Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Who Knew...

Kudos to Fox News for snagging the world's greatest political strategist Karl Rove. Though I must admit, I had reservations on him being able to be fair and balanced. To my surprise, he has done better than many of the commentators on broadcast and cable news. He is insightful, articulate and engaging. He speaks from experience and critiques both both Democrats and Republicans. Hats off to a man whom many revere and some have demonized. He what I think a commentator should be. Let's hope this remains and he doesn't change. We can hope.

He with out fault cast the first stone
I disagree with this heading by Time Magazine. This isn't swampland. Instead, one of these three people will lead the greatest country in the world. What about Ralph Nader?

For the record: you can not compare, nor should we compare, Sen. Hillary Clinton (under fire in Bosina) or John McCain(Iran/Iraq terrorism)recent snafu's with that of Sen. Barack Obama's affiliation with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Completely different in every way.

"and we are not saved..."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Lost in the shuffle

Whatever happened to Ralph Nader's candidacy for the president? Was his entering the race not generating enough excitement for the media? This is interesting, for in previous years Mr. Nader always managed to distract and create a great deal of media coverage. Perhaps the media's fascination with him has gone the way of the dinosaur. And those people who would have normally backed him, see now, as they should have seen in previous years, that he was only a distraction a novelty. A person who never had a chance of winning the presidency, but certainly with the help of the media was able to be a spoiler in taking away votes from more formidable candidates.
Is Bill Richardson angling for a position in a possible Barack Obama's president administration? Why now would he endorse the Senator after the New Mexico, Texas and California primaries, which without a doubt have a huge hispanic population. An earlier endorsement before these primaries would have surely helped Sen. Obama with the hispanic vote. What does this mean for Sen. Hillary Clinton? During Superbowl weekend the two Bill's (former President Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson) watched the game together. Now what?

"and we are not saved..."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Where do we go from here?

Now that it is all out in the open, where do we go from here? Within the past few weeks we have learned of a bad economy giving way to the nearly collapse of a venerable investment bank. We are lead to believe that most politicians have affairs and though their wives stand behind them, they too have tasted the forbidden fruit. We heard what was deemed, at the time, as the most important speech on race. Given by a man, a politician, who has hopes of leading the greatest country in the world. A man of mixed ancestry who might have been forced to give the speech as oppose to giving it out of a need to bring all together. Nevertheless it was given, and a society of many nationalities and creeds listened and reflected on the race has shaped their lives. Pundits, politicians and commentators weighed in and attempted to put it all into context for "we the people". In the end, the speech was picked apart, sliced, diced and left on the table for additional dissecting. All of this to some degree could have been avoided if the people who claim to bring us the news had done so fairly, unblemised and unbiased and with accurancy.

"and we are not saved..."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Race Does Matter...be it social setting or political.

While some in mainstream media have made every attempt to avoid race and gender as issues or subject matters in this year's political season, this blog has held the belief that the two are closely tied to the process. Yes, we would all like to get beyond race and gender; it is possible. So why haven't we? The answer is obvious, neither has ever been addressed in any setting. Why? This too should be obvious, both subjects are uncomfortable. Race more so than gender. Recently, Barack Obama, the distinguished senator from Chicago, Ill., was faced with having to address race. In Philadelphia, Penn.,the city of "Brotherly Love, responding to incendiary race related remarks made by the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright, his pastor of twenty plus years, he spoke on race in America.

It should be noted the comments made by Rev. Wright were made last year and others a few years ago, and perhaps should have been addressed earlier. However, the senator's campaign chose to seemingly allow the liberal media to hide him and make it seem as though race didn't matter. In the end, it came to ahead after FOX News began reporting on race and Wright's comments intensively, as they should. Before long chatter began to form across the masses and the other cable news networks begrudginly took up the mantle realizing this was news and did matter. The following is the senators complete unedited speech addressing race.

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution - a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign - to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I've gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world's poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

It's a story that hasn't made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts - that out of many, we are truly one.

Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.

This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either "too black" or "not black enough." We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.

On one end of the spectrum, we've heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it's based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we've heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isn't all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God's work here on Earth - by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, Dreams From My Father, I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

"People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend's voice up into the rafters....And in that single note - hope! - I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion's den, Ezekiel's field of dry bones. Those stories - of survival, and freedom, and hope - became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world. Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn't need to feel shame about...memories that all people might study and cherish - and with which we could start to rebuild."

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety - the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity's services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through - a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, "The past isn't dead and buried. In fact, it isn't even past." We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven't fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today's black and white students.

Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments - meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today's urban and rural communities.

A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one's family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods - parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement - all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What's remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn't make it - those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations - those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright's generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings.

And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren't always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze - a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

This is where we are right now. It's a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy - particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

But I have asserted a firm conviction - a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people - that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice is we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances - for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives - by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

Ironically, this quintessentially American - and yes, conservative - notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright's sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright's sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It's that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country - a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen - is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope - the audacity to hope - for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds - by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world's great religions demand - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother's keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister's keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don't have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged, and we want to talk about how we'll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

I would not be running for President if I didn't believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation - the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

There is one story in particularly that I'd like to leave you with today - a story I told when I had the great honor of speaking on Dr. King's birthday at his home church, Ebenezer Baptist, in Atlanta.

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that's when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

Now Ashley might have made a different choice. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother's problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. But she didn't. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.

Anyway, Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they're supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who's been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he's there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, "I am here because of Ashley."

"I'm here because of Ashley." By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins.

"and we are not saved..."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What's At Stake? Who we are and how we define ourselves.

- Was Sen. Barack Obama sitting in the pew of Trinity United Church of Christ when his pastor of twenty plus years the Rev. Jeremiah Wright made incendiary race remarks?

- Did Obama join the church out for a cause and to connect to the community for political purposes? Is this wrong? Don't all politicians do this?

- Are the statements made by Rev. Wright racist?

-Is Geraldine Ferraro a racist?

- Has Sen. Obama benefitted from being black or his upbringing?

- Has Sen. Hillary Clinton been right all along on the media's approach to fairness, race and gender?

- Who's right and who's wrong?

-Did former President Bill Clinton get it right when he said African Americans see someone like them in Obama?

-Is President Bill Clinton a racist for his comments made comparing Obama's primary wins to Jessie Jackson's?

- Are African Americans voting for Obama because he is black and has a chance of becoming president?

- Will his being president uplife the race? Does the race need to be uplifted?

- Will more be expected from African Americans?

- What happens to White Americans and Latino Americans (and other races)?

- Has the media done Sen. Obama an injustice by initially refusing to cover this issue?

- Is John McCain, the Republican nominee, benefitting from this fracas?

"and we are not saved..."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Unspeakable Truth...the reality of being

Why is this comment made by Geraldine Ferraro, a supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign for president, offensive: "If (Barack)Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept." What she said is true. We have all known it for quiet sometime (the unspoken unknown). Why is the media afraid to admit the obvious. By not being true to what is reality only creates a facade and problems _ which is what this country doesn't need. For some time the liberal media has been caught up in the Obama wave and not using sound judgment in covering the Democratic race for the White House. In an earlier debate Sen. John Edwards noticing questions only being directed to his two opponents (Obama and Clinton) had to remind the moderator that he too was in the race. Edwards has since left the race. Had he been given equal press, I wonder if he would have remained in the race?

In a newspaper interview Ferraro continued and said that the press "has been uniquely hard on her (Clinton). It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign."

Unfortunately, all of this is true. Even Obama lamented that the media had fallen for Clinton's compliants that she is unfairly covered and he took the unusual step of calling Loren Michaels (producer of Saturday Night Live; see prior blog) to equal the playing field. Not sure if this is true, but early this year any paper could be read and notice how the media and TV news criticized Clinton on everything from her voice, clothes to being a woman.

But aside from all this, back to Ferraro's statement. The truth of the matter is Obama's base is overwhelmingly African-American with some white's but not a large amount. Hillary's base has been women. This is a FACT and is undisputable. The media should just live with this fact. Why is race and gender so difficult to discuss in our society? This can't be whitewashed.
MSNBC Got It Right: MSNBC and Tucker Carlson
Finally this cable news station has produced a commentator who notices and realizes the obvious. In a piece today, Tucker Carlson questioned why the media is afraid to "dissect" Ferraro's statement. Not that he supports what she has said, but there is perhaps some reality in what she said. Kudos! to you Tucker! This country needs open dialogue on race. The truth hurts like a knife, but at this point in history it needs to be discussed.

"A Fallen Man In A Glass House"
What the Devil was he thinking? Why the Devil wasn't he thinking? Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York is he guilty of a crime that his office prosecuted? You are not above the law. Is it hubris and arrogance? The shame brought to the state. The shame on your family, your wife, your children? And for what? A petite, five-feet brunette with a price tag of $5,000? Was it worth it?

"and we are not saved..."

Sunday, March 9, 2008


What's happening to the purest form of conservatism?
Dick Morris why does he have a platform? Granted the man is a smart and masterful politician, but his ethics are questionable. I find it interesting how the Republican party still embrace him, or does he just linger on? If we are going to attack John McCain for not being a true conservative what can we say of our party which embraces the likes of Morris and Rush Limbaugh. I mean true conservatism is pure to its core. Why is it we rely on these questionable or blemished characters for talking points. Do we not have any one else who can carry our cause? And we wonder why liberals question our judgments or anything we say and do. Look who we have on the front line. Morris has been predicting the Clintons' demise for a decade or more and it is yet to happen. He said Sen. Clinton wouldn't get far and look were she is? It aches me to know that we have no one other than these two to speak up for conservatism? I know there is Laura Ingraham, but she is only one person. We need someone people can trust and see as not being holy then thougth, vindictive, mean and with an ax to grind. What is needed is the everyday Joe and Jane Shmoe who can be any of our next door neighbor.

Unfortunately, Wyoming didn't yield the results that most thought it would, not that it ever could. The Democratic presidential candidates are even farther away from securing the top spot. All are now afraid that the Super Delegates will have to now work and perform the task which they were created to perform. How did we get here? Well ask your local Democratic Party who decided to move up its primaries (this only applies to those states whose primaries were changed) and for what reason?

and we are not saved...

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Dangers of Going Negative...

Recently one of Senator Barack Obama's advisers, Samanatha Powers, had to apologize and resign for saying Hillary Clinton was a monster. During the early part of the election process it was Obama's camp receiving apologizes. Now in his campaigns first attempt to go negative he is on the giving end of an apology. I will never understand how staffers undermine the direction of the person for whom they are supporting. I would think Ms. Powers, who happens to be an accomplished person, would know what to say and what not to say. What to do and what not to do. Referring to Sen. Clinton as a monster during an interview with a Scottish newspaper is just plan STUPID! One might expect this characterization from a mere supporter but from an adviser. A person so close to the candidate. A person who could possibly be advising him on foreign policy. What was she thinking? Better yet why wasn't she thinking? This is a difficult one to figure out. I am always amazed at how these adviser ramble off all sorts of rhetoric without the campaign heads knowing about it. Who should be held accountable for such indiscretions made by the advisers?

And the saga continues...
Obama's folks are now charging "Senator Clinton is one of the most secretive politicians in America today," Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe said in a conference call with reporters. "She has consistently refused to release her tax returns. They have said they are going to release them around [April] 15, but there is no reason why the prior six years of tax returns couldn't be released right now."

Once the returns are released what's next? Are we looking to see if the Clintons' received money from questionable individuals or companies. It is interesting how the release of tax returns seems to come up just about every election year. And like clock work the Clintons' are slow to release. If they (the Clintons) know this will be asked of them, why not release and avoid the appearance of a cover-up, etc. As for the charged leveled by the Obama staff, that the Clintons' have not been fully vetted...sorry try again. America, and unfortunately the world, has lived through almost a decade of them both being vetted, scrutinized, exposed, over exposed and impeached. What more do we really need to know about her and him? Is it possible there is more to learn? I would suggest Obama and company chart another path. The current path could be dangerous, for if there is anything unknown about him or his staffers the media (yes the media and not the Clinton camp) will look for it and bring it out. All fair in politics. I would advise both camps to stick to Obama's earlier mantra of not practicing the politics of old and destroying ones opponent. No one benefits from this other than your Republican rival.

...and we are not saved.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Highway Robbery or just Politics 101?

How is it possible for a person to loose something which he never had? The thought of the Democratic presidential nomination being stolen from Barack Obama is ridiculous. Let's all take a timeout and collect ourselves. The election process isn't over yet. Never has there been so much attention on Super Delegates and their functions until now. Once again, the media is setting an agenda they want the voters to buy. The media would love nothing more if the public became undone and rioted during the Colorado Democratic Convention. Why? Because their candidate of choice, Obama, they feel could possible be robbed if the Super Delegates vote for a candidate not of their liking. The media wants the Super Delegates to vote in the direction of the states popular vote. Though, please be reminded, if this is the case Senator Ted Kennedy will have to change his support from Obama to Clinton. Oops! She won his state's vote. The same would hold true for other Super Delegate. Kennedy is merely called out, because he through his support to Obama before his states election thinking the state would vote for Obama, but it didn't. Sth... Sth...(the sound of sucking one's teeth).

Now lets look at the major states and their delegates. If Obama can't win the large states rich with delegates is it possible he will win in a general election? This is an important question, for good speeches crafted by staff writers will only do so much. Likewise, if Hillary Clinton didn't have her experience of a very active first lady and accomplished junior senator her ability to win the election would be in question.

John McCain aren't you glad you are the nominee elect for the Republicans? You can rest awhile and wait for the real fun to start.

Better Times? America was told what we wanted to hear and believed.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mojo is back and the Race Continues...

How it must feel to be Senator Hillary Clinton. After learning of her win in Ohio, the senator had these words to say "For everyone across America who has been counted out but refused to be knocked out, for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up and for everyone who works hard and never give up, this one is for you." Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, said she had to win, the media said she had to, her opponents said she had to and she did. She even pulled off Texas and Rhode Island. Now of course many thought this would be the "it" factor for her. Unfortunately it wasn't. As for delegates, winning the three states didn't exactly secure the Clinton Campaign any great bragging rights. The wins did, however, signal that she was back in the race. So the race moves on to Pennsylvania and other states. And quiet as its kept, even if she were to win Pennsylvania's primary, she would not have enough delegates to clench the nomination. Neither would Barack Obama, though his camp would like all to believe he would. The media would like for us to believe the same. Albeit, a simple crunching of the delegate numbers and even a novice would learn the obvious...the all mighty super delegates will more than likely have to decide who will be the nominee for the Democratic Party. Currenlty Obama has 1564 delegates and Clinton 1460. The magic number needed to clench the nomination: 2206. Now if the delegates from Florida and Michigan (who's delegates are being punished for moving up their state primaries)are seated there is a possibility the numbers would provide a nominee without the super delegates intervening, as much.None of this helps Barack Obama who along with his campaign staff feel he should be the nominee as he is currently ahead in the delegate count (though not enough to clench the title). He has, however, been winning the popular votes across the US. As for the Florida and Michgan votes...Obama wasn't on the ballots in Florida, but he did have posters/fliers in supporting his candidacy. Needless to say, his camp doesn't seem to thrilled to have the delegates in Florida or Michigan seated. How did we get to this point? Funny, I am sure many people are asking the same, but this is what happens when states want to be major players in the race and not have the elections decided by other states whose primaries take place in the early in the election process.

Where Do We Go From Here Should Obama go negative? When the Clinton camp went negative he said or someone in his camp said it was a sign of desperation. Is it safe to say the same of him now...an act of desperation to go negative? One should be reminded, that earlier in his campaigning days he said he did not want to practice nor would he practice the politics of negativity. The media cautioned him this wasn't possible and admonished him to go negative. Actually, the media has wanted the mudslinging and down and dirty campaign since the first debates in 2007. The more negative and mudslinging the better the ratings for them. But who does it help? Certainly not the candidates or the American voter.

Barack should have called the media on its disparage media coverage of the candidates when Clinton first addressed the matter during a debate. Instead, he turned his head and looked the other way. Now attempting to go negative on his opponent would seem like an act of desperation on his part. The recent items regarding Barack reported by the media: campaigns' conversation on NAFTA with Canada, his relationship with Chicago business man Tony Rezko, his connection with Farrakhan if any, and his voting record shouldn't be considered going negative but are items needing answers. Creating a story over the Clinton's tax returns...where is the relevancy? She said she would release them April 15. Questions on her capability to lead and being prepared day one is fair game for both candidates.

But really, how long did Obama think the love fest and the media would last? He his advisors should have cautioned him. Who's crying now? As Clinton pointed out at a press conference to questions being lobbed at her imagine this question being asked of Barack.
Dick Morris
He has been out of the Clinton camp for nearly two decades, but still he feels he has insight on them. How many books or how much money can he manage to drain from this extinguished relationship? By the way, you said Clinton would loose Texas and Ohio. She won. What do you have to say now?


A few things to consider:
Why do women over 60 and women making less than fifty-thousand a year vote for Clinton? Why has Obama attracted all of the African-American vote? If the super delegates were designed to cast the final vote in the Democratic nomination process why are Republican commentators afraid the delegates will go to Clinton? Now ask yourself a question, if the players were switched and Clinton won the popular vote and stood to loose the super delegate vote would the Republicans and media pundits be so concerned that she might be robbed of her votes? Better yet if Barack had won the big states and Clinton the small states would there be an outcry? (To help you wade through these answers think Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy and then think George Bush and Al Gore). The Democratic nomination system has been in existence for nearly three decades plus. Had the media being doing it's job, it would have clearly covered the process way back when as oppose to now. Why has the media taken a vested interest in the outcome of this election?

...and we are not saved.

Stop the Press!

Senator Clinton won Texas and Ohio. MSNBC and CNN all reported if she didn't win both states she's toast! They even quoted her husband former President Bill Clinton making this case in Texas during a campaign stop. Now that she has won the states, yet another twist _ the two states aren't good enough. C'mon give me a break! This is the United States of America not some third world country we should be able to get this right. What the devil is going on?????? So the election moves on to Pennsylvania and what happens? The votes there won't count? Let the race play itself out. It is unforunate many primaries were moved up, but it is what it is. Report on it and be fair, accurate and without prejudice. What country is this anyway? Land of the free or land of the make believe?!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Race is Not Given to the Swift...

Mike Huckabee you ran a good race, kept the faith and now you have stepped down like a true statesman. (Delegate count 247, states won LA, KS, AR, TN, GA, Al, WY and IA). You did it the old fashion correct way and didn't listen to the pollsters or newsmen who wanted you to step down. As a Republican, you have been true to the Democratic process. The Gipper himself, Ronald Wilson Reagan would have been proud of you. For he too, in 1976 lost six primaries in a row before he won (though not the nomination of an office).

For some reason, John Edwards comes to mind right about now. Remember him? Before he got started, well, a little after, he too was trying to get the media to remember him and that Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama weren't the only two candidates running for the Democratic Nomination. And they weren't for back in January and February there was half a dozen candidates running, but the media only chose to focus on Clinton and Obama. Naturally Edwards' campaign faded away in the win. Is it that the media wasn't interested in him or that he wasn't a person making history like the possibility of a first female president and first black president

Meanwhile back at the ranch: All the talk of Democrates beating up on each other and wounding their possible nominee....give it a break! This happens with every party during the primaries. Look at Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. in 1981. The race between these two was brutal. It was known on the Hill the two had a visceral dislike for the other, but in the end, they kissed made up and went on to become running mates thus clenching the Presidency. It should also be known that Nancy Reagan kept the Bush clan away from the White House (on over sea visits). Yet it was a love feast.


Where do the votes go from here? Texas and Ohio. Should she or shouldn't she? Has he or hasn't he?

...and we are not saved.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Tides of Change...it ain't over!

Kudos to conservative talk show commentator, Laura Ingraham. Her comments are right on the money. The CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times are all giving Barack Obama a pass. They are not challenging him on important issues that are lambasted against Hillary Clinton. Some of the issues that are not clear: healthcare funding (the media may be tired of hearing about it, but voters need clear answers; bringing the troops home in a reasonable timeframe (six months into 2009 is completely unrealistic); NAFTA: has it really hurt Texas and Ohio (a majority of the states' jobs have gone to China not Mexico and Canada). If the jobs did go to Mexico, why are Mexicans still coming here for jobs? Clear explanations on his dealings with the realtor Antoin (Tony) Rezko (the media demanded Watergate information from Clintons’). Why not the same for Obama? Going back to Iraq, if it was a mistake for voting for war in Iraq why has Obama voted for continued funding? More importantly, Obama conveniently missed the vote for war. I wonder why? He even missed hearings on Afghanistan, but he says we should concentrate on the country’s terrorist efforts. Clinton has carefully tried to point out the disparage coverage, only to be reprimanded.

Speculations and thoughts: Is Senator Obama running a good campaign? Is he "Teflon Don"? Yes to both questions, especially when the media (so it seems) has decided on whom they want as the candidate for the Democratic Party. Now, if Guiliani had been the candidate for the Republican's I wonder if the media would have shown more favor to Senator Clinton's campaign. Not far off thoughts, it is up to the media to prove the speculations and thoughts off basis.

By no means, should one think this Blog is in support for any one particular candidate. It is however meant to seek out truth and accuracy. Thank you Laura for pointing out what we all see as being the obvious.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, did anyone catch Senator Barack Obama's comments over Popeye's? He talks out about eating cold Popeye's chicken for breakfast and how this shouldn't be. While his message was true, if any other candidate made this comment it would have immediately be seen as racist. Of course, the media chose not to overburden us with their in depth analysis.

C'mon New York Times give it a break. McCain is a US citizen. So what if he was born in or near the Panama Canal. His parents were US citizens. What is happening here? Has the media (in this case the New York Times) gone lupe on us? What's next Obama being born in Hawaii (a US state but not a state that's part of the continental US). I doubt this will happen, for the media is having a love fest with Obama. The media is yet to question him on his NAFTA stance. Officials in Canada report the Obama folks told them they were going to attack NAFTA but the attacks were for political purposes and Canada had nothing to worry about. Obama denies this and the media has given the news story (which is real news) little play. Wonder why? No it has nothing to do with his front runner status. Try again.
While the tough questions aren't being asked of him, the media is constantly wondering when Senator Hillary Clinton will drop out of the race. Why should she? Obama hasn't sealed the deal the way McCain has sealed the Republican nomination. Mike Huckabee is questioned on when he will drop out of the race but the intensity isn’t the same as with Clinton. We are way off from the primaries being over and Clinton still has a chance.

Usual SuspectsWhat's it all about with Kevin Sullivan. His politics are confusing at best, at times. Yet he bills himself (and others seem to agree) as some great authority on politics and world events.
David Shuster, I would suggest you pipe it down. You just got back on the air don't mess it up for yourself trying to attack Hillary. Your career should be more than that. You don't have a point to prove. Relax.
Wolf Blitzer please get to the main point that the American people are concerned with. Avoid the issues you and your fellow journalists want to cover to secure ratings.
Bill Bennett. The picture says it all. No need for additional comments.

Chris Matthews seems folksy at times. His show is title Hardball, but oftentimes it seems he picks and chooses who gets the curveball, the softball and who gets the hardball. This would be ok if we were playing baseball, but we are not.
Tim Russert is good _ at times. He does have a tendency to wander away from the topic at hand, but when he is on, he is on key!

Candy Crowley always seems to be on key and fair in her reporting on candidates.

Inclusion, why is it only now that voters across the nation are learning of the unusual (to some) voting practices of states like Texas? Never heard about it in 1992, 1996, 2000 or 2004? Why now? All candidates and primaries should be covered the same…equally and fairly and without biase.

…and we say it isn’t about blacks? Why are the black super delegates so important? I hate to say it but, maybe it is a black thing and a white male thing. Perhaps sexism.

...and we are not saved.