Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The President B*tch Slaps Dumb A$$ed Reporter For Asking Dumb A$$ed Question.

Jake Tapper does have a valid point here. But because he's an a$$hole who loves to grandstand (some consider this journalism, I don't) his valid point is drenched in condescension. Barack clearly wasn't havin' that, and let this fool know "where he's been".

Tapper is 1,000% correct with his (unstated) assertion here: Obama didn't bother going after assault weapons in his first term because that would have been political (and perhaps even real life) suicide. Obama is a politician, and policians get elected to get re-elected. No shame in the game there.

But come the f*ck on, man. You know you're asking this question to try and make the President look bad. You deserved to get smacked, and I'm glad Obama said what he did. His retort was about 60 seconds too long, and minus the essential mic-drop/walk away jack move, but it sent the message loud and clear.

Well done, POTUS. If only you treated the GOP like this.

Question: Did Obama get gangster on this fool or what?!? Holiday Open Mic

I'm busy, so go on without me. Drop links, write your own posts. You know the drill by now.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Monday, December 17, 2012

GOP Appoints Black Man To US Senate. History Or Window-Dressing?!?

I'm sure I'm supposed to trumpet this nomination as historical and ground-breaking. And in a way, it is, as the GOP now has a black Senator, something the Democrats cannot (presently) say.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will tap Rep. Tim Scott to replace outgoing GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, making Scott the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction.

The Associated Press has confirmed the Scott appointment, which will be formally announced by Haley at a news conference Monday at the Statehouse in South Carolina.

DeMint, an influential conservative and Tea Party favorite, will resign in January to become president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank. His replacement will serve until a special election is held in 2014.

"This is historic for all of the South," said David Woodard, a political scientist at Clemson University. Tim Scott is "conservative and he's Republican. ... What African Americans need are capitalism and conservative values, and Tim Scott is a great vehicle for that. He represents a generation that is interested in entrepreneurship, conservative principles and volunteerism."

Scott, 47, was elected in 2010 to represent a U.S. House district in the Charleston area. A former member of the South Carolina state Legislature, Scott quickly became a favorite of House Speaker John Boehner and GOP officials in Washington and served in a leadership position for the 2010 freshman class.

He has a compelling life story, according to his biography in the Almanac of American Politics. Scott and his siblings were raised by a single mother who worked as a nurse's assistant. By his own account, Scott was on the brink of flunking out of high school when the owner of a Chick-fil-A franchise took him under his wing. He later earned a partial football scholarship to college, and ran an insurance company and owned part of a real-estate agency before entering politics

Woodard noted that Scott is popular and well-liked and has the support of his fellow members of Congress from South Carolina, which would give him an edge if he runs statewide for the Senate seat, as expected. The five GOP House members from South Carolina are very close, and they stuck together during a high-profile vote last year against Boehner's bill to reduce the deficit.

There have only been six blacks who have served in the U.S. Senate, according to the Senate website. They are Hiram Revels of Mississippi, who served in 1870; Blanche Bruce of Mississippi from 1875 to 1881; Edward Brooke of Massachusetts from 1967 to 1979; Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois from 1993 to 1999; Barack Obama of Illinois from 2005 until he resigned in 2008 after his presidential election; and Roland Burris, who was appointed to replace Obama and served until November 2010.
I don't personally think Scott's going to have an easy time getting re-elected, but that's just me. I don't know the mentality of South Carolina Republican voters, and don't care to hypothesize[1] any further.

Scott has been fairly lowkey in his only term in Congress, refraining from making any really stupid comments, save that one about not joining the CBC. His views are in lock-step with the Tea Party (of whom he's a favorite) but if he plays it down the center (again, not saying anything really stupid) I suspect he could even pull some share of the black vote if he escapes the GOP primary. Not necessarily because he's black, but because he's black and seems to be relatively sane. The key word here is "appears". Who knows what sorta foolishness he might spout when in the midst of the GOP nomination race?

That said, escaping with the GOP nod will be no small feat. I suspect we're gonna find out a lot of unsavory things about the otherwise spotless, never married, 47-year-old bachelor in the coming months. Some of Scott's "friends" who wanted that seat for themselves will be gunning for him. It will prolly get ugly, and ugly fast.

Enjoy it while you can, Tim. And watch your back.

Your reign on the top may be short like leprechauns.

Question: Is this a truly historic event or is Scott merely a placeholder for the 2014 GOP contest?

[1] True (unrelated) story: my 4 year old's favorite word right now is "hypothesis". He uses it to describe his "theory" on everything, even dinosaur teeth. That's my boy.

Racist Tweets Get Football Player Booted From Team.

First of all, I'd like to say, Go Redskins! We goin' to the Super Bowl, baybee! #HTTR

With that formality out of the way, even I'll admit I was a little thrown off (no pun intended) when I flipped to Sunday Night Football and instead saw the President speaking from Newtown.[1] Not because I had an issue with the President pre-empting football, but because I assumed he was speaking earlier (like, at 7pm).

In any event, I can sorta understand why fans might be a slightly peeved if they wanted to see their team play, only to flip on the TV and see someone they really don't like speaking. The key word here is sorta. Reality is, in the wake of the worst school shooting in US history, pro sports should take a backseat, even if only for 20 minutes.

For some people, however, that 20 minutes was far too long. Lots of "fans" took to Twitter to voice their dislike. Some less tastefully than others. Sports blog DeadSpin collected some of the worst ones, their story went viral, and now a football player in Alabama finds himself booted from the team. Pun intended.
North Alabama football player posted a racist tweet about President Barack Obama tonight in response to NBC pre-empting the 49ers-Patriots game on Sunday Night Football to show Obama's speech at the Newtown memorial for victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Bradley Patterson, an uninvited walk-on long snapper, joined the team in the fourth week of the season, according to a UNA official.

He is no longer a member of the team, according to a tweet tonight by UNA Athletic Director Mark Linder. The tweet was confirmed to by a university official.

Patterson, who goes by the handle 2A_HogOfTheYear, tweeted; "Take that (N-word) off the tv, we wanna watch football!" The accounts has since been closed.
The school apparently said "Take that idiot off the football team." Good for them. No so much for Mr. Patterson, who was dumb enough to use his name and face on a racist tweet. Do people realize that while you're entitled to your opinion, that opinion can have repercussions? If you really needed to say something so ignorant, so hateful, why not have a dummy account, you dummy?

Patterson wasn't the only one to use his actual name and face on a racist tweet, DeadSpin has lots of em'. I mean, lots.

I wonder what these people are thinking. Actually, I know what they're thinking.

They love watching a n*gger run the football. Running the country? Not so much.

Question: Should this fine, upstanding young man have been booted off the team for merely expressing his desire to watch football instead of a memorial speech? Do people think before they tweet? Has social media emboldened people to say dumb crap or has this always been the case?

[1] Some think this speech was over politicized by the President's mention that he'll "do something" to prevent this from happening again (ie: gun control). I didn't think so. I think he used the moment, in front of a worldwide audience, to speak to a larger audience than just those in that auditorium. I can understand why some might find this a bit uncomfortable. But I think it needed to be said, and he did so in a way that didn't overshadow the event itself. I couldn't be prouder of our POTUS than I was last night. Imagine Mitt Romney doing the same speech. Actually, don't. Please don't.

Is There Really A Need For A White Student Union?!?

File this one under Things I (Thankfully) Can't Relate To Because I Went To An HBCU...
The founder of a “White Students Union” at Towson University cited Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party as a model in an interview explaining his intentions to RT on Friday.

In the interview, Matthew Heimbach outlined his plans for the organization becoming a positive influence on the school, saying it was “kind of [like] the idea where you have political parties like Golden Dawn, which take care of Greek people first.”

After winning 18 seats in the Greek parliament for the first time in May, Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, warned that “The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland.” The party has subsequently been accused of engaging violent assaults against immigrants, a practice abetted by Greek police.

Heimbach obliquely referenced this practice, saying his group engaged in “safety patrols” looking for “people who have perpetrated violent crimes.”

The group will also bring in guest speakers to discuss “white identity” issues, Heimbach said, and protest policies like affirmative action, which he accused of being discriminatory against white students, and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he said “sent our jobs overseas to third-world countries like Mexico that undercut our wages and put us out of work.”
Here's the moving pictures, for those of you who prefer not reading...

Poor fella. He sees his America disintegrating before his very eyes and feels the need to do something, anything to prevent this atrocity. And in his eyes, there's not a single racist thing about feeling this way. And in a sense, he's correct. In post-racial America, nobody is racist anymore.

Besides, if you read between the lines here, this guy isn't saying much that differs dramatically from the core principles of the GOP. He's anti-gay. He's anti-immigration. He's anti-affirmative action. He's concerned about America's cultural shift to that of a 3rd world country. He thinks he's being inclusive, yet almost certainly is clueless that "the blacks, the Jews, and the Hispanics" would be offended by his idea of inclusion. He name-checks Pat Buchanan. He thinks the Founding Fathers built this country all on their own, from scratch, without the contributions of anyone else. He thinks multiculturalism is a slippery slope to becoming a 3rd world country. If he removed all the "pro-White" rhetoric, given his clever way with words and unflappable nature, he'd prolly be the next Newt Gingrich.

Instead, by spelling out such an ignorant, short sighted vision of a "pro-White" America, he's prolly just gonna find himself with some seriously short odds for future employment.

Pity this poor young man should he have to interview with a black boss.

Question: Do Mr. Heimbach's general sentiments vary that much from mainstream Conservatism?!? Does he look and sound like a young Newt or Rush to you?!?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Connecticut School Shooting Open Thread.

This is literally every parents' nightmare. You'll surely want to discuss this, here's your thread.

BTW, pray for the victims and survivors of this heinous crime, please. And lets not turn the threads into a "gun control" debate.

Not now, please. There will be plenty of time for that later.

27 Dead, Including 18 Children, At Sandy Hook School Shooting In Newtown [AP]

Is RG III Black Enough?!?

Robert Griffin III has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing year for DC sports[1], and has singlehandedly made me a legitimate Redskins fan.[2] Dude is easily the most electrifying player to hit the NFL since Adrian Peterson, and has rejuvenated a once-proud big-market franchise. He is truly must-see TV, and has the Skins on the verge of the playoffs for the first time in years.

Playing for a frachise that has its share of not-so-savory racial history (last NFL team to integrate), in a city that's majority black, lots of people view RGIII's contributions beyond the prism of on-field performance.[3] There's plenty of cultural cache that comes along with being a winning black QB in Chocolate City.[4] It's why Griffin's great season transcends sports in many ways, resulting in ignoramus comments like those uttered by an ESPN talking head yesterday.
An ESPN spokesman called Rob Parker’s comments about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III “inappropriate” and said Thursday night that the network “is evaluating our next steps.”

Parker, in commentary on “First Take,” questioned RGIII’s blackness, asking, “Is he a brother or a cornball brother?” The comments came in reaction to an interview with Comcast SportsNet’s Chick Hernandez in which RGIII talked about his role as the leader of the Redskins and as an African-American.

“Whenever you can relate to the population of the team that you play for, I think it makes it that much more special,” Griffin said. “I don’t play too much into the color game, because I don’t want to be the best African American quarterback, I want to be the best quarterback.

“This is an interesting topic,” ESPN's Parker said. “For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag, what I keep hearing. And I don’t know who’s asking the questions, but we’ve heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people.

“I understand the whole story of I just want to be the best,” Parker continued. “Nobody’s out on the field saying to themselves, I want to be the best black quarterback. You’re just playing football, right? You want to be the best, you want to throw the most touchdowns and have the most yards and win the most games. Nobody is [thinking] that.

“But time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about him,” Parker went on. “And I’ve talked to some people down in Washington D.C., friends of mine, who are around and at some of the press conferences, people I’ve known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question. Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”

What does that mean, Parker was asked.

“Well, [that] he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one of us,” Parker explained. “He’s kind of black, but he’s not really the guy you’d really want to hang out with, because he’s off to do something else.”

Why is that your question, Parker was asked.

“Well, because I want to find out about him,” Parker said. “I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like I’ve got black skin but don’t call me black. So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods early on.”
Here's video of Parker's comment. The fact that this discussion even took place, and that Stephen A. Smith was the voice of reason, simply gives me more reasons to not tune into ESPN.

I'll admit something readily here: I've often wondered how Griffin's ultra-polished, do-no-evil, uber-disciplined military brat background plays in the Redskins locker room full of quasi-thugs like Santana Moss and Brandon Banks. That dynamic (middle classed black kid vs black kid from the hood') is one seldom explored in black culture. I'm not quite sure if that's what Parker meant by "cornball", but I suspect it is. Either way, whatever nuanced point he was attempting to get across got totally lost when he questioned whether Griffin was "down for the cause". That's some seriously stupid sh*t right there. "The Cause" is winning games. The team doesn't need RGIII to run a lunch counter sit-in or a bus boycott, they need him to run the football. He's pretty good at that (and throwing the football too). So Parker totally screwed the pooch from the jump.

Here's the real problem with what Rob Parker said: it's barbershop talk, not the kind of sh*t you say on national television when you essentially work for Disney. Do some (not all) black folks have a natural hesitance to trust brothas who only date white chicks? Sure, that happens. Do some black folks have a natural hesitance to trust brothas who speak "proper" English? Yep. Do some black folks have a natural hesitance to trust brothas who don't wear any facial hair? Indeed. But these are typically pointless conversations that take place "amongst family". I don't know Rob Parker, but it seems pretty clear that in his quest to "keep it trill", he sorta forgot where he was. There are some conversations (ie: darkskinned vs lightskinned) that you simply don't have "in front of company".

Of course, there's the issue of "blackness" and Parker's insinuation that Griffin doesn't "own" his (see: Woods, Eldrick) which is beyond silly. Griffin, in response to the original question, simply said he doesn't want to be defined only as "a black QB", which, given some of the historical stereotypes associated with black players at this position, makes plenty of sense. The fact that so many people are still comparing RGIII to a washed-up Mike Vick and the perpetually boneheaded Cam Newton is proof enough. Griffin's much more like Steve Young to my admittedly uneducated football eye. So I totally get his "I don't want to be defined only as a black QB" comment. As a person in corporate America who is irked at how often I'm mistaken for/compared to other black employees, I can relate. Wishing to be seen as "something more than just the black guy" is quite different from "not even wanting to be known as the black guy". Huge difference.

Parker, assuming he's "down for the cause", prolly shoulda understood this. Obviously, he either didn't, or pretended not to so he could say something sensational. Neither is excusable.

Good luck with that pink slip, Rob Parker. I hear the job market is hard out there for "real black" folks.

Question: What the heck was Rob Parker thinking? Are there some discussions that need to be kept "in the family" and not had "in front of company"? Do you have any idea what that last sentence meant?!?

[1] Those d*mn Wizards...

[2] Thanks to VLatte for the annual ticket hookup!

[3] Playing in a city where politics loom so large has also lead to an outbreak of stupid assed "RGIII as Obama" commentary. I also wish that sh*t would stop.

[4] Please note the term "winning". The Skins have had other black QB's in recent seasons. Rodney Peete. Tony Banks. Leon Murray. Jason Campbell. None of them bamas was any good, and black folks booed them just as badly as any other white QB.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fox News Douchebag Contributor Fights Union Protestor. Loses. Badly.

I don't condone violence. I just don't. There are so many other more reasonable ways to resolve disputes that do not involve putting your hands on another human being.

All that said, I'm glad someone finally punched this asshole Fox News "contributor" in the grill. It has been long overdue.

Crowder, for those unaware, does provocative Breitbart-style "cyber journalism", with the goal of making progressives look silly. His entire goal is to agitate, then put stuff on YouTube. You might recall he's the creative genius behind that poorly conceived, definitely racist "Niggers/Knickers" joke at last year's CPAC.

So yeah, I'm just see this is payback for that ignorant sh*t.[1]

You can't make a mockery of the Governor taking food out of people's mouths, rub it in their noses, and not expect some sorta retribution. And given how heavily edited this tape is, I'm willing to bet Crowder provoked the guy who delivered that two piece. A prideful man woulda at least tried to punch back. But gotcha journalism and pride don't necessarily go hand in hand.

Props for talkin' sh*t like a tough guy after the fact and challenging him to an MMA fight (while putting an odd, probably illegal bounty on his head on national TV) while sitting there with your collar popped. Seems like punching back mighta been a little easier. But hey...

This guy's a real jerk-wad.

Question: Did Crowder deserve to get punched? Is this sorta "journalism" below the belt?

[1] My views on the whole anti-labor jack move going on in Michigan right now are pretty obvious. No need to go there.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Do Poor White People Exist?!?

A question I've pondered for years, even here on this blog, is why poor White Americans are for all purposes, completely invisible in the media, politics, and American culture as a whole. Think about it: given the sheer volumes of whites living below the poverty line, and collecting government assistance, why does the predominant face of American poverty still look like The Evans Family?!?

My theories are many, and too lengthy to flesh out here. But of course, poor whites do exist, and not just in "rural" America. Anyone who's gone to Fishtown in Philly will concur. Poor white people are everywhere. And yet, nowhere at the same time.

On the heels of an election in which American poverty as a whole was seldom even mentioned, let alone addressed, the Washington Post delved into the story of a teenager trying to overcome some steep odds to escape her post-industrial Rust Belt hometown. And as intriguing a read as it is, this Sunday A1 story is simply emblematic of the media's tendency to paint poverty stories with a bit more sympathetic brush when the subject is white.

I won't even try and recap Anne Hull's piece In Rust Belt, a teenager’s climb from poverty here. It's good writing, and even better story-telling. It deserves your decidated 20 minutes of reading time, simply because it's that compelling. If you enjoy "intellectual pRon", you'll get your kicks off this one. So go read that before you respond.

Those props aside, I can't help but note some serious gaps in the story here. New Castle, PA is a town that got some very serious issues with drug use and manufacturing, so the omission of this huge problem is glaring, and seems somewhat intentional. Likewise, a city of this size, with this level of poverty is also bound to have some deep-engrained crime issues, but with the exception of one anecdote that involves the story's subject, this problem is also overlooked. Then, there's the child's mother, who is given the sympathetic human treatment despite clearly being a huge reason why this kid's facing such serious odds to "making it".

I can't help but wonder why such factors barely showed up in this story, which seemed to focus more on one (admittedly spunky and driven) kid, against the backdrop of a city whose economy has crumbled now that the factories which once employed many of its residents are gone. There seems to be some easy-to-file excuse for everyone's despair. Everyone's a victim, their downfall tied to something tangible and readily identifiable, yet beyond their personal control.

I can't help but wonder why publications like The Post seldom paint such a sympathetic portrayal of improverished blacks. Maybe you know.

In any event, just read the story. If you can turn your brain off and simply enjoy the good writing, you might just learn something.

Question: What did you think of the story? Was there some evident bias at play here, or is this simply a fair portrayal of the downfall of a once-proud city?!?

Thursday, December 6, 2012 Random Notes

It's obviously been a little quiet around these parts this week. Yours truly has been flat on his back/curled in a fetal position with strep throat the past few days. So yeah, there's your excuse. It'll prolly be a minute before I'm back to 100%, but here's today's rundown.
The Fiscal Cliff Cometh [WashPost] - I think it's a sad commentary on the state of American Politricks when one party gets its clock cleaned in the election, yet still learns narry a lesson. In fact, although the public clearly showed it was in favor of taxing the rich a bit more, the GOP is doubling down on obstructionism and holding the debt ceiling negotiations, unemployment benefits, and the payroll tax cut hostage. And since this is, in some odd way, a hostage negotiation, what does that make the President?!? Danny Roman?!? The Negro-tiator? Or merely the same guy who's gotten his arse handed to him in every prior negotiation for the past 4 years? Time will tell. Sadly, so will the market, which is in a state of flux as this BS gets "resolved".

Jay-Z "Rides The Subway". Chats It Up With Elderly Woman. [WashPost] - It's official. The JiggaMan's metamorphosis from dope boy/hustler to middle aged Jewish investment banker is now complete. Oy! Read the comments that follow this piece, BTW. Intriguing.

Life After The Loss For Mitt Romney [WashPost] - Interesting piece on what Romney's doing with all his newfound freetime. Hint: It involves a perpetually crying Ann, Boston Market, and horses.

Bob Costas vs Bill O'Reilly vs Guns [Mediaite] - So much for that long-overdue national conversation on domestic violence. Thank you, Bob Costas.

Leave A Comment On Yelp! Get Sued For $750k [WashPost] - An intriguing local story about the limits of free speech online.
Question: What's on your mind today?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Football Over Everything. Even Orphans.

Editor's Note: Yeah, this is about 24 hours late. I wrote it yesterday. It's scattered. It's now somewhat outdated. And I didn't hit Publish. Oh well. It happens.

I think it's a sad commentary that the NFL is actually having the Kansas City Chiefs play a game today, barely 24 hours after a player killed himself in the very parking lot fans are tailgating in right now.

Where's the common decency? This man killed his child's mother. Does he deserve a moment of silence? No. He is a coward. So is the NFL for putting profit ahead of common sense.

Isn't the fact that this guy shot his child's mother NINE TIMES in front in HIS OWN MOTHER a wee bit distressing? Shouldn't respect for the orphaned child trump the desire of this guy's teammates selfishly playing a pointless game for a team headed nowhere?

If someone walked into my office tomorrow and offed himself, I honestly hope my employer would give us Tuesday off.

It's pretty obvious Javon Belcher had some serious psychological issues. Did nobody in this organization notice this? They obviously don't care after the fact, but I find it hard to believe someone didn't realize this dude was unhinged. I guess they just wanted him to tackle people. Screw the collateral damage.

For a league that pretends to care about women (that breast cancer awareness month stuff is just a sham to sell pink merchandise) the NFL is sending a clear message about domestic violence today. That message is, we don't care if you hit women, as long as you can hit a quarterback.

I think the fact that the man killed himself on the stadium grounds is just icing on the cake. Postpone the damn game!!! Play later in the week. Forfeit. Don't play at all. Business as usual 24 hours later is just tacky and insensitive to the families involved. Eff the teammates. They will not be raising an orphan.

But it doesn't matter cause they're gonna play anyway. There should be a moment of silence. Not for the cowardly player, but for the woman he killed and the child he was orphaned.

Money Football over everything. Even orphans.

Question: Should the Chiefs have played that game yesterday? Is this story more about gun control, football related brain injuries, domestic violence, or the almighty dollar?