Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pastor Defrauds Congregation To Pay For $2M Riverfont Mansion.

Since I'm quite familiar with the principals in this case, so I'll withhold further comment. I'll just run the story and allow you to gawk in the comments section.
Robert J. Freeman, a charismatic Southern Maryland pastor and longtime televangelist, drove fancy cars and lived in a $1.75 million home on the Potomac River that has five fireplaces, a jet-ski lift and two four-car garages.

To finance that lifestyle, federal prosecutors said, Freeman turned to his followers to purchase the vehicles and waterfront property. Many, it turned out, could not afford it.

On Monday, Freeman, 56, who headed Save the Seed ministry in Waldorf, was sentenced to more than two years in prison in a related bankruptcy case. Prosecutors said he hid church assets to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts.

Freeman, who was known as “Dr. Shine,” said in court that he takes responsibility for lying during bankruptcy proceedings. But he said his congregation willingly funded purchases on behalf of the church.

“I did all this publicly,” Freeman told the judge in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. “There wasn’t nothing shady about it.”

A self-described former drug addict, Freeman, who lives in Indian Head in Charles County, built his brand and ministry over the past two decades through TV broadcasts and an unorthodox approach to drug treatment that began in Prince George’s County.

Freeman directed church members to take out loans to purchase the cars, including a Bentley and a Maybach, and the mansion. When the church could not cover the bills, church members were on the hook for the debt and in some cases lost their homes and jobs.

Even after Freeman and his former wife, Claudette “Dee Dee” Freeman, filed for bankruptcy, federal prosecutors say he convinced a church member to lease or buy three more Mercedes Benzes and a Lincoln Navigator.

In court papers, Freeman blamed predatory lending practices, the economic downturn and his sixth-grade education for his financial undoing. The mansion, he said, was the pastor’s residence but also was a retreat and conference center. The cars, he said, were used by church leaders.

In 2005, the Freemans filed for bankruptcy, stating that they had no assets. Freeman said then that the couple “lost our ministry.” He also presented fake pay stubs from a maintenance company.

His sermons were picked up by the Word Network, a Christian television station.
Okay, break Dr. Shine off in the comments section.

I'm done.

Question: What sayeth ye'?!?

TJ Holmes And Driving While Black Opportunism.

Let's keep it one hunned here: yes, racial profiling by cops exists. I'm sure most of the black folks on the board here can relay their own experiences with having been pulled over for no apparent reason by the police. I sure as hell have my own to share. This happens, and there's little dispute about that.

This, however, raises my Grand Hu$tle antennae though.
Former CNN anchor T.J. Holmes was pulled over a mile away from his Atlanta home Monday morning and quickly took to Twitter to document the entire ordeal.

The television personality tweeted a picture of a cop car in his side mirror with the caption "Driving while black ain't no joke."

Holmes did not mention that one of the officers who pulled him over was black.

The 34-year-old did say, however, that one of the officers, though he did not specify which, struggled to give an explanation for why he was pulled over.

"This is a damn shame. Officer is literally stumbling over his words trying to explain why he stopped me," Holmes tweeted.

Holmes returned to the micro-blogging site minutes later, telling his nearly 50,000 followers that the officer said he "wanted to make sure [Holmes] had insurance on the car."

"Still pissed beyond words right now," Holmes concluded. "But Lord knows I'm not the only this will happen to today."

Holmes, who left CNN in December 2011, will launch his new show, "Don't Sleep!" on BET this October.

The show will feature "smart, biting social commentary on significant issues important to African Americans" that "mainstream media tends to disregard," according to BET.
Here's Holmes on The Michael Eric Dyson Intellectual Masturbation Hour The Ed Show, explaining the ordeal.

Something about Holmes' story just doesn't come across as totally genuine. Note: I didn't say factual, just genuine.

I can't help but wonder if maybe he's taking a routine traffic stop and turning it into a promotional vehicle/free PR for his upcoming BET news show that surely nobody will bother watching. I mean, seriously, BET News? F'real?[1]

His unwillingness to 1) name the location where this occurred 2) name the officers 3) point out that one of the officers was a black woman 4) mention the make/model of the car and 5) make a huge deal out of something that he says has happened to him repeatedly in the past just all smells of opportunism.

$10,000 bet says TJ Holmes' first episode of his new show is going to milk this incident for all its worth. And sorry for being so jaded about this, but if Holmes really cared about informing the masses about this critical issue of public safety, wouldn't he have done so before he got canned from CNN instead of preaching to the choir on BET?

I'm just sayin'.

Question: Is Holmes' exploiting a routine traffic stop for free pub (which I just gave him)? Do you have your own DWB experience?

[1] #sarcasm

Monday, July 30, 2012

AB.com Open Mic Monday.

I'm on birthday vacation right about now. Yaaay for me. In the meantime, ya'll know the drill. Drop links, write your own posts. You know the drill by now.

Stuff to (potentially talk about)...
Olympics opening ceremony. Lame, overdone, or simply culturally banal?!? Also, lots of empty seats.

Dick Chaney says Palin 2008 Veep selection was a huge "mistake". No sh*t Sherlock.

Mississippi church prohibits black couple from marrying.

Question: Wish me a happy birthday! What's on your mind today?

Friday, July 27, 2012

AB.com Open Mic Friday.

I've been hella busy with the Day Job of late, not that you couldn't already tell by looking at the volume of posts here lately. So yeah, it's on ya'll right now. Drop links, write your own posts. You know the drill by now.

Stuff to (potentially talk about)...
Romney makes a bunch of awkward, dumbass comments and offends half of London.

GDP "growth" an anemic 1.5%. Not good for #TeamObama2012.

Olympics opening ceremonies tonight. Does anyone care?!? If not, this story might pique your nonexistent interest.

NFL training camps open. Yessir!!!
Question: What's on your mind today?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

President Obama Doesn't Care About Anglo-Saxons.

The "race factor" made then-Senator Obama's race for the White House in 2008 exciting in many ways. There was the prospect of having a brotha in the Oval Office and all the associated cultural anthropology ("terrorist fist jab!") that came along with that. And yeah, there was all the race baiting and underhanded crap flung at Obama by both the Clinton and McCain/Palin camps.

Such drama has been largely absent this year, for many reasons. The prospect of a black President has been reality for nearly 4 years, so much of the "newness" has worn off. And after a fairly despicable GOP primary season, candidate Mitt Romney has steered away from personal attacks, instead intent on simply lying about the President's record to gain traction in the polls.

Well, so much for civility.
As Mitt Romney kicks off his European trip Wednesday with a visit in London, the Romney campaign is dismissing a report from the UK's Daily Telegraph that an adviser to the campaign made comments suggesting the Republican presidential candidate's commitment to rebuilding the so-called "special relationship" between England and the United States has to do with a sense of "Anglo-Saxon heritage."

According to the Telegraph, the adviser suggested that Mr. Obama could not understand the depth of the relationship between the two countries because he cannot fully appreciate the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage."

"We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special," the adviser said of Romney, according to the Telegraph: "The White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have."

Andrea Saul, Romney's press secretary, disputed the comments and emphasized that they did not reflect the beliefs of the former Massachusetts governor.

"It's not true. If anyone said that, they weren't reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign," she told CBSNews.com in an email. Saul did not comment on what specifically was not true.

Per the Telegraph, this adviser and others quoted in the story spoke anonymously because they were not authorized by the Romney campaign to criticize Mr. Obama to foreign media.

On unnamed adviser in the Telegraph story, allegedly a member of Romney's foreign policy advisory team, also accused Mr. Obama of being "a Left-winger" who is "very comfortable with American decline."

When asked specifically how policy toward the U.K. would differ under Romney "the advisers could not give detailed examples," according to the Telegraph. "One conceded that on the European crisis: 'I'm not sure what our policy response is.'"
Welcome back Presidential campaign racism, we hardly missed you.

I'm honestly not sure if this quote moves the needle for Obama. Yes, it's fairly dastardly, and echoes of similarly hamhanded recent sentiments by Romney Advisor John Sununu (who later apologized). Still, in a slightly more politically correct (ie: "he doesn't understand Americans" and "you people") manner, it's not too different from Romney's standard stump speech. Explicitly making it a race statement is obviously tacky, but I don't think anyone who is already against Obama is gonna suddenly switch sides. It's also not too far removed from what's often said on Conservative radio, so, whatever.

Still, instead of issuing some outright denial, it would be nice of the Romney campaign instead said they take such allegations seriously, and would look into who said such a silly thing. But that, of course, would be too much like right.

Question: What's the deal here? Should Romney look into who said this or play dumb?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fox News Uses Toddlers To Attack Obama.

This officially represents a new low. No, seriously.

The funny thing here is that the kids more or less discredit the very talking point ("you didn't do that yourself") that Fox News brought them on here to perpetuate. Of course they "needed help". They're children.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Penn State Penalties Imposed. Too Severe, Just Right, Or Misplaced?!?

Penn State was just hit with the inevitable penalties for SanduskyGate. I'm still not totally sure how to feel about this.
Penn State was socked with a four-year postseason ban, the loss of 40 scholarships over four years and a $60 million fine stemming from its coverup in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

In addition, all victories from 1998-2011 have been vacated, a huge blow to the coaching legacy of Joe Paterno, now formerly the winningest football coach in college football history.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the penalties, saying that “one of the dangers in our love of sports is that sports themselves can become too big to fail, too big to challenge.”

The $60 million fine, which amounts fo one year’s gross revenue from the football program, will be used to endow a fund for victims of abuse and to prevent future abuse, Emmert said. Athletes will be free to transfer and retain immediate eligibility.
Part of me wonders why the nuclear option wasn't enacted here. If the NCAA truly believes the school was wrong in the coverup, why in the hell are they playing any football this Fall? Wouldn't it send a much bigger message about the importance of a child's game vs a child's innocence if they just scrapped the whole program for a year?
While Penn State avoided having its football program shut down, the NCAA’s “corrective and punitive measures” probably will severely affect a school that ranks sixth all-time with 827 victories at college football’s highest level and won two national titles during Paterno’s 46-year tenure as coach.

It also will have an immense effect on the school’s finances. In the fiscal year ending in 2011, Penn State’s athletic department generated $116.1 million in operating revenue and posted a $14.8 million operating profit, according to school records.

Of Penn State’s 29 sports teams, only football and men’s basketball were profitable last year, with football generating an operating profit of $43.8 million on $58.9 million in revenue. The Nittany Lions had a 9-4 record last season.

A shutdown of the football program would have cost Penn State and the surrounding community more than $70 million, according to an economic study commissioned by the university for the 2008-09 school year. That included $51.1 million spent on hotels, souvenirs, food, services and entertainment by out- of-state visitors, which represent about 15 percent of those attending games at Beaver Stadium, which has a capacity of more than 106,500.

Penn State has an endowment of $1.3 billion, the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reported in March, citing Graham Spanier, who was dismissed as university president in the scandal.
And there'$ your an$wer.

Question: Should the NCAA have been more severe or is this punishment just right?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Obama And Romney's Dueling Sing-Off Attacks Ads.

You knew this was gonna eventually happen.

Romney ad of Obama singing--and the original video--taken off YouTube [UPI]

Question: Ashy Or Classy?!? Is it a good idea to use this sort of tactic for a campaign ad? Which of these ads was more effective?!?

Aurora Shootings Open Thread.

I'm sure you'll wanna talk about it. Here's your open thread. Vent responsibly. And pray for the families of all those involved.

Gunman kills 12 in Colorado movie theater [CNN]

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Was Ann Romney's "You People" Gaffe Somewhat Racist?!?

How do ya' like that headline. #SEO

Anyways, Mitt Romney's mostly milquetoast wife seems to have stepped into a pile of dressage horse doo doo this morning.
Ann Romney dismissed concerns about her husband’s tax returns Thursday, contending that the two of them have “given all you people need to know.”

“You know, you should really look at where Mitt has led his life, and where he’s been financially,” the potential first lady said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “He’s a very generous person. We give 10 percent of our income to our church every year. Do you think that is the kind of person who is trying to hide things, or do things? No. He is so good about it. Then, when he was governor of Massachusetts, didn’t take a salary for four years.”

“We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” she added later.
Moving pictures for the illiterate.

A few of things stand out here.

1) Romney's on some seriously entitled sh*t right here. The whole "the nerve of ya'll to ask me and my husband for perfectly sensible financial documents for the sake of full disclosure" is rather ballsy, and well, elitist. It is what it is.

2) That said, the "you people" portion here is being blown out of proportion. She clearly means "the media".

3) That said, how odd is it that she just so happened to say it to a black woman? I'm just gonna chalk that one up to odd coincidences and whatnot.

4) I hate stating the obvious, but imagine if Michelle Obama, a person considered snooty and elitist in Conservative circles, had said something so callous. The internet probably would have exploded by now.

I'm gonna officially call this one "no biggie". But since people's antennas are already up, Mrs. Romney might wanna watch that tone and her word choice in the future.

Question: What your read on this? Why is Ann Romney so defensive? Aren't rich people supposed to be proud of their wealth? If you had Romney's W2, wouldn't you make that your Facebook profile photo?

The AverageBro Show™ - Episode Seven.

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

On this episode of The AverageBro Show™, Jay talks about George Zimmerman's poorly thought out interview with Sean Hannity, and two epic rants about people in low wage dead end jobs. Music by Dredd Scott, Charles Hamilton, and Dusty McFly.

As always, retweet and download responsibly.

George Zimmerman Sits Down For A Regrettable Interview With Sean Hannity.

I've got an episode of the AverageBro Show coming later today in which I discuss this atrocity, but for now, just watch it yourself and weigh in below.

Question: What the heck was Zimmerman thinking?!?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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

[Editor's Note: Yeah, I'm rerunning and updating this one.]

My job as a socially responsible blogger is to sometimes say sh*t that hurts, with intentions of waking people up and steering them in the right direction. One thing that continues to hold black folks back is bassackwards self-limiting behavior that's best evidenced in some of the Negro Talking Points that many of us utilize on the regular. Until we eliminate these phrases from our collective vocabularies, we will stay losin'. And I don't want us to stay losin', I want us to start winnin'. In that vein, I present to you, a quintet of things Black people need to stop saying, as of today.

1. "My Baby Got Good Hair!" - Black people, for the last time: there is no such thing as "good" hair!!! Black hair comes in all grades, colors, thicknesses, and varying degrees of waviness. And any hair you have on your head is good. Any hair. Just ask a brother who has succumbed to male pattern baldness, or a sista with one of those hideous Vivica A. Foxx hairlines, and they'll tell you the same: they'd much rather have their own full head of hair back, regardless of how "good" or "bad" it originally was.

2. "I'm An Independent/Strong Black Woman!" - Ahhh, the mythical "Independent black woman", a shopworn cliché just as tired as that lame Lil' Boosie song. Ladies, let's face it: if being able to pay your own bills without the help of a man makes you "Independent", then you probably have some Daddy issues that have lead to your dramatically lowered sense of self. How about we just substitute the term "self sufficient" or "able bodied" instead? I've yet to hear the term "Independent" applied to a black man who is able to knock out the bills without mooching off some chick. The true litmus test of being independent is not having to print up business cards announcing it to anyone. Why the double standard? And BTW, in any marriage that has a chance, there's got to be some level of interdependence.

3. "I'm Looking For A 'Good Black Man'!" - Ahh, the mythical "good black man" has become more or less like a Negro Unicorn in recent years. Revisionist history says today's black man is either in jail, dead, gay, on the DL, creepin' on his wife, or all of the above. As if men "back in the day" didn't do all the same sh*t, albeit in a more covert and respectable manner. If we keep it real with ourselves, many of us will admit our Grandfathers either had a family on "the other side of town", or we were that family on "the other side of town". Sorry Negroes are hardly a new development. On the flipside, I've yet to hear a standard definition for what a "good black man" actually is. Is a "good black man" merely one who doesn't possess any of the aforementioned traits of trifledom, or something even better? Since we can't agree, why don't we just agree that this "good man" doesn't exist, and that we're all flawed to some degree, but still worthy of companionship. How bout' that?

4. "We Have A Black President, There Are No More Excuses!" - Despite my "Where Is Obama?!?" tagline, I don't think the man's election is the cure for all that ails black America. Likewise, his ascension to the White House shouldn't be a "wake up call" for Negroes to suddenly abandon The Traaap and The Pole to suddenly raise their standards and pickup a freakin' book. Black people been had high achievement. We've been millionaires, Ivy League Presidents, Astrophysicists (whatever that is), Neurosurgeons, and Fortune 500 CEOs. This is nothing new. If you just figured out that black people have no limits to what we can achieve on 1.20.09, then please stop reading this blog (or any blog for that matter) right now and go apply to Everest College.

5. "We Are Descendants Of Kings And Queens!" - Ahh, my favorite all-time HBCU Negro Motivational Talking Point, and one that I still occasionally hear on talk radio, at church, and even to motivate AAU youth basketball teams (no, seriously, this one coach actually used that line!) today. Folks, we need to keep it one hunned: most of the people who left Goree island were not descendants of royalty. It it mathematically impossible. Reality is, many of us are descendants of weed heads, janitors, and "ladies of the night". And there is nothing wrong with that. But continuing the fallacy that we are all the spawn of throne dwellers is intellectually dishonest. Admit it: if your genealogy report came back, and you discovered you weren't a descendant of a Kaing, but instead a descendant of the ancient Nigerian version of Stevie H, would you be devastated, or somewhat relieved? Putting outlandish standards out there for folks to live up to creates unrealistic expectations that none of us can live up to. Who needs to carry that sorta weight? Create your own legacy.

6. "Black Folks Do This, White Folks Do That." - I always hear this term as relates to something black people do poorly that white people in turn, do well. For example, "Black folks inherit a house from their grandma and run it into the ground. White folks inherit a house, renovate it, and sell it for a profit." Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

7. "She/He's Got Swag!" - Just. Retire. This. Word. Today. Seriously, every person with confidence doesn't need to be handed with tired assed label. There's even a brand of Old Spice deodorant called "Swag". It smells like missed child support payments, Red Berry Ciroc, and superficiality. Swag is not a replacement for competence, character, class, or any other high falutin' word that begins with the letter "C".

8. "I'm Just Keepin' It Real/One Hunned/Real Talk" - If you begin any phrase with either of these interchangeable terms, please read the last sentence of Point #4. Aloud.

9. "I Got So Many Haters." - Just because people doesn't like you doesn't mean they're haters. Maybe you're just not very likeable.

10. "I Stays On My Grind." - If you Tweet/Facebook, or otherwise state this, and you don't either 1) Run a country. or 2) Run a profitable business, then please, please just stop it. If you work a dead end assed job, and you're using this term, really stop it. There is no "grind" involved in working at Costco.

11. "I Take Care Of All My Kids." - Nice job. You are so awesome! Would you like a cookie?

12. "He/She Talks White." - Arrghhhhhhh!!!!

13. "We Need More Positive Images Of Black People In The Media/This Is A Positive Movie, You Need To Go See It!/I Hate Tyler Perry!" - Just because a movie/TV show doesn't involve baby mommas, open air crack distribution, or wonton violence don't make it good. If you don't like what you see on TV, might I suggest reading a book.

Question: You got any more dreaded "Negro Talking Points" that black America needs to abandon for its own good? If you ever needed the invitation to climb atop your soapbox and hold court, consider this your Evite, and have at it.

When In Doubt, Blame Obama.

I've heard of some odd things to blame the President for, but come on dude. You're a serial footlicker. I doubt Obama had the time to set you up for that.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jon Stewart Completely Destroys Romney's Bain Capital Defense.

What a complete and utterly thorough ethering. It's rather amazing how Stewart[1] can take Romney's talking points and so easily dismantle them, yet #TeamObama can't get the same message out with a budget of hundreds of millions. I'm not sure exactly what that says, but it says something. Maybe #TeamObama should just hire Stewart as his press secretary.

Question: Does Romney's defense make any sense?

[1] Or more likely, Stewart's staff of 50+ writers.

Completely Superficial Reasons Why President Obama Probably Deserves Another Term.

Cause let's face it, there's no way Anne and Mitt Romney pull this sh*t off. These are some cool assed folks.[1] I mean, seriously, this is just some awesome stuff for the leader of the free world and his main squeeze.
President Barack Obama arrived courtside Monday night to loud cheers and Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as he took his seat to watch an exhibition basketball game between the Brazilian and U.S. men's national teams.

Obama was accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden and former White House aide Reggie Love at the Verizon Center in the nation's capital, according to White House pool reports. Some audience members later spotted another member of the presidential party.

"At USA-Brazil basketball, @Barack Obama & @MichelleObama were just on big screen kisscam but no kiss," CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer tweeted.

A pool report confirmed that the presidential spectator "smiled," but "didn't kiss" Michelle Obama when the couple were caught on the arena's giant Kiss Cam screens. The crowd booed in response. The president was given a second shot on the Kiss Cam in the fourth quarter. This time, he and the first lady did smooch.

According to the pool report, the crowd cheered and shouted, "Four more years!"
Here's the video.

Yeah, I know already. Likeability has nothing whatsoever to do with ability to properly lead a country.[2]

Should Obama not get re-elected in November (a very real possibility), we'll only have these memories to hang onto. Watching Anne and Mitt watch a polo match in Nantucket somehow seems far less interesting.

Savor the momements, folks.

Question: Could any other POTUS/FLOTUS pull this off without looking completely corny/contrived?!?

[1] What's up with them shoes tho, Barack? I didn't know people still wore Brooks.

[2] Neither does the ability to run a venture capital firm, but who's counting?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Who Should Mitt Romney Pick As His Veep?!?

The more I struggle to stay awake during this election season, the more I realize how totally lame it is when compared to 2008.

That year had the prospect of history in the making (Barack & Hillary), blatant race-baiting, rabble rousin' black preachers, the fall of a political dynasty, crowds of 100,000+, cheesy pop songs, and an out-of-left-field VP selection that still lingers 4 years later like a bowl of chitins'.

This year... not so much. Romney's as plain vanilla as they come, Obama's a plain ole' politrician (and not a particularly great one), the "attack" ads have been almost entirely based on the candidates' records (the horror!), and the words "Rebb'n Wright" have yet to actually surface. While pundits claim this has been a "vicious campaign cycle full of reciprocal attacks", I don't see it that way at all. A party ain't a party till someone get's accused of "palling around with terrorists".

Mitt Romney will soon unveil his VP pick, and unlike 2008, there don't appear to be any gamechanging surprises on the horizon.
After a short-lived presidential bid of his own last year, Tim Pawlenty is again being considered for the Republican ticket. His fate is in the hands of Mr. Romney, a rival-turned-friend, who is on the cusp of announcing his vice-presidential selection. Mr. Romney has reached a decision, his friends believe, and he may disclose it as soon as this week.

The country received only an abbreviated introduction to Mr. Pawlenty, 51, a former two-term governor of Minnesota, whose working-class roots, experience outside Washington and evangelical faith have formed the core of his appeal to a broad spectrum of Republicans.

If Pawlenty is not the nominee, two other experienced and lackluster potential VP nominees include Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and outgoing South Dakota Sen. John Thune – two equally uninspiring but safe choices. More exciting but untested names like those of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal appear to be dropping further down on the shortlist of potential veep picks.

The selection of one of the above candidates yields several advantages to Romney – he avoids being “upstaged” by his vice presidential candidate. Certainly not a rock star himself, Romney could be done a disservice by one of the more fiery Republican officeholders that have been mentioned as possible vice presidential candidates who could overshadow his candidacy.

Furthermore, a Pawlenty or a Thune on the ticket would avoid what some pundits have called the “mistake of ’08.” That is the perception among political observers that Sen. John McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in 2008 provided a boost of enthusiasm in the short term for McCain. But Palin’s lack of experience or ability to speak extemporaneously about complex subject matter caught up with the campaign.
Altogether now.... "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."

Question: Any thoughts on who Romney will/should pick for his Veep?!?

AB.com Open Mic Monday.

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

Stuff to (potentially talk about)...
Romney on defensive about Obama Bain "attacks".

President Obama admits that failure to properly communicate virtues of Stimulus package and ObamaCare was his biggest miscue during first term. No sh*t Sherlock.

Dwight Howard still holding the entire league hostage.

Knicks guard Jason Kidd crashes SUV into telephone pole, after leaving Hamptons nightclub in drunken stupor.

In somewhat related note: Knicks will not match Rockets offer sheet to Jeremy Lin, which means Linsanity is headed to H-Town.

Ever wonder what happens to the athletes to fail to qualify for the Olympics? Check this out.
Question: What's on your mind today?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Problem With Boycotting Love And Hip Hop Atlanta And Other Negro Reality TV Show.

[Editor's Note: Yes, this is a very long-winded diatribe about a reality show. If this ain't your cup of oolong, spare us the comments and just hit the archives, please. Carrying on...]

Since I run a reasonably successful blog[1] on which my personal email address is prominently featured, I get forwarded a bunch of crap in my inbox. And not an hour goes by without me getting an e-petition to boycott some Negro Reality TV show. Enough is enough.

Not gonna lie here, I love me some Negro Reality TV. I watch the Housewives, I watched Basketball Wives before it got really lame, my wife has been making me attempting to get me into Hollywood Exes, and oh yeah, we watch the newest Negro Reality phenomenon, Love And Hip Hop Atlanta. The shows in a strange way have become an integral part of pretty much any family function we have at our house. We store a bunch of them on the DVR, and when my mom, aunt, brothers, okay, most my side of the family comes over, we re-watch the shows together and talk smack. Could we as a family be sitting around doing estate planning and retracing our roots back to the Motherland instead? Sure. But we like this more. Sue us.

I can't really explain why I like these shows, other than the fact that they make me feel slightly better about my lot in life on days when I need such a thing. I also realize that an educated, professional black man is supposed to be doing more productive sh*t with his time like reading books or home improvement projects. Whatever. People like what they like, and when they like something, they make up reasons for liking it that seldom make sense to those who don't like it.

If that last line confused you, re-read it. Slowly. Word. By. Word.

Love And Hip Hop Atlanta (we'll just call it LAHHATL) is a particularly ratchet show. The show's an assortment of people you'd prolly want to avoid in real life. On TV, they're practically impossible to turn away from. It's like the TV equivalent of a train wreck.

Child-sized "ex-Bad Boy producer" Stevie J talks like a pimp who might just have a yet-to-be diagnosed case of Bell's Palsy.[2] If he is a pimp, he has the most deplorable stable of talent. His baby mama Mimi is a walking, talking case study in Daddy issues and insecurity. The man treats her with zero respect, yet she stays with him, obviously because she has no means of paying her own rent. Which seems to be a pattern because nobody on this show has an actual job that requires a W-2. Stevie's other "girl", a strange, alien looking chick named Joseline might not even technically be a girl. The results are inconclusive. The fake pregnancy test she took that revealed she was pregnant with Stevie J's baby was not inconclusive. And yes, there was an equally faked abortion. It's that kinda classy party, folks. Do wear white.

Veteran rapper Rasheeda is on the wrong side of 30 years old, and intermittently talks like a grandmother, which, (irony alert!) she actually is. Her husband is the most effeminate, undeniably straight man ever seen on TV, as well as her manager, which naturally means they're perpetually broke. They're the closest thing to an actual functional couple on a show that has "Love" in its title. Nice. The other characters consist of a bunch of women who look alike and are too boring for me to bother knowing their names. There's some Keyshia Cole wannabe who has a well documented anger problem that's effecting her career arc. Some other chick who also wants Stevie J to produce her records, conveniently ignoring the fact that Stevie hasn't made a hit since the Clinton administration. Some other-other chick with a hairdo way too short for her head size who dispenses relationship advice, but (shocker!) has no man of her own.

And then there's Lil' Scrappy and his "ladies".

Look, I actually like Lil' Scrappy. I still listen to "Beatin' Down The Block" at least twice a month. I, too, wanna be a gangsta foreveerrrrrr. But sadly Lil' Scrappy, who is now pushing 31, but acts the inverse, has no clue that the cRap game has passed him by. It's sad watching a grown man who should prolly just go enroll at Everest College and call it a day, still trying to "relaunch his career". Scrappy's baby mama Ericka is a nice girl who prolly did go to Everest College, but has no clue that when a man announces he's "moving out to get some space", it doesn't mean he's preparing to ask for your hand in marriage. Nope, it means he wants to go bang some other h*es, including one chick from Flavor Of Love who looks like she's been eating a looooot of Church's since her last Negro Reality TV series. And then there's Scrappy's Trill OG mother Mama Dee who yells at Ericka that she "left my son for dead!!!" when Ericka apparently didn't attend to Scrappy during a bout with asthma. Yes, thugs with inhalers. Get like me.

If this all sounds too convoluted or just downright tacky for your bourgeois sensitives, join the crowd. But hey, I love the show, and watch it religiously. Does that somehow make me less intelligent? Less enlightened? Should I really be somewhere reading a book or finishing a home improvement project? Prolly so. Whatever.

I guess I don't get too tripped up by these shows because I consider them nothing more than entertainment.[3] Period. They're little more than loosely scripted sitcoms. You could even call it a soap opera and I personally wouldn't be too offended. It is what it is. And what it isn't is "making black people look bad". That's some bullsh*t and it's a seriously lame cop out.

You wanna know what really makes black people look bad? Black people.

Open a newspaper. Turn on Fox News the 6 o'clock news. Turn on your local Hot/Power/Kiss radio station. Take a field trip (back) to the hood'. Hell, just take a look around at your next family reunuion. We know drama, eff' a TNT. We practically invented it. These shows are but another pickle on the sh*t sandwich that is the current state of Black America, hell, for that matter, America period. If you wanna see some truly ignant behavior, just flip over to CMT. They also know drama. And yeah, eff' a TNT.[4]

So no, I can not, I shall not, and I will not sign your simp-assed petition to get a Negro Reality TV show off the air. The problem ain't Joseline and Stevie J. The problem is us. Taking your frustration out on a TV show isn't gonna fix anything. In fact, I'mma have to "put them paws on"[5] the next person who forwards me that lame sh*t. Stop it.

If you don't like the shows, there's a very simple fix. It's called a power button. Use it.

Don't hate, DVR-ate. Or use the power button. Just quit forwarding me that sh*t, already. Bamas.

Question: Do you watch Negro Reality TV shows?!? Are these shows the cause of the moral decay of the black community, or is it just freakin' entertainment?!?

[1] #humblebrag

[2] It's those weird facial expressions. He should seriously have that checked out.

[3] If you're worried about the effect of these shows on your kids, here's a little tip: Watch the show with your kids and point out everything wrong while you watch it. Together. It's called parenting. Or you could go read a book/finish a home improvement project together. Whatever.

[4] Yes, I know they changed the slogan and it's just "Drama" now.

[5] What an utterly random way of announcing that you're gonna jump someone in an unlit parking lot. And subsequently get your a$$ kicked. Next time, don't "put dem paws" on him. Square up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Romney Speaks To The NAACP. Obama Doesn't.

Unlike 2008, the GOP hasn't even bothered to get within 50 yards of Negro voters this year. You can chalk this up to common sense. Unless Barack Obama is found to be cheating on Michelle with a Fox News anchor[1], dude has the black vote on lock. Still, it would be nice to get pandered to like everyone else. Thus, Mittens is heading into the soft belly of the beast today in H-Town.
Mitt Romney is set to make his most public overture to African American voters Wednesday in an address to the nation’s oldest civil rights group at an event that has become a rite of passage for presidential candidates of both parties.

In his speech to the NAACP in Houston, the Republican presidential candidate faces a daunting task as he tries to appeal to a core Democratic constituency that is largely at odds with his policy prescriptions, suspicious of his record on diversity and civil rights, and largely committed to his general-election opponent.

The NAACP visit is the former Massachusetts governor’s attempt to move beyond the traditional Republican Party base by trying to deliver a message that the GOP is serious about attracting black voters.

Critics say the effort is pointless for his chances in November. Supporters say it is important for the future of the party.

Romney’s campaign began preliminary outreach efforts in May by hiring a senior black consultant to engage African American voters and by visiting a predominantly black charter school in Philadelphia. Campaign officials say those efforts will be expanded in the coming weeks in an effort to wrest as many votes as possible from President Obama.
Ray Charles can peep the end game here. This isn't about appealing to black voters at all. It's about appealing to suburban white independent voters by appearing to be more "accepting of all cultures". Period. Romney didn't become filthy rich by being a dummy, and he knows that taking photo ops with black people makes for nice optics, which make white independent voters who might be a bit squeamish about the GOP's recent record of race baiting a bit more palatable. That's it, and that's all.

For anyone naive enough to think Romney will launch into some apology about the Mormon Church's deplorable history with blacks, I have oceanfront property in West Virginia you might be interested in. So yeah, Romney will give his basic stump speech about "economic freedom", prolly pepper in a reference or two about "school choice", he'll probably avoid even remotely mentioning the President by name, and he'll be back in his private jet by the time the 2nd episode of Judge Mathis comes on.

Lets just hope this doesn't happen in the interim, cause that would be turrible on so many levels.

"Woof! Woof! Woof Wooooooof!"

I do, however, find it interesting that President Obama isn't attending this year's NAACP convention. I obviously know why he isn't, but I still find it interesting.

Update: Here's Mitt's speech. The media's undoubtedly going to focus on the booing, but it only happened a couple of times, most notably when he mentioned repealing ObamaCare. But seriously, what did he expect? It's Obama's signature accomplishment and these are Obama supporters. Still, the reception was mostly warm/indifferent. He also got a standing ovation at the end. So yeah, this was pretty much what I predicted. Don't let the 24 hours news cycle spin this negatively. The NAACP was very polite to Romney, and I give him credit for going there and taking his lumps.

Question: Does Mitt have a prayer of getting 5% of the black vote? Why is Obama skipping the NAACP's annual pow wow?!?

[1] My money's on either Megyn Kelly or that chick with the crazy eyes on Fox & Friends.

AB.com Open Mic Wednesday.

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

Stuff to (potentially talk about)...
#TeamObama's pointless reintroduction of the Bush tax cut issue to distract from last week's anemic job numbers.

NBA player movement on the first official day of free agent signings.

Dwight Howard holding the entire league hostage.

DC Mayor Vincent Gray looking more and more like Marion Barry, sans the hooker and crackpipe.

Romney meets with the NAACP in a poorly veiled attempt to appeal to white independents. Obama chooses to not attend, for reasons I don't fully comprehend.

Republicans holding yet another pointless vote to repeal ObamaCare today. Why?
Question: What's on your mind today?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

With Leaders Like Reince Priebus, It's No Wonder The GOP Stays Losing.

Seriously, this guy should make every registered Republican miss The Michael Steele Era.

Question: Is Reince Priebus humanly capable of telling the truth?!?

Monday, July 9, 2012

AB.com Open Mic Monday.

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

Question: What's on your mind today?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Remaking A Strip Club Anthem To Sell Kiddie Products?!?

Anyone with kids under age 6 prolly knows what Hefty® Zoo Pals® are. For the uninitiated, they're just paper plates, napkins, and cups shaped like animals. They're also pretty flimsy, since the "ears" bend easily, and inevitably result in spilled chips and chicken nuggets that Dad has to clean up.

So yeah, I don't really like ZooPals.

What I do, however, like, is 90's Miami Bass music.

So what do you get when you mix the two? A truly ratchet commercial.

Sound familiar?!?

Uhhh, seriously, what ad agency got paid for this? Beyond being somewhat inappropriate, it's also jive creepy/pervy. I'm seriously hoping there's a brotha somewhere laughing his ass off at this, instead of some hipsters getting paid off the "irony" of suburban kids dancing to a booty clap anthem.

What's next? Remixing Captain Luke for Pampers?!?

"Face down, a$$ up, that's the way we like to poop!"

While I sorta think it's cool to flip old songs into commercials and my sons love this ad, I'mma call it Ashy. We're on a slippery slope here, folks.

Question: Ashy Or Classy?!? Is it cool to remake old songs to pedal cRap music to kids? Was Lil' Mama with the red hair gettin' it in, or is it just me?!?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Steve Nash Goes To The Lakers.

Uhh, seriously, wasn't the point of last summer's NBA lockout specifically to prevent "big market rich get richer" BS like this? If you're a fan of the Milwaukee Bucks[1], you might just need to face reality.

Your team will never be an NBA champion. Not enough sun, too much bratwurst.

Congrats to all the Lakers "fans". If Kobe adjusts his game accordingly, LA has enough firepower to get past Oklahoma City. As for Phoenix, well, at least you've still got nice weather.

Question: Does Nash make the Lakers contenders? Where's Dwight Howard gonna end up!?!?

[1] But uh, seriously, why would you be a fan of the Milwaukee Bucks!?!?

Are Black People Genetically Predisposed To Running Fast?!? Michael Johnson Thinks So.

Personally, I'm not to sicced about the Olympics this year. The USA Mens Basketball Team is gonna basically be a collection of borderline all-stars and college dropouts. I don't care about Michael Phelps. LoLo Jones can keep her virginity. There simply isn't a good enough personal interest story this year to make me turn off Nationals Baseball. So yeah, pass.

Still, what's an Olympiad without some modicum of controversy, real or manufactured? Legendary Sprinter Michael Johnson has already created one himself.

Olympic legend Michael Johnson says a ‘superior athletic gene’ in the descendants of West African slaves means black American and Caribbean sprinters will command the sport at the London Games.

The Olympic gold medallist and BBC commentator said: ‘Over the last few years, athletes of Afro- Caribbean and Afro-American descent have dominated athletics finals.

‘It’s a fact that hasn’t been discussed openly before. It’s a taboo subject in the States but it is what it is. Why shouldn’t we discuss it?’

Reigning Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt was born in Trelawny Parish, Jamaica, where British Olympic boss Lord Coe’s plantation-owning ancestor George Hyde Park had 297 slaves.

Of the eight 100m finalists four years ago, three were Jamaicans, two came from Trinidad and Tobago, two were Afro-American and one, representing the Netherlands, was born on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao. All eight are believed to be descended from slaves.

Johnson says: ‘It is currently being researched to see how much of a factor being descended from slaves contributes to athletic ability.’

Some scientists believe a combination of selective breeding by slave owners and appalling conditions meant that only the strongest slaves endured, creating a group predisposed to record-breaking athletic performance.

African slaves underwent a rigorous selection process and only the fittest were transported on ships.

Interestingly, the toughest journey was to Jamaica, the last stop on the slave trail.
Johnson, 44, had a DNA test for a Channel 4 documentary, Michael Johnson: Survival Of The Fastest, to be screened on Thursday night, which confirmed he is of West African descent.

He said: ‘All my life I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it’s impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn’t left an imprint through the generations.‘Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me – I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us.’
Well, one thing's for certain, I damn sure ain't get that athletic gene. I guess my descendants were genetically predisposed to housework.

"Fry That Chicken! Fry That Chicken! Fry That Chicken!"

I dunno if Johnson actually has a point here, nor do I really care. What really peeves me about any such discussion on black genetic athletic superiority is that such a train of thought inevitably dovetails into similar babble about white intellectual superiority. Or black intellectual inferiority. Personally, I don't have time for all that sh*t.

My read is pretty simple: people tend to be very good at things they spend a lot of time working on. It's no huge surprise that most NBA players are black, since, well, basketball's a large part of our culture. Asian people are great at math because that's what they value. Ascribing achievement to some sort of genetic advantage for a group of people as a whole is just silly, especially since there are so many exceptions to said rule.

So yeah, Michael Johnson, just shut up, basically.

Question: Did Michael Johnson have a point here?!?

A Republican Black Female Mormon Running For Congress In Utah?!?

Boy, that Spielberg's somethin' else.[1]

While I'd be happy to see a sista make it to Congress for purely historical reasons, I don't see anything appealing about Mia Love from a political standpoint. She seems like a less caustic version of Angela McGlowan/Star Parker, which, granted, isn't saying much.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Best of luck to Love, he seems to have a fairly good chance of making it to DC.

Question: What do you think about this?!?

[1] Cyber CapriSuns to the first person to ID this reference.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Romney Spokesman Opens Mouth. Inserts Entire Leg. Heck, Both Of Em'.

In retail politics, there are gaffes, there are misstatements, and then there are things that make you say "Dude, are you effin' serious?" I'm gonna give you guys a guess which category this gift-wrapped Obama campaign ad from senior Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom falls into.

Uhhh, what rock has this guy been sleeping under the past few days? Seriously?

If there's one thing I actually admire about the GOP, it's how they can speak in uniform message about a given topic. Whether they're telling the truth is another story, but the messaging part is something Democrats should study and emulate. Once the SCOTUS ruling dropped last week, Republicans immediately switched gears into the comically distorted "Obama just passed the largest tax cut in the history of the world!" talking point. I mean, it didn't even take 5 minutes before they were turning lemons into Red Berry Ciroc. It was so brilliantly executed that it just might work, you know, given how naive and paranoid some people already are about the Affordable Care Act.

Yet here comes Fehrnstrom, blowing the entire talking point to smithereens, likely forcing Romney to fire him as soon as his finishes his next regatta, and keeping the story in the news cycle another 4-5 days.

Of course, this is what happens when you're for something before you're against it. At some point, Romney is gonna have to come up with a more grown-up response for RomneyCare than "it's a state's issue". Maybe this is the time.

Either way, it's time for Fehrnstrom to hit Monster.com.

Question: Seriously, what was this poor guy thinking? Is this soundbyte tailor made for a campaign ad or what?!?

AB.com Open Mic Monday.

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

Here's a few topics to chew on...

East Coast Power Outages - Thank you Jesus, we only lost power for about 12 hours. But if you're among those still powerless days later, in the midst of this awful heatwave, I wish you the best. Eff' Pepco!!!

GOP Challenging ObamaCare With Yet ANOTHER Vote In Congress - And, this would make #31. Seriously, guys, accept reality. You're looking very pathetic. Seriously, isn't this guy tired of abusing the same talking points?

BET Awards - Don't act like you didn't watch. You know you did. And while the show was great, seriously, I haven't seen that many technical glitches since I bought my HP TouchPad. The production quality was so awful. Apparently BET spent all the money on sets, and let their interns handle the production itself. Or that's my explanation.

NBA Free Agency - I forsee a lot of big names changing places this week.

Question: What's on your mind today?