Category Archives: Domestic Politics

Senator Kennedy vs. Hillary Clinton On Flag Burning & The First Amendment

"If we set the precedent of limiting the First Amendment, in order to protect the sensibilities
of those who are offended by flag burning, what will we say the next time someone is offended
by some other minority view, or by some other person's exercise of the freedom the Constitution
is supposed to protect?" - Senator Edward M. Kennedy, constituent letter 1997 (link)

The quote reminds me of one of the many reasons I was not a fan of Hillary, even before
the election. For those who aren't aware, she supported a law making flag burning a criminal
 offense. Many believed she did so merely for political gain.  

I agree. 

 In fact, I'd like to hear her answer Senator Kennedy's hypothetical question . . .
for that matter. 




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Filed under Civil Liberties, Defining Freedom, Domestic Politics, Hillary Clinton, Progressive Politics, Quotes to Ponder, Views That Just Don't Make Sense

Republicans’ Backs Are Against The Wall

Senator John Ensign of Nevada, in his final days as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Republicans intend to spend $3 million or more in Georgia, where they have dispatched hordes of staffers, party officials and volunteers. More than 100 lawyers are assisting the party in watching the crucial recount in Minnesota. (link)

One hundred lawyers, that’s like an entire small law firm. Jesus Christ!

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Filed under Decision 2008, Domestic Politics, Republicans on The Run

Black Thought’s Supreme Court Predictions

Alright folks, I really have no idea how it will go down, but these are my predictions of the order of the nominations selected from the top ten prospects as listed by Salon.
I have no real additional insight into the picks and order aside from my gut feeling.

Nonetheless, here are my picks in order of their future nomination.

Nomination Pick #1

Sonia Sotomayor, 54 — After growing up in a Bronx housing project, Sotomayor has risen to become a judge on one of the most powerful courts in the land: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. As a Hispanic woman, Sotomayor would make an attractive candidate if Obama is looking to diversify the court. There has never been a Hispanic on the Supreme Court, and there is only one woman currently on the bench, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sotomayor might also have bipartisan appeal. She is politically moderate, and President George H.W. Bush appointed her to her first judgeship. (link)

Obama’s first appointment should rightly be a woman, seeing as they are more than 50% of the population and have one representative on the bench. I believe she will be the first appointment because she is an uncontroversial slightly liberal woman, and would be the first latino to boot.

Nomination Pick #2


Cass Sunstein, 54 — A preeminent and prolific law scholar and an advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign, Sunstein was a colleague of Obama’s at the University of Chicago and now teaches at Harvard Law School. Sunstein has decried the Supreme Court’s more conservative justices, including Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. He calls them judicial fundamentalists who have advocated “earthquake-like” changes in the law. Sunstein argues for a minimalist approach to jurisprudence. He believes justices’ decisions should be narrowly tailored to the case at hand and should lean heavily on precedent. Sunstein has said minimalists believe “the Supreme Court is not our national policy maker.” (link)

Obam loves this guy and he’s unmatched in expertise on just about everything (also currently an advisor to the Obama campaign). He is a firm and compelling answer to Roberts. He is not very liberal but will certainly side with liberals most of the time, and write compelling well reasoned decisions. He is also a personal friend of Obama’s, and about to marry Samantha Power, an advisor and friend of Obama’s (who called Clinton a monster)
Nomination Pick #3

Harold Hongju Koh, 53 — The dean of Yale Law School is a Korean-American and an expert on international law and human rights. From 1998 to 2001, he served as assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor under President Clinton. He also worked in the Department of Justice. Koh is considered a staunch liberal. He has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. He said in an interview with the Yale newspaper that gay rights are especially important to him. Koh also served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. (link)

or

Elena Kagan, 48 — Few names have been floated as often as a potential Obama nominee as Kagan, the dean of the Harvard Law School — Obama’s alma mater. Like Obama, she also taught at the University of Chicago. Kagan served in Clinton’s White House as an associate counsel and domestic policy advisor. Clinton nominated her for a position on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but Republicans stalled her approval. Kagan clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (link)

I lean heavily towards Koh. The choice will depend on how the issue of gender is playing out. I think Obama would prefer to add an expert in international law (i.e. Koh), in order to bring this jurisprudence into the Supreme Court’s decisions. I think he would also like to appoint the first Asian-American to the bench. However, the legitimate need to right the gender imbalance, and Hillary’s previous identity politic war between race and gender, may make Kagan the pick. Although Koh is even more likely after her nomination to Secretary of State.

Nomination Pick #4

Deval Patrick, 52 — As the first African-American governor of Massachusetts and a friend of Barack Obama’s, Patrick is often mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee. Patrick would bring something that is in short supply on the court: executive experience. But he would also bring a major risk: He has never served in the judiciary. Despite that gap in his résumé, he has some background in the law. Before he was governor, Patrick was a lawyer and President Clinton appointed him the assistant attorney general for civil rights in 1994 — the nation’s highest civil rights position. Patrick is solidly liberal and supports a number of positions, such as same-sex marriage, that could make him a target for Republicans during the confirmation process.

Let’s face it, if Obama gets a second term he’s nominating Patrick, cause that’s his boy. There’s also a moral or strategic goal of taking away Thomas’ judicial monopoly on speaking on issues of blackness from the highest court.
Patrick will be more likely to accept after finishing a term or two as the first black governor of MA. Also, Obama trusts him, shares many views with him, and would leave him as his remaining legacy.

These are my four prediction picks, and my predicted order.

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Filed under Domestic Politics, Legal, Obama

Could Obama Have Won If He Were Black . . . I Mean “Really Black”?

grandma

mommy1

The rise of Obama into the White House is an amazing image to behold. A black man is now going to be President. It has an emotional effect on so many people of color, particularly black people.

And yet, it is worth thinking about whether America’s acceptance of blackness is really as complete as the election of Barack Obama suggests.

Part of Obama’s success and rise is rooted in the fact that he is not “really black,” but biracial. By biracial I mean that his parents were not both black.

Throughout the campaign you would often see images of his white mother and white grandparents. There were not really that many photos put forward by the campaign of his African father and relatives. In fairness to Obama, the white side of his family is the one that stayed around to raise him, but my point is still worth considering.

The real question is whether or not a black man or woman could become President without half of their family being white.

I feel that when white people look at biracial people, they say to themselves, well they’re half like me. Another cruder way of seeing it is “I was always potentially a wild night out on the town by my Mom from being born biracial myself.”

I guess my point, and call me pessimistic, is that a black person without white people as a major part of their family background, could not have won the Presidency in 2008.

Hopefully, I’m wrong though.

In any event, we’ve still come a long way with the Obamas.

For me, the most amazing transformational part of the Obamas in the White House, is Michelle Obama, as I’ll discuss in a future post.

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Filed under Decision 2008, Domestic Politics, Fixing History, Michelle Obama, Obama, Racism in America, The Civil Rights Movement, White Privilege

Mos Def For President

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Filed under Decision 2008, Domestic Politics, Humor, Poetry, Progressive Politics, Quotes to Ponder, You Tubes

Thoughts On Canvassing In South Philadephia

Canvassing yesterday in south Philly was amazing. In contrast to my my trip to a more suburban part of Penn. targeted at swing voters, this trip was geared directly at making sure Obama supporters go to the polls.

We were sent to a low-income black community with how to vote materials, and a list of important things to remind voters about election day.

There is so much support for Obama in these communities it is unbelievable. Moreover, there is so much pride in him as a candidate. Obama will win Pennsylvania if they keep canvassing and applying resources to these communities.

Little kids biked by asking us for Obama buttons, and every single person we spoke with was either for Obama, or ENTHUSIASTICALLY for Obama.

What a way to spend the day.

At the campaign headquarters they specifically said that canvassing is more helpful than phone banking, although both are helpful. So if you can this weekend or election day, canvass in a swing state (although don’t forget to vote)! If you can’t canvass then phone bank. If you can’t do either donate.

Folks, if you’re for Obama GET OUT THERE AND DO SOMETHING.

I promise you you will not regret it!

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Filed under All Politics is Local, Decision 2008, Domestic Politics, Fela 08?, Progressive Politics

Ted Stevens Learns About More Money More Problems

First of all, thanks big guy upstairs for this amazing political gift right before our national elections. It just put a smile on my face to read this headline.

WASHINGTON — Senator Ted Stevens, Alaska’s dominant political figure for more than four decades, was found guilty on Monday by a jury of violating federal ethics laws for failing to report tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and services he had received from friends.

The jury of District of Columbia residents convicted Mr. Stevens, 84, on all seven felony counts he faced in connection with charges that he knowingly failed to list on Senate disclosure forms the receipt of some $250,000 in gifts and services used to renovate his home in Girdwood, Alaska

Second of all, Stevens man . . . didn’t you know about more money more problems?

Well, I guess you do now.

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Filed under All Politics is Local, Clean & Fair Elections, Domestic Politics, Views That Just Don't Make Sense