Friday, March 30, 2012

Is Menopause a Requirement to be a Black Woman in Congress?

[Editor's Note: ABFam™ Member Ciara is a longtime contributor here. We go back like Kevin Willis' hairline (Google it). So when she wanted the opportunity to expound on my epic rant about Black Congresswomen, I ceded the floor. The lady is speaking. Show some love, you-know-where.]

Like many women, I have been set off by the recent barrage of legislation attacking women’s health. As a uterus-carrying citizen of this great country, I don’t appreciate old, White men trying to dictate what I can and cannot do with my body. I’ve donated to Planned Parenthood and the National Organization of Women, and I’ve used social networking as a platform to inform and educate people about the current state of women’s affairs.

Female politicians of the Democratic variety have also spoken up and out about the so-called “War on Women”. Hell, even Obama made a mention of the state-level attacks on reproductive rights. Alas, through the weird-17-minutes-of-attention this news is getting, something is missing. Actually, SOMEONE is missing.

Black women were the highest demographic of voters in the 2008 elections but we’re not well represented in Congress. While African-American women on the state level have made their voices – and actions – heard concerning this current wave of abortion rights legislation, I can’t say the same for Congress. I’ve seen more of them during the Trayvon Martin saga than I have standing up for the right of a woman to control what way her fallopians flap in the wind. Frankly, it pisses me off. While I appreciate the OG-Triple-OG Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) for walking out of Darrell Issa’s birth-control panel, I haven’t seen any other stance since.

African-American women are dying from cervical cancer at a higher rate than White women. We are the most new cases of HIV and we’re diagnosed later for breast cancer and die faster from it. We are perishing from the issues that Republican lawmakers and overzealous non-profits (see: Susan G. Komen) are playing games with. And what do I see? Not one prominent African-American female politician standing up for these issues. I want to hear voices, not see your face in the still photo from an impromptu press conference. I want to hear you yelling from the rooftop that Black women’s lives are at stake if we continue to wage these attacks on women’s rights.

So the more I think about it, the more I realize that it is time for some fresh meat. Maybe these women’s are disconnected from the needs of the new generation of Black women. What’s the last piece of crucial legislation that any of these women have championed that concerns women’s rights and issues?

Why are they continuing to reinforce the stereotype that Black women put their race first when it comes to public policy? Yes, I’m Black but I’m a woman. I bare children. I raise families. I support husbands and partners. I love. I want to live. Those ideas are not generational. But maybe our concerns are. Frankly, I don’t look at these women and say “Yes, they speak for me!” I’m 24 … how can they?

Question: What do you think?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Epic Roland Martin/CL Bryant Pissing Match.

Boy, oh boy. What an epic waste of airtime.

Send Your Question In For The AverageBro™ Show Mailbag. Win Free Stuff.

I hope you're enjoying The AverageBro™ Show just as much as I enjoy making it. In an attempt to make the show more interactive (as opposed to me talking to myself for 30 minutes), I want to create a new feature. If you want me to answer your question (any question) on the next show, drop it below. One random questioner (either here or on Twitter) wins something free. So hey, there's something in it for everybody.

Drop your question below, and best of luck.

Question: Got any questions for AB?!?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rick Santorum Reaches New Low With "Obamaville" Ad. (aka: "I See NO BLAH People!")

Seriously, I thought Tim Pawlenty had the market cornered on post-Apocalyptic anti-Obama ads. Once Timmy bowed out, the crown moved on to the also-departed Herman Cain. Since epic Hollywood-style campaign ads seem to be in vogue this year, another guy who's got one foot in the race and another on a banana peel decided to try his hand. And boy, is this one a doozy.

Uhhh, is it just me, or is something (glaringly obvious) missing from this ad?

Where are the BLAH PEOPLE!?!?!

I guess we could read this three ways:
1) The hometown Obama destroyed never had any BLAH PEOPLE living there.

2) The BLAH PEOPLE were too busy celebrating the apocalypse Obama created. Cause, you know, this is BLAH PEOPLE's way to stick to to whitey, although Obama just so happens to be half-whitey himself.

3) This sh*t is racist.
Seriously, this is a new low. Forget the horror movie imagery, that's to be expected. Hyperbolic, sure. But hardly out of bounds.

The problem is the people depicted as victims. Creating a minute long campaign ad showing victims of "one President's failed policies" as solely white sure as hell didn't happen by accident. The only BLAH PERSON in the whole ad is Obama himself, who is shrewdly interspersed with clips of Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as if to make the two seem like one, for whatever dubious reason.[1]

There are also quick clips of other scary brown people with very long beards. Is Santorum trying to tell us that Obama only wants to harm white people? What the f*ck is this all about?

Rick, this is bullsh*t. Something you clearly know a lot about.

Question: What subliminal message is Rick Santorum trying to send here?

[1] Well, c'mon, it's no mystery, is it? Need I spell it out?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Black Panther Party Puts A Hit Out On George Zimmerman (And Other Trayvon Miscellany).

File this one under #NOTHelping!

I feel the need to run this, simply to say on record that I (obviously) disagree with this sort of ignorant sh*t. So there. Thanks for handing the right wing a ready-made talking point to undermine the lack of justice in this case, fellas. Nice job.

BTW, they are lying. No "athletes or entertainers" have co-signed on this bullshit. Nor would any black person with half a brain.

I think it's downright comical that the "lamestream media" is covering these stupid coons.[1] Black people don't take them seriously, nor should anyone else. I can't help but wonder if this story is gaining traction, just cause the President happens to be black. Nah, no way. Couldn't happen.

Speaking of coons...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Brothaman, how much did the George Zimmerman Legal Defense Fund pay you to go on TV and be his Official Black Co-Signer™. I hope you don't wear a hoodie when you go cash that check. Actually, turns out this very polished black fella (he's a former news anchor) isn't actually Zimmerman's "friend", he's technically a family member, married to Zimmerman's mother-in-law.[2] So nah, no bias here.

BTW, congrats Conservatives, garden variety racists, and assorted pro-gun wackos! Going on Facebook and pulling down pictures of a dead 17 year old to supposedly prove some point about him "being a gold toothed thug" who "had it coming". Classy.

But wait, there's more!

Negroes, please.

Question: Is this yet another black eye in the annals of American race relations? Does this country have any hope or chance of ever overcoming its deeply ingrained racial issues.

[1] If you take offense to my use of this word against fellow black people, I'm sorry. But I seriously can't think of a better phrase to describe them and their actions. They are not working on behalf of the Martin family. Trayvon's father denounced their tactics. They are simply serving as a distraction from the legitimate actions being taken to bring Zimmerman to justice, and they're changing the narrative in a way that makes the deceased appear to be the aggressor, not the victim. In short, they aren't helping. They are simply out for their own self-promotion. And yes, they are coons. Go watch the full Anderson Cooper interview and tell me otherwise.

[2] Actually, he isn't related to Zimmerman, he's just a family friend. The Huffington Post and Mediaite erroneously reported this initially. It should be noted that Joe Oliver hasn't actually spoken to Zimmerman himself, he was simply relaying information on behalf of the family. He's also a former newscaster, who is comfortable in front the camera, and demands respect (and thus, no cross examination) from fellow newscasters. This is all about PR. So basically, he's a professional black co-signer.

Monday, March 26, 2012 Open Mic Monday.

No need to lie, I just am not really in a blogging mood this morning. Long weekend, got a cold, and yeah, I'm still smarting over my Tarheels getting bounced from the tourney. A championship season, derailed at the 11th hour by an injury to our most important player. The Basketball Gods were so unkind. So basically, eff' a bracket!

So basically, write your own d*mn blog today. Drop links, write your own posts. You know the drill by now. I'm going somewhere to cry in my pillow.

Some stuff you might wanna talk about (or not)...
Obama Gives Statement On Trayvon, Conservatives (Predictably) Accuse Him Of Playing The Race Card.

Geraldo Doubles Down On "Hoodie" Comment.

The AverageBro™ Show Episode Four. Go listen!

Santorum Wins Louisiana. GOP Race Will Never End.

SCOTUS Starts ObamaCare Proceedings.

NCAA Final Four Field Is Set (and who cares?).

TebowMania Joins Linsanity In The Big Apple.

Tiger Wins One.
Question: What's on your mind today?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Geraldo Rivera Blames Hooded Sweatshirt For #Trayvon's Death.

There is ignorant sh*t and then there's really ignorant sh*t. Geraldo Rivera came up short on Al Capone's vault, but he hit the motherlode of ignorant sh*t this morning on Fox & Friends.

I could go into just why this sh*t is so ignorant, but it's a sunny Friday afternoon and I've got better sh*t to do. What say ye'?

Question: Is Geraldo out of his d*mn mind, or are we merely misunderstanding him?

The AverageBro Show - Episode Four.

It's been a minute, but we're back at it again.

On this episode of The AverageBro Show, AB talks about President Obama's Keystone Pipeline flip-flop, the Trayvon Martin case, and public officials who can't speak proper English. This episode features music by CrossRhodes, KMD, and A$AP Rocky.

As always, retweet and download responsibly.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 Link Dump - 3.21.12

[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.
Sellout-assed Larry Elder Plays "Blame The Victim" In Trayvon Martin Case [Mediaite] - "Radio host Larry Elder stopped by Good Day LA on Tuesday, where he offered his perspective on the case surrounding Trayvon Martin and his alleged shooter, George Zimmerman. Elder, however, offered perspective that shifted from the common narrative surrounding the teen’s death. This morning, Good Day LA shared a poll showing that 89 percent of the show’s viewers agreed that the Justice Department should look into the Trayvon Martin case. “There’s a big outcry,” Elder observed, “and I think, for PR purposes, we have to look as if we’re concerned about whether or not this 17-year-old was killed."

Trayvon Martin’s Friend Recounts Call With Martin Moments Before Death [Mediaite] - "According to phone logs, Trayvon Martin‘s 16-year-old girlfriend was on the phone with him moments before he was shot. ABC News is reporting the details the girl, who wished to remain anonymous, told Martin’s family attorney. She recalls Martin saying a man was watching him — and that she told Martin to run."

Santorum Criticizes Obama Over Malia’s Mexico Trip: Presidents Must ‘Set An Example’ [Mediaite] - "Today, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum chastised President Barack Obama for allowing his teen daughter Malia to take a trip to Mexico despite travel warnings issued by the State Department. Santorum told Glenn Beck that it’s important for the President and his administration to set an example for others."

Staff sergeant held in Afghan massacre was found liable in financial fraud [WashPost] - "The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, figure prominently in the still-evolving portrait of Robert Bales, the Army staff sergeant being held in a massacre of 16 villagers in southern Afghanistan. Like many others, Bales enlisted out of a sense of civic responsibility, his friends and attorney have said. But Bales’s decision to join the Army also came at a pivotal point in his pre-military career — a career as a stock trader that appears to have ended months after he was accused of engaging in financial fraud while handling the retirement account of an elderly client in Ohio, according to financial records."

Kendall Marshall still questionable [ESPN] - "Top-seeded North Carolina is preparing "100 percent" to play without point guard Kendall Marshall on Friday in the NCAA Midwest Region semifinals, coach Roy Williams said Tuesday. There is still a chance that the Cousy Award finalist -- who had surgery Monday to insert a screw into his fractured right wrist -- could play against 13th seeded Ohio. But right now, Williams said, he has "no idea" what factors will indicate whether Marshall can play, because he's in uncharted territory."
Question: What do you think about these stories?!? Guest Post - Herman Cain: Flat Taxes And A Return To Gold.

[Editor's Note: Lauren Windsor is a freelance writer for web-marketing companies and a producer of written, graphic and video content for her own political website, Follow her on Twitter @ladylibertine27]

In December, former Republican primary presidential candidate Herman Cain ended his run for office amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment and adultery. Since then, he launched another type of campaign the following month.

Cain has been on a public policy PR blitz, touring the country on a bus emblazoned with his face and the catch phrase “Cain’s Solutions Revolution.” His primary solution, the now infamous 9-9-9 tax plan, has been widely panned by both Republicans and Democrats alike. Still, Cain pushes on, touting the economic recovery it will supposedly unleash. In this cash for gold economy, where unemployment remains stubbornly high, Cain and his flat-tax brethren Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich support both a return to the gold standard and the lessening the tax burden for ‘job creators,’ in the hopes that all that spare cash will find its way into new business ventures… trickle-down economics for a new generation.

Flat-tax advocates rejoice at the prospect of 9-9-9, but Washington D.C. tax maven and founder of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist sees danger. “I’m very concerned about three different taxes,” —every one of them can grow.” The author of the notorious no-new-taxes pledge signed by many prominent Republicans, including Cain, Norquist is the man largely responsible for last summer’s deficit gridlock in Washington. In an August Fox News debate with Bret Baier, every one of the eight Republican candidates—again, Cain included—said they would refuse any budget deal with spending cuts and tax increases, even at a ratio of 10 to 1. Norquist lauds Cain’s efforts to highlight the issue, but would not support 9-9-9 himself if put to a vote:
Look, I applaud Herman Cain’s statement that the present system is too high, it’s too redistributionist, it moves money from one side to another. Let’s take rates radically down, let’s end this double- and triple-taxation of savings. But the way he does it creates these new taxes like a VAT [value-added tax] and a retail sales tax that have a dangerous history of growing.
Perennial Republican contrarian and presidential candidate Senator Ron Paul shares Norquist’s views of the 9-9-9 plan, calling it “dangerous” and “regressive” on CNN in October. Said Paul:
What 9-9-9 does is it compromises in the worst way. It gives you a sales tax AND a flat tax AND opens up the door to a value-added tax. I think it’s very, very dangerous… Because it’s so regressive, it’s going to—if we ever came close to it, it would be very, very unpopular.
Paul went on to criticize Cain for his long ties to the Federal Reserve banking establishment, a favorite Paul punching bag. Herman Cain spent seven years with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, as the chairman of its Omaha Branch from 1989 to ’91, the deputy chairman of the Fed Kansas City from ’92 to ’94, and its chairman from ’95 to ’96. Though Paul and Cain disagree over taxes, they find common ground on the issue of the gold standard. According to Cain, “We should have never gotten off the gold standard because when we got off the gold standard, that then allowed Congress to inflate our currency whenever they overspent.”

This rhetoric has rubbed off on Newt Gingrich, whose candidacy Cain officially endorsed in January just days before the Florida primary. Cain, Paul, and Gingrich have all had their fifteen minutes in the primary spotlight, but none have been able to gain major traction.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Few (Very) Random Thoughts About The Trayvon Martin Situation.

I guess I have to say something, since I haven't yet. Here are my random thoughts on the very sad Trayvon Martin story.

Neighborhood Watch Doesn't Make You A Cop - Like lots of you, I'm an active member of my community's neighborhood watch. Once or twice a month, I slap a decal on my car, and drive around our 1,000 home complex after dark, armed with nothing more than a flashlight. The job description, if that's what you call it, is simple: call 911 if you see anything suspicious. Sure, I sometimes bend the rules and ask anyone who seems out of place "Neighborhood Watch: can I help you?", but that's about it. At no point do I brandish a firearm or take matters into my own hands. Zimmerman, who appears to have a criminal record, obviously didn't follow these directives.

Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law Is The Real Culprit - In most states, Zimmerman would have been charged with something, anything, given the circumstances here. Sadly, Florida is not such a state. Their "Stand Your Ground" Law allows anyone who feels their life is in danger while in their home to shoot first, ask questions last. Zimmerman wasn't exactly in his own home, but apparently he police believed his account of the incident, despite the since-released 911 tapes and witness testimony to the contrary. This essentially boils down to "he said/he said" and sadly, one of the he's isn't around to give his side of the story.

This Is Literally Every Black Parent's Nightmare - Martin's shooting is the manifestation of every black parent's nightmare. I know that sounds insensitive or "racial", but it's true. I don't think white parents have to talk with their kids about how to behave when confronted by police (or in this case, overzealous community watcher), the importance of dressing a certain way and using proper English to be taken seriously (ie: not as a threat) in certain environments, or how to conduct yourself in department stores to avoid being stereotyped as a thief. But my parents had this "talk" with me, and once my sons are of age, I'll do the same. It's hard, but it's fair. By all accounts, Martin had been raised the right way, yet still met his demise.

I Don't Necessarily Think The Shooting Was Racially Motivated - I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of flames for this, but it's not 100% certain that Zimmerman shot Martin solely because he felt threatened by a young black boy. Yes, he did refer to the kid as an "a$$hole" on the 911 tape. As many have noted, Zimmerman is Hispanic, and has black family members. This means little to nothing, other than to say Zimmerman in theory shouldn't feel as threatened by the sight of a young black kid than, say, a middle aged white woman. Reality is, everyone falls prey to stereotypes. If we keep it one-hunned, lots of otherwise well-meaning black people could see a Twenty-Something Black Male in Dark Clothing approaching in the dark and would reflexively respond much like Zimmerman allegedly did. It is what it is. Whether or not Zimmerman is racist is immaterial. Martin is dead. Period.

I Definitely Think The Lack Of Prosecution Is Racially Motivated - What's undeniably racist is that Zimmerman probably isn't being charged, "Stand Your Ground" Law or no "Stand Your Ground" Law, likely because Martin was black. There's plenty of data and empirical evidence to back up the assertion that black lives are less valued by the criminal justice system than white lives. So yeah, that's what the protest should be about. Not proving something as unprovable (and ultimately pointless) as whether or not the shooter was racist.

What I Think Will Eventually Happen - As this story (finally) begins to gain national attention, I have little doubt that enough pressure will be applied to get Zimmerman charged with something. Anything. Murder. Manslaughter. Hell, even Jaywalking. Just don't let this moron skate. Seems like Eric Holder and the DoJ are finally on the case. Cue the Conservative backlash.

There Are Thousands Of Trayvons - One thing that's sorta bugged me about this whole debacle is how people who wouldn't give a flip about black-on-black crime are suddenly outraged. This is black America's #KONY2012, except we have one of these every few months. Jena Six. Sean Bell. Tim Thomas. Oscar Grant. Troy Davis. We get worked up, Tweet, Facebook, and blog about black males when they fall victim to someone non-black. Then, nothing happens. Until the next case of DriveByActivism™. It's a pattern that's tired as hell. It also ignores the fact that roughly half of the people murdered each year in this country are black, and nearly all of them are killed by other black people. So I wonder, had Mr. Zimmerman been black, would anyone care? I don't think so, because we as a country are so conditioned to seeing black on black crime as no big deal. Just a thought.

Question: What are your thoughts about this sad situation?

Monday, March 19, 2012 Open Mic Monday.

I'll be back soon. Drop links, write your own posts. You know the drill by now.

Question: What's on your mind today?

AverageNation™ March Madness Standings.

AverageNation™ March Madness is in full effect! We're at the midpoint (sorta). Lots of upsets, but all the #1 seeds are moving forward to the Sweet 16. #GoHeels

Here's the standings, as of today. Perennial leader Jeff Bempong is on top, but I'm on his heels. Pun not intended.

Thursday, March 15, 2012 Open Mic Thursday

With customers the rest of the week. Thus, entertain yourselves. Drop links, write your own posts. You know the drill by now.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

#Obama2012's Really Weird, Really Pointless Sarah Palin Ad.

[Editor's Note: Yeah, another Palin post. Deal with it.]

Uhhh, seriously, what's up with this ad? Of all the things the Obama campaign could be attacking the right on, the go find that clip from Sarah Palin's appearance on Fox News, and give it the web vid treatment.
Sarah Palin is charging that President Barack Obama’s just-released campaign commercial is an “absurd new attack ad” in which her comments have been heavily edited and taken out of context.

“The far Left continues to believe American voters are not smart enough to grasp the diversionary tactics it employs to distract us from the issues our President just doesn’t want to talk about – issues that affect us all every day and must be addressed,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page late Monday. “Exhibit A in these diversionary tactics is an absurd new attack ad President Obama has released taking my comments out of context.”

Palin said Monday on her Facebook page, “I’m not running for any office, but I’m more than happy to accept the dubious honor of being Barack Obama’s ‘enemy of the week’ if that includes the opportunity to debate him on the issues Americans are actually concerned about.”

The new “heavily edited” ad is “quite odd,” the former Alaska governor continued.

“It shows that our President sure seems fearful of discussing the economy, energy prices, and all the other problems people need addressed,” she said.
Yes, accusing someone of taking your words out of context, after you've... well, gone on TV and taken their words out of context is the definition of hypocrisy, but hey, this is Miss Sarah. Typical rules, and logic, do not apply. She's a (serial) victim once more. Chi. Ching.

I have a serious problem with this video: it's reactive, rather than proactive. It's also aimed at a person who has the political relevance of a bowl of grits. Seriously, why bother? Where's the "food stamp President" anti-Newt ad? Where's the "he was for ObamaCare before he was against it" anti-Mitt ad? Where's the "hey, look at those racist newsletters" anti-Paul ad? Where's the "this guy is f*ckin' crazy!" anti-Santorum ad?

Picking on Palin, 4 years after the fact? Utterly pointless. I mean, seriously, leave that sort frivolous BS to bloggers like me. All you do is legitimize her (maybe) again, and give her a "look, he's attacking me again!" platform that she can use to sell more books, and maybe get a renewed contract at Fox. Do we really want that? No.

Seriously, #TeamObama, get your stuff straight.

Question: Is this ad totally pointless, or did it need to be said? Does this prove, for once and for all, that #TeamObama is threatened by #TeamSarah? Are you as sick of these #Team hashtags as I am?!?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

AB Goes To The Movies - HBO's Game Change.

Maybe some of you with real lives were out having fun Saturday night, but married, 2 1/2 kids having political nerds like me were home watching HBO's Game Change. The movie, much like Recount, is HBO's retelling of an election from a behind the scenes perspective. Whereas the prior movie was about the much disputed 2000 election, Game Change focuses on the 2008 election, specifically the McCain/Palin ticket.

If you saw the movie, share your thoughts below. If you didn't, here's the trailer.

A few things about this movie stuck out.
1) You can try and spin it anyway you want, but this isn't a movie that makes Sarah Palin look good. Perhaps if nothing else, you feel a bit more sympathetic to her, since it's clear she was thrust into a situation she was not prepared for, at all.

2) Then again, the movie confirms everything we already knew about Palin. She's shallow. She's prideful. She's catty.

3) The McCain camp didn't discover her via YouTube. That's a dramatization. She'd been on the campaign's radar for months.

4) The McCain camp, did, however, only spend 5 days vetting her. The book goes into this in more detail than the movie, but either way, it's somewhat scary that the people "vetting" her didn't bother asking her questions about basic knowledge of history, foreign relations, or her background. Perhaps more scary than Vice President Palin is the fact that most of these same people who didn't vet her would have been high ranking officials in a McCain White House. Thank you, Jesus!

5) Ed Harris as McCain... didn't quite do it. He looked the part, but his voice and mannerisms were like 2 decades too young. We don't know enough about Steve Schmidt, but I know the guy's grossy overweight. Which is why Woody Harrellson's portrayal is only about halfway there. As for Palin, well, I don't know what award they give for TV movies (Emmys?!?) but I'm pretty sure Julianne Moore's getting one. She became Palin. It was scary at times.

6) Some on the right are complaining that this movie wasn't focused on Obama/Hilary or could have instead taken on John Edwards' obvious issues. Prolly true, but I don't see anyone stopping Conservatives from making their own movies. Actually, after drivel like Media Malpractice, and The Undefeated, it's probably better that they just stick to trashing Obama via cable news and radio.
Final Verdict - This movie wasn't perfect, but I'm sure it wasn't intended to be. It's a piece of disposable entertainment that probably would have seemed more timely had Palin run this year. Instead, it's just low key pro-Obama propaganda. Not that there's anything wrong with that. 3 Stars (Out Of 5)

Question: Did you see Game Change? Was the movie a fair portrayal? Is there such a thing as a fair portrayal?!?

Monday, March 12, 2012

AB Goes To The Movies - Still Standing

Friend Of, and founder of the blog Black And Married With Kids, Lamar Tyler presents his latest film, Still Standing. Check it out.

From the creators of, Happily Ever After and You Saved Me comes the next installment of timeless love stories. A diverse group of couples provide transparent, insightful conversation about what it takes to have lasting power in current day marriages. Through infidelity, chronic illness, financial crisis and more these couples explain WHY and more importantly HOW they are STILL STANDING. Starring Kindred the Family Soul, Speech (Arrested Development) and Yolanda Thomas and Dr. Sherry Blake.

Advanced Screening Info.
DC Advance Screening 3/24/12
CHI Advance Screening 3/31/12
HOU Advance Screening 4/27/12
DAL Advance Screening 4/28/12
ATL Advance Screening 5/3/12
Still Standing is available on May 1st, and we'll be having a contest for free copies later, but you can pre-order the DVD on sale now.

Sarah Palin Confuses "Civil Rights" With "Civil War". Or Something Like That.

Count your blessings folks. This woman could have been one missed heartbeat away from The White House. Instead, she's on Fox News, talking about things she clearly knows little to nothing about. But what's new about that?

Question: Did she actually mean "Civil Rights Movement", not "The Civil War"? Does either explanation make sense?!?

Sign Up For AverageNation™ March Madness, Win Free Stuff!

Yep, it's that time of year yet again. Office productivity will hit annual lows later this week as the first round of March Madness gets underway.

I'm doing the annual AverageNation™ March Madness Contest, thanks to the kindness and generosity of the fine folks at CBS Sports.

I know all of you prolly have an office pool and the requisite brackets, but just for fun, sign up for AverageNation™ March Madness by going to our page there, and make your picks. Use the password blog when prompted.

The winner will get a giftbag full of random leftover sh*t that's been sent to me for review over the past few months. Hey, it's free stuff. Don't be so picky.

Sign up now, and get ready to talk smack.

AverageNation™ March Madness Signup Page [CBSSports]
Again the password is: blog.

Should Lottery Winners Be Eligible For Foodstamps?!?

Playing PowerBall and MegaMillions is part of my weekly honey-do list. My wife likes playing it, and I like my wife being happy and whatnot. What we'd do should we actually hit the numbers remains to be seen, but I'm pretty sure we'd be smarter than a poor Michigan woman who finds herself the subject of a national controversy.
Michigan could become the first state to enact legislation that polices the access that lottery winners have to assistance programs – after two cases have come to light in which such an individual continued using food stamps after winning at least $1 million.

This week, Amanda Clayton of the Detroit area made headlines for acknowledging that she still received $200 in monthly food assistance after winning $1 million in state lottery money last September. Following an uproar, she was revoked of her benefits Wednesday.

Last year, Leroy Fick of Bay County, Mich., told a television reporter that he still used food stamps despite winning $2 million from the state lottery. Mr. Fick was acting within any laws and regulations, his lawyer reportedly argued.

The Fick case prompted the legislation that is now moving its way through the state Senate. The bill, which would prevent lottery winners from continuing in federal and state assistance programs, passed the House last month.

If the legislation passes, the Michigan Lottery would be required to send the names of anyone winning prizes over $1,000 to the state Department of Human Services, which would then have to cross-reference those names against those receiving public assistance.

It is unclear if Ms. Clayton acted illegally. According to eligibility requirements posted on Michigan’s Department of Human Services website, wages, self-employment earnings, rental income, child support, Social Security benefits, and veterans benefits are all countable income. Lottery winnings are not in that list.

Clayton won $1 million in the state’s “Make Me Rich!” game. According to The Detroit News, she took home $500,000, which she used to buy a new home and car.

The uproar over her winnings started this week after she told Detroit television affiliate WDIV that she was “struggling” to make ends meet.
Here's the moving pictures, for those of you less-inclined to read, or whatever.

As someone so astutely pointed out on Twitter, it's pretty clear Ms. Clayton is higher than giraffe coochie a kite in the segment above. What's not so clear is what the heck those background songs are, and why the segment producer chose something so trivial for a supposedly "hard news" story. Seriously, even for a local news segment, this is jive tacky, and borderline unprofessional. Do better, WDIV! Hell, do better Detroit, period.[1]

As silly as this sounds, it's really not. Millionaires are still eligible for unemployment benefits upon loss of job, so a lottery winner getting food stamps isn't really such a stretch. Sure, it's hard to feel bad for Ms. Clayton, bubblehead that she is, but she didn't technically do anything illegal.

Reality is, had some "friend" not dimed her out, it's likely Ms. Clayton would still be getting her EBT-on.[2] The fact that the state of Michigan doesn't employ anyone smart enough to run a SQL query on lotto winners vs food stamp rolls is much more egregious. As a guy who sorta-kinda does this for a living, I'm really peeved about that.

For anyone mad at Ms. Clayton for gaming the system, don't be.[3] She did, after all, just drop about $200k in taxes when she took that lottery payout, so it's not like she isn't pulling her weight anymore. And given how not-so-bright she seems to be (two houses!?!), it's likely she'll legitimately be right back on food stamps sometime in the not-so-distant future. So chill.

Question: Does this woman deserve to be mocked for simply gaming the system, or does she need to buy her own d*mn Cheerios instead of mooching off taxpayers? How long before she's back to being flat broke?

[1] No income, but wearing designer shades = "Do Better!"

[2] Seriously, what jealous, petty a$$ed chick had the nerve to call the local news on Ms. Clayton? Stop snitchin'!

[3] To her credit, that looks like one of those Detroit homes you can buy for about $3,000, and she is driving a pretty busted looking Chevy Cavalier. So just maybe I'm misunderestimating this woman's financial savvy. But prolly not.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Definitive Proof That Fox News Does Little More Than Race-Bait.

Seriously, I watched this discussion in real time, and my head is still smoking. This is literally the dumb leading the blind leading the dumb.

First, watch this video.

Obviously racist, right?

Okay, now here's how Fox News discusses the very same incident.

I'll be honest, I sorta feel bad for Juan Williams. He's the sole Negro on the network, and thus, the de facto explainer of all things racist. He really isn't built for that, and obviously can't tell these numbnuts how he really feels. When dude left NPR and doubled down on Fox News, he probably lost any ability to actually speak his mind anymore. Cause if that was me on this panel, I prolly woulda smacked these other four morons.

And lost my job.

But the slaps prolly woulda been worth it.

This is little more than racism. You can try and call it misunderstood patriotism all you want, but please show me an incident where these same kids lead a "USA!" chant when they beat a fellow mostly-white school first. I'll be waiting.

Sadly, ingrates like these folks on Fox News (shame on you, Eric Bolling, assuming you know what "shame" is) don't even realize that by failing to call out obvious examples of racism, they're actually perpetuating the very thing they say doesn't exist. I hope that made sense.


Question: Is this sh*t racist, or were these young men merely being "patriotic" by chanting "USA!" to kids who are also American and prolly only live about 10 miles down the street?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fox News Unearths Obama's "Lost Tapes". Zzzzzzzz.

I know I said I wouldn't tapdance on Andrew Breitbart's grave when he met his untimely demise last week, but eff' it. The guy's in the ground now, so whatever. One of Breitbart's parting gifts was an alleged "Smoking Gun" that showed then-college aged Obama spittin' some seriously radical anti-American mumbo jumbo at a Harvard rally. The conservative media's been playing this up all week, and last night, Obama: The Lost Tapes[1] was revealed.

Prepare yourself for some radical radicalism!!!

So, uhhh, yeah, that was about it.

A few random observations:
1) College-age Obama sounds just like President Obama. How many people's voices don't change slightly over time? That's jive eerie.

2) College-age Obama looks just like J. Cole. Tell me I'm wrong.

3) There is absolutely nothing even remotely controversial about introducing a speaker who just so happens to be a tenured professor at the college you're attending.

4) This whole "Lost Tape" played in its entirety on PBS waaaay back in 2008.

5) Conservatives are really, really, really running out of "Us Vs Them" material. Maybe they should just stick to bashing him on the economy he "single-handedly ran into the ground".

6) Dude, get your hands out of your pockets. They teach you that in ToastMasters, ya' know?

7) This is prolly even worse than the once-rumored, never proven, Michelle Obama "Whitey" tape.

8) Until the blog Buzzfeed bought the online rights to it from a Boston area television station, this video, in its entirety, had been available on YouTube for the past 4 years.

9) F*ck Andrew Breitbart.

10) Conservatives are seriously running low on new ideas for how to defeat "The Annointed One".
Seriously, is this the best ya'll have? After that huge buildup, watching Sean Hannity take "The Lost Tapes" and try to make this something bigger than it is was just pathetic. He swore the tape was altered, then showed the real magic bullet, which was, wait for it...

Obama hugged Professor Bell.

What a conspiracy!!! Impeach this Negro right now!!!

Folks, Derrick Bell, despite also being black, has no connection whatsoever to Jeremiah Wright.

None. What. So. Ever.

Bell was a noted scholar who fought hard to ensure that black professors at predominately white institutions were given equal opportunity when it came to being granted tenure. He also wrote a lot of books, some of which were fiction, most of which were all over my parents' bookshelves when I was a kid. So yeah, I guess, much like Obama, I was also influenced by radicals.

Or maybe we're just black(ish).

Geraldo Rivera had Al Capone's vault. Sean Hannity has Obama: The Lost Tapes.

Journalism, folks! Lovely!

Mark my words, "the right" is going to find a way to turn this dud into a larger argument about affirmative action. Mark, my words.

All jokes aside, shouldn't someone on the GOP side be rebuking Hannity for such shameless race-baiting?

Question: Seriously, is there anything remotely controversial about Obama: The Lost Tapes? Is this just more Conservative "Us Vs Them" nonsense?

[1] Yes, that's the wordmark from Nas' The Lost Tapes. If only you knew how difficult this Photoshop job was, you'd give me Cyber CapriSuns™.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 Super Tuesday Open Thread.

Hey, I suppose some of you actually care what happens tonight, so here's your open thread.

Personally, I don't think the night will end with any further clarity on the GOP nomination. All the perspective candidates will win where they're supposed to, and we'll still spend the next 2-3 months talking about how weak Romney's support is, and how maniacal Santorum and Newt are. Just my prediction, I could obviously be wrong, and honestly don't care much either way.

Interesting Reads...
Voters to GOP candidates: We don’t like any of you [WashPost]

President Obama Invokes Sasha & Malia In Response To Rush Limbaugh Slut Remarks [Mediaite]

Ann Romney: 'I Don't Even Consider Myself Wealthy' [HuffPost]
Question: Who will win tonight?

Monday, March 5, 2012 Open Mic Monday.

I'm in Florida for business most of this week, so I can't make any promises about new stuff. Thus, entertain yourselves. Drop links, write your own posts. You know the drill by now.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mama, I'm In The Paper (Again)!!!

This morning's Washington Post Express paper included a quote from yesterday's Breitbart piece. If you wanna check that out, go here.

Since I don't ride the Metro regularly, I always miss these, so extra special thanks to my main man Marrio P for sending this is.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Isn't The GOP Making A Run At Black Voters This Year?!?

Anyone remember waaay back in 2007 when the GOP debate schedule was just getting into full swing? The party made a half-assed effort to appeal to black voters by staging a much-maligned debate at Morgan State University in B'More.

The event was dogged by the absence of four Republican frontrunners (Guiliani, McCain, Romney, Thompson) who didn't even think the event was significant enough to attend. Moderator Tavis Smiley did the best he could to engage the handful of losers that did show up, but the feeling that the GOP simply didn't see black folks as important enough to even pander to sent a message.

Actually, on second thought, the GOP did pander to the black audience. They recruited resident Rent-A-GOP-Negro-Opponent Alan Keyes to join the race just weeks before the debate, and plugged him in. Any black person with common sense remembers the GOP did the very same thing a few years earlier, pulling Keyes out to run against then-State Senator Barack Obama for the coveted US Senate seat in Illinois. So yeah, the whole thing was just a big ball of turrible, sorta like the Washington Wizards' halfcourt offense[1], or Baby Snooki[2].

Anyways, we all know what happened in 2008, so it's not entirely surprising that the GOP isn't making a run for black voters this year. It does, however, fly in the face of everything ex-GOP Chair Michael Steele said about trying to engage blacks "with hip hop" tactics just a few years ago. Has the tent really shrank that much, or is the GOP just being realistic about their chances and making a run at Hispanics instead?

A recent Politics365 story discussed this peculiar absence.
When you hit the home page of the Republican National Committee website, you’re going to ask this question: Where are all the Black Republicans?

Only a year after celebrating the last days of its first African American chair, the RNC is fairly light on Black faces these days. What was once, especially during the Nineties, a fairly aggressive photo-op promotional strategy strung together by a small network of die hard Black political consultants, former elected officials and partisans, is all but dead.

Now, as a bloody Republican primary carries on, the GOP appears smitten with the Latino vote. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are breaking both back and bank to connect with Latinos, looking for every conceivable angle to attract skeptical Brown voters turned off by anti-immigration sentiments. And the RNC happily trotted out a Director of Latino Outreach in January, eagerly announcing the move in a gritty effort to snatch Hispanic voters away from Democrats in what observers expect to be a grueling November election.

“The RNC will place staff on the ground across the country to coordinate the GOP’s Hispanic effort as part of a program to make sure Barack Obama is a one-term president,” said RNC Chair Reince Preibus when introducing Betinna Inclan as the point person for Republican Latino strategy. “Latinos play an integral role in our communities, and the Republican Party believes it is essential to involve Latinos at every level of our Party’s efforts in 2012.”

Most politically active and prominent Black Republicans, and there are only a few compared to Black Democrats, are not as vocal about their displeasure with the GOP’s intense focus on the Latino vote. Most are quiet, some out of fear they might anger RNC bosses who are already stressed trying to keep a fractured party intact. But, many have popped a vein over what they view as a combination of betrayal and intrusion, a knife in the back from a Republican Party that was theirs from its Abraham Lincoln beginnings.

But, it’s much more complex than that. Only 10% of African American voters, on average, vote Republican during any given Presidential or Congressional mid-term cycle. The only Republican in the 21st century to slightly defy that trend was President Bush in 2004 when he won just over 11% of the Black vote against Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). In statewide races, Republicans tend to garner 15% of the Black vote on average.
The post, by my ex-Loop21 colleague Charles Ellison is well worth the read, and I'd encourage everyone to do so.

I'm sure some dimwit is gonna mention the words "Herman Cain" in the comments section, so let me cut that sh*t short right now. Everyone knew Cain was just an opportunist to played to white audiences. He never had any serious intentions of even running, let alone engaging black voters. He spent more time insulting us than trying to engage, which sorta makes him par for the course with the GOP, circa 2012. It does not, however, constitute any serious level of outreach to black voters. Period. So kill that noise. Ditto on douches like Allen West and Tim Scott.

I guess that in addition to knowing most black voters are solidly #TeamObama2012, the GOP might just be self-aware enough to know that they've shot themselves in the foot with the past 3 years of race-baiting. From "food stamp President", to "Kenyan anti-colonialist", to birtherism, to "indoctrination", the GOP's given black voters more than enough reasons lately to not consider voting for them.

Question: Why isn't the GOP making a run at black voters this year?

[1] Seriously. Get John Wall some damn shooters! Dude's averaging 8 dimes/game for a team that's near the bottom of the league in FG%. Imagine if he had some guys to spread the floor.

[2] No shade here. I don't watch the show, and have nothing against Snooki. But you know damn well the media is gonna tear this poor single mom and her poor orange baby apart in the coming months.

Rest In Peace Andrew Breitbart.

While I obviously didn't care for this guy's tactics or political opinions, he IS still a husband and father. So rest in peace.
Andrew Breitbart, the noted conservative Internet publisher and author, has died. He was 43.

A statement posted on his website said that Breitbart died "unexpectedly from natural causes" this morning.

The Los Angeles Coroner's Office confirmed to ABC News Radio that Breitbart died shortly after midnight at UCLA Medical Center.

A conservative blogger and journalist, Breitbart helped launch the Huffington Post and was an editor at the Drudge Report.

He also founded his own news network, acting as the publisher of several news websites including,, Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism and Big Peace.

Big Government broke the ACORN child sex trafficking scandal and also, in 2011, the "Weinergate" photo scandal that led to the resignation of New York Rep. Anthony Weiner.
I'm really, really, really hoping "liberals" behave and show the same level of decency to this guy that we always accuse Conservatives of not showing when something happens to someone on our side of the aisle.

Be decent, folks. Please.

Rest in peace, Breitbart.

Question: Will "liberals" be the bigger men, or are we bound to see some distasteful stuff in the coming days?!?