Obama; Challenging The ToothlessPit Bull

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[Election 2008: What's Going On]

2008 ELECTIONS: What a difference one week and a Republican Convention make. The Democrats left Denver triumphant and unified, under the leadership of Barack Obama, with an uplifting message about hope and change, a dramatic departure from the nation’s current George Bush engineered nightmare.  Obama also enjoyed a short-lived  post - Denver 6- point bump among the polls, with a 50-46 lead. The right-wing Republican Convention speakers, including pit-bull Barbie Palin, lied and demonized Obama - the professor, the state and US senator, the community organizer - as a man with little executive experience compared with Palin’s gubernatorial and mayoral experience.

The outcomes of the Republican convention were 1) hiring and bullying the US media into silence about Palin 2) savaging the opponent by innuendo and 3) co-opting the Democratic Party line, presenting the McCain/Palin  right wing/wrong wing ticket as the true agent of change.  Brilliant!  Scarier yet,  it’s working! At press time, national polls indicated that Obama and McCain are in a statistical dead heat! Huh?! Meanwhile, the US economy travels south;  Wall Street brokerage firm Lehman Bros. Reports $4 billion in losses and plans to shed assets; and the Feds rescuing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, putting them into receivership. The cost of living is spiraling north. And Americans are embracing the McCain/Palin option?  The McCain/Palin package is a continuum of the Bush years, plain and simple.   

McCain’s selection of political novice cum rock star, Sarah Palin as his VP running mate was bold, risky, and historic.  She has energized the base and older white men.  On 9/9 a tv news report revealed that polls show a 20% surge among women voters for McCain. Same segment said that women are the most fickle voters. Distaff journalists are weighing in on Palin’s rock star status and voter outreach.  NYT op-ed’s Maureen Dowd, says in her 9/10 MY FAIR VEEP essay that Palin is “drawing women and men with her vapid – if vivacious and visceral – scri pted cheerleading.” 

Dowd challenges ABC-TV’s evening news anchor Charles Gibson,  who landed first network Palin interview to ask questions such as what she’d do “when the 3 am phone rings… Will she call the  Wasilla Assembly of God congregation and them to pray  on a response as she asked them to pray for a natural gas pipeline?   Does she believe that Adam, Eve, Satan and dinosaurs mingled on earth 5000 years ago?” Gibson/Palin Interview airs 9/11 and 9/12. 

On 9/4, America’s First Feminist Gloria Steinem, who supports Obama, wrote LA Times piece “Palin: Wrong Woman, Wrong Message” saying  “Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.”   Palin’s church also advocates that gays should pray away their lifestyle.    
Flash: I just read something that I thought was sci-fi in an 9/10 Alternet essay “WEIRD THEOLOGY IN WASILLA: A Look Inside Sarah Palin’s Pentecostal Church.” I did not know that the Republican Party’s Veep rock star was “blessed by an African cleric known for driving the “spirit of witchcraft” out of a town in Kenya.” Well, what’s he doing in Wasilla, Alaska,? A story first published in McClatchy news service. Isn’t Kenya, Obama’s paternal homeland?

Other recent media notes reveal that Obama is re-thinking his strategy in dealing with attack dog, novice chief executive Sarah Palin.  Obama must summon some new energy and invective to deal with the diarrheatic-tongued Alaskan.  A number of my girlfriends complain that Mr. O comes across wimpy by not retaliating in kind to the  Republican assaults. U.S politicals is a gladiator sport.   The 9/2 Jewish Daily Forward ran an   article, “Michelle Obama Has A Rabbi In Her Family.”  He is Rabbi Capers Funnye, who serves on the Chicago Board of Rabbis, and is Mrs.O’s  first cousin once removed. New York’s former mayor Ed Koch announced that he supports Obama, hopefully, he will stomp for him in states like Florida like he did 4 years ago.

Election Day is 11/4.  There are 8 million voter-eligible African Americans,  who are unregistered.  For USA voter registration info, call 800-424-9530 and visit www.fabnit.com. Tri-State voter registration deadline  info:  NJ is 10/14  http://www.njelections.org; NY is 10/10 http://www.elections.state.ny.us; and Connecticut is 10/21 for mail-in and 10/28 for walk-in. Please share.

Obama visits NYC on Thursday, 9/11. He lunches with President Bill Clinton at his Harlem office; tapes a David Letterman segment, speaks at Columbia University, his alma mater; visits Ground Zero with McCain; and ends the day with McCain at an CNN forum.  Hopefully, Clinton will give him some tips about fighting low and dirty with the Republicans while they break bread! Yesterday, Governor David Paterson, came under fire for talking about racism and code words,  in the Republican Presidential campaign, at a NY Crain’s business breakfast usually attended by New York’s business elite. One of his examples was the continuous use of the term “community worker” by Palin et.al at the Republican Convention  to describe and belittle Obama. I must email the Governor the internet button that reads. “Attention Sarah Palin, Jesus Christ was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor.”

All 2008 Election media addicts should look at LIKE IT IS on Sunday, 9/14 at noon as Gil Noble and guests Black Star News publisher Milton Allimadi, Newsday’s Les Payne and AmNews Herb Boyd, continue their analysis of  the 2008 Presidential Elections, its impact in the USA and Africa. Two new Obama Books hit bookstores this month:  CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN, Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise, and 7 of his campaign speeches. An audio version, read by Andre Blake, is also available.  And a coffee table, photo essay OBAMA: THE HISTORIC CAMPAIGN IN PHOTOS, by Deb Willis and Kevin Merida,  curated by Deborah Willis and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe.  

According to a recently released Center for An Urban Future report, NYC gained more than 256,000 jobs, during the past 10 years, mostly in Harlem and the outer boroughs.  Zip code 10027, in West Harlem, from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River showed a 187% gain in jobs during the decade. Regarding the outer borough job increases, almost  80.5% of  Brooklyn’s zip codes generated more jobs; about 76% of the Bronx zip codes reported more jobs; 83% of Queens zip codes showed job increases and 83.3% of Staten Island zip codes boasted news jobs. 

  It is no longer a mystery who Congressman Charles Rangel’s nemesis is. It is the Republican Party. The latest defamatory Rangel story was the Sunday, 8/31 NY Post cover story revelation about his failure to report income from his Dominican Republic seaside villa on his 2007 tax return, which was followed by the NYT five days later.  The Republicans have announced that they are targeting vulnerable Democrats who benefited from Rangel’s fundraising efforts. On 9/9, Congressional Republicans petitioned for him to be removed as Chair of Ways and Means. It’s getting ugly.

The nonprofit All For Africa hosts its inaugural KNOCK OUT POVERTY, a multi-tiered benefit fundraiser – concert performances and IBF titled fights -  which will draw heavyweights from the worlds of music, sports, and politics, at the Hammerstein Ballroom, in Manhattan, on September 23, against the backdrop of the new UN General Assembly session, when world leaders descend on  NYC.  The KNOCK OUT POVERTY extravaganza, designed to stamp out poverty in Africa, boasts entertainment marquee names who will perform and/or make special appearances such as Grammy Awardee Youssou N’Dour, UNICEF Goodwill ambassador Angelique Kidjo award-winning actors Jeffrey Wright and Gbenga Akinnagbe, former Miss Universe Mpule Kwelagobe.  

Liberia President Ellen Sirleaf;  Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma; and Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete are among the African dignitaries expected to  attend KNOCK OUT POVERTY KNOCK OUT POVERTY will feature an International Boxing Federation (IBF) title fight between veteran African gladiators, Nigerian Eromosele “Bad Boy” Albert and Ghanaian Ossie Duran, as part of a jam-packed card of sanctioned bouts.

KNOCK OUT POVERTY proceeds  will support ALL FOR AFRICA’s launch of its innovative Palm Out Poverty Campaign, which will award 700 individual palm oil trusts to as many beneficiaries, on the ground in Africa.  Each trust is expected to generate more than $1 million, spanning 30 years, totaling more than $700 million for operational funding. For reservations to KNOCK OUT POVERTY gala, call 212.351.0111 or 212.351.0055.   Email diane@allforafrica.org or visit www.allforafrica.org. 

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