unless they have a track record of supporting Republicans and a demonstrated hostility to African Americans.
Dixie Dianne knew all of this and still chose to confirm him. She knew and opposed all of the previous troglodytes they’ve nominated to fill this spot. She has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee for the last 14 years and watched as Republicans filibustered President Clinton’s nominees for this same position until the clock ran out and the Supreme Court selected Bush as President.
Another battle in the war movement conservatives have waged to radically remake the federal judiciary was won tonight and it happened because of the acquiescence of the Senate Majority Leader and the rank cowardice of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. As I said in August, “Dixie Dianne’s betrayal has had one fortuitous consequence. She has provided the Democratic frontrunners in this contest one more opportunity to prove their progressive fealty or (reveal) their politically expedient treachery. Judge Southwick’s nomination is coming to the Senate floor whether we like it or not. If the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Majority Leader green light a filibuster, it will happen.”
“Even if they don’t concur, Hillary and Barack have the power to force one. …Reading an obligatory statement into the record will not do. Voting against cloture will not do. Putting up an aggressive fight and making several lengthy statements on the floor and to the media that make it clear that their opposition is not merely for show; and their active and visible participation in floor strategy that kills this nomination, that’s what we must demand.”
It didn’t happen. Hillary and Obama issued obligatory statements of opposition on their respective websites but neither made much effort. Even former Senate Judiciary Chairman Joe Biden, who killed the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork, took a pass. No matter what test of progressive political fortitude is given, Hillary and Obama will fail it with flying colors. Hillary and Obama made a big statement today about what they really stand for: getting elected President and acquiescing to white supremacy by any means necessary.
A word on Dana PerinoStandard
Republican women have an unmatched ability to spout right-wing propaganda with a Stepford wife elegance that is both beguiling and sterile. There is something too perfect about Dana Perino. It’s not just her immaculately styled hair and makeup (she has really mastered the smoky eye), or her beautiful clothes and plastic smile; it’s the combination of those elements and the unsettling, unflappable manner in which she pleasantly answers questions, in a way that reveals nothing, which gives me the creeps.
The first impulse on seeing her is, “isn’t she lovely” and then the realization hits you, and you wonder-is there anybody in there behind that vacant stare and perfect teeth? It makes you curious what her childhood friends think. I imagine they believe that somebody has killed her and replaced her with the lobotomized pod person that briefs the white house press corps everyday. But where do they hide the pods?
Her press conference last week, in which allegations of torture by our intelligence agencies surfaced over and over, was a classic of Orwellian doublespeak. Even Martha Raddatz didn’t believe her. Raddatz is an ABC reporter who’s been imbedded in Iraq so much it makes you wonder if she’s covering the war or looking for the horny soldier of her dreams.
When Dana’s White House gig is up and she is cleared for obstruction of justice, I believe that she’ll entertain us endlessly as one of Fox News’ right-wing Anchorettes, spewing whatever xenophobic, racist, and fascist talking points are issued by the vast right-wing conspiracy.