Sunday, August 31, 2008


Last week many folks were crying and feeling very happy by the events that took place in Denver. Happiness can be a sign of good health. No more blues. Hallelujah Time. It feels good to see a black person achieve success against the odds. But what if Obama's rise is also representative in a shift in how we view race in America? What if someone told you that thinking black was outdated? What if you were told to look beyond race? Could you lose your mind? Would reality as you know it collapse? What if suddenly you found yourself going through your entire day and never mentioning anything about blacks or whites? Would this new condition drive you out of your mind? Remember that Hendrix song about 6 being 9? Might Obama in the White House turn a white person's world upside down? Might they go crazy? Consider the violence that took place after the Supreme Court case of 1954. Might one reclassify many of the acts of white racism as being an indication of mental illness? Did the blow against segregation make white people ill? During my lifetime I've witnessed many acts of racism by folks who were mentally ill. What about you?

What's the connection? Consider black intellectuals who cannot study the world without a reference to blackness. What would happen if the concept became outdated? What if race was nothing but an idea? An idea that might become as obsolete as an old form of energy. Are we still dependent on the steam engine in 2008? One could conclude that whiteness has already become outdated. How many young white people now prefer to be black? Of course we might be back to trying to define blackness again, but leave that to someone getting a degree from Temple University (for the moment). What might happen if black intellectuals could no longer dream a world? How could they lead us?

What we might want to measure over the next two years are racial acts of violence that are linked to Obama's "transforming politics." In November, some people might just lose their minds. Consider how angry black people might become if Obama lost the way Gore did. To have their dream destroyed by what they believe to be evil and simple theft. How many might begin to suffer from depression? The political defeat of Obama no different than a death in the family. And what if Obama wins and there are celebrations around the country but white people feel excluded and angry because they can't stop the motion of history. How crazy might some white people become and attempt to destroy the entire nation?

This is just a probe and a suggestion that we pull our Fanon from our bookshelves. How do we measure mental disorders among the oppressed as well as the oppressor? As we attempt to move beyond our various stages of victimization, we will struggle to think new thoughts. We cannot enter the doors of the future by walking backwards. The challenge is for our imaginations to look beyond blackness and to go in search of color everywhere. The old world was divided into black and white. The new "race" men and women must become digital. Don't be caught with your two rabbit ears and talking analog double consciousness. You just won't work in the future. Click. Click.
Geez- Hey man if you want to be a guest blogger just send me an email. OK? I'm going to change the pass code again. Your butt needs a sling.

Hey Bert - one other thing (and then I'm gone). Did you know that Palin selected the grizzly bear over the polar bear for Alaska's commemorative quarter? It was released into circulation last Tuesday. Poor polars - they can't even get 25 cents of support from this woman. Did the oil make her do it?
OK - Bert. Keep those E-Notes coming. I didn't want to intrude but you know how emotional I can be. Oh, send me a copy of your new book when it's published. Thanks.


This could be the season New England might not make the playoffs. They won no preseason games. Of course Brady didn't play but the problem is this team's defense. It's the reason they lost that 1 game last year and the Super Bowl. Even in preseason folks are scoring against these guys. What's going on?

Whoa...and look at the Detroit Lions. 4-0 in preseason and playing good defense. Might this be the team to watch this year?

Washington needs a big win against the Giants this week. If the team can't score two touchdowns it's going to be a long season. I'm still not sold on Campbell as QB. Eli Manning should play better this year. What does the guy have to prove? Oh, please limit those Manning/Manning television commercials this football season. The last thing we need is a Football family dynasty.

Hey - was that Manny hitting 2 home runs yesterday?

Salman Rushdie is one of the 70 writers that will be attending the National Book Festival hosted by Laura Bush on September 27th. It seems like just yesterday this guy was hiding and everyone was talking about THE SATANIC VERSES. What have we learned? Hopefully writers will continue to write and people will begin to understand - words are not evil. Show respect for all religions - keep imagination free and free imagination from all forms of censorship.

Art Lives! Man must learn not to kill it.

Congrats to Lady Laura Bush for hosting another book festival:

Hey -Bert, sorry for sneaking into your E-Notes again. I must admit I'm happy you made that comment about Palin and the Polar Bears. I love those guys. They need all the protection they can get. How can people vote for someone who doesn't care about Polar Bears?

The McCain Watch:

And it's with great pride and gratitude I tell you I have found the right partner to help me stand up to those who have corrupted Washington.

Who is McCain talking about? Many of the corruption scandals involve Republicans. How deep a reform is he going to push? Is fighting corruption the major issue these days? What about the war and economy?

Starting today I'll be a guest blogger for THE BEST AMERICAN POETRY:

HERE WE GO AGAIN or why didn't anyone select poet Peggy Shumaker from Alaska?

As the "real" election gets closer it seems we are going to be held hostage by the same old issues. It's funny how abortion or gun control didn't dominate discussion during the primaries.

Whatever happened to poverty, the plight of the Palestinians, Hugo Chavez and the New York Yankees? If it's September all talk will now turn to who is going to be placed on the Supreme Court. As soon as the Republican VP is seen holding a gun we will be back to NRA days. Oh, and the entire election will no longer be determined by Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Florida, it will be determined by women voters. Do you really believe this nonsense? Look for the media to suddenly give us stories about Alaska. How many Eskimos are registered voters? Will we finally give more attention to the poetry of John Haines and Peggy Shumaker?

It was Peggy who invited me once to Fairbanks . I fell in love with Alaska and the beauty of the state. I couldn't see anyone wanting to expand the drilling for oil and risking possible damage to the environment. One visit really hit me in the head. Yes, I saw moose too and wouldn't want to shoot them. The weather must have hit about 40 degrees below zero but who cared. Send me to Alaska again. I love the place but I'm still voting for Obama.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


A potential vice president with the ideology of Dick Cheney and fewer qualifications than Dan Quayle should send arctic shivers up our spines.

- John Podesta

I am horrified that Mr. McCain is willing to take the chance of leaving the leadership of our country in the hands of an inexperienced person, all for the sake of trying to win over some disenchanted Sen. Hillary Clinton supporters and grabbing media attention.

- Rosanne Desmone

At issue is the makeup of the Supreme Court. Four Supreme Court justices - John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy - are older than Mr. McCain.
Mr. McCain has promised that if elected he will appoint ultraconservative justices who will change the court to the point that it will reverse Roe v. Wade. Mr. McCain has pledged to do his best to deny women their right to choose.

- Laure Dunne

Ichiro Watch:

3 hits today

Average at .314


Somewhere in an old E-Note I made a remark about what to look for during the Republican Convention. I've been telling folks to look for a new face to emerge just like how Obama did a few years ago. Republicans know they need a new face to sell old policies. Conservatives believe that it were many of those sex scandals that were responsible for Republican downfall not their social or economic beliefs. Do you believe this? The struggle with Republicans comes down to one issue and one issue alone. What should be the role of government? We saw the US government fail when Katrina hit. We've seen some serious corruption the last few years and this might be the primary legacy of the Bush Administration in a few months. It's no coincidence that Teddy Roosevelt has become a "shadow" president these days. The Teddy mascot is a favorite at Washington Nationals baseball games. But when will the real Teddy make his/her presence known in Washington? Well, if you listen to the rhetoric coming out of the Republican camp it's going to be them. They made the mess - shouldn't they fix it? The new Republican Party will find women and people of color to sell their ideology. Republicans don't like to play identity politics too often but they do represent the Party that represents money. If race or gender sells, they will sell it to you and keep all of the profits. The Republican Party will purchase Hillary's image like it was brand and sell it back to Americans no matter how defected the new product might be. Does this sound like Chinese Capitalism? You bet. When folks talk about being against corruption there is often corruption making money from the new line of sneakers. Just like when a politician talks about God and family values and never goes to church or has a penis that goes door to door. Republican rhetoric is often slick because Republicans have the money and they don't play by the rules. They can be very condescending when it comes to people of color and women. People who are Black Republicans often feel comfortable in Republican settings because they often look around and there are not too many other people of color around. They can feel comfortable and convince themselves every morning that race is not an issue and that hard work like Billy Bathgate's juggling got them to where they are. I remember the first black guy in the neighborhood who purchased a yacht. The boat gave him a freedom away from other blacks and opened the door to those white yacht private clubs. Too often the boat didn't go anywhere. It sat at the dock like an idea trying to float. Which brings me back to the role of government.

The winds of change are taking place. Be careful of the person who wants to sell you a sailboat during these times. Don't get on a boat if you can't swim. If you find yourself drowning the next four years in new Republican rhetoric - you'll only have yourself to blame for not voting. Don't go down to the dock if you're not going to put your foot in the water. If you're old, poor, black, and can't swim it might be time to embrace your faith and vote for the guy who folks believe can walk on water. Yes, the storm is raging around us. Just look at New Orleans again. I keep going back to that historical moment in Denver...

A young Obama raising his hands to quiet the crowd. Peace Be Still. But as you know - it's not about Obama (or Jesus). It's about your faith and what you believe. What you believe your government should be doing will determine the type of church you build. But keep an eye on Republicans who will want to sell you a rock - those guys always seem to get the no-bid contracts. There is more money to be made in America. Don't trust every preacher and keep a Teddy Bear near you when you dream.


Just walking around the city you can overhear all the conversations about Obama. Black people happy and proud. Meanwhile some of our black intellectuals pick the lint from Obama's jacket.

What is this about? Black intellectuals seem to only see blackness -which is another way of saying they can't see beyond their lips. Maybe these folks should remain analog after early next year. There are a number of black shows I simply refuse to watch. Lately some of our leaders have been walking around with their pants falling down. I wonder where they got that from?

Still - why show one's ass on television? Joe Louis must be fighting tonight. We all can't be Lena Horne on his arm.

Can we retire the word presumptive after next week? I thought this was just a way of the media being stubborn about what Obama had accomplished. I don't remember this word being used before. Is this what we called Kennedy? What will Obama be if he wins the election in November? The Presumptive President-Elect?



Michon is back from Denver. We spoke last night. I love talking politics with this woman. She sent me the link below to a blogger in Alaska. I can't believe folks won't be in a uproar when they learn about Palin's position against the Polar Bears.

The Polar Bears need to register to vote. They need our help and we might need theirs.

Friday, August 29, 2008


1. Can the Republican Party trust McCain?

2. Some folks claim they still don't know who Obama is. Did you know who the governor of Alaska was before today? How long will it take for America "to know"

Sarah Palin?

3. Should the Hillary Democrats be given credit for getting Palin the VP nod in the Republican Party?

4. Will Americans now be forced to acknowledge that Hawaii and Alaska are part of the US?

5. Does McCain's selection of Palin mean that gender is more important than regions. What happened to the idea of placing someone on the ticket in order to attract voters in that state?

6. Is the key to winning the election in November the white woman voter? What happened to working class white men? Are they more racist than sexist?

7. How many bathing suit pictures of Palin will we see? How many pictures of her holding a rifle?

8. Who vetted Palin and when?

9. Is anyone going to question Palin's foreign policy experience?

10. Is Palin's selection by McCain another example of him being reckless by nature?

11. Be honest, who is the better VP candidate, Palin or Biden?

Turn to page A28 in today's Washington Post. Look at the picture of Obama in Denver taken by Susan Biddle. Notice Obama's shadow. It almost appears to be biblical and not even belonging to Obama. Someone needs to contact Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Could Obama be - The One!

Such nonsense Ethelbert. Soon you'll be developing your own Miller Theory of Color Confrontation and Racism. Hmmm.

*For religious reasons we won't post the picture in our E-Notes. Get your own paper. LOL.

Sarah Heath Palin (born February 11, 1964) is the current Governor of Alaska, a former Miss Alaska runner-up, and a member of the Republican Party. She is the youngest and first female governor of Alaska. She is the Republican vice presidential candidate for the November 2008 election.[1]
Brought to statewide attention because of her whistleblowing on ethical violations by state Republican Party leaders,[2] she won election in 2006 by first defeating the incumbent governor in the Republican primary, then a former Democratic Alaskan governor in the general election.
On August 29, the Associated Press reported that "speculation [has] moved to [Palin as a] darkhorse" pick for the vice president running mate slot by presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.[3] The CNBC news service first reported that Palin would be the GOP vice-presidential nominee.[4] Formal announcement of the presumptive nominee will be made in Dayton, Ohio on August 29, 2008, by Presidential candidate John McCain. On August 29, CNN, and Fox News, and MSNBC each confirmed that Palin was the running mate for Senator McCain.[5][6][7]
1 Family and personal background
2 Pre-gubernatorial political experience
3 Governorship
3.1 Energy policies
3.2 Social issues
3.3 Matanuska Maid Dairy closure
3.4 Budget
3.5 Commissioner dismissal
4 Electoral history
4.1 Election results
5 References
6 External links



Wisdom and love are the same.
Quote of the Day:

Mr. Obama brought the crowd to its feet many times to cheer and applaud, but perhaps just as importantly for audiences back home, for almost 50 minutes he silenced the ceaseless chatter of television anchors and commentators who had insistently put their own stamp and faces on one of the most exciting political conventions in modern times.

- Alessandra Stanley

Be sure to read The New York Times today. Go straight to the OP-ED page and read David Brooks. I'm not going to mention this guy's name again in my E-Notes. After you read what he wrote you'll have to give him a 10 which might just be how he is acting these days. Geez - and this guy gets away with this stuff? One suspects he secretly has an airlines ticket in his pocket that will permit him to flee America if Obama is elected president in November.

Did you listen to David Brooks comments after Obama's speech??? He was in the studio with Jim Lehrer and a couple of other pundits. This guy should be McCain's running mate. He was the only guy who put down Obama's speech and he did it in a way that just made himself look stupid.
Geez -where was the toilet paper? If he writes the same stuff in the New York Times his editors should call him into the office and suggest he only cover crime. Which means looking in the mirror. Brooks analysis was criminal at best. Obama gave one of the best speeches I've heard in my life. Even the folks who have AOL accounts agreed. I was shocked. Many even voted and said they would now vote for Obama. It's so sad to see Brooks waving his arms and getting no air (or Ear) support for the nonsense coming out of his mouth.

My friend Suheir Hammad continues to amaze me. I wrote the following comments for the back of her first book:

Suheir Hammad has given us a collection of poems that have their roots in a land near the edge of the sea. Here is the voice of one woman who has not forgotten the plight of her people. Born Palestinian, Born Black is about culture, conflict and consciousness. The poems are political, but then we are in need of such things...I was born black, and Suheir Hammad has taught me what it means to be Palestinian. People must continue to learn from each other.

This book opens a door.

That was 1996. Yesterday, Suheir sent me an email and information about a film she is in. Now her passion, politics and beauty opens another door. See for yourself:

Please visit the film's site at:

I continue to say prayers for Peace in the Middle East.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


DelawarePoetryReview - Contemporary poetry from the Mid-Atlantic ...
New poems by E. Ethelbert Miller, Regie Cabico, Chezia Thompson Cager, Alan Spears, Rosemary Klein and others.



Here is a link to one of our upcoming programs. Please attend.

One of the joys of working at Howard University is seeing students doing wonderful things even before they graduate. I remember Kemp Powers and his comic books. What year was that?

Today Tamara Kae Williams sat in my office showing me her bags and shirts. I think this is her second year at Howard. Here is a link to her website:
The name Tribal Immunity was inspired by Native American Sovereign Immunity, which gave Natives immunity from judicial systems that have no jurisdiction over tribes because of their supreme right to govern themselves. The name Tribal Immunity was chosen because it is our belief that if a person has a knowledge of who they are, where they come from, and has tolerance for all mankind, then they control their destiny.




That language thing again.
Remember when Obama used the word "bitter" to describe working Americans. Do you remember all the critics? Well, I was surprised to see how often the word "bitter" was used to describe white female Hillary supporters in Denver. Is this a word we just like to throw at women? She's nothing but a bitter B! It must be that language thing again. Right?

New Poet Laureate for Virginia:

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has appointed Claudia Emerson poet laureate of Virginia. Emerson won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry LATE WIFE.



Good morning. Do you feel different today? How does Obama feel this morning? Well, I'm still trying to figure out how to pay a stack of bills. I have to get to work and do a number of tasks. Seldom does one have the opportunity to stop and witness the motion of history. Still it's the masses of people who make history, not just one or two people. Watching the Democratic Convention and listening to the commentary by various reporters one might conclude that everything in Denver is about the Clintons. Is this Zimbabwe where no one has the courage to tell Mugabe - get over it. Have we become an old European nation where we feel happy by being ruled by one family? Take your pick: Kennedy, Bush, Clinton. We seem trapped in old ways of trying to determine what's going on. How do we explain where Obama is today? Who do we go to for insight and an explanation? Well, if you have a television show and you select one of the few black pundits to yak then Obama's success remains a black story. It's like we don't look for color until we cover color. Did you find many black people trying to explain Hillary Clinton situation on the news? It would be nice to know what black women think about Hillary. I do see a number of my sisters in pantsuits. Unless they are secretly hating black men (for the rest of their lives) I assume they like Hillary for what she represents. I would like to hear from them but they seem to be invisible to the media. So it seems as if every black person (unless they are Republicans) must be for Obama. If we all look alike does it mean we all vote the same way too?

Well, tonight I'm certain the media will dust off some King quotes. They will find a few black people to ask - are we living the dream? Has King's dream come true - 45 years late? Well let's be honest before the evening gets here. The media is not going to share with us King's complete speech. They are not going to focus on the real reason behind the March on Washington. We will turn the entire evening into a t-shirt moment. Images of simply King and Obama. But let's place the attention on where it should be. The March on Washington was about jobs and equality. Serious economic issues. Much of King's speech was an indictment of America's failure. Yes, he expressed hope near the end of his speech because he was visionary. But let's not honor and remember King for one speech, let's measure the man by what he was doing right before he was assassinated. King was focusing on the issue of poverty (as well as demanding an end to the Vietnam War). King was in Memphis helping sanitation workers. This is a reminder that until we focus on the folks at the bottom of our society - we won't experience the change we need to see.

Right now a few blocks from the White House are a legion of homeless black men. I'm certain I could find a few wearing something that has Obama's name. It might be a shirt, hat or just a button. These folks holding onto the last of their dignity seem to be grasping for the hem of Jesus. Even if Obama wins the election in November, I'm certain these homeless black men will still be homeless. Why? Because they are invisible. They are not the middle class. They are the poor. They are folks with disabilities. They are people with substance abuse problems. They are people who suffer from mental illness. They are my brothers. And no one speaks for them.

Yes, they are happy that Obama has won the nomination. They are happy for the moment - because they live from moment to moment. Their dreams have vanish - just like their homes and jobs. The last thing to vanish has been themselves. Even Ellison has no narrative for them.
The motion of history can be cruel. It moves forward leaving so many of us behind. For many of us - even the air is gone.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So David Brooks thinks Joe Lieberman is going to be McCain's running mate. Hmmm. Interesting. Brooks did pick Biden. He got that right. Does this guy have access to the inside stuff? It wouldn't be the first time a political camp helped a reporter. What's the payback down the road? An informal endorsement? I love the media. Let's monitor and see what happens this weekend. It appears McCain is going to have a difficult decision to make. Is it still possible to make a bold move and select Hillary? Lieberman was once a Democrat. Clinton wanted to be on some one's ticket. Just a thought...


I have copies of HOW WE SLEEP ON THE NIGHTS WE DON'T MAKE LOVE by E. Ethelbert Miller. Price: $13.95.

If you want to purchase copies, contact:

On nights when we don't make love, it might be helpful to have some of E. Ethelbert Miller's alluring and captivating poems nearby. As intimate as they are seductive...they should be just as enticing even on nights when we do make love.

- Edwidge Danticat

8 Million African Americans still not registered to Vote.

I was reading an article in the Muslim Journal (September 5, 2008) and it quoted Rick Wade.

He is the African American vote director for the Obama for America Presidential Campaign.


Our principle focus has been a 50-state voter registration initiative. I think if we increase the number of African American registered voters and then increase turnout and get people to the polls on November 4, then Senator Obama will be the next President of the United States.

Another Wade statement:

For example in the state of Ohio in 2004, we lost by two percent or 100,000 votes. There were 270,000 unregistered African Americans.

Ichiro Watch:

2 hits tonight

Average at .311
Leading the AL in hits. It looks like another 200 hit season.

The largest single workplace immigration raid. The place: Howard Industries transformer plant.
Nearly 600 arrested.

About 100 of those detained were released for humanitarian reasons, many of them mothers who were fitted with electronic monitoring bracelets and allowed to go home to their children.

475 workers were transferred to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Jena, La.

The 4th Annual Duke Ellington Jazz Festival

October 1-7, 2008 in Washington, D.C.

JULES NYQUIST lives in MN. This is a link to her blog.

I first met Jules at a radio station in the Twin Cities. We did "poetry work" together at Bennington.


A very long time ago I was on the front page of the Washington City Paper as a possible candidate for mayor. That was before Manny had dreadlocks and poets wanted chapbooks.

What a crazy idea. This was before folks wanted to take creative writing workshops. Public service has to be in one's blood. It's not for me. My friend Baruti Jahi however is a born politician and running for the DC City Council to represent Ward 4. I've know the guy for years.

My wife and I are Godparents to his son. The big sign at big sign near the Petworth Metro Station captures Baruti. Family man and public servant. From Barrack to Baruti? A similar profile and family. Wife as surgeon instead of lawyer. Jahi faces one of those uphill battles against an incumbent with strong backing from Fenty. What makes this upcoming election so important to watch is that it might determine how much political dialogue will occur in DC during the next few years. If Fentyville is to grow and develop into A FentyNation (under a developer's groove?) it will require political muscle and tough tactics. Jahi is trying to get his message out. Below is a Ward 4, E-Note:

The DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition (TENAC) held a citywide candidates forum on August 14th at Foundry Methodist Church on 16th and P Streets, NW. The audience was so impressed with Ward 4 Candidate Baruti Jahi; they gave him a standing ovation. Jahi called for a moratorium on building new condominiums until more affordable housing is secured for District residents. His opponent the incumbent, Muriel Bowser left right after Jahi's speech and she did not participate in the question and answer session. Bowser also did not show for the Fair Budget Coalition's candidate forum, held at Takoma Park Library on August 21st.

What's going to happen next? VOTE JAHI and see.

Today I gave George Washington University (Gelman Library) four more boxes of my personal collection.

Here is a link to the E. Ethelbert Miller Papers:

Starting on Sunday, August 31st, I will be a guest blogger for the Best American Poetry blog. Here is a link to their site:

Marion Jones will be released from jail on September 5th.


Monitor the Business Sections of many of the newspapers the next few weeks. Now that the Olympic games are over the attention will focus on moving into the Chinese economic market. Jason Kidd is already making a sneaker deal. Serena Williams and Dwayne Wade looking at endorsements. In 2004 the N.B.A. began playing preseason games in China. This comes with a $253 million investment from folks like ESPN and Walt Disney. Marketing partners of the N.B.A. in China are: Coca Cola, DHL, Gatorade and McDonalds.

The reason Kobe is so big in China is that he has been visiting the country consistently every year for about the last six years.

So when do American poets begin to market their work to China? Shouldn't every Chinese child know the work of Langston Hughes? I dream a world? I know a number of poets - who have game. Shouldn't we make Afaa Michael Weaver our cultural ambassador? Send him overseas like Louis Armstrong? The Weaver is already speaking Chinese. I can see him blowing Beijing blue notes like he was back in Baltimore and everyone was blue collar and wore their blackness on their sleeves.
This was my concern a few E-Notes ago. It's something that might be an issue of National Security. Shouldn't we be concerned? This moves beyond joking on the Jay Leno Show.

McCain Owes America An Alzheimer's Test

While Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama were rocking the Democratic convention in Denver, John McCain made his 13th appearance with Jay Leno to joke about his age.

But McCain's age is no joke. He will turn 72 on Friday and would be halfway to 73 if elected and sworn in on January 20. That would make him the oldest first-term President ever, two years older than Ronald Reagan. He has survived four skin cancers (melanomas), including one in 2000 that was classified as Stage IIa.

McCain is two years older than his father was when he died suddenly of a heart attack at 70. He is 11 years older than his grandfather was when he died suddenly of a heart attack at age 61.
The United States cannot afford the risk that McCain would die suddenly in the middle of an international crisis.

Nor can we afford the risk of dementia. 22% of Americans over 70 are affected by mild cognitive impairment, while 13% of Americans over 65 have Alzheimer's. Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at age 83, but early signs were evident during his first term. Britain's "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher developed dementia at age 75.

McCain has never had an Alzheimer's test, even though he has 6 of the 10 warning signs , including his inability to remember recent facts like the number of homes he owns, the $1M lawsuit he filed in 1990, or the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

John McCain owes America a thorough test for Alzheimer's and cognitive impairment long before Election Day.
Sign our petition to the Corporate Media:

Have you seen Samir Horn?

He is the son of an American mother and a Sudanese father.

(Does that sound like someone we know?)

Let's do some cultural math. Replace Sudanese with Kenyan and who do you get?

Cultural coincidence?

Samir Horn is Don Cheadle in the new movie TRAITOR.

I love Cheadle as an actor but can one trust him in this new flick?

In a black and white world there will always be shades of gray.

"The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989"
This exhibit will be on view at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City from January 30- April 19, 2009.

270 works covering a range of media and disciplines. 100 artists represented.
13th Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Montgomery College
Rockville, Maryland

2008 Award honoree is the author Elmore Leonard.

For more information call: 301 309-9461.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008



Tom Brady will play this Thursday in the preseason finale against the Giants. He expects to be ready for the Patriots opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. I wonder what Brady will be thinking when he looks across the line at the Giants. What if...

Brady continues to be my favorite football player.



This is the place to go for the inside stuff. Checkout her Blog.

Information from Raki Jones:

The documentary, The Pact, based upon the best selling book of the same name will be broadcast this Sunday, August 31st , on WETA at 2:00 PM. It will also be broadcast on the Maryland Public Television channels on Wednesday, September 3rd, at 11:00 PM. I had the pleasure of working as a Consulting Producer on this project through Spark Media. For more information about this exciting program please visit


In my E-Notes you might recall I felt an Obama Inauguration needed an Aretha. How can we celebrate a historical moment without her voice?

Well, look what folks are going to do this week:

Jennifer Hudson has accepted an invitation by Barack Obama to belt the National Anthem at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, before the Presidential candidate gives his acceptance speech at Denver's Invesco Field.

This is Dream Girl versus Diva. Should I switch my vote to McCain?

Ain't No Way.

Do you think one speech by Ted Kennedy is going to calm down the Hillary people?

I don't. But here is what we find on the front page of The New York Times today:

Mr. Kennedy's appearance wiped away, at least for the evening, some of the tension that continued to plague the party in the wake of the primary fight between Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

If Kennedy's appearance can do all of this, the Democrats should bottle the stuff. We know the problems between the Clinton and the Obama people is a deep divide. It's race, gender and generational. It's not going to fade away. Watch how long folks cheer and interrupt Clinton when she speaks at the Convention. This is nothing but an audition for control of the party. Obama might have won the nomination but not the war.

I NEED A MORNING AFTER PILL. I've just been...

Help me with this one. Do you believe the Chinese Government when they say the air is clean?

Do you believe "mainstream" US media when they cover political campaigns? Lately we've been hearing all this nonsense about "we don't know who Obama is" over and over again. How long has this guy been running for president? Do you know what David Brooks wrote in The New York Times today? Here it is:

Obama's chief problem in this campaign is that large numbers of voters still don't know who he is.

Let's be fair for a moment. I have no idea who David Brooks is or thinks he is. I do know this guy has access to newspaper and television outlets. But who does he represent? What are his interests? Do you know when you pick up The New York Times? I'm a slow learner. I do know that much of this nonsense about not knowing who Obama is comes more from the media than McCain's office. It seems the media has finally found the words of a mantra they want to repeat over and over to the American voters. They have found something they believe finally sticks to Obama. And why might it be successful to keep repeating we don't know who Obama is? Well, Richard Wright isn't 100 years old this year for nothing. Obama is Bigger Thomas. Did we really know Bigger? Did Bigger really know himself? As I mentioned in a previous E-Note, the slick thing to do is not associate Obama with being black; just associate him with darkness and the unknown. No way you can escape the fear of the dark - can you? For some voters Obama is their worse nightmare. Cookies and milk before election day is not going to change their minds. Neither is one speech by Michelle Obama. Inside every black man might be a Bigger. Yipes!

But let's get back to Brooks and the media. Just monitor how often on the air or in print you hear a reporter repeat the mantra over and over again:

Obama needs to explain himself to the American people. People don't really know who he is.

When you hear this it's nothing but "tagging." It's the use of "racial paint" to keep the world in black and white. This is the past. The future is a time in which we must go out into the world and search for color everywhere. This is the future of America and its promise.

Monday, August 25, 2008



Pelosi reminded me tonight of Eli Manning's first year as QB of the Giants. Obama better be Tiki Barber. What's the score?

It's difficult listening to the Convention speeches. Everyone tries so hard to touch all the bases and mention all the food groups. Hillary delegates should be given balloons. It's still very obvious that democracy is an experiment in progress. Many of the media experts sound like biology majors reading notes for a political science exam. Where do they find these folks?

Do you know anything more about Obama that you didn't know before?

Michelle Obama looked beautiful and should be the First Lady. Is she behind in the Polls to Cindy? What a joke that would be.

The Convention seems to be filled with Hillary Heads. It's good that Obama will be giving his speech on Elway's turf. He is going to have to put together his own "drive" to the White House.

Our nation is really divided and the media seems to fuel the nonsense. How did George S get a job working for a network? I sat not far from this guy in a Starbucks a number of years ago. I should have checked to see what he was drinking.


See below for the press release on Executive Excess 2008, which we released today. And here are also some links to initial press coverage.

Business Week, What Will Candidates Say on Pay?
Christian Science Monitor, How long will politicians look the other way on CEO pay?
San Jose Mercury News, Report: Taxpayers subsidize exec pay by $20 billion annually
Reuters, Tax loopholes cost billions annually: report
Boston Globe (Editorial), CEO salaries: Executive excess
Kansas City Star, Average taxpayers subsidize executive pay, report says
CNBC, Too Much Money for CEOs?
Consumer Affairs, Are Your Tax Dollars Paying for Excessive CEO Salaries?
Connecticut Public Radio, Report Finds Top Execs Earn 350 times the Salary of Average American Worker[Sarah scheduled for Fox Business News at 5:30 pm 8/25]Op-eds:AlterNet, Politicians Talk Tough About Obscene Executive Pay, But Where Are the Fixes?

The Olympian (also ran in McAllen Monitor and other papers), Chuck Collins & Sarah Anderson: Don't let corporations off the tax hook

PRESS RELEASE - August 25, 2008

Boston and Washington, D.C.

A new report finds that U.S. taxpayers subsidize excessive executive compensation by more than $20 billion per year.The report is available via the web at:

The 15th annual 'Executive Excess' report from the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy calculates the annual cost to taxpayers of the following tax and accounting loopholes that encourage excessive executive pay:1. Preferential capital gains treatment of carried interest ($2.6 billion)2. Unlimited deferred pay ($80.6 million)3. Offshore deferred compensation ($2.1 billion)4. Unlimited deductibility of executive compensation ($5.2 billion)5. Stock option accounting double standard ($10.0 billion).

"These loopholes allow top executives to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. As a result, ordinary taxpayers wind up picking up the bill," explains report co-author and IPS Associate Fellow Sam Pizzigati.

Members of Congress have attempted to plug each of these five loopholes, but their efforts have stalled in the face of strong opposition from corporate lobby groups.The Presidential race is shining a brighter spotlight on the issue, as both candidates have attacked excessive executive compensation on the campaign trail. And yet the report points out that neither Obama nor McCain has yet endorsed all the major reforms needed to eliminate subsidies for executive pay.

"It's outrageous that our tax dollars are inflating executive paychecks," says Institute for Policy Studies fellow Sarah Anderson, a lead author of the annual Executive Excess reports for the past 15 years. "Surely in these troubled economic times we can find better ways to spend our nation's wealth."

ADDITIONAL KEY FINDINGS:CEO-WORKER PAY GAP: CEOs of large U.S. companies last year averaged $10.5 million each in total compensation, 344 times the pay of the average U.S. worker. The top 50 private equity and hedge fund managers pocketed an average of $588 million each, or 19,000 times as much as average workers.

IF CURRENT TRENDS CONTINUE: The gap between CEO and average worker pay will grow wider since industries that are adding the most jobs have far wider pay gaps than those that are losing the most jobs. Labor law reforms are needed to help more workers exercise their right to bargain collectively for fair compensation.

INDIRECT TAXPAYER SUPPORT FOR RUNAWAY PAY: Additional billions of taxpayer dollars indirectly encourage excessive executive pay through government contracts and bailouts that allow unlimited CEO compensation. The report documents that 85 percent of top federal contractors paid their CEOs over 100 times the pay of average U.S. workers in 2007.Authored by Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, Chuck Collins, Sam Pizzigati, and Mike Lapham, Executive Excess 2008 is the 15th annual CEO pay study by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.

The Institute for Policy Studies is an independent center for progressive research and education in Washington, DC ( Boston-based United for a Fair Economy is a non-partisan organization that spotlights growing economic inequality (

For hard copies or to set up interviews with the co-authors, contact:Sarah Anderson(202) 234-9382 x227saraha@igc.orgBob Keener(617) 423-2148 x120(617) 610-6766 (mobile)

Institute for Policy Studies
1112 16th Street, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

It might be just a minor thing but it still caught my eye. In the profile of Michelle Rhee in today's Washington Post there is this sentence:

Rhee is in campaign mode constantly, giving what amounts to stump speeches across the nation about her challenges.

Constant campaign mode? This sounds very much like Fenty. Rhee works very long hours.
According to the newspaper article it's not unusual for her to work until 3 A.M.

This sounds media impressive but I wonder when does Rhee read? When does she spend time just thinking about problems instead of trying to solve them? You might recall when Obama was in England he was overheard talking about how leaders needed time to just think. What were some of the last novels our city leaders read? This is not a trick question but instead one that measures the quality of leadership. On a recent cover of Poets & Writers, there was a photograph of Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses by James Joyce. It almost made you want to vote for her.

Should the Democratic Party follow the Chinese Model and have people apply for proper protest time and place?

Click here:
All Quiet on The New England Front?
The New England Patriots are 0-3 in the NFL Preseason.
Brady has not played.
Will he be ready and sharp for the opener?

What happened to all that fuss about the new New York Jets QB?
Quote of the Day:

He's running for president of the United States, not president of the Urban League.

- Jabari Asim, editor of The Crisis.
Quote of the Day:

While it's entirely possible that Mr. Obama's race is costing him some support, it's also true that the electorate that voted in the last two presidential elections was almost symmetrically divided between the two parties. It would defy the laws of politics, if at this early stage of the campaign, moderate Republicans and conservative independents were to reject Mr. McCain (a candidate many of them preferred back in 2000) simply because they don't like George W. Bush.

- Matt Bai, The New York Times, August 25, 2008
The Book on McCain:

Read the full briefing book by visiting the website:


Are Hillary supporters holding women issues hostage?

In Arizona, the only way to get around the state is by small private plane.

- Cindy McCain

But how many does she own? How many airports does she need?

You know we could hold the election today. Is there anything new you're going to hear at the Democratic or Republican Conventions? I don't think so. There is only one question you need to decide before voting -What do you think is the role of government? This basic question is at the root of every issue. I prefer more government involvement in our lives. OK, I said it. I'm not going to rely on the market or the church to help solve some of the major problems of the day. Government is not the answer to all questions but it needs to do more not less.

Why do I keep reading silly questions in the media? I found this one in The New York Times this morning: Will Mr. Obama's success further the notion that the long struggle for racial equality has finally been won?

Why do we look at race relations like it's a sports contest or military undertaking? Racial equality is not something you win. Instead it's an ongoing battle(jihad?) to arrive at goodness in society and in our individual hearts. Tolerance and how we treat one another is something we commit ourselves to on a daily basis. Everyday we make decisions that can advance brotherhood among men. We can also decide to promote hatred and racism. The choice is what makes us human. Even if we reach a level of enlightenment in our lives, it's not permanent. It only means we now must do better in the next moment. Life is a long struggle and the attempt to love never ends. There is nothing to be won. There is everything to lose.



Sunday, August 24, 2008


The New York Times Magazine (August 24, 2008) should be required reading. The lead story is by David Leonhardt. It examines the economic ideas of Obama.

I put my economic hat back on. This was my field when I was at Howard University. I'm still waiting for the poetry market to regulate itself and provide me with a profit.

I took a pen to Leonhardt's article and made notes. I found it discouraging to read a long article about economics and find no real mention of poverty. There was concern about income inequality but that's the type of rhetoric I associate with one piece of chicken and no fries.Go figure.

If you want some quick E-Notes here are names you might want to research and have a better knowledge of prior to voting. They are mentioned in Leonhardt's article:

Bob Reich

Bob Rubin

Milton Friedman

The Chicago School of Economics

Ross Douthat and Reilhan Salam (authors of Grand New Party)

Here are key passages from the article. Sweet lines to consume and reflect on:

From today's vantage point, inequality looks like a bigger problem than economic growth; fiscal discipline seems necessary but not sufficient.

The Chicago School believes that markets - that is millions of individuals making separate decisions - almost always function better than economies that are managed by governments. In a market system, prices adjust whenever there is a shortage or a glut, and the problem soon resolves itself.

The above is why we are having problems today. Don't let anyone fool you.

Income growth for most families began to slow in the 1970s, and the causes of the great pay slowdown were complex. Obama didn't name all, but a decent list would look something like this:new technologies that have made some blue -collar work obsolete; a slowing in the nation's educational attainment; the shriveling of labor unions; the increase in one-parent families, which are far less economically secure; and the rise of other countries that have huge low-wage work forces.

Yep. There are many of the problems. Obama knows this stuff. Now what can one do?

Most of the public discussion about taxes tends to focus on the income tax, which taxes the affluent at a considerably higher rate than anyone else. But the income tax doesn't take the biggest bite out of most families' annual tax bill. The payroll tax does. And even as the federal government has been reducing income taxes over the last few decades, it has allowed the payroll tax, which finances Social Security and Medicare, to creep up.

Oh, Oh.

When Obama gives a speech about his economic plan, there is often a moment when you can sense him shift from poetry to prose.

But, what about the workshop?

Look for the media to begin playing games with who McCain will select for his VP. No way I can see Colin Powell on the ticket; still the McCain camp must be thinking about being "bold" when it comes to the VP pick. McCain's pick will probably upset the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Look for these guys to regroup and try to retake the Republican Party in 4 years. Do you really want to inherit the mess the world and nation is in right now? The next US President is going to have to make some very difficult decisions. I can't see that person being very popular after 2 years in office.

Oh, we also need to elect some better folks to Congress. A new generation must come to Washington to serve...


The Spain/USA basketball game was one of the best this year. It was a gold game. Spain really pushed the USA to the brink. Wade was my MVP. I felt his success would determine the outcome and it did (See old E-Notes). Kobe has that takeover/killer instinct. Without him playing large the US would be owning silver. These games should really help guys like Bosh develop a bigger US fan base. Oh, and when is Spain's 17 year old point guard going to play in the NBA?