Obama's Counter-attack

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[What’s Going On: Elections 2008]


HISTORIC USA WEEK AHEAD: The Democratic National Convention begins on Monday August 25, in Colorado.

The national political temperament  is electric. This Convention makes the American history annals when African American Barack Obama officially gets the Democratic presidential nomination. While Barack and family vacationed in Hawaii last week, the Republicans have been feverishly doing the devil’s work stateside, smearing and assassinating Barack’s character.

One such fruit of those labors is the new book “THE OBAMA NATION” by Jerome Corsi, which is replete with half truths and outright lies about Mr. O, which will debut as #1 on the  8/24 NYT Bestseller list.

Corsi co-authored the infamous  book, “UNFIT TO COMMAND,” which helped derail John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid. Frank Rich wrote in his 8/17 NYT Op-Ed “The Candidate We Still Don’t Know,” a reference to John McCain. Rich wrote: “In recent articles at worldnetdaily.com, Corsi has claimed that the McCain campaign received ‘strong’ financial support from a group tied to Al Queda and the McCain’s personal fortune traces back to organized crime in Arizona.”

The Obama campaign is on an aggressive mode and has launched its counter-attack ads immediately hopefully to the reprehensible Republican-initiated mischief which runs the gamut from the book to daily blogs and internet allusions to Obama as the Anti-Christ and other abominations.

Republicans have grown desperate. If this Republican behavior precedes the convention, I dread thinking of their agitprop apparatus between their September Convention and Election Day,  November 4.

Obamaians anticipated this Republican reaction and have their own counterattack strategies like the Obama policy book CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN; BARACK OBAMA’S PLAN TO RENEW AMERICA’S PROMISE, which was coordinated by his campaign handlers, and will be published imminently, with a 300,000 press run.

The book focuses on issues such as health care, energy and national security and will include seven of his speeches. Post Dem/Rep Convention political calendars include one town hall meeting where Americans will call in questions to presidential contenders; one presidential debate with Jim Lehrer of PBS’ The Newsletter; Tom Brokaw, on NBC; and Bob Schieffer, of CBS’s Face the Nation; Gwen Ifill will moderate a vice presidential debate.

Much of the Primary season ill-will between Black Hillary supporters and Obama supporters  has dissolved. Unity and solidarity are the African American imperatives.  Obama  approved Convention credentials for Reverend Jessie Jackson, who in a candid interview with essence.com, explains how regrettable his remarks were about Obama’s gonads and his use of  the N-word.

In the interview Reverend Jackson dismissed the notion of one generation of Black politicians rendering the older generation null and void. He added that both generations of Black politicos are necessary, Obama and a Rangel; that both groups are a part of a continuum. At press time, Jackson was not scheduled to speak at the Convention.   However, NYS Governor David Paterson, erstwhile Hillary supporter,  will address the convention next Tuesday.

BEIJING OLYMPICS NOTES:  I call attention to some on the non-American victories, which are not extensively televised.  Africans and African Diasporans are dominating many of the Olympic Track medals. Jamaica sprinters have startled the world with their 100 meter track prowess: Usain Bolt’s 9.69 seconds gold victory, setting a world record and the three women, responsible for a Jamaican sweep, Shelly Ann Frazer (10.78 seconds) gold,  along with Kerron Steward and Sherone Simpson, who tied as silver medallists. 

On 8/20  Bolt won the 200 gold. Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson placed second in the men’s 100. Regarding long distance running, it is hard to defeat  East Africans who dominated the men’s 10,000. Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Sileshi Sihini took gold and silver, respectively; and Kenyan Micah Kogo grabbed the bronze.

HARLEM NEWS:  Rockpoint Group and Stellar Management, owners of Harlem’s RIVERTON, a 1230 unit, 7-building residential housing complex , on 135/138 Streets, from Fifth to Madison, told company, who serviced their 2006 mortgage $225 million loan.  that they are unable to make the 9/2008 payment.  Blame for default is explained by their inability to deregulate 10 % of the housing units sooner.  The Riverton was developed, in 1944,  by Metropolitan Life, in response to grievances by its Black employees, who wanted housing comparable to Stuyvesant Town, another MetLife project, which barred Black tenancy.

Apropos of Harlem and developers, there is good news to report about the nonprofit Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) - an offshoot of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, which celebrates its bicentennial – which is a real estate force with which to be reckoned, according to a recent  NYT article.   Founded  in 1989, with a $50,000 grant, under the leadership of the Reverend Calvin Butts, the ADC  boasts a $.5 billion real estate portfolio and it is still growing! 

Content to focus on economic development, not electoral politics,  Reverend Butts, enjoys the rewards of  his non-partisanship stance.  ADC has developed some of the key development markers associated with Harlem’s revitalization. They are the Lexington/125 Street Pathmark supermarket, a $17 million project;  the Thurgood Marshall Academy, in partnership with the NYC Dept. of Education; and  the Harlem Center, in partnership with Forest City Ratner, an $85 million retail and office building bordering Lenox and 125 Street, which houses Washington Mutual, Staples and CVS. ADC will begin dismantling the Old Renaissance Ballroom building and replacing it with 116-unit, 19 story condo tower, which will include set asides for lower income Harlemites.

MEDIA NOTES:  It is official, The Wendy Williams Show, TWWS, the Fox TV, hour-long, weekday, anything-goes gabfest and entertainment show, is off probation and has been green lit for a season; the Omarosa guest–spot notwithstanding.  Williams’ first week’s ratings reflected that she performed  #1 in her 10 AM time slot. The TWWS is an experience, hard to describe.  

There have been sightings of  the $16 Italian Vogue, the All Black women’s issue. Copies of magazines are inventoried at  magazine/newspaper store on Broadway & 77 Street, SW corner and on West 23 Street, just off the NE Seventh Avenue corner, both in Manhattan.  Italian Vogue editor enthused that Obama phenom inspired her decision to publish all-Black  issue. 

ELEO POMARE REMEMBERED:  An Afro Colombian, born in Santa Marta on October 20, 1937,  Eleo Pomare  relocated  to Panama with his mother, before they came to NY, when he was 10.  He attended Performing Arts HS where he came under the influence of Martha Graham. He studied dance under Black teachers and choreographers until 1958 when he directed the Eleo Pomare Dance Company of modern dance. He left for Europe in 1962, founded a dance company in Amsterdam until the civil rights movement summoned him back to the US in 1964.  Stateside, he expanded his extant dance company,  which toured all over the world. Pomare, the dancer/choreographer was among the first to bring Black street life narratives and social protest to modern dance concert stages. His works have been critiqued as brilliant, edgy, defiant and rebellious.     Mr. Pomare died on NY on August  8.

SPORTS AWARDS GALA:  The nonprofit  African Development Fund ADF hosts its Third Annual Awards Dinner, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, on Sunday 8/24. The 2008 ADF honoree roster includes sports icons like Willie Randolph; David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox; Stephen Marbury, NY Knicks, Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs; and Robinson Cano, NY Yankees and other international eminences.  ADF was founded by Ghana-born George Ntim, also its president, to promote goodwill and strengthen relationships between the US and Africa. For more ADF Gala info and reservations, call 347.885.6997, 212.704-8850.

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