Category Archives: libertarian

I don’t think Barack Obama has a lot of time left before he endorses a candidate

Biden’s in trouble in New Hampshire …

If the polling holds out, former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden will not win the New Hampshire primary.  According to Real Clear Politics, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, is polling at 26.4% while former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg is polling at 22.2%.  Mr Biden has 12.2% of likely New Hampshire primary voters considering pulling the lever for him.

Over at the political betting markets, PredictIt has a “yes” vote selling at $.73 for Mr Sanders while a “yes” vote for Mr Buttigieg is going for $.28.  Mr Biden may not even be worth using as a hedge as his “yes” vote is priced at two cents.

I suspect the New Hampshire projections are no surprise to Mr Biden.  Hell.  He reads the same data we do and reportedly he does not have that much of a ground game in the Granite State.  But even if he does lose this Tuesday, he can likely make up ground after Nevada and South Carolina.  Mr Biden appears in command in Nevada where he leads in the polls at 21%, with Bernie Sanders trailing at 17.5%.  In South Carolina, Mr Biden polls at 31% with his nearest competitor, Tom Steyer, polling at 18%.

Both states allocate delegates proportionally.  Right now the delegate count coming out of Iowa stands at 13 for Mr Buttigieg; 12 for Mr Sanders; 8 for Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; six for Mr Biden; and one for Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

The Bloomberg Factor ….

While I expect Messrs Buttigieg and Sanders to pick up delegates between now and through the end of Super Tuesday, the Mike Bloomberg factor is still out there to contend with.  The former mayor of New York is focusing on the target rich environment that 3 March will provide. Also, Mrs Warren will still be a contender after Super Tuesday’s completion with an expected big win in her home state of Massachusetts.  Because Mr Biden is starting from behind, he has lessened his ability to be the one voice around which the Democrats galvanize going into the fall.

Obama rises …. Obama falls?

Super Tuesday is in less than four weeks. Fifteen states and jurisdictions with no one candidate dominating the primaries will be in play. I believe this will be the time to start galvanizing the party around one candidate.  To do this, I expect Barack Obama to issue an endorsement by 24 March in order to help center the Democratic Party around one voice going into the convention.

If Mr Obama places his bet on the eventual winner this fall, his political capital will increase and he will secure his position as an elder statesman in the party.

But if Mr Obama places his bet on the wrong candidate, his political capital evaporates. A few blacks will still be fond of him, but he will lose his leadership status in the party.

At least he has a Netflix deal.

Conclusion: Time is running out …

Time is running out? Are you serious, you may ask. Yes, it is.  In my opinion, Democrats wasted time on the low value impeachment initiative.  That initiative ended up being censure on steroids and censure is an act that sinks to the level of a footnote very quickly.  The meaninglessness of the act has also contributed to further annoyance with the Democratic Party, a party increasingly seen as a do nothing party; one that should be walked away from.

The “walk away” wing is not necessarily conservative although its more vocal leaders are of a conservative bent.  The other faction in the “walk away” wing tends to pursue independence; to live off-grid; to be more “libertarian.”

Strategy wise, whether traditional conservative or libertarian, the “walk away” wing of the black electorate will keep away from Mr Obama.  His centrist approach to politics adds to the annoyance a growing number of blacks experience with him and with Democrats overall.  Mr Obama’s desire to preserve his political capital, to preserve his legacy will see him endorse a moderate candidate.  I expect that candidate to be Joe Biden.

I also expect more blacks to stay home this election, in part because of the endorsement I expect Mr Biden to receive from the former president and in part because the Democrats have not demonstrated the boldness necessary for making real investments into the black community.  To galvanize the party around a more moderate voice will outweigh any desire on Mr Obama’s part to appease the walk away wing.

An endorsement will have to come by end of next month for the sake of efficient management of a campaign against Donald Trump, but the group Democrats hope to galvanize will be smaller and weaker than those groups of Democrats from past elections.

 

Black creatives should apply constant lobbying pressure on Congress…

The concern: Theft and appropriation ….

The internet has provided opportunities for black creatives to create music, art, film, and writings, and distribute these products all over the globe.  When I set up my first website over 20 year ago, it took an employee at a local print shop to drive home the point with me that I was no longer local, as my mailing address on my new letterhead would imply.  My web address and e-mail he pointed out now took me to another level.  I was now global.  To this day I am still amazed and humbled when I hear from someone in Eurasia or Africa who either needed legal advice, sought some business representation, or read a blog post.

For black creatives in particular the opportunity to share our art and culture and dispel myths about our people is equal to and probably outweighs (slightly) the potential to increase the income for doing what we are good at; for doing what we love.

Centuries of oppression, for being negatively targeted physically and economically because of who we are can manifest itself in anger when our art is appropriated by the majority culture without acknowledgment or compensation.  Ironically, it is that same majority culture that has no problem asserting that blacks have no culture while stealing and re-engineering the culture we have created for the purpose of communicating with and consoling ourselves.

I think this problem, of cultural appropriation, is not relegated to blacks in America alone.  To varying degrees this problem also occurs in other parts of the Diaspora, but because I have spent my entire adulthood in the U.S., I will speak to the impact raiding black culture has on black America.

My concern in the United States is that the sharing economy may seep itself into intellectual property developed and sold by black Americans via inappropriate legislation or the misapplication of current rules applied to copyright, patents, and trademarks.  Blacks in the U.S. need to be aware of the business model that has been emerging in technology and media over the last two decades: appropriating what is considered “public” information or data and re-engineering it for resale.

There is a faux libertarian attitude among many young liberals in media and tech that everything produced should be considered as part of some commons where anyone with the capital and technology can sweep in and extract.  This is the same attitude behind “net neutrality”, where large content aggregators want to transport exabytes of data over public broadband networks for free and if these content providers can’t get their way i.e. send millions of cat and twerker videos over these networks for free, they will then argue that the democratic rights of their subscribers are somehow being violated.  Networks as well as content provided by their subscribers are simply there for free extraction.

This same liberal view toward content, in my opinion, poses a threat to black creativity.  Black creatives in America who do not take action to push back against this attack will find themselves back in the chattel-like slavery of their ancestors.  Whereas their bodies were used for slave labor in the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, their intellectual property, their creativity, will suffer the same fate in the 21st century digital economy.

Taking the property rights approach ….

Blacks own between two to three percent of private capital in the United States.  Giving away our creativity would be tantamount to suicide.  Lobbying pressure should be maintained on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Copyright Office, the U.S. Senate Sub-committee on Intellectual Property and the U.S. House Sub-committee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.

Action cannot be reactive. It must be proactive.  Black creatives must take action to ensure that legislation is being monitored and where threats are trending, be prepared to draft and present legislation to members of these committees for their consideration.

As creatives we tend to live in our heads, but we must make the concerted effort to keep our third eye open and on the Administration and the Congress.