by Angela Winters

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is on top of the world. If you're like me and have been watching it since way before Indecision 2000 made them famous, you feel like a proud parent. Yes, it's real left leaning, but it's funny.

He just did an interview with The Sun Times in Chi Town. I don't think the guy can be serious for more than five minutes.

The shows new book, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, currently #1 on and #2 on, has Jon on the road and last week that road brought him to Bill O'Reilly's show. I like The Factor most of the time; other times I want to throw a brick at television.

Jon Stewart and The Undecided Voter Connection
Car breakdown? National Towing Service in houston provides professional road side services
Personally, I thought Bill was being a little condescending when he referred to Jon's viewers as stoned slackers. Sounded a little jealous:). He meant it as a joke and Jon took it as a joke, but Comedy Central wasn't so inclined. They spat back and I wonder if Bill will respond. I've never been stoned and I'm not a slacker and I wouldn't miss the show for anything. - Stewart's 'stoned slackers'? Not quite

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by Angela Winters

Preparation for the eagerly anticipated Presidential debates starting this evening have turned into something resembling a prenup contract. It's not surprising, considering how nasty the political environment has become, but it is disappointing. For me at least, a set of rules and stipulations 32 pages long, puts a bit of a damper on the honeymoon.

Both sides want to prevent particular styles and formats that might give their opponent an advantage or place them vulnerable to attack on issues of weakness. Sounds paranoid and insecure.

The stipulation that disturbs me the most is the one where both parties require all four debate moderators to sign an agreement to the rules. Journalists all over are up in arms about it according to USA TODAY.

Everyone is anxious and they want the event to be as scripted and controlled as possible. In the end, it's the viewers that suffer. No, nobody wants a Presidential debate to turn into Jerry Springer and the tone of the campaigns suggest that it isn't out of the realm of possibility. Still, they don't want a controlled commercial.

CNN - Inside the debate strategies

My favorite stipulation, and the one I'll argue will have the most effect, is the temperature control. According to the GOP, Kerry is a sweater. We all noticed this during his convention speech and I for one was a little uncomfortable.

So Kerry wanted the room temperature to be kept below 70 degrees, but the Bush team fought that and Kerry backed off a bit. Now, the producer of the debate is required to "use its best efforts to maintain an appropriate temperature according to industry standards for the entire debate."

According to those same GOP sources, "Women don't like sweaters." So there you have it. Who cares about war, the economy, starving children, civil rights and the breakdown of the family unit. Sweating is unacceptable and therefore, advantage Bush.

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by Angela Winters

The Family Politik. It's always interesting to find out that someone else's family is as weird as your own. We all like to believe that we have the most unusual set up, but we don't. Like Dave Barry said, "Get This Straight. Nobody Is Normal." And who would want to be? What fun is there in that?

Like my own family, it isn't unusual to have different races, religions, nationalities, political affiliations and lifestyles at one table. The look on my Southern Baptist from Mississippi father's face when his granddaughters talk about their Hanukkah presents is worth the price of the admission to family get togethers alone.

So it shouldn't be surprising to find (From Reading the Political Blog Modern Vertebrate) that Alan Keyes, who is one of the most outspoken critics of homosexuals (see Selfish Hedonists), marriage issue or not, has a gay daughter.

Politics1 has Maya's picture with her father as well as her partner on their site along with some really interesting observations based on her writings. She has other pictures at her site that show she is Anti-Bush and Pro-Life. Don't try to box her in.

Despite the drama, love is love and family is family so I can only hope they work it out. When it comes down to it, the microphones, the internet, cameras and not even the voters will be there for either of them, but family will.
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by Angela Winters

With Bill Clinton being the rock star of the Democratic party, it wasn't likely anyone would get the play he did during the convention, but the coming out of Barack Obama the following night did what Democrats were hoping. Obama had them thinking about the future instead of wishing the past would return.

Clinton in 08 aside, Obama gave the Democratic party a vision of a leader that could be strong, honest and hard for the other side to denigrate. He's beyond popular; he's adored and it isn't just the left that is eager to see him on the national stage. The independents (and a few republicans in IL after feeling they have no choice) like him too. When was the last time a state legislature could say that?

There is always the fear that the beltway monster will destroy their dreams. Washington has defeated the most promising of promisers, but it isn't likely. Most critics (this one included) suggested that Barack is the new girl at school that everyone loves because they don't know anything about her. They just know she looks good, she sounds good and in a sea of undesirables, they want her to be all they wish her to be.

Style over substance? That question was answered when we heard his life story. Leadership in person and not just on paper? The DNC Convention answered that one. How he lifted himself up, how he stood by his principles and how he has represented the state of Illinois, black Americans and Americans in general has left little doubt.

Whether or not he could actually win the seat was never really in question, but there is always that fear that the more he offered the public, the more he offered his attackers. Not so, and as David Mendell of the Chicago Tribune suggests, the Democratic party has enough confidence to take him on the road and present the as yet unelected Senator as the party favor for all.

Obama takes show on road
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By Angela Winters

Everyone talks about the apathetic youth of America. They talk a lot and complain a whole lot more, but they apparently have something better to do when voting day comes around. In 1992, Clinton's youthful image and a bad job market caused college-aged voters to come out in numbers higher than ever before. No candidate has been able to match it since.

John Kerry is hoping to change that, because statistics generally show that when college kids vote, they lean a little more to the left; but that was before 9/11. Senator Kerry needs them to make up for the Independent votes that seem to have decided they're going to give Bush another try.

Both sides are relying heavily on the candidate's daughters to get young people excited about their dads for Prez & VP. This NY Times opinion article shows what both sides are up against.

Barriers to Student Voting

It will be interesting to see if all the campaigns by MTV, The WWE, Sean Comb's VOTE OR DIE and others have any effect. The economy isn't as bad as it was in 92, but its not as good as it was in the last two elections either. Don't rule out Gen Y voters. They may make a difference no one was expecting.
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by Angela Winters

Henry Louise Gates wrote an interesting article yesterday about what black equality means and why the advancing middle class isn't making a difference in the poverty levels of our children.

Getting to Average

This article suggest that inequality exist no matter what and we should be striving to have equal inequality, which is basically the goal of average. We don't all belong in Harvard; we don't all belong in college, but if we were average, there would be two million more of us there.

The article doesn't focus on government programs, which is good. When it comes down to it, some government programs are good, some are a complete waste of time and some are even harmful.

What is really going to make a change in the lives of African Americans (and everyone for that matter) is our re-commitment to the family and the traditions that have gotten us through times much worse than anything we face today. Our values and morals can't be found in any government program or a bigger paycheck. Not even in a college degree (although that helps). It's in us admitting that we have turned our back on our commitment to each other and responsibility for ourselves. If we can do that, average will just be a starting point.
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by Angela Winters

With all the advances that we've made, it strikes me with surprise to hear how little blacks have moved in some areas. For many, the position of Governor is not extremely important. On a national scale, it's the White House and The Hill that hold the power. Not true; the job of CEO of a state is in many ways more important than anything on a national scale.

This AP article about former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder's campaign for mayor of Richmond brought back to mind the fact that he is our nation's only black governor.
1st Elected Black Governor In Heated Race

It also brings to mind the challenges of minority candidates in need of state-wide votes for senate position. This upcoming election will shed some light on that issue. Who will be successful and what strategy did they use? What made the difference? Most importantly, is there any difference at all?

Race isn't and shouldn't be the issue in Richmond. The crime rate, among other issues, should be all that people care about. Who is the best candidate for the job in a hotly contested race is all that should matter. But this is America and this is Virginia so what should and what does are two different things.
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by Angela Winters

Florida and all of its voting issues deserves a blog all its own. Every day, another article points to problems, real or alleged, with the voting system. The majority revolved around race with some focused on technology as it relates to the new voting system. Either way, most believe it could very well be another nightmare and that worries the Democrats more than anyone.

Mark Schlueb of the Orlando Sentinel writes an interesting article about why Democrats are concerned about the black vote and how the nasty accusations are creating an even nastier environment.


Schlueb list the facts that no one can deny happened, even though some seem to want to try. What can't be stated without question is who is behind some of the activities and what the intent is.

Even to an objective mind, it looks pretty sketchy. If only a quarter of the complaints under debate are true, then there is some dirty business going on down there and people need to know about it. It's hard to be objective for an African American when they hear of voter intimidation and suggestions that people are trying to squash the black vote. It touches on very personal issues that are still raw regardless of whether or not one has experienced these issues themselves.

If there was a concerted effort to deny blacks their vote in Florida, which hasn't yet been proven, it seems mute at this point. Now that blacks have heard the rumors or seen the dirty deeds themselves, you can count on them turning out in droves to vote. Anger works against apathy.

Secondly, with all the publicity and plans by the Congressional Black Caucus and other interested organizations, there will be a myriad of cameras, reporters and video cell phones at black polling areas to make anyone tempted to discourage blacks from entering think twice. Let's hope so at least.

It isn't like the people of Florida have enough to worry about with the 75th hurricane of the month on its way.
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by Angela Winters

With the election having been such a tight race for so long, there was an idea that the Republican National Convention finally put an end to the "who will win" controversy. Both sides were eager to see their candidate get a sizeable lead, fearing that the closer these "within margin of error" polls were to Nov, the more likely there was for a 2000 electoral/popular vote battle. No one wants to see that again.

The only problem was, Bush's post convention lead quickly evaporated, but in recent weeks, it seems to have been revived. Despite things getting worse in Iraq and the economy's growth halted, the polls are showing that undecided Americans appear to be making up their mind and they've decided on giving Dubya a second go round.

The Bush team is confident and they should be.

So says the Sacramento Bee:
Bush gains more support from male voters

This Ft. Worth Star Telegram article highlights poll numbers giving the administration a sigh of relief. If only Florida would get in line.
Bush ahead in 'red' swing states

Maine only has 4 electoral votes, but Bush isn't taking any chances and the Press Herald thinks it could pay off:
Bush woos Maine voters

There are a series of reasons for this. It's partly the natural progression of a political campaign where people figure they've seen enough and make up their mind. This is also about Kerry's branding and messaging problem. His strongest issue, Iraq, is coming too late. His strongest asset, Edwards, is practically invisible. His staff has not been doing their job, an interesting notion covered by The NY Times:
John Kerry's Journey: Echoes of a 1972 Loss Haunt a 2004 Campaign

It's also possible that word of a cabinet shakeup after the 2004 Election is giving voters hope. Daily Kos mentioned it a bit yesterday:
Daily Kos: New NBC Poll
Folks aren't too pleased with what some of Bush's guys/gals are doing and they're thinking maybe these are the changes we need to get on the right track.

Kerry's last hope lies within the debates, but he's no John Edwards. He doesn't sway, he doesn't have charm and he's not a walking sound bite. President Bush's charm tends to outweigh his seeming simplicity and the country's familiarity with him gives him the ultimate advantage.
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by Angela Winters

From the latest news, women, usually the Democrat's base, are giving Kerry a little attitude. A once reliable group of voters, focused on education, gun control and crime, seem to be merging a little towards the right. This is probably a result of Kerry spending virtually no time on any of the issues that concern them the most; or at least getting no press when he does. Either way, Kerry has yet another obstacle towards November.

There's always the black vote, right? After all, this is probably the biggest "Anything But Bush" voting block in the country. The left has been genius at blaming George W. Bush for what happened in Florida and convincing African Americans that Kerry is our guy even though he hasn't said anything he would do about serious issues affecting the black community.

Still, the Congressional Black Caucus is making sure that other reliable base, the black vote, gets out for Kerry. They have to; knowing that traditionally African Americans tend to become apathetic on voting day. Why, is beyond any thinking person. Only 49% of eligible African Americans voted in the last national election, but we all know a heck of a lot more than 49% of eligible African American voters have had something to say about these past four years.

We aren't doing our part and that's why the CBC flew around the country last weekend to make sure we're reminded that we have to. This is all good. The disparity in representation is the only problem. ALL, absolutely everyone, in the CBC is a Democrat so they are encouraging voters to vote for Kerry only. If some were Republican, maybe it could be an even-handed effort, but that's a problem the right has to solve on their own.

Black America Web covered the 2004 tour. Whoever they vote for, what's most important is that they do it.

CBC Flies Around to Fire Up Black Voters

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by Angela Winters

Three interesting pick ups today and since I'm too lazy to write three different posts, I'll pretend they have something in common:)

First, the African American conservative group Project 21, is inserting themselves into the Florida Bad MoJo Mix. The group is suggesting that the claims of voter suppression are not valid. This is suspect, considering the many different groups who are making the claims and the fact that Florida's own government has admitted to making 'errors' in the process.

Groups like the NAACP want to accuse the Republican party of strategically planning to intimidate or prevent blacks from voting. The GOP has something to fear from the black vote in Florida because not only will all those who were treated unfairly in 2000 vote against Bush (because they blame his brother for this), but all of those apathetic black voters who haven't bothered to exercise their rights in years past intend to vote just to "pay back" The Right for what they feel was a calculated attempt to stifle their brothers and sisters' voices.

The problem with the NAACP's accusation is that Ed Gillespie has offered to work on a bi-partisan plan in Florida to prevent what many fear is going to happen from happening, but his offer has been rejected. The confusion in that response is what makes Project 21's opinion worth looking into.

"Black Conservatives Decry Advance Claims of Voter Suppression"

Yesterday, DeWayne Wickham, a columnist for USA TODAY and BLACK AMERICA WEB posted his third in a series of eight reasons why black folks should vote in 2004. The series should be called eight reasons why black folks should vote Bush out of office in 2004, but no need to focus on semantics.

Eight Reasons why Blacks should Vote: Reason No. 1
Eight Reasons why Blacks should Vote: Reason No. 2
Eight Reasons why Blacks Should Vote: Reason No. 3

Reason #3 is to vote out Bush for ignoring the genocide of Africans. Can't say I agree with the claim, but if agreeing with a point was a criteria for writing about it, what is there to write about? The point is, VOTE!!!!!

Still on a high from winning more Emmys, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart has gotten another accolade. He's being compared to Walter Kronkite. The Daily Show is definitely the best fake news program out there, better than most real news programs and far better than any other evening talk show program.

Who knew intelligent satire and complete immaturity would be such a great combo?

The Daily News - Jon Stewart Is Drawing Big Laughs By Telling The Truth
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by Angela Winters

When you think about the many mistakes that both parties make concerning the African American community, one stands out pretty clear. They both assume that we can't think on our own. They both believe that we are all the same, so if some "leaders" say something, than it's what we all think.

Hazel Trice Edny of Black America Web wrote an interesting article about Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama's response to this misperception.

Obama says it's time to move beyond "One Black" Syndrome

Obama's opinion on this issue is important because many believe he will quickly become "the" black politician in America. He disagrees with this idea that there is one or two men or women (always men) who speak for an entire race. To think so is to be disrespectful to that race and the individuality of its members. It also ignores the realities and effects of economics and class, which many agree have more effect on a person's values and priorities than race in today's America.

Where the Republican party got the impression that intelligent African-Americans concerned about the direction of our people, or America in general, would be impressed with Don King is beyond me. Yes, he has an American story of achievement, but if the standard of American achievement is just financial success and fame then, come on. If murder, civil lawsuits, cheating, fraud and deceit have followed a person through his or her life, how can they be an inspiration to anyone? A story of someone who succeeds despite their mistakes, yes...but inspiration? We aren't stupid; a black face isn't all we're looking for.

Kerry seems to do what most democrats do, go to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for advice on what black folks want. Maybe this is why he isn't connecting with the community at all. Although the respect for the inroads that Jackson and Sharpton made for black people can't be denied and should never be forgotten, it is clear to anyone with a brain that they no longer speak for all black Americans. To most of my generation, they are businessmen who profit off of race or politicians who can't pass up an opportunity to get in front of a camera. They don't hold a great deal of moral clout despite the Reverend in front of their names and they still use the strategies of 40 years ago to deal with a world that is much different than it was then.

The irony here is that it's because of the hard work that Jackson and Sharpton and men and women like them put in that my generation lives in a different world that sees them as somewhat irrelevant. Because of the work they've done, we no longer need them to speak for us. We vote, we participate, we own and we invest. The only problem is, they don't want to give up the mantle and seem to discredit any new and emerging leaders who disagree with their ideas of race and politics. They still want to be the standard of what is right for African Americans because of the power and profit of that position. They still want to claim that race is at the core of everything even though many of us have decided that there is much more to who we are than black people defending themselves against white oppression.

Hopefully, if Obama takes the center stage (we can never be sure because Washington has broken the best of them), he'll use that position to debunk the idea of "A" leader instead of continuing it.
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by Angela Winters

We could all use a break from the Bush-Kerry mud fight, which let's face it, this race has become. If anyone knows of a political race in this extremely divided atmosphere that isn't at least flirting with mud, it would be a surprise. Despite this, there are some other races of importance this year and some that are just interesting to know about.

Reuters covered a few Senate races with candidates of color besides the very famous Obama/Keyes race in Illinois. There are also African Americans running in Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana and Alabama. Two Hispanic candidates and one part Native American are competing for the 34 open seats this November. The Senate is significant, because in its history, there have only been 15 non-white members.

Minorities Could Make Mark in Senate Races

As I mentioned in Politopics for Race & Politics, when it comes to black candidates, I have to admit I'm more open minded than usual. If they lean a little more to the right or left than I prefer, I'll probably support them. Most reasonable black folks will say the same. It's about pride and family and trying to open doors for others. It's the same way most women feel about the large group of female senators in the race. Regardless of party affiliation, it means something for women and it benefits everyone.

That being said, who you elect, especially for a powerful position such as Senator, can't be about race. If I was still in Illinois (Go Cubs!) and Alan Keyes was running against a white candidate, it wouldn't matter. Keyes is too far to the right, and a little off the edge if you ask me, for me to feel safe giving him the power of a Senator. There are some African American members of Congress who are so far to the left, I not only wouldn't vote for, but would actively work to get replaced.

Putting party aside, 2004 has a list of strong minority candidates for the House and Senate in both parties worth consideration by everyone in their states and districts. So if your state doesn't look like it's going to vote the right candidate in The White House, maybe you have a chance to balance it out with the right candidate on Capitol Hill.

Mel Martinez - Senate In Florida

Ken Salazar - Senate In Colorado

Denise Majette - Senate In Georgia

Barack Obama - Senate In Illinois

Artur Morrell - Senate In Louisiana

Dylan Glenn - House In Georgia

Silvia Delamar - House In Georgia

Adam Clayton Powell IV - House In New York

Clinton LeSueur - House In Mississippi

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by Angela Winters

The NY Times finally wrote for the world to see what anyone in their right mind has got to be thinking:
Democrats Seek Louder Voice From Edwards

When you are outside the bubble of a political campaign some things seem easier to see than others. Why can't they do this? Why isn't he saying that? It seems so clear to you that the message is off track or that they are setting a trap for themselves. Things aren't as clear to them which is probably why the Kerry campaign has forgotten about Senator John Edwards.

Yes, he has been on the road, on the front porch, on the back of pick-up trucks and what not, but he hasn't been in front of the camera. With the exception of deriding VP Cheney for his "if you vote for Kerry, we will get bombed again" comments, we haven't heard from him at all.

So much has been made about the African-American vote; finally. As far as likeability, Edwards scored higher with this group than any of the other three guys on both tickets. As a matter of fact, he scored higher than the rest of them with every group. If we all remember the primaries, Edwards scored higher in likeability and issues than Kerry did. It was electability that pushed Kerry ahead of him and that seems in question now.

Edwards is not going to be Cheney. He will not attack Bush the way Cheney tries to obliterate Kerry every day. It's not his style and people respect that. They also respect when you make sense and for most Americans, Edwards makes more sense than Kerry. Edwards' Clinton-like speaking style will do well to balance Kerry's stodgy Gore-like style. Edwards talks with more conviction than Kerry does and Edwards doesn't have to answer to any Vietnam controversies either real or forged.

Kerry has to be desperate now. At this point, unless something goes terribly wrong, he is not going to win this election. How can he possibly comeback? Hopefully, some of those Clinton campaign advisors that he's recently brought on will suggest he give more face time to the candidate that most resembles the Comeback Kid.

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by Angela Winters

Yesterday, it hit the wires that The Media Fund, a powerful Democratic special interest group, is launching a $40 million advertising campaign targeting the urban black community. It's major tag is to say "Don't Keep Getting Played." It accuses Bush of turning his back on inner city blacks; of having a plan that doesn't include them among other things.

Dems 'Finally Remember' Black Vote
Group's Ad Campaign Courts Black Voters

The ads will run on TV, radio, in magazines and newspapers in the battleground states such as Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, etc. They included Florida, but let's face it; if there is anywhere blacks don't need incentive to vote against Bush, it's Florida. The right did nothing to quell the sentiment of disenfranchisement African-Americans felt after the election and it's too late to start now.

The ads want to convince us that Bush's idea of prosperity doesn't include us. This will go over well in communities where the 10% of black unemployment hits the hardest or in communities where black leaders are telling us again and again that everything wrong in their lives is the direct result of "The Man's" efforts. Will it work as well with the record number of black homeowners or business owners? They live in urban areas too.

The Bush campaign calls the ads divisive and they should know. They've been experts at that strategy over the past year. They are right; it is divisive and it's disrespectful to African-Americans all over the country, not just in urban areas. It plays into this idea of blacks as victims and helpless pawns in the powerful white politicians chess game. The Media Fund wants blacks to believe that getting rid of George Bush will change all the problems in our community even though the alternative hasn't offered anything besides throwing its black supporters in front of every camera it can find.

The right is no better. Recent Republican funded radio and print ads targeting the African-American community for Bush criticize John Kerry as a "wishy-washy, rich, white politician." If that isn't playing the race card, what is?

Are we sensing a recurring theme? Fear, whether it's fear that you'll be attacked if you vote Democrat or fear that you'll be pushed back to the 50s if you vote Republican is the word du jour. In the end, all both parties are proving is that we should be afraid, very afraid of them both.

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by Angela Winters

In an election year, there is the expectation that members on the Hill go out of their way to get things right. It is the one year we can believe they are looking everything they say and do over with a fine-toothed comb. It's a year when they make last ditch efforts to pass good PR legislation and go to great lengths to avoid controversial bills; can anyone say NRA?

This makes the choice by the Congressional Black Caucus to headline a suspected pedophile all the more confusing. This past weekend, the leading black political body in the country hosted its 34th annual legislative conference at the Washington Convention Center. As usual, the event was a mixture of entertainment, issues workshops and legislative discussion. Famous speakers, authors and icons like Bill Cosby participated in various events.

One such event was the 12th annual CBC Spouses benefit on Friday, which this year chose to raise money for scholarships for needy young people. Now who would you want to headline an event, attended by top legislative officials, focused on helping young people? The CBC Spouses choose R. Kelly, the multi-platinum recording artist whose most recent album sold over 30 million copies. Yes, that is the same R. Kelly who is facing 14 (knocked down from 21) counts of various forms of child pornography. The artist, who has expressed an interest in young ladies since his now annulled marriage to 15-year old late singer Aaliyah, is facing these charges based on a video tape of him engaged in sexual acts with a girl alleged to be 13 years old at the time.

This isn't the first time those connected with the CBC has made a choice like this, baffling the black community and others. In April, the CBC welcomed and honored Michael Jackson for his work on AIDS on The Hill while a grand jury was hearing evidence in his molestation charges in California. This at the same time a controversy was blooming over the NAACP nominating R. Kelly for an Image Award. Yes, an Image Award.

Yes, this is America. Innocent until proven guilty, but come on. The CBC's status in this country and what it means to the black community doesn't afford them the luxury of high profile relationships, let alone headlining, with accused pedophiles. Allegedly doesn't really soften the blow here. If you take away the heightened awareness during election year and the fact that he hasn't been convicted of anything, there is still a mountain of reasons not to have him involved in an event that has to do with children.

The videotape is still there, not to mention the other videotapes he has made of women of legal age and allegedly distributed without their consent. A few of these women have filed suit against him. This leads to the less convincing but still valid point that besides "I believe I can Fly", almost every song he sings is extremely sexually explicit. That is what he's known for. Again, no sin, but not appropriate for a children-focused event.

Because of the injustices committed against African-Americans, especially males, the instinct in the community is to support our own. At least until there is absolutely no excuse for it. It's a great quality; we are family after all. However, some of us take this too far and the CBC is the last organization most would expect to make such a controversial decision. Especially in a year where the much needed conversation of the crisis our black children are facing is finally being had. Cosby spoke of it again at the beginning of the conference; parenting. Parenting is about choices. How can the black leaders on The Hill expect black parents to make the right choices about what to expose their children to when they themselves make such questionable ones?

It's not all bad. An hour after the press release announcing R. Kelly headlining the event came out, several black activists and organizations called for the CBC to remove him. While some CBC members expressed concern about the selection made by the spouses, only Congressman William Jefferson from Louisiana was quoted as coming out against the choice.

This conference was about hope, change, progress and helping our children. It was about renewing the movement for economic empowerment and affirming voter's rights. It's a shame that most of this was overshadowed by one questionable choice.

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by Angela Winters

What did I tell you? Nothing good can come from these back and forth attacks.

The Swift Boat Vets were dirty and I would not expect Kerry not to fight back. I thought he should have done much more than he did. The problem was, instead of going after the Swift Boat Vets, the Dems decided to go after Bush themselves instead of leaving it to the special interest groups.

Not only can they no longer say they are above this type of thing (which was never true anyway), but now that the evidence they use appears to be forged, they look like desperate liars. Even if they claim to have been duped by someone else, they still made the choice to use the documents and after suggesting that Bush was responsible for sending us to war on bad advice that someone else gave him, so are they. Kerry is THE Dem now, so it means he is responsible.

My question is, since they both have enough skeletons in their closets to get hurt bad, why couldn't they stick to the issues? Why couldn't they have approached the attacks like Clinton did? Did Kerry listen to Clinton's advice at all? Now the Kerry camp, already behind in the key states, is going to take a blow without enough time to recover.

Everybody's got something to say about this, but I've said enough. Now the Kitty book is coming out accusing Bush of snorting coke at Camp David and forcing a girlfriend to get an abortion. The Bush camp pre-empts this with dirty words about Kitty and covertly asking the stations not to cover the book. Good chance of that. Most stations are going to give her the same play FOX gave the Swift Vets just for the hell of it.

Then there are The Texans For Truth. November can't come too soon enough for me. - AP Washington
The Washington Dispatch
Texans for Truth
Gillespie Warns of 'Vicious Personal Attacks' Against Bush
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by Angela Winters

Yesterday the CBC kicked off its annual legislative conference at the Washington Convention Center.

The Congressional Black Caucus - 34th Annual Legislative Conference 2004

Bill Cosby started things off with a bang, continuing to share his outspoken views on black families and parenting. The Times covered the discussion:

Cosby urges leaders to aid black families

He made a lot of great statements and some not so great. Overall, as I've said before, everything he said was true. His most effective statement was probably the most simple one he made. He concluded that with all the issues out there, including racism, that are assailing our children today, none of them can outdo the effects of parenting. I'm sure those that would prefer to blame the rest of the world for the problems among black youth don't want to hear that. They don't want to hear that if they were doing right by their children, we wouldn't be in this situation. They want to live their lives as they choose and blame someone else, usually racism, when things don't turn out the way they want them to.

I've been to this conference before and it's usually about a lot more than legislation. The legislation is usually buried under all the entertainment. There are a lot of "ticketed" events which mean $$$ and some celebrity. There are also several famous/semi-famous authors signing their latest books, which is what I was there for two years ago.

The Emerging Leaders Conference is focused on the hip-hop generation's guide to economic equality which looks to be in the right direction. There's also a session on the hip hop generation's responsibility within the political movement which can't be overstated enough. Yes, there is also the prayer breakfast. You know, black folks love us some Jesus and when more than three of us get in a room together, we've got to have a prayer breakfast.

President Bush and John Kerry have been invited to speak, but it doesn't look like they have confirmed yet. Seems weird that they would miss it if even to show up for a 1/2 hour speech, but they're both in a dog dirty fight and may not think there is any benefit in preaching to the choir (for Kerry) or a closed ear(for Bush).

Then there is The Black Party (no pun, that's what it's called) tonight from 9pm to 1am, the real party hosted by Congressmen Jesse Jackson, Jr., Harold Ford, Jr., Kendrick Meek and Artur Davis. This is the jam and if the invited guests, Barack Obama, Sean Combs (I'm over 30, I don't say Diddy), Destiny's Child and Chris Tucker among others show up, we'll be reading about something in the paper on Friday. $50 if you want to party or $100 if you want to party and actually see somebody.

I've got to study for the LSAT, so hopefully somebody will call and tell me about it.
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by Angela Winters

Apparently, he would vote for Alan Keyes. Keyes didn't say exactly that, but it was what he was implying in my opinion. Here is the Chicago Trib article covering his statement on who he's certain Jesus would NOT vote for, which unfortunately, doesn't surprise me:

Chicago Tribune | Jesus wouldn't vote for Obama, Keyes says

It does however, disgust me. I absolutely get ill when people try to suggest that Jesus would pick political sides either way. Trust me, I don't know exactly what he might do, but I'd be surprised if he voted for anyone. Neither party has proven itself worthy of his support and in general there isn't a person alive that deserves his vote. He gave us salvation and I think that's more than enough.

I've always wondered how people can claim spiritual superiority based on political viewpoints. I've also always wondered how people who spew such hateful and mean-spirited words can call themselves Christian in the first place. The whole purpose for Christianity is to be Christ-like. We can't do it because he was perfect and we are the farthest thing from perfect, but we try. We pray for forgiveness every day for falling short and try again the next day.

What would Jesus do? He was about love, forgiveness, sacrifice and service. I haven't heard anything like that from Keyes recently. Jesus would hug a prostitute as tightly as a virgin, but would Keyes? Being a Christian is not about standing in judgment of others and some people just don't get that.

There was never any question that Obama was going to win this election. I hope he deserves it. I know my people (shout out to Chicago) love him and think he's going to be president. Keyes never had a chance, but it still doesn't excuse him from spouting off this kind of stuff.

Keyes says, "Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has voted to behave in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved." Hello, I believe that statement applies to all of us. If there is any person on this earth doing anything that would make Jesus say, "That's how I would do it," get my smelling salts.

At least, Obama can take a little break. As long as Keyes keeps getting press, Obama will go higher and higher in the polls with no effort of his own.
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by Angela Winters

Understanding that any medical issue affecting a president would be top news, I wasn't surprised that the news channels all went overboard with Clinton's heart condition. I'm not underestimated its importance. He is a former president, a rock star and a very beloved character in the country and around the world. I think many people were recovering well from their Clinton addiction, but fell right back into the habit when the book came out and he reappeared. Now, they can't get enough; from the book, to the interviews, the speech and now this...everyone wants to see and hear about President Clinton.

When the news came out, I was alarmed and surprised. You think of heart problems and you picture older, overweight people and certainly not powerful men. After it was explained the first 100 times, I was like...Okay, let's take a break until we get some new news. No chance of that. I feel like I've earned some Med School credits after this past weekend from all the info. There is no doubt that his eating habits over the years have influenced the situation, and the countless clips of him stuffing his face were entertaining as well as eye opening. We can be in good shape, young and have the best doctors in the world, but if we don't eat right, problems are coming. Still, the networks should have placed more emphasis on the history of heart problems in his family.

At last count, there were over 45,000 get well messages and I'm sure they'll keep coming the second people find out where to send them. Hint, the hospital will hate you if you keep calling them!

Clinton Presidential Center

It's curious how a person can be so compelling to you whether you like him or not. Like really isn't the right word; generally people love or hate him. For people like Clinton, whose personality is so overwhelming and whose presence is so consuming, there isn't room to like or not like him. People who hate him are just as obsessed as those who love him and anyone who says they're in between is probably not telling the truth.

All the ugliness that taints politics goes away when something as serious as a person's life comes into question. It's not as if many people feared something bad would happen. He's a healthy guy, a real fighter and this is now a routine surgery. Most of us know someone who has had this surgery and is living well with it. It's just the idea that this vibrant and passionate person could have a weak heart and God forbid something happen to another President so soon after Reagan.

If anyone would break ranks with traditional humanity, it would be during this campaign which is uglier than most people can remember a campaign being, but it doesn't seem to have happened. Cheney even called Clinton to wish him the best. Considering Cheney has survived four (some would argue five, but that's another story)heart attacks, and is still running strong, that must have been some form of encouragement.

Cheney Calls Clinton

The Kerry campaign could certainly have used Clinton on the road to get back some of the momentum (well there was never really any momentum) that has been lost, but that's not going to happen. First, I doubt his wife and doctors will allow him to do anything more than a phone call a day. Second, I don't know how ready the country is to see a weak president. I'm sure Clinton will recover, but everyone loses weight and looks eternally tired for a good time after a surgery like this and that's not the way anyone is used to seeing Clinton. They want the rock star/evil villain they've come to love/hate. Hopefully, we'll get him back soon.

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by Angela Winters

We've survived, just barely, another convention, and I for one am glad it's all over. After Tuesday night, I was thinking...this is good... I liked the speeches and the diversity of the speakers. No one blew me away, but I didn't expect them to and I'm thinking comparisons are a waste of time. Giuliani and Clinton? Let's face it; we're talking two completely different communication styles. Still, both sides work hard enough and deserve to have their party.

Then Wednesday came and I was pretty floored. I knew that the right wing was taking the party back from the moderates who owned it Tuesday night, but I was surprised at the drastic change. Not only did the visual and ideological diversity disappear, but the attitude was more like the WWE than anything else. Dig, dig, dig. I've made it clear in many post that I don't respond to negativity, especially when it's just flat-faced nastiness. True or not doesn't matter to me. You can speak the truth without being nasty about.

John McCain was on The Daily Show last night and put his opinion on Zell's speech really well. He said, "I think John Kerry killed his dog." I was thinking maybe he forgot his meds. I didn't sit through Dick Cheney, so I won't pass judgment on it even though the clips told me it was some of the same.

Last night was a little better, but it's like that saying when you go far enough down a road, you can't go back no matter how hard you try. I was soured and it probably prejudiced me. I liked the podium set up for the Prez and I thought he did well. Loved the Texas swagger joke and the one about his English and Arnold was really funny. I know the left hates this, but I like Bush. I think he's funny and plain in an agreeable way and a good person. Speaking has never been his strong point, but last night he did a better job than I've seen in a while.

Unfortunately, this horrible situation in Russia and the impending hurricane makes most of it mute. After all, it is just a speech and life is life. Still, I think the consensus is that he did a good job and although the convention may have turned off a lot of people on Wednesday night, overall it was successful. The polls will tell; for a while at least. The race is on and it's going to swing back and forth for the next two months. Right now, I can only pray for those poor families in Russia and hope that Frances dies down before it hits Florida.
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by Angela Winters

So far, I haven't been that impressed with the Republican's convention speeches and I'm disappointed. No one was expecting any surprises, but we still wanted to hear some good catch phrases, taglines or even a little traditional inspiration. We haven't gotten a lot of that.

So far the party has been successful in putting on a centrist face even though the platform adopted just days ago was extremely conservative. Most of the speakers, McCain, Giuliani and Schwarzzeneger do not represent the party's views on many key issues. Even Laura Bush herself, during the 2000 campaign, said it wouldn't be a good idea to overturn Roe vs Wade, but the platform supports a constitutional ban on abortion as well as gay marriage.

McCain's speech was good, not great. He's a likeable guy and I think you have believe what he says. He never tows the party line unless it's what he believes and you have to respect that. His dig at Michael Moore got more cheers than his dig at terrorists which concerned me a bit, but it was fun. No one was hurt. Let's face it, Moore loves the camera on him and he's used to being booed.

I was disappointed with Guliani's speech. I've always been a fan of Rudy. He took a hard line in cleaning up the city and although I was disappointed with some of his choices around police issues related to the black community, he showed his true colors on 9/11 and made himself the man. That being said, the speech was too negative and too much on the attack. The attacks were effective, but I'm just not the kind to respond to the idea that you vote for one guy just because you can't vote for the other guy.

The Bush Twins were...okay, they're only like what...21 or 22? Cut them some slack. They weren't impressive, but neither was I at that age. They were dressed well and added to the cool quotient so I'll give them a nod. You can't compare them with the Kerry girls who are older and much more sophisticated.

I wasn't able to see the speech given by the MTV Holla Contest winner, Princella Smith, but the interviews she gave earlier this morning were impressive. She was probably a nice change from what they're used to seeing. Unfortunately, the most prominent African Americans in the party are appointed officials so they can't speak. Otherwise, we would all like to see them.

Laura Bush was exactly what I respected. I like her a lot now. During the 2000 election, I thought she was a stepford wife; sitting next to W saying nothing and pasting that immovable smile. When she began to talk, I realized she was much more than that. Not to mention the outfit she wore to the inauguration; very nice. She's not a very lively person and not a great speaker, but she's believable and not intimidating like some other candidate's wives might be. Besides spending the first ten minutes giving shout outs to everyone, it was a pretty bland speech. I will give her this; she spent most of the time speaking about her husband and not herself like Mrs. Heinz-Kerry did last month.

Schwarzenegger was who I was really waiting for and I wasn't disappointed. He's a funny guy and the "if you believe" tags were effective. If you take away the partisan blank party face and talk about the issues it makes people think. Even though I read in a few articles that many delegates attending the convention said they would leave the party if the constitution was amended to allow him to run for President, I don't think it mattered much. These conventions are a party and he's entertainment.

It's Wednesday and the party core is taking its party back. The conservatives have played nice, but tonight the far right is coming out and I expect the tone to change considerably. Zell Miller will be compared to Barak Obama, Cheney will be compared to Edwards and Bush to Kerry. The first two don't have a chance, but W could surprise us.

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