Monday, August 31, 2009

"Hunting Obama"?!? Does The GOP Find This Funny?

Another day, another silly GOPer, another stupid Obama inference. What's new?
An Idaho Republican gubernatorial hopeful insists he was only joking when he said he'd buy a license to hunt President Barack Obama.

Rex Rammell, a long-shot candidate slated to run against incumbent C.L. "Butch" Otter in the May 2010 GOP primary, made the comment at a Republican rally Tuesday in Twin Falls where talk turned to the state's planned wolf hunt, for which hunters must purchase an $11.50 wolf tag. The hunt is due to begin on Tuesday.

When an audience member shouted a question about "Obama tags," Rammell responded, "The Obama tags? We'd buy some of those."

Rammell told The Associated Press Thursday he sees no reason to apologize for the comment because it was just a joke.

"What I would say to all my Democrat Idahoans: Take a deep breath and relax," he said. "We're not going to go out and hunt Obama."

He also told the Times-News newspaper, "I would never support him being assassinated."

After Rammell's comment was published in the Times-News, he said one person sent him an e-mail indicating he would ask the FBI for an investigation.

Threatening the president can be a felony punishable by five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

"I'm probably safe," Rammell said. "I'm not the one that started the whole thing."

Debbie Dujanovic Bertram, an FBI spokeswoman in Salt Lake City, said the agency couldn't comment on whether it was investigating or if it had received a complaint.

Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark said Rammell comes from the far right of the GOP, but that's no excuse for his comment.

"Rex Rammell is pretty shrill, and I don't think he represents the mainstream of the Republican Party by any means," Roark said. "But I think the Republican Party in this state and elsewhere would be well served by making it clear those types of comments are very inappropriate."

Officials with the Idaho Republican Party in Boise didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Rammell, a former elk rancher and unsuccessful 2008 U.S. Senate candidate, gained exposure in 2006 when the state ordered domestic elk be shot after they escaped from his ranch near Rexburg.

Rammell isn't the first Rexburg resident who has drawn attention for making an anti-Obama comment. In November 2008, second- and third-grade students on a school bus there chanted "Assassinate Obama" after his election, prompting the mayor of this eastern Idaho town to publicly apologize.
This stuff makes my head hurt.

I know some of you are thinking, "dang AB, aren't these sorts of stories getting old? Why don't you stop running this nonsense?" You're right, but I'll tell you what, I'll stop running this nonsense when it stops happening.

Thankfully, the state GOP has taken Rammell to task, but considering the fact that he's a "longshot" candidate at best, you wonder if this is merely convenience for the sake of saving face. If this guy were a legitimate contender, would folks have looked the other way? Who knows?

Question: Are you getting tired of reading these sorts of stories too? Why is such assassination language flowing so freely nowadays?

Idaho Republican, governor hopeful Rex Rammell makes 'Obama tags' joke about hunting President Obama [NYDailyNews]

Obama Navel Gazing Reaches An All New Low.

First it was swatting flies. Them Michelle-O's shorts. Now, witness the lastest example of extreme Obama navel gazing.
Barack Obama's helmetless bike ride on Martha's Vineyard on Thursday has sparked a mini-controversy for those who thought the move set a bad example.

"Yes, I know, President Obama is on a vacation, riding a bike, at a slow cadence, so what if he is not wearing a helmet, right?" wrote Martha Castro, a California doctor, on her website.

On, a website for parents, Josh Loposer write, "Truly despicable isn't it? What kind of example is he setting for the nation’s youth?"

David Mozer, director of the International Bicycle Fund, told the New York Daily News, "Most bike accidents just happen. Bicycles up and turn over by themselves, and head injuries are a possible consequence of that. ... It would be great if the president set an example."

The Chicago Tribune wrote that one of its photo editors was outraged ("What kind of fool doesn't wear a helmet while biking?") and wrote the White House in protest.

And it was all enough to warrant an explanation. White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters Thursday afternoon that "I know that he generally does wear a helmet when he rides a bicycle. He supports the wearing of bicycle helmets."

Obama wasn't the only one not practicing proper bike safety. A Secret Service agent also went helmet-free, and Obama friend Erik Whitaker wore a helmet, but did not fasten it. Fortunately, Obama made sure that his daughters, Sasha and Malia, wore helmets. Massachusetts law requires bike helmets for those under 16.

It's likely that this dust-up will quickly pass, but for a moment, it seemed as if the photo of a helmetless Obama could be this vacation's version of the most buzzed-about photo-op.

During the presidential campaign, Obama was photographed riding his bike with a helmet and his signature dorky jeans. He later told a fundraiser crowd:

"I had an internal debate," said Obama. "I knew that the AP was going to take a picture, and they were trying to portray it like Dukakis wearing that tank helmet. But I wanted to make sure that the children who saw that picture knew that even the Democratic nominee for president wears a helmet when he goes biking.”
I bike a lot, and never, ever wear a helmet. I mean, c'mon, they're heavy, make your head sweat way too much, and aren't even proven to help prevent head injuries in the event of an accident. Plus, they make preteens look like total wusses, so you could only imagine how dumb a grown assed man looks like a but cone on his head.

On a side note, who the hell goes biking wearing Dockers? And who the hell wears Dockers on vacation? Who the hell wears Dockers, period?

Seriously folks, let it go.

Question: Is this yet another example of much ado about absolutely nothing Obama-related? Can we chalk this up to a slow news cycle, or are some in the media simply obsessed with the Obama family?

No-helmet Obama sparks ire [Politico]

Obama defies safety advocates, shuns bike helmet, looks great, ignites debate [LATimes]

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Tiddy Bear?!?

Does this thing actually work? We might just need to do a special edition of Grand Hu$tle to find out for sure.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Winking Jeans.

Where's Billy Mays when you really need him?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Glenn Beck, National Spelling Bee Finalist.

I'm steering far and wide of this Beck/Color Of Change boycott[1], but this was so unintentionally hilarious I couldn't resist running it.[2]

Since I'm piling on, peep Beck suggesting that Obama is going to militarize Americorps, SEIU, ACORN, and The Black Panthers (huh?) to exact revenge on "real America".

And heck, one more for the road. Beck and Boss Limbaugh expose Obama's plan to "shut down Conservative Media".

Finally, Beck infers that all Black folks (including the friggin' Obama Phi Obama kids, at the 1:50 mark) are out to overthrow Whitey, all in the name of reparations for slavery.

Beck claims he spent one semester at Yale before dropping out to become a morning show disc jockey. Now I see why. What I don't see is how he got accepted to an Ivy in the first place.

And on that note, I have to seriously question to sanity of anyone who listens to these tin foil rantings and considers any of this even remotely legitimate.

Forget a boycott. Fox isn't going to do anything but rearrange ads like deck chairs until the rancor dies down. The show (for reasons beyond me) is far too popular for them to take off the air. If you really wanna get this ignorant, hate-mongering moron off the air, do as I suggested months ago, and file an FCC complaint.

Question: Does a man who can't even spell a word properly really need to be using it to justify his latest nonsensical rant?

As boycott continues, Glenn Beck's audience swells [LA Times]

[1] If you need to know why, look at the story title of the link above.

[2] Yeah, I know, ain't exactly a typo-free zone itself. But hey, I got a Day Job. That's my excuse, and I'm stickin' with it.

He's Baaaack.

I didn't see any of Michael Vick's return to the NFL last night, but seems like it went off without a hitch.
So how was Michael Vick's debut as an Eagle? Not bad, but nothing memorable.

He was mostly cheered by the home crowd when he entered the game for the second play of the night.

His first snap was a shovel pass to rookie LeSean McCoy for four yards on 2nd-and-10. On the next drive, he pulled a handoff out of the shotgun and ran a bootleg around the left end for a yard.

The highlight of Vick's night was a 13-yard bullet to Hank Baskett on 1st-and-10 from the Jacksonville 27-yard line (Vick had all day to throw).

He finished the night 4-of-4 passing (he also completed a screen to DeSean Jackson for no gain and another shovel pass to McCoy for two yards) for 19 yards, with one rush for a yard.

Analysts said Vick looked hesitant on his rushing attempt, but defenders were in his face from the get-go on the play. The key on these type of plays is when Vick actually hands the ball off, because the defenders away from the play will have to stay at home rather than chase the ballcarrier in case Vick holds it.

According to ESPN, Jacksonville never had more than seven defenders in the box while Vick was at QB.

He lined up at quarterback five times (he threw four of the five and ran on the other), and once as a slot receiver (he did not get the ball). All five of his plays at QB were out of the shotgun and were on either first or second down. Donovan McNabb played wide receiver on two of the plays Vick lined up at quarterback.

McNabb said the Wildcat caused some rhythm issues with the offense (item #2), but I think the Eagles tried to force the gadget plays so Vick could face Jacksonville's first-team offense. In the regular season, three or four of these plays spread over the course of the game could be a nice way to keep the defense off balance, leaving the potential for a big play.
Here's the video.

I can't really say why, but I'm intrigued enough to likely follow Vick week-by-week this season. I may even create a ticker feature called VickWatch™, assuming the Peta folks don't shut me down first.

One thing that's uncertain is just how much he'll play and where. I've said all along that as long as McNabb stays upright and the team is winning, we prolly won't see much of #7 at all. Then again, they didn't sign him to carry a clipboard, so what do I know? I'm more of a hoops fan anyway.

Question: What sort of season do you think Vick will have for Philly? How will they use him? Should I do the occasional VickWatch™ feature?

Vick recap [Newsday]

What Would You Do?!? - Sh*t And Run Neighbors.

I live deep in the burbs, and our native cul de sac collection is a pretty diverse hood' of folks of all ages, socioeconomic statuses, and racial walks of life. In short, it's more or less a microcosm of America, which is pretty cool in my book. But having grown up in the country, there's still some stuff about the inner burbs I just don't get, and the rules of scooping dogg poop would be one just thing.

I take pride in having one of the better lawns in our neighborhood. Seriously, I put lots of time and effort into it. Call me crazy, but folks who don't maintain their yards seem like they aren't protecting their greatest investment. This attention to detail earns me the praise of some folks on my block, and the sideye of others, for reasons I can't really say.

In any event, since we moved in years ago, I have continually had a problem with folks letting their dogs sh*t all over my lawn and not picking up behind them.[1] This has always been a huge annoyance, but now that my oldest son's at the age where he likes running around and rolling in the grass for fun, this is really becoming a problem.[2]

I've never owned a dog, but common sense would dictate to me that you'd scoop up behind the pet and not allow him to sh*t a huge mound in the dead center of your neighbor's freshly manicured lawn. Isn't this just basic human kindness and consideration? After all, how f*cking ignorant would it look if I walked across the street and emptied my trashcan on my neighbor's front porch, then just walked away?

I suppose my question here is twofold. My wife is irritated because she can't let our oldest son run free in the yard without worrying about what's lurking in the grass. I'm also generally pissed off because I can't fathom what would make presumably intelligent folks think it's okay to allow their puppy to drop a double deuce on somebody's grass and not pick it up.

This sh*t has to stop. Literally.

Question: I need some practical advice here. What would YOU do? Would you put up a nice lawn sign asking people to be considerate (as my wife is suggesting)? Would you sleep outside (as I'm suggesting), and lay in wake for these a$$holes to let the dog poop, then jump out the bushes and commence to a$$whipping? Is there really anything you can do to stop folks from doing this? If you're a dog owner (be honest), do you sometimes allow your dog to sh*t and run? Why is that acceptable in your eyes?

[1] To anyone disgusted with the (intentionally) blurred image above, ask yourselves this, how disgusting would it be for your kids to run and fall into that mound of poop?

[2] No, it hasn't happened. Yet.

The GOP Needs A "Great White Hope"?!?

We already know the GOP is reeling to keep its footing in postracial America. We also know the GOP is about as diverse as a bag of marshmallows. So, when an elected official gets up and says what Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins just said, it's understandable that some might take it the wrong way.
U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins told a recent gathering in northeast Kansas that the Republican Party is looking for a "great white hope" to help stop President Barack Obama's political agenda.

Videotape shows Jenkins, a Republican, making the comment at an Aug. 19 forum. She was discussing the GOP's future after Democrats took control of the House and Senate and Obama became the nation's first black president. Jenkins is white.

"Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope," said Jenkins. "I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington." As examples, Jenkins mentioned Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Jenkins' spokeswoman Mary Geiger told the paper that Jenkins' remark was not meant to refer to "race, creed or any background." Said Geiger: "There's no doubt the Republican Party has gone through some dark and challenging times in recent years, but thankfully bright young leaders have stepped up to lead the party into the future and she hopes to be a part of it. That was the intent of her comments -- nothing more and nothing less. Congresswoman Jenkins apologizes for her choice of words."

The term stems from the early 1900s when there was a campaign to find a white boxer who could defeat heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, who was black.
For the record, I don't think Jenkins was trying to make this a racial issue. The term "Great White Hope" is really just a euphemism for "we need to pull the ultimate trick out our a$$es, cause it ain't lookin' good for 2012 right now". I am willing to give Jenkins the benefit of the doubt. The fact that she went on to mention three white guys (Cantor is Jewish) is merely a coincidence. Again, it ain't like the GOP has a bunch of brothas just waiting for their shot. Ya'll saw that convention in St. Paul last Fall. It looked like one of my corporate managerial retreats.

So, for those of you who label me some vicious race baiter, please circle today's date on your calendar. And cut the lady a break.

Question: Was Lynn Jenkins using racial codewords, or does the term "Great White Hope" just speak to the level of desperation that permeates the Republican party?

GOP Congresswoman: Party Looking For "Great White Hope" [TPM]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Proof That WSHH Is The Devil's Playground.

Classic Negro Nonsense from The Sunshine State.[1]

I don't know what part of this is the worst.

1) That tweens are scrippin'.

2) That grown men are paying to see tweens scrippin'.

3) That Rosemary don't live here.

4) That grandma justsohappened to have a HO by her door. Who does this?

5) That the news reporter could do this whole thing without laughing hysterically.

Question: What's the worst part of the story above? Is WSHH indeed the Devil's playground?

[1] I mean, seriously, other than Texas or Cali, where else would such nonsense happen?

Cash For Clunkers Was A Sorta Good Idea. Unless You're A Republican.

Let's give the gubb'ment, and yes, Obama himself, some credit here. The Cash For Clunkers program ended Monday, and the results seem to indicate that it was a smashing success.
The federal government's month-long "Cash for Clunkers" program ended after having spent almost the entire $3 billion allotted and putting 690,114 new, more fuel-efficient cars on the road, the Transportation Department said Wednesday.

One auto analyst called the program a success, if only because his research showed that it was responsible for saving 39,000 jobs that otherwise would have been eliminated.

"It's really more substantial than we had thought in terms of stimulus," said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research. "This is companies putting people back to work."

General Motors announced last week that it will reinstate 1,350 workers and add overtime for about 10,000 at three plants, as the automaker replenishes inventory sold during the government program. Honda also said it will increase U.S. production.

The other big winners in the program were Asian automakers. Eight of the top 10 new cars purchased through the program came from Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota, which claimed the top spot with its Corolla. The Corolla, Honda Civic and Ford Focus are manufactured in the United States. The only vehicles produced by U.S. automakers in the top 10 were the Ford Escape and Focus.

By contrast, all of the top 10 clunkers turned in were made by a Detroit company, with the four-wheel-drive Ford Explorer SUV, Ford F-150 pickup and the four-wheel-drive Jeep Grand Cherokee taking the top three spots.

Even though no General Motors vehicle cracked the top 10 of best-sellers, GM's sales volume was strong, finishing second behind Toyota with 17.6 percent of all new vehicles sold.

The new cars average about 9 miles per gallon better than the clunkers they replaced, the Transportation Department said.

The program, which had been a part of the original stimulus bill earlier this year but was deleted before final passage, was so popular that it required an additional $2 billion in funding after it was underway.
So, lemme see if I got this right: the program sold cars, saved jobs, helped the environment, and showed that spending during a recession isn't an ill-advised exercise in out-of-control gubb'ment largess. So, what's not the like?

Cue the haters. This time, the right-wing blog Hot Air.
The Obama administration spent three billion dollars subsidizing the destruction of 700,000 vehicles in order to boost car sales. Which auto makers actually benefited from these American tax subsidies? Reuters reports that foreign car manufacturers gained market share, while the two bailed-out American automakers lost significant portions of theirs in the big summer sale. Only Ford managed to hold its own.

Ford had the only two American-made vehicles in the top 10 models sold in Cash for Clunkers. Toyota and Honda both had three, while Nissan and Hyundai both had one each. Two of Toyota’s entries were in the top three, the Corolla and the Camry.
Why did GM and Chrysler, both owned in part by the same government that launched C4C, do so poorly? In part, they didn’t have cars to sell. Both GM and Chrysler had curtailed their production during their bankruptcies but had worked to have inventory ready for the new sales year. By launching C4C in the middle of the summer, when most dealers are already cutting prices to move inventory off the lot, the administration practically guaranteed that C4C would leave them on the sidelines. Chrysler had the worst inventory problems, but GM also had serious inventory issues. Ford, which didn’t take the bailout, had continued production and had inventory ready to sell.

Shouldn’t the owner of GM and Chrysler had known this? Didn’t anyone on the Auto Task Force — say, Ron Bloom, the auto czar with no automaking experience — bother to check whether their companies were ready to compete in this program, and whether July was a smart time to launch this even apart from that? This is what happens when government enters the private sector; it makes decisions based on politics rather than sound business sense, and it picks leaders based on cronyism and political payoffs rather than expertise and competence.
I mean, seriously, can these folks not give the President credit for anything? If the guy singlehandedly cured Cancer today, they'd complain about the lost revenue for pharmaceutical companies.


Besides, why is it such a bad thing that the top selling cars were all Japanese? Uhhh, excuse me if I'm wrong, but haven't many of the top selling cars been Japanese for some time now? Are you telling me Americans should be suddenly obligated to buy a Chevy, when the whole point of cash for clunkers is to get more fuel efficient cars, which Chevy isn't exactly famous for. Do they want the gubb'ment to mandate which brand of cars "real Americans" should buy? Wouldn't that be socialism?

Weren't many of these foreign cars made right here in the good ole' USA? Didn't they get sold by Americans at American car dealerships? Aren't there American jobs being salvaged? Isn't saving jobs and keeping the economy rolling the entire point right about now?

Again, if Obama needs more evidence that he needs to abandon "go along to get along" politricks and just spend all his political capital (ie: on healthcare) while it still exists, I don't know what more we can do for the guy.

Question: Do you consider Cash For Clunkers a success? Did you buy a car? Is there something silly about making a big point about foreign cars being sold, when in fact, those are the cars that Americans chose to buy? Should Obama read this criticism as proof that some folks just will not like him, not matter what?

'Clunkers' Generates 690,000 Sales [WashPost]

Big winners in Cash for Clunkers: Toyota, Honda, and Nissan [HotAir] - Read the comments if you want a good laugh.

People I Strongly Dislike - Unintelligible Customer Service Workers.

So, I'm grabbing some quick lunch for the fam from my local fast food joint the other day, and I need some artificial sweetener.[1] I kindly ask the woman at the window for some Sweet -N- Low. Trouble ensues.
AB: "Could I have some Sweet -N- Low, please?"

Puzzled Window Lady: "Swing Low?"

AB: "No, Sweet -N- Low."

Puzzled Window Lady: "Coffee?"

AB: "Yes, the stuff that goes in the coffee."

Puzzled Window Lady: "Coffee?"

AB: "No, Sweet -N- Low."

Puzzled Window Lady, handing me a coffee stirrer: "Here. You go now."

AB: "No, Sweet -N- Low. It's like sugar. Pink packet!"

Puzzled Window Lady: "Sweet?"

AB: "Yes, Sweet -N- Low."

Puzzled Window Lady, handing me a pack of Sweet & Sour sauce: "Here. You go now."

AB: "NOOOOO!!!! Sweet -N- Low!!! It's like sugar. It goes in coffee! Arrgghhh!!!"

Suddenly Gully Window Lady, tossing me BBQ sauce: "Here. You go now. Line stop. You go now."

AB: "D MOTHER******!!!!! D!!!!"
Yeah, it almost got this bad.

Seriously, shouldn't there be some sort of language requirement when the job's main function involves speaking?

Before anyone gets bent out of shape, this isn't a racial issue. Yes, the woman behind the window was Hispanic, but I've has similar experiences with folks from all races. The gas station attendant at the Sheetz in West Virginia. The gum poppin' Safeway cashier in Soufeas'. The offshore client services agent now handling my account inquires for Bank Of America. It's all the same.

Question: Should certain jobs have a baseline language competency requirement? Do you have any similarly aggravating customer service stories?

[1] Unless you haven't eaten a single meal from a window/bag in the past year, please don't judge me.

Poll Position - We Are Not (Yet) PostRacial.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been theorizing that the election of Barack Obama is perhaps the worst thing to happen to US race relations in more than 40 years. This has been stated tongue in cheek, but I've wondered if there's more truth than hyperbole in my own statement. Seriously, the past year or so has seen seemingly one racist scenario after another, in a series of unfortunate events I'm too weary to recap here. These incidents have come from both the left (how soon we forget) and the right with equal intensity. They seem to indicate that even though the Obama election is historic, and a great step in the right direction, we've still got a long way to go before we're truly "postracial".

If nothing else, we're hyper-racial right now. Some white people are on edge and unnerved everytime the topic of race comes up. Some black folks get angry that whites go immediately on the defense and disregard any semblance of racial discussion the moment things get uneasy. And of course, there's that whole segment of America that simply is not happy about a blackish guy being in charge, and feels newly emboldened to shout racial epithets at the HNIC and his family since such action is now far more socially acceptable.

So, in short, I kinda feel like we're seem remarkable progress because enough white folks on both sides of the aisle were able to push aside racial hangups to select who they felt was the right guy for the job. On the other hand, there's definitely a feeling that we've taken a bunch of steps backward, because, aww hell, if you've read this blog the past year, you already know why.

To get a consensus, I turned to AverageNation™ and decided to settle this the Democratic way. While this poll registered a record number of votes (well over 300), the results weren't really surprising.

So, most of you (41%) agreed with my mixed bag assertion. 22% think it's better to know thine enemy than guess. 18% think Dr. King's Dream of a postracial America was prolly conceived during one very restless night in Birmingham. Only 3% think November 4th proved that we're already postracial. 14% think the resurgence of wingnuttery prove that Obama's election was a net negative.

I suppose time will ultimately tell.

Question: How did you vote? Are we postracial, or did we completely misunderstand what the term postracial was supposed to mean?

Channel Your Inner White Guy - The Cars.

One of these days when I get back around to my "We Owned The 80's" series, I'll give Rick Ocasek & The Cars their due. Until then, cop the headphones and peep this lovely soundtrack of some of their greatest hits.

Question: What's your favorite Cars tune?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Joe Biden Finally Does Something Right.

Pick on the man all you want (and I sure as heck have), but this was a classy reflection. Way to go, Joe.

Is Hav Plenty The Most Slept-On "Black Film" Evar?!?

1998's Hav Plenty is prolly one of my favorite movies evar. It's also one of those movies that (provided you actually know it exists) you either hated or loved. The movie is so slept on, there isn't even a trailer for it on YouTube.[1] So, here's the first part of it. You could watch the whole thing there if you're so inclined, but I really hope you don't.

On the surface, it's hard to understand what makes this movie so good. It isn't really even about anything. A sorta nerdy NY writer named Lee Plenty is invited to DC to spend New Year's Eve with his platonic friend Havilland Savage (thus the title) and her excessively wacky family and friends. And really, that's about it. There's some quirky dialogue. Some occasionally bad acting. Some exceptionally low budget production quality. Strangely, the whole thing works well, mainly because the characters are well fleshed out, and to be honest, pretty different from the typical depictions of black folks in cinema.

Plenty (writer/producer/director Christopher Scott Cherot), is as quirky, broke, thoughtful, and unmacho a character as they come. Savage (the lovely Chenoa Maxwell, who looks just terrible with all the poor lighting and makeup) is alternately bitchy, conceited, and vulnerable. The rest of the cast, with familiar faces like Hill Harper and Robinne Lee, adds just the right amount of experience to what's otherwise a set of novices (Cherot had never acted before stepping in to play the lead role after Harper quit just before filming started) and spares the movie that "straight to DVD" smell.

Perhaps more intriguing is the whole backstory to how this movie was made, distributed, and ultimately received. I won't rehash it here, but it's an interesting Wiki entry to say the least.

If you haven't seen this movie, I'd suggest you rent it, rather than getting the hookup. You'll like it, trust me.

Question: Did you see Hav Plenty? What did you think? Got any other slept-on favorite black films?

Hav Plenty [WikiPedia]

[1] Other slept-on, but great black movies - Cover, One Week, and Restraining Order. GuestPost - Hook A Brotha Up!

[Editor's Note: Janks Morton is the producer/director of Boys To Men and What Black Men Think, a couple of films readers will be familiar with. Peep what he's got to say about Black folks obsession with "da' hookup" and why it's ruining indepedent Black film. This one's pretty lengthy, but I encourage you to pour a cup of Joe and peep it. Show the guest some love, you-know-where, and cop his movies if you haven't already.]

This past weekend I was having a conversation with a dear friend of mine some of you may know. Lamar Tyler of is also this up and coming filmmaker and between his website and the film, is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Well Saturday morning, early in the conversation, he proudly announced on the phone “Man, we just passed 10,000 fans on our Facebook fan page today!” Point for celebration correct? Maybe. In a very cynical tone my follow-up question to this moment of reserved jubilee was “so how’s the DVD sales going?’. After a downturn of his emotions and a slight pause, Lamar said “…..well” at this juncture I interjected and saved him having to express his frustrations and finished his sentence with “yeah, you know how we do…”And therein lies the premise of this blog and the ongoing saga of the trials and tribulations of independent film-making.

The back story and underlying support for this blazing generalization of “you know how we do” are two fold, and while I have a lifetime of experience and perceptions to assert this negative stereotype, I will reference (briefly)citing two recent occurrences to make my point.

After a stirring and heart felt presentation at a very large mega church here in Prince George’s county, a fine and upstanding member of highly visible law enforcement division, walks up to me with the following statement. “Brother (oh crap, did I pay those 4 parking tickets), I just wanted to say your documentary and presentation is one of the most important messages I have ever seen, and the DVD would be a valuable resource for our young men we work with (whew…) Would you mind if I burned a couple of copies for some of my team members so they can use them at their respective facilities? Hopefully you can here the sound of tires screeching in my head, or that scratching noise the old record needles use to make. And while the proper english, and professional demeanor of this gentleman was impressive, the logic seemed to escape me. Fortunately I no longer swear in public because in my mind something along the lines of “motherfather, don’t yawl arrest people for that stuff ?” (take full liberty in inserting your curse word of preference anywhere in the previous sentence), However, considering we were in church and he was carrying a firearm, I simply stated “c’mon on brother, I ain’t got Sony pictures behind me, it’s just me, so can you….And you all can see the look of oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah coming across his face as to have an epiphany and close the conversation with “oh dag, my bad”.

Part two of the drama unfolds this past weekend at, of course, another church on Saturday morning. Another heart felt, passionate (I had to pause for about 14 seconds because I almost broke out in tears during the section I do on forgiveness) and inspiring message to about 100 members after one of the best home-cooked sausage eggs and home fry deals I’ve had since I’ve been on tour. Now I’m not going to down the path of purchasing product after a free meal, a free screening, and a free sermon. That’s an entire blog entry unto itself but still in the same vein of this stream of thought. During the Q&A segment, a brother stands up (in front of everyone) and says, “Brother, I love what you have put together here. I got this (so and so) hook up in Chicago, with these brothers that are doing (such and such), and can I burn a copy of this to send to them to help you out? I stop, I pause, I look at the audience, they look at me, I grin and with this tilted head deer stuck in the headlights look, I say “are you kidding me?”. Again, good fortune prevailed, the audience was amused, and the gentleman made sure to come after the program and apologize profusely about his err, and of course I advised him “it’s cool, you know how we do…”

So back to my conversation with Lamar. Several days prior I realized that between all the YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook, and other web outlets, I have over 500,000 views of my videos, and God only knows how many hits to the BlackPlanet, Washington Post, CNN and all that other stuff out there. “Man if I could just get 10% of these to 10,000 fans to buy the DVD I would be straight!” stresses Lamar. “Man, If I just had one dollar from just the views on the PSA it would be over” I explained.

“but you know cuz, it’s just the way it is. you know how we do…”” I continued. Black people, you gotta love ‘em, but we missed the memo that seems to be circulating amongst alot of other groups throughout this country. I hate to play the whole slavery card, and the subsequent socialization process of making something out of nothing, however on the topic of the intrinsic value of supportive commercewe seem to miss connecting all the dots. “I’ve been thinking about writing a blog about this for a very long time but it’s such a touchy subject and a very fine line to walk, I think it could tick more people off than inspire” was how I finished the conversation with Lamar.

So at this juncture I’ll do what it is I always do, provide a couple of case studies for your amusment. Exhibit A. that dog gone Jeff Foxworthy (or the Caucasian version of the chittlin circuit). This dude basically drops these series of stand up comdeianic self deprecating, culture denigrating narratives, that are so uniquely, well, redneck, I have difficulty following the humor most times. It took me two whole days to catch this joke about matching salad bowls and cool whip containers, but I digress. My point, self-described rednecks ate that stuff up, and the intrinsic value of supportive commercebegan to kick in. In other words, they began to support their own through purchases, word of mouth and othe mechanisms. The other examples I would defer to would be Van Halen, Master P, and MC Hammer, but want to use them as a point of differentiation because they are musical entertainment (one of the few durable goods you’re allowed to consume, entirely, prior to purchase). Point being, that these acts probably were supported by as little as 20,000 followers at the time of their “big record deals” and commanded high percentages and millions at the table.

I’ll closed out with my other, not so favorite Tyler (Perry), and how long he was on the scene as a playwright in the church circuit before he got any type of nod from Lionsgate. Both Lamar and I use a documentary style format to advance socio-political-spiritual ideologues, i.e. restoration of black families, or positive images of healthy black marriages, and while it may not be as dramatic as say, oh, a grown man in a dress going to another family reunion, with the latest gospel track kicking at the climax, our works are actually capturing the heart, mind and souls of what is happening today in our community, and hopefully, about a 100 years from now, these films can truly be looked upon as documenting what really was the deal, from our own lens.

So what’s all the fuss about? What’s to stop us from continuing on our respective paths? Let me give you insight to the world many of independent filmmakers live. Tim Alexander, Eric McKay, Andrea Wiley, and a whole slew of up and comings are doing some things absolutely groundbreaking, totally unheard of, and by Hollywood’s standards, a little bit crazy. What we do is pay for our own stuff. No backers, no financing, no grants, no foundations, just us. I think the challenge is making the general public understand what goes on behind the scenes to take on these efforts. The blood,the sweat and the tears I have seen most of us go through in order to deliver a quality product to market. I’ve seen 2nd mortgages, foreclosures, pawning of cameras, bankruptcies, and a slew of financial worries, to make most thankful for their 9 to 5’s. Hell I’ve even had to start plucking more gray hairs monthly because of these endeavors. And please let us NOT begin the narrative of early morning chest pains that jump up until that first cup of coffee.

My point, you may ask again? You gotta love my people to do what we do. We all have always heard the clarion call of support our own. From the Black Buying Boycott day (still ticked at whoever came up with that idea, zero units sold for 2 days on AMAZON) to the Black Shopping Network, to the “I’m down for supporting Black products, Brother (fist raised) ” I meet no matter what city I’m in. The challenge is that more often than not, our attitudes just don’t seem to translate into actions when it comes to specific independent efforts outside of music. I know probably one of the greatest spoken word poets ever in Taalam Acey.

If talent equated to compensation for your efforts, this man would make Donald Trump look poor. Gary Johnson, of and author of book “25 things you need to know in life” an inspiring book, should be part of your daily read for like a year. And finally Lamar Tyler with his 10,000 fans on FaceBook. What do we all have in common? All struggling to keep the electricity on, thinking about disconnecting the phone lines because of that HELOC loan that slipped behind, or dang, “If I could just manage to get 20 of the 100 people at this event to understand if they loved this so much, and you want to see more of it, you kind of have to buy something to support it”.

I know this is touchy with us, and I KNOW HOW WE DO, with that being said, I wanted to give anyone out their some direction around this whole deal; in the jerry McGuire diatribe of “help me, help you”. This is a tough line to walk, I don’t want to instill guilt to manipulate. I don’t want to appear to be grupmy and definitely don’t want to seem like we’re begging. With that being said, here’s a stab at a specific course of action that will ensure that this artform doesn’t turrn into, well, MC HAMMER, here today, gone tomorrow, and back in 20 years.

In bullet points, and summary:
1.While you may see us on CNN, CSPAN or any MSM outlet, I have never met an independent (non-major studio associated) artist who is just out right looted

2.Most of us out here are self-financed in debt up to our necks, and struggling to continue to advance this medium.

3.We love what we do, and if everything was right with the world we would do it for free.

4.We all are probably as guilty as the next guy of the “hook a brother up mentality”, by lifting free cable, downloading from Napster, or coping a bootleg at the barbershop. (now I’m feeling guilty ~ sorry all of you 80’s stars like D-Train)

5.I know right is right and wrong is wrong, and this instance, we need a “do the right thing mentality”. To sustain the lifeline of an emerging and necessary outlet, help us break the stranglehold that studios, networks and MSM have about the necks of the black community, this includes you Blacks Embarrassing Themselves.

6.Please support your local independent filmmakers by more than kind words on a twitter entry. While we love and appreciate the encouragement, really hook a brother up, BUY the dag gone movie. And if you’re feeling super generous, send a dollar! Really it’s a simple best bit of encouragement we can get.

7.And instead of burning a copy for your boys, please insists that your friends get their own.

8.And if you really want to help us out, send out one of those emails that says “if you don’t forward this to all of your email friends, you’ll have seven years bad luck, and your dog is going to get measles.
Thanks, we love you, and truly appreciate the hook-up.


Question: Do you think Black folks love "hookups" too much? What can be done to make independent black film a more lucrative business?

More From Janks Morton [WBMT Blog]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How And Why Obama Is Losing The Messaging Battle.

So, Obama's only been in office about 8 months, and the country is seemingly more fractured than at any point in recent history. Folks are packin' AR-15's at townhalls. The approval numbers are slipping. Healthcare reform might not get done this year. Doom and gloom about a suddenly out of control spending spree in DC have many "real Americans" questioning whether or not our Constitution is under attack. The stimulus money ain't workin'. Unemployment is high than a muv. And it's hard to understand why none of what Obama has done thus far is helping.

One thing that continually pisses me off about this administration is its total and complete lack of anything resembling organization when it comes to messaging. For all the props Obama rightfully gained for running a tip top campaign, watching the various Obama Administration flunkees fumble the whole "public option or no public option" football last week was indicative of just how bad WH communications are. Seriously.
As the White House seeks to regroup on health care before Congress returns next month, the president and his senior officials face a problem as old as politics: how to effectively combat misinformation about the bill.

Polling done earlier this week by NBC shows the extent of the challenge before the Obama administration. Fifty five percent of those tested said illegal immigrants would get health care under the legislation while 54 percent said they believed passage of the bill would lead to a government takeover of the system. Nearly half (45 percent) said that the legislation would allow the government to make decision about the medical care of the elderly -- hello death panels!

According to the Associated Press and the NBC Political Unit, each of those claims have -- at best -- a thread of truth to them. No matter. Perception matters greatly in politics, a point that has been proven time and time again in the history of campaigns.

The challenge for the Obama administration is that to find ways to rebut the misinformation about the plan, is to, in essence, try to disprove a negative. Two factors complicate those efforts.

First, because the health care bill is so complicated it is easy for those who seek to capsize the legislation to cherry-pick elements to make their case against it.

Second, the fact that the president has not come out in favor of specific elements of a bill he favors -- preferring instead to speak in terms of general principles he supports and leaving it up to Congress to hash out the specifics -- means that there is nothing hard and fast for Obama supporters around which to rally.
So what's the problem? How can this be fixed? Here's my analysis.

Barry Needs More Swagger - Folks blame you when things are bad with the economy. Rub the recent Dow rally (9,500 and rising, from a low of 6,800 in February) in their friggin' faces. Come up with some numbers to quantify how many state and local jobs the Stimulus has saved, how many cops, firemen, and teachers have been hired, and how many people have kept unemployment and health benefits as a result. Explain that most of the stimulus money hasn't been spent yet because local jurisdictions have to apply for funds (they aren't just throwing money out the door) and have to explain where and how the money will be spent, thus minimizing the potential for rampant waste. How come I know the Stimulus package was 40% tax cuts, yet the GOP is able to successfully paint it as out of control spending? How come you let the GOP tag you as a spender, when reality is, the deficit you inherited was also a record one that included 2 bailouts, 2 wars, and out of control Medicare expenditures, which you're trying to get in check with your healthcare overhaul? Why am I able to articulate this far better than any of your well paid, but exceedingly incompetent staffers? Control the message. Be proactive. You've done some good stuff already, take credit for it.

Barry Needs To Stop Campaigning And Do His Job - Part of me wonders if this is just the bad side of Obama's "go along to get along" style of leadership. Sometimes it seems like he's so hellbent on consensus building and not offending any potential voters that he sounds like he's already campaigning for 2012. Well guess what Barry, you already got the job! Kill the nonsense. Quit worrying about the GOP and voters who wouldn't give you credit if you cured cancer tomorrow.[1] Eff' em. You are going to be re-elected based on whether your economic and domestic agenda are working come 2012, not based on how many folks you can get to "cross the aisle". Some of these folks think you're a Muslim who was born uncircumcised in a Kenyan manger to an Indonesian father. Eff' em.

Barry Needs To Get His Pros In Check - C'mon man, how can you have Sebelius saying one thing, Gibbs saying another, and Bill Burton something entirely different? Get your lies facts straight. Make sure everybody's on the same page.

Barry Needs To Dumb It Down - I'm continually puzzled as to why folks think Obama is some master orator. Having seen him speak in person 2-3 times now, I have yet to see anything even remotely close to the lyrical brilliance of the "Run, Jesse Run!" era of Rebb'n Jackson. He ain't even a Rebb'n Al for that matter. Part of the problem is that he seems so intent on proving his intelligence that he can't just give short, to the point answers. Witness how 4 questions can be stretched into a 60 minute primetime presser. How come the Gates question was the only thing folks remember from an entire healthcare press conference? Stop trying to be a college professor. Only 27% of Americans even have a college degree. Less is more. Dumb. It. Down.

Barry Needs To Quit Letting The Hill Run Thangs - For worse (in this case) or for better, Obama has left the sausage-making of much of his legislation in the hands of folks like Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. I haven't seen such a disjointed trio entrusted with this much unchecked power since Dallas had the 3 J's. Like it or not, these folks are three very easy targets (for various reasons), and with their own agendas (including re-election) they aren't always going to be looking out for your best interests. You need to ride over there, step out the Presidential DeVille, and let these folks witness the wrath of Barry's C.Y.I.N. Speaking of which...

Barry Needs To Publicly C.Y.I.N. On A Foe - C'mon, when has Obama just broke bad and put a muthaf*cka in check? {Crickets} Barry, you need to make an example of somebody, to justify your thug if nothing else. Seriously, go to one of those townhalls and YouTube posterize somebody. Barney Frank did it. Hillary just did it. Why can't you do it? Huh? On the other hand, it's entirely possible that Obama simply doesn't have this in him. That admission would be disappointing on many levels, but would explain a lot. A good surrogate could pick up some of the slack here, but that person would obviously need to be on the same page at all times.

Barry Needs Kill The Cute Sh*t - America's cultural anthropology of the first Black Family Evar was interesting at first. It was cool watching the process of choosing the dog. Cool gawking at the kids first days at school. Cool listening to Grandma Robinson hold court. But guess what? It's time to kill the cute sh*t. You're no longer campaigning. Your personal quirks (Honest Tea, Ray's Hell Burger, date nights, reportedly bowling a 144) aren't interesting anymore. We get it, you're a cool guy. And guess what, we like cool guys, but we sorta prefer a President who can be an a$$hole when needed. Please stop using unnecessary photo ops to get us to like you more. We like you (witness your still high personal popularity ratings). But we ain't vote for Mr. Congeniality (witness the widening disconnect between your policy ideas and your personal popularity ratings) to lead the nation. All this blahzay blah is undermining your levity. Leave the cameraman at home. Just quit it.

Barry Should Avoid The Race Card At All Costs - Let's face it, yeah, a lot of the criticism you face is little more than poorly disguised dislike for a black(ish) President. But between Skip Gates, Father Pfledger, and Rebb'n Wright, reality is, your race card is pretty much revoked. You can't call a spade a spade without getting in trouble. Find some surrogates (preferably white folks, for obvious reasons) who can be a mouthpiece for you instead.

Barry Needs To Kick Robert Gibbs To The Curb - I been sayin' this since Day One, but every day this buffoon is given an hour to hold court, he shows exactly what happens when you hire your boy, rather than hiring the best person for the job. Could this dude be any more of a walking punchline? Last week's unnecessary pissing match with Fox News' Major Garrett should have been the breaking point. Why Gibbs is likely preparing for his daily briefing as you read this is beyond me. Jamal Simmons is still working at Sizzler. Rescue him, Barry.

Question: Do you think the Obama WH is losing the messaging battle? Are some folks simply going to dislike everything he does regardless, or could more consistent messaging from the WH convince some folks?

The Mystique of Misinformation [WashPost]

[1] Bush cured BrainFreeze, and even he didn't get credit for it.

President Hannity?!? Nilla Please.

The whole "popularity vs actual talent" thing is a timeless debate that applies to nearly every field of human endeavor. In short, just cause a lot of folks (supposedly) like you, doesn't mean you're particularly good. If that logic were true for Black America alone, them Lil' Wayne would be considered the GOAT, Tyler Perry would be considered an artistic genius, and Reggie Bush would be headed to Canton. Obviously, none of the above statements is even remotely true, but it's unlikely that any of the aforementioned guys would even consider it them either. There is indeed a such thing as getting high on your own supply.

Someone needs to explain this to Fox News talker Sean Hannity.
Talk-show host Sean Hannity, a vocal opponent of Barack Obama's policies, said today he would not rule out a bid for the presidency in 2012.

Egged on by radio colleague Bill Cunningham, Hannity said he would consider entering the front lines of the political fray if God directs him.

"I've never made a decision in my life without – whatever destiny God has you've got to fulfill it," he said. "I'm not sure that's my destiny."

Hannity would make a formidable candidate, with the likability of Reagan, good looks and strong convictions. He's also a polished communicator and knows the issues inside out. And he can debate. Hannity hosts the second-largest radio program in America, after Rush Limbaugh, and a highly rated nightly TV show on the Fox News Channel.

While Obama's approval ratings have been plummeting in his first year in office, no clear Republican frontrunner has emerged. The candidates most often considered viable include Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Hannity's Fox News colleague Mike Huckabee.

Cunningham, one of Hannity's guests during a visit to Cincinnati today, said the nation and the Republican Party need Hannity.

When WND asked Hannity to repeat what he said on the air about a run, he said, "I ducked."

Later in the program, a member of the audience asked what the host thought of a Hannity-Palin ticket. The studio audience erupted in applause.

Hannity asked: "Would any of you really want me to run?"

Loud applause followed.

Hannity then asked, "How about I just stay on the radio?"

No applause.
I don't know what's sadder: the fact that a bunch of sheep minded followers think Hannity is intellectually capable of running for President, or that Hannity himself even thinks the idea is remotely plausible. Let's be honest, if there's a Conservative who's generally less informed and clings to talking points like they're guns and religion, I've yet to watch/hear him. Hannity went to two colleges and never graduated from either, despite a silver spoon upbringing of Lord Island prep schooling. He is, in short, famous for nothing more than finding a niche, and running it into the ground. Does that make him Presidential material? If so, why not make Kim Kardashian his running mate, since she's equally vapid and inexplicably famous for doing much of nothing.

And since I'm on the topic, it always amuses me that some folks consider Fox News the gospel, and brand it a superior product because it's far and away the highest rated cable news channel. Let's keep it one hunned: Fox News is highly rated because Conservatives and Liberals (who comprise more than half of its viewership) alike love a trainwreck. Human nature prefers being entertained more than being informed. Agitation is a perverse, but attractive form of entertainment, and Fox News provides this in droves. Hell, I watch it myself, if for no other reason than it makes me feel like a genius when I watch nonsense like this.

I mean c'mon, who the hell gets pnwed/ethered/murdered shown up on their own show by a damn D-list comedian? Could you take a guy like that seriously? Is this dude Presidential material if he can get outdebated by a guy who was once most famous for being married to Roseanne?


Question: How outlandish does the concept of Hannity For President sound? Who would be his running mate?

President Hannity? Talker drops hint [WorldNetDaily]

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Need Some Fantasy Football Draft Advice!!!

As ya'll know, I'm no huge NFL fan. Football's little more than a filler between the dog days of Summer and the merciful start of NBA training camp, but that doesn't mean I don't indulge in the great American pasttime of fantasy football. In fact, if there was no fantasy football, I might never even watch football. Oddly, even though I'm only a casual NFL fan, and never played the sport, I always seem to end up in the playoffs (got blown out in last year's SuperBowl, always make the playoffs) of my office/college buddies league. Go figure.[1]

[Admittedly Pointless Editor's Note: I went to my first Redskins game in ages the other night, as AverageBrotherInLaw (the same one with the Inauguration Hookup) got us some incredible seats for the preseason home opener vs The Steelers. It's pretty sad watching half your not-so-full stadium cheering for the opposing team. It's even worse when the few fans of the home team celebrate eking out a pointless preaseason game as if they're hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Asked it before, will ask it again, is there a worse major sports city than DC?!?]

Anyways, since I'm signed up for this fantasy thing yet again, I need some help since I haven't really been on my RSS reader grizzly of late and am out of the loop. I'm marginally aware of the big name trades/free agent pickups, but I know little about this year's rookies, so I will need some advice for tomorrow' draft.

Question: Who are this year's fantasy steals? Any big name players injured? Any big name players I should avoid drafting like the Swine Flu? What's your team called?

[1] A snarky comment from Inquisitive Mind is coming in 5...4...3...2...

Can Black People Be Racist?!?

We'll keep this one short and sweet, since the title more or less says it all. Can Black folks, in the post-racial year of 2009, be racist?

HBCU/Barbershop K'Nowledge says that black folks can't be "racist" because we "don't have the power to oppress others". I've never really, really understood that whole line of reasoning, especially since I sometimes hear it said in a town/city where the mayor is black, the school superintendent is black, and the city council is mostly black. Is political capital, even the elected kind, not indeed power? Can't that power be used to "oppress others"?

My read is yes, indeed, Negroes can be (and sometimes are) just as racist, prejudiced, and ignorant as anyone else. I don't necessarily think "power" has anything to do with racism. "Power" can be used to oppress, sure, but so can words and actions. You don't need a title to make someone feel "less than". The Klan weren't (always) folks in positions of power either. They were (and still are for the most part) just some marginalized, ignant, hating bastards with strength in numbers. Does than make them not-racist?

I won't belabor the point, but I really want to see what ya'll think.

Question: Can Black people be racist?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'd Pay To See This Movie.

Empowering Ourselves [Official Website]

When Keepin' It FaceBook Goes Wrong.

Question: Got any FaceBook relationship stories to share?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Why Janet & Jermaine Broke Up...

Hat tip to Listen To Leon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Erry'body Hates Michelle-O...

Some folks ain't happy about those shorts, or something. Here's a smattering of supportive comments from My Favorite Termagant's Blog. I would have copied and pasted more, but my heart wrist got tired.
My eyes! quick! someone put an apple in the pigs mouth and put her on the spit.

How about a viewer warning next time…please?

First, the media was publishing too many pictures of Duh Ones man-boobs! NOW we’re gonna have too many pictures of Mrs. Duh Ones THUNDER THIGHS!!

I want 100 bucks on 30 pounds since last fall. no way she has not gained 30 pounds

Michelle O, First Drag Queen

Yeah, she’s doing a bang-up job of lowering the standards set by distinguished women that came before her.

Chewie in shorts? Not good. Keeping it real has it’s drawbacks. It’s like watching a Good Times rerun.

They need to go back to Chicago. They’re more at home there.

Frankly I could not care less what she wears or if she wears anything. I have no interest in this woman whatsoever. Sorry. However a super-sized baggie might work.

I could have gone all year without that image of Obama in my eyes, Michelle. Please if you are going to post such images in the future send out some kind of warning and an expiration so I will know to stay away until the image runs its course.

Another pig with lipstick.

Dude looks like a lady.

Whats next??? 20 yr old rusty caddy,s on blocks on white house lawn……

Looks like a gunny sack with two bulldogs fighting.

When they get done checking the South African runner, maybe they could stop by the white House because I have doubts…

Forty axe-handles wide.

Sorry to ask this, but does she even have a bra on?

The Clampetts are in DC… cavorting among their new found riches… but their hearts are of the ghetto moochers…

The golden Sasquatch rides again!

No class. The two of them have absolutely no class. Surprised she doesn’t have a huge floppy hat and enormous sunglasses and flip-flops. Nice to see they are bringing back the term, “Ugly American”.

I was just getting used to the blessed silence on the topic of Michelle Obama when my eyes see this. UGH, back to the decontamination chambers. Please waterboard me again, just don’t uncover anything else.

the beast wearing shorts on AF1 should not shock anyone, the standards have been lowered to gutter level to accommodate the trash living at the wh now.
Yep, post-racial America! Feel The Power!

Question: Do you feel post-racial after reading those comments from "real Americans"?

And now for some hard-hitting reporting on Michelle Obama []

The LightSkinnded/DarkSkinnded Paradox.

[Editor's Note: To all my white readers, be forewarned. This is gonna sound like "inside baseball" to ya'll. You might just wanna watch this one from the sidelines. And before you ask, yeah, we've already touched on this subject before. Chime in anyway.]

I will freely admit that I read "black gossip" blogs. No shame in my game. I like the momentary escape of belittling another person's life to make me feel momentarily better about mine just as much as the next (wo)man. And let's face it, anyone who partakes in (quasi)celebrity culture in any way, shape, or form (ie: reality TV, tabloids, blogs, generally greasy talk) is essentially admitting the same, whether they use the same words or not. There's isn't necessarily anything wrong with that, as we just discussed here yesterday.

[PM Update: Sandra Rose (whose posts I quote in this article) apparently knows how to Google her own name. Yippie, great for her! This post is now being discussed over there as well. Her comments are closed to outsiders, so I can't say what I'd really like to say. Bummer.]

One interesting pattern I always see develop on black gossip blogs is when a black guy with some level of fame is seen out with a black woman. If the woman is lightskinned, with long hair (a term so common it even has an accepted acronym: LSLH), the guy will inevitably be pelted with all sorts of insults in the comments section about how he dislikes "real" black women, and probably wants a white girl anyway.[1] On the other hand, a black man seen with a brownskinned woman (a term that doesn't have an acronym of its own), he'll usually get commended for "keepin' it real" and "staying true".[2] For an example of this paradox, just Google the terms "NBA player's wife" and "Denzel Washington's wife".

How a man's character (or a woman's, I've seen the same happen in reverse, albeit not as frequently) can be called into question simply because of the skin tone of his mate/spouse is beyond me. Why this sort of thing is tolerated, and considered an acceptable norm in 2009 is downright ludicrous. It's been roundly agreed upon (even here) that Michelle Obama's skintone is what helped make Barack more endeared to black America. And it's equally sad that many Negroes openly admit that without her, he'd lack quite a bit of "street cred".

I don't want to get into some overblown discussion about the light/darkskinned "conflict" in black America, and I sure as hell don't want to go all the way back to slavery and discuss the origins of the tension. That's not necessary. Let's stick to the here and now.

Why is is acceptable to question a man's integrity because he dates a LSLH woman, yet give him props for dating a "real Black woman" if his mate looks like D. Woods?[3]

And for the record (and the inevitable haters), my wife is brownskinned (I am too for that matter), longhaired (when she isn't busy cutting it) and baaadd than a muv. So this has absolutely nothing to do with any personal hangups. It's just something that continually bugs me, and darnit, I'd like an explanation.

Question: Why is it ok to hate on lightskinned, longhaired women, yet brownskinned sistas are "keepin' it real"?

[1] Notable exception: Kayne's girlfriend Amber Rose, who oddly seems to be a role model of sorts to some women. Go freakin' figure.

[2] Notable exception: Usher's now-ex wife. Man, black women will not cut that sista a damn break. I got my theories on why, but what are yours?

[3] Whom I think is incredibly beautiful. Not that you asked.

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Michelle O's Bare Legs.

So, it's the dog days of summer. The news cycle is barren. NFL season ain't started yet. You gotta talk about somethin' to fill the hours, so the MSM is back on that ole' cultural anthropology tip again.

[Editor's Note: Don't slam Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan for her comments during the segment above. She's simply playing Devil's Advocate.]

One thing that continually pisses me off is how those in the media always seem to tag DC is as some stodgy, uncool city. Anyone who's lived here knows it ain't exactly Ocean & Collins, but dang, DC ain't exactly Topeka either. Giving the whole city some lame "buttoned-up" image, mainly based on the cultural and fashion sense of a few hundred folks on The Hill is tantamount to saying everyone in LA is a waiter who's working on a screenplay. How silly does that sound? Probably just as silly as branding a diverse city of nearly 600,000 by looking at a handful of folks who don't even technically live there.

Enough already, there's Federal Washington, and then there's DC. They ain't the same.

Anyways, the real nonsense here is why folks are frothing at the mouth because Michelle O is wearing shorts. On vacation. In the Summer. Did I mention the vacation and Summer parts?

They ain't Daisy Dukes or Coochie Cutters, they more or less look like the same thing I saw hundreds of middle aged women wearing at the shore in Delaware last weekend. Why is this even news? Can you say "manufactured controversy"?

Question: Were Michelle Obama's short shorts Ashy Or Classy? Is this much ado about nothing, or does the title of First Lady demand a certain level of decorum?

Who, Exactly, Is Outraged At Michelle Obama's Shorts? [Newsweek]

Michelle Obama 101: How much weight has Michelle Obama gained since the election? [Examiner]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

John Stewart Has Some Great Writers.

The Daily Show does it again. Man, is this like shooting fish in a fishtank or what?

Yeah, sure, I know, if the Conservatives had a guy as witty as Stewart on their side, they could deliver an equally scathing critique of liberals. But they don't.[1] Sorry. And that's why this show is so brilliant.

Question: Is there a Conservative equivalent to The Daily Show? Do cable news commentators (on both sides of the aisle) realize just how easy it is to refute their arguments in the age of YouTube?

[1] Fox News' Daily Show knockoff, Red Eye is just plain awful.

Caster Semenya - Chick Or Dude?!?

You make the call.

I agree that Semanya looks a little too much like DeMar DeRozan for her own good, but this strikes me as a bit silly. I mean c'mon, how hard would it be to confirm this?

Question: Is Semayna a dude or a chick? Is this ish' racist?

Caster Semenya is a gold medalist but is she a she? [Examiner]

What Would You Do?!? - Ballin' Outta Control.

The old idiom states that "a fool and his money shall soon part ways". Well, surprise, surprise, another day, another NBA player ripped off. What's new?
Carmelo Anthony is suing his former business manager, alleging he misappropriated more than $2 million of the Denver Nuggets star's assets.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, Calif., on Monday, alleges that Anthony's former business manager, Larry W. Harmon, and employees of Larry Harmon & Associates P.A., breached their fiduciary duties by transferring $1.75 million of Anthony's money without his knowledge or consent to a company formed by Harmon, most of it in 2008.

Another $265,500 was discovered to have been invested in third parties without Anthony's knowledge or consent between 2005 and 2008, according to the lawsuit, which seeks recovery of the approximately $2 million, plus punitive damages.

Harmon declined to comment Monday on the allegations or on his dealings with Anthony.

Carmelo Anthony is entering his 7th NBA season after being selected 3rd overall in the 2003 draft. He's due to earn $14,400,000 in 2009.
Anthony joins a long list of current and former athletes like Scottie Pippen, Sergei Fedorov, Mike Vick, Raghib "Rocket" Ismail, Drew Bledsoe, and others who have entrusted others to "manage their money", only to be bitten in the a$$. It's little wonder that 60% of NBA players are flat broke within 5 years of retirement. And we have to witness such disturbing displays as this.

Yeah, that's Scottie Pippen, playing in freakin' Sweden, for what's essentially a junior college-level team. At age 40-something. Because he needed the cash.


Why do these guys go broke? The reasons are many: child support, divorce, and frivolous spending, but poor investments are the biggest reason why many of these guys eventually lose everything they make. Few of us are smart enough to know how to manage millions. That's not a course taught at most colleges, and few of these guys go to class anyway. So, it's not exactly a shocker that they place too much trust in folks who invest their money in pyramid schemes, vanity bidnesses (restaurants, record labels), or just outright steal it. The players are so focused on the tangible returns (ie: car wash, clothing line) that it usually takes them years to look at bank statements and realize they've been "got". Most leagues provide financial counseling that encourages players to simply focus on saving what they have rather than attempting to make more. That's a pretty sound suggestion, but who wants to hear that nonsense? Boring.

On the flipside, maybe we shouldn't come down too hard on these guys for not being smart enough to juggle finance and on-field performance. After all, the profession most likely to get swindled isn't even pro athletes. It's doctors.

Question: Given a $120M contract, do you think you'd do a better job of managing it than Carmelo? What would you personally do to ensure you don't go broke once you retire?

Carmelo sues former business manager [ESPN]

The 6 Main Reasons Why Most Pro Athletes Go Broke [CosmoLoan]