Happy Birthday, Mrs. Obama

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Today is the birthday of Barack Obama’s “rock,” Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama.¬† Mrs. O is 45 today. If you could wish the beautiful, vibrant, dynamic, sophisticated and accomplished First Lady Happy Birthday in person, what would you say to the sistah whose sacrifices gave us the first Black President?

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Michelle and Laura tour the White House

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After arguing passionately over proposition 8, I feel that you all could use some humor.  This is my first attempt at humor in a long while.   It stops when I am depressed and I am trying to recover.

I understand Michelle Obama got a grand tour of their new digs the other day and a little birdie told me that this is how it went down.

Mrs. Bush: (with clenched teeth and squeezed butt cheeks)¬†¬† Welcome to the White House, Mrs. Obama.¬† It is a (makes air quotes) “fabulous honor” for me to introduce you to the loyal household staff and give you the grand tour of the entire residence and state rooms.

Mrs. Obama: Mrs. Bush, the cameras are gone.  You can cut the act.

Mrs. Bush: Whew. ¬†Thank You.¬† I didn’t know how long I could’ve kept up the act.¬†¬†The truth of the matter is that you people¬†frighten me.¬†¬†I just don’t know¬†what this world is coming to.¬† Your husband’s election over a perfectly good white man is just not right if you ask me.

Mrs. Obama: No damnbody asked you.

Mrs. Bush: Anyhoo, I’ve had two Xanax and two Bloody Mary’s so we need to make this quick before they kick in.

Mrs. Obama: I can handle it from here. Don’t you have some embarrassingly servile House Negro who can show me around while you sleep it off?

Mrs. Bush: Condi is either shopping for shoes or in the Middle East and George fired that turncoat Colin Powell four years ago.

Mrs. Obama: No, Ma’am.¬† I didn’t mean those embarrassingly servile House Negroes, I meant the¬†Black servants¬†that wait on you hand and foot like they’re still on a plantation.

Mrs. Bush: Ron Christie, Armstrong Williams, and Alphonso Jackson are no longer with the Administration, dear.

Mrs. Obama: Nevermind. I see your (makes air quotes) “medication” is beginning to kick in.¬† Let’s just move on.

Mrs. Bush: Mrs. Obama, this is the White House Red Room, one of the White House’s many color themed historic parlors.¬†¬† In keeping with this theme, your husband could entertain his many socialist and communist sympathizers and collaborators as they plot to redistribute the hard earned wealth of the the richest 1%.

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Mrs. Obama: Since were on the red theme, is this the room where your husband concocted the twin red herrings of weapons of mass destruction and yellow cake uranium from Africa as a pretext for war in Iraq? Cat got your tongue?¬† That’s what I thought. Why dontcha just keep it moving.

Mrs. Bush: Mrs. Obama, this is the famous Lincoln Bedroom that¬†the previous president kept as busy as a brothel on a Saturday night by wheeling his wealthy campaign¬†donors in and out at lightning speed. Needless to say, we’ve restored the room to its intended purpose.¬† How do you people plan to honor President Lincoln?

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Mrs. Obama: The best way to honor President Lincoln, Mrs Bush, is to unify the nation and preserve the union he so vigorously defended, unlike your draft-dodging, chickenhawk husband, and to work across the aisle with mutual respect and bipartisanship.

Mrs. Bush: Michelle, dear, here we have the historic Treaty Room as renamed by Jacqueline Kennedy, your role-model.¬†¬† Speaking of Mrs. Kennedy, I do hope that you can keep better track of your husband than Jackie could. Democrat wives seem to have a problem in that department.¬† Anyhoo, The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed in this room by President Kennedy in 1963. Your husband can use the room to surrender our nation’s sovereignty to the U.N. and leave us defenseless in the War on Terror.

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Mrs. Obama: Treaties, now that’s a concept I wasn’t aware the Administration knew anything about.¬†¬† Have you ever heard about the Geneva Conventions?¬† No?¬† Neither has GeeShrubya.¬†¬† As for keeping track of my man, nobody whose ever worked for Barack ever slipped up and referred to him as “my husband,” like your girl, Condi.¬† I know my man, but it must be sheer torture wondering whether your husband has a taste for brown sugar, honey.¬† Barack certainly does, and as you can see, (with both hands on her hips) that’s one mission he accomplished when he married me.

Mrs. Bush: (Flustered) Well I never…

Mrs. Obama: That probably explains alot.  Can we wrap this up?

Mrs. Bush: Last on our tour is the Diplomatic Reception Room, which serves as an entrance to the White House from the South Grounds for the members of the first family and for visiting dignitaries and ambassadors arriving to officially present their credentials to the President.¬† Y’all can use this room to pray to Mecca five times a day and receive all your terrorist supporters like Ahmadinejad and Hamas.

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Mrs. Obama: Diplomacy.¬† Now that’s another concept I am certain y’all aren’t familiar with.¬† How could you be…what with your preoccupation with preemptive war and indiscriminate bombing of defenseless civilians and all.¬† It’s hard to find time to grapple with the complexities of international law and the rules of war when your wars are just shameless grabs for oil and economic supremacy.

Mrs. Bush: Mrs. Obama, that concludes the official tour. Is there anything else you’d like to see?

Mrs. Obama: You mean other than seeing you, Lynn Cheney, and Mrs. Rumsfeld visiting your husbands in federal prison?

Mrs. Bush: Yes.

Mrs. Obama: I’d really love to see you carry your flat ass upstairs and pack.¬† Your time’s up.

Fashion Disaster

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The controversy over Sarah Palin’s opulent, fashion forward makeover is indeed an interesting one because it speaks volumes about her and how unfit she is for assuming the role of Commander-In-Chief. The Republican National Committee spared no expense to ensure that the most inarticulate and ignorant Vice Presidential contender in modern history looked the part while she rigidly adhered to a demagogic and hypocritical script of racial appeals to stereotypical, white Joe Six-packs and hockey moms more accustomed to the cramped aisles of a plebian Wal-Mart than the rarified air of Nieman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Sistah Robin Givhan of the Washington Post has written:

As a country, we remain predisposed to assessing the attire of women with an eye toward meaning and revelation. Some say it is sexist to do so. They are wrong…Clothing can evoke authority, but at the most basic level it is an expression of control.

How does a woman get elected to be a state’s chief executive-a job that entails presiding over the management of billions of dollars and thousands of employees and not have an appropriate wardrobe befitting her station that quietly and and elegantly conveys that authority? She did it, I presume, by running on the vacuous tripe of personality and biography. It also means and the evidence proves that she is not really in control.

In almost every aspect, Ms. Palin is totally unqualified for the job she holds and doubly unqualified for a promotion to the Vice Presidency. If she pieced together her wardrobe and political resume together like she did her Bachelor’s degree-a little bit here and little bit there, it tells me that she is unfocused, shallow, and lacks the intellectual curiosity and depth necessary for wielding executive power.

Again, according to Sistah Givhan”

Attire is not the sole provence of women, but n comparison with men, it remains an area in which they have the greater number of choices, more flexibility, [and] the heavier burden.

Sarah Palin didn’t somebody aside and wisper a request for a makeover. Palin’s handlers knew damn well that she needed one and planned accordingly and spent extravagently. That by itself gives the lie to Republican claims that she is ready for primetime.

The wardrobe they selected for Palin is elegant, simple, understated and very fashion forward. It embraces femininity without conveying frivolity or sacrificing authority. However, it should be noted that Governor Palin didn’t select a stitch of it-her handlers did.

Sarah Palin is fond of calling Barack Obama a socialist while sporting $150,000 of other people’s money on her back. This is a fine example of the racist hypocrisy that African Americans find so repellenat and why we so soundly reject the Republican brand. Can you imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and the Obamas were at the receiving end of this type of subsidized extravagance? Lord, have mercy. Can’t you just hear the howls of wingnut indignation? Moreover, I seriously doubt whether we would be hearing Mika Brezinzki and Campbell Brown defending Michelle Obama.

If Palin’s handlers had been as serious about what they put in the Governor’s head to get her up to speed on national issues as they were what they put on her back, John McCain’s choice would be lauded as a touch of brilliance and perhaps he would still be inthe hunt for the Oval Office he has long coveted.

Sistah Givhan relates:

The public has already settled on the defining characteristics of a powerful man: He wears a dark suit that is well tailored. He pairs it with a crisp white shirt, and if he wishes to underscore his authority, he wears French cuffs…He tries to look dignified and serious.

Sarah Palin’s selection is akin to a fashion disaster or like pairing a garish tie with an expensive suit. The Alaska Governor is the personification of ostentatious fraudulence and her makeover shatters the image of dignified seriousness and gravitas McSame has tried to run on.

When Sarah’s fairy godfather loses the election and the ball is over, campaign flacks claim that the designer duds that McCain’s right-wing Cinderella acquired will be donated to charity. I don’t believe that-especially when we’ve heard talk about whether she would need to claim these clothes on her income tax, which implies that these clothes were meant to be kept after the campaign.

In other words, the campaign is spinning another line of B.S. that, coincidentally, aptly describes the McCain-Palin campaign thus far.

Bubba does the View

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The triangulating liar-in-chief visited the ladies of The View¬†.¬†¬† It was such a momentous occasion that even Whoopi Goldberg put on a dress and some heels to receive a hug and kiss from Bubba, something she’d never done for Barack, Michelle, or McSame. ¬†The body language was really interesting.¬† Barbara Walters seemed repulsed by Slick Willie and the greeting was beyond awkward. Whoopi, on the other hand, played her usual role of happy darkie and looked like she would be¬†thrilled¬†to play Sally Hemmings to his Thomas Jefferson.

After the President commented on Whoopi’s dress and ugly plastic shoes, Barbara got right down to business and asked the man from Hope whether¬†the¬†Queen of Triangulation really wanted to be Obama’s Vice.¬†¬†His answer was less than convincing.¬† What was your impression?

Democratic National Convention Opens

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Today marks the first day of the deceptive quadrennial infomercial that formally introduces and markets a presidential candidate to disillusioned Americans as a must-have product and miracle elixir for all of our public policy ills.  The man good Democrats are hoping and praying becomes the 44th President of the United States is by all accounts an enigma and a man difficult to define despite the clarity of the prose in his bestselling and revealing autobiographical narrative. 

Wrestling with the meaning of Obama’s story and reconciling it with his path to power is what I’ve spent the better part of two-years doing unsuccessfully.¬† It will be fascinating to watch it come together as Michelle Obama and Ted Kennedy mount the podium in the Pepsi Center tonight.

Democrats are excited to hear from the extended Obama clan and the speechifying will culminate in an address by Michelle Obama.  Her task tonight is twofold. First, she must reassure White America that her husband is a common man just like them and that he is uncommonly prepared to lead the free world. Second, she must debunk all of the right-wing messaging that seeks to paint the couple as angry, dangerous, subversive and un-American.  

If sistah Michelle does her job tonight, she will humanize Obama enough for people to confront the racism behind some Hillarycrats irrational resistance. Presentation is key.   I look forward to seeing a stylish, svelte, and coiffured sistah present her husband and children to the world with aplomb.   Her peroration extolling the virtues of family, Mom and apple pie is sure to be a convention classic. 

Unfortunately, what Democrats are really selling is the same old wine of assimilationist neo-liberalism in the new bottle of Barack Obama.  I’ve been attempting to read the fine print of the new black politics and it’s a morally bankrupt creed that seeks cross-over appeal and social acceptance in exchange for a place at the ruling class table of capitalist patriarchy. 

On the eve of the 45th anniversary of Dr. King‚Äôs I have a Dream speech, this is not a progressive triumph‚ÄĒits an elaborate charade. ¬†Dr. King wrote:

‚ÄúThe majority of Negro political leaders do not ascend to prominence on the shoulders of mass support. Although genuinely popular leaders are now emerging, most are selected by white leadership, elevated to position, supplied with resources, and inevitably subjected to white control. The mass of Negroes nurtures a healthy suspicion toward these manufactured leaders.‚ÄĚ

With $9,262,732 million raised from the securities and investment industry and over $21,746,468 raised from the most powerful lawyers and law firms in the country alone, we ain’t gonna get much change we can believe in without organizing some kind of progressive social movement that forces change out of a recalcitrant Washington power structure.

Lastly, God willing, we will be treated to the valedictory address from an ailing icon, Ted Kennedy.¬†¬† Senator Kennedy, the Lion of the Senate, has been fighting the good fight for the entirety of his 46 years on Capitol Hill.¬† His battle is over but ours is just beginning. ¬†In the words of my favorite scripture in Jeremiah ‚ÄúThe harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.‚Ä̬† ¬†Jeremiah Wright is spot on.¬† Obama may become our president, but we will still need to fight for progressive change.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy addresses the convention:

 

Michelle Obama Bio Video:

Mrs. Michelle Obama addresses the convention

 

Stephanie Tubbs Jones 1949-2008

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The reaction to the death of Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones has been swift.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

“On behalf of all Members of Congress, I express my deepest condolences on the sudden death of our friend and colleague, Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, to all who loved her, particularly her son, Mervyn Leroy Jones, II, and her sister, Barbara Walker.¬†

 

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a tremendously vibrant presence in the halls of Congress.  She believed in all the best things about our nation, and was a tireless force for justice, equality, and opportunity.  As a leader in election reform, she fought on behalf of voting rights to ensure that every American voter can vote.  She loved her hometown of Cleveland, and she believed that serving her constituents was the best job in the world. 

 

‚ĶStephanie Tubbs Jones was always full of enthusiasm for the work of the Congress and for life in general.¬† In our sadness at her sudden passing, we remember that she seized every opportunity and enjoyed every moment that she was given.¬† I hope it is a comfort to Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones’s family and friends that so many people mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”

 

President and Senator Clinton:

 

‚ÄúThere are few words to express the shock we feel at this time. Our deepest condolences are with Stephanie’s son, Mervyn, her family, and her many loved ones, friends, and supporters.

 

Stephanie’s friendship meant the world to us, a friendship that deepened through every trial and challenge. We could always count on her to be a shoulder on which to lean, an ear to bend, a voice to reassure. Over the course of many years, with many ups and many downs, Stephanie was right by our side‚ÄĒunwavering, indefatigable.

 

It was that fighting spirit‚ÄĒsafely stowed behind her disarming smile, backed by so much integrity and fiery intelligence‚ÄĒthat allowed Stephanie to rise from modest beginnings, to succeed in public service, to become a one-woman force for progress in our country.

 

All of us who were lucky to know her and love her can only hope now to live like her‚ÄĒto be as passionate, loyal, hard charging, and joyful in life’s pursuits. ¬†Stephanie was one of a kind. We will miss our friend always.‚ÄĚ

 

Senator and Mrs. Obama:

 

“Michelle and I are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Stephanie was an extraordinary American and an outstanding public servant. It wasn’t enough for her just to break barriers in her own life. She was also determined to bring opportunity to all those who had been overlooked and left behind – and in Stephanie, they had a fearless friend and unyielding advocate. It was an honor to serve with Stephanie in Congress, and I know her legacy will live on in all those who walk the trails she blazed and walk through the doors she opened. Our hearts and prayers are with all those who knew and loved her.‚ÄĚ

 

 

Iconic, intelligent, and irreplaceable, Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones is being remembered today for her zest for life, law and politics.  A trailblazer in law and politics, she was the first African American woman to sit on both Cleveland’s Municipal Court and Cuyahoga County’s Court of Common Pleas.  After losing a 1990 race for the Ohio Supreme Court, she entered the race to become Cuyahoga County Prosecutor and served until her election to Congress to replace a legendary member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Louis Stokes. 

 

As a member of congress, she became the first African American woman to sit on the House Ways and Means Committee and chair the House Ethics Committee.   A fighter of legendary prowess, she challenged the counting of Ohio’s electoral votes in the aftermath of deliberate subterfuge perpetrated by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a black wingnut who subsequently ran for Governor and lost, and his Republican minions who deliberately understaffed polling places with machines and personnel in Democratic areas to create long lines that frustrated voters and compromised their right to vote.

 

With the congresswoman’s passing, she leaves a void to be filled.   According to MyFox Cleveland:

 

With just four months remaining in Tubbs Jones’ current term of office, Governor Ted Strickland is required to issue a writ of election setting the dates for both a special primary and a special general election. The winner of these contests would be elected to serve until the current session of Congress ends in January.‚Ä̬†¬†

 

‚Äú‚Ķ The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Central Committee must also decide who will replace Tubbs Jones as the party’s nominee on the November general election ballot.¬† Party chairman Jimmy Dimora has until October 27 to hold a meeting to select a replacement.‚ÄĚ

 

Cuyahoga County Commission President Peter Lawson Jones, Cleveland City Councilwomen Nina Turner and Sabra Pierce Scott and State Representative Michael DeBose are some of the obvious names that should be looking into a race to succeed the late Congresswoman.