I’m beyond being sick of this shyt. And for those of you Christians who would want to correct my “French”, save it; I think da Lawd will forgive me for expressing my frustration in less than holy fashion.

Hillary Clinton can’t get a clue. Either that, or she defiantly refuses to buy herself one. Now the Clinton supporters are going to protest outside the DNC Rules Committee meeting on Saturday, demanding that the delegates from Michigan and Florida be seated at the convention in Denver.

At the height of my pissivity, is the following:

Among the scheduled speakers at the rally are Clinton fundraiser Elizabeth Bagley; two members of Congress who back the New York senator, Reps. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio and Corrine Brown of Florida; and Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. Her group’s political action committee has endorsed Clinton.

I see a couple of CBC members that could use primary challengers next election. More on that later; I need to talk about Hillpatine, as my colleague Rikyrah calls her.

First, she invoked every negative racial stereotype against Senator Barack Obama.

When that failed, she insists she needs to stay in the race in case “something happens to Obama”, while invoking the horrific memory of the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, still an icon among the Civil Rights guard and Black Americans.


I’ve pleaded for an INTERVENTION; I’ve begged this woman to go away with at least a shred of dignity and respect. But, NOOOOOOO, she has to remain on stage, a center of attention, regardless of how negative, how distracting, how IRRITATING she is.

It is safe to conclude that this woman isn’t fit to be allowed within spitting distance of the White House; let alone run the most powerful Democratic Nation on Earth. It is also safe to say that the Party Leaders are at fault for not putting a stop to homegirl and allowing her divisiveness to continue. I think it’s past time to start asking DNC leaders why they have taken so long to pull the trigger on Hillary and tell her ass to go sit down. I was reminded by my colleagues at Black Agenda Report that way before it looked like Ted Kennedy’s bid for the White House back in 1980, challenging Jimmy Carter, the Party Leaders wasted no time in forcing Ted out.

While I like Carter, I can’t help but wonder what would this country have been under two terms of Ted Kennedy (cause y’all know we wouldn’t have been satisfied with one term, and it probably would have kept Reagan and his ilk out of the Oval Office).


We all know when someone has jumped the shark and needs to be committed for their own mental health, as well as the sanity of those around them.

The math on the primary indicates that Senator Obama is 51 delegates away from having the majority he needs to secure the nomination. Even if the delegates from Michigan and Florida are seated, they still wouldn’t give the Borg Queen enough to secure the nomination at this point. If we’re honest, the Borg Queen was out of it after South Carolina, when Obama rolled off nine consecutive primary victories.

Primary Victories that Hillary wrote off, until she needed the Jed Clampett-Hatfield-McCoy Mountain Redneck vote. And even after invoking the Obama-as-Boogey Man/Scary Black Man, rather than apologizing for threatening his life, she has the audacity to demand as a concession to leaving the scene, that Obama put her on the VP ticket.

Remember what Chris Rock said about Colin Powell running on Bob Dole’s ticket as VP?

“He can f— beat Dole! Why would you ask someone to run on a Presidential ticket with someone he can beat!?”

Only Hillary Clinton would fail to see the irony of demanding to run on Obama’s ticket as VP of someone who has already beaten her, fair and square, by the book and played by the rules.

I’m sick of this shyt.

UPDATE: You know it’s over when Hillpatine’s main supporter, Jumpin’ James Carville is saying stuff like this:

Pay attention to the following:

Carville’s repeated suggestions that Obama “will” beat McCain contrast with the core Hillary message — repeated frequently by Hillary advisers — that Obama merely “can” win a general election, while Hillary “will” win it. Carville’s comments also suggest that with the fall contest looming, it’s becoming tougher for prominent Hillary backers to sustain any argument that doesn’t show full confidence in Obama’s chances against McCain


The Fat Lady should be warmed up and ready to sing by now. LOL

cross-posted to DailyKos and goodCRIMETHINK

For just over a year, I’ve been digging deeper and deeper into the world’s energy situation and have oscillated between certainty that 90 percent of us are going to die and cautious optimism about an opportunity to improve the structure of our society.

Among the big “issues” in this political season (to the extent that we even remember those), energy, climate and food are at the top of my list.

With oil prices having grown by a factor of six since 2000 and showing no sign of let up, I will increasingly post about what’s going on in an attempt to share what I’ve learned and direct our frustration accurately and productively.

My daily must-visit site is The Oil Drum, and yesterday, they posted the single most important article explaining what’s up with oil prices. The entire post is worth reading and has real perty charts and some technical detail.

I’m summarizing it below for those with less time.

1. New production is not able to offset growth in oil consumption, production declines from existing fields and the ability of oil-producing countries to tap into spare capacity

From The Oil Drum:

The Oil Drum: production and pricing

Every year a large number of new oil fields are brought on line. However, this does not directly translate to growth in supplies since amongst other things the production decline in existing fields needs to be replaced first:

new annual production capacity = consumption growth + annual decline + spare capacity growth

The above leads to a supply vs. demand situation in which supply cannot keep up. Demand globally is growing. Many existing oil fields are past their peak production, meaning they produce less and less as it becomes more difficult to get the oil out. Finally, contrary to popular opinion, OPEC isn’t simply holding out on us. They cannot turn the spigot on any higher, cause they’re running at max output.

Basically, more people want milkshakes and it’s harder to suck that milkshake out of the cup (h/t There Will Be Blood).

2. The new resources we’re getting from natural gas, ethanol, tar sands, etc have lower energy content than the sweet sweet crude oil we’re used to. One barrel of ethanol has the energy content of only 0.61 barrels of crude oil

As the easy oil has been sucked out of the ground, we’ve found it more economically viable to squeeze liquid fuels from other sources like biofuels and the tar sands of Canada.

Wired ran a great piece within the past few years comparing the prices necessary to generate an economic return on these unconventional sources. It basically said, “when oil reaches $x per barrel, it makes economic sense to squeeze tasty oil out of canada’s rocks or squirrel farts or whatever.”

What these economic return arguments miss is the energy return on energy invested (EROI). At some point, you’re spending a barrel of energy to get a barrel of energy, and you’re looking kinda stupid. No milkshake for you.

When you hear folks get all excited about tar sands and polar this and that, just remember how much energy it takes to get oil out of a deeper well or squeeze oil out of a rock (about the same amount of energy it takes to get an informed idea into a cable news broadcast).

3. Even if oil producing nations aren’t yet producing less, they are exporting less.

As oil producing countries develop and pursue that American dream of leaving no car left behind, they use up more of their own oil. When everybody starts moving to the city and industrializing, mad oil is needed for building, road construction, plastic bottles and other benefits of modern living.

Governments in these countries often heavily subsidize the price of oil to keep their people happy. We’ve done an indirect version of this in America by having the government pay for roads, licensing systems and other necessary infrastructure for the car. However, countries like Russia actually subsidize the price directly at the pump, driving domestic demand even higher.

Less oil in the export market drives up the price for those of us dependent on importing oil’s tasty goodness. We really really want that milkshake and are willing to do lots to get it. I’m not saying we’d generate trumped up reasons to invade a nation with big oil reserves. I’m just saying milkshakes and freedom are very very important and sometimes worth fighting for.

The rest of The Oil Drum’s article explains why other explanations you’ve heard for oil’s high price — speculators, political instability, currency — are not nearly as powerful a force as the basic supply and demand invisible hand currently backhanding us toward ever higher prices.

It closes:

We are now in the early stages of a full blown energy crisis that was predictable if not wholly avoidable. Politicians are awaking to the crisis now that escalating energy costs make its existence plain to see. It is highly unlikely that politicians will now grasp the gravity of the situation that the OECD and rest of the world faces and the responses will likely be ineffectual and too little too late.

The principal reason for current high oil price is the proximity of a peak in global oil production. Politicians must understand this and then grasp that natural gas and coal supplies will follow oil down by mid century. Reducing taxes on energy consumption right now is the wrong thing to do. Taxation structure needs to be adjusted to oblige energy producing companies to re-invest wind fall profits in alternative energy sources on a truly massive scale.

Energy efficiency should be the guiding beacon of all policy decisions and this must apply equally to energy production and energy consumption.

I will keep blogging about energy, the problems we face and the opportunities before us. I’m working on a site to aggregate some of my favorite sources. In the meantime, check out this primer on peak oil, and become a regular visitor over at The Oil Drum.

We’re going to see increasingly hysterical coverage of energy over the next year, and I want to make sure folks have a source for informed coverage and analysis.

Hat tip: Reader here at JJP

From the

Pertinent portion:

She called on another supporter, whose voice quivered and broke with barely contained emotion as she explained how important it is to her, personally, that our country change course. She explained that she had just returned from Oregon where she campaigned for Obama and attended the 75,000-person rally by the river. She had noticed, she said, that the Secret Service had increased security dramatically for Barack Obama’s rallies since the Phoenix rally in January.

The room collectively gasped and murmured, some aghast that these fears were being spoken aloud directly to Barack Obama’s wife. Some nodded, concern and fear on their faces. Others shifted on their feet, displaying a range of emotions — concern, discomfort with the topic, indignation.

The woman continued: “What can you tell us…” and then her voice caught and broke as a sob rose up from her chest. She paused for a moment. “I’m afraid of what might happen. What can you tell us, after last week’s comments–” another sob– “after last week’s comments, to make us feel more at ease?” She cried unabashedly after finally getting out her words.

The room that had been electrified with positive energy throughout the evening suddenly became still and quiet, all eyes focused on Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama’s eyes, though, were focused on that concerned supporter. She paused, allowing the clearly distraught supporter to pull herself together. Maybe it was 30 seconds before Obama spoke, stretched out into imaginary minutes. Finally, she said firmly, “I’m ok. Really. I am ok. And if I’m ok, you should be ok.

“You know, we talked about this as a family.”

She held the microphone with one hand, the other curved inward over her heart as she talked. Her tenor and body language was clear. Michelle Obama was talking as a mother. She was introspective and intimate, looking the questioner in the eyes as if they are the only two in the room.

“We talked about this as a family.”

The room remained still and quiet. Imagine having that talk with your children. Then, she paused, gathering herself, pulling herself up, seeming to grow even taller, Michelle, the campaigning wife returns. She says,

“I’ve talked about this before. Barack is probably safer now than he was before. Kids are dying in the street in our community. They get shot walking to class, sitting in school, taking the bus home. They are dying in the street…. Send us good vibes. Pray for us. Think positive thoughts. But most of all, be vigilant. Be vigilant about stopping this kind of talk.
It’s not funny. You don’t have to like Barack to dislike that kind of talk. Be vigilant about stopping that kind of talk.”

Then she reminded the crowd what we are fighting for, and why it is important to forge ahead without fear. “Fear is the reason this country is where it is today. Fear is a useless emotion. Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t. Don’t ever make decisions based on fear.”

The talk about questioning the patriotism of Barack and Michelle Obama is patently absurd. Practically, from the moment he announced, his life and the lives of his family have been threatened. Nobody who doesn’t love this country is going to subject the ones they love most to this possible horror. Lack of patriotism? Patriotism is the only theme large enough to explain it to small children. To explain why Daddy is away so much. To explain why all these strange people are around. To explain why Mama is gone sometimes too. Patriotism and love of country is the only way to get a small child to envision something larger than themselves, and to ask them to understand that they must be less selfish – for love of country.

Flag pin?


Stepping out into the unknown everyday, knowing that all it takes is just one nut. One crazy person.


That is what Barack and Michelle Obama have.

I struggled with writing this piece, because I thought for awhile that I should just let it go. That I shouldn’t spread this filth, but then I realized that not confronting it was a problem.

When I first saw this over at, my mouth went open. Not that I didn’t expect it, I did. I’ve said from the beginning that the entire Obama candidacy would be a Racial Rorschach Test for the country, and that a whole lot that had been bubbling beneath the surface would surface in this campaign.

The problem with this horrific picture is that it was published on DailyKos without someone going, ‘ um, I wonder if I should post this?’

See, this is what I feel is a residual effect of the active racebaiting brought on by Camp Hillpatine.

It’s not that I didn’t expect this kind of horror.

It’s just that I believed it would be coming from the GOP.

There is NO WAY that any logical person would have posted this picture of Michelle Obama.

I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for the White Feminist Establishment to defend Michelle Obama. The better assumption, until proven otherwise, is that Michelle’s on her own, and those of us out here, of all colors, who admire and respect Michelle – well, we’re going to have to do our best to defend her, which is why I’m speaking out.

The image is wrong because it is diminishing, disrespecting, dehumanizing.

Tied to a tree? With the KLAN around her? In a RED DRESS? With a BRANDING IRON honing in on her back?

Just ONE of these images would be enough.

All 4 is sensory overload.
1. Tied to a tree
Do I need to go over what Black folk and trees means? The history of this country is littered with the violence against Black Men and Women who were treated as sport as they were hung from trees. Didn’t Jena teach you anything that it’s just not acceptable?

2. The KLAN
I don’t even believe I need to explain why the image of the Klan is upsetting.

3. In the RED DRESS

Red is the color for harlots. Red is the color of a loose woman. Once again diving back into that stereotype that the only use a Black woman has is ON HER BACK as some receptacle for when the White Slavemaster strolled down to the slave quarters. The vulnerability that the Black woman not only had no virtue that a White man was to respect, but that she didn’t have ANY VIRTUE PERIOD.


We brand ANIMALS in this country. In this image, any thoughts that Michelle was HUMAN is gone. She’s no better than the cow grazing in the field, who is also branded.

But, Michelle Obama IS a human being. She is a woman. A loving wife. A devoted mother. A successful professional. Intelligent. Smart. She is all this, and more. And, it seems as if she’s going to be under attack from now until the election, so those of us who support her, have to continue to be vigilant. I do believe we wouldn’t be as weary; that we would have been more rested for the General Election, IF we hadn’t of had to fight the RACEBAITING IN A DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY.

I’ve said it before,and I’ll say it again…

It’s not that I expected Obama to go through this campaign without having to deal with racebaiting on some level.

It’s just that I didn’t expect it to COME FROM ANOTHER DEMOCRAT.

The GOP never pretended to be Black folks’ friends.

So, we were just supposed to roll over and let Camp Hillpatine racebait Obama from one end of the country to another without speaking up?


But, for those of you who were SILENT as Obama was being racebaited during this time…

Just continue to keep your mouths SHUT when the GOP does it, because you no longer have any moral credibility. Your SILENCE spoke volumes and now has rendered you SUSPECT.

I thought about, on the off chance, that Malia and Sasha saw that image of their mother- my chest tightened. I thought about my 8 week-old great-niece; as a Black woman, will she STILL have to be subject to such foul and racist imagery when she matures? Imagery designed to strip her of her dignity and self-respect. I say no. We will have to confront these foul images when they come up. We cannot let them pass. We must label them UNACCEPTABLE on all levels. We must expose them for the ugliness that they are, and continue to have the Obamas’ backs.

UPDATE: In the comments, some have pointed out to me some of the other work of the poster. I’m coming down on the image. Do you realize that IF I had actually seen that on DailyKos, I wouldn’t have been able to read the diary, because I just would have been stopped in my tracks? It might have been the best diary in the world, but that image would have stopped me from reading it.

And, I believe the poster would have been better off just posting the picture – as is.

Without a diary.

That would have been more powerful.

I don’t think he understood the true extent of his imagery.

The image alone was a diary.

But, I can’t get past the belief that the racebaiting during this campaign has lowered the bar. The same way I believe the Hillpatine South Dakota comments on Friday relate to the ‘Obama Assassination’ talk later on Fox. All part of the same cesspool.

Light, Bright and Damned Near White is a documentary investigating colorism which is discrimination based on skin color within an ethnic group. In my many-shaded family, we always called it color-struck. Let’s put it this way. My great-grandmother who was described as black as an iron skillet chided her pregnant cafe-au-lait-skinned granddaughter (my mother) when she caught her drinking chocolate milk since it might make the baby (me) dark. Wow. She meant well. Darker skinned people often feel that they receive harsher discrimination. Though I’m light, I feel I’ve certainly gotten my share and always rolled my eyes at this notion that I had it any easier. Still, according to Light, Bright and Damned Near White, lighter skinned immigrants tend to have incomes 8-15% higher than dark skinned immigrants with similar characteristics.

This video goes into the tension within the black community but also takes a look at colorism within other ethnicities (Indian subcontinent, Latino, etc). My own theory is that colorism is both a reflection of larger social racial tension turned in on itself in addition to deep discomfort with the reality of multi-racial identities within groups. It’s also dumb. Bigotry comes in more than one color, y’all.

Set your Tivo to see Light, Bright Damn Near White documentary clips and an interview with one of the directors, CC Stinson currently airing on TVOne Access . The topic of this month’s episode is “Black is (Still) Beautiful” in hollywood. A whole segment was devoted to the issue of Colorism and several clips from the film were used to help explain this phenomenon. And take a look at the blog at

h/t to

Just read this interesting insight into those wacky black Republicans’ minds these days. What are they thinkin’ bout Obama vs. McCain? Well, apparently, they are feeling dissed and marginalized by the McCain Campaign and searching for a home. To which I say, hey, feel free to cross right back over to Obama.

Here’s the dope from Yvonne R. Davis who is a former national co-chair for African Americans for Bush and a former appointee in the Bush Administration (I know, I know — that poor woman. God only what she’s seen). An excerpt from her piece:

African American Republicans are worried about their place in the Republican Party. There is fear and great trepidation on how inclusive the party of Lincoln will be when President George W. Bush leaves office next January.

I have received a number of anonymous emails from Black Elephant office holders from around the country and I have been a part of some clandestine meetings and conference calls with a number of prominent African American Republicans from Texas to Washington, DC who repeatedly ask: What is going to happen to us? There is no confidence Senator John McCain will do anything to embrace this group. Afraid to come out of the closet for Obama, most are silently breaking for him.

Although President Bush’s national approval rating is under 30 percent, when it comes to African American Republicans, his approval ratings soar through the roof. He is perceived as the only Republican president since Richard Nixon to actively reach out and include African Americans. Bush’s historical appointments of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to the Secretary of State spot as well as other key appointments throughout his Administration helped garner this support. President Bush did more than pepper blacks throughout his Administration. Many of us felt he was personally committed.

Senator McCain said he would like to reach out to African Americans. However, his campaign has done no more than hold some private meetings with a few black Republicans who are trying to figure out how they can play with McCain. Minus a couple of black folks seen with him on the campaign trail, you still don’t see many in the room with McCain when he is meeting and greeting or standing in crowds.

What you see with McCain are packs of what Ron Heifetz in the Harvard Executive Leadership School calls older “silverback” white males. When President Bush was on the stump in 2000 and 2004, and later in the White House, African American Republicans often heard that President Bush strongly admonished his staff for inviting the same old white guys to everything.

The McCain campaign recently launched a web site in all Spanish to woo the Latino vote Bush courted and enjoyed. McCain has a formidable advisory board of Latino leaders from across the country. He should. Latinos do vote Republican and yes they are the fastest growing minority group. However, the McCain web site does not showcase African Americans for McCain. Maybe he will wait until after the RNC Convention in September.

When Karl Rove ran the Bush operation, he was smart enough to know it made good political sense to reach out to African Americans even though the black vote meant very little to his candidate’s victory. He expended dollars on black press, hired black consultants, partnered with organizations and black churches to promote education and faith-based agendas and empowered a significant number of black Republicans, peppering them throughout the campaign from grass roots to finance. When President Bush traveled from state to state, there were always African Americans involved. You never saw so many black dots as at the 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions.

We know that gas prices got you broke as hell. So thought you might be interested to know that Democracy for America and Netroots Nation which is going down in Austin Texas July 17-20 are looking to help a few good folks get to the Netroots Nation conference. They are especially interested in making sure it’s a diverse crowd. If you’re a blogger or avid blog reader, you won’t find a better place to meet like-minded people and big stars of the blogosphere in addition to folks from NGOs, politics and journalism.

More info below:

I’m excited to announce that DFA and Netroots Nation are teaming up
for a Scholarship Competition to choose at least nine activists to
join us. We’ll cover the cost of admission and lodging — all you have
to do is apply and win.

Click here to apply for your scholarship right now.

The competition is a fun way to show off who you are and what you’ve
done to move America forward. It’s also a great way to help make sure
you have the resources to attend. And over the next two weeks,
progressives nationwide will have a chance to voice their support for
you and help you earn your scholarship.

This is one event that you don’t want to miss. The third annual
gathering of the netroots community will include panels and caucuses
led by national and international experts; prominent political, issue
and policy-oriented speakers; a progressive film screening series and
the most concentrated gathering of high-profile progressive bloggers
to date.

She voted for the war.

That’s all.

And now for more positive programming:

Drop those links. Share that knowledge. Have those debates JJP readers. I have to say, some of those debates have been getting pretty intense..LOL

And always, have a peaceful day.

PS-Jack gave us the selection and title for today. I just moved it so that it would be under Thursday and not Wednesday. No, you aren’t seeing things Jack…LOL


I actually got the idea from my colleague’s post.

While I’m not advocating removal of some of these CBC members because they support Hillary Clinton, I am advocating their removal when they consistently insist that they are representing their constituents’ best interests by selling them out for pennies on the dollar.

In case you don’t know, I am part of a team that does extensive research and monitoring of the CBC’s voting activity on legislation that either benefits the communities they serve, or screws them over. It’s called the CBC Monitor Report Card. Now that I blog here at JJP, readers will get these Report Cards hot off the press.

I received an email last night asking what we can do to facilitate primary challenges and support those candidates with progressive agendas. The CBC Monitor Report Card is one avenue of doing that. When constituents can actually see how their representative is voting more GOP than the actual GOP (especially if they ran on a progressive platform), that is a more informed voter who will make a more informed choice when he/she casts that ballot.

If house cleaning of the Congressional Black Caucus is going to be done in order to get more responsive, progressive African-American representation, it has to be done in a manner that does not allow for the CBC to point fingers and accuse people of simply “just hating on them”. While many CBC members don’t personally like me (in fact, the male members, save for Reps. John Conyers, Keith Ellison, Bobby Scott and former Rep. Major Owens, flat out hate me because I am not a willing piece of a–) whenever I call about the Report Card, my phone calls either get taken on the spot, or I get a return call or email within the hour.

I don’t say that to brag – I say that to let you know that the CBC takes the work of CBCMonitor and Black Agenda Report VERY SERIOUSLY.

Donna Edwards is going to be the next Congresswoman from Maryland in November. She replaces former Rep. Al Wynn, and for good reason. She used the information in the CBCMonitor Report Cards to eviscerate Wynn in the 2006 election debates (when she garnered 48% of the vote after entering the race six months before the election).

Wynn’s response after a piss-poor showing back in 2006 was to have one of his campaign workers start a brawl with one of Donna’s supporters, a 70-year old brotha.

I’m told old bruh broke out his can of whip ass on the Wynn Supporter.

This year, Donna Edwards succeeds in taking Wynn out of Congress. Her victory sent shock waves through the CBC. And you know what was their response?

They got upset and whined because the SEIU threw a truckload of money behind Donna. Of course, she was armed with another CBCMonitor Report Card.

As far back as 2006, when the Report Card started getting a little steam, three other CBC members received primary challengers; Edolphus Towns (NY), David Scott (GA), and William Jefferson (LA).

Don’t take my word for it. I’ve provided a link so you can see for yourself.

I’m also providing a link to the recent report card, published February 2008 as well.

As my mother always said, “The proof is in the pudding.” Well, I’ve provided the proof – now if you’re serious about cleaning house, it’s time to strategize, organize, implement and execute a plan that at the very least, sends a message to the CBC that we’re through playing with them and they can either crap or get off the pot when it comes to our communities, our issues and our representation on the Hill.

Hey yall,

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet. Lots going on in the background, and a brotha needs to keep his job :)

In addition to transferring from to (update those bookmarks!), we’re preparing to move from the Blogger service altogether over to WordPress.

We’ve got a lot of exciting upgrades in mind and will be asking for your input as we move along.

Right now, we’re searching for designers with expertise in WordPress. We’re moving to a three-column layout and want to build pages beyond the front page editorial stuff. If you are interested or know someone who is, please step up.

  • We need contact info and a sample of work.
  • We have a modest budget and are hoping for someone who’s down with the cause, nahmean?
  • You can post info in the comments to this entry or hit me up:

Even if you don’t have design expertise or know anyone, use the comments to let us know how you’d like to see the look and feel of the site improved. Point us to sites you like (or those you don’t) so we can do the best possible job here.

A Black CNN?

28 May 2008

From the NYPost:


Former Rep. J.C. Watts is not giving up details like financing or the names of anchors.
May 27, 2008 — FORMER congressman J.C. Watts is behind a major push to launch an all-news channel for black people.

The network, tentatively called Black Television News Channel and slated to launch in early 2009, already has an agreement with Comcast cable to be carried in several cities with large black populations including Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Baltimore.

As yet, there is no deal to carry the channel in New York.

“I’m not so sure that you see anything on CNN or Fox News that specifically targets the African American community,” Watts told The Post.

According to recent U.S. census figures, nearly 81 percent of Detroit’s population is black, while Baltimore is 64 percent, Atlanta is 61 percent, D.C. is 57 percent, Philly is 46 percent and Chicago is 37 percent. That means each city is a major potential market for the new channel and advertisers.

At least one news report on the new channel called Watts the “black Ted Turner,” after the founder of CNN.

There has been a gap in black-targeted news on TV since Black Entertainment Television cancelled its “BET Nightly News” in 2005.

Watts says his goal is to push the news coverage beyond the usual crime stories.

“Our community features millions of people with all kinds of backgrounds. There’s a much broader segment of the population than what we see in mainstream news,” he says.

Watts is, so far, not giving any details about who is backing the channel, how much the initial financing will be or who will run it.

“Certainly [this channel] could cover issues from a different perspective,” says Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and one of the authors of its respected annual report, State of the Media.

There has been no shortage of major news stories directly related to the black community, he says, including the public falling out between Presidential hopeful Barack Obama and his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the recent civil rights flash point, the Jena Six case.

“The question is, could it work on a regular basis?” asks Jurkowitz.

Tom Dolan, a news industry staffing expert, believes it will take Watts at least six months to staff a new channel, under the best circumstances.

“And that doesn’t include anchors and reporters who you may target,” he says. “Many times, they are still under contract with someone else.”

Cable news is a big money proposition. The rule of thumb is that each hour of original programming costs about $7 million annually, once everything else is in place.

Industry sources believe starting a cable news network would cost at least $100 million.

Watts said only that he and “two cable industry vets” whom he declined to identify are bankrolling most of the start up. A list of private equity partners will be “released at a later time,” he says.

Watts, the lone African American Republican in Congress until 2003 when he quit to start his own business, is a frequent commentator on both Fox News Channel and CNN. He is also on the board of radio giant Clear Channel.

Now, on the SURFACE…who could be against this?

Ah, but the devil’s in the details.

Now, if it’s truly a place where a divergent set of opinions will be able to be heard, from left to right, I could get on board with that.

BUT, if it’s just going to be him, and the likes of Steele, Blackwell, You know the Dark Sith will weasel his way onto it, Star Parker, Shelby Steele, etc.

I’m gonna have to say a big NOPE to that.

There is an entire list of Black folk that I would love to get political analysis from – on the left and the right. The truly thinking right, the part that actually IS on the ground, dealing with ‘The Community’ is NEVER EVER seen on television, and I find that part of right wing sham. I know all of us could come up with a list of intelligent, respected educators, political professionals, PhD’s, and journalists that we’d like to see on this channel. I’m just having a hard time believing I’ll ever see a tenth of this list on this channel, because these folks are known for ‘ telling hard truths’, if you know what I mean. It’s why I get pissed when I see frauds like Mr. Horn-Rimmed Glasses and the likes of Stephen A. Smith on MSNBC, and DON’T see folks like, well,

Roger Wilkins
Patricia Williams
Ron Daniels
Ron Walters
DeWayne Wickham
George Curry
Bev Smith
Leonard Pitts
Robert Woodson
Charles Butler
Melissa Harris -Lacewell
Boyce Watkins
Colbert King
International reports from Charlayne Hunter-Gault and any other Black journalists living abroad.

Well, you get the gist of what I’m talking about. Heck, I’d want some of our true firebrands, like the Brothers and Sisters from BlackCommentator and BlackAgendaReport to be on there too.

But, there are things that make me raise the eyebrow: no telling of the backers, and Watts is on the board of Clear Channel. These are RED FLAGS. But, we’ll keep a skeptical eye on his progress.

Good morning.

Hope everyone is having a good day.

Well,you know the drill. Drop that knowledge, share those links, get into those testy debates, but not ‘too’ testy….LOL

And always, have a peaceful day.

There’s been a lot of blogging about this led by Pam’s House Blend, African American Political Pundit and Francis Holland. I agree that the DNCC must do a better job of outreach to ensure that newer and influential minority bloggers (of all ethnicities, not just black) who may not be familiar with the DNC credentialing process have the ability to be included at the convention. Given Clinton’s “kitchen sink” race-baiting strategy, some racial healing is going to be needed before, during and after the convention. The Democratic party is dependent on a strong African-American turnout to win in this election in certain battleground states that might turn blue if we show up in numbers never seen before. And for sure, Latino bloggers should be a high priority for the DNCC, right?

The Democratic party can’t afford for this to be a issue at the convention where the focus should be on changing the direction of America’s policies to benefit all Americans. It threatens to turn off white voters too and add unhelpful controversy.

There are a couple of stories today in the Washington Post and USA Today. Check them out.

There are solutions here. One might be to appoint a taskforce among minority bloggers who can develop criteria and select folks to credential for the convention. And of course apparently DNC credentials are for sale. Maybe if black bloggers fundraise, we might be able to buy a few tickets and sneak on in the back door. Or maybe Sister Oprah will send a few of us. Ha!

When the issue of not enough bloggers of color being invited to blog at the DNC Convention in Denver, I saw a blog post over at Daily Kos and decided to put in my two cents in asking about that.

Once I got past flaming (because whenever you bring up a subject relating to race or ethnicity and even begin to suggest there may be an element of racism, you get flamed),one of the responses suggested that if bloggers of color aren’t credentialed at the state level, you don’t get an invite to the dance on the National level. MissLaura seemed to take issue with me for even asking the question and suggesting that we bloggers of color are overreacting because not all of the credentials have been announced yet.

Call me paranoid, but once again, I’m sensing the raising of the bar for us, just like it was done for voting rights. Why is it that you want to invite people of color or ethnicity to the dance for your issues, but we’re not allowed to discuss our issues? Why is it, that when we accomplish one hurdle, two more are put up? Has anyone bothered to explain to bloggers of ethnicity or color, how do you get a state blogging credential?

I swear, this reminds me of when Black people tried to vote before the civil rights movement; you only qualified if you could prove your grandfather voted. And you knew damned well you weren’t going to qualify with a credential that you couldn’t possibly earn.

This state blogging credential in order to go to blog at the DNC convention feels the same way.

Can anyone tell me how does a blog go about getting one of these state credentials? Cause I believe in overcoming hurdles and removing any and all reasons for disqualifications…

Good Morning, everyone.

Well, the long weekend is over…booooo.

So, as you get back up to speed, drop those links. Share that knowledge. Have those debates with your fellow JJP readers.

And, always, have a peaceful day.

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

Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats


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