John McCain Says No To Sonia Sotomayor-What is the GOP Thinking?



When I read about guys like John Mccain from Arizona or the two Texas Senators Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Coryn saying they aren’t gonna vote for Sonia Sotomayor, it makes me wonder what sort of plans does the GOP have for courting a growing Latino vote?

As the country grows Blacker and Browner and both communities find they are facing similar economic, social and political oppression the potential for a game changing Black-Brown coalition to form is in place.  I can only wonder how the GOP will reconcile this, especially in places like Texas and Arizona where you have large Latino populations.

Granted an entire community’s vote is not hinged on a Yea or Nay nomination for a seat even one on the Supreme Court, however, the rejection of Sotomayor has been laced with some unavoidable racial undertones. This is coupled by over-the-top hate speech from Right-wing talk show hosts  who pull no punches.  Is the GOP really trying to shoot itself in the foot?

I keep thinking the GOP is soon going to be doing some divide and conquer type things to split the potential strong hold a solid Black-Brown political coalition one can have. It won’t be the first time they’ve done this.

-Davey D-


August 3, 2009
Washington, D.C. ¬- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today made the following statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate:  

John McCain says he ain't gonna be supporting Sonia Sotomayor. Here's a guy who can suypport an idiotic racist like Sarah Palin, but he can't get behind a strong intelligent sister like Sonia Sotomayor-Go figure.

John McCain says he ain't gonna be supporting Sonia Sotomayor. Here's a guy who can suypport an idiotic racist like Sarah Palin, but he can't get behind a strong intelligent sister like Sonia Sotomayor-Go figure.

“Mr. President, it is with great respect for Judge Sotomayor’s qualifications that I come to the floor today to discuss her nomination to the Supreme Court. 
“There is no doubt that Judge Sotomayor has the professional background and qualifications that one hopes for in a Supreme Court nominee.  She is a former prosecutor, served as an attorney in private practice and spent twelve years as an appellate court judge.  She is an immensely qualified candidate.
“And obviously, Judge Sotomayor’s life story is inspiring and compelling.  As the child of Puerto Rican parents who did not speak English upon their arrival to New York, Judge Sotomayor took it upon herself to learn English and become an outstanding student.  She graduated cum laude from Princeton University and later from Yale Law School.  Judge Sotomayor herself stated that she is ‘an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.’ 
“However, an excellent resume and an inspiring life story are not enough to qualify one for a lifetime of service on the Supreme Court.  Those who suggest otherwise need to be reminded of Miguel Estrada.  Mr. Estrada also was a supremely qualified candidate.  And he too has an incredible life story.  Miguel Estrada actually immigrated to the United States from Honduras as a teenager, understanding very little English.  Yet, he managed to graduate from Columbia University and Harvard Law School magna cum laude before serving his country as a prosecutor and a lawyer at the Department of Justice.  Later, he found success as a lawyer in private practice.  However, Miguel Estrada, in spite of his qualifications and remarkable background – in spite of the fact that millions of Latinos would have taken great pride in his confirmation – was filibustered by the Democrats seven times, most recently in 2003 because many Democrats disagreed with Mr. Estrada’s judicial philosophy.  This was the first filibuster ever to be successfully used against a court of appeals nominee. 

Texas Senator and Gubenatoral candidate Kay Bailey Hutchinson says she will not vote for Sonia Sotomayor

Texas Senator and Gubenatoral candidate Kay Bailey Hutchinson says she will not vote for Sonia Sotomayor

 “I supported Mr. Estrada’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, not because of his inspiring life story or impeccable qualifications, but because his judicial philosophy was one of restraint.  He was explicit in his writings and responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would not seek to legislate from the bench.
“In 1987, I had my first opportunity to provide ‘advice and consent’ on a Supreme Court nominee.  At that time, I stated that the qualifications I believed were essential for evaluating a nominee for the bench included ‘integrity, character, legal competence and ability, experience, and philosophy and judicial temperament.’ 
 “When I spoke of ‘philosophy and judicial temperament’ is it specifically how one seeks to interpret the law while serving on the bench.  I believe that a judge should seek to uphold all acts of Congress and state legislatures unless they clearly violate a specific section of the Constitution and refrain from interpreting the law in a manner that creates law.  While I believe Judge Sotomayor has many of these qualifications I outlined in 1987, I do not believe that she shares my belief in judicial restraint. 
 “When the Senate was considering Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the Second Circuit in 1998, I reviewed her decisions and her academic writings.  Her writings demonstrated that she does not subscribe to the philosophy that federal judges should respect the limited nature of the judicial power under our Constitution.  Judges who stray beyond their constitutional role believe that judges somehow have a greater insight into the meaning of the broad principles of our Constitution than representatives who are elected by the people.  These activist judges assume that the judiciary is a super-legislature of moral philosophers. 
“I know of no more profoundly anti-democratic attitude than that expressed by those who want judges to discover and enforce the ever-changing boundaries of a so-called ‘living Constitution.’  It demonstrates a lack of respect for the popular will that is at fundamental odds with our republican system of government.  And regardless of one’s success in academics and government service, an individual who does not appreciate the common sense limitations on judicial power in our democratic system of government ultimately lacks a key qualification for a lifetime appointment to the bench.
 “Though she attempted to walk back from her long public record of judicial activism during her confirmation hearings, Judge Sotomayor cannot change her record.  In a 1996 article in the Suffolk University Law Review, she stated that ‘a given judge (or judges) may develop a novel approach to a specific set of facts or legal framework that pushes the law in a new direction.’  Mr. President, it is exactly this view that I disagree with.
“As a district court judge, her decisions too often strayed beyond settled legal norms.  Several times, this resulted in her decisions being overturned by the Second Circuit.  She was reversed due to her reliance on foreign law rather than U.S. law.  She was reversed because the Second Circuit found she exceeded her jurisdiction in deciding a case involving a state law claim.  She was reversed for trying to impose a settlement in a dispute between businesses.  And she was reversed for unnecessarily limiting the intellectual property rights of freelance authors.  These are but a few examples that led me to vote against her nomination to the Second Circuit in 1992 because of her troubling record of being an activist judge who strayed beyond the rule of law. 
“For this reason, I closely followed her confirmation hearing last month.  During the hearing, she clearly stated that ‘as a judge, I don’t make law.’  While I applaud this statement, it does not reflect her record as an appellate court judge.  As an appellate court judge, Judge Sotomayor has been overturned by the Supreme Court six times.  In the several of the reversals of Judge Sotomayor’s Second Circuit opinions, the Supreme Court strongly criticized her decision and reasoning.  In a seventh case, the Supreme Court vacated the ruling noting that in her written opinion for the majority of Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor had ignored two prior Supreme Court decisions. 
 “While I do not believe that reversal by the Supreme Court is a disqualifying factor for being considered for the federal bench, I do believe that such cases must be studied in reviewing a nominee’s record. 
 “Most recently, in 2008, the Supreme Court noted in an opinion overturning Judge Sotomayor that her decision ‘flies in the face of the statutory language’ and chided the Second Circuit for extending a remedy that the Court had ‘consistently and repeatedly recognized for three decades forecloses such an extension here.’  Unfortunately, it appears from this case, Malesko v. Correctional Services Corp., that Judge Sotomayor does not seek ‘fidelity to the law’ as she pledged at her confirmation hearing.  As legislators, we enact laws.  The courts must apply the law faithfully.  The job of a judge is not to make law or ignore the law. 
“Further, in Lopez Torres v. N.Y. State Board of Elections, the Supreme Court overturned Judge Sotomayor’s decision that a state law allowing for the political parties to nominate state judges through a judicial district convention was unconstitutional because it did not give people, in her view, a ‘fair shot.’  In overturning her decision, the Supreme Court took aim at her views on providing a ‘fair shot,’ to all interested persons stating, ‘it is hardly a manageable constitutional question for judges – especially for judges in our legal system, where traditional electoral practice gives no hint of even the existence, much less the content, of a constitutional requirement for a ‘fair shot’ at party nomination.’
 “In her most recent and well-known reversal by the Supreme Court, the Court unanimously rejected Judge Sotomayor’s reasoning and held that white firefighters who had passed a race neutral exam were eligible for promotion.  Ricci v. DeStefano raised the bar considerably on overt discrimination against one racial group simply to undo the unintentionally racially skewed results of otherwise fair and objective employment procedures.  Again, this case proves that Judge Sotomayor does not faithfully apply the law we legislators enact. 
“Again and again, Judge Sotomayor seeks to amend the law to fit the circumstances of the case, thereby substituting herself in the role of a legislator.  Our Constitution is very clear in its delineation and disbursement of power.  It solely tasks the Congress with creating law.  It also clearly defines the appropriate role of the courts to ‘extend to all Cases in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties.’  To protect the equal, but separate roles of all three branches of government, I cannot support activist judges that seek to legislate from the bench.  I have not supported such nominees in the past, and I cannot support such a nominee to the highest court in the land. 
 “When the people of Arizona sent me to Washington, I took an oath.  I swore to uphold the Constitution.  For millions of Americans, it is clear what the Constitution means.  The Constitution protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms to protect himself, his home, and his family.  The Constitution protects our right to protest our government, speak freely and practice our religious beliefs.
“The American people will be watching this week when the Senate votes on Judge Sotomayor’s nomination.  She is a judge who has foresworn judicial activism in her confirmation hearings, but who has a long record of it prior to 2009.  And should she engage in activist decisions that overturn the considered constitutional judgments of millions of Americans, if she uses her lifetime appointment on the bench as a perch to remake law in her own image of justice, I expect that Americans will hold us Senators accountable.
 “Judicial activism demonstrates a lack of respect for the popular will that is at fundamental odds with our republican system of government.  And, as I stated earlier, regardless of one’s success in academics and in government service, an individual who does not appreciate the common sense limitations on judicial power in our democratic system of government ultimately lacks a key qualification for a lifetime appointment to the bench.  For this reason, and no other, I am unable to support Judge Sotomayor’s nomination.”

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Baatin of Slum Village Passes-Memorial Held in Detroit


Memorial tribute organized quickly for rapper Baatin 




As the sun set Sunday, members of the tight-knit Detroit hip-hop community gathered to pay tribute to one of Motor City rap’s brightest stars.

Titus (Baatin) Glover, the Detroit rapper who cofounded the acclaimed trio Slum Village, was found dead at the age of 35 Saturday morning.

“He taught me so much, not just musically but about life,” Miz Korona, the evening’s host, said Sunday. “The way he was on his songs was the way he was in life.”

Held at 5 Elements Gallery in Detroit, “Gone Too Soon: A Benefit for the Family of Titus ‘Baatin’ Glover” had drawn about 70 people by 9:30 p.m. and was expected to feature performances and DJ sets by Jessica Care Moore, DJ K-Fresh and DJ Sicari, who owns the gallery.

Ty Townsend, road manager for Slum Village the last 7 years, said he organized the benefit to help Glover’s family. Townsend added that a second memorial is planned for the African World Festival on Aug. 14, which is to feature Detroit musician Amp Fiddler.

“When people talk about Detroit in hip-hop circles it was because of people like Baatin,” said Kelly Frazier, DJ K-Fresh. “He brought so much energy. He was different. He was Detroit soul.”

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said Sunday it found no evidence of trauma on Glover’s body and that toxicology tests results are pending.

The Detroit Police Department said it isn’t treating the death as a homicide, unless the medical examiner provides information to the contrary.

Glover left Slum Village in 2002, later telling the Free Press he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He continued to record and play occasional solo dates before returning to the Slum fold for the group’s upcoming album, “Villa Manifesto,” due Sept. 22.



Baatin dies at 35; rapper co-founded progressive hip-hop group Slum Village

Born Titus Glover in Detroit, he formed the group with Jay Dee and T3 while in high school.
By Valerie J. Nelson
August 2, 2009


Baatin, a rapper who co-founded the progressive hip-hop group Slum Village, was found dead Saturday morning in Detroit. He was 35.

Ty Townson, a family friend, confirmed Baatin’s death to the Detroit Free Press. Details were not released.

Baatin, who left Slum Village around 2003, had said in interviews over the years that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and struggled with emotional problems. He embarked on a solo career but reportedly had recently rejoined the group.

Born Titus Glover in 1974, the Detroit native adopted the name Baatin in the 1990s to reflect a newfound spirituality. “Baatin” was “Islamic for ‘hidden,’ ” he once said.

While in high school on Detroit’s east side, he started rapping and formed what would eventually be called Slum Village with Jay Dee — who died in 2006 of complications from lupus — and T3.

At a nondescript Detroit storefront called the Hip-Hop Shop, the group honed its skills at open-mike nights along with a young Eminem.

Slum Village was “among the best” of the hip-hop groups to come out of Detroit, Soren Baker said in The Times in 2000.

“Where Eminem relies on lyrics full of violence and confrontation, the trio . . . takes a more universal approach,” delivering “a balanced, soulful sound and attitude that separates Slum Village from rap’s two dominant trends: the glossy glamorization of excess and the hard-core gangster sound,” Baker said.

Slum Village’s lauded major-label debut, 2000’s “Fantastic, Vol. 2,” was “widely decreed the torchbearer of progressive hip-hop,” and the 2002 follow-up album, “Trinity,” reaffirmed that position, reviewer Kris Ex wrote in The Times in 2002.

“Trinity” contained the group’s first bona fide radio hit, “Tainted.” By then, innovative DJ-producer Jay Dee had largely been replaced by lyricist Elzhi.

Slum Village shunned trends and injected spiritual and social commentary into its work.

“If people could open their minds,” Baatin told The Times in 2000, “they could see a broader perspective of hip-hop instead of categorizing it as 95-beats-per-minute, loud snares and muffled samples. . . . It could be anything.”

Baatin is survived by a son, Michael Majesty Ellis, 9; a daughter, Aura Grace Glover, 1; his parents, Howard and Grace Glover; and a sister, Tina, all of Detroit, according to the Free Press.



The group’s 2000 national debut, “Fantastic Vol. 2,” landed on critics’ best-of lists and set the stage for Slum’s highest-profile commercial release, “Trinity,” two years later.

Free Press staff writers Brian McCollum and David Ashenfelter contributed to this report.

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Lil Wayne: Whippin’ it like a Slave in Black August



Lil Wayne: Whippin’ it like a Slave in Black August

by Minister Paul Scott

“Young boys without substance or content.
You better slow your speed stop the nonsense.”

                                    -The Power Chill Rob G-

PaulScott-225A flick came out in the mid 90’s called “Tales from the Hood,” it was kinda like a ghetto version of “Scared Straight;” only with zombies. Perhaps the best part of the movie dealt with a gangsta named Krazy K who was undergoing some heavy sci fi rehabilitation by being forced to relive scenes of the many murders of black folks that he had committed against a backdrop of lynchings and cross burnings. After listening to the latest youtube hit “Whip it “(Like a Slave), I wonder if such a rehab session would work on Lil Wayne? Naw, he’d probably just sit there with that spaced out permanent grin on his face sippin’ Sizzurp through a styrofoam cup and mumbling auto tune lyrics as visions of black death flash before his eyes.

This month is known as Black August, a time when activists recognize the August 21, 1971 state execution of revolutionary George Jackson via an alleged prison escape attempt. Not to mention it is a month rich in black history, including the births of Marcus Garvey and Fred Hampton. Unfortunately, it is also a month when Lil Wayne and the America’s Most Wanted Tour will be hitting cities across the country.

LilWayne-225Unlike other rappers, Lil Wayne aka Weezy has never prided himself as being the “Malcolm X of the Hip Hop generation” and when he has his frequent run ins with the law he isn’t all over the TV yellin’ that he is “a black man being persecuted in America just for being black”  a la Dr. Henry “Skip” Gates.

He is what he is, a thug; a thug with a college education but never the less, a thug. So there is very little that would come out of his gold toothed grill that would surprise me.

However, his new collaboration with Dem Franchize Boyz got my attention on several different levels.

The song, which is the latest  Internet sensation, has been generating thousands of hits on social networking sites. While some will argue that Lil Wayne and the Boyz are not talking about literally tying someone to an old oak and pulling out a bullwhip but are metaphorically referring to cooking up crack, that makes the song even that much sicker as it embraces the genocide of black people, past and present.

While some may quickly point to the ignorance of the rappers to blame for “Whip it,”  the finger should really be pointed at the ignorance of a black community that would allow such a song without protest.

When I say ignorance, I am not talking about the negative connotation of lacking intelligence but the functional definition of lacking proper information in regards to the history of African people in this country.

The major problem when discussing the matter of slavery and race overall, in this country is a lack of a proper point of reference in order to put the discussion in the proper context.

For the last century, the issue of slavery has been glossed over by a Hollywood that was more than happy to give us the happy -go- lucky Uncle Remus type or the mammy who was happy to birth massa’s babies. Matter of fact, for most Americans, the image of slavery does not get any more graphic than “Kunta Kinte” getting 40 lashes for not accepting the slave name, “Toby.”

Also, the educational system of this country has relegated any discussion of black history to a 28 day period in February and the content of that discussion does not, in any way, seek to explore the depths of the brutality visited upon the victims of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade confining it to a rosey picture painted of a post Emancipation America that merely substituted one form of slavery (chattel) for another (economic).

It must also be noted that while physical slavery was horrific it was the mental enslavement that has been the most destructive. For long after the physical chains are gone, the mental chains remain.

While many may say that this mentality is exclusive to the ‘ hood, it has historically been the black middle class that discouraged any identification with Africa, therefore pre-1865 history was a taboo subject for the upwardly mobile black bourgeoisie.

As Dr. Carter G. Woodson wrote in 1933, “the mis-educated Negro joins the opposition with the objection that the study of the Negro keeps alive questions which should be forgotten.”

So the severity of the slave trade was lost on future generations.

This is also exhibited among members of a Hip Hop generation who will constantly debate the lyrical prowess of rappers who celebrate the abuse of black women and glorify black fratricide but will shy away from any mention of the heinous crimes committed against black people by Europeans.

So we are left with an overly simplistic understanding of the thought process that allows songs like “Whip It” to be embraced in 2009.

This lack of historical depth is exacerbated by the fact that many perceive that we are living in a “post racial” America where the outrage over thousands of examples of police brutality against black men can can be squashed over beer and pretzels.

As Bruce Bridges writes in his book “Reclaiming the African Mind, “the intent of the system of slavery was to rob the African man of his responsibilities of manhood and emotionally castrate him.”

While rappers like Jay Z have dedicated themselves to DOA (the death of the auto tune) we must dedicate ourselves to DOI (the death of ignorance) by raising our voices against ‘Whip It Like a Slave.”

We must do this in honor of those whose lives we celebrate in August and whose deaths we mourn.

As Soledad brother George Jackson once wrote:

“When I revolt, slavery dies with me. I refuse to pass it down gain. The terms of my existence are founded on that.”

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots
He can be reached at (919) 451-8283
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