Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Link Dump.

[Editor's Note: New feature alert!]

I have a day job, a lovely wife, and 2 1/2 kids. Long story short, while I'd love to blog about every story of interest I come across, I simply cannot. That doesn't mean these stories aren't convo provoking though. So here's some links. Read the stories, and start your own threads in the comments section.
Black women heavier and happier with their bodies than white women, poll finds [WashPost] - "A recent survey conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation that focused on African American women. The poll found that although black women are heavier than their white counterparts, they report having appreciably higher levels of self-esteem. Although 41 percent of average-sized or thin white women report having high self-esteem, that figure was 66 percent among black women considered by government standards to be overweight or obese."

Twenty-Something Black Males, Dark Clothing… [Conversate Is Not A Word] - "I write this, unfortunately, with a heavy heart. It is a heart filled with sadness. But I have something I want to say to, as the newspapers and TV news call them, the twenty something black males in dark clothing. I’ve heard that description from so many friends describing their attackers. It was also the description of the guy who stole my man’s car out of my driveway. So, for the first time, I want to express that I am so sick of being the victim, either directly or indirectly, of twenty something black males in dark clothing."

'Magic' Johnson, 'P. Diddy' to run new Comcast channels [USAToday] - "Comcast will launch four minority-owned networks on its cable TV systems in the next two years, including channels spearheaded by music mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and NBA great Magic Johnson."

Apple confirms March 7 iPad 3 event [FoxNews] - "Apple sent out an invitation Tuesday for a special event next week, where the consumer electronics giant is widely expected to launch the third-generation iPad. Apple's latest tablet iteration is expected to feature a slew of evolutionary upgrades, including a higher-resolution Retina display, a quadcore A6 processor, and 4G connectivity."

Pentagon admits it dumped some 9/11 remains in a landfill [MSNBC] - "For the first time, the Defense Department acknowledged Tuesday that some cremated remains of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were dumped in a landfill. The Air Force acknowledged that it had disposed of the incinerated remains of at least 274 service members in the landfill before it ended the practice in 2008. At the time, officials said records went back only to 2003."
Question: What do you think about these stories?!?

It's Leap Day!!!

One extra day of Black History Month, and one extra silly episode of 30 Rock. Yippee!

I gotta admit, this show's missing a step so far this season. The writing is missing pith, and just isn't registering as much. Still, this one was pretty funny, and topical. Enjoy.

Question: How are you gonna celebrate Leap Day?!?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Open Mic Tuesday.

I'm busy today. Entertain yourselves. Drop links, write your own posts. You know the drill by now.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Monday, February 27, 2012

The AverageBro Show - Episode Three.

And we're baaacck.

On this episode of The AverageBro Show, AB talks about Rick Santorum's ignorant remarks about college, Jaheim's hideous royal blue suit and the price of fame, and MTV's bogus "Hottest Emcees" List. Music by The Mountain Brothers, Little Brother, and E40.

Retweet and download responsibly.

Rick Santorum Thinks College Makes You A "Snob". Rick Santorum Has 3 College Degrees.

I know I should be appalled by this, but at this point, little shocks me anymore.
Speaking to a tea party group in Michigan on Saturday, former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) accused President Obama of being a “snob” because he wants “everybody in America to go to college.”

The statement is a curious one considering that Santorum — who holds a B.A., M.B.A. and J.D. — holds more advanced degrees than Obama, who has a B.A. and a J.D.

And Talking Points Memo reported Saturday that in 2006, Santorum’s campaign Web site stated his commitment to making “higher education more accessible and affordable.”

“Not all folks are gifted in the same way,” Santorum told a crowd of more than 1,000 activists at the Americans for Prosperity forum in Troy, Mich. “Some people have incredible gifts with their hands. Some people have incredible gifts and ... want to work out there making things. President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.”

As the crowd applauded, Santorum continued.

“There are good decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them,” he said. “Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.”

Santorum graduated from Penn State with a B.A. in 1980, then earned an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1981. In 1986, he earned a J.D. from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law.

Obama attended Occidental College, then transferred to Columbia University, where he earned a B.A. in 1983. He later graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D. in 1991.

Both the messenger and his message appear to be resonating with working-class voters, a bloc of the electorate to which Romney has struggled to appeal, with limited success.
Here's the moving pictures.

I'll save my commentary for the next episode of The AverageBro Show™, coming later this week. Till then, I'll cede the floor.

Question: Does Santorum have a valid point here, or does this just prove that the GOP candidates will disagree with Obama over anything to win political points?!?

Mitt Romney's Wife Has A Couple Of Cadillacs. Should We Really Care?!?

A huge "meh" IMHO, but hey, discuss anyway.
In a tight race to win the Michigan primary, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney strongly defended his wealth Sunday and challenged voters to support someone else if they did not like his success.

Romney, who is worth an estimated $250 million (U.S.), has been accused of being out of touch with most Americans’ economic struggles.

The issue could be crucial in Tuesday’s vote in Michigan, the state where Romney grew up but faces a tough fight after opposing President Barack Obama’s bailout of the U.S. auto industry.

Romney’s main rival in the state is Rick Santorum, who has presented himself as a blue-collar Republican.

Romney stood by his remark on Friday that his wife drives “a couple of Cadillacs.” It was a reminder of the challenges he faces in trying to win over voters struggling with high unemployment and hard times.

“I’m not perfect. I just am who I am,” Romney said on Fox News Sunday when asked about the comment.

“We have a car that we have in California. And we got a car that we have back in Boston, where our other home is. That’s just the way it is.”

“If people think there’s something wrong with being successful in America, then they better vote for the other guy. Because I’ve been extraordinarily successful, and I want to use that success and that know-how to help the American people.”

Romney has faced an unexpectedly tough fight to win the primary in Michigan, where his father was governor in the 1960s. An average of polling data by RealClearPolitics showed him with just a 2-point lead there over Santorum.
Here's the vid.

I say this is no biggie. Rich people do rich things, and Mittens is a rich person. I'd be quite honestly shocked if his wife didn't have two of the same car. They're just bi coastal like that. So, basically, who cares. I'm more concerned about his dimwitted tax and economic policy that's only going to drive us further in debt.

What say ye?!?

Question: Is this really that big a deal?!?

Thursday, February 23, 2012 Open Mic Thursday.

I'm busy today. Entertain yourselves. Drop links, write your own posts. You know the drill by now.

Question: What's on your mind today?

The Best Of Kenny Powers.

I'm ashamed to admit that I only recently discovered the brilliance that is HBO's Eastbound And Down. For those unaware, the show's about a douchebag ex-major league baseball pitcher whose career flames out and he suddenly finds himself back in his tiny rural NC hometown as a PE teacher. Now in it's third and final season, this show stars the most reprehensible character ever to show up on cable TV, the obnoxious but hilarious Kenny (F*ckin!) Powers. Oblivious to the fact that the major leagues no longer want him, Powers is a star in his eyes only. Politically incorrect hijinx ensue.

Even if you don't understand (or care) about the premise of the show, you gotta admit, it has some legendary one-liners. Be forewarned, the language in the following "best of" clip is full of unsavory language. Cop the headphones first. Please.

Question: Have you ever seen Eastbound And Down?!?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Dow Hits 13,000 For The First Time In 4 Years!!! #Obama2012

Hey, am I the only one who's noticed the GOP's shift in talking points? Suddenly, we're knee deep in contraceptives, Rebb'n Wright, and culture wars. Hmmmm, wonder why?!?
Wall Street’s bulls have reason to celebrate: The Dow Jones industrial average has crossed the 13,000 mark for the first time since the financial crisis after European leaders reached a new deal to prop up the Greek economy.

The Dow first crossed 13,000 in May 2008, but was battered down soon after when the mortgage bubble burst.

The blue chip index's latest surge has been driven by a stream of evidence signaling that the U.S. economy is on the mend. The Dow has risen 20% since hitting a recent low of 10,655.30 on Oct. 3.

The milestone reached Tuesday came after European leaders agreed to give Greece a $170-billion aid package in exchange for sweeping new cuts to the Greek budget. The deal is designed to give Greece continued access to the international bond market, but there are still big questions about how it will be carried out.

Investors have struggled to digest the import of the deal. The Dow wobbled Tuesday morning, entering negative territory in early trading before reversing course. Even after crossing 13,000 the index fell again, and was recently trading up 0.4% or 46.81 points to 12,996.68. Twenty of the index’s 30 stocks were trading in positive territory.
So, uhhhhmmm, yeah. Prepare yourselves for another 9 months of culture wars. I don't think there's much else to debate Obama on.

Question: Is this latest sign of positive economic growth actual good news, or is Obama somehow magically cooking the books on Wall Street too?!? Isn't a surging stock market actually bad for America? Isn't this just another sign that Socialism, Zionism, Obamaism, and Ismism is killing the country we all knew and loved?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Hot Topics - 2.21.12

Hey, it's 2.21.12. Pretty cool, huh? Here's the daily rundown.

Arizona GOP Congressional Candidate Threatens Secret Gay Illegal Alien Lover With Deportation - What a headline. I mean, seriously, this story is filled with all kinds of turrible. I'm convinced Sheriff Paul Babeu would be a household topic today if we weren't coming off a 3-day weekend. Personally, I blame Jeremy Lin. An interesting question though: Babeu stepped down from his leadership position on the Romney campaign after announcing he was gay (but denying the deportation part), but is still running for Congress. What does that say about the GOP's stance on gays?

Santorum Calls Out Obama On "Phony Theology" - While you were sleeping, Rick Santorum drew the long straw and is presently the GOP's "Guy We'd Rather Have Than Romney" this week. Emboldened by this "surge", Santorum is now talking extra greasy about the President, asserting that he practices some "phony theology". Pressed to clarify, Santorum apologized and said he was talking about Obama's environmental policy, although his original statement referenced the bible. So yeah, Santorum's doubling down on that whole "Obama's a scary 'other'" card that worked for wonderfully for McCain/Palin back in 08'. We see what you're doing, Rick.

Santorum Wants To Control Your Womb, Ladies! - Forget stopping you from having abortions, or getting access to affordable birth control. Now, Santorum actually wants to prevent healthcare providers from covering the costly procedure known as amniocentesis. For those unaware, amnio is a procedure many doctors recommend to expecting Moms over the age of 35 (or in some cases, 30) to help pre-screen for genetic abnormalities. Santorum (without any factual evidence) asserts amnios "results in abortion “more often than not.”[1] And now, he's leading the GOP polls, with a double digit advantage over Romney. Seriously, America, are you f*ckin' kidding me?!?

GOP Hitting Obama On Gas Prices - When you can't beat a man on his economic policy, and the whole culture war thing isn't exactly connecting, why not try some revisionist history? The new GOP talking point is to assail the President for skyrocketing gas prices, overlooking the million and one issues in the middle east contributing to the latest spike. You know, sh*t the President has nothing at all to do with. Lovely.

Linsanity Keeps Going Strong! - Quit hatin' on the Asian Sensation©, and appreciate greatness? good hoops when you see it. Yeah, the fact that this gives already obnoxious New Yorkers one more thing to be obnoxious about is obviously annoying. But hey, it is what it is. This is the NBA's version of a Cinderella story. Knicks' fan or not, it's good stuff.

MTV's Hottest MCs VII List - Look, these "lists" are simply made to generate controversy. They're subjective. They're a joke. I'm sure I'll have to talk about this on the podcast at some point, but any list with Drake ranked higher than Jay-Z clearly doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. So don't.

Chris Brown & Rihanna Re-unite - I'm sure I'm supposed to be outraged about this. I'm not. Brown made a mistake. He paid his price to society. That's sorta how it works. If Rihanna feels safe enough around him to share studio time, who the heck really cares. They're consenting adults. Whatever.

Question: What do you think about these issues?

[1] My wife has had this procedure done 3 times. We have (almost) 3 children. F*ck you, Rick Santorum! Are you telling me parents don't have the right to know what's potentially ahead of them? Because if so, I fail to understand how this is "compassionate" or "less government intrusion".

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sh*t People FROM DC Say.

Yeah, this "Sh*t People Say" meme was old about 3 months ago, but this one's jive funny. And it'll prolly only be funny if you're from the DMV.

What Would It Take For Black Folks To Abandon Obama?!?

Happy President's Day. Hopefully you aren't working. I am, but then again, I could be unemployed, so who's complaining?!?

Anyways, since we're on the topic of Presidents, I found a skit on this weekend's edition of SNL particularly interesting, given the recent rise in President Obama's approval rating. He is now viewed favorably by virtually every demographic group, except Republicans of course. And as always, his numbers in the black community are strong. But what would it take for Black folks to abandon the Obama Ship? SNL's two resident black guys, and honorary black-ish alum took on this topic in typical hit-and-miss SNL fashion.

Yeah, this coulda been (much!) funnier, but it does raise an interesting premise that I've discussed here before. Since I'm being lazy, why not revisit the question?

Question: What would it take for Black Americans to abandon Obama?!?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The AverageBro Show - Episode Two

And we're baaacck.

On the this episode of The AverageBro Show, AB discusses the 2012 election, Jeremy Lin's surprising emergence in the NBA, and vents about lazy CVS pharmacy workers.[1] This episode includes music by Casual, Phonte, and Lil' Webbie.

Retweet and download responsibly.

[1] Somehow, this rant got cut short. I didn't realize it until I'd uploaded the podcast and deleted the original audio file. Anyways, it didn't end well, and by the time I was finally done, an hour later, the line was literally at the door. Cool story, bro. Open Mic Thursday

I'm in NC the rest of the week, so expect light posting. And if you're disappointed in this news, just look at all the fresh jawns I've already dropped this week. So there.

Entertain yourselves.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Your Payroll Taxes Won't Be Going Up After All. Thanks, Obama. I Suppose.

Score one more for the good guys. Maybe.
Congressional negotiators reached a tentative deal Tuesday to extend a payroll tax holiday, unemployment benefits and Medicare payment rates for doctors, while finding more than $50 billion in cuts to reduce the effect on the federal deficit.

While President Obama and congressional leaders publicly jousted over the negotiations, senior Democrats and Republicans worked behind the scenes toward a compromise that would extend the tax and unemployment benefits through the year. A deal also would mean that doctors would not see a drop in rates paid by Medicare, according to senior aides in both parties.

Lawmakers and aides stressed that final details are still being ironed out — including which cuts would be used to finance the unemployment and Medicare provision — but they were optimistic that a broad deal would be announced Wednesday and approved by Friday. Republicans left a meeting Tuesday night in which House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team outlined the emerging deal with few dissenters and several key supporters among the sometimes-volatile GOP freshman class.

The major breakthrough in negotiations on the broader package came over the weekend when the lead Republican negotiator, Rep. David Camp (Mich.), informed his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.), that Republican leaders said they would agree to extend the tax holiday through the end of the year without requiring Democrats to offset the cost. Payroll withholdings, normally 6.2 percent, were lowered to 4.2 percent at the beginning of 2011 after the Obama White House negotiated a compromise tax plan with congressional Republicans.

Without the need to offset the extension, the Camp-Baucus talks had to result in only a little more than $50 billion in offsets to finance the jobless benefits and the Medicare provision. The task became much easier as the numerous budget showdowns of 2011 produced hundreds of billions of dollars in spending cuts intended for much broader deals that never came to fruition, thus giving Baucus and Camp a menu of options from which to find the savings.

On unemployment benefits, which will cost about $30 billion, Democrats were forced into a choice to hit the federal workforce: either another pay freeze or a requirement that workers contribute more to their pension plans. Late Tuesday, a senior Democratic aide suggested that Democrats preferred the increased pension contributions, something Obama has supported. Republicans sought more than $20 billion in savings on health-care programs, including a Medicare payment program to hospitals and a small fund for Obama’s landmark health-care law, while Democrats refused any cuts that would reduce benefits for elderly patients in the health-care program.

In addition, the two sides reached a tentative plan to reform unemployment benefits, reducing the maximum time frame to benefit from the jobless insurance program to 73 weeks in the states with the hardest-hit economies.
I'm not 100% sure how to feel about this one.

On one hand, I'm happy to see that the President didn't buckle to political pressure from the right by including that silly Keystone Pipeline to get the GOP to vote on this. For all their chest thumping, it's somewhat hilarious to watch all those Tea Party freshmen simply become part of the GOP establishment, and now they'll have records to prove it. They were obviously going to do so all along, as anyone with a brain knows you can't possibly raise taxes on the middle class in an election year. So score one for #TeamObama for standing firm and not doing his usual cave-in job. Ditto for making unemployment benefits, and the Medicare payment rates part of this package. Bravo.

On the other hand, I'm still quite curious about this $50B in offset cuts. Where/how this is going to be accomplished seems still a bit vague to me. And as I've said in the past, if we're really and truly in the oppressive deficit/debt crisis we're supposedly in, why is anyone getting a tax cut right now? Why not raise taxes back to the pre-Bush cut levels, and let this payroll tax extension expire as well? That would be political suicide, but the fact that hardly anyone's suggesting it tells me...
A. The debt/deficit problem isn't nearly as big as big as deal as the GOP has made it out to be, and they clearly just created this issue to contrast themselves with Obama with a predictable class warfare tactic.


B. It is actually a big deal, but nobody on either side of the aisle has the political balls to try and do this. Demonizing folks who "don't pay any taxes" or prattling on and on about the insolvency of "entitlement programs" is much easier than just asking everyone to be inconvenienced and refilling the coffers.
I can't call it either way, can you?

Question: Did we really need this tax cut? Is the deficit/debt problem really a serious threat to our nation, or merely a political tactic played by both sides?

Lin-Sanity Strikes... Again.

Okay, so maybe this Jeremy Lin is real after all.

This guy's good for the NBA, and sports in general, in so many ways. There's the obvious Asian link, which is gonna sell lots of merchandise, and ensures the NBA can continue it's slow, but deliberate invasion of China. No Yao, no problem.

Of course, it's also great to see Asian Americans embracing the sport. Having a California raised guy who speaks perfect English, and just so happens to be a guard[1] clearly isn't hurting the league at the gate. And then there's the whole New York angle. I'm not a Knicks fan (at all) but having a player this exciting on your long maligned star franchise/biggest market can only help a league still smarting from last year's lockout. It's basically a win-win all around.

Unless, of course, you happen to be the opposing team.

Question: Yeah, I know I asked this same question yesterday, but is it possible this guy's actually the real deal?!?

[1] Not a big man like Yao, because generally bigs are harder for the average person to relate to, and they absolutely do not sell shoes.

Name That Sample - "I'm Glad You're Mine".

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

This classic tune by Al Green has been sampled numerous times! And when I say "numerous times", I mean at least a dozen I can think of. But who can name the most songs that have used these delightful bars?

Difficulty Level: Moderate. There are some very obvious ones, and some more obscure. Hint: pay attention to the drums and the melody.

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Knickers Or N*ggers", What's The Difference?!? It's A CPAC Party Ya'll!!!

Ain't no party like a CPAC party, cause a GOP party don't stop.... til somebody makes an ill-fated joke about the N-Word.
The CPAC conference has concluded with several days of political discourse and equally interesting conversations on both sides of the coin.

One aspect of the conference that sparked much media attention was due to two conference attendees premiering a rap song.

Christopher Loesch and Steven Crowder wearing powdered wigs and wearing track suits performed their pro-conservative rap, “Mr. America” before a small crowd of conference attendees. During their performance, they appear to have used the N-word.

The WORD PLAY was part of the spheal because the deejay cut off the beat as they said the word. What? Knickers? I can say knickers!” they exclaim.

Crowder told Raw Story that they just wanted to try out “something that Conservatives haven’t done before.” Crowder often comments that liberals are evil and he can't be racist because he has a black Republican friend.

Although much of the crowd was dancing and moving around, a few of the people there thought it was all in very poor taste.

"I didn't appreciate the play-on-words," said Kathy Wilcox. "The GOP is better than that, and I wish I had not seen their performance."

Another attendee said, "I didn't hear or see it, but I don't see anything wrong with what they did. Blacks are allowed to use far worse language."
Unless you have a sick fetish strange affinity for really awful Colonial-era rap music, fast forward to around the 1:50 mark.

Yet another brilliant, culturally sensitive move by Today's GOP. Way to grow the tent, fellas. Bravo!

And they wonder why black folks won't even remotely consider voting for them.

Contrary to some reports out there, it's quite clear that they didn't actually say the "N-word", but they definitely used the work "Knickers" as a tongue-in-cheek play-on-words. Which, if you think about it, in some ways, is actually even worse. Lamer still in Crowder's explanation that he used it to make a larger point about "hyper-PC, disingenuous liberals who today seek for a reason to be offended under every rock".

Yeah, what the f*ck ever, dude.

I'm really don't understand the logic here. What does offending black folks with not-so-clever and rather offensive wordplay do to help expand the GOP's shriveling base. If Crowder, a Fox News contributor, thinks this is somehow helping, maybe he's dumber than he looks. And yeah, he looks pretty f*ckin' dumb.

BTW, Andy Samberg called. He wants his shtick back.

Question: If you're a black conservative, please tell me how this "helps the cause" of getting fellow Negroes off the Democratic plantation and onto the life-saving, free market driven utopia that is the GOP.

Jeremy Lin-Sanity: The NBA's Version Of Tim Tebow?!?

To be perfectly honest, with my Wizards enjoying yet another turrible season, I haven't paid too much attention to the NBA this year. The reasons are many, but obviously begin with the fact that I'm still a fan of a bottom-dweller, and doing so tends to sap some of your enjoyment for the sport as a whole after awhile. That said, a couple of weeks ago, I was in NYC and got to attend my first ever Knicks (home) game. And that's when I was introduced to Lin-Sanity.

Anyone with a brain knows the NBA has a litany of public relations issues. The league's returning from a lockout. Players are still considered overpaid and underachieving by the public as a whole, although I suspect that outdated notion is based far more on perception than reality. So, imagine the league's glee at the veritable rags-to-riches story taking place in it's biggest market.

Two weeks ago when I saw him come off the bench to play garbage time, Jeremy Lin was still just an end-of-the-bench fan favorite with his 3rd team this season, playing on a non-guaranteed contract. Two weeks later, he is an international cult sensation who has single handedly turned around the Knicks' season and just might be positioned as the NBA's version of Tim Tebow.[1]

I'm sure I will come across as a hater here, but there's no way Lin maintains this run. Sorry, but NBA coaching staffs (except for those in DC and Detroit) are smart, and eventually there will be enough game tape for opposing teams to start preparing for this guy.[2] He is still somewhat of an unknown entity, after all. The league's history is littered with "suddenly hot, suddenly not" guys like Adrian Griffin, Jamario Moon, Harold Ellis, and Aaron Brooks whose games suffered once opposing defenses inevitably discovered their weaknesses. And yeah, this Knicks team currently crippled by injuries to its two best (and highest paid) primadonnas. Once Melo' and Stat return, this squad's chemistry is undoubtedly going to be out of whack. So, this journey will definitely!!! might be short lived.

Still, Lin's proven he's an NBA caliber player, possibly even a fulltime day-to-day starter somewhere.[3] Coming from Harvard, undrafted, riding the bench in Golden State last year, getting cut twice, toiling in the D-League, and finally becoming a phenom in the Big Apple is about as good a Cinderella story as they come. And of course, for a league that just lost Yao Ming, the Bay Area-reared devoutly religious child of Taiwanese immigrants helps extend the league's growth and popularity in the Far East.

The sound you just heard was "chi-ching".

Question: Can Jeremy Lin keep up this pace?

[1] Hey, wasn't Jimmer supposed to be the NBA's version of Tim Tebow?!?

[2] You could argue this already happened the other night in Minnesota when Lin shot horribly.

[3] If he even proves himself to be a passable starter, that somewhere will most certainly not be the capped-out-on-three-players New York Knicks.

Monday, February 13, 2012 Open Mic Monday.

Busy today. Entertain yourselves.

Here's your open mic. Speak on it. Drop links below, and get the convo going. Here's a few to chew on...
R.I.P. Whitney Houston.

Who Is "Adele", And Does She Have More Than One Song?!?

Nicki Minaj Performance. What The Heyell Was That?!?

Lin-Sanity Sweeps The NBA. The Association's Best Player (Right Now) Is Asian.

Obama Submits A Deficit-Reducing Budget.
Question: What's on your mind today?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Obama Caves In To Catholic Pressure. Or Does He?!?

Well, we knew the President would have to reverse the HHS' decision re: contraceptives to religious organizations. I figured he'd do a fullblown "cave-in", but turns out, he came to a very fair compromise that satisfies HHS' goals, and deads this pointless, faux Conservative controversy at the same time.
Seeking to allay the concerns of Catholic leaders, the White House is planning to adjust its health care rule requiring religious employers to provide women access to contraception, a senior administration official said Friday.

Women will be guaranteed coverage for contraceptive services, but would have to seek the coverage directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control on religious grounds.

Similar compromises are in place in Hawaii and several other states, but the White House had not included one when it proposed the health-care law requiring contraceptive coverage for all women. After a firestorm of opposition from Catholic church officials and other groups, the Obama administration said it would seek to modify its position.

The current rule, proposed last summer and confirmed last month as part of Obama’s health-care overhaul law, requires employers to provide female employees the full range of contraceptive coverage, including birth control, the “morning-after pill” and sterilization services.

The measure exempts churches but covers religiously affiliated schools, charities, colleges and hospitals, meaning that many Catholic-run institutions would have to offer insurance plans that church leaders say violate their teachings.

Catholic bishops have been leading the opposition to the rule by distributing letters and other materials to be shared with millions of worshipers.

The controversy has exposed divisions among Democrats, with several in that party stepping forward in recent days to criticize Obama’s handling of the issue. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), who is co-sponsoring legislation to reverse the rule, called the measure “un-American” in a letter to Obama last week. Former Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, one of Obama’s closest political allies, called the rule a bad decision and said Obama must find a middle path.

The result is that Friday’s announcement is not likely to satisfy the rule’s most ardent critics, particularly the Catholic bishops who have been leading the opposition.
So, I'm hoping this ends this "controversy" and effectively squashes what the GOP so blatantly tried to turn into an election year wedge issue to distract from their lack of participation in what's been a steadily improving economy.

I'm sure some are still going to ding Obama for not simply listening to his advisers and doing this in the first place. Those people might have a point, but whatever.

The horror of offering grown assed women access to birth control!!! I was personally sick of hearing about this alleged "attack on religious freedom" and am glad this is over.

Question: Was this much ado over nothing? Did Obama cave-in, or was this the right move? What faux wedge issue will the GOP invent next?

Roland Martin Suspended For Actin' Like A N*gga On Twitter.

I Tweet a lot.

Correction: I Tweet a whole lot.

I personally love the outlet, the ability to see what others are thinking about a subject at a given time, and the instantaneous feedback you get when you throw an idea out there. It's almost like a virtual barbershop, minus the $18 cuts, and barbers who disregard everything you ask them to do.

BTW, if you aren't following me, you can fix that problem now.

Anyways, I make no bones about the fact that I'm (virtually) anonymous online. I don't attach my gubb'ment name to anything I write, nor do I put my photo on anything. The reasons are many, but have a lot to do with my employment and position. Simply put, I'm not tryin' to endanger my Day Job, so I've adopted this "AverageBro" persona for the virtual world, so I can keep gettin' paper in the real world. There are a million and one examples of things being said online being used against people in their places of employment.[1]

Just ask poor Roland Martin.
CNN commentator Roland Martin has agreed to meet with GLAAD following his suspension Wednesday for tweets during the Super Bowl that the group and others denounced as homophobic.

Calling Martin's tweets "regrettable and offensive," CNN said Martin would "not be appearing on our air for the time being." Martin later said on Twitter that he would meet with GLAAD, as the group had requested, after he apologized Tuesday for the Super Bowl tweets.

The Twitter detente helped resolve a controversy that began with Martin's tweets days before. GLAAD said two of Martin's tweets on Sunday seemed to advocate violence against gays.

"If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!" he said in one tweet. In the other, he said, "Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass."

Martin later apologized, saying he did not advocate violence against gays or bullying. He also said he himself had been bullied.

To signal that he took the issue seriously, Martin also reported on Wednesday about Brandon White, a 20-year-old gay man who was viciously beaten by a gang of men shouting anti-gay slurs in Atlanta.

Details of Martin's meeting with GLAAD are still being determined, the group said.
Poor Rolly Rolls.

I follow Martin on Twitter for reasons I can't totally explain. Actually, I can. I like Martin's on-air persona because even though I think he's an intellectual lightweight, he does typically say the sort of stuff I'd probably say if I had a similar stage, and is one of the few AverageBro's on the cable news circuit.[2]

Still, dude Tweets like he's sitting in the barbershop, or at a backyard BBQ at Man-Man-n'em's house. I mean, seriously, he talks like a guy who doesn't have a Day Job on a major cable news network. He talks like I talk when I'm offline. Not like a professional. At. All.

And that's really the issue here: Roland Martin tries to keep it a little too trill on Twitter, the perpetual attention grabbers at GLAAD (not unlike PETA) saw an easy mark, and they rolled this poor fella. I don't for one moment think Martin hates gay people. Dude (and his wife) is a baptist preacher. His Tweets obviously didn't advocate beating gay people because they might just happen to like David Beckham's package in that Super Bowl ad. He was basically saying the same sorta stuff your typical brotha would so to his friends if one of them had a comment about that ad. His response was probably not all that different from mine, when I saw the ad ("A guy in his drawls during the Super Bowl? Is this really necessary?"), I just didn't happen to Tweet it.

Martin, in an odd effort to "keep it real" spouted off something to millions of readers that was probably better left unsaid. And now, he's gonna get the fullblown "Tracy Morgan" treatment, complete with a tearful "come to Jesus" press conference, where he'll essentially apologize for an offense he didn't really even commit.

I seriously doubt this whole public spectacle will raise any awareness about legitimate hate crimes (like the despicable act in Atlanta that's all over the news right now). A month from now, Martin will quietly return to his usual spot on CNN, and nobody will even remember this happened. You know, sorta like when GLAAD similarly railroaded Morgan, Kobe Bryant, Isaiah Washington, and even President Obama. So there's that, for Mr. Martin.

Then again, he could always end up on Fox News.

Question: Were Martin's Tweets really all that offensive, or just classless and unprofessional? How long before he's making a tearful "some of my best friends are gay" press conference? Do organizations like GLAAD and PETA do things like this just for publicity or to actually raise awareness? Do you ever worry about having your online opinions held against you?

[1] To be clear: any employer or potential employer who wants to find out about your online activities can do so. Any. But why make it soooo easy for them?

[2] Marc-Lamont Hill would be another.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why We Still Need Black History Month.

Honestly, I'm not all that offended by these Mormon students not knowing much about Black History Month. I've been the Provo. Nice folks, but not many AverageBros. I think I might have seen 4 blacks the entire week, and one of them was a Karl Malone poster in the airport. So it's not shocking that kids in the state of Utah know very little about black history, or black folks in general.

What's actually quite offensive is this "host" who talks like that mulatto guy off MadTV, and who seems to think that the folks he's interviewing actually believe he's black. I guess anyone can dab on a little MAC, straighten the brim on their New Era, and pass for Negroid, huh?[1]

F*ck outta here.

[1] I have no words for the two misguided Negroes in this video, however.

The AverageBro Show - Episode One.

Okay, so I just said "eff it, let's do a podcast!"

On the first episode of The AverageBro Show, AB vents about Caucasian History Month in Arizona, The Annoyance Of Kiddie Birthday Parties, and LCD Rap Music's Purpose. The episode also features music by J. Cole, Sa-Ra, and Future. Retweet and download responsibly.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is Mitt Romney's "Business Experience" Really A Presidential Qualification?!?

While much has been made of Mitt Romney's flip-flopping, iffy Conservative credentials, lack of authenticity, and ear-bleed inducing singing, most amateur pundits and Professional Obama Haters™[1] trumpet his business experience as the factor that makes him most suited to face President Obama. After all, the economy is still the biggest issue in this upcoming election, and a man who has "run a successful business", as well as governing a large state should have some insight that makes him qualified to lead us out of this Obama-created depression.[2]

The funny thing about all that is that if you listen to Romney's debate performances, he simply trumps his "business experience" and "success" as reasons why he can "rescue us from Obama's wrath", but doesn't mention many particulars about exactly how he'd do this. Romney's own official campaign site has an 87 page PDF document called "Believe In America" that is little more than a collection of GOP Talkin' Points Greatest Hits. There's the usual boilerplate stuff about rolling back financial regulations, offshore drilling, cutting spending and taxes, limiting union bargaining rights, and... wait for it... repealing "Obamacare". Yes, "Obamacare". Not the "Affordable Healthcare Act", but the derisive term meant to obscure a set of policies pretty much every American agrees with my tying it to name half of Americans hate. So professional.

And so vague. If I needed a sleep aid, I'd go read the jobs plans on the sites of every other GOP contender past & present not named-Ron Paul, and I'd likely see the same verbiage, probably word for word. So in short, Romney isn't even promising any solutions that his opponents aren't[3], he's merely saying that his track record of getting sh*t done is better, so you should trust him more than those other guys, or our Kenyan President.

Fair enough. So let's look at Romney's supposed record of job creation.[4] I obviously have a natural disdain for quoting opinion commentary as the basis for my posts here, but Paul Krugman's recent NY Times article was so spot on (and fact filled) that I'll make an exception here.
Mr. Romney claims that Mr. Obama has been a job destroyer, while he was a job-creating businessman. For example, he told Fox News: “This is a president who lost more jobs during his tenure than any president since Hoover. This is two million jobs that he lost as president.” He went on to declare, of his time at the private equity firm Bain Capital, “I’m very happy in my former life; we helped create over 100,000 new jobs.”

But his claims about the Obama record border on dishonesty, and his claims about his own record are well across that border.

Start with the Obama record. It’s true that 1.9 million fewer Americans have jobs now than when Mr. Obama took office. But the president inherited an economy in free fall, and can’t be held responsible for job losses during his first few months, before any of his own policies had time to take effect. So how much of that Obama job loss took place in, say, the first half of 2009?

The answer is: more than all of it. The economy lost 3.1 million jobs between January 2009 and June 2009 and has since gained 1.2 million jobs. That’s not enough, but it’s nothing like Mr. Romney’s portrait of job destruction.

So Mr. Romney’s claims about the Obama job record aren’t literally false, but they are deeply misleading. Still, the real fun comes when we look at what Mr. Romney says about himself. Where does that claim of creating 100,000 jobs come from?

Well, Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post got an answer from the Romney campaign. It’s the sum of job gains at three companies that Mr. Romney “helped to start or grow”: Staples, The Sports Authority and Domino’s.

Mr. Kessler immediately pointed out two problems with this tally. It’s “based on current employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain,” and it “does not include job losses from other companies with which Bain Capital was involved.” Either problem, by itself, makes nonsense of the whole claim.

On the point about using current employment, consider Staples, which has more than twice as many stores now as it did back in 1999, when Mr. Romney left Bain. Can he claim credit for everything good that has happened to the company in the past 12 years? In particular, can he claim credit for the company’s successful shift from focusing on price to focusing on customer service (“That was easy”), which took place long after he had left the business world?

Then there’s the bit about looking only at Bain-connected companies that added jobs, ignoring those that reduced their work forces or went out of business. Hey, if pluses count but minuses don’t, everyone who spends a day playing the slot machines comes out way ahead!

The point is that Mr. Romney’s claims about being a job creator would be nonsense even if he were being honest about the numbers, which he isn’t.

At this point, some readers may ask whether it isn’t equally wrong to say that Mr. Romney destroyed jobs. Yes, it is. The real complaint about Mr. Romney and his colleagues isn’t that they destroyed jobs, but that they destroyed good jobs.

When the dust settled after the companies that Bain restructured were downsized — or, as happened all too often, went bankrupt — total U.S. employment was probably about the same as it would have been in any case.
I'd encourage everyone to read the article. Romney's claim about the 100,000 jobs created has been debunked by several other reputable fact checking organizations, so there's no real point in rehashing it here. Reality is, a lot of his success was achieved by eliminating jobs, not creating them.

Other than his time at Bain, what else does Romney consider "business experience"? It's hard to fault his experience turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics, but it's equally difficult to find a parallel in that situation and running the Federal government in a time of economic turmoil. After all, Romney basically bailed out the Olympics by raising a bunch of private money from the very same folks (aka: corporate sponsors) he'd established business ties with while in charge of Bain. Not really sure how that relates to creating jobs on a national level.

As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney was likewise successful, balancing the budget by raising fees on things like driver's and marriage licenses, drastically cutting aid to cities and towns, and increasing a special gasoline retailer fee. Of course, it's in Massachusetts that he also instituted a state-wide health insurance mandate. Good luck with explaining that one away come the Fall. By the time he was finished with his first term in 2006, his approval rating was so low that he didn't even run for re-election. The state GOP was so out of favor that year that a black guy was actually elected Governor.

I'm just sayin'.

Look, I'm not here to badtalk Romney because I'm jealous of his success. Sure, I would have loved to have been born on 3rd base too, instead of in the dugout. Imagine all the runs I'd score.

But the assertion that his sterling business experience makes him uniquely qualified to run the country is a little misleading. Sure, it makes him better than the cast of clowns he's beating in those GOP primary, but the real game doesn't begin until next Fall.

Good luck, Mittens. Something tells me you might need it.

Question: Is Romney's "job creation experience" really all that?

[1] Yes, that's an actual job.

[2] Sure, it's not "his fault", but he has "only made a bad situation worse!" Right?

[3] To be fair, this is common in primaries. Contenders usually espouse practically identical platforms, which make these early contests more about track record and temperament than actual policy differences.

[4] In case you were wondering, yes, that pic above is photoshopped. It's still accurate, but not exactly real. And if you find this somehow offensive, refresh your memory and go look at this. Seriously, I'd love to be accused of being rich. Illegal? Not so much.

NFL Characters Unite On USA Network.

Characters Unite Month is USA Network’s month long initiative aiming to combat hate and intolerance. On Friday, February 10th at 7pm ET/PT, USA brings you the premiere of NFL CHARACTERS UNITE.

In the documentary, NFL stars Tony Gonzalez, Hines Ward and Jimmy Graham share their own personal journeys through bigotry, abuse and racism – and each helps to transform the life of a teen currently dealing with a similar situation. The players impart strength and advice to assist the teens in getting past the hate, violence and devastating cycle of low expectations, and achieving their full potential.

Through candid interviews and unique one-on-one activities, these on- and off-the-field heroes help bring diverse people together, change attitudes and instill courage and compassion.

NFL CHARACTERS UNITE premieres Friday, February 10th at 7pm ET/PT, on USA Network.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 Open Mic Tuesday.

I'm busy today. Entertain yourselves.

Here's your open mic. Speak on it.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Name That Sample - "Ghetto Child".

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

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

Difficulty Level: Not too difficult.

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

Monday, February 6, 2012

Things I Strongly Dislike: Kiddie Birthday Parties.

Hey, have you ever had the insatiable urge to need to hear my voice?[1] Do you also dislike kiddie birthday parties? If you answered yes on both, or neither accounts, this is your lucky day.[2]

I'm now doing audio blogs via SoundCloud. Not really sure how often I'll do this, but if the response is favorable, I might make this a regular feature. Anyways, listen to my whiny rant below, and chime in you-know-where.

Question: Do you also find yourself largely annoyed with kiddie birthday parties? Should I keep audioblogging, or does my voice annoy you to no end?

[1] BTW, if you missed the relevance of the caption on the photo above, clearly you slept through 10th grade English. And yes, a pox upon YOUR house for that one.

[2] Yes, that is my son talking in the background. Yes, I realize I sound like a bit of a jerk for telling him to chill out. It happens. He had his earphones on and was watching a DVD in the backseat, so he was being a real trooper, all things considered. So, he really didn't hear much of Daddy's rant.

The Unemployment Rate Plummets. Should We Just Cancel The Election, Already?!?

Go ahead amateur pundits and professional ObamaHaters©, pick these numbers apart.
For most people, the 8.3 percent unemployment rate is the most visible sign of the economy’s health. The rate’s every movement is closely watched, especially in an election year.

But when the rate declines, it’s not always because many more people were hired. The unemployment rate can rise or fall even when no jobs are created or lost.

Last month, the rate fell because jobs were added. But that hasn’t always been the case in the 2½ years since the Great Recession ended. One reason for the rate’s decline is that fewer people are looking for work.

Here’s why:

The unemployment rate counts only people who don’t have a job and are looking for one. Once you stop looking, you’re no longer considered unemployed.

In January, the number of people either working or looking for work — who collectively form the labor force — rose. That’s an encouraging sign. It suggests that more of the unemployed were optimistic about finding a job.

The situation has shifted over the past year. The labor force has grown. But it hasn’t grown as fast as the overall population. The result: The proportion of the population either working or seeking work has fallen from 64.2 percent to 63.7 percent. That’s known as the labor force participation rate.

That drop is a big reason why the unemployment rate has declined in the past year.

The government tracks unemployed people who have given up looking for work in the past year. It calculates that if they were still job-hunting, but hadn’t found work, the unemployment rate would have been 8.9 percent last month.

That figure is much higher than the unemployment rate of 8.3 percent. But like the unemployment rate, it’s dropped sharply over the past year.
Yes, there's always a story behind the stats, and yes, the unemployment rate looks better than it actually is for all the aforementioned reasons.

That said, it's not like the criteria for measuring unemployment has somehow been modified by the Obama Administration. Not counting folks who stopped looking has always been the case. And regardless of what the unemployment rate is, the overall trend is clear. We've had almost 2 years of private sector job growth. There were 257,000 such jobs created in January, across a multitude of industries. The comeback is real, and it looks likely to be sustained, even as people return to

Watching GOP haters try and discredit these numbers has been both hilarious and disgusting, sorta like an episode of Mob Wives. They've claimed Obama's cooking the numbers (the BLS is independent and full of career statisticians). They've claimed the economy is still worse under Obama than it was under Bush (on which planet?). I even heard some ingrate suggest we're seeing job growth because the GOP controlled House prevented Obama from doing anything all last year. Yep, folks are getting desperate.

How hard is it to just give the man some credit? If you blame him when things are going bad, the decent thing to do is give him props when things are better.

But that would be too much like right.

Question: What do these numbers mean for the prospects of Obama and Romney come November?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Dreaded Honey-Do List.

As any married man knows, the dreaded Honey-Do List can turn an expected leisurely weekend of couch potatodom into 2 days of indentured servitude. Nobody likes annotated, 3 page long lists of "to dos", but hey, it's part of being hitched.

So obviously, that's what I'm up to today, so no weekend blog. It happens. Enjoy the great outdoors. Prep for your Super Bowl Party. Live it up. Me? I'll be making yet another trip to my local Home Improvement SuperStore, all in the name of marital fidelity. BTW, if anyone knows any vancouver painting contractors, holla at me.

Friday, February 3, 2012 Open Mic Friday.

I'm off today. Entertain yourselves.

Here's your open mic. Speak on it.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Name That Sample - "That Ain't The Way You Make Love"

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

This classic tune by ZZ Hill has been sampled numerous times, mostly by "underground/backpack" rappers. And when I say "numerous times", I mean at least a dozen I can think of. But who can name the most songs that have used these delightful bars?

Difficulty Level: Hard as Chinese Math. Only the true cratediggers are gonna get this one.

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

Caption This Photo.

Thursday, February 2, 2012 Hot Topics - 2.2.12

Here's the daily rundown.

Mitt Doesn't Care About Poor People - If ever there was a campaign ad that wrote itself, it would be Mittens' assertion that he is "not concerned about the very poor". Nice job, genius.

To be honest, if you take his words in context, it's clear he isn't saying he "doesn't give a sh*t about poor folks", just that they aren't nearly as big a concern as the middle class. This is not really a new sentiment, most Conservatives espouse the same opinion, just not as bluntly. Still, given his tendency to make such off putting statements about wealth ("I'll bet you $10,000!") it's easy to piece a bunch of these clips together and paint him as out of touch.

And that sound you just heard... it was the Obama campaign piecing a bunch of these clips together and paint Romney as out of touch.

I Told Ya'll Somebody Would Use Obama Singing Against Him - Frankly, I'm just shocked it too this long.

Speaking Of Singing... - Boy, is this Romney fella awkward or what?

Rest In Peace Don Cornelius - Yes, the way he died (or took his life, however you want to word it) was tragic, but lets focus instead on Don's contributions to American culture. The man was a legend. We wish him love, peace, and souuuuull.

Question: What do you think about these issues?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Somebody Died And Make Eddie Long Kaing.

Jesus, be a lacefront all around me every-day.

A few very random observations/thoughts...
* How much did Eddie pay this Jewish fella to participate in this f*ckery?!?

* If you're still a member of New Birth, please explain why.

* They prolly bought that scroll off eBay.

* Eddie finally seems to be growing into that Jheri curl wig. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

* I wonder what's going on inside the minds of those four brothers carrying Eddie around like he's Julius Ceasar or something.

* I wonder what's going on inside the minds of Bishop Long as he sits atop his throne.

* That guy said "I’m going to pull off the foreskin of this and we’re going to raise it up." No, really, he did. (1:07)

* That chick singing prolly isn't even Jewish.

* Did those guys ever think about dropping Bishop Eddie? I'm just sayin', he's not a light man, and that chair alone might be 100 pounds. Your arm's gotta get tired.

* This is so absurd, it's almost like some weird form of performance art.
Question: Seriously, what's up with this?