Rep. Waters To Black Voters - 'Unleash Us' On President Obama

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) spoke about being critical of president Obama and the reaction from the black community while on the Congressional Black Caucus jobs tour in Detroit, Michigan.


Remembering Katrina, Forgetting The Gulf

Most of this post is from a Blue Moose Democrat piece that highlights some good coverage of the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina but laments that we only pay attention to the still struggling-Gulf Coast on the storm's anniversary and ignore that suffering the rest of the year. For the most part I stand by that point, but before getting to it, it is worth noting two encouraging things the President said in his weekly raido address yesterday. First, I was planning to ask readers to write the President and ask him to visit New Orleans several months after the anniversary in order to create attention for the issue rather than piggy backing off anniversary attention - but he beat me to it, promising to visit New Orleans before year's end. Second, he pointed out in his speech that already this year, eleven of his Cabinet officers to the region to, as the AP puts it, "inspect progress and to hear local ideas on how to speed up repairs." Bravo. Maybe we finally have a government that pays attention - indeed, the new head of FEMA, Craig Fugate, is earning bipartisan praise for cutting through the red tape that held up recovery under Bush and Blanco. If only journalists and the nation would follow that lead. Anyways, here's the post as it was written before the radio address, highlighting some great links about the recovery and struggle:

This weekend is the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina reaching Category 5 strength. I got my start as a blogger because of Katrina, launching "Wayward Episcopalian" as a personal journal during the three months I worked for the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana's Office of Disaster Response in 2006. My first foray into the liberal blogosphere started when I began cross-posting the blog's Katrina content to Daily Kos, MyDD, and Democratic Underground after returning to New Hampshire in January 2007.

Four years on, New Orleans and Mississippi are still struggling. The media will give this issue a fair amount of coverage over the next few days, but it's a shame they don't pay attention during the rest of the year. I'm a bit guilty of that myself, but it's because I covered it so much for so long that I burned out on the issue. And yet, my "Katrina fatigue" is nothing compared to the 12,000 people still homeless in New Orleans and living in abandoned buildings, twice the pre-storm homeless population. And my Katrina fatigue is nothing compared to the families who see devestation everywhere they look every day with no out and spend all day focused on battling their insurance companies.

I posted a brief recovery update at Wayward earlier this week which included a Morning Joe interview with Rep. Maxine Waters about her hearings in New Orleans and a e-mail about Sen. Mary Landrieu asking the Pentagon to investigate the levee failures. In addition to that post, be sure to visit to see maps, graphs, and four short but important videos showcasing abandoned neighborhoods and interviews with struggling locals - all forgotten by their nation. Yet while these videos show that neighborhoods, tourism, and employment are all suffering, they also showcase the fact that New Orleans is now one of the best cities in the county for college grads to find work in a struggling economy. (On a side note, this sort of extra content is EXACTLY the opportunity the Internet affords journalistic organizations like NPR and the New York Times, and I wish more people would take advantage of it - it's just as important as the stuff you hear on the radio or read in the actual paper.) When you're done at, visit Climate Progress to read "The Storm of the Century (so far)," a quality history of the storm and a personal account of a relative in Pass Christian, Mississippi. And returning to NPR's bread and butter, the radio itself, here's a good story called "The Gulf Coast's Recovery: Uneven And Uneasy."

"I get up every morning and look this way," says Stephanie Bosarge, a longtime resident of Coden, Ala. "It's all gone. Everything's changed. That piece of slab there was our den, that's where we had all our Christmases."

Bosarge walks through the weeds on her family's property. She still lives just next to where her mother's house and the family's oyster business, Nelson and Sons Seafood, used to stand. The shop was over here, and as you see, what's left [is] the concrete slab," Bosarge says. "She had nine kids, and the majority of us all worked right back here at one time or other. It was the mainstay for the family."

There's more...

What Change Really Looks Like

Now with campaign season in full swing, we keep hearing about the word "change". All the candidates say they're for "change", but they can't quite explain to us what "change" means. I see the campaign rallies on the teevee, and I see the enthusiastic supporters holding their "Change Begins With Us" signs and their "Stand for Change" signs... But what doe these slogans really mean. What does all this talk of "change" have to do with us?

Well, why don't you follow me after the flip for more as we examine what change really looks like...

There's more...

26 CBC Members Do PR for Fox News

There's an article in the New York Times by Raymond Hernandez and Jacques Steinberg on the CBC Institute continuing to keep the Fox News debate alive.  At this point, it's really quite sad.  It's worth noting, as usual, that Maxine Waters rocks.  She's publicly opposed to the debate, contrasting with the 26 members of the CBC who signed a letter asking Obama, Clinton, and Edwards to reconsider the decision to appear on Fox News.  Charlie Rangel, Keith Ellison, Al Wynn and John Lewis were four of the Fox News boosters.

The debate inside the caucus is ongoing.

There's more...

Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

This week's theme at the messy cross-section of race and politics in America is fear.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable.

-- Eric Hoffer, the Longshoreman Philosopher (1902 - 1983)

Fear of Brown People in General

* Oliver Willis and Atrios rap Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) for calling Miami a "Third World Country". Because of all the brown people. The modern GOP must sincerely want to lose all future elections in coming decades since brown people, as evidenced in the recent elections, like to vote. The Latino vote increased by 37% in the 2006 election over 2002. Read more at

* Rep. Steve "Not the Rev. Martin Luther" King (R-IA) believes that the nation's homicide rate is mostly driven by the illegal brown invasion from the South to the tune of 12 Americans a day. No actual stats to back that up. It's just a funny feeling he has deep inside. Source: CarpetBagger Report

* "Nowhere in Congress are relations between Republicans and Democrats as publicly nasty as the House Intelligence Committee,"according to CNN. Well, now there's a new sheriff in town: Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), former Border Patrol agent, Vietnam war vet and helicopter gunner. His appointment is called "historic" and "an important step" by a major Hispanic civil rights organization, National Council of La Raza.

Fear of Black People in General

* Police Brutality roils NYC, angers black bloggers -- and sickens African-Americans in general. Terrence Says compares police brutality to terrorism and also offers a good round up of bloggers, all black men, on the NYPD killing of Sean Bell. Just a question: when was the last time we heard about a white person being shot 50 times by police? When is that much force ever justified against an unarmed person? When exactly will the double standard discontinue?

Fear of Certain Specific Black People

* The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Rep. Maxine Waters' PAC donate big dollars to Dollar Bill Jefferson in LA-02. Too bad they are afraid to support a superior candidate -- Karen Carter, who might actually work a little harder for New Orleans' recovery. Skeptical Brotha, Jack and Jill Politics, MyDD and others are among those writing about the story.

* Wingnuts try to turn Obama to Osama by using his middle name "Hussein". Expect to see more of this. Crooks and Liars has the story.

There's more...


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