Cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK

Reaction to Obama in New Hampshire and Abroad

I would love to be in New Hampshire, on the ground, to get a feel for the environment, and trust me, if I still lived in Boston, I’d do it. Instead, I’m trying my best to tap various networks for some testimony from up North.  This isn’t in any way scientific, but the vibe looks very good for Obama. Consider the following

The reaction of these two New Hampshire women after seeing Obama speak:

I have a tolerate-hate relationship with Facebook, but when I posted a request for New Hampshire stories, I got this from a black man volunteering for the campaign:

There were old white ladies stumping all over town. Some very wealthy, comfortable people who traveled from across the country to volunteer and campaign for this man. His grassroots organizing in rural and urban areas in incredible! I spoke to Republicans yesterday who would stay on the phone asking questions about him, expressing support or simply are intrigued by him. He has an event at Exeter High school today to draw undecided (it is overbooked at the moment with concerns from that Fire Chief on fire evacuation plans!!!)

anyways, I can go on and on here. U need to see to it for yourself and it is amazing to watch this as a BLACK man! Because our own internal racism kicks in and we still say
but will he win in a general election?? It is similar to the racist critique of the Clintons that he is not prepared. But it is there for black people we are not willing to believe that a black man CAN make it! And the we are only willing to legitimize him because white people want him, so now we are willing to vote for him. There is something going on with Obama which goes beyond politics it is touching our core conscious/unconscious issues as americans, and that is why he will win in November.

Another volunteer in NH responding to me via Facebook:

We are making it happen. People are feeling it. I stood on the porch
yesterday with a man who told me he feels a positivity about this election that he can’t remember seeing before. Record turnout tomorrow.
History.

Then there’s this perspective from the New York Times in its piece, Obama outshining Bill Clinton:

DURHAM, N.H. — Is this what it would have been like had Elvis been reduced to playing Reno?

Former President Bill Clinton
has been drawing sleepy and sometimes smallish crowds at big venues in the state that revived his presidential campaign in 1992. He entered to polite applause and rows of empty seats at the University of New Hampshire
on Friday. Several people filed out midspeech, and the room was largely quiet as he spoke, with few interruptions for laughter or applause. He talked about his administration, his foundation work and some about his wife.

We’ve written at JJP and readers have been more forceful in their comments, talking about the awkward, possibly jealous feeling older black leaders feel in response to Obama’s rise, but I never thought I’d see the day when Bill Clinton failed to light up a room. Obviously, I don’t know the Clintons’ innermost feelings and motivations, but I can imagine that Bill saw Hillary’s campaign having only the upside benefit of extending his legacy and brand. I wonder if he ever imagined the downside risk of accelerating its end?

I’m not saying Bill Clinton would not be relevant under an Obama presidency, I’m just saying it’s hilarious to me, the idea that Obama has sucked so much air out of the environment, that there are empty chairs left at a Bill Clinton speech. Damn. Oh, and according to Jose Vargas at the Washington Post, it happened at Dartmouth too with kids walking out after 30 minutes.

Another observation on Republicans open to the idea of a President Obama. Check this comment from a reader of the NY Sun, a conservative paper:

Thank you for your editorial today (Jan 7) on Obama. As a Reagan Republican, I have marveled at and admired Obama’s rise to prominence in the early Democrat primaries. Although his policy views no doubt differ significantly from Reagan’s, I could actually see myself voting for the man in November, a thought that would make my skin crawl were Clinton or Edwards the nominee. Other close acquaintances, all conservatives, have suggested the same inclination.

Finally, well beyond New Hampshire, here are some anecdotes about the world’s reaction to Obama’s Iowa victory:

From a friend abroad who recently emailed everyone he knew asking them to donate to Obama:

I have never directly asked my friends for money (well not for politics anyway). But over the last week, as evidenced by the countless Egyptians who shook my hand while pointing to my Obama ’08 button and the result in Iowa, I saw that people everywhere are starting to sense that Senator Obama is going to help our country turn a corner and start projecting a new image in the world.

From a paper in South Africa: Hope returns: Obama’s victory and global politics

Damn, I love Americans. Just when you’ve written them off as hopeless, as a nation in decline, they turn around and do something extraordinary, which tells you why the United States of America is
still the greatest nation on earth.

and finally, Iranian bloggers discuss Obama’s Iowa victory.

That’s all for now. We’ll see what happens by the end of the day.

You know the drill:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. blacks continue to get inferior cancer treatment compared to whites, researchers said on Monday in a study showing that disparities first documented in the early 1990s persist despite efforts to erase them.

The researchers assessed the type of treatment given to more than 143,000 Americans over age 65 for lung, breast, colon, rectal and prostate cancer from 1992 to 2002 under the Medicare government health insurance program.

Black patients were consistently less likely than whites to receive the recommended types of treatment, the study found, and the problem was just as bad in 2002 as in 1992.

The article goes on to note that the problems may be more due to social inequalities than the individual racism of providers. Well, yeah. But since most people think those social inequalities don’t exist or are our fault to begin with, that’s not so comforting.

In the case of breast cancer, black women often contract a different, drug resistant version that hasn’t been the focus of medical research precisely because it affects us, so it’s less of an urgent priority.

I’m fascinated when white people say what they mean.

Clinton rejoined the running argument over hope and “false hope” in an interview in Dover this afternoon, reminding Fox’s Major Garrett that while Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on behalf of civil rights, President Lyndon Johnson was the one who got the legislation passed.

Hillary was asked about Obama’s rejoinder that there’s something vaguely un-American about dismissing hopes as false, and that it doesn’t jibe with the careers of figures like like John F. Kennedy and King.

“Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act,” Clinton said. “It took a president to get it done.”

That’s right. It wasn’t the courage of King and local Montgomery residents standing up to legalized white supremacy in their hometown that began to change America, it was the white man. It wasn’t Rosa Parks who had enough and refused to sit in the back of the bus that got things started, it was the white man. It wasn’t John Lewis and others facing down billy clubs and tear gas in Selma, it was the white man. It wasn’t Fannie Lou Hamer telling the racist Democrats at the 1964 convention that black people were sick and tired of being sick and tired, it was the white man. Why credit the people who gave their lives for the struggle when all credit is due to the great white father, in his ultimate, eternal benevolence, for finally deciding to recognize black people as human beings? I wonder where he got that idea?

Johnson didn’t change America. Johnson reacted to the changes in America. For that he deserves some credit, but never mistake the man in the suit for the soldiers on the street. The difference is obvious: Johnson isn’t the one whose life was ended by a sniper’s bullet.

This is the kind of revisionist history I expect from the most extreme white supremacist kooks.

You can kiss that black vote goodbye. Between this and Bill claiming Hillary is tougher than Nelson Mandela, you have pretty much solidified the image that whatever happened in the 90s, you are now some out of touch rich white folks.

As a side note, one of the worst campaign strategies I’ve ever heard of in my life is associating your opponent with Martin Luther King Jr. Clearly, Hillary wants to lose.

I’m not sure how I missed this enormous WaPo special.

Has anyone been following it?
Has anyone purchased the book released this past summer?
Would love to know your thoughts if you have.

I discovered it today when I saw this article by fellow comic Jordan Carlos (you may recall him as Colber’s “black friend”) on being a black comedian and actor.

Latest Rasmussen Poll:

Election 2008: Obama vs. Giuliani and Romney
Obama Opens Lead Over Giuliani and Romney
Friday, January 04, 2008

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that Senator Barack Obama has opened a ten-percentage point victory over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 47% to 37% (crosstabs available for Premium Members). A month ago, they were tied at 43%.

The survey also found Obama with a six-point lead over Mitt Romney, 45% to 39%. That’s a slight improvement for Obama who led Romney by four points a month ago.

The numbers for the Obama-Giuliani match-up mark a significant change in the race. Prior to this latest poll, the candidates had been within two points of each other for four straight polls.

The survey was conducted January 2 and 3. All interviews were completed before the results of the Iowa caucuses were known.

Rest of article is HERE.

More polling of Obama vs. REAL GOP candidates….Once again, I’m trying to smack away the ‘ electability’ question.

cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK

So here’s the setup for this post.

We’ve got:

  • The CNN segment thanks to some incredible technology from RedLasso which lets you search aired TV and radio, clip it and embed it.
  • My own post-show video response. There was a lot that could not be said on the show. Rev. Jackson and Rick Sanchez are some talkative brothas!
  • The show transcript
  • Parting thoughts

The Segment (9 minutes)
Note: the quality is pretty good considering I got the video due to magic. Check out RedLasso and see the crazy stuff they let you do with video.

My Video Response (9 minutes)

Parting Thoughts
I’m so glad I forced in my last comment. Rev. Jackson wanted to end on a note saying Obama lacks substance. That’s just not true. You have questions about the man’s substance? Ask here in the comments and someone will educate you.

Most disturbing was the story immediately following this segment: Britney Spears. I actually called Sanchez on it off air and was like, “Yo, don’t do it. You can stop it Rick. You can save America! How can you follow this segment on Obama and go to Britney Spears!?” What a sad way to end.

Overall, the experience was a good one. TV is a surreal, fast-paced environment not conducive to the exchange of real ideas, at least not on a show like that, but I’m happy with the points I was able to communicate: the sense of ownership and pride many black folks felt, Obama’s criminal justice work, Bush stealing the election in 2000 and Obama having already demonstrated both hope and substance with one major result being increased participation in the democratic process. I tried to point out the substance without directly arguing with the good Rev. about the so-called lack of substance.

I wanna thank the Jack & Jill Politics fam especially for the moving comments over the past few days. It’s been amazing. Let’s keep on pushing. (UPDATE): I also would add that I don’t expect great deliberation out of an environment like CNN. It’s good for some things, but I’m really glad we have this blog. Really.

The Show Transcript (click here for the full show including the segment before me, Michael and Jackson showed up).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: That’s Harlem today.

Welcome back. I’m Rick Sanchez. You know when I first got my first inkling something like this might be coming? About a month ago I was in Miami covering what I thought was a very important story at the time. And I ran across an old-timer at a park. He and I went and shot some baskets. And we were talking about the state of black America.

And this guy is about 70 years old. And he told me that he’s never voted before because he doesn’t trust the system.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STANFORD PATTON, NEVER VOTED: I have never voted in my life. I ain’t seen a God-damned thing to vote for. I’m going to vote for this time, the first time, for Obama, you know, because the one thing he said, he’s going to try to get some justice for black men.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Isn’t that interesting? It just came out of the blue, by the way.

What I get a sense of today and I think a lot of folks who have been watching this get that same feeling, is, from talking to a lot of African-American voters and reading the blogs, is that Obama’s win in Iowa has triggered something that has people waking up today with a certain spring in their step, if you will indulge me.

Joining us now is Baratunde Thurston. He’s a comedian and a writer for the blog Jacques and — Jack and Jill — not Jacques and Jill — that would be the French version of it. And then Michael Washington, he’s president for the group Harlem for Obama.

Hey, guys, thanks so much for being with us.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: I guess congratulations are in order. You both backers?

BARATUNDE THURSTON, COMEDIAN AND BLOGGER: Definitely.

MICHAEL WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT, HARLEM FOR OBAMA: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Yes?

THURSTON: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Is this akin to a color barrier being broken in this country? Is this akin to Joe Louis winning a fight, like my dad used to tell me when I was a kid, or even Ali, or Jackie Robinson breaking into baseball? Is it like that yet?

THURSTON: I think it’s a lot like that.

I was telling Michael backstage when he won, when the results came in and they called it, I stood on a chair. I threw my arms in the air.

SANCHEZ: Did you really?

THURSTON: Because I felt like I won.

And in the second you just showed this old man, it actually — it hurts to see someone who feels so disenfranchised from the process, they wouldn’t trust the system at all to even cast a vote and to see that they have been changed, they have been brought into this process because of some hope they have that things might get a little better.

SANCHEZ: Michael, let me bring you into this, because I think there’s something interesting going on in terms of people who — I have been reading all these blogs today by a lot of smart African- American writers, who say, goose bumps, tears in my eyes, that kind of feeling. Can you help us understand that?

WASHINGTON: Yes, I mean, we’re on the streets of Harlem. We’re doing the outreach.

So, what we find is that a lot of people, you know, up until this, you know, this Iowa win, a lot of people didn’t really believe it could happen and especially a lot of people in the African-American community, because a lot of times people make a lot of promises and they say things are going to happen, and it doesn’t happen.

But this kind of confirmed that, you know, this is real. This is going to happen, and you can get behind this candidate, because this is the real deal.

SANCHEZ: Well, you guys are young. You’re part of the new thing that’s going on in this country. You’re both younger than I am obviously.

Think about what this must be like, though, for people who have been a part of this struggle for half a century now, people like the Reverend Jesse Jackson, a former presidential candidate himself, who many would say even opened some doors here. And, before that, he was there when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

As a matter of fact, he’s with us tonight. He’s good enough to join us.

Are you honored to see a guy like this come over here and talk to us about something like this?

You have fought the battles. How are you, sir?

WASHINGTON: Good to see you.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Good to see you, Reverend.

Did you get that feeling? You have been there. You have won primaries. You were an African-American presidential candidate who’s actually had this. How is this different from what you did?

REVEREND JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: It’s one of those great moments. He’s running a crusade, not merely a campaign.

I will only warn people, faith is the substance of things hoped for, and hope and substance has to come together. Kennedy represented the hope. We had to fight for a public accommodations bill. There is the hope that Obama represents…

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: But let me stop you just for a moment, because something seems — and you guys correct me if I’m wrong. And you can jump in here and talk to the reverend as well.

It seemed like what you did was astonishing. But, then, I don’t know if we can call it the dark ages, but there seemed to be a dip, sir. And there was a period of disillusionment. And I think what these guys are saying is, we may be coming out of that sense of disillusionment now.

JACKSON: Well, we have some need to overcome the structural gaps.

For example, there are 2.2 million Americans in jail. A million are young blacks. That’s the substance of our crisis. In every major city, seven of 10 young black males don’t finish high school. That means there must be some investment in urban education and choose schools over jails.

And, so, the substance involves budget and agenda. I think Barack represents that hope, that feeling. We must also fight for that substance. And that substance — Dr. King would say, freedom is not enough. We must pay for equality.

SANCHEZ: Are you — go ahead.

THURSTON: Just on that point — and I love that you brought up the prison thing, because that’s an issue that very few people even talk about.

One of the pieces of Obama’s plan that I was so impressed with, he wants to restore voting rights for ex-felons. With those 2.2 million prisoners….

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Do you think that Bush won the first election because of what happened in Florida? Was there a disenfranchisement there?

(CROSSTALK)

THURSTON: First of all, I don’t think Bush won that election. I think he earned a selection from some people.

SANCHEZ: Do you agree with him, Reverend?

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: Well, he had the fewest number of votes. He won by a Supreme Court appointment.

THURSTON: Right.

JACKSON: Gore got the most votes.

And really coming now by ’88 campaign, Clinton — Bush and Gore got more white votes than Clinton, didn’t get more rainbow votes. And he won.

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: But, in 2000 and 2004, Bush, by nullification, took away votes and won.

SANCHEZ: But is that — maybe what I’m trying to get at here — Michael, maybe you can help us with this. Is that feeling so entrenched, that that’s what people are feeling, a release of pressure now with this Obama win? Is that it?

WASHINGTON: Well, I think, with the Obama win, it’s kind of — you know, it’s basically saying, yes, we can do this.

And I think we have to give a lot of credit to, you know, the run that Reverend Jackson did, because he kind of set the — he set the pace. And now I think Obama has taken that baton and run with it.

JACKSON: So, I think, as a campaign, he’s going to keep doing well, but that it remains for us the challenge of structural inequality, black babies, infant mortality rates higher, and life expectancy shorter, health care gap, education gap, income gap, access to capital gap, today, the mortgage foreclosure, subprime, exploitation gap.

These gaps require a real commitment to invest in closing these gaps. That’s — so, hope and substance has to come together.

(CROSSTALK)

WASHINGTON: I totally agree with you, I think.

But we have to do this simultaneously. I don’t think we can just look at one aspect of the campaign. And I think we need to be in the forefront. The African-American community needs to be in the forefront, so that we can address this.

JACKSON: I think, for so long, that we have assumed that whites could not rise above their own racial fears.

To see — I think, tonight, I would say Dr. King would be happy that — he would be glad that our last night and America rose above its own historic fears. We have been ready for a long time. It seemed like more and more white Americans are getting ready. We have been qualified. Dr. King was qualified.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Especially when you break down the numbers.

JACKSON: We’re not changing. America is changing…

(CROSSTALK)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: I’m being told we’re about out of time, guys. I know we can go on this forever. Are you — what role are you going to take now that this guy looks like a front-runner, Barack Obama, in his campaign? And I know it’s a delicate thing for him because he wants to see these young faces out there, right?

JACKSON: Well, I think it’s important, but his campaign must determine strategically where he wants people to fit in the campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, right.

JACKSON: And those who put them must respect the distance and proximity that he wants. And so far, he has running a campaign where he’s tried to bridge that delicate gap.

SANCHEZ: But you’re willing to support? You’re willing to help? You’re willing to endorse, wherever needed?

JACKSON: We’ve done that already. I’m telling you the real challenge remains. We must connect hope and substance.

BARATUNDE THURSTON, COMEDIAN AND BLOGGER: And I think that he’s –

SANCHEZ: Ten seconds.

THURSTON: I think he’s done that. What I took away from you yesterday was participation. He got more people in the process.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: There’s no doubt, guys.

THURSTON: He got younger people in the process.

SANCHEZ: They’re yelling at me in the control room. Sure, they’re young. They’re independents, women, young –

THURSTON: People have spoken loudly, and I think they will continue. That’s why I appreciate his campaign.

SANCHEZ: We appreciate you guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You’re doing a lot in South Carolina.

SANCHEZ: We have a lot more to say tonight. Reverend, thanks so much for being with us, sir. JACKSON: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Well, Baratunde Thurston, Michael Washington and Rev. Jesse Jackson. All of us with this one.

By the way, speaking of New Hampshire primaries, you’re going to be able to see all of it right here. Join us Tuesday night for the best political team on TV and results as they happen. That’s Tuesday, starting at 8:00 p.m., right here Eastern.

And call this guy towering candidate. Why? Well, can hanging out on top of a 320-foot-high tower get him elected to the U.S. Senate? It’s an interesting story. It’s a little different than Barack Obama’s way, but it’s his way, nonetheless.

Later, just when you thought that things couldn’t get any worse, we’ve got this afternoon’s breaking news about Britney Spears. We’ll bring it to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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According to HuffingtonPost:

Hillary’s aides point to Obama’s extremely progressive record as a community organizer, state senator and candidate for Congress, his alliances with “left-wing” intellectuals in Chicago’s Hyde Park community, and his liberal voting record on criminal defendants’ rights as subjects for examination.

Along the same lines, ABC reported that Clinton aides gave the network various examples, of Obama’s controversial stands. The aides cited Obama’s past assertion that he would support ending mandatory minimum sentences for federal crimes, pointing to a 2004 statement at an NAACP-sponsored debate: “Mandatory minimums take too much discretion away from judges.”

Criminal Defendants rights?

Ending mandatory minimums?

We KNOW whose community those positions fall disproportionately to, don’t we?

I told you. I told you that she was going to use sending Black Men to the Prison Industrial Complex to get elected.

As I wrote in my post, Hillary Clinton Comes out AGAINST Retroactivity for Drug Sentencing:

Hell yeah, how about the communities that have seen their sons, grandsons, cousins, nephews and family friends, go to JAIL for disproportionate sentences since her HUSBAND helped usher in these disproportionate sentences in the first place.

What’s that sound?

Oh yeah,

BLACK FOLK BEING THROWN UNDER THE BUS.

……………………………………….

Hillary Clinton has already told you, those of you who have someone toiling under these sentencing laws, or those who care concerned with Racial Disparity in Sentencing, that you can go f($* yourselves.

Don’t give me the 3-6-9 of well, ‘ she’s just saying this to get elected’.

Um, NO.

Not good enough here. Because, she’s willing to throw you under the bus and the PRIMARIES haven’t even happened…

It’s a pretty good indicator of where you will be IF she’s elected.

But, will those Hillary Mumblers find their voices and speak up on this? Or will they simply shuffle along, waiting for their crumbs?

The issue hasn’t changed. Hasn’t changed one iota.

I THOUGHT that this was going to be a position to be used in the GENERAL Election against the GOP. Now, she’s using it in a DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY?

Our Sista NMP will have the final word:


I just saw this on abc news, and I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to vent. Excuse my language, but any negro that continues to support Hillary Clinton after today is really fucked up in the head. The first OFFICIAL attack on Obama from the Clinton Campaign is on the issue of mandatory minimum sentencing, which has consistently been one of the critical issues of concern in the African American Community for over a decade.

It’s bad enough that she opposed retroactivity for crack cocaine sentencing, but this is a spit in the face to the African American and Civil Rights Community that have been working diligently for almost two decades to end the injustice of federal mandatory minimum sentencing that has been almost exclusively reserved for crack cocaine sentencing.

Is she saying the Supreme Court (which has now given more discretion back to federal judges), the Sentencing Commission, the NAACP, the Urban League, and countless other civil justice and legal justice organizations are wrong?

When will Black folks wake up and see these Clintons for what they really are?

WORD.


Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa yesterday is heartening and historic. Can’t say that a tear didn’t spark in even this bitter, cynical old eye of mine listening to his speech. Still, my other eye is turned to the future while reveling in the exciting present.

I’ve been wondering to myself the past few weeks, now if I was an unemployed Karl Rove twiddling my thumbs at home, what would I be doing? Well, I’d probably be taking a look at the electoral voting map of the U.S. and wondering where I can sow the seeds of another surprise GOP victory in 2008.

Now the numbers appear very much stacked against a Republican victory in 2008 and Democrats would appear to be poised to scoop up many races including president, house, senate and governor. Still it’s at least still possible yet that we may end up with another close race where votes counted on a razor’s edge can tip the balance of electoral votes and the race for president in one jackpot key state alone.

Rove and the RNC masterminded dirty tricks to make voting difficult for African-Americans and/or make sure their votes wouldn’t be counted in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004. This strategy has been successful — why wouldn’t the Republicans try it again in 2008 to game the odds a little more in their favor?

Here’s what those 2 purple states have in common — they have large African-American populations (12% or higher) that have little political power or capital in their home states and they each carried 20 or more electoral votes. Ohio has 20 votes and Florida, 27.

Let’s take a look at the jackpot states with 20 or more electoral votes at stake:

CA: 55
TX: 34
NY: 31
FL: 27
PA: 21
IL: 21
OH: 20

Texas is a reliably red state and a Bush stronghold. Yet it is also just over 12% African-American according to the 2005 Census and Obama has just proven that even in the one of the whitest of states, he can generate new voters and create crossover voters from Republican to Democrat. If I was a GOP leader, I’d start getting concerned about what a truly energized black vote in TX might look like combined with the crossover and new voter effects. Could a red state be at risk of turning blue?

The minority political power in TX is focused more on the latino community (which is multiracial). Hispanics of any race make up 35% of the population in TX. The GOP seems less likely to mess with them.

The African-Americans, as in FL and OH, are conveniently segregated in East Texas where the cotton plantations used to be along with strong numbers in Dallas and Houston. Blacks probably have a little too much political power in NY, IL and PA to rip off with impunity and they are too dispersed in the big blue state of CA. And folks are on their guard in FL and OH this go-round.

So, my current guess doing the math is that if we are going to see voting disenfranchisement, dirty tricks, weirdness and assorted hijinks, Texas might be the mark in 2008. That’s my forecast for the broken machines, folks incorrectly stricken from voter files, closed polling stations, confusing robo-calls, harassment and all the other ways in which voting was disrupted in 2000 and 2004 for African-Americans. Think it’s not possible? Then let me point you to one of America’s supposedly greatest conspiracies of all time which was the successful plot to keep the slaves in Texas from knowing that the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued during the Civil War until 1865.

A Brief History:


What is Juneteenth? Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that all slaves were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.

Here’s General Order No. 3, interesting unto itself:

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

2 and a half years. There have been a lot of attempted explanations as to why the slaves in Texas were in the dark about the Emancipation Proclamation, news of which in other Confederate-controlled areas caused economic and military impacts as 200,000 blacks, mostly freedmen, swelled the ranks of the Union forces. None of those reasons are entirely convincing alone and some historians (and many black people) have suspected a well-organized, carefully networked effort among the state’s leaders to keep the news of the emancipation as quiet as possible for as long as possible in Texas.

I realize that other ethnic groups such as Native Americans and Latinos have also been targeted and in order to save seats in the House and Senate, I wonder if the forecast won’t show an increase in micro-disruption for voting as well this year. But maybe I’m totally off-base here. I’ve only been to Texas a few times and I know not to mess with TX. If you are from TX or one of the other high count electoral vote states, holler and let me know what you think.

What Last Night Meant To Me

I am writing too, about last night, because, it’s one of those times, when I am completely proud to be an American. I try not to get too hokey, but every once in awhile, the stars align, and America lives up to its promise.

I want to thank the people of Iowa. I want to thank them for actually LISTENING to Barack Obama, and judging him by ‘ the content of his character’. I would like to thank everyone who went out to caucus – to see participation in the democratic process is a beautiful thing.

When I watched Obama, I saw him come into his own. For me, the 2004 Speech was good, but I never ‘felt it like that’. He was skilled; I saw the possibility of an ‘ IT’ factor, but something was missing for me.

It was not missing last night. Last night, as I wrote before, I saw the man, with every word he spoke, grow into that speech. He was taking himself to another plain, and asked the American people to come with him. When he pointed to Michelle and said ‘ You..You..’, had there ever been such an honoring of the Black woman than in that moment?

I am proud of Iowa today not only because of Obama’s win, but of also the choices on the Republican side.

Mitt Romney is about the most dishonest piece of plastic I’ve ever seen come down the pike in politics, and considering that I’ve been a political junkie for 25 years, that’s saying something. He believed that he could literally buy the GOP nomination in Iowa.

Then here comes this Baptist minister, being outspent 20-1. But, Huckabee touched something in those Republican voters, who also participated in higher levels than 2004. Not like the Democrats, but more of them came out too. Huckabee won every group except for those making 75k and over. He’s speaking to something that touches the GOP voter. From where I sit, he’s speaking to the economic anxiety of the ‘ What’s the Matter With Kansas?’ voter. In case you don’t know that book, the basic premise is that the GOP has been able to get those working class, lower middle-class voters by appealing to their CULTURAL values, and they’ve been willing to overlook that the GOP has actually worked against their ECONOMIC values. And, it’s been a pretty good deal for the GOP – until now. Until now, these GOP caucus voters has a man who is speaking to BOTH the economic AND cultural issues that concern these voters. Add in that Huckabee has the most congenial personality of anyone running in the GOP field, and this is the secret to his success.

I am also thrilled that the GOP came back to John McCain and gave him a third place showing. Considering McCain’s principled, but considered Iowa Suicide stance of ‘ No to Ethanol Subsidies’, it says a lot that they would give this man his props.

Authencity and Integrity ruled the day over being told who to be for, from the top -down.

Anyway you look at it, BOTH of the Iowa Caucus results were BOTTOM-UP results.

And, if you believe in participatory democracy…if you believe in THE PEOPLE speaking up and taking the time out to think and vote..

Then how could it be anything else BUT a good day in America.

Old school and new school talking about the meaning of Obama’s victory i Iowa.

Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH
Baratunde Thurston, Jack & Jill Politics
possibly more.

8pm eastern
Out in the Open with Rick Sanchez
CNN

segment starts at 8pm and runs perhaps 15 mins. set your TiVos!!

gotta run!

Where Were You?

4 Jan 2008

That’s what I want to know. Where were you last night? Your kids may ask you in 20 years: “How did it feel to experience history?”

I tried to go to two different Obama campaign watch parties. One I could not find in time, and the other was way too crowded. I settled down at a watch party thrown by Drinking Liberally in midtown Manhattan. It was a blogger-heavy event whose attendees cheered whenever Edwards was in the number one slot and booed or took another swig of beer whenever Clinton’s name showed up there.

While we waited, I ended up in an intense discussion with a friend who supported Edwards, mostly because she felt Obama wasn’t tough enough, that he didn’t have that Edwards “fire.” I explained my perspective on that simply: as a white man, Edwards can scream his head off about poverty and inequality, and I love that he’s using his privilege to do that. Obama on the other hand has to appeal to a more nervous group ready to see him as the Angry Black Man. This isn’t my own argument, but it was new to her, I think.

I also told her about this video that someone on dKos posted:

When the results were called, I threw my hands in the air and screamed. It was a beautiful moment. I texted mad people, and I browsed for as many stories as my little cell phone screen could show me. One thing that really stood out: participation.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A wide-open race in both parties sparked a record turnout Thursday in Iowa’s caucuses, far exceeding previous contests.

Projections showed a turnout of 220,588 for Democrats,
compared to 124,000 who participated in 2004. Most projections had
estimated turnout would be about 150,000.

Turnout was also up on the Republican side, where projections showed about 114,000 people taking part.

The last contested Republican caucuses in 2000 drew 87,666 in caucuses won by then-Gov. George W. Bush.

You see that? Democrats had a nearly EIGHTY PERCENT increase in participation (and 30 percent on the GOP side). This is a great sign for democracy, and I wanna thank the people of Iowa for rolling out and representing. I think this also validates Obama’s point about bringing more people into the process. I asked a friend in Iowa what it was like for her on the ground. I’ll leave you with her response.

It was amazing. In my particular location, there were 315 people. 121
of us were for Obama. There were people of all different genders,
races, ages, even political parties. I was talking to a family that
were Republicans, but they were changing parties to vote for Obama. At
one point, the person in charge asked who was caucusing for the first
time. A large majority of people raised there hands. A lot of them were
older, and they were caucusing because they wanted Obama to win.

Actually, I’ll leave you with Obama’s post-election speech.

So where were you, and what were you thinking after it all went down? Please share in the comments

Technorati Tags:

With 94% Precincts reporting:

Obama -38%

Caucus Participants – 234,000!!!

I am stunned by that number…I want to thank all the Iowans who came out to be counted.

Edwards came in second.

Clinton – THIRD.

About the Caucus Numbers:

More than 346,000 Democratic and Republican Iowa caucus-goers turned out
Thursday night to support their favorite presidential candidate, and in doing so, set historic participation numbers for Iowa’s first in the nation caucuses.

The unprecedented turnout was due largely to the huge numbers of first-time caucus-goers. Barack Obama, who won the Democratic caucus, drew thousands of new participants, including a sizeable number of political independents. In addition, the Iowa Republican party estimated that as many as 30 percent of their caucus participants were new registrants.

The Register’s Iowa Poll published Tuesday forecast the perfect storm that apparently hit Thursday night. The poll showed 60 percent of Democratic caucusgoers would be attending for the first time. It also indicated that 72 percent of Obama’s support would come from first-time caucus-goers.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Iowa Democratic Party officials reported 234,000 caucus attendees, compared to 124,000 in 2004.

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

Obama’s Victory Speech:

“They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided; too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose.

But on this January night – at this defining moment in history – you have done what the cynics said we couldn’t do; what the state of New Hampshire can do in five days; what America can do in this New Year. In schools and churches; small towns and big cities; you came together as Democrats, Republicans and Independents to stand up and say that we are one nation; we are one people; and our time for change has come.

You said the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and pettiness and anger that’s consumed Washington; to end the political strategy that’s been all about division and make it about addition – to build a coalition for change that stretches through Red States and Blue States. Because that’s how we’ll win in November, and that’s how we’ll finally meet the challenges we face.

The time has come to tell the lobbyists who think their money and their influence speak louder than our voices that they don’t own this government, we do; and we’re here to take it back.

The time has come for a President who’ll be honest about the choices and the challenges we face; who’ll listen to you even when we disagree; who won’t just tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to know. And New Hampshire, if you give me the same chance that Iowa did tonight, I will be that President for America.”

The speech, as prepared for deliver, appears in full after the jump.

They said this day would never come.

They said our sights were set too high.

They said this country was too divided; too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose.

But on this January night – at this defining moment in history – you have done what the cynics said we couldn’t do; what the state of New Hampshire can do in five days; what America can do in this New Year. In schools and churches; small towns and big cities; you came together as Democrats, Republicans and Independents to stand up and say that we are one nation; we are one people; and our time for change has come.

You said the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and pettiness and anger that’s consumed Washington; to end the political strategy that’s been all about division and make it about addition – to build a coalition for change that stretches through Red States and Blue States. Because that’s how we’ll win in November, and that’s how we’ll finally meet the challenges we face.

The time has come to tell the lobbyists who think their money and their influence speak louder than our voices that they don’t own this government, we do; and we’re here to take it back.

The time has come for a President who’ll be honest about the choices and the challenges we face; who’ll listen to you even when we disagree; who won’t just tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to know. And New Hampshire, if you give me the same chance that Iowa did tonight, I will be that President for America.

I’ll be a President who finally makes health care affordable and available to every single American the same way I expanded health care in Illinois – by bringing Democrats and Republicans together to get the job done

I’ll be a President who ends the tax breaks for corporations who ship our jobs overseas and puts a middle-class tax cut into the pockets of the working Americans who deserve it.

I’ll be a President who harnesses the ingenuity of farmers and scientists and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil once and for all.

And I’ll be a President who brings our troops home from Iraq; restores our moral standing; and understands that 9/11 is not a way to scare up votes, but a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the twenty-first century: terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease.

Tonight, we are one step closer to that vision of America because of what you did here in Iowa. And I’d like to take a minute to thank the organizers and precinct captains; the volunteers and staff who made this all possible.

I know you didn’t do this just for me. You did this because you believed deeply in the most American of ideas – that in the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.

I know this because while I may be standing here tonight, I’ll never forget that my journey began on the streets of Chicago doing what so many of you have done for this campaign and all the campaigns here in Iowa – organizing, and working, and fighting to make people’s lives just a little bit better.

I know how hard it is. It comes with little sleep, little pay, and a lot of sacrifice. There are days of disappointment, but sometimes, just sometimes, there are nights like this – a night that, years from now, when we’ve made the changes we believe in; when more families can afford to see a doctor; when our children inherit a planet that’s a little cleaner and safer; when the world sees America differently, and America sees itself as a nation less divided and more united; you’ll be able look back with pride and say that this was the moment when it all began.

This was the moment when the improbable beat what Washington always said was inevitable.

This was the moment when we tore down barriers that have divided us for far too long – when we rallied people of all parties and ages to a common cause; when we finally gave Americans who’d never participated in politics a reason to stand up and do so.

This was the moment when we finally beat back the politics of fear, and doubt, and cynicism; the politics where we tear each other down instead of lifting this country up.

Years from now, you’ll look back and say that this was the moment – this was the place – where America remembered what it means to hope.

For many months, we’ve been teased and even derided for talking about hope.

But we always knew that hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shrinking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and work for it, and fight for it.

Hope is what I saw in the eyes of the young woman in Cedar rapids who works the night shift after a full day of college and still can’t afford health care for a sister who’s ill; a young woman who still believes that this country will give her the chance to live out her dreams.

Hope is what I heard in the voice of the New Hampshire woman who told me that she hasn’t been able to breathe since her nephew left for Iraq; who still goes to bed each night praying for a safe return.

Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an Empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young men and women to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom’s cause.

Hope is what led me here today – with a father from Kenya; a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. It is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.

That is what we started here in Iowa, and that is the message we now carry to New Hampshire and beyond; the same message we had when we were up and when we were down; the one that can change this country brick by brick, block by block, calloused hand by calloused hand – that together, ordinary people can do extraordinary things; because we are not a collection of Red States and Blue States, we are the United States of America; and at this moment, in tthis election, we are ready to believe again.

I got chills watching Obama’s speech. With every sentence, he grew stronger. Resolute. He was taking himself to another level.

Ok, I’ll say it: he was Presidential.

Huckabee – 34%
Romney -25%
MCCAIN-13%

I am thrilled by Huckabee’s win. Thrilled because Flipping Mitt tried to BUY the Iowa Caucus. He outspent Huckabee 20 -to-1.

20-to-1.

And couldn’t seal the deal.

John McCain – a man who wouldn’t pander and has kept his stance AGAINST Ethanol Subsidies – came in THIRD.

Come on, Senator McCain. Kick Flipping Mitt while he’s down…win New Hampshire!

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

I liked Huckabee’s speech. Ok, I’ll admit it: I like Huckabee. I know people will post here talking about his policies, but I just like Huckabee. And, if the GOP Establishment thinks that he’s going away, they have another thing coming.

Huckabee has the common touch.

If that’s her being fired up, I’d hate to see what apathetic looked like. Oh, and give the man his slogan back! :)

Update @3:31pm. Sorry dnA. Missed your post on this, but mine has the video.

Technorati Tags: ,

Obama must really be sick on the stump, because Hillary Clinton has been biting him relentlessly:

“We are fired up and we are ready to go because we know America is ready for change and the process starts right here in Iowa.”

In Davenport, Iowa, those words escaped the barriers of a tired Hillary Clinton’s teeth.

Without irony.

That phrase is associated with Barack Obama. Obama borrows it from a woman in South Carolina who helped remind him what was important in life.

It’s the signature, in fact, of Obama’s close.

Steve Benen points out some further instances of Clinton biting Obama’s rhetoric:

I hate to think there’s a pattern here, but there are quite a few examples: 

* “New Clinton Iowa radio ad has voter voice saying she is the candidate of ‘hope.’”

* Yesterday, on Hardball, Clinton’s communication director said Iowans are looking “under the hood and kickin the tires,” a line Obama has been using for quite a while. (Chris Matthews told Wolfson he “stole” the line directly and urged the campaign to “get a new scriptwriter.”)

* As a debate in Philadelphia in October, Clinton said, “We’ve got to turn the page on George Bush and Dick Cheney” — a line straight out of Obama’s stump speech.

Benen is his characteristic temperate and diplomatic self, urging readers to make “too much” of this. But it’s pretty hard for me not to make a character judgment about a candidate who goes as far as to steal words out of her rival’s mouth.

Not that I have any illusions about politicians being the moral vanguard. But Hillary’s “borrowing” irritates me because it reminds me of all the other things black people do that white people eventually get credit for. (You know, like rock music or the Civil Rights Movement)

A Clinton supporter might argue that this kind of behavior is exactly what will allow her to outmaneuver the opposition as President.

This is a campaign. If she gets elected, when it comes to policy, is she going to be borrowing policy elements as well as rhetoric from her opponents?


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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

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