Things don’t seem to be going well for ‘Dollar Bill’ Jefferson. A Virginia Judge just froze his assets.

They really do seem to be going after him.

If you ever get the inkling to have an ounce of sympathy for him…just remember this…

While his constituents were drowning in New Orleans….he commandeered a military helicopter to get to his home…for what, we don’t know…but remember that image.

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Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice-President Cheney’s former Chief-of-Staff, was sentenced to 30 months prison time and instructed to pay a $250,000 fine.

Mr. Libby was convicted of lying to federal investigators about his role in the leak of CIA officer’s identity. Agent Valerie Plame was outed in a Robert Novak column.

I have no sympathy for Mr. Libby, and it was just ridiculous to watch programs where folks were whining for Scooter. How he has ‘small children’, and how awful it will be for him to be separated from those children – like the jails aren’t stuffed with criminals who have small children.

It was something else to watch that GOP debate and watch them weasel around, justifying a Presidential Pardon for Libby. Yes, the ‘ Law and Order’ crowd were bending over backwards to explain how a man convicted of perjury, deserved to be pardoned. They talk all the time about ‘ the rule of law’, but I guess that doesn’t apply to one of their own.

The judge in this case has already hinted that he doesn’t see any reason why Libby should be out walking around, pending bail. Which means, in 3 months time, barring any pardon from Bush, Scooter should be meeting Ray-Ray, Tiny and Junebug.

Since he wanted to lie for this crowd, accept the punishment, Mr. Libby.

I firmly believe in applauding leadership and appropriate behavior rather than only being critical. Therefore, I’d like to join Color of Change and other bloggers in congratulating Rep. John Conyers for standing up to Fox News and asking the rest of the CBC to follow his lead. Conyers, a civil rights legend, deserves at least as much support from the CBC as um, Bill Jefferson.

Here’s what CoC has to say:

“We applaud Chairman Conyers for calling attention to Fox’s history of marginalizing and denigrating black Americans,” said James Rucker, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. “Today, we’re calling other CBC members to stand with Congressman Conyers and denounce Fox, a network that has called black churches cults, implied repeatedly that Senator Obama is a terrorist, and has used the solemn occasion of Coretta Scott King’s funeral to call black leaders ‘racist.’”

Fox News’ on-air apology is completely inadequate and doesn’t even mention Conyers at all! Conyers says no one called him personally prior to the on-air announcement to apologize. He’s right. Watch below.

From USA Today (emphasis mine):

“Fox News has a history of inappropriate on-air mistakes that are neither fair, nor balanced,” [Conyers] said Tuesday. “This type of disrespect for people of color should no longer be tolerated. I am personally offended by the network’s complete disregard for accuracy in reporting and lackluster on-air apology.”

[Brian] Wilson [Fox News Washington Bureau Chief] said he called Conyers’ office on Tuesday to apologize. He said he spoke to a press secretary and asked what he could do to make amends, including coming to Conyers’ office to apologize in person. No one got back to him, he said.

Conyers’ press representative, Melanie Roussell, said the congressman was upset that Fox’s on-air apology did not say specifically what the mistake was.

Fox News Channel has become a political issue itself recently, with Democratic presidential candidates refusing to appear in a debate sponsored by the network.

Funny how the AP failed to mention that the debate is supposed to be co-sponsored by the CBC and that’s why it’s a political issue for pete’s sake! And Conyers is right on target. Media Matters points to another strikingly similar case of mistaken identity mingled with insidious racial undertones, just before an election, mind you (emphasis mine):

Indeed, as Conyers suggested, Fox News made a similar mistake during the November 6, 2006, edition of The Live Desk, as Media Matters documented at the time. Footage of [Harold] Ford played on-screen while MacCallum said, “I was reading something about evolution and it talked about virility and, you know, health and fitness and survival of the fittest. It’s sort of a natural instinct, in many ways, to look at someone like Barack Obama as you point out, and say, you know, he looks young, he looks healthy, he looks strong.”

Um — Huh? Guess both Ford and Obama are healthy virile black bucks that would be strong behind the plow. Or something. Since when did you hear anyone talk about white Members of Congress and candidates like that. Give me a break, please.

Now there’s a second, completely fallacious apology from Fox. View it here at ThinkProgress.
Basically they said the tape was mislabeled, but how could that be? Jefferson isn’t even on that committee. That’s footage from the Gonzales hearings, right? Big news story not too long ago. Do they just have a file that says “Negros in Congress” and pull at random? Um, so sorry. Try again. The “apology” actually manages the feat of being more insulting than the “mistake” itself. They sho’ must think we colored folks is dumb as hell.

My hope is that FINALLY the CBC will understand who their true friends are (that would us, their constituents) and who has a back-stabbing agenda against them. I hope this is a turning point where they realize those piddling Fox donations to the CBC might have a cost that’s too high for Black elected officials.

I know it may not always feel this way, Members of the CBC and Staff. Black bloggers like me really are ultimately on your side. Especially given that Conyers is a fellow blogger and should be a natural ally of African-American bloggers.

And seriously, we look to you, the CBC, as leaders. It’s fantastic and inspiring when some of you actually behave like leaders.

A Fist in the Air Award also to the Honorable John Conyers and his staff.

Senator Obama was in Hampton, VA yesterday at the Hampton University’s Annual Minister’s Conference.

Barack Obama gave a MAJOR POLICY speech yesterday…did you know that? If you don’t know, I’m not surprised, because of how the ‘Mainstream’ Media did NOT report on the substance of the speech – AT ALL.

Now, for all you folks who don’t think that Obama’s running TWO campaigns out there……

This the Mainstream Media’s Account of Obama’s speech yesterday.

Obama Warns of ‘Quiet Riot’ Among Blacks
By BOB LEWIS
AP
HAMPTON, Va. (June 5) – Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Tuesday that the Bush administration has done nothing to defuse a “quiet riot” among blacks that threatens to erupt just as riots in Los Angeles did 15 years ago.

The first-term Illinois senator said that with black people from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast still displaced 20 months after Hurricane Katrina , frustration and resentments are building explosively as they did before the 1992 riots.

“This administration was colorblind in its incompetence,” Obama said at a conference of black clergy, “but the poverty and the hopelessness was there long before the hurricane .

“All the hurricane did was to pull the curtain back for all the world to see,” he said.

Obama’s attack on Bush got ovation after ovation from the nearly 8,000 people gathered in Hampton University’s Convocation Center, particularly when he denounced the Iraq war and noted that he had opposed it from the outset.

Repeatedly, he referred to the riots that erupted in Los Angeles after a jury acquitted four police officers of assault charges in the 1991 beating of Rodney King, a black motorist, after a high speed chase. Fifty-five people died and 2,000 were injured in several days of riots in the city’s black neighborhoods.

“Those ‘quiet riots’ that take place every day are born from the same place as the fires and the destruction and the police decked out in riot gear and the deaths,” Obama said. “They happen when a sense of disconnect settles in and hope dissipates. Despair takes hold and young people all across this country look at the way the world is and believe that things are never going to get any better.”

He argued that once a hurricane hits or a jury renders a not guilty verdict, “the frustration is there for all to see.”

Obama, who is bidding to become the first black president, took the stage after a succession of ministers repeatedly brought the crowd to its feet, singing, praying and swaying to music.

They just love to put RIOT with the Black man, don’t they?

The thinkonthings blogger has a different POV.

Obama Warns of Black ‘Quiet Riots’? How the Media Misleads Americans

The media should be ashamed of themselves for putting out headlines that this speech was about “Barack Obama Warning of Blacks’ ‘Quiet Riots.’” It was absolutely nothing close. While the speech emphasizes faith, hope, miracles, progress, and unity, the mainstream media is spinning it as being about division, unrest, and impending turmoil. Shame on the mainstream media for working against the unity and progress of the American people. The full speech of what Obama actually said is below…..

I agree with the thinkonthings…this is a blatant distortion of the speech. In fact, the reporter misses just how important this speech IS.

If you READ the ACTUAL SPEECH, you will see that it is about hope. It is about, no matter how bleak things get, somehow, in the most unexpected places, you can find a glimmer of hope. It’s almost bizarre how life works out that way.

Obama’s speech wasn’t about violence. It was about how we, as a society, need to fix the problems that lead to the Riots of 1992. That when you ignore wholesale parts of the society, how can you be surprised, after being beaten day after day, the ‘broken’ can’t take it anymore, and react in the only way that they believe will get them the attention that had been refused for years upon years.

The beginning of his speech is about a baby born during the L.A. Riots, that had been shot – in the womb, but miraculously, wasn’t seriously hurt, and the only marker of it would be a permanent scar to the arm.

In this speech, Obama talks about:
1. SUPPORTING parents with young children
2. A nurse/parent program for low-income mothers to give them pre-natal health care that too many lack
3. Creating a Youth Service Corps
4. Supporting EX-Offenders with a ‘ Second Chance Act’
5. A Prison-to-work program
6. Investing in transitional jobs to help the homeless and disaffected veterans
7. Investing in transportation to help the low income bridge the ‘transportation gap’ that too many poor workers have, with regards to getting to the jobs outside of urban areas
8. Helping minority owned business
9. Affordable health care

Simply put, it was THE speech that many of Obama’s Black critics have been waiting for from him. For all those who have been asking, ‘What about an Urban agenda?’

Well, HERE IT IS.

THIS is one of the major speeches of Obama. As important as his speech in Detroit. As important as his speech on Foreign Relations.

THIS is going to be the core of Barack Obama’s ‘ Urban Agenda.’

And, THE ONLY THING that the ‘mainstream’ media can pick up about it, is ‘ QUIET RIOT’?

I will not say that I am surprised, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not angry.

After all, Obama putting out substance about an Urban Agenda would be too much for them to handle.

Of course, the only thing that they can do is attach, and DISTORT the entire context of the phrase ‘ Quiet Riot’, instead of dealing with what Obama felt were the beginning of the SOLUTIONS to these problems.

So, don’t tell me that race isn’t involved with the coverage of Obama. Don’t tell me that if ANY other candidate had given the speech that Obama gave, the Mainstream Media wouldn’t be talking about the URBAN AGENDA put forth in the meat of the speech, and that the ‘quiet riot’ phrase would have been but a component of the speech – NOT THE FRIGGING HEADLINE.

The headline for OTHER candidates would be ” SoandSo Presents Plan for Urban America”.

Today, we would be debating the MERITS of Said Candidate’s proposals….which is what SHOULD be happening with Senator Obama.

Instead, I’m here writing to try and get out the word that there WERE proposals of an Urban Agenda.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Cross-posted at Mirror On America

Related Articles:

“Obama Warns of Blacks Quiet Riots”? How the Media Mislead Americans

Why Tucker Carlson is a Disingenuous Punk

Mainstream Media Promotes Racial and Class Disharmony on Obama and ‘Quiet Riots’

Obama: Bush Has Neglected Looming ‘Riot’ Among Blacks

Obama: Black unrest brewing

While I watched the GOP debate with a jaundiced eye, there were a couple of truly moving and human moments, and they both came courtesy of John McCain.

One was when a young woman who lost her brother in Iraq only eight days before he was supposed to come home. While I completely disagreed with McCain’s answer to the young woman, I didn’t doubt for a second that his response to her came from the depths of his soul- his soul as a soldier and POW. It’s these kinds of moments that you actually watch the debates for, in order to see if there’s something behind all the studying and the consultants. The real measure of a candidate.

The second moment was when McCain defended immigration. I thought, for sure, that he would be buried because the Immigration Bill is SO unpopular with the GOP base. But, his, dare I say eloquence, about going to the Vietnam Memorial and seeing all the Hispanic names etched there, combined with the comments about meeting young Hispanics, only armed with a Green Card, fighting in Iraq- that was definitely a shining moment for him.

I don’t agree with him on the Immigration Bill, but I thought that was one of the best defenses from anyone, Democrat or Republican, that I’ve heard.

In these two moments, I saw the John McCain of 2000 that I thought would obviously be a better choice for the GOP than George Bush. I don’t know if he did himself any good with the primary voters, but, as an American, it was good to see that humanity from John McCain.

Also crossposted at Mirror On America.

In the “Canada may not be all it’s cracked up to be” Department. From CNN via Reuters a moment ago:

Canada has denied a visa to South African anti-apartheid leader Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was to be the keynote speaker at a fund-raising gala in Toronto on Tuesday, featuring an opera about her life.

Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, had packed her bags and was about to set out for the airport when the Canadian embassy notified her that she would not be allowed to enter the country, organizers of the Toronto event said.

“No reason was given,” said Carole Adrianns, event director for MusicaNoir, an organization that raises awareness about Africa through cultural projects. “The Mandela family was very, very confident that they were getting the visa,” she said.

Immigration officials in Ottawa were not immediately available to comment.

This is just strange. Usually we see Canada as the un-America, but this seems all to reminiscent of our own government’s increasingly closed-door policies. If anybody out there has a line on what’s really going on, give us a shout.

I really have to give maximum props to Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo for calling this out. It’s clearly not a mistake but an underhanded mind game. You see a clear picture of Bill Jefferson. Then as Marshall explains, footage of a black Member of Congress and a hot pink sign that says “Resign” as he walks by. Trouble is, this footage is from the recent Alberto Gonzales hearings where John Conyers ripped lying Mr. “I Don’t Recall” a new one. The “Resign” message was for Gonzales not Conyers! Josh — I am inventing a Fist In The Air Award today just for you.

If this isn’t enough evidence that Fox is Attacking Black America and why it is imperative that the CBC push back against Fox’s consistent campaign of malicious mis-information — child, I don’t know what more can persuade the CBC to back away slowly. This is racism of the highest order — sophisticated, subtle and insidious. Let’s roll tape once again, shall we?

Shout Out to Oliver Willis, Pam Spaulding and Prometheus 6 who are also covering this story.

Finally, Bill Jefferson has to face the music. If convicted of all charges, he may spend the rest of his life in prison.

From the indictment itself:

Consistent with his oath of office and the duties of the office he held, Defendent JEFFERSON owed the citizens of the United States and the United States House of Representatives a duty to perform the responsibilities of his office free from deceit, fraud, concealment, bias, conflict of interest, self-enrichment, and self-dealing.

I couldn’t have said this better myself. I wish I could take comfort as did the 30% of voting New Orleans residents who re-elected this charlatan in the fantasy that this is a setup of a man working hard for his Katrina-beleaguered constituents by a hostile Bush Administration intent on silencing a savage critic.

Ha. CNN has the best bulleted summary that says it all:

• William Jefferson faces 16 charges of bribery, obstruction, racketeering
• Louisiana Democrat’s schemes reached across Atlantic, prosecutors say
• Investigators found $90,000 in Jefferson’s home freezer
• Search of Capitol Hill office prompted constitutional questions

Now watch as the CBC leaps to his defense as they have in the past. After all, these are folks, many of whom, contributed to his most recent campaign and protested Speaker Pelosi’s removal of Dollar Bill from the powerful Ways and Means Committee. (Read my past coverage for more info) Shame on them if they do so. Shame on all of us. I hope you agree and will speak out that African-Americans do not support this behavior. The Republicans are already seeking a tit-for-tat to brand Democrats (and African-American legislators) with the same brush of corruption they currently wear.

From the Politico:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) moved quickly to force the expulsion of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) from Congress following his indictment Monday on federal corruption charges.

The Republican leader will ask members of the House to vote on a resolution requiring the ethics committee to review the indictment filed against him in order to seek his expulsion from the House, according to his office.

Democrats and African-American leaders would be wise to isolate Jefferson while advocating for new Congressional leadership that will truly represent New Orleans’ post-Katrina recovery. Someone waits in the wings — Karen Carter.

I like Down with Tyranny’s analysis:

UPDATE: “THE CHARGES WILL NOT IMPACT HIS ABILITY TO SERVE IN CONGRESS WHILE AWAITING TRIAL”

That was from the Times-Picayune story explaing that their town’s congresscritter had just been indicted on 16 counts of racketeering, soliciting bribes, fraud, money-laundering, obstructing justice…” Maybe Speaker Pelosi should take some steps to impact that ability.

Ditto for the CBC.


Steve Gilliard transcended his illness this past weekend and began his journey home. Steve was a hero to many in the netroots. He blogged at DailyKos before blogging was cool and helped to define the quality of intellectual rigor and discourse among left-leaning blogs. And he just so happened to be black and later became an influential, outspoken leader against the Iraq War delivering insightful coverage and analysis from his own blog “The News Blog“. How sorry I will be to see this site go dark.

CrabLaw has a great piece on Steve’s impact that speaks for so many people in the blogs. Thanks for sharing it with me, Bruce. Steve was truly a pioneer. Not just as a “black blogger”. As a consistently incisive blogger and accurate journalist. Period. PastorDan over at DailyKos posted a lovely poem for a soldier who’s crossed over.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
On the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.
My Spirit is still alive.

I hope Steve would be glad to know about the Afrosphere (nice post Jared) and the legion of African-American blogs that have him to thank in part for kicking open the door. As a military buff, perhaps a hearty “I am Spartan!” is in order as the last salute to his work as we begin to fill the void left by his passing.

I saw in the comments from my last post on this that a lot of people are getting a little fatigued on this subject. I feel ya. It’s frustrating. But if we can’t hold the CBC accountable and secure our win on something this obvious, how will we fare in beginning to tackle the big issues like healthcare, Iraq, education and the environment.

The CBC Fox debate is a way of highlighting the corruption of those elected to serve the people. I know — it’s tired. And the CBC is so very tired and sad on this issue. But we gots to keep their feet to the fire. They know now, in part because of this issue, that they are being watched. By you. And by me. And a new generation that demands more of its black leaders than the fact they are black.

So I appreciate your support. I think we’re close to the finish line, so hang tight and bear with me a little while longer.

Speaking of Bill O’Reilly’s fear of a brown America, here’s some data from the New York Times (snark) in and article called U.S. Data Show Rapid Minority Growth in School Rolls:

Driven mainly by an extraordinary influx of Hispanics, the nation’s population of minority students has surged to 42 percent of public school enrollment, up from 22 percent three decades ago, according to an annual report issued yesterday by the government.

The report, a statistical survey of the nation’s educational system, portrays sweeping ethnic shifts that have transformed the schools. The changes, with important implications for educators and policy makers, have been most striking in the West, where, the survey says, Hispanic, black and Asian students together have outnumbered whites since 2003. But all regions have seen growth in minority student enrollment, particularly by Hispanics, who accounted for one of five public school students in 2005, the last year for which data were available.

O’Reilly’s right — played well, this could be a long term boon for Democrats if they adhere to (and preferably strengthen) a platform that black and brown people can actually support. Encouraging news:

At a news conference in Washington, Mr. Schneider focused much of his presentation of the report on statistics showing that more high school students, across racial and ethnic lines, had been taking advanced courses in recent years. The number of minority students taking Advanced Placement courses, for example, more than doubled from 1997 to 2005.

No one ever factors in the impact that pervasive racism in our society might have on test scores and children’s ability to thrive and learn. Where’s that study, I ask ya.

Hey y’all — check this out! It’s a one stop shop for black blogs!

rsspect.org

(Great name)

Sponsored by Young Black Professional Guide. They say:

the young black professional guide would like to announce the completion of rsspect.org, a new project that, hopefully, will begin networking a lot of the black blogs.

the concept of rsspect.org is very simple. it is a neat little web application that acts as a headline feed reader for a variety of blogs surrounding the african-american experience. it’s aim is to not only gain visibility to these blogs, but also empower our readers to enjoy our network of opinions.

Bout time someone pulled us together. United, we are stronger and cannot be ignored. Submit your blog if you are a black blogger or blogs you know to

rsspect {at} gmail {dot} com

Peace, Jill

Ah…two great tastes that taste racist together. Caught this over on Media Matters but the DNC caught it first (along with a bunch of angry folks in the YouTubes). Really watch the clip — the straight up, unfiltered racism is towards the middle and end. Must be seen to be believed. Are Republican primary voters really such knuckle-draggers that this is how a desperate GOP has to court them? John McCain posted this appalling O’Reilly show appearance like it’s something to be proud of:

Bill O’Reilly: But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right. So I say you’ve got to cap with a number.

John McCain: In America today we’ve got a very strong economy and low unemployment, so we need addition farm workers, including by the way agriculture, but there may come a time where we have an economic downturn, and we don’t need so many.

“New York Times” of course being some sort of code phrase for “New York Jews”, I suppose? Why is it that racism and antisemitism must so often walk hand-in-hand. Ugh. Double UGGGHHH! They really fears that the Republican party on its current platform is doomed — unless the GOP figures out how to stem immigration or what O’Reilly has called “the browning of America”.

O’Reilly has a long rap sheet of racism, particularly around immigration. I’ll refer you back to Media Matters for that. Still this strikes me as worse than the Imus comments in terms of the fundamental premises proffered and the fact that McCain not once pushed back or distanced himself from McCain’s positioning. It was a wink and a nod performance for which both of them must be held accountable.

McCain is a presidential candidate for blessed’s sake! What does this say about his ability and desire to represent ALL Americans? Not just the white male christian ones? Lord have mercy. It’s so stunning you almost can’t believe they’d be so brazen and upfront about it in the post-integration era. Hence, I’m not sure why folks are focused on Bill O’Reilly and not also on John McCain’s responses here.

I don’t think so. For reasons that seem unclear to me, Dennis Kucinich has gone loco and decided that he wholeheartedly embraces the Fox/CBCI debates. Looking at his blog, he is also so proud that Black Agenda Report recently described him as the Black Candidate. Hmph. Sounds like we might need to revoke that Honorary Negro Card.

From Kucinich’s press release:

“Lets face it, the race for the presidency is the World Series of politics, and here you have three candidates for President who are admitting that not only can they not hit right-handed pitching, they’re even afraid to step up to the plate and take a swing. Well, I’m one candidate for President who can hit any pitch anyone throws at me. And I’ll be taking the field in Detroit this September with the Congressional Black Caucus.”

“When the Cleveland Indians get into the World Series, and Fox broadcasts the games, I assure you I’ll be there,” Kucinich said, “and when Fox broadcasts a debate sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, I’ll be there, too.”

Right. So anyone like me wondering how big a News Corp/Faux News campaign donation was made to elicit this hearty, glowing endorsement? I sure hope it was more than the measly $1000 many CBC members got for their campaigns! The SuperSpade joins myself, rikyrah and a number of leading black progressive bloggers in signing a letter asking the Democratic frontrunners to stay firm. You can check out the letter there. Thanks to ColorofChange for their great work on this.

I wrote about leading Hispanic groups’ curious silence on Alberto Gonzales a couple of months ago now. A Washington Post article today paints them as always having been supportive of Gonzales which isn’t entirely factual. Yet, after he was confirmed as Attorney General, there did seem to be an effort to pull punches, even as he pursued an agenda hostile to these groups’ membership base. From the article:

Wilkes and Murguia said their disappointment with the attorney general started long before Democrats and Republicans in the Senate began calling for his ouster over the firing of U.S. attorneys.

“The reason these attorneys were fired is that they weren’t investigating allegations of voter fraud,” Wilkes said. “Republicans use voter fraud allegations to create more registration burdens for our members without any evidence. I think Gonzales himself was pushing some of these voter-restriction techniques. He ought to know better.”

Better late than never, though this might have been more helpful at the height of the calls for his resignation a few weeks ago.

Now — where is the dysfunctional Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Gonzales? Or have they stayed too busy fighting with each other to fight for civil rights?


Who We Are

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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