Watching CNN and learned that Harvey Weinstein threatened Nancy Pelosi.

Embrace his plan for Michigan and Florida revotes…or else. Threatened to cut off campaign money to Congressional Democrats.

Speaker Pelosi ‘reportedly’ told him not to threaten her ever again.

From Gallup:

Obama’s Support Similar to Kerry’s in 2004

Similar levels of support exist across white, black, blue-collar votersUSA Democrats Election 2008 Republicans Americas Northern America by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ — Barack Obama’s current level of support among white voters in a head-to-head matchup against John McCain is no worse than John Kerry’s margin of support among whites against George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election.

Much of the talk following Tuesday’s Indiana and North Carolina primaries has focused on just how electable Obama — now the highly probable nominee — will be in the general election. The Clinton campaign has argued that Obama’s weaknesses among white voters and blue-collar voters will hurt him against McCain in the fall.

But it appears that the way Obama stacks up against McCain at this point is similar to the way in which Kerry performed against Bush in 2004 within several key racial, educational, religious, and gender subgroups. That is, the basic underlying structure of the general-election campaign this year does not appear to be markedly different from that of the 2004 election. This conclusion is based on an analysis of exit-poll data from 2004 compared to the Obama-McCain matchup in 4,000 Gallup Poll Daily tracking interviews conducted during the first five days of May.

And once he’s declared the nominee, then he’ll be free to expand upon the coalition that he’s already built. Enough of the race-baiting BS coming from Camp Clinton.

Final Indiana Results

8 May 2008

This just in from the Obama campaign.
The final vote tally for Indiana has been certified the results are as follows:

FINAL INDIANA TALLY — As per Indiana Sec. of State is:
Hillary Clinton: 637,814 / 50.4%
Barack Obama: 626,642 / 49.6%
Diff. = 11,152 votes (less than 1 %)

cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK

I thought I’d edit this USA Today headline to reflect what’s really going on.

Clinton Makes Case For WHITE Appeal

Links:

Update @ 10:51pm ET

Audio of Clinton’s statement


I have done several posts on how Toni Morrison’s characterization of Bill Clinton as “the first black president” was based on the fact that Congress was treating him like he was black, not that he was actually, in any sense, black. But no one really read the essay, just like no one really reads intelligence estimates or economic studies, they just repeat what some jerk says they mean.

But finally, Toni just came out and said it:

People misunderstood that phrase. I was deploring the way in which President Clinton was being treated, vis-à-vis the sex scandal that was surrounding him. I said he was being treated like a black on the street, already guilty, already a perp. I have no idea what his real instincts are, in terms of race.

Thanks Toni. Can we all agree to stop calling Bill Clinton “the first black president” now?

cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK

We were on NPR’s News & Notes (audio is at the link) again yesterday and got to talk about the Sean Bell protests, the death of Mildred Loving and a lightning round on the Democratic primaries.

First of all, I must confess, I almost missed the joint! I got too cute with my time and arrived at the studio just in time. Just call me Lake County :)

Hopefully, I didn’t sound too out of breathe. As usual, Carmen brought some knowledge and insight to the discussions of race, and it was good to rap with Casey Lartigue for the first time although I think he misinterpreted one of my statements. I mentioned people were experiencing fatigue in the Sean Bell case because we’re constantly reminded of the dual justice systems in this country. He thought I meant Sharpton fatigue. No biggie.

I also gave some love to Black Agenda Report for their perfect description of the Sean Bell verdict: the decision may have been legal, but it wasn’t justice.

I’m most proud of my campaign lightning round comment about life post-NC/IN in which I stated:

I’m just happy to welcome the mainstream media to the Democratic primary. They’ve finally caught on to the Wrath of the Math which hasn’t really changed since Obama’s 12-state sweep post-Super Tuesday. That, I think, is the biggest change. The facts on the ground haven’t changed, but the media narrative and perception has, and I’m glad to see it has.

BTW for those who don’t know, “The Wrath Of The Math” is Jeru the Damaja’s second album. I started using it to describe the Democratic primary when we were on News & Notes from Dallas the day after the Texas primacaucus

Carmen also represented, raising the point we’ve been hitting a lot in the Afrosphere about Hillary’s inability to win the black vote being more legitimate than the question of Obama’s capture of the white vote.

Finally we talked about the death of Mildred Loving and the status of marriage equality. Thankfully, we didn’t get sidetracked into discussions of interracial extramarital affairs (which I don’t really see as relevant to equal protection under the law) and instead stayed focused on perceptions of interracial marriage and the larger issue of marriage equality. I tried to make the link from the Loving decision to the need for marriage equality for same sex couples as I’ve done here and here.

Big up to Farai Chideya and the entire News & Notes staff for running a substantive show. Thanks to the JJP and Afrosphere fam for contributing to the important democratic (small “d”) conversation in this country.

Again, you can listen here.

Good morning.

How are you?

Hope you have a peaceful day.

Drop those links, arguments, comments with the JJP Community.

Apparently not satisfied with her plummeting approval ratings among black voters, Hillary Clinton decided to remind us again that our votes don’t actually count:

“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.

Hard-working Americans = white Americans. Right. The rest of us sit on our porches eating watermelon and plucking banjos.

For some reason, despite this “broader base” Clinton still seems to be having trouble raising money, and you know, getting more votes than her opponent. But at this point any abstract metric besides votes or delegates that Clinton can use as a rationale for her candidacy becomes the only appropriate one to use.

This kind of comment is less a description than an agitator, it’s meant to give white voters the impression that they would be “disenfranchised” by an Obama win. It’s a not so subtle effort to evoke racial resentment over Obama’s success.

But the truth is, Clinton won’t win the white vote either, as Steve M. points out:

According to CNN’s 1996 exit poll, Bill Clinton lost the white vote (Dole 46%, Clinton 43%, Perot 9%). He lost the white male vote by an even larger margin (Dole 49%, Clinton 38%, Perot 11%). And he lost gun owners badly (Dole 51%, Clinton 38%, Perot 10%). However, Clinton won the popular vote overall

In 2000 — when Al Gore won the popular vote by half a million votes — he lost white males to Bush by a whopping 60%-36%, according to CNN’s exit poll. He lost men overall 53%-42%. He lost whites overall 54%-42%. He lost gun owners 61%-36%. He lost small-town voters 59%-38% and rural voters 59%-37%. He lost the Midwest overall 49%-48%.

I’m not saying these are goals to aspire to. I’m saying it’s a myth that Democrats had Joe Sixpack in their back pockets until that snooty arugula-eater Barack Obama came along, and it’s a myth that they suffer crushing defeats when bowlers and boilermaker-drinkers aren’t on board. 49%-41%-8%, and he won 70% of the electoral votes.

But it’s a myth that Clinton needs to perpetuate to make a case for her continued candidacy.

Obama split the male vote with Clinton in Indiana, and came within 4% of her among women, much better than he did in Ohio. Obama increased his share of voters without a college degree, and of white voters in general. He’s actually doing better than he was before. While John Judis is right that Obama needs to improve his relationship with white working class voters, Clinton is deliberately hurting his chances of doing so by saying, essentially, “Obama doesn’t care about white people.”

That’s what the “elitist” charge has always been about, appealing to the sentiment that “this black guy thinks he’s better than you.” It will be the same against the Republicans. The difference is that they now have Democrat saying the same things to further legitimize this line of “argument”.

What Indiana might actually shows–and people can either be optimistic or pessimistic about this depending on what you feel like the November campaign would look like, is that Obama does better when the focus is on policy differences rather than race, which is why Clinton is trying to bring it back there. I get the impression Clinton overplayed her hand among working class white voters with the gas tax stupidity, which is why Obama got more of their votes than expected there.

I haven’t even mentioned the fact that while Obama has work to do to appeal to that particular block of voters, Clinton has hopelessly alienated >the most loyal base of the Democratic Party: black folks.

Democrats will certainly struggle to win without a substantial minority of white voters, but there’s no question that they can’t win without us.

The question is this: Have white Democrats soured on Obama? Apparently not. Although his unfavorable rating from the group is up five percentage points since last summer in polls conducted by The New York Times and CBS News, his favorable rating is up just as much.

On the other hand, black Democrats’ opinion of Hillary Clinton has deteriorated substantially (her favorable rating among them is down 36 percentage points over the same period).

Obama’s relationship with white voters is no where near as bad as Clinton’s deteriorating relationship with black voters. But Clinton wants to make this conversation exclusively about the working class white vote, because it hides her glaring weaknesses among other segments of the party.

It’s really not just about white people. I know that’s really hard for some people to accept, but it’s true.

Update: This is Rikyrah. How bad, blatant and obvious is the continued race-baiting of the Clinton Campaign?

When the likes of Mike Barnicle can see it and will acknowledge it, you know it’s as obvious as you think it is. Not at all a part of your ‘ imagination’.
Barincle’s latest column: Race Is All The Clintons Have Left

Jay Smooth does it right.

“Painful as it may be, ability don’t last. And your days are just about over. Now that’s a hard muthaf***n fact of life, but that’s a fact of life your ass is gonna have to get realistic about. You came close, but you never made it. And if you were gonna make it, you would have made it before now.”

So true. Super Tuesday was when Hillary was “supposed to make it.” That’s when she really lost. Everything since then has been slow realization on the part of her, her campaign and the oh-so-analytically challenged media.

Bravo Jay Smooth. Bravo.

PLEASE DIGG THIS JOINT.

Guests include me, Casey Lartigue and Carmen Van Kerckhove

As always, your input is welcome and highly valued!

Topics

Like State Senator Clay Davis on “The Wire”, who always responded with “Sheeeiiit”.

That’s what I thought when I saw this:

Plouffe was feeling so confident in Obama’s lead that he allowed that he would be willing to give Clinton the lion’s share of the delegates from Michigan and Florida. She won both states, even though their primaries violated party rules and both candidates agreed to boycott them and have been arguing about the fairest way to seat the delegates ever since.

Y’all know how I feel about Obama and all that, but to give up any ground to the Borg Queen because you feeling “generous”? Pleaseeeee…hand David Plouffe a can of STHU and tell him to down that can with a quickness.

I think Obama needs to put his campaign manager in check and stop giving the Borg Queen any ideas to steal a nomination that is clearly his to win or lose.

I’m sorry Obama supporters; you can breathe easy, but the next battle is just over the hill and until the Borg Queen concedes (and since she’s more like Tonya Harding in admitting defeat), you can’t afford to give no ground to her camp. NO Way. No How.

Time for Obama to close the deal and drive a stake through Vampira’s heart. (Did I call her “Vampira”?)

Clinton’s Speech: Does anyone else think it’s embarassing that both Clinton and her supporters are biting Barack Obama now?

From CNN:

Clinton 638,274 51%

Obama 615,862 49%

Also Gary’s not in yet [Insert obligatory CPT joke here. ]

UPDATE: Obama’s Speech in NC.

UPDATE: Via TPM, Gary might change the game:

As the fate of a nailbiter Indiana primary — and possibly the course of the Democratic race — hung on his city, Gary Mayor Rudy Clay said just now that it might take a while yet to finish counting the vote in Lake County, which includes Gary, and said that his city had turned out so overwhelmingly for Barack Obama that it might just be enough to close the gap with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Let me tell you, when all the votes are counted, when Gary comes in, I think you’re looking at something for the word to see,” Clay, an Obama supporter, said in a telephone interview from Obama’s Gary headquarters. “I don’t know what the numbers are yet, but Gary has absolutely produced in large numbers for Obama here.”

Clay said the results were late coming in from Lake County because of the large numbers of absentee ballots that had to be counted — about 11,000. Under local practice, all of the cartridges from voting machines in Gary and nearby East Chicago are first collected at the local airport before being driven to the county headquarters to be tallied with the results from the rest of the county, he said. He said there were no major technical problems holding up the count.

So after all that talk dismissing black votes…black voters in Gary might decide the outcome of the Democratic race.

That would be some pretty sweet karma.

Gary’s mayor, on pending ballots from his town:

“The Gary people took care of business.”

UPDATE: John King: “Unusual” for 28% of the vote to come in at once.

Of course, on the website, that 28% has been there for the last 20 minutes. But I’m sure it’s because the Mayor of Gary is working his black voodoo magic.

North Carolina Results:

With 99% Precincts Reporting
Obama – 56%
Clinton – 42%

Gender
Male ( 43%)
Obama – 57%
Clinton – 39%

Female (57%)
Obama – 54%
Clinton – 42%

Obama won EVERY educational level.
Obama won EVERY income level.

But, YEAH, NORTH CAROLINA!!!

He has ERASED her Popular Vote Gains from Pennsylvania.
Vote margin: 232,762
**********************************************************

Indiana

With 99% Precincts Reporting
Obama – 49%
Clinton – 51%

Clinton margin of victory: 22,019

Barack Obama came within 22k in INDIANA.

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

Shallow point – loved the fit of Michelle’s dress, not too crazy about the color.

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

From Barack Obama Tonight:

I didn’t expect when I ran for president that I would avoid this kind of politics; I ran because it is time to end it … We will end it by telling the truth. Forcefully, repeatedly, confidently

While Ms. Hillary is out threatening to obliterate Iran, Obama is out trying to bring peace to Nigeria. Absolutely unbelievable.

Even if the deal doesn’t hold, it’s just amazing that a US presidential candidate, in the midst of a three-on-one political battle (vs. McCain, Clinton and the Media) somehow finds time to appeal for a ceasefire in the volatile Niger Delta.

From ThisDay’s report in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has said it is considering a temporary cessation of hostilities in the oil-producing region based on an appeal by United States presidential hopeful, Senator Barack Obama.

MEND also said in an e-mail that its ceasefire was to enable the federal government to have a rethink over the way it has handled the matter concerning its leader, Mr. Henry Okah.

The spate of attacks in the last two weeks has led to more volatility in the crude oil market with substantial production cuts in Nigeria.

And this isn’t the first time. Back in January, JANUARY, he was on the horn to Kenya trying to help calm the violence in the wake of contested elections there.

Of course the story of Obama’s action in this case contrasted with Hillary’s bluster is a fun political story in the context of this increasingly-absurd campaign, and you can find the same Reuters story cut and paste across a variety of news sites like Politico.

But I want to go a step further and try to be the media I want to see. What is MEND? Why is there so much violence in the Niger delta? And why should we care?

There’s an excellent primer on the situation over at The Oil Drum, a site devoted to discussing resource depletion in general and peak oil in particular. In March of 2007, Jeff Vail wrote a piece titled “Nigeria: Energy Infrastructure Firestorm

The situation:

The violence in Nigeria’s delta region has become a firestorm, and the consequences of this transformation will fundamentally impact that nation’s ability to export oil. Recent events in the delta region have transitioned the violence there from a negative-feedback loop where there was a disincentive to militants to shut in too high a portion of Nigeria’s oil exports to a positive-feedback loop where militants will compete to completely destroy Nigeria’s capacity to export oil.

On the history of tensions

Nigeria is a construct of post-colonial cartography. It is one of history’s foremost examples of the fiction of the Nation-State, a forced amalgamation of over 250 distinct ethnic groups and numerous religions (see illustration) to effect efficient British control of the region. In the post-colonial era, three dominant ethnic groups, the Hausa-Fulani, Igbo, and Yoruba, continue to joust for control of Nigeria’s huge oil revenues—and for control of Nigeria itself, though this is truly and ancillary concern to the oil.

One thing has remained constant: the ethnic Ijaw, who inconveniently live where all the oil is, have been almost entirely excluded from sharing in the oil riches in their own backyard. As a result, the Ijaw resorted to violence to advance their political aims of representation in Nigeria’s government and a real share in the oil revenues. MEND, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, was the military branch of the Ijaw struggle.

What followed was a fracturing of MEND and a transition from politics as the primary motive of guerilla activity to profit. Various MEND factions kidnapped oil employees for ransom and found doing so increasingly profitable. The region moved from a world in which reducing oil exports went from undesirable to highly profitable.

More from Vail on the ramifications of all this.

First

The new entrepreneurial violence is comprised of multiple actors, each competing to extort money from a limited target list of oil installations, foreign workers, and foreign oil companies. Because the actors are now militant youths seeking short-term financial gain, rather than careful elders seeking long-term political concessions, there is a strong market incentive to fill the available market space—in other words, to escalate kidnappings and infrastructure attacks until all Nigerian production is shut in.

and second

…this transition from ideologically motivated violence to financially motivated violence portends problems for energy infrastructure throughout the world. As peak oil exacerbates already tight global energy markets, record energy prices will allow energy firms everywhere to accept the kind of ransoms and payoffs that are fuelling the escalation of violence in Nigeria’s delta region.

There is good reason to believe that today’s sectarian or ideologically driven violence in Iraq and elsewhere may transition to financially motivated attacks on energy infrastructure. This transition will be accompanied by the same critical change observed in Nigeria: there will no longer be the motivation to keep the majority of production on-line, or to prevent long-term damage to production capacity. Instead, as long as marginal returns on investments in energy infrastructure attacks remain positive, there will be a strong incentive to escalate these attacks no matter how completely a region’s export capacity is destroyed

That’s right. There’s more to come, and all this further restricts global oil supply in an era of booming demand and the reduced production from major producers like Mexico and even Saudi Arabia.

Since Vail wrote his piece, Nigerian production has continued it’s downward spiral.

Production has dropped below 2 million barrels per day for the first time since 2003. And what happens when you restrict supply of a scarce resource? Prices climb.

I’ll post more in the future about what we can do in this situation, but one thing is for sure. The gas tax holiday is dumb, stupid and worthless crap. Don’t believe me. Listen to over 200 economists dis McClinton’s pander.

cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK

Obama Rally In Indianapolis

I just had a phone call with Greer Westerink. She was my canvassing partner in South Dallas. You can see previous posts: canvassing in the hood/meeting Ron Kirk and discussing the dirt she saw go down in the Nevada caucus).

Greer is in Indianapolis and spent the day getting out the vote in a wealthy suburban neighborhood that was heavily pro-Obama. This is just one first-hand report and should not be taken as a sign of the statewide results

Here are the rough notes of her side of the conversation, and i do mean rough :)

===================

this is not south dallas

i’m in the nicest neighborhoods. unbelievable homes

we’re just getting out the vote

the last house i left was 70 year old white lady. told me they had just buried her 95 year old immigrant mother from ireland. the last thing she did was send in her vote for barack

unbelievable homes!

people were saying “thank you so much for coming” offering water, etc.

older guy got his wife to switch over cause he didn’t want her to cancel out his vote. she was glad to have done so, and he pointed to us, asking, “how many hillary people have come by?”

in indianapolis, 50 percent of high school seniors don’t graduate

a lot of people want to engage and tell their story of why they are voting for barack

i haven’t been to indiana since 82 or 83

i can see why people would live here
house for sale, 5,800 square feet. $879,000
4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms.

one woman was very impressed with obama’s organization, strong selling point to her

“i’m really surprised that you’re here knocking on doors.”

21,000 people at rally
stevie wonder opened.
raining on and off.

the governor was elected on the premise of a gas tax, but it didn’t work
some are surprised to see folks embracing clinton’s bad idea but people have very short memories.

nobody’s mentioned reverend wright.

i pray that this is it.
this has got to stop.


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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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