Hat tip: Politicalinaction.com

From CBN’s David Brody:

The Brody File
David Brody
CBN News Senior National Correspondent

EXCLUSIVE: Obama Expresses ‘Deep Disappointment’ in McCain’s Silence on Wife Attacks
June 17, 2008

In a one-on-one interview with The Brody File, Barack Obama says he is deeply disappointed that John McCain has not spoken out against the attacks leveled against his wife.

Michelle Obama has come under criticism from some conservatives because of comments that they say suggest she’s unpatriotic, not proud to be an American and outside the mainstream.

Obama vigorously defends his wife.

I spoke to Obama in Taylor, Mich. Tuesday afternoon. Read the transcription of his answer below or click play to hear his answer.

“This is unfortunately become a habit in our politics where anything’s fair game, and we just make things up about people. If you think about Michelle, I mean here’s somebody who’s done everything right. She grew up in modest means. She grew up in a nuclear family. Her parents looked after her. She went to college on a scholarship. She’s worked hard for everything that she has.

She is the best mother I know. She has made repeated sacrifices on behalf of her family and has said that her children and her husband are her number one priority.

So the fact that people have tried to make her a target, based essentially on a couple of comments in which she was critical of what’s happening to our American dream and the enormous difficulties that people are experiencing — the difficulties that she hears directly as she is traveling across the country, I think is really distressing. And you know I’ve said publicly before, and I’ll say it again – I think families are off limits. I would never consider making Cindy McCain a campaign issue, and if I saw people doing that – I would speak out against it. And the fact that I haven’t seen that from John McCain I think is a deep disappointment.”

If you’d like to read the rest of the article and see the video clip of the Obama interview, click on the link above.

I’m glad he’s calling out Senator Straight Talk. AFTER ALL, if folks WANTED TO, they could have a field day with his Pill Poppin’ Piece-On-The-Side.

d asked me when I was going to stop calling her that; so, before anyone says anything in the comments, don’t. When they begin to treat Michelle Obama with respect, THAT is when I’ll retire that nickname, and not a moment before.

Because NOBODY will ever be able to convince me, that if the life situations were reversed?????

PULEEZE.

We’d be seeing an endless loop of the story of the ‘Poor, First Mrs. Obama’.
We’d have interview upon interview with people involved with the charity from which Mrs. Obama stole.
We’d have commentator upon commentator talking about ‘what kind of person worth $100 million (let’s be real…Michelle would only have to be worth $1 million) would STEAL from a charity?’
And, then, they’d bring on doctor after doctor, talking about, ‘ Well, you know, we don’t know how the pressures of a campaign might send her back to drug addiction’. – All in theory, of course…their ‘respected’ medical opinions.

” No, Rikyrah, if the situations were reversed, we’d see the same treatment of Michelle that we see of the Pill Poppin’ Piece-On-The-Side. “

Uh uh. Hell no.

UPDATE: Look what I found at Michelle Obama Watch:

Cindy McCain Still Stuck on Michelle’s Patriotism
Posted by AJ of OverAnalyzeIt.

Cindy McCain is scheduled to be on Good Morning America tomorrow morning and she’s still pushing the “Michelle is unpatriotic” meme as she talks about Michelle’s misquoted “proud” comment. I think she might want to reconsider her position on throwing stones……..

From ABC News Blogs

ABC News’ Ed O’Keefe Reports: Laura Bush may be ready to give Michelle Obama the benefit of the doubt when it comes to her patriotism but Cindy McCain may not.

“I don’t know why she said what she said,” Mrs. McCain explains in an interview with ABC News’ Kate Snow airing on “Good Morning America” Thursday. “Everyone has their own experience. I don’t know why she said what she said, all I know is that I have always been proud of my country.”

Ok, well now, I’m too thru, and even though I’m going to stick with Pill Poppin’ Piece-On-The-Side, I’m just gonna come out and say what came instantly into my mind, the first time she oh-no-snidely derided Michelle Obama on this:

” The Nerve of that Thievin’ Junkie HO.”

Hat tip: Politicalinaction.com

From ABCNews.com:

Battle of the Spouses: A Bit Better for Obama
Early Edge is Michelle Obama’s, But Plenty of Room to Move for Cindy McCain
ANALYSIS By GARY LANGER
June 18, 2008

In the battle of the spouses the early edge is Michelle Obama’s, in favorable views and intensity of sentiment alike. But there are sharp differences among groups, and plenty of room to move for the less well-known Cindy McCain.

Forty-eight percent of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll see Obama favorably, vs. 39 percent for McCain, a 9-point Obama advantage. Slightly more, though, also view Obama unfavorably – 29 percent vs. McCain’s 25 percent.

Substantially more, 36 percent, haven’t yet formed an opinion of McCain, vs. 23 percent in Obama’s case. For both, those are sizable numbers who’ve yet to make a judgment.

The popularity of presidential candidates’ spouses does not drive vote preferences. But in contests where every advantage can count, spouses do play a very public role. Cindy McCain is highlighting her support for children’s charities with a visit to Vietnam this week, while Michelle Obama hosts the ABC program “The View” on Wednesday.

DIFFS – There are big differences among groups in views of the two women, mainly driven by political partisanship. Obama’s favorable score is 14 points higher among women than McCain’s, 54 percent vs. 40 percent; as in many of Obama’s other best groups, the chief reason is simply because women are more apt to be Democrats.

An even more striking gap may cut to Obama’s independent persona; among the two in 10 Americans who call themselves feminists (men and women alike), 60 percent view her favorably. That drops to 45 percent among non-feminists – who are twice as apt as feminists to see her unfavorably.

Obama’s ratings peak at 84 percent favorable among African-Americans, 66 percent among liberals and Democrats alike and 61 percent among young adults, age 18-29. Not surprisingly, those are among her husband’s core groups; indeed it’s his support that seems largely to drive views of his wife. Among people who prefer Barack Obama for president vs. John McCain, 73 percent like Obama’s wife, too.

Rest of Article at link above.

Good Morning.

I hope we have another good day of debate and discussion at JJP.

So, give us those links, and maybe a little bit of trivia.

And always, have a peaceful day.

rikyrah just emailed this over.

there’s an excellent daily kos diary picking it apart. you can read the entire fox “news” transcript. but the video. i dare you not to smack your computer. prepare for the long war, my people. these right wing white folks are going to lose their minds on the road to an obama white house.


The number of reasonable statements in this broadcast are hard to find. Here’s one

JANE HALL, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: I think one way that people who are going to try to defeat Obama is to somehow prove he’s other — he’s not one of us. If they can’t prove he’s a Muslim, then let’s prove his wife is an angry black woman. I think it’s going to get ugly. I don’t think John McCain will sanction it. I think McCain — it’s my opinion he will generally try…

SCOTT: But he won’t be able to control it.

HALL: I think McCain genuinely doesn’t want this kind of campaign, but I think that may be the only, and ugliest way, to go after Obama and people are going to use it.

Jane Hall just described what many of us have been talking about. All the b.s. about Muslim this and flag pin that represent the fears of the right wing idiocracy. They always try to paint the democrat as out of touch, but with Obama it’s more severe. He’s somehow not American. Kudos to Hall for getting that in. She later points out the image vs. reality of Cindy McCain.

The next most reasonable comment came from Jonathan Martin at Politico


MARTIN: What’s so fascinating here in that we’re having this conversation right now. This is the constant cable chatter. This is what folks are talking about on the Internet. But the campaign itself sort of aboveboard. He wants to raise taxes, against free trade. But the reality is that this is sort of a two-track campaign. It’s the issues on the one hand but, at the same time, what seems so dominant and what seems to be on the minds of everybody, even though the campaign doesn’t want to sanction it perhaps, these cultural issues, personality issues. Who is this person? It’s just fascinating to watch and sort of keep track of.

Jonathan Martin does a decent job of explaining the difference between issue-based coverage and bullshit chatter. The problem is, he’s on a show that’s nothing but the latter. Take that extra baby step, Jonathan. Don’t just describe the dysfunction. Stop it!

Of course, the what-you-talkin-bout moment goes to host Cal Thomas


THOMAS: I want to pick up on something that Jane said about the angry black woman. Look at the image of angry black women on television. Politically you have Maxine Waters of California, liberal Democrat. She’s always angry every time she gets on television. Cynthia McKinney, another angry black woman. And who are the black women you see on the local news at night in cities all over the country. They’re usually angry about something. They’ve had a son who has been shot in a drive-by shooting. They are angry at Bush. So you don’t really have a profile of non-angry black women.

Damn! I mean, it’s like he went out of his way to be wrong with every word that came flying out of his mouth. If black women weren’t angry before, they will be after seeing this along with black men and anyone with common sense.

From The Baltimore Sun.com:

Donna Edwards to fill 4th District seat
Democrat is state’s first black woman to be elected to Congress
By Brent Jones Sun reporter
10:50 PM EDT, June 17, 2008

Donna Edwards became the state’s first black woman to be elected to Congress after easily defeating Republican Peter James Tuesday night in a special election for the vacant 4th District seat.

With 74 percent of the precincts reporting by 10 p.m., Edwards had captured 79 percent of the vote.

Edwards, an activist and lawyer, will serve out the remainder of former Rep. Albert R. Wynn’s term. Wynn, who lost to Edwards in the February primary, left office May 31 to join a powerful lobbying group, leading to Tuesday night’s election. She will serve the rest of the year.

“It really didn’t hit us about the element of history, but what it says is that we’re ready for change and for people who represent all of us,” said Edwards, 49.

“The fault lines we draw among races, counties, really don’t matter,” she said.

It is a victory political observers say will give the Prince George’s County Democrat a jump on other incoming legislators if she beats James again in the general election in November.

Edwards, running a populist, anti-war campaign that has drawn support from national liberal groups, will be the prohibitive favorite in a district in which Democrats outnumber Republicans 5-1.

“I never want to take any election for granted,” Edwards said. “I’ll continue to be out meeting and speaking with people in the 4th District. We’re going to do what it takes to win.”

Rest of article at link.

Ms. Edwards is a Conscious Progressive, and should be light years better for that district than Al Wynn.

SWOT For Barack Obama

17 Jun 2008

Angry Independent of Mirror On America did this interesting post on Obama using the SWOT Theory (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

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

I couldn’t help myself.

Below is a SWOT picture for Team Obama. (1) (2)

STRENGTHS:

1. Running on a message of “change” & exemplifies that change.

2. Charismatic

3. Sharp/Intelligent

4. Approached Run for Presidency w/ a 50 State strategy.

5. Brought thousands of new voters into the political process.

6. Appeals to young voters.

7. Appeals to Independents and disenchanted Moderates.

8. Strong support from Black voters.

9. Effective organizing/mobilization from the grass roots level on up.

10. Supporters are motivated.

11. Money/Fundraising

12. Message resonating w/ White Americans in the West and parts of the Midwest who are college educated & who earn more than $50,000 per year.

13. Has a more populist message in a time of war and during a period of economic hardship for many Americans.

14. Team Obama has advantage when it comes to utilizing and exploiting technology (Internet, etc). McCain’s older demographic is not as computer savvy. This slows/limits fundraising efforts for McCain.

15. More human resources. Has more young volunteers who can fan out all over the Country for voter registration, education, and mobilization.

16. His family. The images of family, particularly his wife and school aged daughters is an image that resonates because so many Americans can relate to the Obama’s current situation regarding raising kids. The Obama family looks like so many other American families. So when Obama talks about issues related to supporting children, supporting education, healthcare, fixing No Child Left Behind, etc, he is accepted as more authentic and more up to date on the problems. Obama is seen by many as someone who can empathize with Americans on these sorts of issues…and that empathy can prove to be reciprocal, as voters may be willing to cut Obama slack on other issues. Conversely, it makes McCain look more out of touch before he even opens his mouth about any of these social/economic problems. Obama’s daughters are a secret weapon, as they may affect voters unconsciously.

WEAKNESSES:

1. Seen by some as lacking experience.

2. Trouble garnering support from working class white voters in certain parts of the Country, especially Post- Rev. Wright.

3. Affiliation w/ Traditional Black Church in Chicago – T.U.C.C. – and its connection w/ traditional Black elite leadership.

4. Not a well known character to many Americans.

5. Name could be hard for some to accept in a xenophobic nation which is often resistant to change.

6. Race, Race, Race, Race, and Race.

7. No military background.

8. Iraq- Obama may have to adjust his position to match the situation on the ground in Iraq. He has promised something that he likely will not be able to deliver- a quick pullout of U.S. troops. A quick pullout is not feasible and was never really a viable option. It is even less of an option as the overall situation in Iraq has improved. The reason why it was used as a political issue is because it sounded good to voters. Obama could have done himself a favor by leveling with voters earlier on. Now he has dug himself a hole.

It is physically & politically impossible to conduct a quick pullout from Iraq. Top military advisors would likely be against any such move. The sooner Obama modifies his position on this issue, the better. He has to move to a more comprehensive 3-5 year plan to slowly drawdown U.S. troops, while aggressively building up the Iraqi military. The Bush administration has made a strategic decision not to make any real effort to build up the Iraqi armed forces. The Iraqi’s are in need of Tanks, Trucks, Armoured Personnel Carriers, Artillery, Planes, Helicopters, ships and boats…items that the Bush Administration has been reluctant to provide. The Iraqi’s will never be truly self sufficient until they obtain the equipment they need. Notice how this issue has been missing from corporate news reports? It has never been part of the public discussion. But this is one of the main obstacles to a self sufficient Iraq. Until the Iraqi’s get the tools they need to “stand up”, they will always be dependent on the U.S. And this decision by the Bush Administration to keep the Iraqi’s dependent on U.S. help had a clear purpose…to provide the U.S. with a reason and with leverage to negotiate a long term presence in the Country.

So on day one, Obama will have to figure out how to solve the problem of Iraq’s self sufficiency. Once the U.S. is able to reduce the bulk of its troop presence, Obama should push for some sort of United Nations stabilization force of 40,000 or so that would remain in the Country for a little while longer. The U.S. could contribute 10,000-20,000 troops to such a force (with many standing by in Kuwait), while the remainder could be provided by other Countries around the world and throughout the region. The main purpose of the troops would be to protect the Iraqi government, protect natural resources, train Iraqi forces, backup Iraqi forces, monitor borders, conduct anti-terror activities, and act as a rapid reaction force.

Bringing 120,000 U.S. troops home over a period of 3-5 years is a much more realistic goal and it is likely to be the scenario that is actually played out anyway. If Obama conducts a quick pullout and Iraq collapses, he will be blamed for the disaster- not Bush (I know… sick isn’t it? But it’s a fact).

9. Party & progressives as a whole lack a strong media infrastructure. Cable TV news & AM radio continue to be dominated by Republican/Conservative talking points. No matter how good the progressive message is, it often does not have a chance to resonate because it is typically heard through a Conservative filter. By the time Americans hear the message it has been distorted by the Conservative media gatekeepers. No matter how much money Obama spends, it will be very hard for him to get his message to voters on his own terms.

10. Staff not aggressive enough in terms of handling attacks/controversies. It often takes the Obama camp too long to respond.

11. Not doing enough to reach out to rural America and to understand/talk about rural issues. Iowa showed that he is capable of reaching this demographic. He must now attempt to apply his Iowa work to a General Election.

OPPORTUNITIES:

1. Has a chance to change political map.

2. Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, N. Dakota & more could go his way in November.

3. For the first time in U.S. history, a significant number of White voters will be open to the message of a General Election candidate who happens to be Black.

4. Has opportunity to introduce himself or re-introduce himself to Millions of Americans who may not have followed the election season closely up until now.

5. Opportunity to gain ground with Hispanics.

6. Opportunity to be more proactive & take the fight to John McCain.

7. Opportunity to highlight problems w/ faltering economy as it happens, and as Americans can see it right in front of them. It’s an issue that is very real to most voters…they can “feel” it.

8. Opportunity to exploit McCain’s weaknesses.

9. Pre-empt Republicans/Conservatives & their attempts to use fear mongering and racism.

10. Pre-empt Republicans/Conservatives on National Security, perhaps by choosing a strong running mate early with a long National Security/Military resume.

11. Has opportunity to keep focus on the economy, which could make matters much easier for him in the long run (avoiding more contentious & controversial issues that could benefit McCain).

THREATS:

1. The National News Media.

2. Rev. Wright Controversy/Lingering Damage. It’s an issue that will surface again.

3. Racism/Bigotry.

4. American Xenophobia.

5. The Bradley Effect.

6. Threats to Personal Safety.

7. American Resistance to Change, and the reluctance to go with the less familiar.

8. Long Primary Fight or the damage thereof.

9. Conservative Talk Radio

10. Continued Democratic Party Infighting.

11. Tony Rezko Story and the media’s constant coverage.

12. Anti-Obama websites and Smear Campaigns.

13. Republican/Radical Conservative (phony) 501(3)(c) groups (such as The Swiftboat Veterans for “Truth” who destroyed John Kerry in 2004). These groups will be able to run any kind of ugly, racist, bigoted ads or smear campaigns that they want, with no regulation from Top Republicans. In reality, these groups are well connected with the Republican/Conservative political power structure. They represent the foot soldiers of the Republican political and media machines (behind closed doors). But having these Republican foot soldiers run their operations via 501(3)(c) groups allows the “official” Republican leadership and Republican Candidates across the Country to claim they were not aware of anything, they didn’t know anything about a particular ad, they didn’t sign off or approve anything, and they are as shocked and disgusted as anyone else….after an offensive ad, smear campaign, etc. :) It’s all about plausible deniability. In reality, these ad/smear efforts are well coordinated through the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, the Republican National Committee’s Strategy office, and the Republican Candidates strategy team, among other groups.

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

Agree? Disagree? Do you see the Presidential Race this way?

Michelle Obama will co-host ‘ The View’, Wednesday, June 18th. Just a FYI for those who are interested.

There’s a great article in the New York Times that I highly recommend this am.

Folks in the U.S. didn’t pay much attention when Aimé Césaire, French poet, politician and philosopher died a few months ago in April. But it was a big deal in France (and for those of us around the world familiar with Césaire’s pioneering philosophy of Négritude which was a literary and political movement in part by the Harlem Renaissance):

Négritude and Césaire are back. When Césaire died in April, at 94, his funeral in Fort-de-France, Martinique, was broadcast live on French television. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his rival Ségolène Royal both attended. Just three years ago, Mr. Sarkozy, as head of a center-right party and not yet president, supported a law (repealed after much protest) that compelled French schools to teach the “positive” aspects of colonialism. The next year, Césaire refused to meet with him. Now here was Mr. Sarkozy flying to the former French colony (today one of the country’s overseas departments, meaning he could troll for votes) to pay tribute to the poet laureate of négritude.

Now the rise of Barack Obama has engendered in French folks of African descent (just as the Harlem Renaissance did in the 1920s/30s) a desire to talk differently about the role of race in their culture. More from the NYTimes article:

When Youssoupha, a black rapper here, was asked the other day what was on his mind, a grin spread across his face. “Barack Obama,” he said. “Obama tells us everything is possible.”

A new black consciousness is emerging in France, lately hastened by, of all things, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States. An article in Le Monde a few days ago described how Mr. Obama is “stirring up high hopes” among blacks here. Even seeing the word “noir” (“black”) in a French newspaper was an occasion for surprise until recently.

Meanwhile, this past weekend, 60 cars were burned and some 50 young people scuffled with police and firemen, injuring several of them, in a poor minority suburb of Vitry-le-François, in the Marne region of northeast France.

Americans, who have debated race relations since the dawn of the Republic, may find it hard to grasp the degree to which race, like religion, remains a taboo topic in France. While Mr. Obama talks about running a campaign transcending race, an increasing number of French blacks are pushing for, in effect, the reverse.

It will be interesting to see the impact of Barack Obama’s Hope on people not just here but everywhere over the course of this campaign season — and beyond.


I have a personal interest in physics and randomly stumbled across this brother online. More people should know about theoretical physicist Dr. Stephon Alexander and his work. Because this obviously proves black people are actually some form of unevolved talking monkeys… Read his full and fascinating story at National Geographic.

Dr. Stephon Alexander asks big questions. How did the space and time that govern our universe come into being? Intrigued at an early age by quantum theory, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and string theory, he now works to unify them in his search for a theory of quantum gravity.

“There’s a world of phenomena and theories that do very well in making cell phones work,” he explains. “But at the same time, other evidence we are calling ‘dark matter’ is still absolutely mysterious. My discoveries come through calculations as I tease nature into revealing her secrets.”

Alexander has long personal experience confronting the unknown. At age eight his family moved from Trinidad to the Bronx in New York City. “My childhood was full of surprises,” he remembers. “I learned that you can’t always hold on to things; it taught me the idea of embracing the unknown. Our culture tells us to try and control situations. Instead, I’ve always coped with unexpected events by making up theories about why they may be happening.”

After earning a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Brown University, Alexander completed postdoctoral work at Imperial College in London and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He is now an assistant professor in the Penn State Physics Department.
[...]
According to Alexander, physics can also bridge cultures. “I see this happening every day since the people I collaborate with come from India, Poland, Russia, Japan, and Iran. Physics is our common language and bond—it transcends political, geographical, and cultural differences.”

Good Morning.

Yesterday was definitely an active day here at JJP. There was some very good debating yesterday.

Let’s see if today’s topics will generate the same kind of intelligent, heated debate.

So, drop those links, share that knowledge, give us some trivia.

And always, have a peaceful day.

This is going to be fun.

h/t lessjobsmorewars.com


Um…why have someone this deceitful, racist and repugnant actively organizing your campaign events? From the Politico, emphasis mine.

A key organizer of John McCain’s meeting Saturday with former supporters of Hillary Clinton is best known for her role in another bitter American fight: The effort by some white descendants of Thomas Jefferson to keep his possible African-American descendants out of family gatherings.

Paula Abeles emailed Politico yesterday to complain that her group had gotten short shrift in a blog item, writing, “I initiated the teleconference with McCain on Saturday and was solely responsible for the guest list.” Another Clinton backer at the event, Will Bower, confirmed that she was “integral” to assembling the group.

But Abeles first made the news in 2003, when she and her husband, then-Monticello Association President Nat Abeles, led the fight to keep members of the Hemings family — descendants of Jefferson slave and, some historians believe, mistress Sally Hemmings — out of a gathering of the Monticello Association, which is made up of lineal descendants of the third president.

Abeles drew national attention for her role in an episode of online espionage.

The AP reported in May of 2003:

The wife of a Thomas Jefferson family association official said Friday that she masqueraded as a 67-year-old black woman on an Internet chat room in a bid to keep descendants of a reputed Jefferson mistress out of this weekend’s family reunion.

“It might have been somewhat unethical,” said Paulie Abeles of Washington, D.C., who participated for eight months in the Yahoo! message board created for relatives of Jefferson slave Sally Hemings.

“It might have been childish, but I really think I was working in the best interest of the majority of the family members to make the reunion a calm and civilized gathering,” she said.

Oh but there’s more from the AP article (I know there’s an AP link boycott on and respecting it/agree with it. This is the best source for this story I’m afraid>)

The Hemings clan was formally excluded from membership last year, but some members of the association continue to invite slave descendants to accompany them to the annual cocktail party and cemetery visit.

David Works, a sixth-generation grandson of Jefferson who sympathizes with the Hemings heirs, said he has asked federal authorities to investigate.

“This isn’t a fraternity house panty raid – this is serious,” said Works, who supervised the Internet group and traced messages back to the Abeles computer.

Paulie Abeles said she was curious last August when she found out the Hemings family was communicating through an Internet group, but she thought her name would have made it difficult to be included.

So Cassandra Mays-Lewis was born. In her Yahoo! profile, Abeles made Cassandra a descendant of Jefferson slave Joe Fossett, describing herself as having an interest in black genealogy. In her messages, she played the part of an elderly woman, stricken with emphysema, thanking Works at one point for his “kind attentions to an old woman.”

“Somewhat unethical”? Guess that’s the kind of people McCain likes to hang with. Also sorry, is this also a friend of Hillary Clinton — it’s a little unclear from the story. Though the Politico says that Paula Abeles “has signed her given name on a pro-Clinton chat board as “Paulie,” the name she was quoted under in 2003″.

Seems that Nat and Pamela Abeles always seem to find a way to exclude the black descendents of Thomas Jefferson from family events in addition to posing as an African-American woman online. Which seems kinda race-hating. I don’t know about you, but I smell an Eddie Murphy movie – he can play Paula Abeles playing Cassandra Mays-Lewis. Hijinks ensure! Better than Madea! Co-starring John McCain as Thomas Jefferson himself!

Coming soon to a YouTube video near you.

What’s interesting to me about this story is that while I think it’s important to hold corporations accountable for their treatment of African-Americans, it’s important to do it in a way that doesn’t give any perception of quid pro quo/you scratch mines and I’ll scratch yours. Ultimately that can weaken the strength of any type of consumer action and frankly there are other actions available outside of boycotts.

This story also says something about the increasing power of the black consumer and corporate desire to maintain strong brands with us.

From the NY Post:

Anheuser-Busch gave him six figures, Colgate-Palmolive shelled out $50,000 and Macy’s and Pfizer have contributed thousands to the Rev. Al Sharpton’s charity.

Almost 50 companies – including PepsiCo, General Motors, Wal-Mart, FedEx, Continental Airlines, Johnson & Johnson and Chase – and some labor unions sponsored Sharpton’s National Action Network annual conference in April.

Terrified of negative publicity, fearful of a consumer boycott or eager to make nice with the civil-rights activist, CEOs write checks, critics say, to NAN and Sharpton – who brandishes the buying power of African-American consumers. In some cases, they hire him as a consultant.

The cash flows even as the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn has been conducting a grand-jury investigation of NAN’s finances.

New Yorkers — you know the Reverend Al better than me. What’s this story really about and what are your thoughts about the National Action Network (which btw has a jacked up website – they need to spend some of that corporate moolah updating their online flow)?

Gore to endorse Obama tonight
From the NYT:

FLINT, Mich. – Former Vice President Al Gore will appear in Detroit tonight for his debut campaign appearance with Senator Barack Obama, extending an endorsement and urging all Democrats to rally behind the party’s fall ticket.

“A few hours from now I will step on stage in Detroit, Michigan to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama,” Mr. Gore said in an e-mail sent to his supporters. “From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States.”

Throughout the long Democratic primary, Mr. Gore talked frequently to Mr. Obama. But tonight’s rally at the Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit marks the first time they will appear together on the same stage. The endorsement was announced – on Mr. Gore’s terms – to supporters on his vast e-mail list.

“I’ve never asked members of AlGore.com to contribute to a political campaign before, but this moment and this election are too important to let pass without taking action,” Mr. Gore said. He added, “Over the past 18 months, Barack Obama has united a movement. He knows change does not come from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Capitol Hill. It begins when people stand up and take action.”

The decision to stage the appearance in Michigan underscores the importance of the state for Mr. Obama. It was also in Michigan where former Senator John Edwards unveiled his endorsement of Mr. Obama in a surprise setting.

“Over the next four years, we are going to face many difficult challenges — including bringing our troops home from Iraq, fixing our economy, and solving the climate crisis,” Mr. Gore said. “Barack Obama is clearly the candidate best able to solve these problems and bring change to America.”

If you are interested in whassup at the intersection of politics and technology, then you’ll love the Personal Democracy Forum which will be taking place 1 week from today in New York City June 23-24. From the PDF conference blog:

“Rebooting the System” is our overall theme this year, and we’ll be delving deep into how internet-driven mass participation is transforming everything from political media and message-making to fundraising and field organizing, along with how big institutions like governments, campaigns and membership organizations are adapting. Day One will focus on the impacts on politics (campaigns, elections, media, etc.), while Day Two will focus on the ways that governance and civic engagement are being changed.

As you might expect, spaces are filling up fast. Lots of interesting folks are speaking including:

Van Jones (Green for All)
Liza Sabater (Culture Kitchen)
Scott Goodstein and Alec Ross (Obama 2008)
Josh Marshall (TalkingPointsMemo)
Jose Antonio Vargas (Washington Post)
Craig Newmark (Craigslist.org)
Joe Trippi
Elizabeth Edwards
Jane Hamsher (FireDogLake)
Zephyr Teachout (Howard Dean ’04)
Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post)
Clay Shirky (author, Here Comes Everybody)
Tracy Russo (John Edwards ’08)
Peter Daou (Hillary Clinton ’08)
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Jack and Jill Politics readers are at the forefront of using the internet to create positive change. So get up in that and show ‘em whatchu working with! See you there.


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Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

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