I owe Hillary Clinton an apology. We all do. Thank God for the Internet and bloggers like tbone, without which stories like these would never be told. Hillary is truly an American hero.

An excerpt from The War Journals Of Hillary Clinton:

As bullets clawed the air around us and screams echoed down the rubble-strewn tarmac, I felt almost peaceful.

It was a simple mission, they had told me – get in, shake a few hands and mouth a few platitudes, get out. Simple. Yeah.

Things had started going wrong while we were still in the air and only gotten worse from there. So here we were, pinned down, choking on the acrid tang of cordite and the heady scent of human blood. The mission was even simpler now: survive. Whatever the cost, survive.

There was a grunt and a clatter of equipment as Sinbad threw himself down at my side. Sweat glistened on his bare arms, and I could see tendons contracting and relaxing as he squeezed off bursts from his M14. The motion was hypnotic, like a snake about to strike. Perhaps, when all this was over-

No. Concentrate. Focus on the mission. Survive.

A shout from my left drew my head around. Sheryl Crow, guitar still strapped to her back, had taken cover behind a haphazard pile of decaying corpses. Her hair, once lustrous, now lank and greasy, was held back from her eyes by a dirty red headband. Her slim nostrils flared in the dirt-smeared oval of her face, seeking air free of the funeral taint shrouding the airfield. Still, I saw a fierce exultation in her expression that I knew mirrored my own.

Her lithe, nimble fingers stroked the top of an M67 frag grenade, strumming a chord of impending doom. With one quick, economical movement, she plucked the pin free and sent the deadly payload sailing toward the ridge concealing our enemies. My eyes traced the arc, willing it to fly true, to rain death on-

“There!” Sinbad shouted. “The convoy!”

I wrenched my gaze in the direction he was pointing. The boom of the grenade registered only faintly, suddenly unimportant. Thirty yards dead ahead was the real target: the armored convoy, offering safety, shelter, survival. If we could reach it.

“Follow me!” Sinbad roared, levering himself to his feet. As I prepared to follow, a high-pitched whine arrowed across my eardrums and warm, sticky rain splashed my face.

I forced myself to look, already knowing what I would see. The big man lay there, crumpled, the left side of his head a nightmare maze of blood, brains and tight curls of yellowish-orange hair.

Time to mourn later. Survive.

Continue reading the rest of this harrowing tale of Hillary, war hero, ready to lead on Day One.

Just saw this from the Gallup poll people.

Warning: pollsters are notorious peddlers of drama and have probably done as much to distort the election as the media. I urge you to react with that in mind, and let’s have a calm interpretation of this data.

From Gallup

Clinton supporters appear to be somewhat more reactive than Obama supporters. Twenty-eight percent of the former indicate that if Clinton is not the nominee — and Obama is — they would support McCain. That compares to 19% of Obama supporters who would support McCain if Obama is not the nominee — and Clinton is.

It is unknown how many Democrats would actually carry through and vote for a Republican next fall if their preferred candidate does not become the Democratic nominee. The Democratic campaign is in the heat of battle at the moment, but by November, there will have been several months of attempts to build party unity around the eventual nominee — and a focus on reasons why the Republican nominee needs to be defeated.

Additionally, some threat of deserting the party always takes place as party nomination battles are waged, and this threat can dissipate. For example, in answer to a recent Gallup question, 11% of Republicans said they would vote for the Democratic candidate or a third-party candidate next fall if McCain does not choose a vice president who is considerably more conservative than he is. (And another 9% said they just wouldn’t vote.) These results suggest that it may be normal for some voters to claim early on in the process — perhaps out of frustration — that they will desert their party if certain things do not happen to their liking. And it may be equally likely that they fall back into line by the time of the general election. It is worth noting that in Gallup’s historical final pre-election polls from 1992 to 2004, 10% or less of Republicans and Democrats typically vote for the other party’s presidential candidate.

Still, when almost 3 out of 10 Clinton supporters say they would vote for McCain over Obama, it suggests that divisions are running deep within the Democratic Party. If the fight for the party’s nomination were to continue until the Denver convention in late August, the Democratic Party could suffer some damage as it tries to regroup for the November general election.

I purposefully quoted from the tail end of the Gallup article where they try to reasonably interpret the results. You’re going to see the headlines. I want to dive into the substance.

First, this shocked me. I’ve been overly exposed to black people (and all people of conscience who are disgusted with the campaign tactics of the Clinton campaign). Based on this exposure, I am well aware of folks who won’t support Hillary if she is the nominee. As I mentioned yesterday, that position is understandable and even sound and it’s one I share. The logic:

  • The Clinton campaign has consistently chosen to divide the Democratic coalition (with race-baiting and appeals to women’s fears) in order to get ahead
  • The Clinton campaign has sought to severely undermine Obama’s qualifications to be president by challenging his patriotism and fitness to be commander in chief
  • The Clinton campaign has seriously insulted every Democratic voter in states she hasn’t carried by essentially saying they don’t matter
  • The Clinton campaign has performed the most flagrant about-face on Michigan and Florida in attempting to claim those delegates from illegitimate votes
  • Hillary’s only chance of winning the nomination is to heavily manipulate the process via superdelegates (or even switching pledged delegates) despite Obama’s lead in almost any mathematical arrangement

The vast majority of Obama supporters would support Clinton in the general (6 weeks ago), but are increasingly uncomfortable with what she’s doing to grab the nomination.

I started to get a whiff of Clinton supporters against Obama by reading some comments on Daily Kos and Talk Left (i think). Their case consisted of:

  • Obama is a con artist and cult figure with no experience
  • Obama played the race card
  • Obama hates white people, including his own grandmother and hates America because he wouldn’t leave his church
  • Obama is a foreign Muslim who will give all America’s money to black people and Africa

I’m leaving out the policy differences (some HRC folks are really big on her health care over him, but I’ve seen no evidence that the holdouts on either side are basing that on policies).

I’m definitely biased, and I’m sure this presentation is a bit biased, but I’m trying to explain what I’ve seen. The Obama supporters who refuse to support Clinton have stated so based on principles of Democratic unity and political integrity. The strongest, most impassioned cases have been made by folks like our own rikyrah who point out that supporting Clinton in light of her race-laiden tactics provides an ugly playbook to be used against any other black politician in the future.

Even if you disagree with this, it seems clear to me that there are actual arguments based on fact at play. Clinton will have to essentially steal the nomination from him given the math.

From the Clinton supporters, it’s a lot of conspiracy theory and mythology and refusal to want to understand Obama. Many of their points are easily dismissed with information. The experience argument is bogus and can be countered by educating them on his experience, shedding light on hers (ahem, Bosnia etc) and pointing out that experience as they define it is never all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a red herring.

The stuff about him being a muslim and terrorist and bankrupting America. Well, that’s urban legend stuff. It’s hard to fight that. People cling to their ignorance like a comfortable blanket. I doubt folks actually believe it. If they did, they would be susceptible to contrary evidence. No, they use it as an excuse to explain their foregone conclusions that he would be a bad president. Their real reasoning could be racist or simply dislike for the man or extreme loyalty to Hillary.

They’ve settled in their minds that he’s a bad man. I understand this perspective because I share it about President Bush. He can do no good in my mind. I recognize the folly of oversimplifying even him, whom I so dislike, but I recognized it in myself and am willing to discuss it. I doubt the subset of Clinton supporters who see Obama as a cult figure unworthy to even run for president would ever be so honest with themselves.

The one about Obama playing the race card really gets to me, because I was there from the start, watching and documenting the ugliness emanating from the Clinton campaign along with the rest of the Afrosphere (before South Carolina). There are times when Obama’s campaign has responded to the dirt coming out of the Clinton camp, but by and large, he and his campaign have not responded in kind. You don’t hear him talking about how her New Hampshire victory was understandable because of the female vote. You don’t hear him or his people explaining Ohio and Texas don’t count. There are no references to how she’s like Geraldine Ferraro.

The big point of stubbornness among Clinton people who I’ve heard say they won’t vote for Obama is based on her womanhood. A friend of mine called them “Vagina Voters” and they see nothing else. They don’t even understand what policy differences exist. For them it doesn’t matter that Hillary refused to ban landmines or won’t release her earmarks or has engaged in such divisive politicking. It’s a woman’s turn. Period. And if she can’t have it, no one can.

I just don’t see that on the Obama side, and among the black voters who believe this, well, there’s only so many black people in America, but there are plenty more women.

Finally, to come back to the actual poll, I think a lot of those people are full of bullshit. Remember in 2004, when all those people said, “if Bush wins, I’m moving to Cananda?” And guess how many did it. None.

People like to think they’re tougher than they are, but mostly we suck it up and follow. Of the people on both sides who say they will vote for McCain, a significant number are just sounding tough.

I am certain, however, that the longer this campaign goes, the more real those numbers become. It’s another reason to end this thing and soon.

hat tip to Francis Holland for pointing this out.

Sometimes I really love Donna Brazile. The Clintons, so big on demanding loyalty, rarely demonstrate it. Pastor Wright stood by Bill’s lying ass when he was at his lowest in his life! Hillary, though, goes out of her way to dis. Memories of Lani Guinier and Joycelyn Elders are dancing in my head.

————— the rest is copied from Francis ———–

According to the LA Times, via Black Politics on the Web,

DNC super-delegate Donna Brazile has warned Hillary Clinton to lay off Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s ex-pastor. Considering that Pastor Wright visited the Clintons in the White House, Brazile reminds Hillary that Wright did not abandon the Clintons [when Bill was being impeached over Monica's blue dress,] so Hillary ought not abandon Pastor Wright now.

Donna Brazile — an uncommitted superdelegate of the Democratic National Convention and one of television’s few black, female political pundits — interjected an intriguing observation this afternoon into a discussion on CNN about Hillary Clinton‘s stiff-arming of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

In short, Brazile provided a pointed reminder that some voters (African Americans, in particular, we would think) might recall that Wright did not turn on Clinton’s husband during an hour of need for him.

( . . .)

Clinton could have contented herself with decrying Wright’s messages without saying, in essence, that no way would she tolerate an association with the likes of him.

That’s what Brazile picked up on, making a reference to Wright’s willingness to join dozens of other religious figures in attending an annual White House prayer breakfast just as the Starr report on Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky — in all its lurid detail — was about to come out. No doubt … LA TIMES

Let’s all call or write super-delegate Donna Brazile and thank her for speaking up for us in the face of Clinton’s attacks on Black people and the Black Church. Let’s ask her to take a more active and public role: info@brazileassociates.com

Angela, a frequent commenter here, suggested that we take more action. In other words, be the change we want to see. I, for one, am tired of just getting upset and writing. Throughout this campaign, I’ve sought to put my energy where my mouth is by phonebanking, fundraising, canvassing and communicating actively with friends and family.

Here’s a canvassing toolkit I put together, available for free download and reuse by Obama supporters to help them make the case.

But in some ways, we are beyond that. This race must end, and it will be resolved by superdelegates. Signing that petition earlier today was a good start, but let’s expand the focus to the real targets. Let’s focus on the superdelegates.

They have the power to prevent this party from self-destructing. They are super for a reason. Use your super powers to save your party!

I present the Super Delegate Transparency Project, a joint effort of Congresspedia and several blogs/media outlets including Open Left and Huffington Post.

There are at least four things you can focus on to make a difference.

  1. Simply read the site. check it out and learn what the project is about. it’s full of good information you will never get from those so-called journalists on TV
  2. Help the project. They have an entire section on how citizens can improve it. If you have just a few minutes, chip in.
  3. Write to the uncommitted superdelegates. I recommend clicking on your state or a state you have a connection to (from the main page, scroll down to Delegate Information By State). You can also get a full list of uncommitted ones here
  4. Finally I suggest writing to super delegates committed to Hillary despite the fact that Obama won their district.

An example: Yvette Clarke is a superdelegate for New York’s 11th congressional district. This is Brooklyn. Obama won 56 percent of the vote in this district, yet Yvette has pledged for Hillary. I suggest a respectful letter to her asking her to reconsider her support.

Be careful using this logic, however. There are plenty of superdelegates pledged to Obama despite the fact that their districts voted for Hillary. The case to be made is not simply that they should vote in lockstep with their constituents. That’s too simple. It has to be a broader case about which candidate is best for the party and how the party is being damaged by the continued ugliness of the campaign. And how all this helps the GOP.

Sample Letters:

My advice in these letters:
Try to stay positive and definitely stay respectful. Threats do not help.

Some possible arguments:

  • Don’t just say Obama leads in pledged delegates. The superdelegate system was created as a check on majority rule, much like the electoral college. If you’re going with “Obama leads in X” make sure to include popular vote, contests won, pledged delegates, money raised and number of donors.
  • Appeal to their sense of Democratic party well-being. Obama is more capable of unifying and expanding the party
  • November competitiveness. Obama is preferred by Dems in many red states because they know Hillary will mobilize the GOP to vote against her and down-ticket Dems in states where Dems have a chance to pick up state legislative seats
  • Hillary’s scorched earth campaign in which her campaign challenges not just Obama as a presidential choice, but challenges his patriotism and fitness to be commander in chief. Her dismissal of his supporters and of nearly every contest she has lost as inconsequential
  • Your own story

Now, let’s go forth and change the world.

There’s been a lot of review of Reverend Wright’s sermons on the net recently, but I’m not sure that anyone has actually put the reasons why some of his more incorrect assertions were accepted in context. The reason why some of the statements people find so offensive from Wright aren’t considered crazy is because there is a measure of precedent for each of them.

Wright’s contention that AIDS was invented by white people to afflict blacks is wrong, but it’s not exactly crazy. It was, after all, only thirty years ago that the U.S. Government was revealed to have spent 40 years experimenting with black men and syphilis by deliberately leaving them untreated.

Furthermore, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for black women age 25-34, and African-Americans comprise half of the people who have contracted HIV in the U.S. Given the stunning indifference of public officials to these facts, that the government has disallowed treatment for “experimentation” purposes in the past, it is a paranoid but not entirely unfounded leap to suggest that the government might be responsible. While the U.S. Government did not “invent” AIDS, it certainly has ignored the magnitude of the problem in the black community, and Wright reads complicity into that indifference. (To believe that the U.S. government invented AIDS is to believe that they thought the best way to infect the black population was to infect gay men and heterosexual intravenous drug users first, which makes no $#@#! sense, sorry Kanye.)

Wrong, yes. Crazy, no.

Likewise, Wright’s assertion that the U.S. Government “gives” black men drugs is a paranoid reading of history, but once again there’s precedent. Reagan’s Iran/Contra scam knowingly provided drug dealers in Central and South America with means to move their product to the United States, sponsored drug dealer Manuel Noriega in various anti-Sandanista military activities, and protecting political allies involved in the drug trade, all in the name of fighting communism. While the Reagan administration was facilitating the drug trade in the United States, black neighborhoods were being devastated by crack cocaine and associated violence.

Did the government “give” black men drugs? No. It just made them readily available, and did little to nothing as drugs became the most affordable, high-yield, short term financial investment in an economy that was losing the kinds of jobs that provided benefits and a living wage. Once again, the issue is indifference: the government may not be directly responsible, but it certainly has done nothing to solve the problem once the gravity of the situation became clear.

At the heart of both of these claims is the perception that white people simply don’t care what happens to us, as long as it doesn’t affect them. At the heart of Obama’s pitch is solving this problem by making “black problems,” American problems, so that they can’t be approached with the same level of cold indifference that drives so much of Wright’s rage in the first place.

I get the impression that many white people have little to no knowledge about how messed up this country’s racial history is beyond slavery or Jim Crow. So stuff like the Tuskegee experiments, or what Reagan’s reckless exploitation of the drug trade in the fight against communism and what it did to urban communities, the kinds of things old heads teach youngbloods in casual conversation, are completely absent from their education (exaggeration is sometimes included in this form of pedagogy, as in most oral traditions. So that partially explains how horrifying but plausible stuff becomes indefensible conspiracy).

So it sounds crazy to most people when they hear Wright say things like “AIDS is genocide against black people” because they don’t know that the government has, in the past, denied sick people treatment because they were black as part of “medical research”. It sounds crazy to say the government “gives black people drugs” until you think of Reagan’s sponsorship of Columbian cartels.

Wright is wrong, but he’s not crazy. And there’s a big difference.

*some of the claims in a previous version of this post regarding syphilis were wrong, and they have been corrected.

cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics

I almost have to apologize for posting this. There is little constructive here, but in light of people losing their minds over Jeremiah Wright, folks need to see the realness. James David Manning, PhD (!$@!$%) is sick and wrong and stupid. I could only watch the first two minutes. It’s that “Atlah” ministries wacko, and he’s what a real crazy ass black pastor sounds like.



Update @ 1:10am March 26
I know some of you wanted this post to be deleted, but I have a philosophical problem with doing that. Deleting posts kills the comments and inbound links and a chance to discuss what’s going down. We aint the Bush admin and don’t need to go disappearing disagreeable ideas.

We don’t make a habit of posting low-value insanity around here, but it’s sometimes called for whether for entertainment value or to showcase the levels of ignorance running rampant in a society that offers unprecedented access to information.

The Atlah ministries is crazy. I did some digging though, and will continue to do so. Here’s an interesting article from the NY Times Feb 2008 on crazy pastor Manning’s insane plan to “save Harlem” from gentrification

Dr. Manning, the pastor of the ATLAH World Missionary church in Harlem for the past 27 years, says the only way to free the neighborhood from its present grip of gentrification is for its residents to boycott its shops, restaurants, doctors, banks and churches (excepting his own, of course).

That action, combined with a general rent strike, would force all property owners out of Harlem, he said, leaving the neighborhood to its rightful inheritors: black people.

Black property owners would not be spared, either. “Just because you’re a black business, you think you’re going to get a pass?” he asked at a community meeting on Thursday night in his church. “Just because somebody has a black face doesn’t mean they have a good heart.”

There are those who think that Dr. Manning is engaging in a bit of high-spirited satire, along the lines of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” in which Swift advocated reducing poverty in Ireland by selling poor children to rich people as food. But he says he is quite serious.

Haven’t found any evidence linking Clinton to the man. The above article links to a letter Manning wrote saying he doesn’t support Clinton, for whatever that is worth.

Apologies to those who had your comments deleted along with the original post. We won’t make a habit of doing that.

I love this game politicians play. Hillary is in the midst of one right now.

Her repeated assertions that she had to avoid sniper fire and was on the front lines in Bosnia has been called for the bullshit it is. Her response?

Misspoke
Missstatement.

WTF.

“Misspoke” means you spoke and missed the truth. That’s a lie.

Now shut up and sit down.

cross-posted to Daily Kos and goodCRIMETHINK

Today, I announce Jack & Jill Politics’s participation in the Day of Blogging for Voter Justice and join other members of the Afrosphere in asking Senator Hillary Clinton to concede the Democratic presidential nominating contest. I ask you to join me by signing this petition.

Many will find such a request presumptuous, insulting and even arrogant, but the only result I can see from her continued campaign is long term damage to the likely nominee, Barack Obama, and to the coalition that is the Democratic Party, endangering not only our chances in the presidential election this November, but also in Congressional, state and local elections across the country. There may have been a time when Senator Clinton’s attacks on Senator Obama were valuable and even necessary — to prove he had the skill to withstand them — but that time has since passed.

As the GOP becomes increasingly unified around Senator McCain, I fear that with each passing week of harsh campaigning, an election that should handily go the Democrat’s way in November, looks less and less likely.

Senator Obama has won more of the popular vote, more pledged delegates and more contests than Senator Clinton. He has generated more money from more contributors than any other presidential campaign. He has tapped into a pool of new voters and helped drive participation in the political process from unlikely quarters. Not only that, he has the support of Democrats in red states who may not go blue on the presidential race, but whose state legislatures just might. In so doing, he has bested one of the best political teams and families in recent American history, despite the advantages of time, money and connections afforded his opponent.

Senator Obama has already won, and while it is Senator Clinton’s right to continue campaigning until the convention, she (and the party she seeks to represent) would do so at great peril.

Senator Clinton’s lauded tenacity, a virtue to be sure, has morphed into a vice of self destruction.

A partial listing

  • Her campaign injected issues of race early on and has tried desperately to undo Senator Obama’s multi-ethnic appeal by, for example, diminishing his candidacy as some form of affirmative action or amplifying tensions between blacks and latinos.
  • She has played on the sympathies and fears of women voters in methods not available to Senator Obama or any other candidate for that matter.
  • She has questioned Senator Obama’s fitness to be commander in chief, and her husband, a former president, has questioned his patriotism
  • She has painted as inconsequential or delusional the millions of voters who have chosen, in numbers greater than her own, to support Senator Obama
  • She has pushed the arrogant and preposterous notion that somehow she would find Senator Obama an acceptable vice president in her administration, despite his lead and despite the simultaneously contradictory belief in his unfitness to be commander in chief.

If Senator Clinton becomes the nominee, and the odds of this are quite low, she will have done so by unacceptably manipulative means. The tactics necessary to accomplish this will turn off many constituencies within the Democratic coalition, to say nothing of the independent or Republican voters who will vote in the general election for McCain or not vote at all.

Because of the reasons just laid out above, many of us have said we could not support Senator Clinton in the general election (or would have to think carefully at least). This is a distasteful prospect that makes few people in this situation proud, but the position is based on an unwillingness to support a candidate who has repeatedly sewn seeds of division and mistrust among her own party’s base. It is also based on the reality that for her to prevail, Senator Clinton would have to resort to machinations of an extreme nature to overpower the expressed will of voters.

On the other hand, I’m beginning to see increasing numbers of Senator Clinton’s supporters who say they will not support Senator Obama. This position has few, if any, legitimate arguments and is generally borne out of the very distrust and divisiveness planted and exploited by Senator Clinton’s campaign.

These Clinton supporters generally refuse to support Obama, not because he has engaged in gendered attacks against her, not because he has sought to diminish their votes, not because he has insulted the legitimacy of her campaign, not because he has questioned her readiness or patriotism. They refuse to support him, if any reason is given, because he is “not qualified” and “lacks experience,” both ridiculous arguments constantly put forward by the Clinton campaign. A less vocal set among this group are those who see Senator Obama’s success exclusively as a result of his blackness.

We will destroy this party and do lasting damage to this nation if the Democratic campaign continues along its present course. Feelings are hardening on both sides; relationships are being strained, and if this goes to Denver there will not be enough time to heal the widening rift.

So it is, with neither pride nor excitement, I ask Senator Clinton to step down, help unify the party and unify the country.

Update @12:18pm Eastern.
It’s worth checking out this David Brooks column from the NY Times on what Hillary is willing to do for her five percent shot at the nomination

Update 6:48pm eastern
Ooooh, I get it. She “misspoke”

Watch Howard Wolfson dance:

Asked today to square her recent descriptions with these accounts, Howard Wolfson, her spokesman, referred to several contemporaneous news accounts that described the region as hostile. He then added: “It is possible in the most recent instance in which she discussed this that she misspoke in regard to the exit from the plane, but there is no question if you look at contemporaneous accounts that she was going to a potential combat zone, that she was on the front lines.”

Original Post



great post on Kos with more detail

From The Associated Press:

Detroit mayor charged with perjury
By COREY WILLIAMS
Associated Press Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a one-time rising star and Detroit’s youngest elected leader, was charged Monday with perjury and other counts after sexually explicit text messages contradicted his sworn denials of an affair with a top aide.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also charged the popular yet polarizing 37-year-old mayor with obstruction of justice and misconduct in office. Kilpatrick, who was to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon, could face up to 15 years in prison and be expelled from office if convicted.

“Some have suggested that the issues in this case are personal or private,” Worthy said. “Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people’s lives were ruined, the justice system severely mocked and the public trust trampled on. … This case is about as far from being a private matter as one can get.”

Speaking two hours later, Kilpatrick said he expects to be cleared. He did not deny wrongdoing and did not address the calls for his resignation.

“I look forward to complete exoneration once all the facts have been brought forth,” Kilpatrick said. “I will remain focused on moving this city forward.”

Former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, 37, who also denied under oath that she and Kilpatrick had a romantic relationship in 2002 and 2003, was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. A message seeking comment from Beatty’s attorney, Jeffrey Morganroth, was not returned.

The charges could signal the end of Kilpatrick’s six-year career as mayor of one of America’s largest cities. Calls for his resignation have surfaced since late January and the Detroit City Council asked him to step down last week.

Worthy began her investigation the day after the Free Press published excerpts of the embarrassing text messages in late January. The messages called into question testimony Kilpatrick and Beatty gave in a lawsuit filed by two police officers who alleged they were fired for investigating claims that the mayor used his security unit to cover up extramarital affairs.

Rest of story is at the link above.

*************************************************************************

I have refrained from posting about Mayor Kilpatrick, well, because, I find him to be trifling.

But, he’s a Mayor of a major American city, and this is news.

Contrary to what Mayor Kilpatrick and his defenders say..

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with ‘ The Man’.

‘ The Man’ didn’t force him to cheat on his wife.

‘ The Man’ didn’t make him use government-issued property to carry on said affair.

‘ The Man’ didn’t force him to commit perjury.

He did this all on his own.

But, make sure of this..

‘ The Man’ will surely hang him with the rope that Mayor Kilpatrick has provided.

Many of you have written in or posted comments about Pat Buchanan’s crazy ass comments that black Americans should be grateful to white folks for bringing us (via slavery, of course) to America and Jesus and welfare.

Rather than tackle this stupidness, I pass the mic to Ta-Nehisi Coates. Excerpt

There is a lot wrong here, but one central thread of errant logic undergirds it all. Buchanan, like most racists, doesn’t actually believe that African-Americans are Americans. This isn’t an interpretation, Buchanan’s argument that white Americans, in the form of social programs, have done more for black people than any group (including presumably the entire Civil Rights Movement!) assumes that black people have never paid any taxes for those programs. He quite literally doesn’t categorize black people as Americans, but useless layabouts who’ve never contributed anything to the country. All those charities that Buchanan lays out, presumably none of them were run by black folks.

It goes without saying that Buchanan ignores Jim Crow, the epoch of lynching and housing discrimination. That’s what bigots do. And Buchanan’s rhetoric shouldn’t make us angry. He’s always been a racist. That said, it’s always frustrating to see rank neanderthals, half-wits, and fools making the argument that black people should be thankful to them. Intellectually, Pat Buchanan can’t carry Barack Obama’s unwashed boxers–from last week. I just got done jogging down Lenox Ave and passed no less than five brothers that would smash Buchanan in any debate.

Continue to the full post

This is as concise a case I’ve seen him make. In response to an Oregon resident, Obama makes it plain. Notice how he begins with broad compliments for Hillary but then gets into it on foreign policy and their overall approaches to leadership and democracy. I love it.



Erin Jackson is a DC-based comedian doing big things. She’s part of the Black Comedy Project family and will be coming soon to Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham series.

Check out her set below. Enjoy, and send her some link love.



I enjoy surfing the net to find interesting articles, and I came upon one that I thought was pretty good. I don’t know if I completely agree, but it has its merits.

This is from Brian Francis at PoliticalInaction.com, and I yield the floor to him:

Saturday, March 22, 2008
All About Religion NOT Really About Race

In the wake of the pastor Wright faux-controversy….the guy said some crazy stuff, but he is preacher and it wasn’t uttered or affirmed by Obama….I think that we on the left need to determine and investigate The Right’s motivations for pushing the Wright storyline. In the era of dog whistle and just the surface media coverage, every network and even the major papers have called this a problem of race. That Obama goes to a black church with a black pastor and they discuss black issues and America isn’t ready for this. America is taken aback by what these black people say in their churches. Do they hate America? Do they really believe that America is a bad place….etc., etc. It is all utter non-sense.

They have a total of 60 seconds, or there about, of Wright saying some very crazy and off the wall things…and they were crazy. Obama has said he believes what Wright said is reprehensible and he doesn’t agree with it, as well as he doesn’t believe or support a lot of Wright’s political views. Obama had to give a major, and brilliant, speech on race on Tuesday about this issue because of how bad the media coverage has been of this issue. Obama distanced but didn’t disown Wright or leave the church. He had to do this to try and ease the fears of working class white people. To that end, by the end of the week, the media coverage in the papers and most of the network news casts had shifted…but not Fox News and Right Wing Radio. The clips of Wright continue to play endlessly on Fox News and Right Wing Radio. “How can a man be trusted who goes to that church?” they’re saying. “What, exactly, does Barack Obama believe?” followed by “What kind of Christian is Barack Obama, anyway?”

The Right is assuredly happy as hell to use race against Obama. They were going to do it with or without Wright. The Right is happy as hell to use patriotism against Obama. The Right desires to portray Obama as less American, and they would have done this regardless of Wright because of the lapel pin and pledge controversies they already created. But what they have never attacked until Wright, and what they fear the most, is Obama’s Christianity. This is why the Muslim smears started the moment he entered the race in February 2007. The Right is deathly afraid of Barack Obama, not because he is a liberal, not because of his policies, not because of his race, but because of his religion, and his ability to recast the democratic party as faith-friendly. Barack Obama threatens the stranglehold that The Right has on the moral high ground in this country…a stranglehold they achieved by portraying the left as hostile to religious freedom, religious values, and the institution of religion. They have used this moral high ground to stack courts and school boards, as well as get us into an ill conceived war, which McCain’s spiritual adviser says will help bring about Judgment Day. The left has been openly hostile to Christianity in many ways…which plays directly into The Right’s hands and perpetuates this cycle and the same old arguments/divisions about morals in this country.

Some on the left are uncomfortable with Obama’s Christianity. It makes them suspicious of him because of the abortion and gay marriage battles of the past, as well as how religion has been used to demonize liberals and the left. But 80% of Americans call themselves Christian, and just because you disagree with the fringe/fanatic elements of the Christian religion, who seem to dominate the discourse on The Right, doesn’t mean you antagonize, nor write off, this electorate. It is bad marketing and just plain dumb to ascribe the views of the far far right of the Christian religion to Christians as a whole. The most reliable bloc of democratic voters, black people, have some of the highest proportions of Christianity in the country. It is a mistake to discount those who call themselves Christian because the views/statements of others. We can’t argue on one hand say that you can’t demonize Obama for pastor Wright’s views/statements, but then say all Christians are intolerant because 10% of the Christians on the right make intolerant and inflammatory statements…READ: Hagee, Robertson, Dobson. That makes us no better than Fox News, Right Wing Radio, and The Right. I’m not trying to say that democrats should all the sudden find religion and tailoring their message, as that would be empty and easily spotted by Christians. What I’m saying is that if we have a candidate that can cast the widest net possible, and break open the electorate in ways that bring new groups with widely ranging, and some diametrically opposing, views together, we as democrats should embrace that as it will be good for the party’s long term health as well as improve Democratic performance in election after election yet to come.

Barack Obama means the end of The Right’s dominance in the religious arena. He is the first openly and unapologetically Christian democrat on a national level. He refuses to run from his Christian faith. He speaks the language of the Christians who have ushered in Republican dominance in the south and in the swing states like Ohio and Missouri. By using the Christians and issues like gay marriage and abortion, Republicans employing Rovian tactics have won election after election, not on real issues like healthcare, the economy, trade, energy, etc., but on social issues. We all know the terms: west-coast liberalism….liberal morals….San Francisco morals. Liberalism became a dirty word because of spineless democrats as well as The Right’s successful campaign to make the cause of every controversial issue a social and religious issue. Liberals are cast as hating religion and being amoral. Christians on the right actually fear that democrats, if in power, will take away their right to worship freely. This is how successful The Right has been.

But Obama represents the convergence of two things in politics: Obama’s unique abilities to inspire which we all know are unparalleled in recent memory and talk the language of Christians but also the fact that Christians aren’t getting what they voted for when they voted for The Right. To quote pastor Wright…”The chickens are coming home to roost”. The issues Christians on The Right have with their own party, not taking into account Iraq, the economy, and issues that affect everyone, are threefold in my estimation(these affect everyone too): Ethics; Conservatism; Poverty and Hate. These three issues represent things Christians thought they were voting for but have been disappointed by The Right at every turn. If a candidate comes around who can recast the democratic party as Christian-friendly, this large voting bloc is back up for grabs. Obviously, there will be certain Christians who demagogue the left for everything and will never be convinced that the democrats are faith-friendly, but the people who are fed up with the issues below are listening.

Ethics:

Corruption scandals like Tom Delay

Sex scandals like Larry Craig and Senator Vitter

Lying to the American people about Iraq and other issues
Torture
Hypocrisy

Conservatism:

Christians are by nature conservative…they avoid excess and waste
The budget and spending and debt are enormous and have increased exponentially under Republican leadership of the Senate, House, and White House
Conservative principals have been trampled on with regard to energy as well as individual rights

Poverty and Hate:

The Christian faith prides itself on helping those in need….Katrina, Healthcare, The Poor, etc. all have shown The Right to manage the country contrary to these principles.

Believe it or not, Christians on the right don’t want to hate democrats. They’re just as sick of the infighting and the division as we are.

All of these issues make this key electorate ripe for the picking. All it takes is the right candidate to speak their language and crystallize what they’re already feeling as issues that democrats care about and will manage the country by. Not to demonize them as fanatics, as democrats do with ease, but to say we disagree on gay marriage/rights and abortion, but here is where we do agree.

John McCain is also an issue here which leads to The Right’s motivation to push the Wright storyline. He is viewed as a hypocrite and Christians on the right are deeply skeptical of him. Back in 2000 he was openly critical of them. Now, he is seeking them out. They don’t trust him.

So to recap, The Right recognizes their base of Christian voters is getting jittery because of their nominee and the Republican track record of conduct and management. Barack Obama, to them, represents a real threat to make Christians on the right question their unflailing commitment to the Republican party. So why push Wright? Because it makes Obama look like a fanatical Christian and not part of mainstream Christianity. They are trying to diminish his Christian credentials. They are trying to suggest, clip after clip, segment after segment, that he isn’t really Christian like you but part of some American-hating fringe religion. They will continue to remind the American Christian populace over and over and over that Obama is a Christian, but not a real one and certainly not one you can trust. His church hates America, and by extension that means he does too. You CANNOT trust Barack Obama.

No one doubts Obama’s ability to speak to the majority of Americans on complicated issue and at least get them to listen. Fully 70% of people thought he gave a good speech on Tuesday on race and that he sufficiently explained his relationship with his pastor. The remaining 30% of people split between not likely to vote for him to more likely to vote for him. I highlight this to say with the hottest of political potatoes, Obama threaded the needle and pulled it off. Now imagine him talking about issues that Christians care about…poverty, ethics, coming together, and not wasting tax payer money or intruded into people’s personal lives. A common quote you hear from Christians and Republicans in general is that they feel when Obama speaks he doesn’t hate them for their views…which is the feeling they always got from democrats and why they aligned with The Right. So here comes an intelligent, unthreatening, Christian democratic leader who is going to speak to them using speeches sprinkled with bible quotes and reframe Left v. Right issues in terms of Right v. Wrong issues. Given that, you can see why The Right has an interest in making Obama as threatening as possible, either as a black man who may be a Christian, but who hates you and America.

The right is deathly afraid of Barack Obama, and they’re only hope for survival in November, at the presidential and in each of the down ticket contests, is to make him as unpalatable as possible to Christians on the right. They are trying to protect they’re flank. The question is will they succeed?

posted by Brian Francis at Saturday, March 22, 2008

Agree? Disagree?

Well, I think he sees in Obama what Andrew Sullivan does:

I have never felt more convinced that this man’s candidacy – not this man, his candidacy – and what he can bring us to achieve – is an historic opportunity. This was a testing; and he did not merely pass it by uttering safe bromides. He addressed the intimate, painful love he has for an imperfect and sometimes embittered man. And how that love enables him to see that man’s faults and pain as well as his promise. This is what my faith is about. It is what the Gospels are about. This is a candidate who does not merely speak as a Christian. He acts like a Christian.

From David Kuo:

One of the biggest problems in modern American Christianity is the “church-hopping” phenomenon. People stay in churches for a certain period of time, get bored, find someplace new and repeat.
…………………………………………………………….

We’ve had this discussion with two of our dear friends who are also part of the church. They understand the issues but they have taken a different approach. They have jumped into the middle of the church. This church, they’ve said, is their home. And the Bible, they say, calls them to be vibrant, vital parts of their church home, not people hovering on the outside.

They are right. Our church isn’t perfect. No church is. But it is our spiritual home and we are blessed by it and we understand our job isn’t to take and take and take from it but to give and give and give.

Barack Obama understands this approach. That is why he didn’t just rip the church wily nilly. Lots of American Christians should use his faithfulness to his church as an example in their own lives.

He didn’t forego his spiritual home for political convenience. Whether or not that is good politics is yet to be seen. That it is good spiritually should be applauded.

Great post on Daily Kos about the impossibility of a Hillary victory without severe damage to the party. Includes good links on her financial status as well. Slowly, the battleship of stubbornness and ignorance that have typified the media and Clinton campaign may be turning. Slowly.


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