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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Week End Political Comedy

Weekend Political Humor

Filmed at The Comedy Studio in Cambridge, Mass. on May 5, 2007, watch comedian, author and vigilante pundit Baratunde Thurston tackle driving etiquette, the Bush administration and Iraq, plus America's European allies and our unique ways of dealing with domestic problems.

Civil Rights In America, "A Chain of Change"

AAPP: Yesterday I wrote about listening in pure amazement and disgust to a broadcast over at one of the best bloggers in America, (also from Texas) Gina McCauley from the blog What About Our Daughters. As I noted, she was joined by her roundtable, along with Adora Obi Nweze, President, Fl State Conference NAACP and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors and Richard "We Will Not Be Blamed" McIntire, the NAACP national spokesperson. The NAACP was invited to speak about their decision to support the bail request for the release of black boys who are alleged to have brutally raped, sodomized and beat a mother and son on June 18.



I discussed how I felt after listening to the state and national NAACP representatives make fools out of themselves. I pointed out I came to the same conclusion that Lee Walker and others have about what I termed a now disgraceful national organization. I posed questions like,
When will black folks hold the NAACP Accountable? When will the NAACP hold itself accountable? When will black folks as the NAACP Board Chair to resign, and take that 60 Member Board with him? When will black women start a national organization that really fights for black women and their families? WHEN?

Well I must honestly say I did not know that The Washington Post (H/T Dallas Progress for the link) would provide additional answers to the questions raised, and in some ways pose additional questions for Black America and all America in its article, Civil Rights Groups see Gradual End of Their Era - Many groups that helped propel movement struggling, some have vanished
. The article written by By Darryl Fears of the Washington Post highlights how after "Forty years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, the storied organizations that propelled the modern-day civil rights movement alongside him are either struggling to stay relevant or struggling to stay alive.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stands outside the Southern Christian Leadership Conference office in 1967.


in Atlanta, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) -- which was founded in 1957 after Alabama's Montgomery bus boycott and was led by King through the most difficult days of the movement -- clings to life. Three years ago, utilities shut off the lights and the phones when the group did not pay its bills.

In New York, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which helped shape the movement's philosophy after adopting Mohandas K. Gandhi's doctrine of nonviolent protest, is scarcely known outside Manhattan. CORE conceded that it now has about 10 percent of the 150,000 members it listed in the 1960s.

In Baltimore, the near-century-old NAACP, which tore down racial barriers with deft lawyering in the courts, recently cut a third of its administrative staff because of budget shortfalls. For decades, the NAACP asserted that it was the largest civil rights group, with about half a million dues-paying members, but one of its former presidents recently acknowledged that it has fewer than 300,000.

Some groups have disappeared, such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which organized the Freedom Rides that drew sympathy to their cause and which was later led by firebrands such as Stokley Carmichael and H. Rap Brown. Others, such as the National Urban League, remain viable but have diminished visibility.

"They don't really exist now," said the Rev. C.T. Vivian, a former interim director of the SCLC, who spoke with pain in his voice. He added: "They're just names. There has been so little activity from so many of them. SCLC rose from the dead, but we're not so certain life has been blown into it yet. And the NAACP is vital, but they're not doing what I'd expect."

The groups' decline has been slow but inexorably driven by factors both within and outside their control. They were the subjects of government spying and harassment. A proliferation of black organizations with niche audiences -- lawyers, engineers, accountants, journalists -- took away middle-class members. The rise in the 1970s of groups such as the Black Panthers, which espoused a melodramatic militancy, made them seem tepid."

AAPP: The article provides commentary from many former insiders of the NAACP like
JoAnn Watson, a Detroit City Council member who ran the local NAACP office in the 1990s, who said the organizations are living off their reputations. "They benefit from the name that has been earned by the blood of the ancestors."

Check out what other former NAACP and Civil Rights organization official had to say in the article:

Michael Meyers, a former NAACP executive, recalled when the group's initials inspired fear. "People answered the phones; they thought they were going to be sued," he said. "But not now."

The drop in stature may have been inevitable, said Roger Wilkins, an assistant attorney general under President Lyndon B. Johnson who advised the groups. "Black people didn't have opportunities in the '30s and '40s and '50s," he said. "They couldn't be mayors, so they became presidents of black colleges or leaders of civil rights organizations. But at the end of the '60s, all kinds of pathways opened up, and civil rights organizations had to compete for leadership."

With advances in education, employment and buying power, some have argued, civil rights organizations have become passe. But group leaders bristle at the notion.

A report released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal think tank, said that black America remains troubled. Despite marginal advances in education and jobs, the income gap between black and white Americans has grown so large since King's death that it would take more than 500 years for black people to catch up under the current pace of change, the report said. The divide between black and white wealth is so wide that achieving parity would take more than 600 years.

Organization leaders said that they have made mistakes since King's death but that they were also weakened by outside forces. As the White House was enacting civil rights laws, the FBI was infiltrating organizations under the secret Counter Intelligence Program known as COINTELPRO. After the 1970s, media attention turned away from the civil rights movement, the group leaders said."

AAPP: Get this folks, in the article the NAACP, Chairman Julian Bond said the future "looks good." He contends what I term his "board of the living dead" (OK not all the board) helped lead efforts to reauthorize the voting rights and civil rights acts, and provided relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. The article also reports that "NAACP officials say that their voter registration drives led to a surge of black voters in the past two presidential elections and that the group continues to fight discrimination in the courts, as it did with Brown v. Board of Education." More of the article HERE

AAPP: Whatever Julian Bond, Whatever! You and the other National NAACP 60 member "board of the living dead" are still believing your own bogus press releases." the NAACP has been Missing In Action on so many issues.

The questions remain, that I posed in my previous post: When will black folks hold the NAACP Accountable? When will the NAACP hold itself accountable? When will black folks ask the NAACP Board Chair to resign, and take that 60 Member Board with him? Maybe the Wichita NAACP President would consider becoming the National Chaiman, replacing Julian Bond. When will black women start a national organization that really fights for black women and their families. That time, is now! Groups like the Color of Change, The Afrospear (black bloggers group), Black Political and Internet social activist are now taking a leadership role. A Black While Brown Conference is planned for Atlanta, Georgia spearheaded by Gina McCauley from the blog What About Our Daughters. There is is now a sea of change in Black Political and social leadership in Black communities across America and around the world. Black bloggers are now leading the way. A word of caution to blacks ready to take the lead. There are still groups and organizations, including the media that will attack our new efforts. Let us stay focused. United we stand divided we will fall like the Civil Rights groups and political leaders we all know about.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Martin luther King, John McCain and The Hate McCain Cannot Hide

AAPP: There was no "Heart or Soul" in John McCain's recent speech on Martin Luther King, Jr. It really was not John McCain's words. John McCain words and deeds were truly spoken when he voted against Martin Luther King's Birthday becoming a national holiday.


Here is the real record of John McCain:



John McCain has said he championed establishing a holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and that he is "very proud" of his record. But the truth is, McCain has a long record of opposing the holiday.

In fact, in 1983 McCain did something not even Dick Cheney did: he voted in Congress against a federal holiday in honor of Dr. King, which President Reagan later signed into law. In 1987, McCain supported Arizona Governor Evan Mecham's action to rescind an executive order establishing a state holiday in Martin Luther King's honor.

Even in 1989, when McCain finally came around and supported a state holiday, he said he was "still opposed to another federal holiday." As recently as 2000, McCain reportedly said he "resented it when people outside of Arizona got involved" in the issue. [FOXNews.com, 4/3/08; ABC News, 4/3/08; Huffington Post, 4/1/08; Wall Street Journal, 4/3/08; AP, 2/29/00]

McCain apparently thinks a stop in Memphis can gloss over that part of his bio, but -- as one reporter noted -- McCain's "views on race in the 1980s do not stand up to the sunlight of America a quarter-century later." [ABC News, 4/3/08]

1983: McCain Votes Against Federal MLK Day. In 1983 McCain voted against establishing a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. "Most Republicans in the House voted for the holiday (89 voted for the holiday, 77 opposed), though all three Arizona House Republicans were opposed. Reps. Dick Cheney, R-Wyoming, and Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia, voted for the holiday. (Cheney had voted against it in 1978.)" [ABC News, 4/3/08]

1987: McCain Opposes Arizona MLK Holiday. In Arizona, Democratic governor Bruce Babbitt issued an executive order to establish an MLK holiday. Yet "[i]n January 1987, the first act of Arizona's new governor, Republican Evan Mecham, was to rescind the executive order by his predecessor to create an MLK holiday. Arizona's stance became a national controversy. McCain backed the decision at the time." [ABC News, 4/3/08]

1989: McCain Still Opposes Federal Holiday. Even though he now supported establishing a state holiday for Martin Luther King, he said he "said he was 'still opposed to another federal holiday.'" [Huffington Post, 4/1/08]

2000: McCain Said He Had Opposed Instituting MLK Day On A National Level. In 2000, it was reported that "McCain has said he supported implementing the holiday on a state level but resented it when people outside of Arizona got involved." [Associated Press, 2/29/2000]

After casting himself as a "Maverick" in 2000, the new John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain? The Democratic National Committee will present a daily fact aimed at exposing the man behind the myth.



CNN: Got it Wrong Again, the fact of the matter is John McCain was jeered and booed, not approved. One person yelled "we all make mistakes" probably a McCain campaign worker. The people who were shaking his hand were also probably McCain Campaign Workers.

Now get this, as reported by Atlantic.com John McCain's remarks to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference here on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King were written by his campaign's newest hire, Matthew Scully, the former White House speechwriter and essayist.

"It's just a lovely piece of writing," said Mark Salter, McCain's senior strategist and principle speechwriter. "Just right out of the box, he really gets John in his first speech."

McCain's words are mostly about Dr. King. But then there is this paragraph of contrition:

Sometimes the most radical thing is to be confronted with our own standards -- to be asked simply that we live up to the principles we profess. Even in this most idealistic of nations, we do not always take kindly to being reminded of what more we can do, or how much better we can be, or who else can be included in the promise of America. We can be slow as well to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King. I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona. We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans. But he knew as well that in the long term, confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed. And always, that was his method in word and action -- to remind us of who we are and what we believe. His arguments were unanswerable and they were familiar, the case always resting on the writings of the Founders, the teachings of the prophets, and the Word of the Lord.

The invitation from the SCLC was extended last week, and the campaign eagerly accepted. They are just as eager to want to rebut the conventional wisdom that McCain has no chance of wresting more than a tenth of the black vote away from Barack Obama; maybe the results will be futile in November, but there will be plenty of campaign trips to places that Republicans don't normally campaign. (There is also, as always, the subtle messages that are sent to race-conscious moderate whites.)

McCain sees King's life of one of service to America.; Coincidentally, the name of McCain's biographical tour is "Service to America."

Here is how McCain ends his speech:



And yet for all of this, forty years and a world away, we look up to that balcony, we remember that night, and we are still left with a feeling of loss. Here was a young man who composed one of literature's finest testimonies to the yearning for equality and justice under law -- writing on the margins of a newspaper, in the confinement of a prison cell. Here was a preacher who endured beatings, survived bombings, suffered knifings, abuse, and ridicule, and still placed his trust in the Prince of Peace. Here was a husband and father who will stand to children in every generation as a model of Christian manhood, but never got to raise his own sons and daughters, or to share in the gift of years with his good wife.

All of this was lost on the fourth of April, 1968, and there are no consolations to balance the scale. What remains, however, is the example and witness of The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and that is forever.


AAPP: One speech cannot erase hatred towards Martin Luther King or his dream of equality. Great job Matthew Scully you tried. What are your thoughts?

CNN's Political "Drive-by shooting" of Black Political Bloggers

AAPP: I'm wondering what is going on with CNN these days. Why is CNN's Anderson Cooper and Soledad O'Brien slanting black superdelegate coverage?

Jack Turner/Baratunde recent post provides more background: CNN Does Disservice To Black Bloggers And JJP Specifically. Well folks, after reading Jack's post it appears to me, there was a "political drive-by shooting of Black Political bloggers." This may be centered around the many afrosphere bloggers from all walks of life asking Hillary Clinton to concede now. The reality is many black bloggers and millions of black voters across America have experienced Hillary and Bill Clinton efforts to throw black folks under the bus, Martin Luther King and all. Black folks in turn have voted as a block, just like other groups, to support, possibility, hope, ideas, dreams, and most importantly the plans that Barack represent for all America. Now we learn Barack has even taken the lead in Pennsylvania.

The other reality is that there is a clear understanding in black communities across America that team Hillary has been playing ugly, dirty, divisive politics with America. If the Democratic Party and her handkerchief head house negro Hillary superdelegates attempt to steal the election, the DNC should know there will be hell to pay! I for one will urge black folks to create a sea of change in the body politic of America and urge black folks from across America to register "Independent." it's time to get both parties to come to us the right way, with plans that address our issues, which are America's issues.



Speaking of other parties, word is that Republican insiders are floating the name of Michael Steele, the black former Maryland lieutenant governor and Senate candidate. Steele ran a highly praised, populist toned Senate campaign in 2006 here in Maryland, in a year when President Bush's bad poll ratings dragged down Republicans in Democratic states, including Maryland. You'll remember, Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich lost his bid for a second term in Annapolis, MD. John McCain would be wise to pick a more youthful Steele to the equation. But don't do it if Barack gets the nod. Steele currently runs GOPAC and is well respected in Maryland.

If Hillary and Democratic Party big shots steal the election, This Independent Voter may want to support a different type of Steele. A heart beat from the presidency.

Thoughts anyone?

Martin Luther King April 4, 1968

Today we mark the 40th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr Assassination
Dr. King was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic contender Hillary Clinton will be in Memphis Friday, to mark the anniversary. It's interesting that Hillary Clinton is using this day to politicize this moment. It's to bad that she was a card carrying Barry Goldwater supporter when Martin Luther King was working to end segregation. OK, enough politics, lets listen to Martin Luther King:

In His Own Words



NAACP A National Disgrace Now The Question is WHEN

AAPP: I listened in pure amazement and disgust last night to a broadcast over at one of the best bloggers in America, (also from Texas) Gina McCauley from the blog What About Our Daughters. She was joined by her roundtable, along with Adora Obi Nweze, President, Fl State Conference NAACP and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors and Richard "We Will Not Be Blamed" McIntire, the NAACP national spokesperson.

The NAACP was invited to speak about their decision to support the bail request for the release of black boys who are alleged to have brutally raped, sodomized and beat a mother and son on June 18.


This is a case, as reported by MSNBC a mother and son huddled together, battered and beaten, in the bathroom — sobbing, wondering why no one came to help. For three hours, the pair say, they endured sheer terror as the 35-year-old Haitian immigrant was raped and sodomized by up to 10 masked teenagers and her 12-year-old son was beaten in another room. hen, mother and son were reunited to endure the unspeakable: At gunpoint, the woman was forced to perform oral sex on the boy, she later told a TV station. Afterward, they were doused with household cleansers, perhaps in a haphazard attempt to scrub the crime scene, or maybe simply to torture the victims even more. The solutions burned the boy’s eyes. The thugs then fled, taking with them a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of cash, jewelry and cell phones. In the interview with WPTV, the mother described how she and her son sobbed in the bathroom, too shocked to move. Then, in the dark of night, they walked a mile to the hospital because they had no phone to call for help. More HERE

AAPP: After listening to the state and national NAACP representatives make fools out of themselves, I came to the same conclusion that Lee Walker and others have about this disgraceful national organization. As Lee walker wrote, "
It is neither the powerful organization of my youth nor the courageous and dignified body I identify with Roy Wilkins. After Mr. Wilkins died, he was succeeded by Ben Hooks, a former judge from Tennessee. After Mr. Hook stepped down, the bottom fell out and the NAACP lost touch with black America. A survey taken in 1992 by the Detroit News revealed that 94 percent of black Americans thought the NAACP was out of touch with the everyday problems of most blacks, and the poor in particular.

One glaring problem with the NAACP is the enormous board of directors, over 60 at last count. Mr. Wilkins once advised me over lunch never to run an organization with too many board members. From the statements of former CEO Ben Gordon, it appears that the board’s meddling played a significant role in his decision to step down. Unless the absurdly large board contributes significant amounts of money or brings in new members, the board will be more of a hindrance than a help. And at the moment, it looks to be doing neither."

Read more of Lee Walkers thoughts in the post below:

NAACP Needs New Leadership

Written By: Lee Walker
Published In: Chicago Defender
Publication Date: March 9, 2007
Publisher: Chicago Defender

This Op-Ed originally appeared in the Chicago Defender on March 9, 2007

The current leadership crisis at the NAACP raises an interesting question, did black folks win or lose when Booker T. Washington died in 1915 of high blood pressure and overwork? At the age of only 59, Washington could have led the black race for many years had his health not deteriorated. His untimely death allowed the NAACP, founded and run by northern white liberals, to take over leadership of black America.

Washington was never a fan of the NAACP, and the feeling was quite mutual. Washington was, however, a trustee of the National Urban League, an organization that stimulated black business development and facilitated educational progress for blacks. Sadly, it was unable to stay the course. Although the National Urban league also had white leaders, they encouraged the blacks running it to buy a building for the organization. Due to their paternalistic attitude towards blacks, the white NAACP leaders never encouraged blacks to take this step. The result of course was that high rent prices forced the NAACP to leave Manhattan in the mid 1980's. Today, the NAACP is the oldest surviving civil rights organization in the country. Unfortunately, though it is the oldest tree in the forest, it is also the deadest.

To make clear my long-standing relationship with the NAACP, I should disclose that I was vice president of the Brooklyn Chapter in the 1970's. I was a personal friend of Roy Wilkins, the national executive secretary, and I keep a picture of us, decked out in three bottoms vest and suit ensemble, in my office. The dignified Mr. Wilkins actually wore that three bottoms vest to work every day. During my years at the Brooklyn NAACP he became my role model.

I had dreamed of volunteering for the NAACP ever since high school. When George Wallace banned the organization from the state during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I knew I needed to be a member. Since the group was banned, however, blacks had to send their membership forms to individuals at the 42nd street address in Manhattan without referencing the NAACP directly. Additionally, the NAACP could not send us the Crisis Magazine in the standard organizational package lest white postal workers identify us as members.

Unfortunately, I no longer recognize the once great NAACP. It is neither the powerful organization of my youth nor the courageous and dignified body I identify with Roy Wilkins. After Mr. Wilkins died, he was succeeded by Ben Hooks, a former judge from Tennessee. After Mr. Hook stepped down, the bottom fell out and the NAACP lost touch with black America. A survey taken in 1992 by the Detroit News revealed that 94 percent of black Americans thought the NAACP was out of touch with the everyday problems of most blacks, and the poor in particular.

One glaring problem with the NAACP is the enormous board of directors, over 60 at last count. Mr. Wilkins once advised me over lunch never to run an organization with too many board members. From the statements of former CEO Ben Gordon, it appears that the board’s meddling played a significant role in his decision to step down. Unless the absurdly large board contributes significant amounts of money or brings in new members, the board will be more of a hindrance than a help. And at the moment, it looks to be doing neither.

Leadership has been the central problem for the NAACP since the 1990's and Ben Gordon’s departure shouldn’t encourage any of us that these problems are being solved. It is now time for Chairman Julian Bond to step down. It was mentioned recently that Ben Gordon did not have a civil rights background and was therefore unqualified to serve as CEO. However, it is worth remembering that neither Roy Wilkins nor Martin Luther King Jr. had extensive civil rights experience before assuming the mantle of leadership. Indeed, King had only recently earned his Ph.D. when the Montgomery Bus Boycott thrust him into a national leadership role.

Regardless of who leads the NAACP, there is no dispute that the organization is still needed. Whether it will ever again be the force for change it once was, will depend on its ability to refocus and develop new leadership.

As one New Yorker said in a NY Times article in 1994 "I don't see the N.A.A.C.P. as an organization for the masses of black people, and that's the problem," said Mr. Rhymes, who lives in a city housing project named after an early civil rights crusader, Ida B. Wells. "They're looking for that mainstream, middle-class person who doesn't need half as much help as the people I know. The N.A.A.C.P. is lost on the Yellow Brick Road somewhere."

AAPP: Now the question is WHEN.

When will black folks hold the NAACP Accountable? When will the NAACP hold itself accountable? When will black folks as the NAACP Board Chair to resign, and take that 60 Member Board with him? When will black women start a national organization that really fights for black women and their families? WHEN?

UPDATE: Maybe once organized, a new national black womans organization can get the blacks in the media to highlight important issues like not allowing bail for alleged rapist. Oh, but that's right black media, like white media, seem to be more concerned about Naomi Campbell being released on bail.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Soledad O’Brien speaks with Dallas South

dallassouth01.jpg

OK, I don't live in Dallas, or Memphis, or for that matter Boston (well anymore). At the time Martin Luther King was shot I lived in Boston. I attended the James Brown concert at the Boston Garden. James Brown and the JB's stopped the rioting that evening in Boston. It was one of the most painful days in American History. It was similar to one day in Dallas, when the world seemed to stand still. I'm reminded Dallas, Memphis and Boston , like Washington, DC and other cities across America became connected and made history in many ways. Connected by the killer(s) of a dreamers and dreams. Today we are once again connected as blacks, and as a nation. Connected by the possibility of electing the first black president of the United States. This would be a dramatic step in achieving Dr King’s dream of racial equality.

Rather than give my perspective on what all this means in the various parts of the country,
I think it would be wiser to share with you an interview conducted by one of the America's great black bloggers and afrospear member, Shawn Williams, publisher of Dallas South.

Shawn had the opportunity with interview one of America's greatest news icon's CNN Anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien. They talked about tonight’s special airing at 8 p.m. Central on CNN titled The King Assassination:Witness to Murder more HERE

soledad_o_brien.jpg

Listen now.

I know you will find it as interesting and informative as I have.

AAPP


Obama Takes Lead in Penn State

Obama 45 Clinton 43

Obama's steep rise could be a reflection of a growing sense among Democratic voters that a continued divisive nomination process will hurt the party's chances of defeating John McCain this fall. An Obama upset in Pennsylvania would be virtually certain to force Clinton out of the race.

Obama has his customary large advantage with black voters (75-17) and is keeping it relatively competitive with white voters (49-38) He leads across all age groups except senior citizens and balances Clinton's 10 point lead with women with his own 15 point lead with men.

Full results here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Music, Politics, Race and Family: Why No James Brown Museum ?

40 Years after the MLK Assassination - 40 years after JB 'saves Boston." No Way! There must be a James Brown Museum!

AAPP: The Auctioning off of James Brown Life Experience is an American Disgrace. Yes,
It's an American disgrace.
With so many black millionaires, let see if one of the thousands of black American multi millionaires steps up and saves these items from being sold. Is there any doubt America needs a James Brown Museum? This is a Black American disgrace. Read the complete listing of items in the James Brown auction. James Brown brought blacks, whites, reds, yellows, and browns together- through music. UPDATE: Micheal-Davis at Dallas Progress informs us
The annual list of congressional pork projects came out today. One of the biggest suspect projects was Charles Rangel's (congressman from Harlem) $2MM research center that he named after himself. Three main quotes of the article:

"But the inspiration for Rangel's library and the idea to give it federal funding came from Rangel, not the college, according to Edmondson. "
AND
According to promotional brochures, the soon-to-be refurbished building will house the new "Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service," the "Rangel Conference Center," "a well-furnished office for Charles Rangel" and the "Charles Rangel Library" for his papers and memorabilia. It's kind of like a presidential library, but without a president. In fact, the brochure says Rangel's library will be as important as the Clinton and Carter libraries.
AND
Micheal-Davis at Dallas Progress, says: "I cannot think of anything I am more proud of," said Rangel, D-N.Y.

AAPP: Your right Micheal, in fact many of his artifacts should be in Smithsonian!
H/T
Micheal-Davis at Dallas Progress, for this link: http://tinyurl.com/2ng7lq

James Brown

James Brown , circa 1968.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images




There needs to be a national movement to save these items. Where are you Oprah? Where are you Robert Johnson? Where Are you Bill Cosby? Where Are You Eddie Murphy? Where Are You Chris Rock? Where are You Black Athletes? Where are you Usher? It's time to get busy people. on the eve of the 40th year of the loss of Martin Luther King, this cannot be happening.
I know exactly what I was doing on April 5, 1968, when soul brother #1 James Brown performed in my home town of Boston. He helped save a city from the kinds of devastating riots that ripped most major cities apart after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. I lived in Boston, I was there 'The Night James Brown Saved Boston." It time to save these important items from being sold to the highest bidders. Watch this blog, lets join together to save these items. I want you to join me. Spread the word!

AAPP




As reported by
Chronicle.Augusta.com There is more James Brown auction items selected - Singer's children file objection to belongings list. As reported By Sandi Martin| South Carolina Bureau Chief

AIKEN --- Hundreds of James Brown's possessions will be available for auction later this year, and the belongings up for grabs range from music memorabilia to cars to clothes.

Court-appointed estate representatives have selected 394 lots to be sold by New York auction house Christie's by Aug. 1, per a judge's order.

The list has already drawn objections from the singer's children and his disputed fourth wife, Tomi Rae Hynie Brown, who says some of the items belong to her.

In February, Judge Jack Early ordered that the singer's possessions and homes be auctioned off to pay mounting legal bills and overdue estate taxes. Court records show that the singer's estate is in financial trouble, and $1.6 million is needed this year alone just to pay bills.

The estate attorneys filed the final list of auction items late last week in Aiken County Court, and a tax appraisal done by Christie's shows that nearly $1.5 million in assets are at the singer's Beech Island home. The appraisal could indicate what the items might sell for at auction.

The singer's heirs were asked to submit a list of items they wanted held back, but a letter from estate representatives included with the court filings told the family that they've turned in an "extraordinary" number of requests that "do not comply with the Court's order."

Five of the singer's children filed objections to the auction list, and their attorney says in court papers that some items can't be sold as one lot and that some items cannot be found in the home.

The Christie's appraisal was attached to their objection.

Check out what is being sold.


FOR SALE

Court-appointed estate representatives filed a 29-page list of James Brown's possessions that could be auctioned off by Aug. 1. They include (appraisal value when available):

1974 Mercedes ($25,000)

1941 Lincoln Continental ($35,000)

1962 Red Thunderbird ($30,000)

78 pairs of shoes and boots ($15,000)

Photographs from Mr. Brown's career with celebrities, politicians, family and from his childhood (childhood photo valued at $1,000)

590 "accessories," which include ties, socks, underwear, scarves and gloves ($12,500)



More ignorant talk from Chris Matthews

AAPP: I guess every day is Apartheid day for Chris Matthews. Get this, Matthews asked: Does Obama "connect with regular people" or just African-Americans and college grads? Hey Chris, ask John McCain supporters "Does John McCain connect with regular people or just African- Americans and College grads? Hey Chris, are African Americans irregular? Are College grads irregular? Do you see your therapist regularly?


H/T The good people at Media Matters

Source: Media Matters

Discussing Sen. Barack Obama on the April 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews asked Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): "Let me ask you about how he -- how's he connect with regular people? Does he? Or does he only appeal to people who come from the African-American community and from the people who have college or advanced degrees?" Earlier in the show, referring to Obama's bowling performance at a March 29 campaign stop at Pleasant Valley Lanes in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Matthews teased the segment with McCaskill by asking, "[C]an Obama woo more regular voters -- you know, the ones who actually do know how to bowl?" As Media Matters for America noted, on the March 31 edition of Hardball, Matthews said of Obama: "[T]his gets very ethnic, but the fact that he's good at basketball doesn't surprise anybody, but the fact that he's that terrible at bowling does make you wonder."

During MSNBC's February 5 coverage of that day's primary contests, Matthews suggested to Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean that he should be concerned about the party's lack of broad appeal, noting polls showing a large number of "college graduates" and voters of a "high economic and social echelon" voting in the primaries. Matthews added, "I just wonder where regular people are in this."

From the April 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: In a moment, more Pennsylvania politics with a top Clinton supporter, a man who personifies the commonwealth of Pennsylvania: U.S. Congressman Jack Murtha.

Today's Gallup tracking poll, by the way, shows Senator Clinton has closed the gap with Obama a bit. It's now a 49-to-45 lead for Obama. But will the whopper about having faced bullets in Bosnia keep Hillary Clinton from overtaking him? And on the other side of the equation, can Obama woo more regular voters -- you know, the ones who actually do know how to bowl -- and finish off Clinton for good? We'll talk to Obama supporter U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri. All of that and more later with the roundtable in our "Politics Fix."

[...]

MATTHEWS: Obama -- that's Senator Obama -- has taken a different tone in Pennsylvania, where I'm at right now. He faces an aging blue-collar electorate, one of the oldest states. I think it's the second oldest state, in terms of demographics. People want details about how he plans to improve their lives, keep their kids from moving out of the state, and creating jobs down the road for their grandkids. Can he win over working-class voters here in Pennsylvania?

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is an Obama supporter.

Senator McCaskill, did you advise Obama to go out and try to bowl the other day?

McCASKILL: Well, listen, I grew up in a small town where you learned to do two things: You learned to bowl and you learned to roller-skate. I can't wait to challenge him to a game of bowling.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let me ask you about how he -- how's he connect with regular people? Does he? Or does he only appeal to people who come from the African-American community and from the people who have college or advanced degrees?

McCASKILL: You know, I think people forget about how well Barack Obama is thought of in southern Illinois. I know southern Illinois. They're our neighboring state. They're very much like the people in many parts of rural Missouri. These are working people, salt-of-the-earth people. And if these people of Pennsylvania will give him a chance and listen to him, I think they will be surprised how much they'll relate to him, both as a leader and as a person.


Campaign 2008, Hillary Clinton Poll Numbers Dive - Gender and Color Arousal Campaign Backfires

Hillary Clinton, She always sees things in black and white regarding her and Barack Obama. Now she sees herself as a white male fighting a black man. Damn, does she not have any sheros? Maybe her color aroused campaigning is backfiring. Reports are Clinton's poll numbers are sliding fast.

She is hearing bad news from the latest surveys both nationally, in Pennsylvania against Barack and against McCain.

Senator Hillary Clinton

Sylvester Stallone, the actor who played Rocky, has backed John McCain. And, it may be noted, the film ends with Rocky’s defeat to Apollo Creed, a black man. More HERE

Enough said. What do you think? Has her Gender and Color arousal Campaign Backfired? should she just go ahead and concede?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Don't talk about Monica Lewinsky

Chelsea Clinton, seen here campaigning with her mother, was asked twice in the past week about the decade-old Lewinksky scandal.
AFP/Getty Images
Why should Lewinsky remain in the Democratic taboo closet? Is New York senator Hillary Clinton too "weak" to be president because of her decision to remain in her marriage? OK don't get pissed off with me. I'm not asking those questions. actually it's college studets asking Chelsea Clinton about Monica Lewinsky. Yes she has been asked twice in the past week about the decade-old scandal. Check this out, Chelsea said "It's none of your business," in response to a freshman student who asked about Lewinsky during a campus rally at North Carolina State University. She also said,"That is something that is personal to my family. I'm sure there are things that are personal to your family that you don't think are anyone else's business either," Sheldon Alberts, Canwest News Washington correspondent noted in his recent article, Lewinsky's dress remains in Democratic race's taboo closet.

What do you think, should Lewinsky's dress remains in the taboo closet? Was Martin Luther King taboo to Team Clinton?

Is Sunday Morning Talk Show Apartheid Really Gone?

Is "Sunday Morning Apartheid" gone? Is there still a very clear division, an exclusion of blacks to a large degree on Sunday Morning Talk shows? Is America still a nation involved in " Sunday Morning Apartheid" or is Felicia Lee at New York Times right when she wrote, "Like the Candidates, TV’s Political Pundits Show Signs of Diversity?

In 2006, the National Urban League released a report showing how racially segregated the Sunday morning talk shows are. According to their report, more than 60% of all of the broadcasts of the Sunday morning talk shows had no black guests on them at all. And 80% of the roundtables had no black participants.

Now in the NY Times article Felicia Lee notes, The historic and long-running presidential campaigns of Senator Barack ObamaHillary Rodham Clinton have injected issues of race and gender into politics as never before. With campaign coverage center stage on the cable channels, producers and critics are again assessing the diversity among pundits, who talk (and talk) about things like Mr. Obama’s pastor, the Hispanic vote, Iraq and the economy. and Senator

In the article Felicia notes, "Both MSNBC and CNN this election season have given new prominence to a handful of contributing commentators from varied backgrounds and perspectives: blacks, Hispanics and women."


The Many Faces of Political Pundits

Felicia's article also points out, "Whether such moves signal real progress in diversifying the punditocracy or merely reflect the needs of a particular news cycle is the question, some media experts say."

Here are some other key points in the NY Times article:

1. The most prominent positions on television remain overwhelmingly with those who are white and male, and some critics note how striking that non-inclusion can seem during this election year.

2. Whatever progress has been made with contributors and commentators as of late, the cable networks have a long way to go before they look like the American people,” said Karl Frisch, the spokesman for Media Matters for America, a liberal television watchdog group. He added that white men were the hosts of all the major Sunday morning talk shows, the major prime-time cable news programs and — except for Katie Couric, a relative newcomer — the network evening news broadcasts.

3. Diversity is not just good journalism but also good business, Ms. Ciara and others said.

Generally Felicia Lee's article is on point. And you know this African American Political Pundit is in agreement with Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, who points out in the article that cable programs relied more and more on people who can analyze campaign developments, rather than just report them. So television needs more pundits and more kinds of pundits."

AAPP: It's great to see and hear, as the article points out, the 2008 lineup at CNN which also includes Alex Castellanos, a Cuban-born Republican strategist, and Leslie Sanchez, a Mexican-American Republican strategist who has also appeared on Fox News. It's also great to see and hear Donna Brazile, journalist and radio host Roland S. Martin; Amy Holmes, a conservative strategist and a former senior speechwriter for Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, the former Senate majority leader; and Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist, Obama supporter and veteran press spokesman. The other networks are making, let us call it "attempts."

As I read the article I wondered when are the Sunday Morning Talk Shows and other Political Talk Shows going to desegregate and include black political bloggers as pundits on these talk shows? Then I had to be honest with myself, the networks are scared to place black political bloggers on the networks. Why? One word "Fear."

We all know black political and social commentary bloggers like The Field Negro, Electronic Village, Jack & Jill Politics, Pams House Blend, Prometheus 6, The Super Spade, Black Agenda Report, Eddie Griffin (BASG), Exodus Mentality, Francis L. Holland Blog, Mirror on America, Anderson at Large, Skeptical Brotha this African American Political Pundit and many others would also bring a fresh perspective that America is unaccustomed to hearing in the mainstream media.

Network Executives may be fearful that America is so unaccustomed to hearing honest political commentary and analysis that the black bloggers noted above and other black bloggers like Back Yard Beacon, Black Political Thought, AfroNetizen, Black Women In Europe, AfroSpear Think Tank, Black Perspective, Black Smythe, Dallas South Blog, Mrs. Grapevine, Republic of T, What About Our Daughters?, Wichita NAACP Blog, Charcoal Ink, Bygbaby's Mind Spill, A Political Season and yes this African American Political Pundit would be to much for America to handle.

Well, Network TV executives and producers who may be reading this post, your wrong. There is no need to fear. By the way, you may want to consider following in the footsteps of the good folks at NPR's News and Notes, Bloggers Roundtable hosted by Farai Chideya. They have been providing bloggers from across America the opportunity to have a conversation with the American people. Farai Chideya and the folks at NPR are accustomed to providing honest political commentary and analysis that the black bloggers bring to America through The Bloggers Roundtable program.

OK now getting back to the question, Is "Sunday Morning Apartheid" gone?

Answer: Not when the most prominent positions on television remain overwhelmingly with those who are white and male. Not when a critical part of the "new media" is left out of the conversation - black bloggers. It's looking just a tad different on America's airwaves. As far as this African American Political Pundit is concerned, but It could be a lot better.

Then again who cares about black faces, for black faces sake. Are the current group of black faces saying what needs to be said? Well, this
African American Political Pundit has the hook up. I have my own BlogTalkRadio program and I love being a regular contributor to NPR's Bloggers Roundtable.


Hillary Campaign bills credit card thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges

H/T Ms Lady Deborah for the link.

Matt Friedman reports that a member of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign’s finance committee resigned last month after she said the campaign billed her credit card thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges. She is now backing Barack Obama, according to a post she made on Bluejersey.com.


Kathy Callahan, a Psychotherapist from Ridgefield, said that after making an initial donation of $2,000 to the Clinton campaign with her credit card, she was repeatedly charged at least $3,500 more.

“They had my number on file and they kept using it like it was their own. I was blindsided,” she said in a telephone interview with PolitickerNJ.

After trying to get her money back, Callahan said that a Clinton official said “"Kathy Callahan, you are going to be with us all the way to the White House...So let's leave the money where it is and we'll save time on inevitable future donations and transactions!"

Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Callahan donating $5,500 to the Clinton campaign between March and October of 2007 – that’s $900 more than the legal limit of $4,600 for the primary and general elections combined. She received $5,800 back from the campaign -- $1,200 on November 2nd and three separate checks for a total of $4,600 in December.

After a month of trying and failing to get the bulk of her money back, with the exception of the one refund in November, Callahan eventually filed a report with the Ridgefield Police Department – at which point she said she was reimbursed her money by the campaign.

“They had my number on file and they kept using it like it was their own. I was blindsided,” she said in a telephone interview with PolitickerNJ.

After trying to get her money back, Callahan said that a Clinton official said “"Kathy Callahan, you are going to be with us all the way to the White House...So let's leave the money where it is and we'll save time on inevitable future donations and transactions!"

Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Callahan donating $5,500 to the Clinton campaign between March and October of 2007 – that’s $900 more than the legal limit of $4,600 for the primary and general elections combined. She received $5,800 back from the campaign -- $1,200 on November 2nd and three separate checks for a total of $4,600 in December.

After a month of trying and failing to get the bulk of her money back, with the exception of the one refund in November, Callahan eventually filed a report with the Ridgefield Police Department – at which point she said she was reimbursed her money by the campaign.

SOURCE: PolitikerNJ.com

Hillary Will You Concede or Try To Steal The Election?

AAPP: It's time for Vernon Jordan to step up to the plate and tell Hillary it's over. (H.T VByers) Not many people believe the myths of keeping Hillary in the race anymore. Reality check Obama won Texas. If the Huffington Post report is right, maybe Vernon Jordan will tell her sooner than later.



The Huffington Post reports, in a recent, widely circulated New York Magazine piece, it was noted that, "according to Hillary's adjutants, the people most likely to have sway with her on this topic are not party elders at all but instead her fiercest loyalists, those who've won her trust over the years by dint of their unwavering support."
Familiar names from the annals of Clintondom are mentioned: Terry McAuliffe, Vernon Jordan, Rahm Emanuel (likely the only person in this club who is also close to Obama). So, too, are prominent endorsers such as Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell. "If one of her major African-American endorsers, like Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, told her it was time to quit, that would be very powerful," adds a senior Clinton adviser. Oh, and let us not forget her husband.

And in the New York Times this weekend, two such advisors apparently set the terms of their support for Clinton continuing in the race.

It's Not Over Yet

As reported by David Paul Kuhn If the fight over whether to count the results in Florida and Michigan makes it to the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton will not have enough pledged votes on the 169-member Credentials Committee to deliver a majority decision in her favor, according to an analysis conducted for Politico.

Her only hope of getting the key committee to vote out a “majority report” supporting her position rests on her ability to persuade an as-yet-undetermined number of the 25 members appointed to the committee by party Chairman Howard Dean to cast votes for her position.

The DNC’s Credentials Committee consists of 144 pledged members (Florida and Michigan are not included) plus the 25 party leaders and elected officials appointed by Dean. The 25 Dean appointees include a mix of Dean loyalists, Obama supporters and at least several individuals who have endorsed Clinton. Read more about Hillary's ugly plans.

Now what do you think?

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