NAACP National Chair says count Florida & Michigan

Former Georgia state Representative and current Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Julian Bond penned a letter to Howard Dean in which he wrote, "we are deeply concerned that not finding a solution to this dilemma that recognizes the will and intent of Florida and Michigan voters could cast troubling aspirations on the democratic process of selecting candidates in a fully and equally inclusive manner."

The one-page letter from the civil rights leader who was once refused his seat in the Georgia House of Representatives because of his opposition to the Vietnam War was dated February 8, 2008.

Julian Bond's letter to the DNC Chairman is at least the fourth of its kind in recent days.  Others that have called on the Democratic National Committee to restore the voting rights of Florida & Michigan include AFSCME union President Gerald McEntee,  former head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Mary Frances Berry, and Roger Wilkins, an Obama supporter who made history as the first black member of the Washington Post editorial board.

Politico.com has a copy of the letter from Julian Bond to Howard Dean.  

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Clinton outlines civil rights plan at annual NAACP gathering in SC

When?

Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007

Where?

Charleston, South Carolina.

Occasion

91st annual NAACP banquet

http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/sep/ 16/clinton_tells_naacp_civil_rights_plan s16195/


U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told the biggest annual gathering of Lowcountry civil rights leaders Saturday that she will take five specific steps to help their cause if she wins the presidency next year.

Clinton addressed almost 1,000 people during the Charleston NAACP's 91st annual banquet, and she chose the occasion to unveil her plans for bolstering civil rights.

This was the annual banquet of the NAACP, an event that occurs only once a year.  South Carolina is an important early state, and for a Democratic presidential candidate getting the most influential and important South Carolina civil rights leaders at one gathering seems like a golden opportunity to get one's point across.

Outlined five specific civil rights-bolstering steps


1.  Clinton said if elected, she would direct her attorney general to investigate charges of improper, politically motivated hiring and whether any laws were broken and to increase the Civil Rights Division funding by $30 million.

Her other four steps are:

2. helping school districts pursue voluntary integration measures

3. extending full voting rights to Washington, D.C. citizens and fight voter ID laws that negatively impact minorities

4. strengthening federal hate crimes law

5. fighting race and sex discrimination in the workplace

"We have to have a Justice Department that functions again," she said. "Anyone who says we have gotten beyond racial discrimination is not living with their eyes open."

Clinton's remarks appear right on.  There is a lot of racially motivated hiring discrimination still going on in this country.  Here in Tampa a well-publicized discrimination case showed that the Florida division of Bank of America was denying blacks loans they would routinely give to Whites, even if the black applicants showed higher income, a better credit history, more going for him/her.   I am applauding Clinton's effort for a more colorblind structure when it comes to hiring, loans, etc.

Addressing the NAACP banquet was a political coup for Clinton, whose main rival in South Carolina is U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. Black voters are expected to make up about half of those voting in the state's Democratic presidential primary on Jan. 29.

This event was hosted by no other than Rep. and Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C. I wonder if he is going to endorse either Clinton or Obama in the end?

Clinton also said too many Americans feel their problems are not visible to the nation's leaders, whether the problem is access to health care, dilapidated schools or discrepancies in court sentences. She said if you're a Hurricane Katrina victim in New Orleans, "you're invisible to this president even when you're on CNN."

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If the NAACP Can Bury the N-Word, Could the F-Word be Too Far behind?

(From The Bilerico Project, by NBJC CEO H. Alexander Robinson)

For the third year in a row, the National Black Justice Coalition proudly and pro-actively participated in the NAACP annual convention.

Once again NBJC hosted a prominent tradeshow booth where staff members spoke to hundreds of people and distributed many pieces of LGBT affirming literature. We were also welcomed, highlighted and participated in a Sunday church service that was overflowing in attendance.  And just a couple of days later, NBJC hosted a reception and awards ceremony honoring 9 LGBT Detroit organizations in a near capacity hotel ballroom with representatives from the NAACP and the Detroit Mayor's office in attendance.

But in spite of our hard work and successes during the 98th annual NAACP convention in Detroit, I have been repeatedly approached, emailed, and asked: "Did you attend the N-Word mock funeral?"

Read the rest

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YOUTUBE - Clinton Edwards "privately" discuss removing candidates from future debates.

"""Hillary Clinton and John Edwards "privately" discussed removing other candidates from future debates. The discussion took place after the July 12th NAACP Candidate Forum in Detroit. But they forgot they were still on camera and miked! The discussion quickly found its way into the media and onto YouTube = http://www.independentvoice.org/free_det ails.asp?id=40"""

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Take Your Time, Speaker Pelosi

I'm getting quite irritated at the immediate reaction among white male liberal DC kewl kidz (and Maureen Dowd) to discern catty motives on the part of Nancy Pelosi.  Digby's noted it before, but it's not stopping.  Look at the first two paragraphs in an email that Josh Marshall reprints on Pelosi and the Intelligence Committee from a reader called 'RY'.

Don't assume that there's a strategic logic, however inept, behind the delay in the selection of the Committee Chair. If she knew what to do, she would do it. The problem is: a) She hates Harman; 2)Hastings is blatantly inappropriate (and thus will not be selected, no matter how much the CBC squawks); 3) alternative selections to Harman seem strained.

Therefore, she will likely select Harman anyway--appeasing at least two factions, the Blue Dogs, and the MSM, who will praise her for being centrist and pragmatic, rather than vindictive and "ideological." But she just can't stand the thought of it--thus the delay.

Left out of the whole nasty and myopic rant is any possibility that Nancy Pelosi might want someone who can chair the Intelligence Committee who can do a good job running the Intelligence Committee. Is it so unbelievable that Pelosi might think that Jane Harman is unfit to serve as a check on this President's misuse of intelligence?  Harman did after all vaguely support prosecution of the New York Times for revealing the existence of the eavesdropping program.  And that Pelosi is 'waiting' so long couldn't have anything to do with the fact that she has to organize the entire House of Representatives, could it?  Pelosi has given every indication that she wants the House to function; she's calling the House into session and keeping it in session throughout January so members can get to work.

This smearfest smacks of a combination of stupid good government types and rumor mongering right-wing jerks, all swimming in a sea of shallow idiocy where governing is irrelevant and everything is about 'optics', which is what the kewl kidz call gossip so it doesn't sound so petty and superficial.  I'm with Glenn.

I'd like to see proof that Pelosi's opposition to Harman is purely or even principally personal. I keep hearing this from them, but what is it based on? Personally, I think Harman -- who was one of the most aggressive defenders of the President's warrantless eavesdropping program ("both legal and necessary," she repeatedly chimed) and is currently under investigation for her work on behalf of AIPAC -- would make a horrendous Chair (although Alcee Hastings is one of the few House members who might be less desirable). She has been far too sympathetic to the administration's excesses and far too eager to serve as a Democratic shield publicly defending the President.

How do these all-knowing analysts know that Pelosi's opposition to Harman isn't based on these obvious and compelling substantive grounds, as opposed to the bitchy personal "cat fights" they allegedly have had? They don't know, but they keep repeating it anyway, because it seems to fit comfortably with a picture they are very eager to paint.

Glenn is right.  This Beltway dreck is snide nastiness dressed as commentary.  TPM's email concludes with this paragraph.

Btw, if Pelosi does decide to screw Harman, Holt would be a smart political choice, too, not just on the merits, because this high profile position sets him up nicely to replace octengenarian Frank Lautenberg for the Party's Senate nomination in 2008 (many New Jersey politicos think that Corzine should have picked Holt this time around, rather than the scandal tainted Menendez).

How embarrassing.  While chastising Pelosi for being catty because she has so far prevented Harman from chairing the committee, the reader engages in precisely the emotionally vapid and bitchy characterizations he so laments in Pelosi.  If Harman doesn't get the chairmanship it's because she was 'screwed', not because she is unfit to serve, because Intelligence Committee memberships rotate and Harman's time is up, or because Harman lost a political battle.  

For good measure, this email throws mud at Bob Menendez for being 'scandal tainted', even though there is actually, well, no scandal, and Menendez was just soundly elected by voters who know exactly what they are getting.  Honestly, this is just a suburban white liberal version of bigotry.  I don't mean the rejection of Hastings, because substantively he's a cipher on Intelligence matters and that's reason enough to find someone more suitable to hold this critical post.  I mean the way he's being insulted by the punditocracy.  It's not an unusual situation to have a black man wrongfully accused of a crime in this country, and to so callously throw Hastings aside as tainted, even though he was acquitted of the charges and chosen repeatedly by voters to hold public office, looks insensitive at first, but when you combine this with the needless dig at Menendez, it looks a lot to me like a whole lot of brown people are considered tainted with no evidence whatsoever.  The people of New Jersey elected Menendez and the people of Florida elected Hastings, so attacking them represents precisely that insulting antidemocratic impulse so common in Washington DC courtier culture.  According to this culture, reigning over all must be Speaker Pelosi, who is bitchy and can't possibly want to govern because governing is for silly people, right?

Nonsense aside, the single most important thing Pelosi can do is find a a good Intelligence Chair and make sure he or she has the political capital to fix the mess this country is in.  Doing so could require time to find a compromise candidate, or to work with the CBC or Blue Dogs to assuage egos or horse-trade other committee assignments.  That's what leaders do.  It doesn't always happen fast, and it doesn't always happen at the behest of temper tantrum prone Beltway gossip kidz.  The new Congress doesn't start for a month, and the Committees will be operating for two years under very heavy political and media pressure.  Pelosi should take her time making sure she picks the right person to do the job, and she should ignore these nasty and myopic people.

Oh, and by the way RY, a lot of people in New Jersey think Corzine should have picked their friend to be Senator and not Bob Menendez.  But he didn't pick their friend.  He picked Bob Menendez.  And Menendez stomped Tom Kean Jr into the ground. Gossip-as-evidence against women and minorities seems to be a stock in trade these days, doesn't it?

Update: It actually looks a bit worse for the Pelosi-bashers.

Both Harman and Hoyer belong to the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, which gained at least nine members in the last election and was seen as successfully flexing its muscles during the majority leader tussle. But only 18 members, about half of the coalition’s current total, signed a November 15 letter to Pelosi urging her to make Harman the chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

...

“She’s trying to stay on, and I know she’s called a lot of people to generate news articles and a lot of pressure on Ms. Pelosi,” said Waxman, who represents a district adjacent to Harman’s on the heavily Jewish west side of Los Angeles. He added, “The Democratic rules have been that the head of that panel is rotated off after a certain period of time… [and] the idea behind it was that we didn’t want members serving on the intelligence committee permanently; we wanted to give other members a chance to serve on it.”

So not only is Harman not actually supported by the Blue Dog caucus (which requires more than half of members to support something before it becomes a caucus position), Henry Waxman is openly accusing her of orchestrating a campaign of public pressure on Pelosi. That's ridiculous.

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