The Essence of Politics

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards' New Role: Campaign Weapon

She Redefines the Role of a Candidate's Wife With Her Attack on Ann Coulter

The role of the candidate's wife has varied widely in the last few presidential campaigns, from demure Laura Bush and protective Barbara Bush to co-presidential Hillary Clinton and outspoken Theresa Heinz Kerry.

Now Elizabeth Edwards seems to be setting a new standard as a powerful weapon for her husband's presidential campaign.

The 57-year-old wife of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards has become an enormous asset, gaining support in her fight against cancer and earning praise for her intelligence and charm.

But what was behind Edwards' phone call to MSNBC during conservative commentator Ann Coulter's appearance?

Some political analysts say the call was clearly an effort to rally supporters before a second-quarter fundraising deadline this Saturday.

After all, the campaign has been able to rally thousands of supporters to donate money Wednesday, the day after Elizabeth Edwards called in to MSBNC's "Hardball" to confront Coulter and tell her to stop making personal attacks against her husband.

"How about you stop raising money on your Web page, then?" shot back Coulter, who also mocked the fact that Edwards' wife, rather than the candidate himself, was calling in to complain......

Perspective on Her Side, Mrs. Edwards Enters Fray

Three months after Elizabeth Edwards said that her cancer had returned in inoperable form, her role and influence in John Edwards’s presidential campaign is undiminished. She has made a flurry of charged public appearances, become a regular presence advising Mr. Edwards on the campaign trail, and wields behind-the-scenes influence in many internal campaign decisions, aides said.

Mrs. Edwards has also become a free operator on behalf of her husband of 29 years, a development that her friends suggest reflects the clarity and perspective that come from her cancer diagnosis, and her increasingly confident political instincts as she advises Mr. Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat, in his second White House bid.

When Mrs. Edwards called in to a television talk show this week to confront the conservative commentator Ann Coulter who had attacked Mr. Edwards this year, it was a decision that Mrs. Edwards said she made impulsively and on her own. The resulting dramatic four minutes of television created a surge of attention that at least momentarily electrified her husband’s campaign, winning applause from the left and apparently spiking contributions in the critical final days of this second-quarter fund-raising period.

It also made Mrs. Edwards the sympathetic face of the Edwards campaign, for a few days overshadowing the candidate himself.

Similarly, Mrs. Edwards told gay leaders at a kick-off event for the San Francisco gay pride parade last week that she supported same-sex marriage, a position at variance with Mr. Edwards’s. He learned of her remarks from reading a newspaper, an aide said. Mrs. Edwards said that she was just offering her opinion, as well as an explanation for her husband’s more conservative views on the issue, in response to a question. But the interview, some Democrats said, had the political effect of at least appeasing some liberal Democrats over Mr. Edwards’s views of gay-rights issues.

At campaign headquarters in Chapel Hill, N.C., Mr. Edwards’s aides said they regularly heard from Mrs. Edwards, long known for being vigilantly protective of her husband’s ambitions, through e-mail or telephone calls, on matters large and small. They said that even in illness, she had kept a hand in some of the big decisions of the campaign. She was an advocate for hiring Joe Trippi, the manager of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, as a senior Edwards adviser, in large part to address her concern about lackluster fund-raising by the campaign. She argued vigorously with her husband over details of his signature health care plan — before an audience of transfixed campaign aides. (He won that argument, an aide said.)......

In Iowa, Clinton Camp Scripts Bill's Role to Keep Focus on Hillary

When Bill Clinton joins his wife for their first major joint campaign appearances tomorrow, the former president is planning to play the role of "biographer in chief," telling "the story" of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton -- and directing some of his high-wattage charisma toward her.

But can the former president keep from stealing the show?

The extraordinary sight of the two Clintons on the stump in Iowa is expected to draw a media crush, dominating the holiday week news even as a handful of other presidential contenders campaign around the state. Clinton officials describe the former president's participation as an obvious next step for the campaign, given that Iowa is the key primary battlefield where Clinton (D-N.Y.) is so far faring the worst.

The joint trip also brings challenges -- and potential openings -- for Clinton's rivals. Already, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has questioned whether the former first lady can claim experience in the Oval Office based on her husband's terms in office. Highly popular among Democratic loyalists, the former president has a tendency to overshadow his wife in public.
And, as always, introducing the good Clinton in public hazards reminding voters of the bad, particularly his affair with a White House intern and subsequent impeachment by the House nearly a decade ago.

Sen. Clinton has concluded that the risk is worth the reward: She increasingly invokes her husband's record and refers nostalgically to the 1990s in her speeches, citing his foundation work in statements about her own foreign policy agenda and referring to his presidency as the "last Clinton administration."

Her husband is expected take a somewhat different approach in the next week. Clinton advisers have scripted a role for the former president that focuses squarely on the candidate, not himself. During a handful of rallies -- or, as they are being called, "Ready for Change, Ready to Lead" events -- in Iowa, he is, advisers said, planning to walk listeners through his wife's biography, particularly her work in children's advocacy as first lady of Arkansas, on behalf of women as first lady, and as a senator for the past 6 1/2 years......

Obama: Fading to black?

For a presidential candidate who has refused to be pigeon-holed as the "black candidate," Sen. Barack Obama found himself fading in a staged battle for the hearts of black voters Thursday night.

Billed as the "All-American Presidential Forum," the televised debate brought the eight Democratic contenders to Howard University, one of the most prestigious schools in the network of historically black colleges.

The gathering of presidential hopefuls was also a prime time showcase for Tavis Smiley, a media celebrity, and his book, The Covenant with Black America, a New York Times best-selling collection of essays that offer solutions to a variety of problems plaguing impoverished minority communities.

It was the first time a panel of journalists of color, with a black moderator, posed the questions to the candidates.

Close ties shine throughIt was clear from the answers to the first questions that Obama's chief rival, Hillary Clinton, spoke with greater confidence on race issues, and in fact she brought many of the women in the audience to their feet when she addressed the alarming rate of HIV/AIDS infections in the black community.
"If HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 24 and 34, there would be an outrage in this country,'' she said.
What black woman hasn't uttered those same words at one time or another?

While it should have been Obama's night, Clinton's close ties to the African-American community shone through in her remarks, offering a boldness that frankly was missing from Obama's responses.

For example, when asked if racism is still an intractable issue of the day, Clinton acknowledged that progress had been made, pointing out that she shared the stage with an African-American and a Latino candidate.

"But there is so much to be done," she said. "For anyone to assert that race is not a problem in America is to deny the realities before our very eyes."

She also used a phrase from The Covenant, "the cradle to the superhighway," showing that she had at least picked up a book being touted as one of the most important for the African-American community in recent times.

Surprisingly, Obama continued a balancing act in which he points out the unfairness African Americans face in their daily lives but also criticizes the negative behaviors often found among the impoverished.....

Can a Law Change a Society?

SINCE 1954, liberal and conservative justices have disagreed about the central meaning of Brown v. Board of Education. Was the purpose of Brown to achieve a colorblind society or an integrated one? Last week, in its 5-to-4 decision declaring that public schools in Louisville and Seattle can’t take explicit account of race to achieve integration, the Supreme Court came down firmly on the side of colorblindness. Despite some important qualifications by Justice Anthony Kennedy, at least four conservative justices made clear that they believe that nearly all racial classifications are unconstitutional.

The lawyers who won the Supreme Court case predicted that it would have as dramatic an effect on American society as the original Brown case did. “These are the most important decisions on the use of race since Brown v. Board of Education,” Sharon Browne, the principal lawyer for the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, declared in a press release. “With these decisions, an estimated 1,000 school districts around the country that are sending the wrong message about race to kids will have to stop.”

But some legal scholars on both sides of the political spectrum, and of the affirmative action debate, question this assessment. They doubt that this case will transform society as dramatically as Brown did. And some of them question whether even Brown was as singularly influential in transforming society as many have claimed during the last half-century.

The conventional wisdom about Brown holds that it was more responsible than anything else for the integration of schools. “Brown really did transform society by stopping de jure segregation, and without Brown, schools would look very different,” says David J. Armor, a conservative scholar at George Mason University.

But some liberal scholars have challenged that heroic assessment. In “From Jim Crow to Civil Rights,” Michael J. Klarman argues that it was a political commitment to integration in the 1960s, not the Brown decision in the 1950s, that led to meaningful integration.

“Brown didn’t transform society very much, and to the extent that it did it was indirect,” says Mr. Klarman, who is a law professor at the University of Virginia. “Brown brought out the worst in White Supremacy, and Northerners were appalled by the police dogs they saw on television, and that advanced the civil rights movement.” He argues that meaningful desegregation didn’t occur until the Johnson administration’s Justice Department became committed to enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare threatened to cut off financing to school districts that refused to integrate.

Professor Klarman said he believed that just as the court couldn’t bring about integration on its own in 1954, so it won’t be able to mandate colorblindness on its own today. “Just as Brown produced massive resistance in the South and therefore had little impact on desegregation for a decade, this decision is going to be similarly inconsequential,” he says. “This affects only the tiny percentage of school districts that use race to assign students, and even in those districts, like Louisville and Seattle, it won’t be consequential because there are so many opportunities for committed school boards to circumvent it.”........

Friday, June 29, 2007

Got big bucks? Meet Edwards, other presidential candidates


Many of the multimillionaires gathered Tuesday afternoon at the Los Altos Hills estate of high-tech entrepreneur Steve Kirsch have been at these presidential fundraisers before, dropping a couple thousand dollars at the Thompsons in Woodside to meet Barack Obama or at the Hasans in Saratoga to get a personal word with Hillary Clinton.

The fat checks they write to gain entrance to these intimate get-togethers buy them a rarefied, front-row seat to the spectacle of a presidential campaign, where they are able to assess the candidates not through CNN clips and blog postings, but up close and personal, over afternoon lemonade and tomato and basil sandwiches on fresh baguettes.

So when Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards stepped lightly up the Kirsch's limestone steps, past the commissioned bronze sculpture and reflecting pools and into the midst of the 30 paying guests, he had an impression to make. And with his poll numbers in California showing him trailing Clinton and tied in a distant second with Obama, it had to be a good one.

In this mostly Democratic crowd, his talk about solving the global warming and health care crises, opposing the war in Iraq and ending poverty was eagerly embraced.

But to the party's host - a serial entrepreneur who founded Infoseek - Edwards has something Clinton and Obama don't: electability. Even though Edwards is struggling for support in California, he's in a dead heat in Iowa and other battleground states.

"You have to think a little bit beyond who you like and think about the bigger picture - and that's who's more likely to win in the election in November," said Kirsch, who was first attracted to Edwards for his strong stand on global warming. "Edwards has a really compelling story."
In an interview after the two-hour event, Edwards - no surprise - agreed he has the best shot against a Republican.

"We need the strongest general election candidate and there's a lot of evidence that I'm the strongest general election candidate," Edwards said in a telephone interview as he left the party. "The key to winning the Democratic nomination is to do well in the early states and come into the California primary with momentum."

And Edwards hopes the voters of Silicon Valley, including those who collectively anted up $50,000 for him at Kirsch's party, will help generate that momentum. They are taking advantage of the candidates' frequent swings through Northern California to look them in the eye personally.......

Vying to Be the 'Second Black President'

If Bill Clinton was the "first black president," his wife and Barack Obama are vying to be the second.

Obama, the only black running for the White House, came into a debate Thursday night at predominantly black Howard University with the crowd on his side, chanting his name as all eight Democratic candidates posed for pictures on stage. But Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared to win many of them over in an impassioned performance that addressed their anger over inequality.

"If HIV/AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country," Clinton said in the biggest applause line of the night, bringing audience members to their feet.

Black voters are a loyal base for Democratic candidates, which was why all the presidential candidates were sure to take part in a debate focused entirely on issues facing the black community. Polls show that blacks are closely divided between Obama and Clinton, with other candidates gathering less support.

Clinton and Obama are both pulling on the heart strings of black voters," Democratic consultant Jamal Simmons said. "Most black voters are very fond of the Clintons, and having Hillary Clinton running for president and bringing back that feeling after years of President Bush is pulling on black voters out of a sense of loyalty. But Obama is pulling on them out of a sense of history."

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, who served as Democrat Al Gore's campaign manager in 2000, said the debate gave Obama an opportunity to introduce himself to many black voters who aren't familiar with him after he served just 2 1/2 years in Washington. "He didn't knock it out of the park," Brazile said, adding that Clinton was a standout.

"She clearly understood that these issues deserve urgent attention, and she connected on that," Brazile said of the New York senator.

She also is married to former President Clinton, so wildly popular among black voters that novelist Toni Morrison dubbed him "the first black president" in a 1998 essay......

Dem hopefuls focus on domestic issues, minority problems

For 90 minutes on Thursday night, eight Democratic presidential candidates debated before an audience made up largely of one of their party's most reliable and liberal constituencies -- African American voters -- and used the stage to urge a revitalization of domestic programs they said had faltered under President Bush.

They called for spending more on schools in poor neighborhoods to lower class sizes and raising salaries for teachers to prevent a drain of educators from inner-city schools. They called for rolling back tax cuts on the wealthy to pay for expanded health care and provide job training.

The debate was held at Howard University, an important black college in Washington. It was the third Democratic presidential debate of the campaign, but the first one dedicated largely to domestic issues and particularly the problems facing minorities.

The foreign policy flash points that had produced conflict between the Democrats at their earlier debates -- in particular, the war in Iraq -- were largely absent as the candidates spoke easily, offering jokes and compliments.

"Let me finish John's thought, because it was an important one," Illinois Sen. Barack Obama said, finishing a response by former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who was criticizing the White House response to Hurricane Katrina. "There are potential Katrinas all across this country that have been neglected."

The foreign policy issue of the night was how to end the genocide in Darfur; the candidates generally agreed that the foreign policies of the Bush administration have neglected the crisis.
"Let's face it, if Darfur had a large supply of oil, this administration would be occupying it right now," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.......

Democrats Bash Court Diversity Ruling

Democratic presidential candidates stood united Thursday night against the Supreme Court and its historic ruling rolling back a half-century of school desegregation laws. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said the conservative court "turned the clock back" on history.

Sen. Barack Obama, the only black candidate in the eight-person field, spoke of civil rights leaders who fought for Brown v. Board of Education and other precedents curbed by the high court. "If it were not for them," he said, "I would not be standing here."

The 90-minute debate was the third gathering of the Democratic hopefuls in a presidential campaign that has gotten off to an unusually early start. While the first two debates focused on their narrow differences on Iraq, moderator Tavis Smiley promised to steer the candidates to other issues that matter to black America, including health care, education, criminal justice, police accountability, housing and voting rights.

The debate was held at Howard University, a historically black college in the nation's capital.

Black voters are a large and critical part of the Democratic primary electorate, making the debate a must-attend for candidates seeking the party's presidential nomination. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton and Princeton University scholar Cornel West were among those in the audience.

Segregation was not the only issue. In turn, the candidates discussed their hopes to stem poverty, close the economic gap between rich and poor, fight AIDS and overhaul a judicial system that doesn't always seem colorblind.

"This issue of poverty is the cause of my life," said John Edwards, the 2004 vice presidential nominee.

Said Obama: "It starts with birth.".....

U.S. Democrats battle for black votes in debate

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the other Democratic presidential contenders battled for black support on Thursday with attacks on the ravages of racism, promises to lift up the poor and pledges to do more for Africa.

In a debate at historically black Howard University in Washington, the eight Democrats condemned a Supreme Court decision earlier in the day barring the use of race in assigning students to public schools and said racism remained a defining challenge in the United States.

Clinton, the New York senator who leads the Democratic field in national polls for the November 2008 election and is battling Obama for crucial black support, noted HIV/AIDS was a leading cause of death among young black women and questioned the country's priorities.

"If HIV/AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country," she said, prompting many in the largely black crowd to stand and applaud.

Obama, an Illinois senator who would be the first black president, said the Supreme Court decision on Thursday was a frontal attack on the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case that outlawed racial segregation in U.S. public schools.

"If it hadn't been for them, I would not be standing here today," he said of the legal team that led the fight to end school segregation. "We have made enormous progress. But the progress we have made is not good enough."

Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden said the decision showed the impact of new conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, both nominated by Republican President George W. Bush. He said the next president would have more opportunity to shape the court.

"They have turned the court upside down," Biden said of Roberts and Alito. "The next president of the United States will be able to determine whether or not we go forward or continue this slide.".....

Democratic US presidential hopefuls debate court ruling on schools, taxes, AIDS

A historically diverse field of Democratic presidential candidates — a woman, a black, an Hispanic and five whites — denounced an hours-old Supreme Court ruling on school desegregation and said the nation's slow march to racial unity is far from over.

The top U.S. court voted 5-4 earlier Thursday to strike down school integration plans in two cities, a decision that imperiled similar plans that hundreds of cities and counties use voluntarily to integrate their schools.

"We have made enormous progress, but the progress we have made is not good enough," said Sen. Barack Obama, the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first female candidate with a serious shot at the presidency, drew the night's largest cheer when she suggested there was a hint of racism in the way AIDS is addressed in this country.

"Let me just put this in perspective: If HIV-AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34 there would be an outraged outcry in this country," Clinton said.

In their third primary debate, the two leading candidates and their fellow Democrats played to the emotions of a predominantly black audience, fighting for a voting bloc that is crucial in the party's nomination process.

One issue not raised by questioners, the war in Iraq, dominated the past two debates. Queries about AIDS, criminal justice, education, taxes, outsourcing jobs, poverty and the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina all led to the same point: The racial divide still exists.

"There is so much left to be done," Clinton said, "and for anyone to assert that race is not a problem in America is to deny the reality in front of our very eyes."

While the first two debates focused on their narrow differences on Iraq, moderator Tavis Smiley promised to steer the candidates to other issues that matter to black America. In turn, the candidates said those issues mattered to them.

"This issue of poverty in America is the cause of my life," said John Edwards, the 2004 vice presidential nominee.

Said Obama: "It starts from birth.".....

Thursday, June 28, 2007

White House defies congressional subpoenas

President Bush on Thursday refused to comply with subpoenas sent by House and Senate committees requesting documents about the firing of several U.S. attorneys last year.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, blasted the decision, calling the assertion of executive privilege "a Nixonian stonewall" and saying the committee will "take the steps necessary" to force compliance.

"Today the White House has ended its charade of empty proposals and revealed its disdain for checks and balances," Leahy said. "... Increasingly the president and the vice president believe they are above the law. In America no one -- no one -- is above the law.

"We'll take the necessary steps to enforce our subpoenas, backed by the full force of the law, so the Congress and American people can get to the full truth behind this matter."

White House Counsel Fred Fielding informed Leahy and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers of the president's decision in a letter that said the administration "will not be making any production in response to these subpoenas for documents" and had informed two former aides to do the same.

"With respect, it is with much regret that we are forced down this unfortunate path which we sought to avoid by finding grounds for mutual accommodation," Fielding wrote. "We had hoped this matter could conclude with your committees receiving information in lieu of having to invoke executive privilege. Instead, we are at this conclusion.".....

Edwards defends her call to Coulter

Elizabeth Edwards said Wednesday that she hopes other Americans will do what she was trying to do when she confronted conservative pundit Ann Coulter on national television this week.

Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, said in an interview that it's time to put the brakes on the hateful speech spewed by people like Coulter. "It may take a while, but if we don't start, it'll take forever," she said.

The confrontation came Tuesday while Coulter was appearing on MSNBC's "Hardball." Elizabeth Edwards called the show and asked Coulter to refrain from using insulting language. Coulter laughed and accused Edwards of telling her to stop speaking.

Among other things, Coulter has referred to John Edwards as a "faggot" and recently said she wished he had died in a terrorist attack. In her call to the show, Elizabeth Edwards said Coulter once wrote that John Edwards probably had a bumper sticker on his car saying, "Ask me about my dead son." That was a reference to the Edwardses' teenage son, Wade, who was killed in a traffic accident......

Edwards' Crumbling Campaign is Bad News for Clinton

Back in January when Barack Obama officially announced his presidential exploratory committee, I suggested it was "bad news for John Edwards, which in turn is good news for Hillary Clinton."

At the end of 2006, with Mark Warner out and former Vice President Al Gore on the sidelines, John Edwards posed the greatest threat to Senator Clinton's hold on the Democratic nomination. Obama's formal entry into the race immediately split the substantial anti-Hillary vote, which worked to Senator Clinton's advantage and John Edwards' detriment.

On the surface the Democratic race has remained rather static over the last three months - at least as far as the horserace numbers between Clinton and Obama. But not enough attention has been paid to Edwards' crumbling campaign and its consequences on the Democratic contest.

Back in mid-April Edwards peaked in the RCP Average at 17.8%, while Clinton held a 12.8% advantage over Obama, 35.8% to 23.0%. Today, the Clinton - Obama race is virtually unchanged, with the New York Senator holding a 12.4% edge, 36.0% to 23.6%. Edwards, on the other hand, has lost over 30% of his support and has seen his national numbers fall to 12.4% in the latest RCP Average. The most recent Washington Post and Los Angeles Times polls have his national numbers in single digits at 8%. In the InTrade prediction markets Edwards' odds to be the Democratic nominee have plunged from 25% at the beginning of the year to only 5% today.....

Clinton’s Camp Projects $27M in 2nd Quarter

In a memo sent to major donors and supporters this morning, Howard Wolfson, the campaign communications director for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, predicted that the Clinton camp would raise “in the range of $27 million” for the second quarter of 2007, which ends Saturday night.

The memo, intended in part to calibrate fundraising expectations and prepare donors for media coverage of the second quarter results for the presidential candidates, declared that Mrs. Clinton’s haul would be record-setting — but that the campaign also expects Senator Barack Obama “to significantly outraise us this quarter.” (The memo was provided by a Clinton supporter; update — it’s now been posted on her campaign site.)

For weeks, the Clinton camp has been saying its rival, the Obama camp, would surpass it, and the Obama camp has predicted that its fundraising would be outpaced by the Clinton camp. Mrs. Clinton raised a record-setting $26 million in the first quarter, just barely edging out Senator Barack Obama.

This morning, the Obama campaign announced a new drive to enlist a total of 250,000 donors by Saturday, having already added about 140,000 new donors during the current quarter.
Taking stock of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign overall, Mr. Wolfson boasted of “a great quarter.” Beyond mentioning some of Mrs. Clinton’s recent policy speeches, Mr. Wolfson also laid claim to the following:

“Hillary won both debates, demonstrating an enormous command of the issues and the unique ability to take on tough challenges and achieve real results.”.....

Obama and Clinton locked in fight for campaign money

Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are locked in a mad dash for campaign cash. One of those Democratic presidential contenders made a surprising admission Thursday about campaign money.

Dueling Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama raised more campaign cash than any other presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican. In the first quarter of 2007, more than $25 million each and a lot of political experts were amazed to see a relative newcomer like Obama matching a veteran like Clinton dollar for dollar.

The second quarter ends on Saturday and Thursday the Clinton campaign is predicting Obama's number will be significantly higher than Clinton's. That's one reason we will be seeing more of husband Bill campaigning with Hillary in the next few weeks.

The Clinton campaign hit the political jackpot last week with this entertaining on-line send up of the last "Sopranos" episode. Featuring Hillary and Bill sitting in a diner discussing her choice of a campaign theme song. Bill, who is still enormously popular in Democratic circles, will be joining her on a bus tour of Iowa next week as she tries to increase her lead in the polls.

But three days after Hillary and her main Democratic competitor, Barack Obama held dueling fundraisers in Chicago, her campaign is making a surprising admission. Her camp has been telling supporters via email that even though she expects to raise a record $27 million in the second quarter they expect Senator Obama to significantly outraise them.

The reason is apparent when you look at Obama's campaign website featuring a live tally of contributors as the campaign tries to reach 250,000 by Saturday, which according to Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is "something no presidential campaign has ever dreamed of at this stage."

Obama's campaign spokesman, Bill Burton, said he does not know if they'll outraise Clinton this quarter but they are attracting a record number of donors and raising a staggering amount of campaign cash. In Obama's first national campaign against a Clinton political machine that's been in the national spotlight and raising money for 15 years, Clinton still has a big lead in the polls. But the first actual votes won't be cast for another seven months.

Hillary raises $31m - still less than Obama

HILLARY Clinton, the pace-setter in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, raised $27 million ($31.8 million) in the last three months - but still less than top rival Barack Obama.

As the closely-watched second quarter presidential race fundraising stakes drew to a close, campaigns jockeyed to spin their efforts in their best light possible, as a crucial Saturday deadline loomed.

Clinton campaign communications director Howard Wolfson said in an email that her three-month-take would be around $27 million ($31.8 million).

"To put that figure in some perspective, it is more than any Democrat has ever raised in the second quarter of the 'off' year,'' Mr Wolfson said, referring to the year before a US presidential election.

"While that figure is record-setting, we do expect Senator Obama to significantly outraise us this quarter,'' Mr Wolfson wrote.

In the first quarter fundraising period, which saw an unprecedented windfall of campaign cash, Ms Clinton stuffed $26 million ($30.6 million) into her war chest, a few hundred thousand dollars more than Mr Obama.

But the first-term Illinois senator's figure stunned observers as he had to piece together a fundraising operation from scratch.

He was up against Ms Clinton's established network, including her fundraiser extraordinaire husband, former Democratic president Bill Clinton.

Mr Obama's campaign said on Thursday meanwhile that he was on course to receive donations from 250,000 individual donors by the June 30 deadline.

It did not give an estimate of his third-quarter take.

"Each donation to this campaign is a declaration of commitment to the idea that we can change our politics and elect a leader who will inspire and unite this country,'' said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.....

The Impact of Supreme Court Ruling on Local Schools

Thursday, the US Supreme Court handed down a major ruling surrounding race and schools.

Parents from Louisville, Kentucky and Seattle, Washington challenged plans to assign students to schools based on race to maintain diversity.

The High Court Justices sided with the parents, rejecting Affirmative Action plans in the two states that make race a factor in assigning students to public schools.

This is the largest school de-segregation case in more than a decade.

Could this ruling affect which school your child attends?

Volunteer TV’s Gordon Boyd has been looking for answers here in Knox County.

The answer, for any school district, is somewhere in the ruling's 185 pages.

Certainly, Knox County's desegregation plan is far different from Louisville’s or Seattle’s.
Which is why the Law Department, like the Supreme Court, is trying to look beyond the black and white.

“We had separate but equal. But the schools weren't equal.” Even as Knoxville's first African-American school board member, Miss Sarah Moore Greene has never believed that racially balanced automatically equals schools of equal quality. “We need to see that every child is educated, and forget the race creed or color, and I don't think that's happening.”

Nor does the Supreme Court, saying Seattle and Louisville-Jefferson County Schools student placement plans employ only limited notions of diversity by focusing exclusively on race, working backwards to achieve balance.....

Race-Based Pupil Placements Banned by Top U.S. Court

A divided U.S. Supreme Court, with President George W. Bush's appointees tipping the balance, put new limits on public school integration by striking down two programs that considered race in making pupil assignments.

The court, voting 5-4, said voluntary integration plans in Seattle and Louisville, Kentucky, unconstitutionally discriminated against white students. Both programs used numerical ranges for racial composition to limit the ability of parents to choose schools.

``The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,'' Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for four of the court's nine justices.

The court stopped short of barring school districts from making racial diversity a goal. The court's controlling opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, said districts can take other steps to racially integrate.

``They are free to devise race-conscious measures to address the problem in a general way and without treating each student in different fashion solely on the basis of a systematic, individual typing by race,'' Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy said districts can locate new schools with an eye toward increasing diversity, consider neighborhood demographics when they draw attendance lines and engage in targeted recruiting of students and teachers. The ruling applies to school districts that aren't under a court order to remove the vestiges of past discrimination.....

Editorial: Thwarting equity

Throughout most of America’s history, the law has been an instrument for thwarting rather than fostering the racial equality that so many citizens of good will have so bravely, so doggedly and so long sought.

And throughout that history, to its great and lasting shame, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that use.

Before the Civil War, it blocked congressional efforts to limit slavery’s spread, and it denied citizenship even to freed slaves of African descent.

After that awful war and despite the passage of constitutional amendments to guarantee full civil rights regardless of race, the Court approved the pernicious Jim Crow laws by which states such as Kentucky deprived blacks of those very rights and denied to them, under the guise of “separate but equal” racial segregation, any semblance or hope of equity.

It is that tradition of progress thwarted and promise withdrawn to which the Court’s new conservative majority returned today, when it repudiated the last half-century of race-conscious efforts to overcome that tortured racial legacy.

Faced with a choice between continuing or ending Jefferson County’s opportunity-enhancing, popularly supported and nationally acclaimed plan for keeping its once-segregated schools racially integrated and equitable, the Court chose, 5-to-4, to end it.

In doing so, the majority declared unconstitutional the very same race-conscious assignment practices that its civil-rights minded predecessors had deemed constitutionally necessary.

It declared impermissible the very same achievement of integration that those earlier jurists had so wisely required, with such profoundly gratifying results for our society.

As a result, the near total racial isolation and educational despair that pervade so many American cities today are considered constitutionally just; the racial diversity and educational opportunity that Jefferson County has voluntarily and proudly attained are rejected as constitutionally unjust.

A more bitter or unjustified blow is hard to conceive.

The only thing worse would be for people of good will here to stagger under that blow and give up.

What we have gained for our children and for our community’s social health is far too important to lose, and despite the callous, ideological lockstep of this decision, there remains a glimmer of hope.

The swing justice, Anthony Kennedy, didn’t fully agree, and took pains to conclude his separate opinion with a hopeful, though vague, exhortation:

“The decision today should not prevent school districts from continuing the important work of bringing together students of different racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds,” he wrote.

School authorities may still “find a way to achieve the compelling interests they face without resorting to widespread governmental allocation of benefits and burdens on the basis of racial classification.”

That is precisely the challenge that the school board, its new superintendent and federal District Court Judge John G. Heyburn must accept and meet.

Other means must be found to preserve both the diversity and choice that families of both races value so highly. Simply returning to segregated neighborhood schools would sacrifice far too much of both.

Judge Heyburn had ruled in favor of the plan, and his decision compellingly laid out its fairness, the profound public interest in promoting racially integrated education, and the legal folly of requiring schools to revive today the segregation they had to eliminate yesterday.

His wisdom, and the public’s broad support for diverse schools, should encourage the board to reach rather than to retreat in deciding what to do.

As Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the stirring minority dissent, “This is a decision the Court and the Nation will come to regret.”

The same shouldn’t be said of our response.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Edwards Launches Ad in New Hampshire

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Tuesday announced a new television ad in New Hampshire, part of an effort to improve his standing in the first primary state.

The 30-second spot features Edwards giving a speech on how he would make the United States "the country of the 21st Century" and includes a clip of his wife, Elizabeth, meeting with an elderly voter.

Elizabeth Edwards has been one of the most prominent spouses on the campaign trail. Her fight against breast cancer and her plainspoken appeal have made her a popular draw, especially among women - a competitive voting bloc in a race featuring New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as the first female front-runner in a presidential race.

The campaign placed a modest buy to run the spot, spending about $76,000 on broadcast and cable stations in New Hampshire and surrounding media markets.

In the ad, Edwards offers a populist message critical of President Bush, without naming him.

"The strength in America is not just in the Oval Office, the strength in America is in this room, right now," Edwards said as a crowd in a packed gymnasium rises in applause. "It's the American people. And it's time for the president of the United States to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war."

Spokesman Jonathan Prince said the campaign had decided to go on the air in New Hampshire earlier than planned in order to take advantage of the summer months to introduce Edwards to voters.

And while acknowledging that the campaign's second quarter fundraising would come in significantly behind last quarter's $14 million total, Prince said the campaign had enough cash now to buy the extra time.....

Now Showing in N.H.: Edwards Campaign Ads

Former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) is hitting the airwaves in New Hampshire, the most tangible sign yet that his campaign is seeking to change the perception that he is pinning his presidential hopes almost solely on success in Iowa.

After Edwards's surprisingly strong second-place showing in the 2004 Iowa caucuses, the idea has hardened that he is almost a full-time resident there. But in recent months, the Edwards campaign has pushed back hard against that idea, fearing that it sets up a scenario in which anything less than a win in Iowa would be seen as a devastating blow to his candidacy.

In the new ad, Edwards embraces a broad message of grass-roots change. "The strength of America is not just in the Oval Office; the strength of America is in this room right now," Edwards says. "It's the American people." His wife, Elizabeth, is also in the ad.

Elizabeth Edwards To Coulter: Stop Attacks

Plea Comes After Commentator Says She Wishes John Edwards Had Been Killed By Terrorists

Elizabeth Edwards pleaded Tuesday with Ann Coulter to “stop the personal attacks,” a day after the conservative commentator said she wished Edwards' husband, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, had been killed by terrorists.

“The things she has said over the years, not just about John but about other candidates, lowers the political dialogue at precisely the time we need to raise it,” Edwards said by phone on MSNBC's “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” where Coulter was a guest.

Elizabeth Edwards said she did not consult her husband before confronting Coulter on the air, adding that she felt the pundit's remarks were “a dialogue on hatefulness and ugliness.”

“It debases political dialogue,” Edwards said. “It drives people away from the process. We can't have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language.”

Coulter responded with a laugh, and charged that Edwards was calling on her to stop speaking altogether. She questioned why Elizabeth Edwards was making a phone call on behalf of her husband, and criticized John Edwards for “stealing doctors' money” during his successful career as a trial lawyer.

“I don't think I need to be told to stop writing by Elizabeth Edwards, thank you,” Coulter said.....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Setback for McCain-Feingold?

On the same day that the Supreme Court imposed a new limit on students' free speech in the Bong Hits 4 Jesus decision, the Justices ruled the opposite way in another first amendment case, protecting the rights of corporations and unions to shell out money for political ads shortly before an election.

That may sound sweeping, but it's hard to know exactly what to make of the 5 to 4 decision, with the majority opinion also written, as in the Bong Hits case, by Chief Justice John Roberts. It seems to put a significant chink in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, and advocates for limiting campaign spending say it will draw a flood of corporate cash to TV spots pushing one candidate or another. But the decision is also very narrow, meaning it may well preserve the overall impact of McCain-Feingold and doesn't necessarily justify predictions of the end to spending restraint. As with the Bong Hits case, it also starts to show the ideological limits of the Roberts Court, where the President's two appointees, Roberts and Samuel Alito, are less open to sweeping legal change than their counterparts on the right, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Although it will serve as precedent in similar situations, the campaign finance decision applies only to three TV ads that Wisconsin Right to Life Inc. wanted to run in 2004 opposing filibusters of President George W. Bush's judicial nominees. The ads named Wisconsin's two senators and urged viewers to contact them about the issue. One senator�Democrat Russ Feingold�was up for reelection. Since the McCain-Feingold law bans corporations and unions from spending their money (as opposed to money from a separate political action committee) on ads that name candidates 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election, Wisconsin Right to Life figured it had a problem.

It need not have worried.

Joined by Justice Samuel Alito, Roberts says the organization's ads could reasonably be seen as opposing the practice of filibustering, rather than the candidacy of Feingold, so they therefore past constitutional muster. (Wisconsin Right to Life won't use the old ads, obviously, but at least now it knows what it can say in new ones.) It's only when an ad is "susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate" that McCain-Feingold kicks in, Roberts says.....

Senate revives immigration bill

Two and a half weeks after the push for immigration reform collapsed on Capitol Hill, the Senate today narrowly voted to revive the controversial legislation.

The procedural vote passed 64 to 35, just four votes over the 60 required. The move doesn't guarantee that a law to change national policy on the millions of legal and illegal immigrants will follow, but the much anticipated action breathed new life into a legislative campaign deemed vital to President Bush and the Senate Democratic leadership, both of which worked hard to round up the votes to resuscitate the congressional immigration debate.

"Immigrants are the strength of this country, and this legislation honors that fact," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has been under intense pressure to shepherd comprehensive reform through the fractious Senate.

Bush, who has personally lobbied a number of GOP lawmakers in recent weeks, today called the bill "a careful compromise."

"The bill we've worked hard to craft is an important piece of legislation that addresses the needs of a failed system," he said.

The president, whose mistaken assertion that the bill amounted to amnesty forced a quick clarification from the White House, also suggested that criticism from the right amounted to "rhetoric."

The bill's critics, meanwhile, promised to keep fighting to kill the legislation in the Senate and later in the House of Representatives if necessary.

"It's DOA in the House," Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) said at a morning news conference organized by opponents at the Capitol.

Twenty-four Republicans joined 39 Democrats and one independent in voting to begin debate; 24 Republicans, 9 Democrats and one independent voted no.

All six presidential candidates -- Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.); Sam Brownback (R-Kan.); Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.); Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.); John McCain (R-Ariz.); and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) -- voted yes.....

Civics Quiz: Is Cheney Part of the Executive Branch?

Vice President Dick Cheney Refuses to Hand Over Classified Documents to National Archives

A quick civics quiz: Is the vice president part of the executive branch? You might think the answer is obvious, but apparently not to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The man a heartbeat away from the Oval Office asserts that some rules that apply to everyone else in the executive branch do not apply to him.

Cheney has refused to comply with a request from the National Archives to hand over classified documents. The vice president's office insists that, unlike every other employee of the executive branch, that rule does not include him and his staff.

At a White House briefing, deputy press secretary Dana Perino was asked if the president believes Cheney is part of the executive branch.

"I think that's an interesting constitutional question, and I think that lots of people can debate it," Perino said.

So elusive is this vice president, the New Yorker magazine once ran a cartoon in which theologians debated the existence of Cheney.

"Perhaps next he will say he is not subject to the laws of gravity either. He will just float away to some undisclosed location," said Ana Marie Cox, the Washington editor of

The vice president's noncompliance with the National Archives' request plays right into the widely caricatured idea that he is some sort of shadowy supervillain.

On Comedy Central's new show, "Lil' Bush," the character Lil' Cheney is the spawn of Darth Vader......

Cheney role as power broker in spotlight again

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was back this week in a place he intensely dislikes: the spotlight.

Cheney's penchant for secrecy and his unprecedented role within the Bush administration have been a key topic at recent White House news briefings, in some cases drowning out subjects from Iraq to immigration to the Middle East.

A newspaper series on how Cheney wields his power and his feud with an obscure record-keeping agency have stirred the latest controversies.

Cheney, a master at the Washington power game, is depicted as operating behind the scenes and pushing hard-line views on issues such as the treatment of terrorism suspects in a four-part series in the Washington Post that began on Sunday.

The vice president also is facing scathing criticism from lawmakers for refusing to provide records requested by the an office in the National Archives regarding the handling of classified documents.

The Post series portrays Cheney as bypassing top officials at the State Department, Justice Department and the National Security Council to gain the upper hand in battles over the handling of terrorism suspects at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and other issues.

"Cheney and his allies, according to more than two dozen current and former officials, pioneered a novel distinction between forbidden 'torture' and permitted use of 'cruel and inhuman or degrading' methods of questioning," the Post said.....

Monday, June 25, 2007

Romney popularity rising in primary states

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is gaining popularity in key primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

Having raised $4 million for his campaign and with TV ads from this winter still running, most national polls show the Republican presidential hopeful gaining on his party's front-runners -- former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., The Washington Post reported Monday.

Polls also indicate his standing in the states at the forefront of the nominating process has risen dramatically, despite criticism he has garnered for changing his views on abortion and gay rights.

In New Hampshire, Romney is ahead of both McCain and Giuliani, who leads virtually all the national polls, the Post said.

Giuliani and McCain also dropped out of a planned August GOP presidential straw poll in Iowa -- seen as a trial run for next year's caucuses -- rather than risk an embarrassing defeat by Romney.

Although he is well-liked in the first two primary states, no recent Republican nominee has won both.

McCain's '08 Dilemma: Can He Recapture the Magic He Once Had?

Here's a bit of unsolicited advice for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign (which has plenty of smart people and doesn't need my advice): Try to get back to McCain's story.

It isn't news that McCain's campaign is staggering under the weight of weaker-than- expected fundraising and poll numbers, criticism from conservatives who don't trust him, the Senator's immigration and Iraq positions, and the perception that he's just another politician.

I know plenty of people who a year ago told me that McCain was the odds-on favorite for the GOP nomination but now say the Arizona Senator's White House bid is flat-out dead. They aren't saying it's tough for him to win the Republican nomination or that he's an underdog. They are saying he is finished. Kaput.

They may be right, but I'm not quite willing to say that yet. The Senator will need terrific second-quarter fundraising numbers to reverse that talk, and until we see those numbers, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Too many of us wrote off Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) too early in 2003, and I'd prefer not to repeat that mistake. From my view, it's better to be a little late jumping on the "McCain is toast" bandwagon than to jump on it and find out that he's made a phoenix-like recovery.

Anyway, I was reminded the other day about the one thing that's missing from the national coverage of the 2008 McCain campaign that was so prevalent during the coverage of his 2000 White House bid: His life.

As I watched McCain in Iowa and New Hampshire eight years ago, I was struck by how many veterans were in his audiences, and how real people talked and related to him. They saw him as a true hero. Given the recent media coverage of Paris Hilton and the late Anna Nicole Smith, plenty of Americans might well like to hear about a true hero.

Whatever Rudy Giuliani's, Mitt Romney's and Fred Thompson's strength and appeal -- and each certainly has some -- McCain stands head and shoulders above them in terms of service to country and personal story.....

McCain dismisses drop in polls

Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Monday dismissed polls that show him slipping into single digits, arguing that his campaign is going through the typical ups and downs and will be fine this fall.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the Arizona senator also defended his support for a bipartisan immigration bill, a stance that has undercut his bid in early voting South Carolina.

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee acknowledged that his backing for the Iraq war has hurt his candidacy elsewhere in the country.

"I've got to do what's right," McCain told the AP. "In South Carolina, the war doesn't hurt me as much as in other parts of the country. It has hurt my candidacy."

McCain campaigned in South Carolina, which holds its GOP primary Feb. 2. He also raised money with Saturday's second-quarter deadline fast approaching and picked up the endorsement of Greenville, S.C., Mayor Knox White.

McCain spoke at two $500-a-person fundraisers in South Carolina. About 85 people turned out for the first stop in Columbia, S.C., while the second fundraiser in Greenville was later Monday evening.

A recent state poll showed McCain at just 7 percent in the race with top rivals Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson close to announcing. A survey in Iowa also showed McCain in single digits.

"That poll is just not true," McCain said in the interview, referring to the South Carolina poll. With "veterans alone, we are doing much better than that."....

Romney finds funds to set the pace

Being a Mormon from Democrat-leaning Massachusetts would normally be a handicap for a Republican with presidential ambitions, yet Mitt Romney has broken through as a serious contender for his party’s nomination with another massive fundraising haul.

The former Massachusetts Governor, who outstripped his rivals unexpectedly in the first-quarter fundraising race, is set to unveil an equally impressive money haul this week.

This success is now being reflected in the latest polling. After spending $4 million since February on carefully targeted advertising, he leads the Republican field in the crucial early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Rival campaigns have been forced to concede that he has become a significant force and a genuinely competitive top tier candidate.

“There’s a long way to go, but to date he’s running the most logical, thought-out, structured campaign,” said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist, who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. “He’s raising the money, he’s spending it wiser and he seems to be on track.”

Mr Romney’s aides are the first to admit that it is very early days in the unpredictable Republican race, and that the candidate still has much to do.

He has yet to win over evangelicals convincingly, a key constituency in the party’s primary electorate. Many distrust his recent reversals on issues such as abortion and gay marriage, and his Mormonism. The official entry later this week of Fred Thompson, the Law and Order star and a conservative Southerner, throws up another significant hurdle. Although leading in the early states, Mr Romney still lags behind Mr Thompson, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in national polls.

But Mr Romney’s aides, and rival campaigns, say that his slow, methodical approach this year has exceeded expectations. That strategy, set out by Romney staff last winter, was to pour resources and time into Iowa and New Hampshire in the hope of giving him the momentum into Florida and South Carolina the next week, and from there on to the multi-state “Tsunami Tuesday” on February 5 that may well determine the nominee......

Elizabeth Edwards declares support for gay marriage

Elizabeth Edwards, starring at the kickoff event of San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade, came out in support of legalized same-sex marriage Sunday -- taking a position that she acknowledged is at odds with her husband, presidential candidate John Edwards.

"I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me," she said. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."

Edwards' comments came after her keynote address before a standing-room-only breakfast attended by 300 people at the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, a key organization in the powerful gay political base in San Francisco.

The appearance by the candidate's wife -- witnessed by many local politicians, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, District Attorney Kamala Harris and City Attorney Dennis Herrera -- was hailed as a milestone in the 30-year history of the Gay Pride event, which had never been visited by a major presidential candidate or spouse.

California's presidential primary is Feb. 5, making it one of the earliest races in the country and a frequent stop for candidates and their families.

Edwards' embrace of same-sex marriage puts her in a position that differs markedly from her husband, the former North Carolina senator. Edwards said her husband, though having a "deeply held belief against any form of discrimination," supports gay civil unions, but does not support gay marriage.

"John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted," she said. "That's up against his being raised in the 1950s in a rural southern town. I think honestly he's on a road that a lot of people in this country are on. ... They're struggling with this. Most of the gay and lesbian people I know ... have seen their friends and family walking down that same road.

"It's frustrating, I know," she added, "but it's a long distance from where we are now to the pews of a Southern Baptist church. So, John's been as honest as he can about that."

Edwards said she has come to the conclusion that the marriage of another couple "makes no difference to me," just as it would make no difference in her opinion of a neighbor if he painted his house a different color......

High court ends ban on corporate-funded campaign ads

The Supreme Court gave President Bush and Republican leaders two important victories today by clearing the way for corporate-funded broadcast ads before next year's election and by shielding the White House's "faith-based initiative" from challenge in the courts.

Both came in 5-4 rulings led by new Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

The ruling in the election case is likely to be seen and felt by voters starting early next year. It could mean a return to the 1990s when TV viewers were often urged to "send a message" to an unnamed candidate about his or her stand on a certain issue.

These ads were often paid for with corporate or union money, and they were banned by the McCain-Feingold Act five years ago. The Supreme Court upheld the ban in a 5-4 decision before the 2004 election.

But the high court essentially changed course today and said these issue-oriented ads are legal if they name a candidate running for office, so long as they stop short of urging the public to vote for or against the candidate.

The chief justice said these ads involve "core political speech", which is protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

"We give the benefit of the doubt to speech, not censorship," Roberts said. He was joined by Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Anthony M. Kennedy. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas agreed, although they would have gone further and struck down entirely the broadcast ban set in the McCain-Feingold Act.

The act was strongly opposed by the Republican National Committee, but President Bush reluctantly signed it into law. He too questioned whether it was constitutional. McCain-Feingold also banned "soft money" given to political parties; that restriction was unaffected by today's decision.

The ruling concerns the provision in the law that prohibited broadcast message ads 60 days before an election that mentioned the name of a candidate and were paid for by corporate or union money.

Proponents of campaign-spending limits argued it was important to limit the impact of corporate and union money in politics......

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What's Going On?

Marvin Gaye wrote the song What's Going On? and I must say that much of what I spoke of just about 30-40 years ago is happening today. Therefore what is really going on people? Why are we still where we were when the song was written. Tell me brothers and sisters, what is really going on?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Enough is Enough! Part III

I have said a lot the last few days but the key to American politics, is understanding that we are all human and we all make mistakes. However when we go vote, we must hold our politicians accountable. We can't just go vote and expect our politicians to be perfect. We must make sure our politicians are making decisions that help mankind. We can't continue to allow our politicians to make decisions that harm one group of people. Decisions need to be made that bring equal rights and equality to all of society.

Therefore we as Americans and as human beings must be able to lean on one another for support. The sick and needy won't be healed or uplifted by just a pass of a new bill but solutions to those problems and making sure that the law of the land is enacted depends on us. We must make sure that people aren't breaking the laws of this land. We must make sure that our politicians are upholding the law and when they don't we must call them out. I don't care who it is or what party they are affiliated with, we must hold all our politicians accountable by leaning on our neighbors to help in our efforts to make sure our government is equal to the laws of the land. The rich shouldn't be exempt from the law. John Edwards has been campaigning about there are two Americans and he's right. There are two Americans and no person has to look any further than the Paris Hilton situation. Would a sheriff had let a poor person go home for a day because that poor person wasn't eating? Is this type of treatment that Paris Hilton is getting in jail, the same type of treatment that any regular middle class or poor person is getting in jail?

Now I remember years ago when Martha Stewart went to jail and how her jail resembled nothing like the jails that the regular prisoners are placed in. So Presidential candidate John Edwards is right when he speaks of two Americans and how divided we are as a country. When the poor is in need, what will the rest of us do to help them? When our children are left behind grade because they failed an standardized test when statistics show that must people aren't good test takers to begin with any way, so what do we do to address this problem? When a dying man or woman is turned away at the emergency room because he or she doesn't have health insurance, what do we do? I will tell you what we do, we lean on each other to change the laws of the land and to make sure that the laws of the land apply to all Americans--black, white, rich, poor, etc. We must make sure that the laws of the land are eqaul and fair and don't hinder one group from succeeding but insteads encourages all people to succeed. It doesn't matter, we as Americans must unite like we did for that brief moment after 9/11. We stood united as nation.

We didn't look at ourselves as African Americans, European Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Chinese Americans or Japanese Americans, etc. but we looked at each other as Americans, united against the face of danger. We looked at ourselves as Americans so why do we continue to divide each other instead of unite. When Barack Obama speaks of hope, he means the type of hope that will lead to action to make a difference in the lives of all of mankind. When Senator Clinton speaks of America being more diplomatic and peaceful, she means that each of us have to look inside of each other and put our pity differences to the side to look at the bigger picture, which is when there are dying people, mis-educated or uneducated people, and poor people, we must find solutions to those problems.

Now I know many of us say that the poor chose to be poor and the mis-educated or uneducated people chose to be that way. Well I say that is not the answer. No one chooses to be uneducated if the proper resources weren't given to them to begin with. For example, if I give you nothing but something to write with, paper, a textbook and no teacher when you were first born. Then will you know how to learn, how to write and how to teach yourself if I completely isolated you from the rest of civilization from the day you were born. Well I know that case sounds extreme but in some ways that is what is taking place in American society. Must places have teachers who only want to deal with the best behaved students while leaving the rest of the class behind and in some areas, students are only taught in school because their mother and father are not around to completely teach them everything else they need to know. So this results in students having to learn survival from their peers or others.

So that is when we as a community must start teaching our children. The school is just apart of the foundation of learning but we need to go back to the old days when we leaned on our neighbors to help us raise our child. Remember the old African proverb, "It takes a whole village to raise a child." Therefore if America is going to change than it has to take a whole village united as one to make sure equal rights and justice is preserved throughout the land. Its going to take all of us to make sure that America is no longer divided by race, creed, religion, economical status, sex or sexual perference, etc. So let's start holding our politicians accountable and let's start holding ourselves accountable in the process.

We must solve these problems now so as the 2008 election approaches think about this when you decide who has the best solutions and heart to deal with these problems.

Conservative Wyo. surgeon named senator

Now many people might be wondering why did a Democratic Governor choose a republican to replace a deceased republican in the U.S. Senate. Well the answer is simple, he put party affiliation to the side and did the best thing by temporarily sending a republican to replace a repubican in the U.S. Senate so that the balance of power wouldn't shift dramatically to the Democrats in the Senate where they hold the slimest of margins. However the reason why this is a temporary appointment is because in 2008, there will be a special election for the Wyoming U.S. Senate seat.

So this should make some Democrats enthusicated about running for the seat. Therefore I highly encourage the Democratic Party in Wyoming to find the best candidate who can defeat Republican John Barrasso, a surgeon and conservative Wyoming legislator, who was named as the country's newest U.S. senator Friday to replace the late Craig Thomas. Now Barrasso has already said that he intends to run in 2008 in order serve out Thomas's last term in office. So this simply means that Barrasso plans to serve in the temporary capacity until 2009 but if he wins in 2008, he will be serving until 2013.

Now is the time for the Democratic Pary of Wyoming to seize the chance at defeating the Republican Party and perhaps giving control of the Senate to the Democrats in even a larger number after the 2008 election cycle ends. So I will be watching to see what unfolds in Wyoming in 2008.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Voters pick Celine to join Hillary's campaign

Supporters of Hillary Clinton will only have themselves to blame if they become bored with Celine Dion over the coming months, after choosing a hit by the Canadian singer to be the US presidential hopeful's official campaign song.

You and I, which to some ears might sound bland and predictable, will be played incessantly at events for Mrs Clinton, who might come to regret allowing the public to choose her theme tune. The song has also been used for marketing purposes before - by Air Canada in 2004.

The gimmick by the Clinton team illustrates the growing effort by the more technologically savvy campaigns to connect with younger voters and potential donors in relatively inexpensive ways that are infused with pop culture references and contemporary themes.

The campaign of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, this week posted a video on his website featuring his wife Ann narrating scenes of their Christmas holiday last year when the family reached their decision to aim for the White House.

Mrs Clinton's rival for the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama, is the subject of an online hit - a YouTube video downloaded one million times which shows a buxom model lip-synching to a racy track called I Got a Crush... on Obama. Mr Obama has denied any responsibility for its creation.

The official Clinton website received almost 200,000 votes for songs selected for their uplifting qualities, which included two by U2, The Temptations' Get Ready and Smash Mouth's I'm a Believer.....

Bill Clinton says video doesn't signal bigger role

Former President Bill Clinton said on Thursday his appearance in a video for his wife Hillary parodying the final scene of "The Sopranos" was not a sign that he plans to play a bigger role in her presidential campaign.

Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton used the spoof video to announce her campaign song for the 2008 election, and it has been a big hit on Web site YouTube this week.

In a scene reminiscent of the HBO television show's unresolved ending, the video shows her sitting in a diner as her husband joins her before the screen goes blank.

Speaking at an event at his charitable organization, the Clinton Foundation, the former president said he was already doing some events for his wife but nothing had changed.

"I don't expect to do a lot ... this year, and I don't think it's helpful. I want people to get to know Hillary. But where it's appropriate, like over a holiday, like the 4th of July, it seemed like a good thing to do," he said.

He said planned trips with his wife to Iowa and New Hampshire in the coming weeks were the exception not the rule.

"It's the only way we can be together over the 4th of July weekend," he said. "The vast bulk of her campaigning for this year and probably next year she will do by herself."

Clinton said he didn't know whose idea it was to make a spoof of the controversial final episode of "The Sopranos" in which the fate of mob boss Tony Soprano is left unresolved.

"I just got my lines and played my part, which is about what I do in politics these days," he said.
And, he added, he was clearly not the boss in the video: "She played the Tony role.".....

Odds bleak for third-party candidates

Bloomberg steps back from challenge

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that he is not a candidate for president next year, stepping back -- for now -- from a challenge that even popular third-party candidates have found impossible to overcome against the immense power of the two dominant political parties.

Bloomberg, a former Democrat turned moderate Republican now in his second term, has many of the attributes that make for an attractive presidential hopeful: billions of dollars in personal wealth, support from voters in both parties, and a record as a successful businessman and big-city mayor.

Those advantages, combined with Bloomberg's announcement Tuesday that he was abandoning the GOP for independent political status, have kept speculation alive that Bloomberg may change his mind and run.

But with American politics so heavily invested in the two-party system, as an independent candidate Bloomberg could at best be a spoiler, campaign specialists say.

"My own view is that if Teddy Roosevelt couldn't do it, it can't be done," said Matt Bennett of Third Way, a nonpartisan centrist group, referring to Roosevelt's unsuccessful 1912 Bull Moose Party campaign.

"It's probably impossible, even with a billion dollars."

While some third-party candidates have made successful runs for lower-level office, "every lever of power in the federal system is managed by the [two] parties," Bennett said.

"It is just incomprehensible that we could ever have a real breakdown in the party system" that would give an outsider a genuine chance of becoming president, he said.....

Giuliani May See a Rival in Successor

Seven weeks after the 2001 terror attacks, Rudolph W. Giuliani gave a last-minute electoral nod to a billionaire media mogul running for mayor.

Michael R. Bloomberg, his beneficiary, prevailed, Mr. Giuliani was a kingmaker, and their smiles lasted about 18 minutes. Aides to both men have sniped for years, and Mr. Bloomberg has carefully distanced himself from Mr. Giuliani, suggesting of late that the former mayor left him with a huge budget deficit.

Now Mr. Bloomberg has stuck a gilded toe in the presidential waters, creating a most unwelcome sensation for every candidate: the uncertainty that comes with knowing a newcomer might shower a half-billion dollars on his own campaign.

But, as Mr. Bloomberg is his former supporter and would also campaign as a bold steward of America’s largest and safest major city, the sting goes perhaps deepest for Mr. Giuliani. And, frozen smiles aside, the former mayor’s camp is not much amused.

“Bloomberg’s biggest accomplishments are not to screw up Giuliani’s legacy,” said Fred Siegel, a Cooper Union professor who served on Mr. Giuliani’s transition committee in 1993 and later wrote “The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York and the Genius of American Life.” “His accomplishments are modest.”

Mr. Giuliani himself did not go there. “I like Mike a lot,” he said. “I have nothing bad to say about Mike, except I am disappointed that he left the Republican Party.”

Those close to Mr. Bloomberg were as carefully noncommittal as the mayor himself, who once again played the coquette yesterday, saying he was not a candidate......

White House run wouldn't force Bloomberg to sell

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg could face increased pressure to sell his media company if he runs for president, but he would not be required to do so, legal experts said on Thursday.

No law would require Bloomberg to sell his majority stake in the company that bears his name even if he wins the presidency, but every decision he made in the Oval Office would be scrutinized for the impact it would have on the news and financial information provider, experts said.

"When it comes to a conflict of interest, technically for the president of the United States, that becomes a political issue, not a legal one," said Jan Baran, a campaign finance lawyer.

Bloomberg's decision to quit the Republican Party ignited speculation that he might be planning an independent presidential run in 2008.

Bloomberg, 65, said on Wednesday that he is not a candidate for president and reiterated his plans to serve as mayor through the end of his term in 2009, but left the door open for a possible run.

Political observers say he would face long odds, even if he used his considerable fortune to finance an independent bid. Forbes Magazine estimated his net worth at $5.3 billion in 2006, ranking him 44th on its list of richest Americans.....

Enough is Enough! Part II

Now while African Americans have been oppressed in America far too long their, is a group of people that has been held back just as long as us and for every gain that African Americans have made in America, not to far behind were Women. For every gain that Women have made in Ameria, not too far behind was African Americans. The fight for equal rights and justice didn't just stop with the civil rights movements of the 1960s & 1970s. Let's face it, Women and African American are intertwined in America. We both have fought for justice and our place in American society. History books ignore our struggles for equality or barely speak about our movements and the people who led us.

History books barely speak of all the Women and African Americans who have contributed to American society and the building of this land that we call the Home of the Brave & the Land of the Free. Yes that is true, Women and African Americans were full of bravery as they each led corageous movements in order to obtain their freedom in a white man's world. For years, America will a man's world and not just any man but a white man. Women were just as oppressed as African Americans because they couldn't vote or own land. However as we look at the 2008 Presidential Election, we can see just how far both of our groups have come.

However, I don't want people to think for a minute that I am telling women that they should support Hillary Rodham Clinton or I am telling African Americans that they should support Barack Obama. However I am telling women and African Americans this, you need to look at the issues and how far in the race in equality we have come together. While Hillary has our flaws and so does Obama. I want to state this that one flaw of Hillary's shouldn't be that she is ambitious. What politician isn't ambitious or better yet, what human being isn't? If you have no desire for the future than why are any of us living? You must have a dream in this world or something you want more than anything in the world, otherwise why do you get out of bed especially those of us who can get out of bed. Even those who can't walk anymore are ambitious in the sense that they hope to one day walk again or hope to do this that or the other. So let's stop with all this talk about Hillary is ambitious and that's why I can't support her.

Also let's stop with all this talk about Obama not being black enough. What does it really mean to black now days? Must of the people who are black don't even know what black is any more? Trust me I know. How can we claim that this man isn't black enough when he knows more about Black History than many people who seat up there and try to ridicule him. I guess Barack isn't black enough because he didn't grow up in the poorest of poor neighbors or he didn't struggle through life like the typical African American. However he has had his own strugglest in life like any of us and just because he didn't grow up in the slumps of the ghetto or the hood doesn't make him more privileged than the next black man. That just shows that Barack Obama made the best of his situations like any black person can do as long as they are motivated and have those around them to motivate them. Barack had a great family structure which is missing in the black community. So don't blame him for not going through all the struggles that the typical black person goes through but as black people if we reached out to each other and helped raised each other's children as a community than must of our black plight on an educaitonal basis would be defeated.

So let's face it, Hillary and Barack are great candidates that Women and African Americans should be proud of. However to the same extent don't just give them your vote but instead challenge them and make them earn your vote. Listen to their stances on perserving Affirmative Action which helped both of them get to where they are right now. Make Senator Clinton and Senator Obama speak out against what is taking place across America as affirmative action is being taking away one state at a time by a man named Ward Connaly. He first started this campaign in California where it passed and than went to Michigan and once again it passed. Now he is in Wisconsin with it and going state to state getting his anti-affirmative action bill on ballots so that it can pass.

Think about it, without Affirmative Action, we wouldn't be hearing about Clinton or Obama as Presidential candidates. Therefore they should be the main two speaking up and coming up with a plan to perserve Affirmative Action. Like I said, affirmative action was orginally created for Women and it just so happens that minorities like African American and Hispanics have benefited from it. Therefore I need for voters to think rationalely by challenging candidates to develop policies and plans that deal with the issues of Affirmative Action, Education, Poverty, Health Care, Social Security, and the Economy/Job Employment. Those are the issues that really affect Women and African Americans. While the war in Iraq is a major issue, Women and African Americans need to demand solutions to those issues as well and the candidates should be able to give solutions to them.

However just don't ask Obama and Clinton to give solutions but demand it from all Presidential candidates from both parties. All the Democratic and Republican candidates should be able to give solutions to these problems so that you can have choices in terms of who you want to support for the Presidency. It's always great to have choices and I believe that there are great choices out there more than the ones that the media chose to cover night in and night out.

Jay-Z - History

(Jay-Z - History)Jay-Z - History with Lyrics

LYRICS : [Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
(Gimme a lighter)
Victory (Lighters up) is finally ours
(Lighters up)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 1: Jay-Z]
In search of victory, she keeps eluding me
If only we could be together momentarily
We can make love and make history
Why won't you visit me? until she visit me
I'll be stuck with her sister, her name is defeat
She gives me agony, so much agony
She brings me so much pain, so much misery
Like missing your last shot and falling to your knees
As the crowd screams for the other team
I practice so hard for this moment, victory don't leave
I know what this means, I'm stuck in this routine
Whole new different day, same old thing
All I got is dreams, nobody else can see
Nobody else believes, nobody else but me
Where are you victory? I need you desperately
Not just for the moment, to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History (yeah), so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 2: Jay-Z]
So now I'm flirting with death, hustling like a G
While victory wasn't watching took chances repeatedly
As a teenage boy before acne, before I got proactiv I couldn't face she
I just threw on my hoodie and headed to the street
That's where I met success, we'd live together shortly
Now success is like lust, she's good to the touch
She's good for the moment but she's never enough
Everybody's had her, she's nothing like V
But success is all I got unfortunately
But I'm burning down the block hoppin' in and out of V
But something tells me that there's much more to see
Before I get killed because I can't get robbed
So before me success and death ménage
I gotta get lost, I gotta find V
We gotta be together to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters. Up.)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighter. Up.)
Victory is finally ours
(Lighters. Up.)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 3: Jay-Z]
Now victory is mine, it tastes so sweet
She's my trophy wife, you're coming with me
We'll have a baby who stutters repeatedly
We'll name him history, he'll repeat after me
He's my legacy, son of my hard work
Future of my past, he'll explain who I be
Rank me amongst the greats, either 1, 2, or 3
If I ain't number one then I failed you victory
Ain't in it for the fame that dies within weeks
Ain't in it for the money, can't take it when you leave
I wanna be remembered long after you grieve
Long after I'm gone, long after I breathe
I leave all I am in the hands of history
That's my last will and testimony
This is much more than a song, it's a baby shower
I've been waiting for this hour, history you ours

[Chorus: Cee-lo (2x)]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

Man in the Mirror--By Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

I'm gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It's gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right...

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It's time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see
'Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways - ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror - Oh yeah!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cook

It's been a long time coming but a change is surely going to come in America and the World! I am the Future of America and the World and that is the message that each of us must carry with us each and every day that we wake up on Earth! I am the Future! You are the Future! We are the Future of America and the World! That is way every election is important--primaries, special elections and general! So vote every year and hold our politicians accountable. Hold our political officials accountable by writing them, calling them and making sure they attend meetings that we the people have. "The Time for Change is not Now but Right Now!"

"EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary" should be our anthem and should be our creed as we make the positive differences in America and the world that so many people beg for and hungry for year after year! A Change is Gonna Come, A Change is Gonna Come, that's what we must say as we say "God grants us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courge to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference" each morning before we go about the task of making a positive change in America and the world a reality.

Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen

“When will people realize that we are Americans first and foremost, not Democrats or Liberals, not Republicans or Conservatives, not Independents or moderates. We are Americans. Stop putting a political party above America and stop putting any politican above America. America succeeds because of us the people holding our government responsible no matter the political party because the main two political parties are to blame for the condition America is in."—Hodari P.T. Brown

America with its flaws and all is a country I am proud to have been born in. America is not perfect but my love for it is perfect. That’s why all Americans must realize that we are all Americans. In fact we are Americans first and foremost. We are not Democrats or Republicans. We are Americans.

We are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. We are Americans. Too many times we recognize our differences with others rather than appreciating our similarities which are, we are Americans. We are Americans first and foremost, no matter if we were born here or moved here legally. We are all Americans, here in this country to make not only our lives better but the lives of other Americans better so future Americans can enjoy the rights and freedoms that make us all Americans.

We are all Americans. We are one party united under God. We are Americans and this is the only political party that matters. We are Americans and this is our country so let’s make sure that we make America better than how we found it so future Americans can live prosperous and joyous lives. We are Americans and must not ever forget that.

America will prosper as long we make sure we are doing our part to make it prosper and that means we can’t put any political party or politician above America. Long live America forever and long live America’s service to the world. Together, America and the world will prosper for future generations to enjoy America and the world we live in.

Lift Every Voice and Sing

This video of the ' Negro National Anthem' was originally screened at the historic African-American Church Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC on January 18th, 2009. Many of the esteemed individuals featured in this video in attendance and we presented with the ' Keepers of the Flame' award for the monumental contributions to social justice.

This version of the song was performed by the Grace Baptist Church Cathedral Choir, conducted by Derrick James. The video was produced and donated by Ascender Communications, LLC ( at the request of The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

If I Was President--Wyclef Jean

If I was President that is the people's anthem. We all have ideas of what we can do as President and through this website, we will fulfill our deam as a people!

Somethings Gotta Give--Big Boi ft Mary J Blige

Somethings Gotta Give people and it begins today for all us to make sure that something is us. We the people are sick and tired of suffering. Where is our piece of the Dream that so many people dead for so that we all could see today. This is our time people to change America and the world so that the Next Generation has a better future than the past we inherited.

This is our call to service. This isn't about one political candidate or one political figure. This is about us as people coming together to finally leave up to our potential and achieving the great feats that those before us have achieved. This is our moment to lead our nation and our world to greater heights.

Somethings gotta give people and it starts with us the people making it happen. We have to improve our education system in America. We have to rid the world of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We have to go to the streets and lift a hand to another in order to decrease poverty in this world. We have to take a stand today and make sure that the future of America and the world is brighter than it has ever been.

Somethings Gotta Give and that is why we must "Remember Each One, Reach One and Teach One so America's future and the World's future continues to prosper."

John Legend - "If You're Out There"

If you're out there than you need to get started in helping to change America and the world. The world and America won't change until you get involved in making the changes you want to see in this world. If you're out there, than you must know that tomorrow started now and today started yesterday so you are behind in helping to the change. If you are tired of hatred, racism, poverty, war, and violence than the time to change it is now. If you want universal health care, world peace, democracy for every nation, equal rights, and happiness for all than you must get involved now to help the save world.

You must believe in the change that you want to see and you must act on making that change a reality. If you're out there than say it aloud and show the rest of America and the world that you're out here to make a real positive change in the communities we stay in. If you're out there than get involved now. I'm calling every women and men to join me as we take back our country right here, right now. If you're out there than the future started yersterday and we are already late so we have lots of work to do but I know we can do it together as one.


Yes We Can accomplish anything that we set out to do! We don't need charismatic or inspirational leaders to believe in ourselves and to take responsiblity for our own faith, we just need each other. Yes We Can build a new America and a new world if each of us would take action now to make the changes that we want to see in the world. Yes We Can control government by holding our political officials accountable for their actions by calling them out when they don't pass legislation that supports the common good of all man and by voting in every election to ensure that we have people representing the people locally, state wide, nationally and in the world.

Yes We Can be great! Yes We Can be what we want to be! Yes We Can be glorious in not only America but the world! Yes We can put action behind our worlds and change the world starting right here, right now! Yes We Can as Republicans, Democrats and Independents become one as we freely think about our fellow men and women and make decisions that will be in the best interest of all people and not one single group.

Yes We Can be the change that we want to see in the world! Yes We Can show the world that the youth are ready to lead! Yes We Can put our egos, our social economic statuses, our religions, our educational statuses and our skin color to the side for the better good of the world! Yes We Can be Greater than we have ever been and help others be Greater than they have ever be!

YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN ALL THAT WE DO! YES WE CAN, no matter what others may say, we will be glorious! YES WE WILL and YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN is what will be sung from every mountaintop, every riverbank, every household, every school yard, every factory, every sporting event, every college campus and even every place you can imagine in the world is where YES WE CAN, will be said and heard!


Keep On Pushing - Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions

Wake Up People! No matter who is elected to any public office, we have to “Keep On Pushing” as a people to make sure they don’t leave us in a worst state than what they inherited. We as a people have to “Keep On Pushing” to make a difference in the lives of others. We have to have an “EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary” attitude as we continue to push our agenda that we the people deserve and want better. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change in a positive way that will benefit all Americans no matter their age, their religion or skin color. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will improve our education system, improve our military, improve our national security, improve our healthcare system and improve our economy. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will leave America’s future in a better than how we found it and that will leave the world’s future in a better state than we imagined we could live it. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to make life better for our neighborhoods, our families and even our quote on quote enemies. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to inspire, to uplift and to guide those who need help spiritually, physically and mentally. We have to “Keep On Pushing ” so that our lives, our future generation’s lives and the lives of those who came before us does not die in vein.

“Keep on Pushing”

A War For Your Soul

A War For Your Soul-regular version from Erisai Films on Vimeo.

The moment has come for us as a nation of people to finally wake up and realize that our destiny and fate in society has rests on our shoulders. We cannot allow the forces of evil and darkness to drain us out. We have to continue to overcome all odds in order to make the future of our nation better and the future of future generations of Americans better. We have to continue to pray to our Lord and we have to continue to uplift each other in prayer as well as take action against those things that are trying to destroy us. We have to stand up once and for all and be the future that we want to be. Now is our time and we shall do together by any means necessary.

This video was created to inspire young African-Americans not to fall prey to some of the problems they face in society. The use of the voice "Master of Darkness" represents evil, which is where the blame of all problems should be placed, and not on any one group of people. This video should not to be used to divide people (Black & White), there are images of heroes that are white in this video, and there are images of Black & White coming together with the words of Dr. King in the background. Some of the images from the past can be unsettling, but they are used to show all Americans how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. This film is being strategically placed in school systems, churches and youth orgs around the country, in hope of helping a lost generation of kids that we as Americans have forgotten. As fellow Americans we must continue to love each other, and take that love and spread it to the rest of the world. **THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR SALE & I AM NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR THE FILM, I ONLY WANT THE MESSAGE TO REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT ANY HIDDEN POLITICAL OR FINANCIAL AGENDA.

Sitting On the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

"The time for sitting is over! The time for action is now! The time for hope without action is hopeless! The time for change without a positive attitude is a change that we can't believe in! We need change that is positive of helping all people! Our time for action is now, our time for hope is now, our time for change is now and our time to believe that we can do whatever we set our minds to is not now but right now!"


The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— "In God is our trust; "
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Black President

Our Time is not now but Right Now! Our Time has finally come to change the world not now but Right Now! If you don't believe that we can change the world than watch as we do it by changing your mind into believing in us and what we can do! This is OUR TIME RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!


We got to FIGHT THE POWER! We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch injustices take place. We can no longer sit by and allow our right to vote to become unexercised. We must FIGHT THE POWER for our past, present and future! We can no longer allow our rights to be oppressed and our voice to become drained by the powers at be. We must FIGHT THE POWER and show that we have a lot to say that needs to be heard by the mainstream media. We must FIGHT THE POWER and live up to our potential as dynamic, unbelievable and phenomenal people.

We must not believe the hype but we must become the hype. We are not Harriett Tubman, Marcus Garvey, MLK, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, the Black Panther Party, SNCC, or any other activists but we are the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunties, and relatives of those who came before us to pave the way for us to FIGHT THE POWER! We are not next Generation of leaders who will not be honored and praised until they die but that’s the fight we accept. We are not fighting the power for glory or fame but we are fighting the power for just causes that most men and women will not understand until years or decades later.

We are fighting for our sisters and brothers in Darfur, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, China and Mexico. We are speaking for those who are poor and have no food or water. We are fighting for those who are sick and dying. We are fighting for universal healthcare across the world and human rights for all people. We are fighting for rich and poor! We must FIGHT THE POWER no matter how hard and tough the road may be. We must FIGHT THE POWER for a better today and an even greater tomorrow!



“People Get Ready” our time is coming! We have come too far to turn back now. Our train is coming and it is coming in waves. “People Get Ready”, we don’t need a ticket but we need faith and the Lord will help guide us as we take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” our moment is now and we are ready to see the change we want in America and the world. All we got to do is have faith, hope and prosperity. “People Get Ready” to face your fears. “People Get Ready” to face your demons and the challenges of yesterday because today and tomorrow we will conquer & be victorious. “People Get Ready” a change is coming and our actions will make sure that change is a real positive change that lasts forever.

“People Get Ready” because we have had enough of just talking but now is our time to show action. “People Get Ready” to take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” to take back our communities and to make our streets safer and schools better. “People Get Ready” to make all our dreams come true. “People Get Ready” to see a better present for everyone and a better future for future generations. “People Get Ready” to live up to your potential and to help others live up to their own potential. “People Get Ready” to move past hatred, bigotry, racism and sexism. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the dreams of those who came before us and those who will come after us.

“People Get Ready” as we make our actions speak louder than our words. “People Get Ready” to make words mean something again as we put action to back up our rhetoric. “People Get Ready” as we embark on a new journey that will re-write America’s history as well as the world’s history. “People Get Ready” as we make the lives of others better and the lives of future generations better. “People Get Ready” because all we need is faith, hope and action to make this world a better place. “People Get Ready” to make a difference. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the American dream. “People Get Ready" to live out the American Dream as our founding fathers wanted us to live it. “People Get Ready” because our time is now, our moment is now and our moment in time to change America & the world is not now but right now. “People Get Ready” because a change is coming!

(Let me tell you now)
People get ready, there's a train comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord

People get ready, for a train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
There's hope for all among those loved the most

There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all man kind just to save his own (believe me now)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the kingdoms throne

[Alicia & Lyfe]
So people get ready there's a train coming
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming,
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord


God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood

Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A