Monday, October 31, 2011

Herman Cain Did Not Have Sex With Those Women!!!

Okay, I'm gonna make a not-so-bold prediction here: Herman Cain will win the GOP candidacy running away. After the way he's already weathered these latest allegations, what other conclusion could you come to?!?
Herman Cain, one of the frontrunners in the Republican race for the White House, is battling to keep his candidacy afloat amid allegations of sexual harassment involving two female workers in the restaurant industry.

In the first stage of a damage-limitation exercise, Cain did a live interview with Fox News in which he categorically denied sexually harassing anyone or making any out-of-court settlement himself. He described the allegations as "trumped-up".

But he acknowledged that the row was going to do some damage to his campaign, which had seen him take the lead in some polls.

"Obviously, some people will be turned off by this cloud over my campaign, but a lot of people are not going to be turned off," he said.

Ignoring the traditional advice of public relations consultants to get all the facts out into the open, Cain skirted round some of the details, ensuring the row will rumble on. Crucially, he was unable to say whether the National Restaurant Association had paid the two workers in a deal that bought their silence.

Cain, in a story broken by the Politico website, was accused in the 1990s of sexual harassment by two female staff at the association, a lobbying group for the hotel industry. Cain held a senior post in the association.

According to Politico, two female staff left the company after complaining about inappropriate behaviour by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable. They reportedly received a payout in return for signing an agreement to keep quiet about it.

In his first comments on the allegations, Cain said: "I have never sexually harassed anyone: I can say that. Secondly, I have never sexually harassed anyone, and, yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association. And I say falsely, because it turned out after the investigation to be baseless."
Independent reports have already confirmed that at least one woman was paid a 5-6 figure settlement for her trouble. Of course, all of these allegations were covered up with a standard non-disclosure agreement, so we'll never hear what happened. And thus, there's no way this will derail The Cain Train.

Is this Negro made of Teflon or what? Seriously, think about it:

He was head of the Kansas City Fed Reserve, and has run for President and US Senate before, yet he can claim the title of "Government Outsider" and nobody bats an eye.

He worked for a high profile lobbying organization, but still claims to be "against special interests".

He has proudly boasted about not wanting to hire a Muslim to a cabinet level position.

He was pro-choice, then pro-life.

His 9-9-9 Plan will effectively raise taxes on 87% of all Americans, many of whom are probably Conservatives.

He was for TARP.

He's got not one, but two confirmed cases of women who were paid off because of his undue sexual advances, yet Conservatives are coming out in droves in support of him today, claiming these allegations are merely the "lamestream media" trying to "keep a brotha down".[1]

This dude can weather that sorta storm, yet still be the frontrunner? Seriously?

The more I think about this guy, the more I realize how brilliant he is. I don't mean in the textbook "I went to Harvard" Obama book smarts, sense. Nope, Cain is street smart, and understands the psyche of his constituents far better than Obama. When in doubt, blame the media, because all Conservatives are conditioned to distrust the media, facts be damned. It's a "victimhood" approach that worked well for Sarah Palin. Cain is essentially running plays from the same book, subbing sexism for racism, and dude is #winning.

I hate the game and the player, but I can sorta respect the Grand Hu$tle.

Obama vs Cain next Fall. Book it.

Question: Are these sexual assault allegations going to kill Cain's momentum, or is this a one-news cycle story at best? Do you care if your President prolly rubbed his co-workers boobs and paid them to be quiet about it? Is there anything Cain can do to fall out of graces with GOP voters?

[1] Yes, I heard one Conservative talk show host claim Cain's only being blamed for harassment because he's black.

(Not So) Great Moments In Recent Negro History #29 - Webbie Tells Kids To Stay In School.

If you don't know the backstory on this f*ckery, here's the Cliff Notes version. Now, just press play and be (mildly) entertained.

Question: Can you count all the things wrong in this video?!?

Friday, October 28, 2011

(Not So) Great Moments In Recent Negro History #56 - The Infamous Tuscaloosa Waffle House Fight.

I'd prefer to not run the full fight video here. You can watch here if you'd like. You probably need to watch it to understand the full context of this f*ckery.

Question: Do people think before putting incriminating videos on YouTube?!?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Caption This Photo.

I could say so much, but I'd rather hear your line instead.[1]

Question: Caption this photo. The wittiest comment gets a week's supply of Cyber CapriSuns™ and a loaded 12-inch Godfather's pizza.[2]

[1] Hat tip to Bol.

[2] Not really.

Should They Test Welfare Recipients For Drug Use?!?

You know the routine. Sometimes when I'm conflicted about a story, I punt instead of providing my own spin on it. This would be such an instance.
A federal judge has temporarily blocked a controversial Florida law requiring all welfare applicants to be drug-tested. U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary injunction Monday evening against enforcement of the law's "suspicionless drug testing" of adults seeking federal welfare.

The law went into effect July 1, but a single father and the American Civil Liberties Union contend in a lawsuit that the new law is unconstitutional and violates Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

"Perhaps no greater public interest exists than protecting a citizen's rights under the Constitution," the judge wrote, quoting a 1997 Hawaii case.

Under the law, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services requires the drug tests of adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The aid recipients are responsible for the cost of the screening, which they recoup in their assistance if they qualify.

Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, but they do not receive a refund for cost of the test.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has championed the law, saying it provides "personal accountability." He added it was "unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction." The GOP-controlled legislature passed the bill, and Scott signed it into law in May 2011.

Since campaigning for governor, Scott has said that the drug-testing of welfare recipients "will help to prevent misuse of Florida tax dollars" and make sure the money goes to the children.

"Research shows higher drug use among individuals receiving government assistance, and drug abuse also forces children into welfare assistance," Scott said while signing the bill into law.

The ACLU said the state's own study found that of the 2,000 people who took the state drug test, only a small percentage (less than 2%) tested positive.
Okay, I'm gonna withold my commentary on this one. Maybe I'll chime in later, but for now, it's your show.

What say ye'?

Question: Should welfare recipients be tested for drug use, or is this just another case of too much government intrusion?!?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quite Possibly The Worst Presidential Campaign Ad Of All Time.

In the annals of political advertisement, we've seen some truly odd campaign commercials. While some candidates stick with basic themes of generic Americana, others push the envelope and go for shock factor. We've seen opposition to affirmative action expressed via a pair of white hands, weird red eyed sheep, scary black inmates used to decry opponents as weak on crime, demonic sheep, Hollywood blockbuster-style theatrics to liven up plan vanilla candidates, and just plain ole' f*ckery.

This ad, courtesy of The Campaign To Elect Daddy Green, just might be the weirdest thing I've ever seen. Period.

What is this? A ploy to "Real Americans"? An appeal to folks who smoke, crack fiendishly, outside office buildings in the dead of winter? An ad for Crest White Strips™? Foreshadowing an upcoming subject on How To Catch A Predator? And what's up with Cain's protracted sh*t-eating grin at the end?

Uh, seriously HERB, WTF?!?

Question: What was that?!?

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011 Hot Topics - 10.25.11

Here's the daily rundown, with headlines taken from links you sent in/suggested.

Cain Holds Slim Lead Over Romney in National Poll [RCP] - Okay, even I'll admit I thought the gig woulda been up by now. I figured once "Real Americans" took a look at Herman Cain's sketchy resume, they'd be jumping on Team Mittens by now, but Cain is the train that keeps on chugging. The "vetting" process for him is just getting underway, but that, and recent slip-ups on abortion and foreign policy don't seem to be sinking his ship. In an odd way, Cain seems somewhat like Sarah Palin: a reasonably smart and moderately accomplished person who has no business running for the Presidency, but becomes a martyr to folks with a disdain for Washington and "elitism". Still, this plane is gonna eventually crash, and for Vain Cain (has any other man every referred to himself so frequently in 3rd person?) that's surely going to be one humbling experience. Awwwwww shucky ducky!!!

Rick Perry's A Birther [WP] - Uhhh, seriously, was this guy asleep at the wheel last Spring? Did he not see Obama's grand announcement? Isn't this last years news? So why's Perry apparently playing the birther card? Well, sagging poll numbers for one (he's in 5th place in many polls). And oh yeah, a Gallup poll in May (the month after Obama showed the damn document!) reported that only 47% of Americans believed Obama was born in the US. That's right. After he showed the requested long form document, more than half of all Americans still don't believe him. So, basically, this is a last ditch effort for Governor GoodHair. Classy.

Fairfax neighbors head to court over unscooped dog poop [WP] - No disrespect intended to my readers of a lighter complexion, but this is the consummate case study in "while people problems". Seriously. When this is the biggest of your concerns in this economic climate, you're probably doing pretty well in life. Why this was a front page story, I have no idea. None.

Netflix stock sinks 36% as subscribers flee [CNN] - There are some companies that really "get" their customers. Yesterday my Southwest Airlines flight was delayed 3 hours for mechanical issues, so I was stranded (I got their alert one minute after I returned my rental car). This has happened a lot lately. So, I tweeted about how p*ssed off I was. 10 mins later, an SWA customer service agent responded, we talked offline, and they're giving me comp tickets. They value their customers and do whatever it takes to retain them. Netflix, doesn't. While I think a measly $5 price hike is hardly reason for a fullblown consumer rebellion, Netflix's embarrassing mishaps are a B-school case study in "not knowing your customer... at all!" and they're paying for it dearly. Of course, if you're a potential shareholder, the stock tumbling from $300 to $75 in a matter of weeks is actually a good thing. So there's that.

Professional Complainers Unite [TheDrum] - Regarding that experience with Southwest yesterday, you might be interested in knowing that more companies are responding to complaints via social media than ever before. I'm not exactly a professional complainer, but I am the sort of guy to write a terse email or call customer service when I'm unhappy with an experience. So being able to blast a corporation via Twitter and get a more direct and immediate response is a revelation of sorts for me. Apparently this is a documented best practice of sorts now, that smart companies are capitalizing on. If this sorta nerdy business/workplace stuff appeals to you, you might wanna read this.

Sporting Headlines - Rangers one win away from first World Series, which would give The Big D two world champs in one calendar year. NBA cancels two more weeks of season. Jags ether B-More. Caps still undefeated. Cam Newton is awesome! Not so sure about Tebow, despite that gutsy win.

Question: What do you think about these issues?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Are The NBA Owners Racist?!?

For NBA stans like me, the past few days have been horrible. Talks between the union and players association died late last week, and any moment now, I'd expect games through the New Year to be cancelled. The two sides have no plans to meet again, after the owners (allegedly) refused to budge on their profit sharing demands, and things quickly dissolved into a petty game of he said/he said during a pair of godawful press conferences.

So, I'm pretty much officially a Redskins fan now. I gotta watch something, and I ain't thuggish enough to turn to hockey just yet. If there's no pro roundball come January, check back with me.

Anyways, as with anything in America involving people of different races, the element of racism seems to be lying just below the surface of these aborted negotiations. The NBA is lead by commish David Stern and a handful of owners. The players are represented by Laker Derek Fisher and union bawse Billy Hunter. One side's overwhelmingly white (with the exception of Michael Jordan) and the other's almost exclusively black (84% of NBA players are brothas). But does this racial dynamic automatically equal racism?

I typically like The Washington Post's Mike Wise, but his exploration of this (potential) issue was hamhanded and just downright lazy.
The owners “lied to you,” Derek Fisher said, moments after the players union president walked out of fruitless labor talks in Manhattan on Thursday night. And with that the mutual distrust and name-calling began anew.

Now the NBA is again facing the prospect of a bye year. Soon, it won’t be about money. Soon, the Rev. Jesse Jackson worries, it will be personal and irreconcilable and no longer about the color green.

I called Jackson to see what he thought of Bryant Gumbel’s portrayal of NBA Commissioner David Stern as a smug and pedantic bully in his dealings with the players during his closing remarks this week on HBO’s “Real Sports.” Gumbel’s commentary included the misguided characterization of Stern, widely known as the most forward-thinking, ethnically inclusive commissioner in modern pro sports, as a “modern plantation overseer.”

The older white men are now asking the young black men to take a pay cut in order to cover their purported losses, upward of $280 million a year. Given that, it’s almost ridiculous they call “basketball-related income” the elephant in the room.

Once race becomes a factor in the discussion, it begins to tinge perceptions of everything and everyone.

Spurs owner Peter Holt, who heads the owners’ labor relations committee, has been one of Rick Perry’s top 10 donors the past decade, giving the Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate more than $500,000 in political contributions.

A sports owner making contributions to the governor of his franchise’s state might be seen as logical self-interest. But through a racial prism, it can be viewed as Holt being pals with a guy whose family’s hunting camp had the n-word painted on a rock near the entrance for years.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a real-estate mogul who owns 10,000 apartment units in Los Angeles and Orange counties, so his being the subject of a housing-discrimination suit might not be a huge surprise. But when former employees deposed in discrimination cases say Sterling did not want to rent to blacks or Latinos because they “smell” — claims his lawyers call “absurd” — that could make his African American players wonder what he really sees across the negotiating table.

And when jilted Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote an open letter after LeBron James bolted Cleveland for Miami in 2010, Gilbert could have been an owner rallying his deflated customer base. But through a racial prism, Gilbert looked like a white owner labeling a black employee who honored his seven-year contract an ingrate — or, as Jackson said in the wake of Gilbert’s letter, “a runaway slave.”

“Gilbert unleashed a whole body of language on him that was so violent and so threatening,” Jackson said Thursday afternoon. “That’s why I used the language I did.”
Look, I'm gonna cut right to the chase here: I don't think there's anything particularly racist about this labor squabble. Sure, the two sides look pretty different complexion-wise, but this is all about green, plain and simple. The owners want the players to take 50% of BRI, the players are stuck at 52.5%. That's it, and that's all. Period.

Is there likely some paternalistic "take this or else!" posturing coming from the owners? Sure. Do the players likely feel they're being shorted here, because the owners are generally more educated and business savvy? Probably so. But that doesn't make anything about this negotiation "racist". Drawing flimsy parallels from Spurs owner Peter Holt to Texas governor Rick Perry is the worse kind of racial guilt by association. If Holt has a problem with putting black players on his team, I doubt he would have ridden Tim Duncan and David Robinson to NBA titles. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a bonafide douche who has been sued for discrimination before, but there's no proof that his douchiness has anything to do with these negotiations. He's also a well known spendthrift, so he just wants his money. As for Dan Gilbert, well, I'm on record as agreeing with his Dear Lebron missive.

So, sorry, I don't see the race here. This is about money, plain and simple. The players, by virtue of being employees, are at a disadvantage, and that disadvantage probably gets exploited at the negotiating table. But that doesn't make anything about this story racist.

Shame on you Mike Wise.

Question: Am I wrong here, or do you see a racist element to the NBA's labor dilemma?!? Is Wise's piece intentionally interjecting race to sell papers and generate web clicks, or does he have a point? Open Mic Monday.

On the road again, so no blog today. Here's your open mic. Speak on it.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's On My iPod?!? - Classic 90's R&B Mixtape.

I like to whine and complain about the state of modern R&B music frequently here, and on Twitter. I rarely, if ever, listen to any R&B released after 1999. The genre's hard turn into the lousy "Where Hip Hop & R&B Lives!" format that litters the airwaves today simply isn't appealing. There's little musicality, the lyrics are awful, and well, Drake's whiny, professional male apologist a$$ seems to be on every 3rd song. That's reason enough to not listen if you ask me. "Urban Contemporary" sucks just as badly.

I thought the 80's were the decade when live instrumentation died, and the 90's were the decade when that gradual shift towards R&B's genre bending infusion with rap music really took off. That said, there was a lot of good/decent music made then, and the utterly awesome mixtape Statik Selektah & Lord Sear Present Open Bar Classics Vol. 2: The 90′s captures some of the decade's best offerings.

I mean, seriously, check the track listing.
Crystal Johnson Intro
Mary J “Real Love” (original & remix)
Meth & Mary J “All I Need” (Puff’s Remix)
112 “Only You (Remix)”
Dru Hill “In My Bed (Remix)”
R Kelly “Be Happy”
Groove Theory “Tell Me”
Gina Thompson “The Things You Do (Remix)”
702 “Steelo”
Isley Brothers “Float On (Remix)”
Total “No One Else”
Faith “i Just Can’t”
Mary J “Everyday It Rains”
Aaliyah “Back & Forth”
Adina Howard “Freak Like Me”
TLC “Creep”
Horace Brown “Things We Do For Love”
Shai “Dont Wanna Be Alone”
SWV & MJ “Right There (Human Nature Mix)”
SWV “Anything (Wu Remix)”
Mariah Carey “Fantasy (ODB Remix)”
Montell Jordan “This Is How We Do It”
Zhane “Hey Mr Dj”
Eric Benet “Georgy Porgy”
Faith “Love Like This”
Lucy Pearl “Get Involved”
Lucy Pearl “Dance Tonight” (So What Its 2000)
Koffee Brown “The After Party”
With no filler and minimal shoutouts/random DJ obnoxiousness, this is a tailor made soundtrack for a breezy Sunday ride or that random trip down memory lane. Hell, I give them extra points for resisting the urge to include "No Diggity" (thank you Jesus!). And as always, the price it right: It's free.

Stop reading and go download it already.

Question: What's your favorite random 90's R&B song?!?

Also cop.... Statik Selektah & Lord Sear – Open Bar Classics Vol. 1: The 80′s (Mixtape) [via NahRight]

Friday, October 21, 2011

The GOP's Comically Inept "Jobs Plan".

Look, there's no reason to defend President Obama's performance on the economy. Not when the unemployment rate stands at 9.1%. Period. His signature economic initiative (the Stimulus Package) worked as it should have, but when the money ran out, the economy was back in the same shape. Spending another half a trillion would likely result in a similar temporary boom, followed by a similar bust once the funds run dry. You can't just keep spending to temporarily create jobs, so there's no real reason to expect the jobs numbers to be dramatically different next Fall.

So basically, the jobs number is Obama's Achilles heel, and one the GOP hopes to use to oust him come 2012. That said, what solution has the GOP offered to our employment clusterf*ck?!?

Other than attacking Obama and promising to cut basically every tax in existence, not much. Economic history has proven that the link between low taxes and employment is negligible at best. High taxes during Clinton's terms didn't seem to hurt. Low taxes didn't do much to stave off the effects of the recession that occurred on Bush's watch. Lower taxes (in some cases historically low) under Obama haven't helped either. There's no tangible co-relation. None.

So, what does the GOP "leadership" propose? A comical mishmash of ideological BS, reduced regulations, and of yeah, tax cuts. The Washington Post (yeah, I know, they're liberal. Whatever) looked at their plan point by point to examine it's potential effectiveness. The results, well, they were less than stellar.
Senate Republicans, including Rand Paul (Ky.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), last week unveiled what they labeled as their alternative to Obama’s plan. Their plan was mostly a mish-mash of previous offered bills, such as that hardy perennial--a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. (Some experts would argue that such a requirement could hurt employment if government spending dropped too quickly.) During the news conference, and in a news release, Paul claimed the GOP plan would create 5 million jobs.

Moira Bagley, a spokesman for Paul, said the figure was derived from three proposals: individual and corporate tax cuts that reduced the top tax rate of 25 percent, which the Heritage Foundation said would boost employment by 1.6 million jobs over the next decade; a tax holiday allowing U.S. companies to return cash held overseas, which a Chamber of Commerce study said would create 2.9 million jobs in two years; and a study by energy consultant Wood MacKenzie, which said allowing access to domestic energy resources and imports of Canadian oil would generate more than 1 million jobs by 2018.

There are several problems with these figures.

First of all, the tax reductions and the energy proposals are going to do very little in the near term. The Heritage study looks at the impact over ten years. And, let’s face it, a project as big as reducing tax rates will take months, if not years, of legislative battles. Such a tax plan certainly won’t do anything to avert a recession right now. (In any case, we raised serious questions about aspects of the Heritage analysis when it was released earlier this year in conjunction with the House Republican budget plan.)

The same problem holds true for the energy proposal—a long-term fix that will not bring much near term help. Incidentally, this same study, which has been promoted by the American Petroleum Institute, was recently the subject of a front-page Washington Post article about the “fuzzy math” on jobs used by corporate lobbying interests.

That leaves the Chamber of Commerce study on a proposed tax holiday, officially known as repatriation. It certainly has a big figure—2.9 million jobs—and it was written by a credible economist, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office. But this is not a slam-dunk issue; some experts say the last time this was tried, in 2004 and 2005, firms simply gave the money to shareholders as dividends or bought back stock, rather than creating jobs.

The result was a very wide range, of which 2.9 million jobs was the midpoint. “Quite frankly, it is educated guesswork at best,” Holtz-Eakin said in an interview.

It’s certainly ironic that Senate Republicans cite a study that uses the same methodology that calculated successful job growth in the stimulus bill. Republican lawmakers frequently decry the stimulus as a failure, but the CBO found that it added or saved between 1.9 million and 4.9 million jobs in 2010.
We should just be honest with ourselves for once. Those manufacturing jobs that slowly, but surely, went overseas over the past decade are gone. They are not coming back. Ever. Period. An honest politician would be preparing America for persistent 8%+ unemployment indefinitely. Of course, honesty, Democrat or Republican, doesn't get you elected.

Obama, to his credit, has tried to create new job sectors in green jobs and the health care industry. Neither of these has exactly taken off, but at least they're ideas. Spouting talking points about the oppression of higher taxes on "job creators" and scaling back regulations on the very companies that got us into our current predicament isn't tangible. It certainly will not be effective either.

Yeah, let's face it. We're screwed.

Question: What do you think of the GOP's "jobs plan"? Who has the better solution, Obama (short term, but costly stimulus) or the Republicans (basically, nothing)?!?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The "Gaddafi Is Dead" Open Thread.

Just in case you are residing under a rock this morning...
Revolutionary fighters overran the last major stronghold of Moammar Gaddafi’s loyalists on Thursday, and Libyan state television reported that the ousted former Libyan leader was killed.

There was no immediate confirmation of the death from independent sources, and conflicting reports circulated that he had been captured or wounded.

Libyan TV station al-Ahrar reported that Gaddafi was killed in the fighting but did not cite a source. Reuters news agency quoted an unidentified official of the interim national government as also saying the former Libyan leader had been slain.

“He’s captured. We don’t know if he’s dead or not,” Ibrahim Mohammed Shirkasiya, a senior security official in Misurata, the biggest city west of Sirte, said by telephone. He said his information came from revolutionary commanders in Sirte.

Celebrations erupted in Sirte and in other parts of the country as word spread of the fall of the city and the possible capture or slaying of Gaddafi.

In Tripoli, hundreds of cars honked their horns, and the air was filled with celebratory gunfire from automatic rifles and heavy weapons.

Gaddafi’s death, if confirmed, would ease fears that he could still rally his forces to launch a stealth guerrilla campaign against the revolutionary government. Gaddafi ruled with an iron fist for 42 years, brooking no opposition and establishing a cult of personality.
While viewing the capture Gaddafi was astounding, what if you were needing to view and capture another type of criminal? What do I mean? Well, if someone were to break into your home or business, surveillance cameras could have caught it all. For additional information on even perhaps wireless surveillance cameras, visit the previous sites.

Okay, let the spin begin. Some are going to see this as a validation of President Obama's much criticized "lead from behind" strategy. Others are going to give the US (well, okay, Obama specifically) no credit whatsoever for this. I'm sure my astute readers have their own opinions. Go in.

Question: What's your read on this? Open Mic Thursday.

Busy day. Here's your open mic. Speak on it.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Armchair Obama™ - Do You "Occupy" Occupy Wall Street?!?

As anyone who pays attention to the polls knows, President Obama is facing some looooong odds to re-election in 2012. Pretty much every major demographic group (yes, black folks too!) that helped propel him to an election of historic proportions in 2008 is giving dude the stinkeye right now. 9.1% unemployment, and 2+ years of demonstrating suspect shaky leadership qualities will do that to you. While some contend he'll win purely on the strength of having turrible competition, I think that train of thought is shortsighted. Go Google "2004 NBA Champions" if you need further explanation.

The recent explosion of Occupy Wall Street rallies has admittedly left me scratching my head. Part of me wants to say these guys are the liberal equivalent of the Tea Party, but I'm not so sure about that. Whereas the Tea Party quickly coalesced around a laughably flimsy, but reasonable number of issues (taxation, limited government, getting rid of Obama) and likewise sprung a number of identifiable leaders (Glenn Beck, Fox News, Miss Sarah, hell, the entire GOP!) the #OWS "movement" really hasn't been as well defined. What do these guys want? College loans forgiven? Free housing? Jobs? A lifetime supply of Starbucks gift cards? To the untrained eye, this looks like a bunch of entitled hipsters who should probably just go take a shower go do something better with their free time. That said, the "movement" shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. It's also ideologically more aligned with what the President is trying to accomplish. The protesters certainly don't seem to be against Obama, and seem to be in approval of his push for greater financial regulations and "redistribution of wealth".

This, of course, raises a prickly issue for the President. You can basically ignore these people and run the risk that they'll eventually turn against you. You could jump in the bandwagon, and possibly tap into this sentiment, praying it translates into voter enthusiasm next Fall. Of course, given some of the crazies in this crowd, this could backfire as well.

The ever-diligent President has basically stayed above the fray so far. Just as he hesitated to demonize, or even acknowledge the potential political danger of the Tea Party (a huge tactical error in my opinion) early on, he's only given lip service to the #OWS crowd. For better or for worse, he (inexplicably!) waded into this issue during the King Memorial dedication this weekend, and of course, the wingnuts are now claiming #OWS is a concerted, orchestrated effort by the Obama White House to fire up the liberal base. Honestly, I don't think there's much merit to this, but hey, what do I know?

That said, I wonder what ya'll think about this phenomenon, and how the President should (or shouldn't) embrace it. Play Armchair Obama™ and tell me what you'd do?

Question: If you were the President, how would you handle the #OWS movement? Embrace them, ignore them, or flirt when it makes political sense? Should the President have brought up the #OWS movement during the King Memorial Dedication, or was this the wrong place/time to make a political ploy?

Who The Heck Is Phoenix Jones?!?

No, not Felix Jones, Phoenix Jones.

Man, this might be easier to believe if it was some sort of awful performance art. But the strange story of a real life Seattle Negro SuperHero[1] made it's way to Fox News, so it's apparently real.

Something tells me this guy's playing a prank on the media and he's about 10 steps ahead of the rest of us. Then again, he could just be a shermhead.

Yeah, that's prolly it.

Question: What do you make of this? Does this guy have a future in reality TV?

[1] No Shawn Kemp.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Top 5 Secrets to Online Dating Revealed

[Editor's Note: Amy Reynolds is a relationship expert from Best Internet Dating Sites who brings to us this guest post on being successful in online dating. As usual, show our guest some love, you know where.]

We use the internet for everything short of brushing our teeth for us, so why not use it for searching for someone with whom to share a meaningful relationship? Maybe dating the conventional way has been less than successful for you and the idea of venturing into cyberspace for that special friend has crossed your mind…so if you’re ready to give it a try and dive head first into the massive online dating pond, be sure and check out the top five secrets to making the experience of fishing for the perfect catch worthwhile:

Secret #1: Post a picture. Let’s face it—faces are important, and no one wants to end up with what’s behind mystery door #3. A clear, up close, solo photograph of yourself is the first thing that singles will notice and it will guide them to check out your dating profile. In fact, online singles with a profile picture get about eight times the response of those who don’t post a picture. So even if you’re uncomfortable about your looks, this will be your chance to be brave and get over some of your insecurities. You can find some decent human beings who will be interested in what you have to offer on the inside—not on the outside.
Safety tip: Never meet an online friend in person if they don’t have a picture. It’s important that you know what your date looks like to be sure that they are who they say they are.
Secret #2: Just be yourself. One of the most important rules when it comes to dating by any method, being yourself is going to be your best bet when trying to get lucky in love. Remember that honesty is the best policy—this means don’t tell someone you drive a Ferrari when you’ve got a Ford Focus sitting in your garage. Be truthful when disclosing pictures, info on your profile, and through exchanges with cyber singles. If online communication should happen to flourish into an in-person meeting, you’re going to feel pretty ridiculous when trying to explain the extra 50 pounds that you photo-shopped out of the picture on your dating profile. Remember, the truth always comes out in the end.
Safety tip: If you are engaging in contact with someone via online dating site, watch for inconsistencies in their stories and information. If you pick up on any lies, it is best that you cut the communication—you don’t want to fall into the trap of a lying, cheating con artist.
Secret #3: Keep the communication cool. Online dating offers many unique tools that you can use to interact with internet singles—online chat, email, webcam chat, etc. In these first communications with someone who could be a potential match, it is important to treat the conversation as you would on a traditional first date. Make sure to keep the topics light—don’t cover anything heavy such as your ideas on how to handle the country’s debt crisis, your crazy ex or the diagnosis from your latest doctor’s visit.
Safety tip: When chatting up singles on the web, be sure to never give out personally identifying information. This includes your home address, place of business, phone number, personal email address, etc.
Secret #4: Know when to call it quits. Most online singles will engage in communication over the internet and phone for about three weeks before going on their first face-to-face date. If you find that you’ve been going strong for three months and there’s no sign of taking things to an in-person level, there’s a good chance that you’re never going to see your online friend offline. So if you’re looking for more than a pen-pal, consider saying goodbye.
Safety tip: It is important to watch for signs of an online scammer who is looking to gain access to your wallet or someone who may have a wedding band around their left ring finger and a spouse and kids in the next room. If anyone should make you feel uncomfortable or give you a shady vibe—listen to your gut and cease communication. Anyone pursuing you for the right reasons will understand and respect your need for protection.
Secret #5: Go on a safe first date. With the millions of singles signed up to online dating sites, there is a good chance of meeting someone who is legit enough to hang with the likes of you. That being said, there is also a chance of running into someone who would better the world by being locked up in a padded cell. So when the time is appropriate to stage a first in-person date, your chances of success grow when you play it as safe as possible.
Safety tip: Always meet in a crowded, public place and be sure to let a friend or family member know where you’re going and who you’ll be with. Remain aware of your surroundings—as much as you think you might need a cocktail to soothe your nerves, be sure to keep the alcoholic beverages to a minimum. And lastly, have fun and enjoy your date!
Question: Have you tried internet dating before? If so, what has your experience been like? Is it easier than the traditional dating scene? Care to share any success or horror stories?

Monday, October 17, 2011 Open Mic Monday.

Busy day. Recovering from my first 5K, so no blog. Here's your open mic. Speak on it.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Friday, October 14, 2011

WorkPlace 101: Does Anyone Actually "Work Hard"?!?

A few years ago, we went to Rome on vacation. While we were shopping, around mid-day, I remember one store locking the door behind us as we exited. So I'm thinking "man, that sh*t is racist!" But then as we keep walking, I realize pretty much every other store is also closing. And it's like 1pm. Little did I know this was just Italian custom. They take long lunches (with lots of wine) and then kick back for an afternoon nap. It's just how they roll. And to this clueless America, it looked lazy as hell.

America is a capitalist society, and as such, with few exceptions, if you don't work, you don't eat. We pull 90 hour weeks, and pride ourselves on fierce determination and unrivaled work ethic. But does anyone actually "work hard" anymore, or is that just another American made cliche?

Think about it: how many jobs actually entail an activity that would be considered "hard"? Mine doesn't. I essentially set my own hours. I spent most of my time either on the phone with a customer, or writing code. When I have to travel, I go to nice cities, stay in relatively good accommodations, and get a nice per diem. I've got great benefits, and work with cool people. So even when I'm pulling the occasional 60 hour billable week, this isn't exactly "hard" work. Even if you aren't an engineer, I'm assuming most of my readers live a similar white collar existence. I could be wrong.

When I look around, I don't see many other people "working hard" either. I see security guards playing Angry Birds. Cops checking Facebook accounts. Waiters Twittering while you wait for your food. The mailman drives around listening to his iPod (earbud game proper). Even the trash guys take their own leisurely time when they show up twice a week.[1]

Don't get me wrong, I know menial labor. I been had "hard" jobs. I worked in a steel factory sanding computer motherboards for 8 hours a day. I've picked fruits and veggies in the scalding Carolina heat for money. I had a job at a grocery store whose responsibilities regularly entailed jumping up and down in a dumpster (often filled with raw chicken parts) to avoid overcrowding. I know hard jobs, which is why I worked hard as sh*t in school and professionally to ensure that I'd work "smart" jobs the rest of my life.[2]

Back in the days (yep, dating myself) folks did actually work hard. My grandparents were a case study in bone shattering Day Jobiness. My grandma cleaned (relatively) rich folks homes during the day, and did a 3rd shift at a textile plant. My grandaddy was a GM mechanic. Those folks worked H.A.R.D. They were in constant ache and pain from their Day Jobs, and to some degree, the jobs they have eventually shortened their lives. It certainly diminished their quality of life as they aged. Anytime I feel like complaining about having to go to Orlando on short notice for some boring client meeting, I think about how downtrodden they both would be at the end of the day, and I smack myself for complaining about how comparatively easy I have it. Seriously, it could always be worse. Much worse. You know, 9.1% unemployment worse.

I'm just sayin' does anyone actually "work hard" anymore?

I guess cops (Facebook notwithstanding) have it bad, with the element of danger around every corner and whatnot. Ditto for soldiers. Firemen? Sure, I suppose, although that job seems to entail a sh*tload of sitting around waiting for something to pop off. Construction work isn't easy, and it's also dangerous. Then again, if you're the guy whose sole job it is to switch that caution sign from "Stop" to "Drive", workin' outdoors prolly ain't that hard either.

Annndddd, unless I'm missing something, that's about it.

Seriously, does anyone actually "work hard" anymore?

Question: Would you consider your job "hard" or merely an occasional annoyance? What's the "hardest" job you've ever worked? Are there any "hard" jobs I missed?

[1] One profitable side-hustle of being a trash man is salvaging lightly used items and reselling them. Our guys are always examining whatever is left at the curb. If it's good, they'll put it in a separate container on the truck. Hustle hard.

[2] I know that sounded crass, and sorta elitist. Sorry if anyone was offended. And yeah, I could go back if I needed to, but seriously, who wants to hustle backwards? I'd collect unemployment for a minute before I did that.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

3 Play Thursday - Rappin' Ballers.

It's 3 Play Thursday. Today: Locked Out NBA Players Who Moonlight As cRappers.

If you think this NBA lockout sucks for fans, imagine the dilemma for players. You're not getting paid. You've got lots of free time on your hands. You have no idea if you'll work again during The Obama Administration. But you've still got an ego that needs massaging, and money to blow. Why not head to the studio, drop some tracks, and make an expensive Youtube video for an mixtape most NBA fans won't even bother downloading from DatPiff?!? Makes sense to me, and makes sense to a handful of lesser known NBA players moonlighting as cRappers. The results are mixed, as my bball-centric grades will show.

Without further ado, let's spin the records...

Stephen "Stack Jax" Jackson of the Milwaukee Bucks - "Eff' A Lockout"

Jackson will probably always be best known for his part in The Malice At The Palace, but honestly, this isn't half bad. Sure, he's on the wrong side of 30 to be rappin' about anything "trill", but I've heard worse. The Pimp C-like subject matter works for him. Bonus points for the Eazy-E sample at the beginning. Basket, And One.

Brandon Bass of the Orlando Magic - "Billion Dollar Dreams"

Sorry, but this just isn't all that good. Dude sounds like Webbie with a college degree, and that's clearly Dwight Howard's house, not his. BTW, is it possible for an athlete to record a song without 1,209 mentions of the word "ball" in the lyrics? Please. Three Second Violation.

Lou Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers - "Slow It Down"

Wick. Wick. Wack. Seriously, Sweet Lou, what kinda Will.I.Am crap is this? Technical Foul.

Dejuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs - "2 Hard Living"

I think "2 Hard Listening" might be a better title. I'm assuming this is an ode to the dead homies who never made it out the hood, but this "Crossroads" ripoff and autotuned atrocity just makes me wanna kill my iPad. That b&w/red cup effect is pretty nice though. Missed Free Throw.

Delonte West of Team Gloria James the Boston Celtics - "MJ Shwagg"

Ok, no need to lie, this isn't awful, mostly cause West clearly isn't taking himself too seriously. He's nowhere near being on beat, but the track is bouncy. I like this. 3 Pointer.

Question: Should any of these guys keep rapping or do they need to be somewhere practicing free throws?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why Herman Cain Could Actually Become President. Or (Prolly) Not.

I wrote this post prior to last night's GOP Debate, so it's entirely possible Herman Cain's reign on the top of the GOP field could be short like leprechauns. Then again, the fact that a black guy with zero elected government experience is even near the top of the GOP polls says something. But what exactly?

No need to lie, I find the guy, and his effect on Conservatives very intriguing. I like his boldness, unapologetic blackness, and willingness to speak his mind, no matter how stupid or hateful the thought. I guess that whole thing about 65 year old black men not having a "filter" applies to Cain.

Here's a handful of very random thoughts about the phenomenon that is (was?) Daddy Green Herman Cain...

Why's He Really On Top?!? - I think it's very possible Cain's just the flavor of the month. Period. Let's not forget, he was also toast of the town after the first GOP debate, then disappeared. He really hasn't been vetted at all yet, and his time as frontrunner has been so brief he has mostly flown under the media radar. This will obviously change soon. I can't help but think he's a "placeholder" of sorts for people who wanted Palin and Christie to run, and are momentarily off the Perry bandwagon. This, of course, can change, and probably will.

The Dreaded "Race Card" : Take I - Some will say Cain's ascent has much to do with him refusing to play the "race card", which isn't terribly different from Barack Obama's race-neutral approach in 2008. There's some truth to that, but honestly, Cain does play the card pretty frequently (see: "brainwashing", "Real black man", "Black Walnut", the "no Muslims" thing) if you really think about it. Of course, since it's usually played against liberals, it doesn't hurt him.

Colorful Character - No need to lie, with Miss Sarah and Big K.R.I.S. out of the running, I was a little worried about having good blog fodder for the next few months as this GOP candidate is chosen. Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry have basically ethered themselves already. Newt never even got off the ground. Romney and Huntsman are about as exciting as listening to NPR. Cain, by virtue of having perpetual verbal diarheaa is about the most bloggable guy left.

The Dreaded "Race Card" : Take II - The notable exception here was when Cain walked right into a "lamestream" media death trap and spoke out against Perry's infamous "N*ggerhead" sign. Rebuke from conservative pundits was swift and severe. Folks were incensed that Cain merely stated his offense at something, well, blatantly offensive. Cain quickly walked the comment back the next day before it could make the evening news cycle. Crisis diverted. I think that said basically all you need to know about the racial tolerance of conservatives in post-racial America.

He Isn't Really An "Outsider" - Cain frequently trumpets his status as a government outsider as an asset, and anti-government Tea Party voters seem to be eating it up. This is obvious ignorance since Cain once headed the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, briefly ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, and ran a losing Georgia U.S. Senate campaign in 2004. He once worked for the Navy as a civilian employee. He also served as CEO of the National Restaurant Association, which is essentially little more than a lobbying organization. He was publicly in favor of TARP. Dude has essentially either been a government employee or failed at trying to win government office for the past two decades. Not exactly an outsider.

The Dreaded "Race Card" : Take III - It's easy to dismiss Cain as attractive to conservatives because he doesn't "challenge" them on issues of race, and thus makes them feel better about themselves. But if we have to be honest, isn't that more of less what Obama's appeal was to liberals in 08'? And just as Cain's "N*ggerhead" dust up proved how tenuous a candidate's fortunes are when they talk about race, don't Obama's post Gates-gate approval ratings show liberals are equally queasy? It's something to think about.

Business Experience Doesn't Equal "Job Creation" - Yes, Cain ran a string of rib shacks Burger Kings, and spent a decade as CEO of Godfather's Pizza. But did you know Cain essentially "saved" Godfathers' by immediately closing more than half of its stores? When's the last time you saw a Godfather's, let alone ate at one? It's been a couple of decades for me. And Cain's main role in the "rescue" of Godfather's was from a marketing standpoint, not a financial one. Not exactly a record of "job creation".

Can't Hate This Guy - Yes, he says a lot of ignorant sh*t (or maybe he's right and I'm just "brainwashed") and his insistence that racism essentially doesn't exist anymore infuriates me. But Cain, for lots of reasons, doesn't annoy me nearly as much as your typical "woe is me" black conservative. He happens to be pretty affable, and, well, he looks just like my Grandaddy. You can't possibly hate on a guy who looks like your Grandaddy, can you? That's un-American.

He Can't Win. Period. - Sorry, you and I know this guy won't make it past Super Tuesday. He knows it as well, but everyday he's in double digits in the polls, that eventual Fox News weekend show host contract just gets fatter and fatter. That's his end game, and honestly, there's nothing wrong with that.

Question: How much do you really know about Herman Cain? Once media scrutiny over his record intensifies, do you think he will maintain his frontrunner status?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 Random Political Potpourri.

In case you couldn't already tell, it's one of those stretches for me. Last week I was out sick, this week I'm digging myself out (and back on the road). But of course, this is you guys blog, so thanks for running with the Open Mics and making it happen. Regular scheduled nonsense will return soon.

In the meantime, here's a handful of interesting political stories to chew on.

Van Jones Hits White House For ‘Sit Down, Shut Up, We’ll Take Care Of It’ Attitude [Mediaite] - Interesting take on basically the same thing I've been saying here for weeks.

Herman Cain the GOP believes In [WashPost] - A poorly reasoned explanation for Herman Cain's race-free ascent to the top of the GOP polls by cable news pundit Ron Christie. I mean, really, this is just awful.

The GOP’s cynical embrace of Herman Cain [WashPost] - William Jelani Cobb's far more insightful take on the same subject.

Bill Maher Doesn’t Think ESPN Should Have Fired Hank Williams Jr. [Mediaite] - Yeah, whatever. Maher's shtick is so tiring at this point...

Herman Cain's "999 Plan": The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly [FreedomWorks] - Tea Party website basically slams Cain's signature plan.

CNN’s Candy Crowley To Rep. Bachmann: ‘It Appears That Your Campaign Is Imploding’ [Mediaite] - Well no sh*t Sherlock.

Lawrence O’Donnell’s Racially Charged Attacks A Political Gift To Herman Cain [Mediaite] - Not sure if anyone else saw this, but it was pretty disgusting, and I'm glad O'Donnell was basically forced to apologize.

Joe The Plumber Is Back And Filing For A House Run In Ohio [The Hill] - No, really. This is happening. What's Tito The Builder running for?

Question: Any thoughts on these stories?

Who Will Replace Hank Williams Jr. For The MNF Theme Song?!?

While calling the President a Nazi on morning cable TV probably isn't the most couth thing to do, I'm honestly not all that sure Hank Williams Jr. deserved to lose his Monday Night Football gig behind this. Yeah, Hank actually got suspended initially, and actually got canned because he kept running off at the mouth and insulting the suits at Disney/ABC to the point where they had no choice, but still. I thought this was America, people. You know, free speech and all that BS. A man should be able to equate the leader of the free world to a dictator who killed millions and keep his day job. Right?

Anyways, ESPN's moved on, but Bocephus apparently hasn't. And he's got more than just President Obama on his sh*t list now.
Are you ready for some vengeance, vapid lyricism and strained rhyming patterns?

Hank Williams Jr. is releasing a new song entitled "I'll Keep My ...," in which he calls out ESPN and Fox News after his remarks about President Barack Obama and Adolf Hitler on "Fox and Friends" led to his dismissal from the "Monday Night Football" theme song after 23 years.

The country music singer wrote the song on Friday and is scheduled to release it late Monday or early Tuesday. In its third verse, he takes issue with how Fox took his words out of context: "So Fox 'n Friends wanna put me down/Ask for my opinion/Twist it all around."

Williams calls the U.S. the "United Socialist States of America" earlier in the song. He finishes the third verse with a subtlety you'd expect from the man who wrote "Why Can't We All Just Get a Long Neck?" The song ends with the suggestive jab, "Well two can play that gotcha game you'll see."

During an appearance on "The View" last week, Williams found a measure of support from Whoopi Goldberg. This led to him suggesting a possible Whoopi/Hank presidential ticket in the future.
I gotta admit, it takes some testicles the size of the Grand Ole' Opry to clap back against Fox News. The network is obviously the propagandist of choice for Williams' fan base, which is likely going to make for some odd calls for allegiance in the near future.

Dixie Chicks, anyone?

Anyways, with "Are You Ready?" sidelined forever, I can't help but wonder who MNF will choose to make the next version of their iconic theme song. The show's temporary generic montage entrance now lacks the dramatic buildup that makes we wanna run out for buffalo wings and Bud Light Limes.[1] The new song is going to have to be energetic and "All American", but it goes without saying that the artist can't be controversial in any way, shape or form. Since MNF is a "man's show", you should probably rule out female artists too. And no rappers. Rap music isn't American.

I'm curious. Tell me who you might nominate to fill ole' Hank's boots.

Question: What good, safe, wholesome artist that could replace Hank Williams Jr. and create the new Monday Night Football theme song? Would Williams have kept his job if he sincerely apologized, or did he need the get the boot for his comment?

[1] Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today's Reminder Of Why The NBA Lockout Totally Sucks.

The NBA and players union are supposedly meeting in NYC right now to determine which side is greediest, and thus gets the most of some huge pie called Basketball Related Income. By day's end, I'll get a sense of whether or not I'm going to see basketball in November.

In the meantime, the almost inhumane torture of watching your team's best player and arguably your team's best shot at escaping NBA purgatory continued with yet another series of exhibition games this weekend. The long awaited (ok, maybe not so much) Drew League/Gooden League rematch took place last night in LA, and while I'm happy to see John Wall going off like this, it's just a reminder of how much certain teams have to lose of there's no season.

Sure, the dunks are impressive here, but what's more notable is the jumpers. Dude's biggest Achilles heel seems to be becoming an actual asset now. You can't score 55 points (!!!) off mere drives and dunks alone. I've long contended that not only will Wall be one of the league's better point guards very soon, there's an equal chance he'll be much better than fellow sophomore Blake Griffin in a couple of seasons. Plenty of folks laughed at that assertion, but tell me what player can stop this guy in the open court? I don't bet on sports, but if I did, I'd say Wall's going to make the all-star team this year.

Assuming there is one, of course.

Question: Will this lockout ever end? Assuming you've watched Wall's summer exploits, what's this guy's ceiling? Could he be on Derrick Rose's level in a couple of years? Open Mic Monday.

Busy day. Here's your open mic. Speak on it.

Question: What's on your mind today?

The State of Online Poker in the U.S.

Online Poker still exists in various forms in the U.S. But there are problems with online poker for all. For the U.S. state and federal governments, it’s a problem because they are losing money each and every day the country delays passing a law that would make it legal for American citizens to play poker for money over the Internet.

The dilemma for players is that although there are poker sites still accepting U.S. players due to the Department of Justice crackdown on PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, there are fewer such sites. That means that U.S. players need to go to online resources such as to find out which Internet poker rooms are friendly to U.S. Players.

What Needs to Be Done

It’s clear that online poker is not going away. There are millions in the U.S. who love playing games such as Texas Holdem, Omaha and Seven-Card Stud online. Although there are some great online choices for those living in the U.S., it takes more time than in the past to set up the mechanism for funding your poker account.

The country needs to have a federal law passed and it needs to happen soon. That law must allow each state to license and regulate online poker. Although certain state legislatures have been actively pursuing creating their own laws regarding online poker for real money, none have been able to successfully do so.

What is Happening

At this point, there are various bills in various states of development that have gained support from both sides of the U.S. Congress. The problem in getting any passed is twofold. The first is the country is struggling with various issues related to unemployment, a faltering economy and the need for more tax money. Thus, Congress is basically too busy to address the poker issue.

The other challenge simply has to do with legislators finally coming to some agreement regarding how to structure a bill so that it is effective, equitable and comprehensive. Although there have been some erstwhile attempts at creating legislation none have panned out.

The interesting thing is that the American people and various organizations are not letting the subject drop. Grassroots organizations such as the Poker Players Alliance and Fair Play America have worked diligently to meet with lawmakers and to get their members involved in the movement to finally get online poker legislation passed.

Also, the American Gaming Association, which represents the casino gaming industry in the U.S. and addresses federal legislative and regulatory issues, is on record as saying they are going to be meeting individually with over 100 members of Congress to ensure an online gaming bill is passed.

Benefits to All

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat, the basic fact is once playing online poker for money is legalized in the U.S., there will be an increase in jobs related and connected to the industry, and the federal and state governments will be able to collect taxes and fees from online poker room operators. Also, U.S. poker players, both pros and amateurs, will be happy again as they will be able to sit at their computer and play poker without worry of reprisal. An online poker bill would be a win-win-win situation for all as the poker room operators, government treasuries and the players would all benefit greatly.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm Having NBA Withdrawal Symptoms.

Soooo, it looks like the NBA season won't start on time after all. Owners and the players union broke off talks earlier this week, and unless an agreement is reached by Monday, regular season games are likely going to get cancelled. Lovely.

I went in with a buddy on our customary half season ticket deal, so my local NBA franchise has already got my money. I get cash back (plus interest) for my trouble, but at this point, I'm considering just cancelling the whole thing. It would have been great to see John Wall's sophomore season, the Heatles trying to get back to the Finals, Kobe & Tim Duncan's last stands, and the Mavs attempt to repeat, but honestly, I don't even care anymore. I'd probably be better off taking that refund and playing online bingo. It's probably more exciting.

I'm not sure if the NBA or the players have really thought this through. Yes, the sport is compelling in person, but with advances in home theater, it's not like watching at home isn't an equally reasonable alternative. I enjoy going to games, mostly just to get out the house, but not enough to reward a bunch of rich babies with my hard earned cash.

I think I'mma call about that refund soon.

Anyways, if you're an NBA fan (and yeah, I know it's not cool to claim such a thing right now) how are you handling this lockout? I'm watching more football, and got the new 2K12, so I suppose that'll tide me over.

Question: Do you miss the NBA yet? If you aren't a fan, please don't bother responding with snark about how great the NFL is. I don't wanna hear that sh*t right now. Open Mic Friday.

Busy day. Here's your open mic. Speak on it.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So Long, Sarah Palin. Thanks For Nothing.

I hate to say "I told you so". But, well, I did tell you so. Repeatedly.
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin announced Wednesday evening that she would not be running for president in 2012.

On the Mark Levin radio show Wednesday evening, Palin said she believed she would have more impact outside of the race. The decision ends over a year of speculation about the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee’s plans.

“Not being a candidate, really you are unshackled and you’re able to be even more active,” she told Levin. “I need to be able to say what I want to say.”

Palin is still a huge star, but she has steadily sunk in polls since the 2008 campaign. If she ran and fared poorly, it would only diminish her influence.

While she maintains a loyal fan base, Palin reached a tipping point in polls months ago. Had she gotten into the race at this late stage, she would have been a second-tier candidate at best. She polls in the single-digits, gets mixed reviews on her leadership qualities even among Republicans, and performs poorly against President Obama in head-to-head matchups.

In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 66 percent of Republican and GOP-leaning respondents said they did not want Palin to run.
Nobody should cry for Palin. Sure, the Conservative spin is already painting her as a victim (surprise) by alleging that liberals would have ripped her and her family a new one had she declared. This is obvious bullsh*t, given the fact that Conservatives were the very ones leaking post-campaign details about her cattiness and lack of intelligence. There's also the matter of Palin using this extended political c*ck tease[1] to amass a fortune of $22M and counting. Sure, her earning potential's gonna take a dive from here on out, but how many other private citizens with no real Day Job do you know who've made that kinda paper in post-racial America without taking penetentiary chances? I'll wait here while you go compile that list.

I've gotta be honest. Despite what some pundits are saying, I don't see how this is a win for Palin in any way, shape, or form. The people she's strung along for nearly 3 years now should feel betrayed, which likely means her next book catches a brick. There's no way she can "influence" the GOP race anymore either. Why would anyone care for her opinion if she isn't actually running herself? I'm sure there are plenty of suckers left out there, willing to be strung along for another 5 years, but probably not as many as there were. Not another $22M worth of suckers, that's for sure.

Happy Trails, Miss Sarah. It's been un-real.

Question: What's Sarah Palin's next money-making move, now that her political aspirations have been exposed? Should I permanently lift my Sarah Palin Lifetime Ban now?!?

[1] Yeah, I called it that. Got a problem?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

R.I.P. Steve Jobs.

As a guy who writes code for a living, and resisted the evil empire of Apple until I finally caved and bought a video iPod that changed my musical life, I gotta give it up for a true visionary and pioneer.
Steve Jobs, the brilliant, mercurial co-founder of Apple Inc. who introduced simple, elegantly designed computers for people who are more interested in what technology could do rather than how it was done, died Oct. 5 at age 56.

In a brief statement, Apple announced the death but did not say where he died. He suffered from a rare form of pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant in 2009, and he stepped down as Apple’s chief executive officer on Aug. 24, 2011.

An original thinker and astute businessman who helped create the Macintosh, one of the most influential computers in the world, Mr. Jobs also reinvented the portable music player with the iPod, launched the first successful legal method of selling music online with the creation of iTunes, and reordered the cellphone market with the wildly popular iPhone. The introduction of the iPad also jump-started the electronic tablet market and now dominates the field.
Rest in peace.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 Hot Topics - 10.4.11

I'm busy. Here's the daily rundown.

Perry's N*ggerhead Problem - I'm not gonna fall for this one. We'll never know if/when Perry painted over the offensive rock, and quite honestly, what would it prove if he actually hadn't? I'm not concerned with matters of policy, like, say, Perry's recent announcement that he would invade Mexico to help snuff out drug cartels.

Big Chris Isn't Running. Sorry. - Chris Christie seems like an affable guy, so it's no shocker that he's still not committing to run. Once Tea Party voters get wind of his stances on assault weapons and climate control, it'll be curtains. He's also a career public sector employee with no economic development experience, and New Jersey's unemployment rate is worse than the national average. Basically, he's just a Youtube superstar who's name a name of bullying unions. That's all. Christie's smart enough to know this. He isn't running.

Raisin' Cain - Herman Cain's recent straw poll wins have catapulted him to #2 in the GOP polls. He sidestepped what might have been a disaster by quickly backtracking on his criticism of Perry's racist rock. Republicans don't take too kindly to playing the race card, and Cain wisely retracted his weekend statement that Perry's use of that word was "offensive to many blacks". You know what's also "offensive to many blacks", Herman? Claiming that they're "brainwashed". I predict his flavor of the week status will quickly diminish.

iPhone 5 Announcement Today! - I'm more concerned about when iOS5 will be available than any new hardware.

NBA Lockout - MSNBC reported last night that both sides had an agreement in principle, but this now seems premature. Today is supposedly the make or break day, after which real games start getting cancelled. Get it together, folks.

Amanda Knox - I'm happy that justice was presumably served, but I'm still puzzled about why Know felt the need to initially blame her black employer for the crime. She was found guilty of slander, and will have to repay him about $22k euros as a result of his civil suit. So let's not make this chick out to be some victim or hero. Please. Hold the obligatory Lifetime movie.

Hank Williams Jr. Loses MNF Gig - Well, you can't just go around calling the President Hitler and expect to remain gainfully employed. It's time for MNF to get an updated theme song anyway.

Question: What do you think about these issues?

Monday, October 3, 2011

AB Guest Post - Herman Cain Tries To Win Over Black People By Insulting Their Intelligence.

[Editor's Note: Wouldn't you know it... the GOP electorate is so dissatisfied with their presumptive frontrunners that Daddy Green's getting an 2nd look. Recent polls have him in a virtual 3 way tie with Mittens and Governor GoodHair. I don't have the energy to go in on Cain's idiotic "brainwashed" quote the other day, but thankfully my cyber play-cousin The Black Snob does. Show our guest some love, you know where.]

You know? I'll never get this tactic that is, in my opinion, overused by black conservatives to get their fellow Negroes to cross over to the GOP side. I call it the "All black people are stupid but me" tactic. Which is, by far, the worst tactic to use. Herman Cain, presidential wannabe and Godfather's pizza man, recently went on CNN and said the Democrats have "brainwashed" black people into not seeing conservatism and the Republican Party as viable political options.

Which ... OMG? Really? That old lie that pretends like the 1960s and 70s never happened? But then, maybe Cain wasn't trying to win over any black people to the GOP with that statement. Maybe that was really about making white conservatives feel better since the GOP is routinely accused of harboring, defending and protecting bigots within their own party, rather than running them out of town.

From The Root:
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said during an interview that aired on CNN's The Situation Room on Wednesday evening that some members of the African-American community "have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view."

He went on to say: “I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative." He added, "So it's just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple."
The reason why Cain has to deal with the vitriol is because of all the bigoted things certain members of the GOP have said and done. The fact that he refuses to acknowledge that the GOP welcomed the racist Democrats who refused to reform their racial views with open arms as part of their "Southern Strategy" is insulting. That he believes we should pretend Democrat and former President Lyndon Johnson didn't say the Democrats would lose the South for decades if they backed things like integration, Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. That the majority of members of the Congressional Black Caucus are Democrats and the first party to put up a viable, black presidential candidate in the modern era was the heavily flawed but at least able to acknowledge racism is real, Democratic Party.

Yes. Folks were "brainwashed." With access and input and jobs and favorable legislation. I have this CRAZY theory that if the GOP gave more black people access, input, jobs and favorable legislation they'd be nicer to Herman Cain and maybe even consider voting for him. But all I ever here is how black people are "brainwashed" into disliking someone who runs with a party that makes excuses for their bigots and routinely sets up what few black candidates they have to fail. I'm sure Cain remembers that NOT-TO-LONG-AGO the GOP burned Michael Steele not once, but twice. First with their lack of funding, organization and support when he ran for Senate in Maryland. Then a second time when they tried to bully him out of running for RNC chairman again AFTER stripping him of some of his powers. Never mind all the times he had to walk back statements about Rush Limbaugh because, heaven-forbid someone say a critical thing about that bag of wind while also being a Republican.

So, I'm supposed to pretend like Tom Delay blocking former Rep. J.C. Watts from heading up any committees in Congress, then backing a pro-abortion Republican against Watts in his primary to force Watts out of his seat didn't happen. And I'm supposed to pretend like all the times Gen. Colin Powell was shoved into a wood chipper by former Vice President Dick Cheney didn't happen? I'm supposed to pretend like NONE OF THESE THINGS HAPPENED?!

The GOP barely supports their own, home-grown black conservatives, but you expect black voters to make a huge shift out of "open-mindedness?" Maybe Cain should get into a time machine and talk to himself from back in 2008.

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

It doesn't look like some black people are brainwashed, but that maybe Herman Cain has been brainwashed, or just maybe, he's being disingenuous and trying to appeal to a segment of white voters who think black people are just making this whole "institutionalized and systematic racism" thing up.

Pandering is as pandering does.

Question: Are black folks "brainwashed" because they vote for Democrats year in and year out? Wouldn't that mean that Southern whites who vote for the GOP every year are equally lobotomized? Is Cain's recent surge in the polls a reflection of his fitness to run the country, or merely a case of racial pandering to wake up Romney and Perry?!?