Chinks in the Republican Presidential Armor?

The early line-up of Republican presidential prospects hoping to challenge incumbent Pres. Barack Obama is weak 18 months before Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (who had less than a snowball’s chance in Hades, to begin with, in my view) has voluntarily stepped out of the race. That was smart. Keep your good government job, Governor.

It looks like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s star has begun to dim. Besides, she and others in her family seem content to cash in on their celebrity status. Daughter Bristol, the one who got pregnant before getting married, went to the bank with Crazy Six-Figure Dollars preaching abstinence around the country: “Do as I say, not as I do.” Continue reading

Why I don’t believe in Jury Duty

I realize that it’s flat out unpatriotic, what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it anyway. I refuse to sit on juries.

It’s like the bromide: “If nominated I won’t run. If elected I won’t serve.”

If I get a summons (and it seems like I get one every other month or so, rather, than every three years as authorities profess) I try to respond immediately with a letter proclaiming my hostility to what I describe as the Criminal Injustice System. It’s not a “justice system,” it’s just us, in the system. Continue reading

The fake Trump-for-President campaign

During the 2008 presidential campaign I made a flat-out boast to several acquaintances: former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee would not be elected President of the United States in 2008.

In recent history, Southern governors who have become President have mostly been Democrats: Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton. So Republican Gov. Huckabee (just like Mississippi Go. Haley Barbour this time around) would have had too much Deep South “baggage” in the general election, and unlike the Southern Democrats, he would have had zero support from Black voters. Zilch. Nada. No Soul Brothers.

Don’t tell me Pres. George W. (for Worst in History) Bush was a Southerner. He was a Kennebunkport, Maine (like his Daddy and his Granddaddy), C-average, Yale University student, who adopted Texas later in life so he could deride New England pointy-headed liberals the way conservatives like to do.

And besides, “W.” was “selected” by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court vote, not “elected” by the voters, who gave more votes to Walter Mondale than to Bush in 2000. And Texas is no way an Alabama, Mississippi, or an Arkansas in its “Southern-ness.” Continue reading

The fake Trump-for-President campaign

During the 2008 presidential campaign I made a flat-out boast to several acquaintances: former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee would not be elected President of the United States in 2008.

In recent history, Southern governors who have become President have mostly been Democrats: Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton. So Republican Gov. Huckabee (just like Mississippi Go. Haley Barbour this time around) would have had too much Deep South “baggage” in the general election, and unlike the Southern Democrats, he would have had zero support from Black voters. Zilch. Nada. No Soul Brothers.

Don’t tell me Pres. George W. (for Worst in History) Bush was a Southerner. He was a Kennebunkport, Maine (like his Daddy and his Granddaddy), C-average, Yale University student, who adopted Texas later in life so he could deride New England pointy-headed liberals the way conservatives like to do.

And besides, “W.” was “selected” by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court vote, not “elected” by the voters, who gave more votes to Walter Mondale than to Bush in 2000. And Texas is no way an Alabama, Mississippi, or an Arkansas in its “Southern-ness.”

Finally, the world was not ready for the leader of a nuclear-armed Superpower named “Huckabee.” The name itself was ripe for monologues by late-night television comedians, not for diplomatic respect. I still laugh to myself when I think about it: “President Huckabee.” Continue reading

The GOP Sham-A-Lamma-Ding-Dong-Budget

Back in the Day–1980 to be precise–GOP presidential candidate George H.W. Bush referred to fellow candidate Ronald Reagan’s “supply-side” financial theories as “Voodoo Economics.” He was correct. He went on to join the Reagan ticket, became Vice President and then President and so much for his critique of Reagan’s policies.

Today we’re living with Republicans whose economic philosophy amounts to Reaganomics-on-Steroids, and there are probably not enough pejoratives to accurately describe their notion that tax cuts for the wealthy and spending cuts in services everyone else depends on are good for a society trying to crawl out of the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Cut spending. Cut spending. Cut spending. Cut spending. That is the Republican formula for solving the economic crisis that has been decades in the making. Continue reading

Africa, meet COINTELPRO

The cat is now finally out of the bag. U.S. CIA operatives are operating in Libya.

Africa, meet COINTELPRO.

It has long been know that the United States appropriated more than $150 million to finance covert operations to bring about regime change in Iran. But for the last few years this country and Europe‘s major partners–Italy, France, the United Kingdom–had been making nice with Libya. Full diplomatic relations had been restored, embassies opened, full ambassadors exchanged, presidential visits.

For its part Libya renounced its interests in acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and in an internationally supervised process destroyed its capacity to manufacture WMD. Libya also compensated victims of the Lockerbie airline sabotage over Scotland, and stepped back from meddling in Middle East affairs, in favor of greater engagement in Africa.

But Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi (there are at least 400 English language spellings of his name based on transliteration from the Arabic, and I just prefer sticking with the Old School 1990s official Libyan spelling, by the way) has remained in power, seeking to become an African transformative figure in the mold of his North African, socialist neighbor and mentor Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser, and West African icon, former Ghanaian President Osageyfo Kwame Nkrumah. Continue reading

Free The Cuban Five

Imagine an espionage defendant convicted of a crime in which no classified documents or information was compromised. Now, imagine five such defendants.

Imagine a group of pro-Castro Cubans standing trial for espionage, in Miami, Florida, of all places, where hundreds of thousands of anti-Castro, Cuban exiles reside. There is an African proverb which describes their plight: “In a court of fowls, the cockroach never wins his case.”

Imagine such a Kangaroo Court where the principles of law and justice are disregarded and perverted, but just to make sure things go their way, the government made extensive payments to Miami journalists covering the trial of the five men, in order to manipulate public opinion against the defendants.

Sounds like a Banana Republic, and not the Good Old U.S. of A., doesn’t it? Continue reading

Intervention by any other name

Imagine for a few moments what political life must have been like in Antebellum America. As the Civil War erupted, high ranking politicians abandoned the “Unionist” side and joined the Rebels. A former member of Congress became President of the new Confederate States of America.

The Rebels had their own flag–The Stars and Bars–which was distinct from the American flag–Old Glory, The Stars and Stripes.

Soon, some of the finest graduates of the U.S. Military Academy were casting their lots with the insurgents. Indeed, President Abraham Lincoln’s first choice to command the Union Army–Gen. Robert E. Lee–defected to lead the Rebel Army in its campaign against his native land, against the Constitution he had sworn to defend.

The traitorous Rebels hoped that Britain and France–where they shipped much of the cotton they produced with free labor from millions of African slaves–would support their cause by restricting the Union Navy’s ability to control the shipping lanes. They wanted an Allied “No Sea Zone,” if you will. Continue reading

The ‘King’ of Homeland Hypocrisy

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is the undisputed Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and in my view the uncrowned “King of Homeland Hypocrisy.”

In what critics described as nothing less than a modern-day form of McCarthyism and unbridled scapegoating, King tried his best to stoke fear and hatred against Muslims in this country by convening a day-long hearing March 10 on the “radicalization” of the Muslim community.

Let me make it clear today that I remain convinced that these hearings must go forward, and they will. To back down would be a craven surrender to political correctness and an abdication of what I believe to be the main responsibility of this committee: to protect America from a terrorist attack,” King said in his opening remarks.

His hearings did little to protect America. There is no “legislation” associated with his witchhunt, a so-called “legislative hearing.” No laws are pending no laws are proposed. It was simply a chance to unload against the Muslim community, while ignoring other potential home-grown terror suspects. Continue reading

Blacks and the Public Workforce

The Recent scam caused by unscrupulous Republican elected officials to “starve the government beast” by first giving unwarranted tax breaks to the wealthiest citizens, thus bankrupting public treasuries then balancing the budgets on the backs of the unionized workers and by slashing the so-called “safety net” which helped support the most vulnerable in the society, is as the British say a “cheeky” thing to do.

But wait, that’s not all. Governments, universities, union pension funds, even homeowners–everyone who had any money at all invested in the stock market (into which these same cheeky politicians want to invest future Social Security payments) or anywhere else–everyone who had any cash money lying around in the last decade is also crying broke now because of greedy mortgage bankers and Wall Street tycoons who literally raided the cookie jar and spent all the money on exorbitant salaries and such.

A number of Midwest governors are now conspiring wholesale with their Tea Party-minded legislative allies to eliminate the gains obtained by public sector workers. If successful, their ploy will have devastating consequences for Black people, a number of labor and rights advocates agree. Continue reading