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Black Politics

‘Sesame Street’ to Obama Campaign: Big Bird Ad Must Come Down

The new Obama campaign has ruffled the feathers of the folks at “Sesame Street” . “Sesame Street” is run by the Sesame Workshop and on Tuesday, they released a statement letting the Obama campaign know that they did not approve of the sassy ad that features Big Bird from “Sesame Street”. The Sesame Workshop was even bold enough to demand that the Obama campaign take down the ad. The ad makes fun of Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s intention to shut down federal funds for PBS. The ad even jokingly makes Big Bird into a criminal who misappropriates money. In the statement, the Sesame Workshop explains that it takes issue with any of its characters being used in a partisan context, saying, “Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.” The Sesame Workshop’s request for the Obama campaign to take their new ad down is nothing new. NBC, MSNBC and CBS have also had to demand that ads be taken down for numerous reasons. Just recently, Andrea Mitchell of NBC spoke up about being in an Obama ad and she was not pleased about it. It seems that as the elections get closer, the ads get more and more aggressive, so much so that they do not take the time to get permission from people and organizations before they feature them in the ads. Read More »

President Obama on His Debate Performance: “I Was Too Polite”

As Mitt Romney continues to rise in the polls, Democrats are still scratching their heads, trying to figure out why President Obama didn’t mentally show up to the first presidential debate last week. Pundits have speculated on all sorts of reasons for Obama’s weak performance. Some say President Obama was tired and just doesn’t like debates, while others have suggested ... Read More »

Sesame Street Tells Obama to Take Down Big Bird Campaign Ad

President Obama has been under fire this past week for his awful debate performance, but now Big Bird has beef with him as well. The folks at Sesame Street aren’t happy with an Obama ad that uses its beloved character for partisan politics. The Sesame Street Workshop issued a statement asking the Obama campaign to take down the ad: Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down. “We’ve received and will review their concerns,” said an Obama campaign official. The Obama ad in question goes after Romney for taking on Sesame St. instead of Wall Street. But as some liberals have noted since the ad’s airing, President Obama hasn’t taken on Wall St. either. Firedoglake reported: There’s only one thing that sticks out to me about this ad, though the casual viewer probably won’t notice it. Let’s look at that litany of Wall Street “criminals” and “gluttons of greed,” which later get juxtaposed with Big Bird. You have Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay and Dennis Kozlowski. So two CEOs prosecuted and convicted by George W. Bush’s Justice Department, and Madoff, whose son turned him in before Obama took office, in December 2008, and who pleaded guilty. Unfortunately, the folks at Sesame Street aren’t alone in being peeved at the Obama campaign’s misuse of their work. Just yesterday MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell announced on her show that she did not give the Obama campaign permission to use her in one of its ads. You can watch the full Obama big bird ad here.    Read More »

Proud Racist Shop Owner Creates Halloween Display of Obama as Witch Doctor

Four years into Barack Obama’s presidency and racists still can’t help themselves. Obama’s presidency has opened the door for racists to display a nastiness that had remained seething below the surface so long as that main bastion of white supremacy, The White House, remained white. But now racists are out and proud, as evidenced by the New Jersey shop owner ... Read More »

President Obama Pokes Fun at His Less Than Stellar Debate Performance

President Obama seems to be taking a page out of George W. Bush’s playbook by using self-deprecating humor as a way of getting past a disappointing performance. Over 70 million people watched President Obama take a shellacking from his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. So while at a swanky fundraiser in Los Angeles, President Obama seemed to be poking fun at himself and his debate performance: These guys — and everybody here are just incredible professionals.  They’re such great friends, and they just perform  flawlessly  night after night.   I can’t always say the same.  But here’s the good news, is we’ve got a better vision for our country President Obama is right considering how he allowed Mitt Romney’s lies to go unchallenged last week. After Obama’s poor debate performance, some of his own staffers said that they were actually shell shocked at how the President crashed and burned. But Obama didn’t just make fun of himself during the fundraiser. He also took some pretty pointed digs at Mitt Romney: Back in 2008 — everybody always remembers the victory, but they don’t always remember the bumps in the road. Things always look good in retrospect. But in the middle of it, we were — we made all kinds of mistakes. We goofed up. I goofed up. But the American people carried us forward. And even with all the things we had going for us — all the way that things just kind of converged, 47 percent of the country still didn’t vote for me. I just want to point that out. This was obviously a dig at Romney’s 47 percent gaffe, a gaffe that we’d probably still be talking about if Obama hadn’t allowed Romney to change the conversation by thrashing him in the debate. At least President Obama is self-aware and knows that he dropped the ball. Maybe next time he’ll go for the win. Read More »

More Bad News: President Obama’s Numbers Are Plummeting in Two Key Swing States

A Pew poll released yesterday shows Romney has overtaken President Obama in the polls. According to the poll, 49 percent of likely voters support Mitt Romney compared to just 45 percent who support President Obama. Six percent of those polled remain undecided. President Obama had an eight point lead among likely voters in the same poll prior to the debate. Not only are Obama’s numbers falling in general, they’re also falling in swing states that Obama must win if he hopes to be reelected. New polls in both Michigan and Pennsylvania show Obama’s lead narrowing to only 3 points. Worst of all, the Michigan poll is from  Democratic pollster Foster McCollum White Baydoun, which means the poll does not skew Republican. The Pennsylvania poll is a non-partisan poll from Siena College. The Siena poll shows President Obama’s favorability numbers dropping below 50 percent. President Obama’s favorability rating had been 54 percent before he lost the first presidential debate to Mitt Romney. Presidents with favorability rankings below 50 percent aren’t usually reelected. Previously, some pundits have said that voters don’t make decisions based on debates, but that logic is proving to be false. Mitt Romney clearly got a noticeable bump after his debate with President Obama. What we’re seeing is that, prior to the debate, Romney had been his own worst enemy. But now that Romney has come out swinging, he’s a force to be reckoned with. Americans don’t seem to mind that most of what Romney said during the debate was yet another flip flop. Romney’s lies may not have mattered had Obama been willing to point them out during the debate, but he didn’t.     Read More »

Obama’s Campaign,Democrats Pull in $181 Million in September

The Obama campaign and the Democrats must be doing something right because, together, in September they raised $181 million. The money the Democrats and President Obama’s campaign have raised in September marks a record high for any month in the Obama re-election bid. In August, Obama and the Democrats exceeded $114 million in campaign donations but they outdid themselves again in September. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign and the Republicans have yet to report their  September fundraising total amount. Obama took to social media, using Twitter, to relay the message that over 1.8 million people donated in September, including more than a half-million who were donating for the very first time. While the $181 million was certainly an impressive amount, it was still less than the $190 million raised in September 2008. In 2008, Obama’s campaign message of hope and change had a lot of people “fired up” and they continued to raise more and more money every month leading up to the election in November. In 2012 there was a lot of speculation that the excitement that the Obama campaign stirred up in 2008 was not there anymore and it was expected that his camp would struggle to raise funds. In spite of a slow improvement, the rate of unemployment continues to be high and many speculated that the unemployment rates would be reflected in campaign donations for Obama and the Democrats. Read More »

Sir Richard Branson Says War on Drugs is a War on Black People

by Dr. Boyce Watkins Sir Richard Branson has spoken up and out against the War on Drugs in the United States.  Branson recently noted that the policies are racist and represent a “war on black people.”  The billionaire made the remarks during an interview with the Metro newspaper. “The fundamental difference [in drug policy] in America is that it is a war against black people. 85 percent of people who go to prison for drug use in America are black people. They don’t take more drugs, but it’s a racist law against black people in America,” he said. “The law should be changed. You’ve got something like 1.5 million people in American jails languishing for taking drugs and that is wrong,” said Branson, a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP). “Those people would be much better being out in society, being helped if they have drug problem, getting off the problem.” Branson was the guest editor of the newspaper during a trip to New York City.  This week, writing for “The Week,” he called for an end to the failed War on Drugs.  President Obama has agreed that the policies are biased and must come to an end.  But in the first term of his presidency, he was only able to reduce the crack-to-powder sentencing disparity from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1.  This means that a five year sentence for powder cocaine translates to a 90-year sentence for crack, which continues to represent a huge disparity. “I am part of the global commission on drugs, and it consists of 15 ex-presidents from South America, it consists of people like Kofi Annan, Paul Volcker, George Schultz, and ex-presidents from Switzerland and Greece and other places,” he told the paper. “And we just spent two years looking at the war on drugs and it is obvious it failed. Thousands of people in South Africa are killed every year, more and more people are sent to prison and the amount of people using drugs increases year over year.” Branson has been working to convince the Obama Administration and Congress to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on failed policies from the drug war.   He notes that the US spent $51 billion fighting the War on Drugs. “That’s double what Apple profited last year. It’s a horribly depressing number when you think how far even a fraction of that money would have gone if invested in prevention and rehabilitation efforts. Branson makes a good point.  If there is anything that has done more to destroy the black family in America, it is the War on Drugs.  I spoke to a grown woman the other day who told me that her father has been in prison for her entire life.  He wasn’t a killer, and he had no criminal record before his conviction.  But he was given 14 life sentences for selling drugs. As a result of not having her father in the household, the girl said that she grew up without enough food to eat, her brother was murdered, and another sibling is on his way to the very same prison system that has kept his father in  cage for the last quarter century.  Although she agreed that her father should have been punished for his crime, she rightly felt that 25 years was enough. Mr. President,  you MUST do something to end the drug war.  It’s time for all of us to demand that the laws be changed so that our nation can heal from one of the most devastating eras in the history of black America.  It’s hard to build strong families when so many of our black men are in prison, on their way to prison or coming home from prison.  While it’s important to teach kids to make good decisions, we must also realize that inequity which comes from forcing some kids to pay a lifetime price for their mistakes, while allowing others to have a second chance. If anyone were to do a drug raid on nearly any college campus across the nation, they would find drugs, drug addicts, and drug dealers all over the place.  Yet, we don’t see white college kids going to prison, only young black men.   It’s time to end the nonsense. Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and creator of the Building Outstanding Men and Boys Family Empowerment Series. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. Read More »

Allen West’s Wife Breaks Silence to Defend Husband

Allen West’s wife, Angela Graham-West, is featured in a new campaign ad defending her husband, saying “recent attacks on my husband go too far.” In the short video, West starts of by saying, “I do my best to ignore political mud slinging but recent attacks on my husband go too far.” West then goes on to paint a positive and wholesome picture of her husband, calling him “an amazing Dad” and “a hero to our daughters”. The race between Republican  Allen West and his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy has been very nasty with damning ads against each candidate.  One ad talks about West facing 11 years in prison for actions while in the military while the political mud slinging went so far as digging into West’s very private communications with his wife. A letter emerged in which West seemed to be communicating with his wife about what they would be doing in the privacy of their bedroom when he returned from war. The attacks on West got low enough to cause his wife to come to his defense, even though she admits that she prefers to stay away from the “political mud slinging”. Angela Graham-West is a financial adviser for Raymond James and Associates, Inc. Graham-West has served as an assistant professor and international research fellow for Kansas State University’s business school and the International Trade Institute. The video is below Read More »

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