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David L. Horne, PH.D.

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Practical Politics

African Americans in the U.S. Congress; A quick glance

In 2017, in the 115th Congress, counting the recent election of South Carolina’s Tim Scott, there are 50 African Americans collectively serving in the House and U.S. Senate. Starting in 1870 during Reconstruction, to date there have been 140 African American members of Congress, including 130 members of the House of Representatives, and 10 U.S. Senators, six of whom were elected. Of that number, there have been 106 Democrats, including 101 in the House and six in the Senate; and 30 Republicans, including 26 in the House and four in the U.S. Senate. Those 140 members have represented 27 states. (See Figure 1-A)

Practical Politics

The politics of the social contract

From the millions protesting on Jan. 21, in the Women’s March, which was the largest single-day protest in the history of the United States, to the smaller but fervent March 8 protests on the “Day Without A Woman,” the political constituency—the we, the people—has been voicing its considerable displeasure at its new leadership.

Practical Politics

The politics of consequences for bad behavior

With them just coming back to take up a new private residency in Washington, D.C., from vacationing in the Caribbean, it is interesting to imagine a morning conversation this week between Michelle Obama and her husband. Michelle: Now Barack, I’ve lived every minute of the joys and heartaches of your being president. But that’s over now…

Practical Politics

The politics of ranking presidents

Although it is far too soon to do a definitive assessment of where former President Barack Obama ranks among the 43 presidents that came before him, the assessments have begun nevertheless. Most usually, such rankings need time, like fine wine and aged liquor, to season and mellow. Based on a C-SPAN survey just completed from 93 American historians and presidential biographers, President Obama, overall, ranked number 12 among the U.S. presidents, three spaces above Bill Clinton, who ranked number 15. The only modern president ranked above Obama’s number 12 was Ronald Reagan at number 9.

Practical Politics

Gender politics and Black History Month

During annual Black History Month celebrations, we usually focus on African Americans who have come before and who have done things, or said things that moved the quality of Black life forward. Mostly, as the name says (his-story), we have not often enough focused on what African American women have done. That is not intrinsically bad, but it is a fact. This column this week will focus on Sarah Breedlove, a.k.a. Madame C.J. Walker, America’s first Black female millionaire. We’ve long praised her financial and entrepreneurial genius, but we have only rarely talked about her Black activism.

Practical Politics

The politics of female leadership ascending

Colonialism is supposed to be dead in the 21st century. Countries are not supposed to have direct control of governments, resources, outputs, banking and educational facilities of other countries. Well, lo and behold, that’s not the case. The islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique are still colonies of France. The Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. Johns) are still owned by the USA. And England still owns several Caribbean islands, including the sea resort set of islands called Turks and Caicos, population about 35,000.

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A look at the legacy of Barack Obama

In a lot of ways, it is too early to properly evaluate the presidency of Barack Obama. Such a process regularly needs to marinate for a while, and let more facts of a particular presidency come out. That truism has not stopped the mad rush to get evaluations and comparisons done, however. In 2010, a Siena College Research Institute survey ranked Mr. Obama number 15 of 43 previous U.S. presidents. A 2012 NewsWeek survey ranked Mr. Obama as number 10 among the 43 previous presidents. Nate Silver’s 2013 survey, based on an amalgamation of various rankings, put Mr. Obama at number 17 among previous presidents.

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A look at the legacy of Barack Obama

In a lot of ways, it is too early to properly evaluate the presidency of Barack Obama.

Practical Politics

The politics of fighting for reparations for African Americans

On the day the 115th Congress convened, Jan. 3, long-serving Rep. John Conyers, the author since 1989 of a bill dubbed H.R. 40 (in memory of the 40 acres and a mule concept) re-introduced a new version of his legislation. This new version, officially entitled a “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act,” more explicitly cited the legislative goal of the proposed bill as the creation and funding (up to $12 million) to create a federal commission to study and consider a national apology and proposals for reparations for the institution of slavery in the USA.

The politics of bad-mouthing everything

Practical Politics

Reports recently have decried how bad things are in the USA because of the Obama administration. That description flies in the face of obvious facts. Let’s count some of the ways.

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