Monday, May 31, 2010

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Burger King BBQ Ribs.

Despite being a grilling aficionado, one thing I don't particularly care for is ribs. Yes, I make them, mostly because my wife enjoys them, and because I like the challenge, but they're far from my favorite food.[1]

That said, even though I wouldn't know (or care to know) whether these things are good or totally nasty (my guess), Burger King is for some odd reason now making ribs.
Burger King Corporation (NYSE: BKC) is firing up guests as the first national fast food hamburger restaurant to dish up authentic, juicy, bone-in pork ribs. The new smokey, slow-cooked BK(TM) Fire-Grilled Ribs -- served with a barbecue dipping sauce and in three serving sizes -- make an ideal snack, add-on item or a more indulgent meal. The BK(TM) Fire-Grilled Ribs are available at participating restaurants for a limited time only.

"Fall-off-the-bone ribs and summer go hand-in-hand, and now we are excited to be the first national fast food hamburger restaurant to offer our guests an authentic bone-in rib menu offering," said John Schaufelberger, senior vice president, global product marketing and innovation, Burger King Corp. "Our guests' initial reaction to this product has exceeded our expectations, further validating the BURGER KING(R) system's investment in our new game-changing broiler.

Because of this proprietary cooking technology, we've been able to up the ante in our product development across the board, and BK(TM) Fire-Grilled Ribs are just the beginning of the innovative product line we can offer with this new cooking platform."
Take THAT Double Down!!

Sorry, this just looks and sounds disgusting. And they need to quit it with all that "proprietary cooking technology" BS. Anyone who's ever made ribs knows you can't cook them over direct heat, so unless BK's got a smoker out back, chances are these "ribs" are just unfrozen and run through the flame broiler[2] to add char marks. Again, double nasty.

I suppose if there's a market for the supposedly (I've never tried one, never will) McRib sandwich, someone will like this latest BK atrocity.

Question: Ashy Or Classy?!? Do you think BK ribs are totally disgusting, or would you try some? What about the McRib?

[1] Interesting, yet totally unrelated tidbit: Did you know KFC is the most requested "last meal" for people who are about to be executed?

[2] I worked at BK in high school. If you've never worked fast food and don't know what goes on behind the counter, trust me, you don't wanna know.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

CNN "N"-Word FAIL!!!

No need to lie, if Fox News had done this, I'd be callin' for a boycott right now. Just keepin' it one hunned.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Keep Your Day Job, Sistas.

Quit now and go to nail school. Or Everest College. Or somethin'.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rest In Peace, Gary Coleman.

Well, this definitely isn't good news.
Child actor Gary Coleman has died at the age of 42. Coleman suffered an intacranial hemorrhage when he fell at his Utah home on Wednesday. He eventually slipped into a coma was on life support after the accident.

Coleman has suffered a series of medical problems and run-ins with the law since he was a television and movie star in the 1970s and 1980s. In January, he was arrested on a domestic violence warrant. He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge.

Coleman is best known for his role as Arnold Drummond on the sitcom 'Diff'rent Strokes.'
Rest in peace, Lil' Arnold.

Gary Coleman Dies at 42 [AOLBlackVoices]

Is Obama F*ckin' Up?!?

I know I said I wasn't blogging today, but I gotta get a few Obama-related things off my chest.

News just dropped that The White House had former President Clinton act as an intermediary in the Joe Sestak controversy.
Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he'd be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation.

According to the sources, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel asked Clinton and his longtime adviser, lawyer Doug Band, to talk to Sestak about the race. It's unclear right now whether the White House will say that Clinton was asked to suggest specific administration positions for Sestak, whether Clinton floated positions on his own, whether Clinton discussed other options not related to the administration, or whether employment even came up at all in the talks.

But the news that Clinton is at the center of this whole story is noteworthy on its own because of the former president's stature, and underscores how heavily invested the White House was in dissuading Sestak from running. The White House sent Clinton to talk to Sestak because Arlen Specter, constituting the 60th Dem vote in the Senate, was viewed as key to enacting Obama's agenda.

The White House maintains that Clinton's overtures to Sestak merely constituted an effort to gauge his seriousness about the race, the sources say, adding that Clinton was informally discussing the range of options open to Sestak as part of a larger conversation meant to ascertain Sestak's thinking.
Lets not be naive here: this sort of political maneuvering happens with every Administration, but more often than not, the guy asked to step aside usually doesn't have a chance of winning, and is sapping resources and time from the frontrunner. In Sestak's case, he had a legitimate chance of winning all along, so it's very fair to presume that the WH viewed him as a threat to their agenda, and thus orchestrated this end-around to try and get him to quit.

Personally, I never liked Specter, never thought he was anything other than a greasy politrician who switched parties in the name of self-preservation, and wish Obama and Co. hadn't been so quick to embrace him. With Sestak essentially pummelling him in the primary, it shows the WH should have just remained neutral and let the chips fall.

Since the position Sestak was offered seems to be unpaid, I don't think anything here is illegal, and doubt the story goes any further once the WH releases its statement on the matter. Still, this is a very bad look for Obama, who promised to end politricks as usual and usher in an era of transparency and accountability.

Speaking of which, I also gotta say that unequivocally, Obama's public actions regarding the BP oil disaster have been totally and completely lacking. Let's not get it twisted here, he has provided the folks of the Gulf Coast the necessary federal support from day one to assist with the cleanup, and minimize the possible environmental impact on shore. Watching a guy like Bobby Jindal suggest that building man made islands would somehow magically stop a million gallons of leaking oil a day from harming Louisiana is a textbook example of populist idiocy. The Army Corps of Engineers might not be the most reliable agency for obvious reasons, but they evaluated the feasibility of the barrier plan weeks ago and decided against it. So go sit down, Kenneth Parcell Bobby.

Reality is even if the government had stepped in sooner and taken over the efforts to stop the leak (not to be confused with cleanup efforts, which they are in charge of), we'd still be sitting here today waiting for something to get done. If BP, a company that knows the drilling mechanisms better than anyone can't get this repaired, who in the hell thinks sending in the US military would get things done any quicker? We're more or less stuck with BP. They created the mess, they'll have to fix it, and pay for all the damage this atrocity has caused. Considering how they company cleared $40M in profits (not net, profits!) last year, I don't think they'll have any problem picking up the massive tab for this.

The problem here, as always, is the issue of public perception. Yes, Obama sent the appropriate federal officials from day one, yes he made a quick stop there himself, and yes, I think he's honest when he says he's been paying attention to the goings on there and will hold BP accountable. But fair or unfair, people expect you to drop everything on your plate and respond with unbridled urgency when there's a disaster of this magnitude. Multi-tasking be damned. No, Obama couldn't go down there with a roll of Bounty and sop up all the oil himself, but it would probably soothe a lot of people's nerves if he at least made the token effort. Maybe if he'd held a press conference sooner, visited more frequently, or done something to make himself more visible, his critics would have less to criticize. But perception, as anyone who looks at the effect the Tea Party has had on Obama's approval ratings knows, is ultimately reality.

President Bush rightfully gained a reputation as a guy who didn't respond well in times of crisis. Rudy Guiliani was running the nation post 9-11, not Bush, who famously sat stunned in a classroom full of kids for minutes after being told we were under attack. His response to Katrina was equally lax, as he went about his merry way while people drowned. The administration's "flyover" of New Orleans, and justification that it was "unsafe" on the ground only made magnified the perception that Bush just didn't give a f*ck. And when Obama finally returns to the Gulf Coast today, I can't blame folks who see echoes of Bush's "days late, dollars short" address on the ground long after much of Katrina's initial devastation.

Sure, there are stark differences at play here. BP's disaster was entirely man made and entirely preventable, but ultimately a private sector issue, not a governmental one. Katrina was a man made disaster that was triggered by a natural disaster, that ultimately was magnified by utter and complete incompetence at the state, local, and federal government level. But the net result is the same: two Presidents, both of whom arguably didn't handle things as well as they could of, despite all of the factors that were beyond their control.

I don't like the "Obama's Katrina analogy" any more than you guys do, but it's hard for me to argue that he's handled this as well as he could have. Smart men learn from the mistakes of their predecessors and don't repeat them.

Obama's not lookin' so wise right now.

Question: Is the BP spill becoming Obama's Katrina? What (if anything) could he have done differently? Is perception reality? What's your read on the Sestak issue?

Get On Your SoapBox Day. (Yeah, Again.)

Not that you didn't already notice, but it's been a real struggle for me to deliver the usual quality of daily posts here of late. The Day Job's been kickin' my butt even more than usual, I been back on the road, The Fam needs their time, and something's gotta give. Lately, it's been this blog.

I appreciate everyone that rolls thru everyday to help keep this thing going. Without you guys, there would be no reason for this blog, so pat yourselves on the back, have a cold one, and enjoy this hard earned 3-day weekend. I d*mn sure will be. Hopefully some extended decompression time will recharge my blogging batteries. Hopefully.

Anyways, today, the floor is open. You guys have proven to be a relatively self-sustaining online community. So, start some chatter amongst yourselves. Drop links. Get it poppin'. If you've ever wanted to write your own post for the rest of AverageNation™ to respond to, this is your day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

How To Make $10 Million A Year, And Still Be Flat Broke.

It might shock you guys considering how often I write about the topic here, but I'm sorta sick of these "broke athlete/entertainer" stories. They get repetitive after awhile because they all follow the same pattern.

Baller/athlete gets rich overnight. Baller/athlete gets married/knocks up some chickenhead. Baller/athlete is suddenly not so hot anymore. Baller/athlete goes broke from spousal/child support obligations and ends up playing in The Poconos/Brazilian basketball league to pay outstanding bills. Rinse & repeat.

The common thread in most of these stories is that once the money slows down to a trickle, the once lavish lifestyle can no longer be kept up. But seldom have I heard of a story like that of Knicks center Eddy Curry, who is currently in debt while making an 8-figure salary.
New York Knicks center Eddy Curry defaulted on a $570,000 personal loan while keeping up a lifestyle that included a $17,000-a-month suburban New York home, a $6,000-a-month personal chef and a dozen cars he'd bought for himself and relatives, a judge said.

On Friday, a Manhattan court ordered Curry to pay $75,000 a month to lender Allstar Capital Inc. to resolve a debt that swelled to $1.2 million with interest. The court also has issued an order letting Las Vegas-based Allstar seize three of the cars: a Rolls Royce Phantom convertible and two Land Rover SUVs, all 2009 models.

Curry earned $10.5 million this season and is scheduled to make $11.3 million next season in the final year of his contract. But the former No. 4 pick in the NBA draft has been dogged by financial and legal problems in recent years.

He took out the $570,000 personal loan in February 2008, promising to pay it back in five months at a nearly 85 percent annual interest rate -- legal in Nevada, according to Allstar lawyer Donald N. David.

Curry argued he couldn't pay off the debt at $75,000 a month because of his existing bills, which include $30,000 a month in household expenses at his family's White Plains, N.Y., home, nearly $17,000 a month in payments to various other relatives and more than $1,000 a month in cable and satellite TV service, according to the court order. It said his wages already are garnished for more than $207,000; the order didn't explain why, and lawyers wouldn't elaborate.

Curry has played only 10 games over the last two seasons, sidelined by injuries, illness and ineffectiveness. Much of his time off has been spent fighting legal problems. He was sued by his former limo driver, who alleged verbal abuse and sexual harassment; that case is headed for court-ordered arbitration. He also was drawn into a custody battle over his then 3-year-old son, Noah Henry, after the murder of his former girlfriend last year.

Curry also sued his former agent and business manager after a bank moved to foreclose on Curry's $3.7 million home near Chicago.
Reading this nonsense, you almost feel bad for Curry if you're a sports fan and somewhat familiar with his plight. For the uninitiated, Curry was once a nimble big man with a soft shooting touch. Centers who can score in the post are a rare commodity in the NBA, so then-GM Isiah Thomas foolishly handed Curry a multi-million dollar contract even though Curry was about as active on the glass as he apparently was on the treadmill. Eventually Curry's weight issues lead to a string of injuries, Thomas got canned, and the Knicks new coach implemented a run & gun offense for which Curry was ill-suited. Instead of trading or releasing him, the Knicks simply decided to put him on the shelf for the past two years, even though you could argue that given their turrible record, they'd be better off with him on the floor.

I'm sure some of you are saying, "big deal, he's still getting $10M a season to do nothing!" and you'd be partially correct. That sounds like a dream job, but imagine if your boss told you your services were no longer needed, but he couldn't fire you for legal and monetary reasons. So instead, he basically makes you come to work everyday and sit in an empty office with a lousy PC that only has solitaire and no web connection for 40 hours/week. Getting money for doing nothing might sound like a dream gig, but imagine the monotony of doing nothing for two whole years, while the rest of the office goes on about its business. By benching Curry for no real reason, that's essentially what the Knicks did.

Dealing with that sort of pressure at work, I can sorta kinda see why Curry might do dumb sh*t just to keep his sanity. $1,000 a month in cable TV might sound outlandish, but I'd imagine this guy has lots of room in his house and plenty of free time to do nothing but watch PPV movies. Seriously, if all you've known your entire life is playing basketball, and now someone's paying you specifically to not play basketball (Curry skipped college and went straight to the NBA), your psyche might be a bit fragile too. I'm just sayin'.

No, I can't defend a guy making $10M a season being so far in arrears he needs to ask his employer for a pay advance, but I can't say I don't understand, at least somewhat.

Question: Do you have any sympathy for Eddy Curry or does his dumb s$$ deserve to be broke for spending so foolishly?

Curry ordered to pay $1.2M debt [ESPN]

3 Play Thursday - Too Short.

It's 3 Play Thursday. Today: Legendary Bay Area rapper Too Short.

Depending on whom you ask, Oakland rapper Too Short is either a trailblazing game-spitter, or a purveyor of the worst kind of misogynistic cRap music. Considering the fact that I've chosen him for 3 Play Thursday, you can prolly guess what side of the debate I fall on. No, I don't particularly care for his tendency to use the word b*tch in every bar, but you can't deny his contributions to the rap game, and any guy who's able to remain employed well into his late 40's in this industry deserves props just on GP. You know what they say, don't hate the player...

Here's a trio of my favorite Short Dog tunes. Cop them headphones and go in.

"Blow The Whistle"

"The Ghetto"

"I'm A Playa"

Question: What's your favorite Too Short tune?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Caption These Photos.

50 Cent Lost 50 Pounds For Movie Role [Rap Radar]

We Owned The 80's - Mediocre TV & Movies.

I'm sure it comes of no shock to anyone reading this blog, but I enjoy watching TV. Lots of it. Yes, I read books, and yes, I have a life. But I shole do loves me some teevee. Movies too.

One thing that constantly irks me about HollyWeird is its lack of originality. For every Avatar, you get a million lousy comic book remakes. This year alone has seen the so-so Clash Of The Titans, and a big screen adaptation of The A-Team is due in theaters very soon. Raise your hand if you are excited about this movie.

Damnit, does Bradlee Cooper have to be in every movie? Really? And who the heck is this guy playing BA Barakus? He's way too softspoken. Wasn't Terry Crews available? He woulda played a good Mr. T. Not that I care, cause I always thought the original was boring.

Even worse, now CBS is pulling the lousy Hawaii 5-0 out of the mothballs. Did anyone even like the original Hawaii 5-0? Does anyone remember anything about it other than "book'em Danno" and the theme music?

Much like that turrible Miami Vice movie a few years ago with Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell, something tells me this TV show won't bear any resemblance to the original other than its location. So again, what's the point?

Since remaking mediocre 80's TV and films seems to be all the rage right now, how about they do me a solid and try these on for size...

What's Happenin'? - A show about a trio of corny teenagers who hang out at a greasy spoon everyday after school probably wouldn't be as interesting nowadays. BTW, can someone explain to me why a trio of corny teenagers would hang out at a greasy spoon everyday after school? Did one of them work there, or did they just go so Re-Run could harass Shirley for some free pie? Refresh my memory.

Howard The Duck - Yeah, it was stupid, and the duck suit was cheesy. But it was a funny movie, and imagine how cool Howard would be in 2010 CGI form.

Alf - Again, cheesy show, but imagine the CGI possibilities.

Better Off Dead - "I Want My Two Dollars!" This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and probably the best of those 80's teenage angst films. I don't know who could take John Cusak's place, but still.

Knight Rider - Ooops. Already happened. And yeah, it sucked.

V - Ooops. But this remake was actually sorta good.

Soul Man - This flick about a white guy who takes tanning pills to turn himself black so he can get a minority college scholarship wouldn't fly today either. All the jive talkin' and race jokes would ensure it never got greenlit.

Back To School - Hard to remake without Rodney Dangerfield.

The Last American Virgin - The best of those 80's teenage t*t flicks.

The Dukes Of Hazzard - Triple oops.

The Last Dragon - This one was rumored a few years back, they'd even signed Samuel Jackson to play Sho-Nuff, then the idea pretty much died. Interestingly, right after the rumors of the remake broke, I started seeing the movie pop up on the channel guide of TV One every other weekend. Mere consequence? Hmmmmmm.

Question: Got any lousy 80's movies or TV you'd secretly like to see remade? Did you see everything on my list?

Name That Sample - "We Live In Brooklyn, Baby".

Name That Sample is simple: I play the original song, you tell me who sampled it. Winner gets a day's supply of Cyber CapriSuns™. As always, no Googling! Google is for losers.

This classic tune by Roy Ayers has been sampled numerous times. But who can name the most songs that have used these delightful bars?

Difficulty Level: Difficult. Think hard. This one's strictly for the cratediggers.

Question: How many songs can you name that used the "We Live In Brooklyn, Baby" sample? Don't be fooled into just listening to the opening bars, or you'll prolly miss half the possible answers. Feel free to cheat and use other commenters' work, but do NOT Google! Google is for losers.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Open Topic Day.

I'm on my grizzly this week, and today I'm in lovely Pittsburgh with a full schedule and a slow Internet connection. I'm sure you already know where this is going. For those of you expecting fresh drops daily, sometimes it beez like this. Bills gotta get paid. Kids can't eat web hits.

[Cop the headphones and cue the city-appropriate soundtrack.]

Anyways, here's a handful of topics I'd prolly blog about if I had a spare waking moment. If you got something else for the peanut gallery, throw it out there.

Darlin' Nikki - What is it with these Sarah Palin endorsees? And what is it with South Carolina politicians and loose zippers? As if Mark Sanford wasn't bad enough, now aspiring Governor Nicki Haley has a Conservative blogger claiming she carried on a longtime affair with him. I don't know any of the related parties well enough to make a call on this one, but in a strange way it's refreshing to find a guy making the philandering claims. I'm just sayin', after all those Tiger Babes, we needed a switchup. Chances are this guy's lyin' on his **** just for some free pub, but you gotta wonder why he'd make something like this up. I could see lyin' about gettin' it in with Halle Berry, or somebody like that. Haley is no Halle.

Is Sestak Lyin'? - Pennsylvania Senate candidate Joe Sestak claims Obama and Co. bribed him with a cushy gubb'ment job if he'd step aside and allow Arlen Specter to win the Democratic primary nod. Of course, Sestak beat Specter handily, and now he's singin' like a bird. The White House is denying everything. Personally, I believe Sestak, but don't really see the point in bringing this up after the fact. You won. Keep it movin'. Chances are you'll prolly need Obama on your side at some point, and you don't want any ill will. Shut up already.

Fergie's Under-The-Table Money - Man, has there been a more humiliating case of "the ***** set me up" since Marion Barry's episode?

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Care - It doesn't effect me in any way, shape, or form, but I suppose any advance in civil rights is good for all humanity.

Put The Brooms Up - I spoke too soon. Both the Tragic and the Suns managed a win, which I'm sure makes the folks at TNT happy, but only prolongs the inevitable Lakers/Suns Final.

Cavs Fire Mike Brown - I have no idea how this marginally talented James Evans lookalike ever got the sweet gig coaching Lebron, but aften getting outclassed year after year in the playoffs, Mike Brown finally got his walking papers. All jokes aside, he seems like a classy guy, and did a good job of managing egos. BTW, Stan Van Gundy should also on the the hot seat.

Question: What you got to say? Speak on it.

Monday, May 24, 2010 NewsBriefs.

I'm workin' harder than usual today. We're talkin' Hebrew slave hard. Here's the rundown.

Sarah Palin Has Some Competition - Is it just me, or does this Rand Paul guy seem like he could give Sarah Palin a run for the title of Ruler Of All Morons. Last week, he essentially told Obama to fall back on his harsh criticism of BP for that little oil spill down on the Gulf. Predictably, when the backlash came, Rand tucked and ran, cancelling a long scheduled visit to Sunday's Meet The Press. Anxious to regain her crown as Ultimate Victim, Palin took to Fox News Sunday. Oddly, even though Palin fancies herself as a champion for special needs children, and Paul idiotically questioned the need for the Americans with Disabilities Act, Chris Wallace doesn't bother pressing her on this.

Call me crazy, but something about her looks a little different. She actually looks, dare I say, good. Or maybe it's just YouTube's super duper HD clip. Yeah, prolly.

Michael Steele, Just Go Ahead And Off' Yourself - Come on, Magic Mike, don't you draw the line somewhere? Tapdancing is bad enough as is, but putting on blackface and essentially defending Rand Paul's stance that would have still had you drankin' out the colored folks fountain? Well, that's just plain shameless.

Damn Mike, grow a pair, already. You'll be kicked to the curb come November, go out with guns blazin'.

Texas Textbooks - Man, what a travesty. Repainting the civil rights movement to make MLK and The Black Panthers ideological soul mates. No hip hop at all. More country music than ever? Slavery gets airbrushed into the "Atlantic triangular trade"? Maybe we'd better start pressing for vouchers and school choice, because our kids really ain't learnin' jack now.

No Magic, Here - Man, did anyone else think we'd be staring at a Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals just 3 weeks ago? I sure as heck didn't, and chances are, this may be the most competitive, entertaining Finals evar. Who ya'll got? Honestly, I can't call it, and won't try to. These two teams are too evenly matched.

Question: Who's got the clueless victim game on lock? Palin or Paul? Why is Mike Steele defending Paul? Who you got in the NBA Finals?

Laugh Break: Craig Robinson.

Most folks prolly just know Craig Robinson as "that black guy with the afro in all those white movies". And yeah, that's about all I knew him for too, but after Hot Tub Time Machine, it looks like dude's his the way up. While there aren't many black comedians doing big box office numbers right now, this guy keeps working and working, and sooner or later he'll get his own flick.

Till then, enjoy this hilarious scene from Zack And Miri. The language is very unsafe for cube dwellers, and features multiple mentions of the "N" and "C" words. Still, tell me you didn't die laughing. I could watch this scene on repeat for hours.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The World's Oldest Liturgical Dancer.

Church folks, just stop it already. Stop it!!!

Hang tight till the 2 minute mark, or you'll completely miss it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Want My Two Dollars!

I know this isn't supposed to be funny, and this guy clearly has some mental issues, but sheesh, is this hilarious.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rand Paul Doesn't Care About Black People.

TeaBaggers nationwide screamed with delight when Libertarian hero Rand Paul won the GOP nod for Kentucky US Senate earlier this week, beating out a party-chosen establishment candidate. Common sense would dictate that Paul only won the primary because of his father's name, and celebrity status among the Tea Party faithful. The guy is otherwise just an empty suit, a career ear doctor who's never ever lead so much as a PTA meeting, let alone held elected office. I predicted all along that simply by virtue of being a Libertarian, Paul was gonna have issues in a general election. Let's face it, when you're running around talking about abolishing the Department of Education, getting rid of Federal Reserve, eliminating the Fair Housing Act, and other such nonsense, all in the name of preserving "state's rights". It's amazing a guy so anti-Washington wants to relocate to DC next Fall.

Of course, little of that pales in comparison to Paul's latest case of verbal diarrhea.
A tea party conservative on a national stage, Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky labored Thursday to explain remarks suggesting businesses be allowed to deny service to blacks without fear of federal interference, declaring, "I abhor racial discrimination."

In a written statement, Paul said, "I believe we should work to end all racism in American society and staunchly defend the inherent rights of every person."

Paul told CNN he would have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a statement he declined to make one day earlier.

On Wednesday, Paul expressed support for the act's provisions banning discrimination in public facilities, but he had misgivings about extending the same requirement to private businesses — then or now.

"Do you think that a private business has the right to say we don't serve black people?" he was asked by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday.

"Yes. I'm not in favor of any discrimination of any form," Paul said at the beginning of a lengthy answer in which he likened the question to one about limiting freedom of speech for racists. "I don't want to be associated with those people, but I also don't want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that's one of the things freedom requires."

Paul blamed the 24-hour news cycle for the controversy, a point his father, Rep. Ron Paul, emphasized.

Both broadcast interviews on Wednesday referred to a session Paul had with the Louisville (Ky.) Courier Journal last month, when he was asked whether he would have supported parts of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that banned racial segregation at private businesses.

"I think it's a bad business to ever exclude anyone from your restaurant. But at the same time, I do believe in private ownership," he said.
Here's the video that set off the controversey.

Part I

Part II

Paul, naturally, tried to do some Projection 101 and turn the tables on the liberal media and his opponent, calling such criticism a witch-hunt. Never mind the fact that until Rachel Maddow called him out, he'd repeated the same nonsense for months.

Sorry buddy, but anyone who even bothers trying to explain away such comments is a moron. Assuming that private businesses would have simply stopped discriminating against black folks for purely economic reasons without government intervention is just idiotic. In case Paul forgets, this sh*t still happens today (Denny's, anyone?), even with Federal protection laws in place. Anyone who thinks that such a problem would have eventually just solved itself is either delusional, or quite deliberate about the message he wants to sent. I won't even bother touching on his comments about the Americans With Disabilities Act, because they're probably even more indefensible.

Predictably, the GOP is slowing, but surely distancing itself from Paul, and hopefully the fine folks of Kentucky will do the same.

You can't have your country back, Rand. We'd rather take it forward.

Question: Even if you believe the government shouldn't be involved in everything, is there anything Paul said that's worth defending?

Paul tries to defuse controversy on discrimination [AP]

AB Goes To The Movies: Just Wright.

The Tyler Perryfication Of Black Cinema has unfortunately killed off the Negro Date Night tradition of the "urban romantic comedy". A man can't take his significant other to a black movie nowadays without being bombarded with images of black men in drag, horrible gospel sangin', and subplots involving childhood incest. Who the hell wants to deal with all that baggage? A movie's supposed to be a departure from real life. While I'm more than happy for Perry, and I'm always glad to see a brother paying his bills, the whole "rising tide lifts all boats" theory clearly doesn't apply here. TP's gain has been my loss.

Thankfully, Just Wright drops just in time to restore our bourgeois Negro sensibilities, and while it's hardly a memorable movie, let alone a great one, there are far worse ways to blow $40.

Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) is a physical therapist who's quickly approaching her 40's and longs for male companionship, but always seems to get dropped in the "homegirl/buddy/friend" zone by potential suitors. When a chance encounter finds her face to face with New Jersey Nets all-star guard Scott McKnight (Common), she thinks her lonely days are over, only to have her childhood best friend Morgan (Paula Patton) swoop in and methodically steal Scott, culminating in a premature marriage proposal just weeks later. But like most superficial lovers, when Scott gets injured during the All-Star game and finds his career in jeopardy, Morgan jumps ship and leaves Leslie to help Scott rehab his injury. You can prolly smell the improbable Cinderella ending already, so no need to ruin it for you.

This movie's good for lots of reasons. In case you doubted Queen Latifah's star power and ability to carry a movie, all of her likability and magnetism are on full display here. Considering the fact that I once slammed her for making a coontastic movie like Bringin' Down The House, I think apologies are in order. That was a woman with a plan, and the plan meant becoming a leading lady. She's officially arrived. While her chemistry with Common never really pans out, mostly due to the clumsy plotline and occasionally cheesy dialogue, it's good to see he's progressed quite a bit in his short time as an actor himself. After mostly playing hitmen and hired killers to this point, he's believable as a romantic interest, or so says my wife. So I guess there's still hope for Gucci Mane's film career. Paula Patton could just show up and look pretty and I'd still give her two thumbs up, but she works well in the dual role as sidekick and villain.

All this said, since I'm a sports fan and this movie is essentially Brown Sugar: NBA Edition, I gotta say something about the basketball angle in this movie. Quite honestly, it sucks. McKnight is no taller than 5-10, yet he either tomahawk dunks in traffic or shoots flatfooted treys with ease everytime down court. Anyone with a basic knowledge of the NBA knows the New Jersey Nets didn't even play in front of packed houses when they were a title contender a few years back, so watching their legions of rabid fans (including Leslie) stretches the limits of believability. It's loony enough to think the NBA would put an All-Star game in East Rutherford, yet even sillier that the home team would be wearing road jerseys. The Space Jams-caliber basketball sequences are thankfully kept to a minimum, as are cringeworthy cameos by Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard. And it seems like the Nets play the Orlando Magic about 400 times a season. But hey, that's just the details-obsessed fan in me. You probably won't even notice this stuff, and even if you did, it wouldn't take away from your enjoyment.

The Verdict: You won't remember Just Wright the next day, but it's still not a bad way to blow $40 and get a 2 hour escape from reality. Catch the matinee. Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5).

Question: Did you see Just Wright? What did you think?

Just Wright [imdb]

Poll Position: We Gettin' Obama Money!!!

Last week, when the Dow was yo-yo'ing, I wondered how everyone else's 401k looked, so I posed a simple question: Under Obama, has your financial situation gotten better or worse?

The answers were pretty predictable.

So, most of ya'll say things aren't much different under Obama than under Bush. I guess if I gotta look at everything in aggregate, I'd say I'm slightly better off. My retirement savings are finally rebounding to something resembling the pre-recession numbers, mostly because I wisely reallocated to some very conservative holdings when I saw the ship sinking. After some nervous moments early last year, my Day Job is on stable footing, and I've even gotten a promotion. But my home's value has bottomed out, and will probably take another decade to get back to what I purchased it for. Then again, with the Making Work Pay tax credit, among other things, I got a great tax refund this year. So, mixed bag I suppose.

What say ye'?

Question: Has your financial situation improved, gotten worse, or stayed the same since Obama took office.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 Guest Post - Highway To A Husband?!? Damn, Sistas, Are Ya'll Really This Thirsty?!?

[Editor's Note: 2010 is officially The Year Of The Lonely, Childless Professional Black Woman. We've seen some odd stories on that note, but perhaps none beats this. My cyber-sis The Black Snob goes in on the strange case of Julia Yarbough. Show our guest some love you-know-where.]

A friend hipped me to the tale of former Miami TV anchor Julia Yarbough last week, telling me how Yarbough decided to quit her job of more than 22 years in television to "find a husband." Really. Stop laughing. REALLY! There's a Web site and everything! It's called Highway to a Husband! FOR REAL! Go look at it, then come back here to discuss. It's OK. I can wait!

Are you back yet? Did you even leave? Never mind. So, right. This woman, Julia Yarbough, she straight up quit her job and has hit the road with her BFF and is now cruising to national parks and whatnot in search of that elusive unicorn -- available, marriagble penis. Maybe they stopped making penis in Miami. Or Florida. Or the southern United States. I dunno. I see available penis everywhere and I'm in a city that is considered to have the worst marriage prospects in the country. Yet, PENIS! EVERYWHERE! Heyyyy, Penis! What's up? Lookin' good today. Call me.

From Highway To a Husband:
My name is Julia and I'm single. I have had an amazing and exciting career (22 years in the TV news biz), awesome travels, excellent friends and amazing adventures. But even with all that, there’s still something missing: a solid and loving relationship. I've tried everything I can think of - set-ups from friends, blind dates, on-line dating services.... still - NOTHING!

After lots of soul searching, I have decided the best way to find “my” Mr. Right is to shake things up. Drastically change my life.

I walked away from a comfortable income and a life of security. Drastic -yes. But, I knew I was starting to lose faith in the possibility of true love. (Check out my blog “Big Bears and a Manly Man” and read the “Dear John –email” I recently received and you’ll understand why!!!)

So, for the sake of my own heart and for all the singles out there searching for love, I am hitting the road on what I know will be a life-altering journey.
I have to admit a bias. I always thought it was easier for on-air, attractive TV people to find dates than for us print journalism folks. I mean, it's like every day you advertise yourself while describing that crash pile up on the 405. And I'd read about, known countless TV reporters, anchors and weather jockeys who all ended up marrying either within the industry or surgeons or lawyers or local celebrities or those wealthy, upwardly mobile society types. The kind whose last names mean something. After all, you're almost always hosting charity balls and ending up on the cover of local magazines for being so smart, newsy and attractive.

[Editor's Note: I also wrongly assumed a woman like this wouldn't have any issue finding a man. Sheeit, an attractive young lady reading the news in a major media market like DC or Miami is damn near celebrity status. That said, The HighwayToAHusband website is a hot mess of product placement and hiking videos. I smell a Grand Hu$tle here.]

Honestly, I had no clue it was hard for TV people to meet people. Your whole job as a reporter is to meet people. It's all you really do. And this woman was in Miami! It's not like she was news anchoring in Podunk, Alabama (No disrespect to Podunk). Are prospects that bad? Local CBS anchor Vickie Newton in St. Louis was able to find a good hubby and she was in ST. LOUIS! I'm not comparing you to Vickie Newton (who my parents are huge fans of, but that's beside the point), but ... you know? I'm just sayin ... You're disproving my theory that being on TV increases your chances at dates.

And I can understand moving to increase your dating prospects. That was among the many reasons I moved to the East Coast (along with career, diversity and "It's not St. Louis"). And I totally get the notion of getting serious about dating when looking for a mate. You have to be in it to win it. Heck. You could hire a matchmaker. I actually know one personally! I could introduce you! But I don't get the quit your job part -- UNLESS there's a TV show part and a book deal part and movie rights part. Then it all makes BRILLIANT sense. You get two snaps up from me then, girlfriend. I'm nodding my head in agreement. I'm quoting "Player's Club" and telling you to make that money but don't let the money make you.

But, you know? To actually leave a lucrative career in THIS job market to find a husband when marriage is not a guarantee of happiness and to treat marriage like it's some thing on your life checklist along with a house, a car, milk and eggs. I don't get that. I want to get married, but ... you know? I'm just going to keep plugging away at the blog and my writing career WHILE going on dates and meeting new, interesting people. It's called MULTI-TASKING. Not to knock homegirl's hustle. (As I said, if this is for a book deal, she's a marketing GENIUS ...) But if it's not ...

Good luck, you crazy woman!

Question: Is Julia Yarbough's search for a husband a stroke of relationship and marketing genius, or pure, pathetic desperation? Single fellas, would you categorize a woman like this as daringly assertive/attractive, or frighteningly thirsty/desperate/pressed?

Highway To A Husband Website

Rebb'n Wright Says Obama Threw Him Under The Bus? Negro Please.

Among my many fine talents is an impeccable Reverend Jeremiah Wright impersonation. Two years after the Rebb'n came on the scene, at least one family member corners me and makes me do this each and every time I have a cookout or fight party. I don't know how accurate it is, but they seem to be enjoy it, so I must be spot-on. Remind me to show ya'll sometime.

Anyways, just when you thought he'd sailed off into the sunset, along with the cast of other election year characters (Joe The Plumber, Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Pal...), Wright resurfaces, and yeah, he's talkin' reckless yet again.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's controversial former pastor, said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that he is "toxic" to the Obama administration and that the president "threw me under the bus."

In his strongest language to date about the administration's 2-year-old rift with the Chicago pastor, Wright told a group raising money for African relief that his pleas to release frozen funds for use in earthquake-ravaged Haiti would likely be ignored.

"No one in the Obama administration will respond to me, listen to me, talk to me or read anything that I write to them. I am 'toxic' in terms of the Obama administration," Wright wrote the president of Africa 6000 International earlier this year.

"I am 'radioactive,' Sir. When Obama threw me under the bus, he threw me under the bus literally!" he wrote. "Any advice that I offer is going to be taken as something to be avoided. Please understand that!"

The White House didn't respond to requests for comment Monday about Wright's remarks. Several phone messages left by the AP for Wright at the Trinity United Church of Christ, where he is listed as a pastor emeritus, were not returned.

Then-Sen. Obama cut ties with Wright when his more incendiary remarks became an Internet sensation in the spring of 2008. At a National Press Club appearance in April 2008, he claimed the U.S. government could plant AIDS in the black community, praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and suggested Obama was putting his pastor at arm's length for political purposes while privately agreeing with him.

Obama denounced Wright as "divisive and destructive" and later cut ties to the pastor altogether and left Wright's church.
Is this Negro for real? He thinks Obama threw him under the bus? Does he not forget practically flinging himself under the bus with his amateur night at the Apollo routine at the National Press Club? Regardless of your opinion on Wright (I thought he was misunderstood and taken out of context) to that point, most people (including Obama) understandably abandoned ship when they witnessed this minstrel show.

I mean, come on, man! You threw up the freakin' Omega sign at a press conference?[1] What person running for President would co-sign or try and defend that sorta nonsense? Negro Please.

Go. Sit. Down.

Question: Was Rebb'n Wright tossed under the bus by Obama or did he have it coming?

Ex-Obama pastor: 'Obama threw me under the bus' [AP]

[1] To Rebb'n Wright's credit: at least he didn't bark.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

John Wall Or Evan Turner?!?

Last night was easily one of the 10 best sporting-related events I've even personally experienced, and strangely enough, no game was even being played. Thanks to errybody who Tweeted, IM'd, emailed, and texted me with congratulations. I don't think I got that many congrats when my kids were born, but anyways...

In case you are living under a rock, or not on Twitter, my favorite team, the Washington Wizards won the NBA Draft Lottery, and the chance to pick Kentucky phenom John Wall or Ohio State do-it-all swingman Evan Turner.

Ya'll obviously know where I fall in this debate. When you get the #1 overall pick, you go for the best player available, regardless of position. The Wizards are a 26-win team, so they have no right to be choosing based on position. You pick the best player, and figure out how to use him.

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Some folks think Turner makes more positional sense because the Wiz already have Arenas. That's beyond silly. The Wizards ranked in the bottom third of NBA attendance last year. With the rise of hockey and baseball in DC, they are now solidly 4th in the local pro sports pecking order. Picking Evan Turner, nice a player as he might be, will not sell any jerseys or get anyone to renew season tickets. Sure, he could be the next Brandon Roy, but he could also be the next Calbert Cheaney. Do-it-all swingmen come along every year. Game-changing point guards do not.

Besides, I'm always a bit leery of college players who rack up eye-popping stats mostly because they were so much better than their teammates and needed to do everything. Turner needed to grab 9 rebs, and dish out 6 assists a game, because his fellow Buckeyes weren't worth sh*t. Wall, on the other hand, played with 4 other guys who'll likely be first rounders. Big difference. And his stats were still pretty good.

Besides, when teams ignore obvious talent and try to "pick for need" early on the results can sometimes be disastrous. Hawks' fans (all 4 of ya'll), how's that Marvin Williams thing working out for ya'? Wouldn't the Blazers look much better with Kevin Durant? What if the Pistons had skipped Darko and chosen D-Wade, Bosh, or Melo?

Again, pick the best freakin' player!!!! Let the chips fall where they may.

Wall and Arenas can co-exist. The Zards began running a "two-guard" offensive system at the end of last season in anticipation of his return, and by all accounts Wall is an unselfish player who knows how to fit into a team concept. Common sense would dictate that you give them at least a season to see if it works out. If it doesn't work out, the team can find some creative ways of dumping Gil, be it via lopsided trade or buyout. Wall's the future. Period.

Adding Wall to a nucleus of young, but unproven players who got the opportunity to play during last year's throwaway season more of less guarantees this team can battle for a playoff spot this season. Add in a few smart free agent pickups (I personally like the idea of going after Rudy Gay), and if nothing else, I've got reason to keep my Wizards bobblehead collection in my office for another year without shame.

Go Wizards!

Question: Should the Wizards pick the best player available, or simply go for the best fit?

Carrie Prejean: Take Two.

She's now just a footnote in last year's cultural lexicon, but you might remember Miss California Carrie Prejean's ascent to Conservative Media Darling/Damsel In Distress. The bleached blonde enjoyed about 14 minutes of fame when many on the right turned her into a martyr for keepin' it real and giving a typical evangelical answer to a question about gay marriage during last year's Miss USA. Prejean rode this strange bout of victimhood till the wheels eventually fell off when it was discovered that she'd taken some cheesecake photos, and filmed some errrr "private movies" that eventually became public. For hoisting a supposedly maligned American to celebrity status without doing their requisite homework, many on the right ended up with egg on their face yet again. Joe The Plumber, anyone?

Of course, as long as there's a political point to be made, many on the right will suppress whatever dignity they have remaining to make said point, ignoring the obvious consequences when said point proves invalid and blows up in their faces. And watching this latest faux controversy in its infant stages, I can't help but wonder how long it'll be before some incriminating photos of their latest poster child surface on TMZ.
An unhappy crowd booed Miss USA judge Oscar Nunez when he asked Miss Oklahoma Morgan Elizabeth Woolard a question about Arizona’s immigration law on Sunday night’s pageant.

But could Woolard's answer have cost her the crown?

The "The Office" star asked Woolard if she supported Arizona’s right to enforce the law, which requires police to verify a person's immigration status if there's "reasonable suspicion" that the person is in the country illegally.

Woolard said she supports state's rights, adding that she is against illegal immigration, but is also against racial profiling.

"I'm a huge believer in states' rights. I think that's what's so wonderful about America," Woolard said. "So I think it's perfectly fine for Arizona to create that law."

The night's events mirrored last year's pageant, when gossip blogger Perez Hilton asked Miss California Carrie Prejean if she believed in gay marriage. Prejean said she didn't, and a media firestorm ensued, with many arguing that it cost her the Miss USA title.

Woolard lost out to 24-year-old Miss Michigan, Rima Fakih.

Pageant officials said historical pageant records were not detailed enough to show whether Fakih was the first Arab American, Muslim or immigrant to win the Miss USA title. The pageant started in 1952 as a local bathing suit competition in Long Beach, California.

During the interview portion, Fakih was also asked a question on a hot-button issue. She was asked whether she thought birth control should be paid for by health insurance, and she said she believed it should because it's costly.

Fakih, took home the crown, despite nearly tripping on her evening gown.
Here's the video.

I don't think Nunez was trying to trap Woolard with a question, and I also think Woolard's answer was much more reasonable that Prejean's doddering nonsense. The "I'm against racial profiling" add-in was also reasonable. There's nothing really controversial about her answer, which is why the rush for many to say she was robbed seems silly.

Call me nuts, but I can't help but notice how Miss Michigan's ethnicity, vis-a-vis the defeated Miss Oklahoma's, keeps getting brought up. Of course, some not-so-savory photos of her have already surfaced on the web, so what the hell do I know?

Question: Did Ms. Oklahoma lose "cause she's Conservative", or simply cause Miss Michigan was hotter? Do liberals find similarly flawed mascots to advance their social issues?

Miss Oklahoma Named First Runner-Up in Miss USA Pageant After Answering Immigration Question [FoxNews]

Michelle-O's Obesity Battle: Sound Policy Or Too Much Gubb'ment?!?

After a pretty quiet first year as First Lady, Michelle Obama finally announced her signature initiative, aimed at curbing childhood obesity back in February. The "Let's Move" campaign aims to fight this health epidemic in many ways from encouraging kids to exercise more, to giving tax credits for grocers who put stores in "food deserts". But perhaps the most controversial push is one that just wielded its first fruits yesterday, and predictably, the usual suspects are already complaining that it's a case of Big Brother telling your kids what to eat.
In a direct response to Michelle Obama's declared war on childhood obesity, an alliance of major food manufacturers on Monday pledged to introduce new, more healthful options, cut portion sizes and trim calories in existing products.

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a coalition including Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo, will slash 1 trillion calories by the end of 2012 and 1.5 trillion calories by the end of 2015. The 16 members make 20-25 percent of food

The announcement is one of the first substantial results of the first lady's "Let's Move!" campaign, which aims to end childhood obesity within a generation. The industry's pledge comes two months after Obama urged food corporations "to move farther, faster" and less than a week after the White House announced the findings of its Childhood Obesity Task Force.

The industry has been under pressure from the first lady and from state and local governments considering junk-food taxes and other anti-obesity measures.

Missing from the announcement were any specifics on the new products or cuts that will be made to existing items. But White House officials stressed that the companies will be held accountable.
I'm not really sure how/why anyone thinks manufacturing healthier food options is such a problem. No, removing junk food from school vending machines, and creating low calorie Ho Ho's isn't going to solve the obesity crisis all by itself. Getting companies to offer more healthy food will likely not hurt their bottom lines, and nobody is going to mandate what foods parents put in their kids' mouths. That's not even legally possible. So relax and eat your Cheetos, middle America. Barack isn't coming for your guns, and Michelle isn't coming for your Krisy Kremes.

When 1/3 of all kids are overweight, there's a problem that needs to be addressed, and I applaud the First Lady for doing something to help.

Question: Does Michelle Obama's effort to get companies to make healthier food seem like sound policy to you, or is it yet another example of the tyranny of gubb'ment oversight?

Michelle Obama applauds food industry group's pledge to trim calories [WashPost]

Name That Sample - "Searching".

Name That Sample is simple: I play the original song, you tell me who sampled it. Winner gets a day's supply of Cyber CapriSuns™. As always, no Googling! Google is for losers.

This classic tune by Roy Ayers is probably one of my 20 most favoritest songs of all time. It has been sampled numerous times. But who can name the most songs that have used these delightful bars?

Difficulty Level: Moderate. Think hard.

Question: How many songs can you name that used the "Searching" sample? Don't be fooled into just listening to the opening bars, or you'll prolly miss half the possible answers. Feel free to cheat and use other commenters' work, but do NOT Google! Google is for losers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Praying For John Wall.

I did something last night that I've never done in my 36 29 years of life. I actually prayed to God to determine the outcome of a sporting event.

No, I'm not talking about Lakers/Suns, cause I'm not even sure the man upstairs could have held Kobe under 30 last night.[1] I'm talking about tonight's NBA Draft Lottery, also known as The Donald Sterling Invitational, during which the draft order of non-playoff teams will be determined. For those clueless, this also will determine which team lands Kentucky PG, and fellow Raleigh, NC native, John Wall, a guy considered the best pure prospect to enter the game since King James himself.

Wall is the kind of player that will sell millions of jerseys, and likely rescue a franchise from the dregs of the Association for the next decade. Heck, the guy's so marketable he even started a pseudo dance craze in his single year at college.

And yes, I want the Wizards to end up with that #1 pick, so the vestiges of our recent season from Hell become distant memory. Of course, the franchise's turrible history in the lottery makes this likely another disappointing night. In 12 of the team's 13 lottery appearances, they've either lost positioning or failed to move up. The single time they did advance, they actually got the #1 pick. Any NBA fan knows just how well that one worked out.

So, we'll see. Please Lord, let them balls fall in the right order.


Question: Which team most DESERVES to win the John Wall Sweepstakes?

[1] Jest, folks. It's called jest.

Does President Obama Hate White People?!?

While it's already been firmly established several times here that Black people can indeed be racist, the assertion that President Obama somehow harbors anti-white sentiments has always been perplexing to me. For a guy essentially raised by white folks, and who had very little connection to the black side of his family in Kenya, it just seems terribly unlikely that he'd hate the very folks responsible for him being here. Sure, I know some Negros are all Uncle Ruckusy, and don't hold their own skin color in very high esteem, but Obama's never by any means struck me as such a fella.

This hasn't stopped folks from painting him as anti-white though. There was Hillary's "Us vs Them" style of racial pandering that suggested Obama was a bit too unfamiliar with the everyday lives of White America. News outlets wasted weeks of airtime on the Rebb'n Wright "controversy", essentially taking a few lines from a 40 year career in the clergy out of context and making Obama guilty by association. Folks like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have used the "BeerGate" scandal as proof that Barry hates white folks. The endorsements of people like Rebb'n Al, Louis Farrakhan, and even Jesse Jackson have been cited as proof that Obama didn't care too much for those of a fairer complexion. And who can forget Michelle-O's non-existent "whitey" videotape?

I always suggested that Obama could shut some of these morons up by wheeling out his elderly grandmother to but himself some trailer park cred with Middle America, but to the guy's credit, he had too much dignity to steep to such a level. Still, the fact that he's half-white, and doesn't run away from his whiteness in exchange for embracing his self-identified blackness just isn't enough for some people. Which leads me to a "commentary" I read this past weekend, asserting that Obama's lack of public action in the wake of the recent floods in Nashville was proof that he harbored some deep-seated resentment towards White people.

The kicker, of course, is that this crock of sh*t thesis was written by another Black man.

Ya'll know how much I hate overly quoting other stories, and how I hate quoting another person's opinion even more, but I hope we can all make an exception in this case. Here are selected dung piles excerpts from conservative bootlicker Larry Elder's syndicated piece. If you have the stomach for the whole thing, and the symphony of incredibly racist co-signs in the comments section, the link's below.
"Barack Obama doesn't care about white people!"

No, country star Taylor Swift didn't say that about the president. Nor did any of the entertainers who performed on a telethon to raise money for victims of the historic floods ravaging parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi. None accused the Obama administration of indifference or lack of attentiveness to these floods.

Swift, who contributed $500,000, was one of many stars who appeared on this fundraiser put on by the Nashville NBC affiliate, WSMV, and carried by other Tennessee stations.

In 2005, a Hurricane Katrina relief telethon was carried live on CBS, ABC, Fox, and NBC and more than 25 other channels. A separate telethon was broadcast on MTV, VH1 and CMT. During a Katrina fundraiser, rapper Kayne West accused President George W. Bush of indifference to the plight of those suffering. West said, "George W. Bush doesn't care about black people."

Hurricane Katrina was catastrophic. It caused over 1,500 deaths, with property damage estimated at near $100 billion and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. The failures of local and state responders, the widely criticized federal response and subsequent finger pointing made a tragically newsworthy story even more so.

And, at the moment, there is no shortage of significant news. Major stories include the naturalized American Muslim terrorist who admitted placing a car bomb in Times Square. An underwater oil rig erupted in the Gulf of Mississippi, creating the largest domestic oil spill since the Exxon Valdez. Arizona passed a controversial anti-illegal alien law that critics claim "legalizes racial profiling." Greece faces a financial collapse.

But has the traditional media devoted the time and attention warranted by the historic floods?

"We have been astonished by the lack of national coverage of this disaster," Elden Hale, general manager of Nashville's WSMV, told me. He acknowledged that the story competed with the Times Square terrorist and the Gulf oil spill. He said, "But still..."

How big a deal are these floods?

Hale said his area received 15 inches of rain in two days, a phenomenon of "biblical proportions." People, he said, still haven't grasped the dimensions of this disaster. The rainfalls are the highest since records have been kept. The resulting floods have been described as the greatest tragedy to hit the area since the Civil War. So far, 30 peopled are listed dead, the count expected to grow as floods recede and bodies are recovered. "Rivers have been created where none existed before," Hale said, "and people who've lost homes didn't carry flood insurance because these areas never flooded before."

Why haven't the floods gotten more attention?

"I don't want to get into that," Hale said, "but you and I both know they care more about the two coasts than they do Middle America." Did NBC network express any interest in airing the telethon? "No," Hale said, "but in fairness I didn't offer it to them. We intended for it to be a local affair."

As to the lack of media interest, a Newsweek senior writer tried to explain. Unlike the Times Square and oil rig stories, he wrote, the floods lacked "plot twists," a "political hook," and the "Nashville narrative wasn't compelling enough to break the cycle."

No plot twists? No political hook? Not compelling enough?

People killed. Extensive property damage. Worst rainfall in recorded history. Cultural and historic places flooded, like the Country Music Hall of Fame and the legendary Grand Ole Opry. None of that cuts it?

In his piece "We Are Nashville," Tennessee writer Patten Fuqua said: "Parts of Nashville that could never even conceivably be underwater were underwater. Some of them still are. Opry Mills and the Opryland Hotel are, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. People died sitting in standstill traffic on the Interstate. We saw boats going down West End. And, of course, we all saw the surreal image of the portable building from Lighthouse Christian floating into traffic and being destroyed when cars were knocked into it. I'm still having trouble comprehending all of it."

Consider some alternate explanations for the media's comparative lack of interest:

-- Those affected, residents and officials, didn't blame others. WSMV general manager Hale praised the spirit of Tennessee. His station, organizers and entertainers came together with two days notice. Quoting one of his news anchors, Hale said, "'Volunteerism is in our DNA.' When the Red Cross came in they were surprised because so much had already been done."

-- The media's beloved Obama failed to carry Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi. Those states, alien (if not enemy) territory, are simply of minor importance. It's just hard to feel those folks' pain.

-- One Bush critic argued that the president didn't care about New Orleans because it is "black" and "sexy." Perhaps the media's indifference to Nashville is because that city is "only" 25 percent black, and therefore "white and redneck."

-- Non-Obama voting, self-reliant "Hee-Haw'ers" who aren't blaming somebody for their troubles just don't make for big news.

Where's the race card when you need it?
Assuming you've still got your lunch inside, let's look at how silly Elder's argument is.

Elder assumes Obama isn't helping these folks out because there's no political gain. He obviously overlooks the fact that Obama overwhelmingly won Davidson County, where Nashville sits, in 2008, by a 60/40 margin.

I seriously doubt that Obama, or anyone in the Administration, didn't help folks in Nashville because they were "rednecks". The President in fact made statements on the flooding in both Tennessee and Kentucky, and called the Governors of both states immediately after the floods. The Administration sent Cabinet level officials to both states immediately, and by all accounts, FEMA has been working with local officials and residents. Millions of dollars have already been issued in the form of individual assistance to tens of thousands of local residents.

Nobody is saying things in Tennessee, or any other flood effected regions will miraculously bounce back to normal overnight. But to presume that the White House did nothing, when this can be easily debunked with a quick Google search is beyond reckless.

If Elder has any beef, it should be with the media. But if you consider everything else going on at the time (Times Square bomber, BP oil spill, Dow collapse), it's sorta understandable why the story hasn't quite gotten the same level of attention as a man-made disaster in New Orleans that left thousands stranded and hundred dead when government at all levels failed to act effectively. By most accounts, this isn't the case in Nashville.

While I laud folks like Taylor Swift for stepping up and providing financial assistance to those in need, I don't really understand how Kayne West's reckless (if not somewhat true) statement about the media's racial trickery post-Katrina, as well as Bush's cowardly "flyover" applies, or how it somehow shows that Obama (who famously called West's actions toward swift as those of a "jackass") doesn't care about White people. This just looks like yet another Conservative taking the usual swipe at liberal minorities with the whole "do for self, stay off the gubb'ment teet" line of thinking. All while complaining that the gubb'ment didn't do enough to help otherwise self-sufficient Conservatives. Because, as we know, acts of nature can only make victims of liberals.

Larry Elder may play a Judge on TV, but that doesn't make this ignorant, self-hating Negro qualified to somehow paint the President as hostile toward Whites. Try harder, a$$hole. Or better yet, don't try at all.

Maybe Larry Elder doesn't care (enough) about Black people.

Question: Does Larry Elder have a point about Obama's lack of empathy< towards those of the Caucasian Persuasion? Should the Present have travelled to Nashville, or did he do enough by sending along Cabinet-level personnel and resources?

'Barack Obama Doesn't Care About White People!' [TownHall]

Monday, May 17, 2010

By The Time I Get To Arizona...

I've spent quite a bit of time in Phoenix over the years, courtesy of (what else?) my Day Job. Personally, I love the place. The air's crisp and clean, the scenery's beautiful, people are nice, traffic is minimal, and even though it can easily get into the 100-teens in the Summertime, the total and complete lack of humidity make the heat more bearable than you might think. Besides, since it's the desert, it still gets chilly every night anyway. I wouldn't personally move there because there's no beach within a 2 hour drive (a requirement for anywhere I live), but I can certainly understand why folks who live there love it.

Unfortunately (much like Utah, an equally beautiful and flawed state) Arizona's gotten a rap over the years as not being outwardly accepting of minorities. It was the only territory west of Texas to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy during the Civil War. Nobody will forget the state's dogged resistance to recognize MLK Day. And of course, there's all the tension with supposedly illegal immigration, which lead to a recent law (since revised due to public scrutiny, might I add) that many say could encourage racial profiling.

Governor Jan Brewer, a woman who seems intent on snagging the coveted Bull Connor Memorial Award For Taking Setting America Back, surely isn't helping the state's image with this latest example of Caucasian Craziness.
A bill that aims to ban ethnic studies in Arizona schools was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jan Brewer, cheering critics who called such classes divisive and alarming others who said it's yet another law targeting Latinos in the state. The move comes less than 20 days after Brewer signed a controversial immigration bill that has caused widespread protests against the state. The governor's press office did not return requests for comment Tuesday evening.

HB 2281 bans schools from teaching classes that are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, promote resentment or advocate ethnic solidarity over treating pupils as individuals. The bill also bans classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government.

The bill was written to target the Chicano, or Mexican American, studies program in the Tucson school system, said state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Horne. School districts that don't comply with the new law could have as much as 10% of their state funds withheld each month. Districts have the right to appeal the mandate, which goes into effect Dec. 31.

Tucson Unified School District officials say the Chicano studies classes benefit students and promote critical thinking. "We don't teach all those ugly things they think we're teaching," said Judy Burns, the president of the district's governing board. She has no intention of ending the program, which offers courses from elementary school through high school in topics such as literature, history and social justice, with an emphasis on Latino authors and history. About 3% of the district's 55,000 students are enrolled in such classes.

Horne has been trying to end the program for years, saying it divides students by race and promotes resentment. He singled out one history book used in some classes, "Occupied America: A History of Chicanos," by Rodolfo Acuna, a professor and founder of the Chicano studies program at Cal State Northridge.

"To begin with, the title of the book implies to the kids that they live in occupied America, or occupied Mexico," Horne said last week in a telephone interview.

Ethnic studies are taught at high schools and colleges nationwide, but the Tucson district officials say their 14-year-old program is unique because it's district wide, offered to grades K-12, and can satisfy high school graduation requirements.
Call me crazy, but I don't really understand why such classes are controversial. I very, very, very seriously doubt any teacher is instructing these kids on how to "overthrow of the U.S. government". Really?

The mere thought that teaching minority kids about their culture and its contributions to this country and the world is somehow "divisive" or "promotes resentment or advocates ethnic solidarity over treating pupils as individuals" is laughable, and borderline insulting.

Question: Is Arizona's Ethnic Studies ban a good idea or not?

Arizona bill targeting ethnic studies signed into law [LATimes]