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Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:15 PM PST

Birtherism May Have African Roots

by tha puddin

This December, following the news about Nelson Mandela's illness has me thinking and reading about modern African history. As a kid growing up in Africa in the 1970s, we had many inspirational leaders to talk about around the dinner table ranging from Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), Julius Nyerere (Tanzania) and of course, Madiba.

Kenneth Kaunda, one of those leaders who always created a lot of buzz back then, was/is the flag bearer for independence and the first President of Zambia (located in southern central Africa). He was a renaissance man in his time, known for an odd combination of items: his penchant for socialism, ballroom dancing, a snappy, unique fashion sense and transcendental mediation. His presidency lasted around 27 years, from 1964 to 1991. The now-retired President Kaunda served as a scholar-in-residence at Boston University after his presidency.

When Kaunda was voted out of office in free and fair elections held in 1991, the late President Frederic Chiluba, who defeated Kaunda, made an unusual assertion to ensure that Kaunda would not regroup and possibly win any subsequent elections. Chiluba asserted that Kaunda, even though born in Zambia, was not a Zambian citizen, that he was ineligible for the presidency and that he should be deported. The grounds? That Kaunda's father was NOT Zambian, therefore he was not Zambian. Sound familiar?

Grant it, in some regions of Africa where patriarchy still holds water, the belief that citizenship is conferred by the father often has teeth. In the U.S., however, citizenship is conferred by either parent, whether the child in question, example: Barack Obama, is born in the U.S. or abroad.

By 1999, Kaunda was stripped of his citizenship. Lucky for him, the Supreme Court of Zambia didn't buy Chiluba's birther argument and restored Kaunda's citizenship in 2000.

My only point: there's nothing new under the sun and birthers are not original in their quest to delegitimize Barack Obama's presidency due to the national origin of his father. Happy Holidays DK readers.

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This is a short one.

Since Barack Obama handed Mitt Romney his rich-man ass last Tuesday, the Republicans have done nothing but throw one temper tantrum after the next with no signs of cooling down. From the flag bearer himself insisting that 100 percent of country would have voted for him if President Obama hadn't given us all pwesents, to Charlie Webster claiming that African Americans were bused in from some great big ghetto in the sky to vote for Obama in Maine, to Mr. Papa John's feeble attempt to blackmail the President with the threat of whatever over his terrible pizza, to nutters in the GA legislature using tax dollars to hold meetings on Obama mind control, Republican party members have collectively proven that they are the sorest losers of all time. Not just in politics, but in general. Add up all the spoiled brat, sore loser athletes in the world and the Republicans still win the title hands down. And, with their fans like the ice cream scooper chick in CA and the death-threat guy in FL following their lead, the Republican party is fast-trackin' it to Jurassic park and political irrelevancy like no other political party in U.S. history.

The good news is... it'll be a lifetime before these idiots ever smell the Presidency if they do continue to exist. The more they talk, the easier it will be for random elementary school kids to destroy any Republican candidate's credibility with one or two Google clicks.

Btw, I can say it publicly now: Papa John's pizza is the worst pizza ever. And, that was my opinion years before I knew he was a right wing nut.

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Apparently, sore loserness is the gift that keeps on giving in this election. Now, 2012 presidential loser Mitt Romney says that unenlightened African Americans, Latinos and young women (notice that old women were not singled out) voted for the President because, basically, we're mindless idiots, Barack Obama promised to give us stuff and that's why we voted for him. You see folks, Romney and his ilk see people of color -- African Americans and Latinos specifically -- and young women as house pets. Someone holds a treat in of our mouths, we scramble on the floor to gobble it up and then we do what whatever we're told i.e., chase the stick, run after the Frisbee, etc.

From Politico:

“The president’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups (including African Americans, Hispanics and young women) a big gift — so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars,” Romney said on a conference call with donors, the Los Angeles Times first reported.

The “gifts,” according to Romney, included forgiving college loan interest, free contraceptive coverage and the part of Obamacare that allows people 26 and younger to be covered under their parents’ health care plans.

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free healthcare, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free healthcare worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity. I mean, this is huge,” Romney said, the New York Times reported.

“Likewise with Hispanic voters, free healthcare was a big plus,” Romney added. “But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

Keep digging Romney. Soon, not even brown conservative politicians will be able to save the Republican party. Not George P., not Ted Cruz, none of them.

Not for nothing, but President Obama didn't give me shit. As the owner of a tiny business that earns me enough money to support myself, I don't get shit from any government agency, not health care, not subsidies of any kind, nothin'!. I voted for Barack Obama because he's the right man and has a track record for doing a good job for all Americans.

Not only is Romney's position offensive, it's insulting. I'm sick and tired of people saying he's decent man. Are these the words of a decent man? Good thing I've never voted Republican.

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So now, we have it on good authority that Mitt Romney was so out of it and so out of touch that he didn't even read the news or consult the polls conducted by mainstream organizations predicting his own demise! Yet, the only thing standing between us and a president with this level of disengagement with reality was a thin cushion of 2,991,674 votes? Now, that's messed up. Hopefully, this reality will scare the bejesus out of Democrats who normally stay away from the polls during midterm elections.

Going forward, let's not let it be all about the presidential election. Go to the polls every year and vote. Someone will always be running for something.

We have an effective coalition of all races, ethnic groups, genders and sexual orientations. Don't let bonds weaken by staying home and letting haters get into office. We now know that "power to people" just isn't some catch phrase from the 70s. It's real. We've seen it in action.

UPDATE: What we can do to keep the ball rolling
Find out who's running for office in your city and state EVERY YEAR and ALWAYS VOTE. Stay on top of your congresspeople and governor. Know who they are and what their positions are. If the consensus is that their positions will not elevate the community, call or write to them. Whether or not you agree with a politician, don't just let him or her sit there collecting a check paid from your tax dollars. Make them work for you and your community. We might have needed a push from President Obama to get organized, but we don't need him to stay organized. Volunteer and get out the vote. Work with your local Democratic party folks, or if you don't have any such folks, become your local party folks. Then talk to people, knock on doors and donate. A bunch of small $10 donations are just as powerful as one billionaire's money.

Keep the meetups going!

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Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 08:30 PM PST

In Virginia, We Fought to the Death

by tha puddin

Well, it's over folks and our knuckles are bloody. As a life-long Democrat, I'm happy that in my lifetime, I will have lived in the United States of America under a two-term African American president, the first in the country's history. This means a lot to me as an born and bred American with a Kenyan father. When all the counting is done, I don't know if Obama will take the state I call home, but it's clear that we Virginia Democrats gave it our all and we really tried. Maybe the sheer force of our will pushed Obama over the top. Plus, voting in a Democrat, Tim Kaine, to replace retiring Jim Webb (D) ain't too shabby:)

Onward and upward, as they say. More progress for four more years.

UPDATE: OMG! The Tidewater just started reporting. We're breaking for Obama. OMG!

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Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 06:22 AM PST

Just Voted in Central Virginia

by tha puddin

So, there was a long line at the rural outpost where I voted around 8:30 a.m. Obviously, I cast my vote for President Barack Obama and VP Joe Biden. Last election, there was hardly anyone at the polls. This election, there was a crowd. There are few African Americans around here. Many of us know each other. I saw a few familiar faces leaving the polls. That's a good sign. Voter apathy among African Americans in this area was high before Obama.

Last election, the county broke pretty much 50/50 and Tom Periello (D) ended up taking the 5th congressional district seat over Virgil Goode (former R). Even though you wouldn't think there were any Democrats in these here parts, we're here, silently pushing up the numbers. CNN is also exit polling outside this rural polling station, so for maybe the first time ever, how we vote out here in the badlands is of interest.

Republican angst isn't palpable, although there were plenty of signs for the guy who's going to lose tonight. Virginia offers paper or electronic voting, your choice. My advice: take your own black ball point pen. Sure they have PLENTY of No. 2 pencils, but since one has a choice to use a pen...

Good day and happy voting.

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No sweat, Friday's payday. My point: a crazy person sputtering, aka Mitt Romney, does not a president make; maybe of a yacht club, but not of a country. In case you've been lucky enough not to know any crazy people personally, they scream and yell quite a bit, say incoherent things, try to bully people with their words, but they ultimately end up on the sidelines (I'm not slamming crazy people like Mitt Romney. It's actually quite sad). But anyway, NO! President Obama should not have stood up there and yelled "Now, just wait a cotton pickin' minute" every time the crazy man sputtered out another half-baked, incoherent lie. The President, can't and should not stoop to the level of the crazy, lyin' fool. I think President Obama's an amazing person and an amazing president, no matter what the haters say (not to mention his beyond awesome wife, Michelle), and for me, being African American, it's an honor to live in the same country with people as outstanding as the Obamas. Maybe Michelle got in trouble for saying this in 2008, but I ain't the first lady, so I'll go on and say that for the first time in my life, I am proud to be American. And it is because of Barack Obama. President Obama will prevail.

BTW, I made my donation by clicking the donate link in the email that the President just sent out simply and humbly entitled "Hey."

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Thank you President Obama for setting the record straight (from Politico):

In his interview with CBS News -- according to Carney's reading of the president's statements -- Obama defended the embassy's response, saying it was "an an effort to cool the situation down" as protests broke out in Cairo. "It didn’t come from me. It didn’t come from Secretary Clinton. It came from folks on the ground who are potentially in danger. And my tendency is to cut those folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office.
And then, the booyah!
...we believe in the First Amendment. It is one of the hallmarks of our Constitution that I am sworn to uphold. And so we are always going to uphold the rights for individuals to speak their minds. On the other hand, this film is not representative of who we are and our values, and I think it’s important for us to communicate that.
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Thank you Yahoo! Finance. Click here to read the entire story, but here are the highlights:

By the time he was sworn in (2009), Obama owned somewhere between $1.1 million and $5.1 million worth of U.S. Treasury Bills, comprising most of his net worth.
And,
In 2009, he gave the approximately $1.4 million Nobel Prize money to these charities

When Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he told the prize committee to wire the money directly to the following charities:

    $250,000 to Fisher House, which gives free housing to veterans and military families getting medical treatment.

    $200,000, plus any remaining unallocated money, to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund of the Clinton Foundation, a fund that helped rebuild Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

    $125,000 to the American Indian College Fund, which gives scholarships to Native Americans.

    $125,000 to the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation, which gives scholarships to low-income residents of the Appalachia region.

    $125,000 to College Summit, an organization that aims to raise college enrollment rates.

    $125,000 to the Posse Foundation, which provides full scholarships to extraordinary high school students.

    $125,000 to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, which gives scholarships to Latino students.

    $125,000 to the United Negro College Fund, which gives scholarships to Black students.

    $100,000 to Africare, an organization that builds wells and treats disease in Africa.

    $100,000 to the Central Asia Institute, which focuses on education and public health, primarily for girls in Central Asia

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This is why celebrities need to sit quietly in the audience. There's a time to sell and a time to sit the F down.

I’m more Republican, voting for Mitt Romney/You lazy bitches is f*ckin’ up the economy
--Nicki Minaj
Here's the truth of the matter; the music industry is suffering. While the Internet makes it easy for celebs of questionable talent to get noticed (especially when they wear brightly colored objects), pirating, bootlegging and file sharing have made it increasingly difficult for such folks to make a killing like the great music stars of the 20th century (Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, etc). So, to make a living, music peddlers have had to resort to selling dollar store quality apparel lines, cheap perfume and other trinkets of no value just to cash in on name recognition. At present, Nicki Minaj, one such mediocre entertainer, is trying to build buzz around a department store perfume due out later this fall.

So, what does a poor celebrity do to get attention in a market over saturated with celebrity perfumes? To get attention, Nicki Minaj has allied herself with the detestable Republican party (the party of hate, to paraphrase The Big Dog). Now, personally, I don't believe Nicki Minaj knows what country she lives in, much less anything about the political parties that are in it. I firmly believe that Nicki Minaj's "people" probably advised her to lash out at black people to get attention, which could work only if you apply the "any publicity is good publicity" principle.

But, the problem with Minaj taking advice from "people" who don't know much -- or more accurately, don't think very highly of -- black people, is that she's leveled a racist insult against the only people who might be willing to indulge her as she struggles to stay relevant.

So, if Nicki Minaj or her "people" actually think that we black people are a bunch of lazy bitches who are fuckin' up the economy, my question is... why pitch your products to us? Lazy bitches who fuck up the economy usually don't have $78 to spend on overpriced perfume. Just sayin'

UPDATE: Excellent quote from Michael Arceneaux, Ebony Magazine

Fine, so what if Nicki Minaj is voting or Mitt Romney or not? Still, there’s legit reason to at least wonder why she “jokingly” echoes sentiments from that joke of a candidate.

I understand her right to creative license – so much so that I’m using mine to call that line what it is: irresponsible.

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Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:14 PM PDT

Lord Have Mercy

by tha puddin

I have to go decompress after that.

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I pulled this up at the suggestion of one DailyKos member archer070 under this diary (he suggested Google-ing the term "I welcome their hatred," so I did). What President Franklin Delano Roosevelt observed about his opponents back then seems just as applicable now as it ever was. My, my, my, how history repeats itself. What we can do is vote. Let's not forget these words going into the home stretch. The struggle continues. La lucha continua. - ThaPuddin'

    "For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

    We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

    They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

    Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today.
They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.

    I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936, Listen here.

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