Friday, April 29, 2011

Who? Me, Racist?!?

I can't even get too upset at this guy. His blissful ignorance is actually rather entertaining.

These folks on the other hand, well, I really have nothing to add.

Question: Are these people racist?!?

* Hat tip to RiPPa.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Most Eagerly Anticipated Film Of 2011.

I realize most of my readers have no idea who 9th Wonder is, nor care. This post (obviously) isn't for you, so keep it movin'.

For the rest of us hip-hop nerds, enjoy this trailer for the upcoming documentary The Wonder Year, chronicling a year in the life of the legendary (yet still underground) producer as he gets his own record label off the ground. Who knows, maybe the fine folks at LRG will send yours truly a promo copy.[1]

[1] Crosses fingers and awaits email...

Ashy Or Classy?!? Warren G's "Male Enhancement" Pills.

Most of you know Dr. Dre's marginally talented sibling Warren G as the guy responsible for the mid-90's hit "Regulate". While that song's an undisputed hip-hop classic, it's mostly because of the (looped) Michael McDonald sample and the infectious Nate Dogg (RIP) hook. The song succeeded in spite of Warren G's comical Fisher Price, My First Flow rhyme style, not because of it.

The years since "Regulate" haven't been kind for the G-Child, as he hasn't made a song of consequence in ages, he blew up and ended up on Celebrity Fat Club, and his best friend Nate Dogg dealt with illness before recently passing away. All this while his stepbrother (remember when rumor was that Warren G actually produced The Chronic?) has reached legendary levels of success and even has his own line of cars now. I would imagine their annual family reunion isn't the most chipper of times for Warren Griffin.

It's enough to drive a man to some outlandish measures to merely remain relevant and financially solvent.

But this, well, this might be a bit too far.

"...and now I got to regulate. Ladies!"

Come on, bruh. Times ain't that hard. Seriously.

Question: Ashy Or Classy?!? Is this a bad career move for a cRapper, or is there no shame when it comes to gettin' paid?!?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Breaking News! Obama Releases Long Form Birth Certificate.

No, this isn't a joke...
The Obama administration is releasing copies of President Barack Obama's original long-form birth certificate, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer announced Wednesday. Obama will discuss the decision to release the certificate Wednesday morning, the White House announced.

"The president believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn't good for the country," Pfeiffer said. "It may have been good politics and good (television), but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country."

"At a time of great consequence for this country -- when we should be debating how we win the future, reduce our deficit, deal with high gas prices, and bring stability to the Middle East, Washington, DC, was once again distracted by a fake issue," Pfeiffer added. "The president's hope is that with this step, we can move on to debating the bigger issues that matter to the American people and the future of the country."

Pfeiffer told reporters that the so-called "birther debate" has been politically damaging to the Republican Party. Obama released a legally binding "certificate of live birth" in 2008, but many opponents of the president continue to assert he was born overseas.

While the president has tried to make light of the controversy, the question has remained political red meat for some of his critics. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that nearly 75% of Americans believe Obama was definitely or probably born in the United States. More than four in 10 Republicans, however, believe he probably or definitely was not born in America.

The administration had to make a special request from the state of Hawaii to get the long-form birth certificate released, White House Legal Counsel Bob Bauer noted. Typically, the state only releases a certificate of live birth when people request a birth certificate.

Allegations that Obama was not born in the United States have been repeatedly discredited. A recent CNN investigation turned up no evidence to support the birther claims.
Okay, I really don't get the point of this. After years of listening to this nonsense from the right, Obama gives in to Donald Trump (of all people!) and produces a document he really didn't need to. Leaving doubt out there would have further made Trump and his ilk look like a jackass. And folks who believe he wasn't born in Hawaii are still just gonna see this as a forgery. Let the next round of conspiracy theories begin.

The worst part is that in a strange way, this makes Obama look even weaker. He effectively has let a reality show fringe candidate force him into "divulging" information that wasn't even necessary. So if Trump's able to get Obama to bend on this, what's next? Will he have to release his college transcripts and dissertations now? Boy scout medals? High school yearbooks? Where does this sh*t end?

By bowing down to pressure from a lunatic, Obama has both legitimized Trump as a candidate, and weakened himself as a leader. Watch Trump take his victory lap!

Sorry, but Obama is the only loser in this equation.

Question: What do you make of this decision to release the long form birth certificate, a document that isn't even legally recognized by the state of Hawaii anymore? Does doing this make Obama look weak, or does

Conversations With A Birther...

Facts just don't matter to some folks...

I'll give credit where it's due. Although CNN's primetime schedule is a certified snoozefest, at least they took some time to thoroughly debunk this myth. Not that facts will matter to the staggering 47% of Republicans who still think our President wasn't born here. Nah, they'll just chalk this up as typical liberal media bias.

Question: Do you think President Obama is purposely staying away from clarifying this birther issue for his own political gain, or does it just make no sense to try and engage people whose minds are already made up?!?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Snoop Dogg's Colt 45 Kool-Aid.

Look, I'd be the last one to knock another brother's hustle, provided that brother's not named Tyler Perry or affiliated with the GOP (or both). I like Snoop Dogg, and I also used to have a curious affinity (albeit back in the 1990's) for malt liquor. Still, I simply can't condone certain levels of coonery, and Snoop Dogg's latest business venture would be such an example.

Well, at least there isn't a "Red" color. "Grape" is bad enough as is. I'm not gonna bother doing another Four Loko-style investigative report on Blast. I'm convinced it smells and tastes like diseased rhinoceros pizzle[1], and I don't need to partake in it firsthand to confirm that assumption.

Let's keep it one hunned here: Snoop is clearly just a glorified spokesman. He didn't invent this, and is just a pitchman to put a familiar face on a product that's plagued black communities for ages, sorta like menthol cigarettes, pigs feet, and "the insurance man".[2]

I'm sure someone's gonna chime in and remind me that Snoop's done lots of positive stuff with kiddie football leagues, appears to be a good dad on his reality show, and that that new song with Wiz Khalifa is sorta hot (which it is). But come on, shouldn't this guy be beyond this sorta nonsense by now?

Question: Ashy Or Classy?!? Should Snoop Dogg be peddling Colt 45 Kool Aid to impressionable teens, or is the game to be sold, not to be told?!?

[1] Name that pop culture reference, and win Cyber CapriSuns™.

[2] Anyone else know what I'm talkin' about? Maybe this is just a southern thang.

Monday, April 25, 2011 Open Mic - 4.25.11

I'm finally back from Spring Break with the AverageFam™, which also means this is my first day back at work. The blog'll be back to regular business soon. Till then, keep yourselves entertained with these choice topics.
WikiLeaks Gitmo Papers
NBA Playoffs
Donald Trump Still #winning With Birther Nonsense
Crazy Gas Prices
Royal Wedding Mania (aka: Who Gives A Sh*t?!?)
Question: What's on your mind today?

Friday, April 22, 2011 Open Mic - 4.22.11

I'm on Spring Break with the AverageKids™ all week. Since I'm on 24/7 Daddy Duty, I can't promise how much (if at all) I'll be checking in while I'm off The Day Job. Maybe I'll drop something here and there, maybe not. Follow me on Twitter, since I've always got something to say over there.

Here's today's Open Mic. Keep the convo moving. As usual, play nice. I'll be back Monday.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Playoffs?!? Playoffs?!?

Yeah, I'm off work right now, but when I'm not busy chasing my kids around, I've been watching a boatload of NBA playoff games.

For anyone who frowns upon the NBA, and longs for the days when players (allegedly) played team ball, and the Lakers, Celtics, and Knicks all reigned supreme come April, your excuses are officially dead. This weekend's 1st round games have been among the most entertaining I've ever watched. From my man Psycho-T dropping midrange J's on the Bulls, to Melo's disappearing act vs Boston, the typical playoff drama is on full display. It's good stuff, and would only be better if my favorite team was somehow involved, but well, there's always the lottery.

If I were a betting man, I'd go to USA legal poker and drop some money on The Spurs. Yeah, I know, they're banged up, and they lost Game One to Memphis, and all that. But they're still a seasoned playoff team. They can turn it on when they need to. Not that the Celtics and Lakers can't also, but I just think San Antonio will be hoisting that trophy once all's said and done.

Then again, that's just my read, what's yours?

Question: Who you got winning it all? Any team or player that stands out as a surprise so far? Open Mic - 4.20.11

I'm on Spring Break with the AverageKids™ all week. Since I'm on 24/7 Daddy Duty, I can't promise how much (if at all) I'll be checking in while I'm off The Day Job. Maybe I'll drop something here and there, maybe not. Follow me on Twitter, since I've always got something to say over there.

Here's today's Open Mic. Keep the convo moving. As usual, play nice.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Monday, April 18, 2011 Open Mic - 4.18.11

I'm on Spring Break with the AverageKids™ all week. Since I'll be on 24/7 Daddy Duty, I can't promise how much (if at all) I'll be checking in while I'm off The Day Job. Maybe I'll drop something here and there, maybe not. Either way, there'll be Open Mics here every other day to keep the convo moving. As usual, play nice.

Follow me on Twitter, since I've always got something to say over there.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Donald Trump Loves "The Blacks".

I'm a black man who grew up in The (not so Deep) South, so I'm intimately familiar with the pejorative term "The Blacks". It's not too far removed from referring to black folks as "Negroes", "You People", "Coloreds", "Darkies", or "Flavor Flav's Kids" on the racial insult totem pole. Referring to a race of people as a single entity is probably the height of racial insensitivity.

That said, I always assumed "The Blacks" was a term that went out with the Reagan Administration. Except for the occasional Lisa Lampanelli standup comedy routine, I hadn't heard this term used in years.

Enter "The Donald"...
As he continues to mull a presidential bid, or say he is mulling a presidential bid, business mogul Donald Trump is lamenting the fact President Obama appears to have locked up the black vote. "I have a great relationship with the blacks," Trump told Albany's Talk Radio 1300 Thursday. "I've always had a great relationship with the blacks."

But Trump says it's a "very sad thing" such a high percentage of that demographic supports President Obama, for reasons, he believes, that are largely influenced by race. The discussion was spawned by a recent poll of New York voters that found 95 percent of black voters there approve of the president's job performance. The same poll found that the president's overall approval rating in New York stands at 54 percent.

"Look at Hillary Clinton," the reality television star continued in reference to the 2008 Democratic presidential primary race. "Hillary Clinton did so much for the black population, so much and got very few votes." "Look, I tell it like it is," he added. "Then you hear a political reporter go on and say, 'It had nothing to do with race.' But how come she got such a tiny piece of the vote. It's a very sad thing."
I'm not calling "The Donald" racist for trafficking in Birtherism, referring to any race as "The Blacks", and gainfully employing NeNe Leakes in the same calendar year. To some folks that's racist, to others that's merely giving "the people" what they want. Personally, I'm not even sure what qualifies as "racist" anymore. That unfunny guy who played Kramer used the N-Word repeatedly and even he isn't universally referred to as a racist. Mel Gibson spouted all sorts of anti Semitic babble and blamed it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol.

Who's a guy got to lynch to be called a racist around here?!?

What's certain is that "The Donald" has officially crossed over from laughingstock to semi-credible candidate. Some GOP polls show him suddenly near the top of the primary pack. By tapping into the very racist sentiment of many "Real Americans"[1], Trump's vaulted himself into consideration for the GOP nomination, and has already stated the intention of running as an independent if that option falls through.

Make no mistake, this isn't about getting better ratings for The Apprentice. Trump's worth about $3B, the mere pittance he gets from NBC for that show is a drop in the proverbial bucket. This is about one man's oversized ego and lust for attention and approval.

Don't get it confused. The guy's a joke (so is his hairpiece) but he's here to stay.

Question: Is Donald Trump's "The Blacks" statement racist, or merely a poor choice of words? What do you make of the traction he's gained with GOP and Tea Party voters?

[1] Let's be clear, this isn't the exclusive province of the GOP. Hillary Clinton did essentially the same thing during the 08' Democratic primaries. Lets not get it confused.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ArmChair Obama™: Deficit Reduction.

Yeah, I know it sorta seems like we've already done this topic, but with yesterday's announcement of Obama's longterm deficit reduction strategy, I figured this is as good as time as any to revisit it. Here's The President's Master Plan To Prevent Armageddon/Ensure We Won't Become China's B*tch...
President Obama unveiled a framework Wednesday to reduce borrowing over the next 12 years by $4 trillion — a goal that falls short of targets set by his deficit commission and House Republicans — and called for a new congressional commission to help develop a plan to get there.

In his most ambitious effort to claim the mantle of deficit cutter, Obama proposed sharp new cuts to domestic and military spending, and an overhaul of the tax code that would raise fresh revenue. But he steered clear of fundamental changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — the primary drivers of future spending.

The proposal, which he announced at an afternoon speech at George Washington University, builds on the budget blueprint he sent to Congress in February and revises the plan to include many recommendations from the bipartisan fiscal commission he appointed last year. He also called on congressional leaders to appoint a panel of 16 lawmakers who would develop a concrete spending plan under the leadership of Vice President Biden.

To achieve his deficit reduction goal, Obama said it was necessary to cut domestic and defense spending and boost tax revenues. He set a goal of one dollar in increased tax revenues for every three dollars of spending cuts. Increased taxes would come from eliminating deductions as well as boosting taxes on the rich.

Obama also called for a series of modest changes to Medicare and Medicaid to achieve greater savings, but did not embrace a policy that would limit the number of people eligible for coverage or the type of treatment they could receive.

Obama met with congressional leaders Wednesday morning, and a senior administration official said they were receptive to the approach. Though some Republicans derided it as an abdication of presidential leadership at a crucial point in the debate over the nation’s fiscal future.

“Delegating leadership to other people in other bodies is not what we need right now,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in an interview. “I think the president’s giving a speech today because he’s getting a lot of criticism for avoiding this issue. But you can’t fix these things by giving speeches.”
While Paul Ryan's own deficit reduction plan is little more than a waste of perfectly good printer paper, he's right about one thing. Obama's tendency to cast grand visions for important legislation, then delegate the actual sausage making to folks on The Hill is getting tiring. It didn't work well on the Stimulus, Healthcare Reform, the Bush tax cut extensions, or the Government Shutdown, and it certainly isn't going to help here. At some point, flowery speeches need to give way to hardcore specifics. As is, the President's plan leaves too much to be fleshed out, and will inevitably result in a continuation of the same class warfare that those other important debates dissolved into over time.

For once, it'd be nice for him to do away with the rhetoric and spell out exactly what he wants done, to a tee. That way, there'd be little doubt about where the line between his ideas and those of losers like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi lies. As is, there's too much uncertainty, and that isn't the recipe for getting anything done in DC. Never has been, never will be.

Nonetheless, I'm ok with much of what I am reading here. Raising taxes on the rich is a no-brainer. He'd be really ballsy if he suggested raising taxes on everyone, but we know no politician is built like that. Other tax cuts to defense and "domestic" spending sound a bit more dubious. Not touching entitlements is, in my opinion, the right thing to do.

Then again, that's just my view. Play Armchair Obama™ and tell me what you'd do.

Question: What did you think of the President's deficit reduction plan?!? What would you do to remedy the situation?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What The Heck Is Michael Jordan Wearing?!?

I'm not the biggest fan of Michael Jordan, but I am a fan of clowning other people, mostly because it helps me feel better about myself laughter is good for the soul.

So what happens when you mix one with the other? Why, you get the hilarious Tumblr site What The F*** is Michael Jordan Wearing?, which is pretty self-explanatory and funny as all get out.

Go check that out. Laugh's on me. Open Mic - 4.13.11

The floor is yours today, children. Have at it, but play nice.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chocolate City Just Got A Bit More Vanilla.

Since moving here from NC after college, DC is my home. Most of my family and friends live here. I met my wife and had both of my kids here. It's a vibrant and diverse city full of fun (and often free) stuff to do. We enjoy four seasons of weather that's seldom extreme. There's a million and one parks. The pro sports teams suck royally, but there are lots of em'. With the exceptions of the cost of living and traffic (and the pro sports teams), it's a pretty ideal place to live. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else (no shots fired, Atlanta or Charlotte) and will probably be buried somewhere in the DC Metro Urreah when all's said and done.

In short, I love DC.

I say all that because as a black person of decent means, I suppose I should be agitated over the city's gradual pigmentation shift over the last decade and change. Once known as Chocolate City, the District Of Columbia's population has grown in recent years, but the percentage of blacks in the city continues to shrink. Ask any historian, cultural critic, or Uptown hustler what all this means and you'll prolly get a million and one ominous responses. Me, I'm not so sure.
When new census data revealed last month that blacks are probably no longer a majority in Washington — a status they had held since shortly after World War II — some residents read that as confirmation that the District’s black identity is slipping away.

From politicians to talk-show callers, in diners and schoolyards, many Washingtonians — and especially black residents who have spent all their lives in the city — took the census numbers as proof that the District is turning into one more majority-white city. But in politics, business, culture and sports, the public face of Washington is still largely African American, and there’s considerable evidence that it may stay that way for a long time to come.

Washington remains “a magnet for black intellectuals, the black middle class and the black creative class,” said Richard Florida, whose theories about how the creative class of academics, artists and professionals vitalize cities have been the core of several best-selling books. Florida, who moved from the District to Toronto in 2007, said his interviews with young people across the country “identified greater Washington as a place they wanted to live — young policy wonks, foreign-born techies, gay professionals and also ambitious, college-educated African Americans.”
The Washington Post story rambles on and on about how gentrification has driven blacks out of DC (and into surrounding suburbs), replaced by moneyed white and working class Hispanics. The bottom line seems to be if Chocolate City is less, well, chocolate, what does this say about the city's long held reputation as a mecca for African Americans? Personally, I don't see the big deal.

DC is always going to be identified as a "black" city. Culturally, so much to the city's fabric from Duke Ellington, to Fredrick Douglas, to Walter Washington is identified with black people. No, I'm not talking about "Federal DC" where all the lawmakers reside. That's practically a different city within the city itself. I'm talking about The Big Chair, go-go music, Ben's Chili Bowl, Yum's curryout, U. Street, mambo sauce, The Shrimp Boat, and Saturday nights in Adams Morgan. Real DC. No influx of hipsters and yuppies is going to change that.

To find the gradual brightening of DC as inherently evil, you'd also have to subscribe to the theory that all gentrification is inherently evil. Personally, I don't. Yes, it's unfair when people have to leave a rent stabilized apartment building because some developer wants to build condos. That's also just life. It happens. The tradeoff is that cool new Target Store on 14th, the revitalized 7th Street corridor, the slowly developing ballpark district, and the upcoming streetcar system that will eventually link Ward 8 to the rest of the city.

Yes, some people caught a bad break as a result. But the city, I honestly believe, is better off with the influx of new taxpayers. Crime has dropped, housing values (even in some of the roughest hoods) have grown, schools are generally getting better. And through it all, the city's culture remains mostly intact. I'm sure some others will disagree. That's fine. But let's not make more of of this than there is.

Chocolate City, even with a lil' vanilla, will always be Chocolate City.

Question: Does a city lose it character and culture when the people associated with that character and culture move to the burbs?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Waffle House Hoodrat Fights.

[Editor's Note: No, these videos don't do anything to "advance the cause". Yes, I'm just running them for pure shock/gawking value. Sorry, I'm all "shutdown"ed out today and politricks is the last thing I wanna talk about. If you need something more substantive today, might I suggest you go checkout one of the fine AverageSiblings™ listed on the left sidebar.]

As one who frequents the unsavory dark side of the NegroNets™, better known as WorldStar HipHop, I'm pretty hip to this new viral trend of late night pancake/waffle house fights. I'm this is all foreign language to you, most of the videos involve women who appear to be drunk after a night of clubbing throwing down in 24 hour dining establishments like IHOP, Denny's, and that staple of fine Southern hangover recovery food, The Waffle House.

In recent months there has been an explosion of these videos. I mean, there's literally 2-3 new ones every week, which leads to the obvious chicken/egg question. Namely, are people fighting in Waffle Houses more frequently because of the internet, or were they fighting all along, out of the view of well adjusted, rational human beings because there wasn't the proper technology to document such f*ckery? It's one of life's biggest unsolved mysteries, right up with the cure for Cancer, the Loch Ness Monster, and why some black folks join the Tea Party.

Anyways, the most recent video in this ongoing series dropped last week, and I gotta say, this might be the most entertaining one I've seen yet.

These two hoodrats obviously expected the white chick to just roll over and take her beating. They clearly underestimated their opponent and caught a few chairs to the dome as a result.

Let this be a lesson to anyone who decides to throw dem' bows at Denny's. If you're gonna fight: #win.

Question: Were you aware of this latest viral phenomenon?

* Hat tip to Bol.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Federal Funds Are Not Used On Abortions. Period.

Since abortion, specifically Planned Parenthood, seems to be the reason why the government will be shutting down in a few hours, I figured I'd use this occasion to address an outright lie often aped by Conservatives. Federal dollars are not spent on abortions! Period.
With a total budget of some $1.1 billion, more than a third of which comes from the federal, state and local governments, Planned Parenthood offers family planning, H.I.V. counseling, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, cancer screening and other services as well as abortions, mainly to low-income women. Congress has long barred the use of federal money for abortion, but it provides more than $75 million a year to Planned Parenthood affiliates to support family planning for low-income women. Millions more in federal dollars are provided for sex education and, indirectly, through Medicaid and other programs.
Any abortion services provided by Planned Parenthood are funded by private donations or paid for by the mother, not your tax dollars. I repeat, it is against the law for Planned Parenthood to use your tax dollars on abortions. If you'd like to learn more about this fallacy, nonpartisan has an easy to digest article explaining this in full.

You'd think the very people responsible for, well, making laws would know what the law says. Then again, these are Republicans we're talking about.

Question: Why does the mainstream media allow such nonsense as this, and the birther issue that could easily be debunked to be repeated without being challenged?

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Lebron's Cartoon.

Any regular reader of this blog knows I don't care too much for Lebron James off the court. Yeah, the dude's an amazing basketball player, but last Summer's stiffarm of Cleveland showed that the guy's got a long way to go in the area of class. Since then, his handlers have generally tried to rehab his public image with all sorts of charitable endeavors and self deprecating commercials.

And in that vain arrives The Lebrons, a (web only?) cartoon that borrows liberally from the concept of those Nike ads he had a few years back. Presumably a Fat Albert type show to teach kids good manners and how to stay out the traaap, The Lebrons first episode made it to Youtube air recently.

No need to lie, this isn't half bad. It's a bit advanced for my kids' age group, but I like the overall message. I'm sure our resident cartoonist and cartoon critics will chime in. Personally, while the product placement (Beats By Dre, HP, Nike, Sprite, Bing) a waaay too heavy, the animation is good, and the voice work is solid. It's not half bad.

I give The Lebrons a Classy. What say ye'?

Question: Ashy Or Classy?!? Is Lebron's cartoon going to help further rehab his image, or is this merely an exercise in extreme self-aggrandizement?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shut Em' Down!!!

Well, despite a healthy dose of Beige Negro Magic, Obama wasn't able to trick the GOP into compromising on the budget and we're probably headed for a pointless government shutdown tomorrow night.

If you're clueless about what this means for the country, or just how screwed up we are, simply take a gander at the GOP's latest shameless 11th hour maneuver.
With a government shutdown looming, the GOP-led House has passed a bill that would fund the government for a week and also fund the Department of Defense for the rest of the fiscal year. The measure, which includes $12 billion in spending cuts, passed 247 to 181. The vote was largely along party lines, though six Republicans opposed it and 15 Democrats supported it.

The passage was likely symbolic, since it is unlikely to pass the Democrat-led Senate and President Obama has vowed to veto it if it does. It appears designed to boost Republican arguments that Democrats should be blamed if the government shuts down.

In addition to funding the government for another week and providing $516 billion for the Department of Defense, the bill includes a policy provision that would prohibit federal or local funding paying for abortions in Washington D.C. Republicans cast the measure as a "troop funding" bill and suggested opposing it meant opposing U.S. troops.

House Republicans want the budget deal to include the $61 billion in cuts that exist in the budget bill they passed earlier this year, as well as controversial policy riders including provisions that would strip government funding for Planned Parenthood, EPA, Public Broadcasting and health care implementation.

Without a deal, a government shutdown begins on Saturday. That would mean some federal operations and services will stop running. Hundreds of thousands of government workers would be furloughed, tens of thousands of military personnel would not immediately be paid and national parks some government agencies would be closed.
So, this is all about abortion and defunding public television? Really? And who the f*ck thinks shutting down the EPA is a great idea? Is this some anti-global warming move?

I thought this was all about the deficit. Silly me.

Yep, we're screwed.

Question: If you consider yourself a Conservative, does this sort of trickery make any sense to you? Is ideology worth shutting the entire government down?

That's Just My Babies' Daddies.

I've always contended that stats-by-damned, the whole "baby daddy" phenomenon that plagues the Black community isn't nearly as new of a development as some might have you believe. It's fun to over romanticize the past and paint a pretty picture of a time long ago when black folks courted, got married, had babies, stayed together, and there was no such thing as autotune. Yes, the "out of wedlock" birth stats we hear are harrowing, but lets not pretend this sh*t is new. It isn't. Everyone knows about that grandfather, or great uncle, or next door neighbor who had another family "on the other side of the tracks". We didn't just magically get this screwed up overnight.

[Editor's Aside: Damn, that Maury Povich is so disingenuous. Pretending to care about those kids. BTW, how mad are these chicks, really? They almost seem to be bragging about having gotten knocked up by THE BABY DADDY OF CHAMPAIGN ILLINOIS!!! And since we're on the subject, "TayShaun" really is a splendid name. It's just great.]

That said, it would be naive to pretend that folks casually going half on a baby is advancing the cause. It isn't. No, kids born to single mothers aren't condemned to a life of poverty and crime by default, but reality is that not having a stable home life does make life a bit more daunting. I don't personally think marriage (and this comes from a guy who loves being married) is the cure to all that ails black folks, but I also don't think having 7 kids by 9 women was part of Dr. King's Dream either.

[Editor's Aside: I know I've run this joke into the ground, but true story. I have a frat brother who's had a baby by a Delta, a Sigma Gamma Rho, and a Zeta. This dude is one AKA away from batting the Pan Hellenic cycle! {rimshot!}]

I only have two kids, both (of course) by the same woman. Kids are not only expensive, they're also very demanding of time. I mean, very. If you're trying to do this parenting thing right, you're probably gonna find yourself stretched thin at times. Correction: all the time. I can barely give attention to two kids that are in the same house. I couldn't imagine having another child in the next county over. And another in the next state over. In short, eventually you'll reach the point of diminishing returns where no kid gets enough attention. And 20 years later, that kid becomes Waka Flocka Flames at best, and prolly does 5-7 for knocking off a liquor store at worst. Alls I'm saying is, this parenting thing isn't easy, and it's probably even harder when you and the mother don't get along.

And yes, that was a flimsy personal segue into (yet!) another "Ominous Black Stats" story. Cue the music and brace yourselves.
One in five of all American moms have kids who have different birth fathers, a new study shows. And when researchers look only at moms with two or more kids, that figure is even higher: 28 percent have kids with at least two different men.

Dorius’ study, which was presented Friday at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, examined data from nearly 4,000 U.S. women who had been interviewed more than 20 times over a 27-year period.

This phenomenon is important to study, Dorius says, because there are consequences to both the mom and her children. Women with children from multiple fathers tend to be disadvantaged compared to other moms. Further, this type of family structure can lead to a lot more stress for everyone involved, in part because the women need to juggle the demands and needs of more than one dad.

Dorius found that a multiple-father type of family structure was more common among minority women, with 59 percent of African-American mothers, 35 percent of Hispanic mothers and 22 percent of white mothers reporting children with more than one father.
Okay, let's be honest here: there are plenty of fingers to point, but I'm going to resist the urge and hope you will too. Blaming others hasn't fixed anything yet, and probably won't anytime soon.

Reality is, anytime you have unprotected sex, the possibility of an unexpected kid is there. I don't know that this study reinforces some notion that black women are looser, or that institutional racism locks black men out of the job market giving them more idle time to sow their baby batter, or that Negroes simply have a genetic predisposition to going raw. I don't know, and don't care to steer the discussion there. I hope you won't either.

My question will probably throw you for a loop, but answer it anyway.

Question: Be honest with yourself - is it fair to judge the lifestyle choices of women (and men) with multiple kids by multiple partners when everyone's "gone raw" a few (ok, maybe many) times in life? If anyone's to blame here, wouldn't it be condom manufacturers for making such an uncomfortable product?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Maury "You Are Not The Father" Videos.....

Hey, why fake it. Yes, I watch this show. Yes, today's post is giving me the green light to run a bunch of clips. Live with it.

ArmChair Obama™: How Do You Avoid A Gubb'ment Shutdown?!?

A battle is brewing here in DC, as the Democrats and Republicans are deadlocked in a pissing match to prove who's the biggest d*ckhead. Should nothing magical happen between now and Friday night, the Federal government will go into shutdown mode, and the results for "Real Americans" could be far reaching and catastrophic. Or not.

First, how about we clear up some misconceptions about what would happen in the event of a shutdown? The Washington Post has a great piece explaining who'll keep working (and getting paid) and who won't.
With negotiations over the fiscal 2011 budget collapsing, officials warned that the impact of a federal government shutdown would stretch from the Internal Revenue Service to the Smithsonian Institution to battlefields abroad.

Most federal employees still don’t know whether they would have to work during a shutdown, but Cabinet secretaries and other agency bosses began answering questions late Tuesday by distributing a Q&A regarding the effect such an event would have on federal pay and benefits.

The guidance warns that employees may not voluntarily work during a shutdown and that all essential and nonessential personnel would be paid only if Congress approved such funding after a shutdown ended. Any workers scheduled to take paid leave would not be able to, and some would be eligible for unemployment benefits if a shutdown continued for more than a few days.

A shutdown would also affect pay for members of the military, said senior government officials familiar with the planning. If the current funding expires on Friday, in the middle of the military’s two-week pay period, the Defense Department would distribute paychecks for the first week, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

In an effort to avoid such disruption, House Republicans introduced legislation that would pay troops if a deal isn’t reached. Congressional aides couldn’t say whether such a bill would pass either chamber before Friday.

Many civilian federal workers are not expected to learn their fates until Monday morning, said Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. If a worker is furloughed, she said, he or she would have up to four hours in most cases to collect personal belongings and leave.

Other officials familiar with plans warned privately that the IRS would cease processing refunds for paper-submitted tax returns. The Federal Housing Administration would withhold guarantees for home loans.

Managers at the National Archives said all of its operations would shutter, with the exception of workers who protect collections. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health who do clinical work would be considered essential, an agency official said.

The Department of Homeland Security would suspend its e-Verify system, which allows employers to check a worker’s immigration status, officials said. But most of DHS’s 230,000 employees hold jobs that would continue during an impasse — without pay. Agents would still protect U.S. borders, airport security guards would screen passenger bags, and the U.S. Coast Guard would continue to patrol the nation’s waters.
So to repeat, it's not like everyone's gonna be ass out come Monday morning. Planes will still fly, Social Security, unemployment, and welfare checks would still be mailed out. This isn't Armageddon, well unless you work for the Feds in one of those "nonessential" roles, like my sister in law, who is already preparing to not get paid for a minute. Still, it's completely avoidable, and the lack of grownups in the room negotiating this nonsense show just how screwed we are as a country.

The Democrats could have avoided all this had they simply passed a budget, oh, about 7-8 months ago. Instead, scared sh*tless in an election year and cautious of their own shadows of doing anything that might alienate potential voters, they decided to punt on this issue (as well as dealing with the Bush tax cuts). To now act as if they're the sane party after repeatedly kicking the can down the road in the form of Continuing Resolutions, the Dems have now backed the country into a corner that we really should never have been in.

The Republicans, on the other hand, are using this who deficit discussion as a charade to practice ideological/class warfare, as usual. Holding up a budget over frivolous sh*t like funding NPR and Planned Parenthood, which only contribute a minuscule amount to the hole we're in shows what these guys are really about. Their insistence on catering to the clearly diminished power of the Tea Party confirms my worst fears about what "leadership" under John Boehner would look like. Predictably, the GOP's longterm goal for driving down the deficit (as authored by Paul Ryan) is more "Us vs Them" smoke and mirrors that easily fails the fact check smell test. More massive tax cuts for the wealthy and multinational corporations that won't create a single job. Less money for community bloc grants, shifting the funding for Medicaid to states, killing ObamaCare, and slashing Pell Grants. The rich get richer, the poor get anally *****. It's like The Reagan Years, revisited.

No thanks, sir.

Of course, the guy who should be leading the charge to bridge the gap between the GOP's desired $60M in cuts and the Dem's $30 alternative is President Obama. You'd think this would be one of the rare times when he'd abandon his "go along to get along" style of leadership and put a foot in someone's a$$. And you'd be wrong, as usual.


Jesus, if there's an allegedly "inspirational" figure who is consistently less "inspirational", I'd love to see him.

Let's face it, the ballsyness folks want to project on Obama is never gonna happen. Never. You can wish for it all you want, but he's shown no inclination to deliver. It's not who he is, nor who he'll ever be. Ever.

He is leadership style is all about delegation and compromise, not conflict. More times than not, this tactic (although I personally hate it) wins. I suspect he'll quietly get the Dems and GOP together behind closed doors and work out an 11th hour compromise (say, cutting $40B or so) that makes both parties look less inept, avoiding this shutdown. He'll look like a saint, the GOP will blame him for taking all the credit, he'll see a bounce in his approval ratings, and everyone will forget about this a week from now.

Call Obama lots of things (and I sure have), but don't ever call him dumb. His track record clearly shows that he knows what he's doing more times than not. And besides, even if this does result in a work stoppage, past history (see Clinton vs Newt in 95') proves that the public seldom blames the executive office instead sparing their wraths for the legislative branch. I'm sure his advisors have informed him of this. Silly as it might sound, this is a win-win either way for Obama.

Anyways, you're ArmChair Obama™. Fix this nonsense before these morons ruin my weekend trip to the National Zoo.

Question: Play ArmChair Obama™. What would you do to avoid the oncoming government shutdown?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Tim Pawlenty's Fear Mongering Campaign Ad.

Okay, I get it Tim Pawlenty. You wanna be President. I also admire your self-awareness. You're clearly not Mr. Personality. You have negative swagger. You look like a poor man's Chris Collinsworth. You're routinely polling in the single digits, despite having unofficially started your 2012 campaign, ohh, about 5 minutes after President Obama was inaugurated.

So, I understand the need to jazz things up a bit, but this sh*t right here, this is just a wee bit over the top, no?

Lighting bolts over the White House? Ominous music? 1984 style Big Brother clips of Obama? Extreme closeups? Misleading job loss numbers? Crying white women?

[Editor's Note: I love how they spliced in the quick clip of the two sistas at the 0:28 mark. Can't be all anti-Obama without showing a couple of (alleged) black supporters.]

Who edited this sh*t? It looks like and end-of-world disaster movie. I suppose you were going for the whole 2012 approach, but come on man, really? Isn't the whole Armageddon angle a bit played out? Perhaps scaring people isn't voting for you isn't the best idea anymore.

It's hard to believe that once, long ago, I thought Pawlenty posed the biggest threat to Obama in 2012. He was a Republican Governor who did a moderately good job of running a large Midwestern state. He was semi-reasonable. He had few skeletons in the closet. He seemed formidable. Then he started paling around with the Tea Party, spending too much time on Fox News, and generally morphed into a real douchebag.

I guess I get the need to distinguish yourself from your competitors, but Pawlenty's gone about it all wrong, and likely has no political future to speak of as a result. So, I suppose I get this latest fit of desperation. But ultimately, much like his Presidential aspirations, it all equals a massive #fail in the end.

Nice try, T-Paw. Now how about presenting some actual solutions instead of trying to mortify folks?

Question: What do you think of this campaign ad? Is Pawlenty simply tapping into the angst that "Real Americans" feel, or is he going a bit over the top with all this cinematic fear mongering? Who has a better chance of winning the GOP nomination: T-Paw or Snooki?!?

Shaka Smart Is Fitna Get PAID!!!

[Editor's Note: Yeah, I know. This story's already resolved itself. See what happens when you write posts in advance?!?]

I hear there was apparently some big basketball game last night. It goes without saying that I didn't watch. I really tuned March Madness out once my Tarheels lost last weekend, and actually didn't even realize VCU was eliminated until I read it in the paper Sunday morning. No, seriously.

That said, regardless of who won last night's title game (BTW, who won?), the real winner of this year's NCAA Tourney was TruTV VCU coach Shaka Smart, a guy who is likely to receive a monster contract to leave the Commonwealth of Virginia any moment now. He makes about $300k a year at the moment. That number could multiply by 10 for his next gig.

[Editor's Note: If Virginia is a commonwealth, not a state, why exactly is there a Virginia State University less than 20 mins away from VCU? Someone explain this one to me.]

Anyways, if you're wondering why Smart will probably be writing his own check, look no further than the drill he had his team running during practice the other day.

Call that corny, but as a one-time coach myself, I call that a crafty motivational tactic. If the coach is willing to run an Iron Man drill, drawing a charge and chasing loose balls in the process, then his players know they damn well better run through a brick wall in return. Sure, the Rams came up a bit short, but for a team with no real NBA talent making the Final Four is clearly a feat of coaching genius. Schools like NC State should be knocking down Smart's door begging him to come rescue their programs.

Yes, the stakes will be higher at his next stop. He'll be expected to leverage his name and face recognition to recruit big name players and (obviously) be expected to replicate this run to the Finals. With greater money comes greater expectations.

But something tells me Shaka will be just fine.

Question: Where do you think Shaka Smart will land? Do you think he'll withstand the pressure of higher expectations that come with a bigger paycheck and school?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ashy Or Classy?!? - That Corny Black Dude From Community Becomes A cRapper.

I think 30 Rock is the best show on TV. Yeah, Tracy Morgan's (health-related) disappearing act is taking some of the luster off lately, but still it's the consummate "must-DVR TV" for me. Buoyed by this show's success, NBC has tried to roll out similar "no laugh track/single camera" sitcoms like Outsourced, Perfect Couples and Parks And Recreation with less than similar results. Another knockoff show, Community is just as lousy as 30 Rock is great, but there's one guy on the show who's moderately funny. I don't even know his name, so I just refer to him as "That Corny Black Dude From Community". You've probably seen him. If you haven't, well, just watch this clip and pretend you have, Spoil Sport.

Anyways, since this is Hollyweird, where anyone with half a recognizable name gets a shot at other non-acting stuff, "That Corny Black Dude From Community" (real name: Donald Glover, cRap name: Childish Gambino) moonlights as a rapper. Someone passed this along to me last week, and the results, well, lets say they're interesting.

No need to lie, corny as this dude comes across as an actor, his "Lil Wayne From The Burbs" act actually comes across as pretty convincing. He's got a couple of mixtapes floating around, and even to a hip hop snob like me, they're not half bad.

I'm not saying Childish Gambino (work on that name, please!) has a career in rap music, but it's not beyond the realm of believability. I mean, seriously, did anyone think a half-Jewish kid from Canada who once played a paraplegic on a children's show would be the biggest thing in cRap someday?

I'm just sayin', it could happen.

As is, Donald Glover might be onto something, so I'll call this one Classy. What say ye'?

Question: Ashy Or Classy?!? Does this guy have a shot at being the next Drake, or is the divide between his on-screen and on-record persona too stark to be believable?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Anyone Else Recognize The Black Kid In This Movie Trailer?!?

Brave the first few minutes of this trailer, and you'll catch it. Or you could just stare at the still shot.

Friday, April 1, 2011 Turns 4.

My, time does fly.

Four years ago today, the blog you're reading came to life with an innocuous and poorly-written piece about my favorite team in all of sports. In the time since, has opened a million and one doors for me. I've been able to do national radio shows, seen my work featured in national news papers, and of course, found a way to turn this into a profitable hustle. None of this would have been possible without you, the readers who essentially comprise the community better known as AverageNation™.

To commemorate the occasion, I'd like to share a handful of my favorite posts, in no particular order. Maybe you already saw these, if not, get familiar.
Drive-By Activism and The Jena Six

Non-Urban Dictates, Tavis, Tom, and Other Tales of Urban Lore

People I Strongly Dislike: The Everest College Dude

The Strange Culture Of High Yella Hatred

Could Someone Please Tell Me What A "Real American" Is?!?

Memo To White America: No, You Can't Say The Word "N*gger". And Here's Why.

The Other Side Of The Hoe-Hop™ Game.

The Broken English Hall of Shame

Ladies, Wanna Find A Man?!? Let AB Tell You How.

An MultiMedia Exposé: Top 13 Debits To The Black Race

AB Goes To A TeaParty. Accidentally.

5 Phrases Black People Must Abolish If We Are Ever To Get Ahead.

If It Ain't Race, Then What Is It?!?

Is It Trickin' If You Got It?!?

AverageBro & AverageFam Live Blog The BET Awards 08'

AB's New "Man-Laws" For Young Black Males
Question: What's your favorite all-time post?!? What do you like most about this site? How'd you even end up here in the first place? Yeah, I know this is self-serving, but hey, it's my anniversary. Flatter Humor me.