Tuesday, March 26, 2013

AB.com Random Notes.

It's Spring Break, so it'll be a lil' slow around these parts this week. As usual, this means it's Hot Topics time again. Here's just a handful of news items that got my attention. Chime in, and add your links below...

Justices seem cautious on gay marriage - I'm not really sure how the SCOTUS' upcoming decision will change already shifting public perception if they rule against gay marriage. What's clear to me, however, is that the fact that this case made it to the highest court is the culmination of decades of public relations (some covert, some blatant) to influence said public opinion. Seriously, look at how the stigma against gay marriage, and homosexuality in general has been alleviated in recent years. Anyone looking to push an agenda (and I don't use that word in a negative sense) would be well served to follow the blueprint of same-sex marriage advocate.

McDonnell signs law requiring photo ID for voters - The push to mainstream the disenfranchisement of voters continues in the great state of Virginia. Which for once and for all confirms why I should stay my black ass on this side of the Potomac.

The Sweet 16 of '16 - Handicapping the 2016 Presidential race, March Madness style. Whimsical content aside, one thing that's pretty clear is that beyond Hilary Clinton, there's nobody on the Democratic side who can match the enthusiasm President Obama inspires from the party's base. Which is why I think rumors of the GOP's demise are comically shortsighted. If the GOP puts Chris Christie against, say, Mark Warner, I could easily see the Republicans regaining the White House.

Wall scores a career-high 47 to fuel Wizards - As a guy who has suffered through half a decade of awful Wizards basketball, this is like Christmas in March. The knock on Wall has always been his lack of a jumper, but that seems to be a thing of the past. The sky's the limit for the team (21-16 since his return) and Wall himself (now shooting well of 45% of the floor this season). Hooray.

Jennie Rees' Road to the Kentucky Derby 2013 | Sunland success credit to Pegram's program - The latest Kentucky Derby 2013 odds are of particular interest to me this year. In addition to this great story from the Couriel-Journal, you can checkout this website for Kentucky Derby information to learn more.

Dr. Carson Responds To Accusations Of ‘Tokenism’ By MSNBC’s Touré And Others On Fox: I’m Not An ‘Uncle Tom’ - The only thing worse than a lame assed "black conservative" is one who plays the victim card. Ben Carson is a firmly established member of the 1%. Dude doesn't been to steep to this level, but reality is he's no different than any other GOP aspirant, be it Herman Cain, JC Watts, or Angela McGlowan. Shame.

Rush Limbaugh: Chelsea Clinton Adopting ‘Latest Fashion Accessory,’ An African Baby - The title says it all. I wish I could say this represents a new low for Limbaugh, but it's not.

Question: Got any links/stories you wanna share?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

AB.com Random Notes.

Hot Topics time again. Here's just a handful of news items that got my attention. Chime in below...

House approves short-term measure to avert government shutdown - Lets face it, both sides of the political aisle (particularly, and most regrettably the President) were using sequestration as a scare tactic to get what they wanted (tax hikes or spending cuts). It didn't result in the catastrophe predicted, and now Congress will simply pass the buck awhile longer, ensuring more such nonsense in a few months. Democracy!

BlackBerry Z10: Can this phone save BlackBerry? - The answer is, obviously, no. A better question might be will the next iPhone save Apple? Cause my contract is up this summer, and I'm prolly gonna get a Samsung Galaxy.

Buzz building for Ted Cruz for president - Wait, wasn't this guy born in Canada? Where's the birth certificate? Show me your papers!!!

Rep. Bachmann Urges Repeal Of Obamacare ‘Before It Literally Kills Children, Kills Women, Kills Senior Citizens’ - Jesus, what a headcase.

Explosive New Audio: Crowd At CPAC Racism Seminar Shouts Down Black Radio Host - Keep on expanding that tent, fellas.

Question: Got any links/stories you wanna share?

So... Yeah, About Our New Commenting System...

While I was away last week, apparently Disqus, the widely used commenting system, pulled the plug on "old Disqus, and is now forcing all sites to use the new and improved Disqus 2.0. While this new commenting system is vastly superior the prior release (up/down voting, easier moderation, live updates) it's not quite compatible with the custom CSS/XML template I currently use for this site.

So as a result, a lot of you are prolly getting some cyptic messages about not having a Disqus compatible browser when you try to checkout the comments. I'm guessing this is what's behind the dramatic falloff in new comments this week. Either that, or ya'll just don't like me anymore. I'm hoping it's the former, not the latter.

In any event, if you're using ie, just toggle the compatibility mode icon (that "broken piece of paper" looking thing in the address bar) and the comments should show up. You won't need an upgraded browser for this. The site looks a little screwy/badly justified when you do this, but fear not. This site is in the midst of a gradual re-branding/facelift anyway. I'll have all this stuff, as well as a brand new banner image (trust me, you'll love it like white women love Jim Halpert) fixed and ironed out in the coming weeks.

Ok, back to commenting...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

GOP "Autopsy Report" Shows It Learned Absolutely Nothing From The 2012 Elections.

The post-mortem of last November's elections showed the GOP got it's arse kicked because the party no longer reflects the values of a rapidly changing America. In the months since, we've seen the party sorta-kinda pivot on the issue of immigration, push (perhaps not quite ready for primetime) minorities like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to the forefront, and promise to do some deep soul-searching in a quest to discover just what went wrong and how they can fix it if they want to remain relevant.

As an outsider, I've sorta enjoyed watching the bickering and in-fighting. It's clear the GOP knows it has a problem attracting any voters other than aging Southern whites, but what's still unclear is how they plan to actually expand the tent. Yesterday, RNC Chair, the interestingly named Reince Preibus, released the party's findings and blueprint for their return to prominence.
The Republican Party ended months of self-criticism Monday with a wide-ranging plan to transform itself into a modern, welcoming home for a rapidly diversifying American electorate.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus ­presented a 100-page blueprint aimed at rebuilding his struggling GOP after a four-month analysis, and he delivered a particularly blistering assessment of the party’s problems appealing to women and minorities at the polls.

The plan called for Republicans to embrace comprehensive immigration reform, overhaul the party’s digital and research operations, and hold a shorter, more controlled presidential primary season. Priebus also announced a $10 million plan to dispatch GOP operatives to black, Latino and Asian American communities, which voted overwhelmingly to reelect President Obama.

“There’s no one reason we lost,” Priebus said of November’s elections, in which Democrats held the White House, kept control of the Senate and gained seats in the House. “Our message was weak, our ground game was insufficient, we weren’t inclusive, we were behind in both data and digital, and our primary and debate process needed improvement.”

But even many Republicans who praised the proposal said it was only a partial response to the party’s problems, which include policy positions that alienate growing minority groups. Strategists said the party still needs to recast conservatism to appeal to Latino and Asian voters as well as college-educated women.

The RNC’s road map comes on the heels of last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, the biggest annual gathering of conservative activists, which brought new attention to the divergent ideas coursing through the Republican Party.

The plan also laid bare simmering divisions over the party’s performance. Priebus’s remarks included references to financial problems under Michael Steele, his predecessor as RNC chairman.

Steele responded tersely on MSNBC, referring to the GOP’s 2010 takeover of the House: “I won. And he didn’t.”
If you're into really boring, really pointless reads, you should give this 100 page "report" a gander. It's every bit as exciting as a Big 10 basketball game, and unfortunately will take you about twice as long to finish. I made it about 15 pages in before it because glaringly obvious that the GOP still has no freakin' clue how to relate to minorities and young voters. In fact, I'm not sure they even want to. Of for that matter, should. I mean, we've seen firsthand what it looks like when the party tries to discuss it's own race related issues.

That wasn't pretty.

Let's face it: The Democratic Party doesn't have another Barack Obama in the queue. Should Hilary Clinton run in 2016 (and after watching this, I'm pretty sure she is), she'll have a pretty good chance of winning, but absent that, there doesn't appear to be another Democrat with such magnetism anywhere in the party's minor leagues. The GOP has shown that by gerrymandering enough Congressional districts, it can retain power in Congress. The party is also running the governor's mansion of 30 states. And all jokes aside, the party would probably be in charge of the Senate had they not elected a handful of blathering idiots for seats in 2010 and 2012. A bit more discretion and the GOP would likely be firmly in charge of everything but the White House right now. Call me silly, but that's not exactly cause for alarm.

Likewise, if Clinton doesn't run in 2016, who are the Democrats gonna trot out? Chris Van Hollen? Joe Budden Biden? Martin O'Malley? Forgive while I go take a nap. I'd prolly vote for Chris Christie over that trio of losers, if only for sheer entertainment purposes.

If I'm the GOP, I'd say to hell with all this outreach sh*t and double down on obstruction and resentment! It's not like that formula hasn't been wildly successful to date. And with ObamaCare, elderly White seniors will live (and vote) even longer. If it ain't totally broke, don't fix it. Eff' a autopsy.

I will, however, say this: if the GOP wants to spend some of that $10M outreach money, I can darn sure help them. PayPal is unbiased.

Question: Is the GOP's "autopsy" indicative of a true heart change, or merely lip service to say "look, we tried!" Does the GOP really need to "rebrand" and "expand the tent" or does the party merely need better, less crazy candidates?

Chuck E Cheese Brawl.

Jesus, would Florida just secede already?!?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sarah Palin's Tone-Def Comedy Jam.

Seriously, had anyone in the history of the world so devoid of self-awareness ever been able to cash in on said self-awareness to such a lucrative extent? There are still morons who think this woman should run in 2016. Personally, I think she wouldn't make a bad standup comedian. Because that's essentially all she's doing here: talkin' random sh*t (from a teleprompter, might I add) and cashin' a nice check for the performance.

Question: Assuming you can make it through this video, tell me all the wrong things you hear?

March Madness Is Here, And My Alma Mater Is Dancin'!!!!

While I frequently talk about my HBCU experience here, I don't think I've ever actually mentioned where I went. This is largely intentionally, and very much in line with the "keep my identity anonymous" nature of the blog.

Today, however, I'm gonna make an exception to my (admittedly silly) own rule. Cause my alma mater is dancin'!
The Big South and the MEAC collide in the NCAA play in game when the Liberty Flames and the North Carolina A&T Aggies square off.

North Carolina A&T was one of the most unlikely entrants in to the Field of 64 as the 6th seed out of the MEAC. The Aggies overcame a red hot Morgan State in the conference championship but were surging themselves with victories in six of seven. This is the slowest team in the tournament, outscoring opponents 62-61 on the season, so controlling the pace and the scoreboard is generally their lone chance at winning with their attack hitting at 39% from the field. This is a team that needs plenty of shots to do their damage with Adrian Powell and Lamont Middletown as the primary scoring weapons with nearly 13.5 points apiece, but both need plenty of shots with under 40% from the floor on the year.

Speaking of unlikely participants in the NCAA Tournament, Liberty is that team with just a 15-20 overall record. The Flames definitely caught fire at the right time with five consecutive victories, including a win over regular season champion Charleston Southern in the title game to gain the conference automatic bid. The Flames are one dimensional with their score first mentality as they were outscored 70-69 on the year but gave up 62 points or less in four of five which made this a winning team down the stretch with the offense clicking. If Liberty is to survive the trio of John Caleb Sanders (14 ppg), Tavares Speaks (13 ppg) and Davon Marshall (13 ppg) have to score because that has been the strength of the Flames.
I'm not too crazy about being stuck in the play-in game, but the tourney is the tourney. My school made the Big Dance twice in the mid-90's, once while I was there. He lost to (eventual champion) Arkansas one year, and got obliterated by Tim Duncan and Wake Forest the other. We beat Liberty tomorrow night (early odds have us a 1.5 point favorite), and we get right right to be ethered by Louisville.

Either way, we're in the tournament.

Question: Did your team make it?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Obama's Second Term Already Looks A Lot Like Obama's First Term.

[Editor's Note: I recently realized that one of the most time consuming things about writing new posts here is my stubborn insistence and odd need to insert a photo in every piece. So I'm going to try something a little different today and just rattle off a bunch of new material, sans pics. Let me know if this bothers you (or not) in the comments.]

When President Obama was re-elected last Fall, I stated then that I felt more relief (that Romney/Ryan hadn't won) than elation. DC is gridlocked, and as long as the GOP controls the House, nothing of substance is going to get done. 3 months into #2Termz, nothing has changed. Sequestration came and went. The debt ceiling is coming soon, and surely will not end any differently. No plan to slash debt/deficit has even been seriously discussed. It's like these guys are just pocketing free money to do absolutely nothing.

Not surprisingly, when sh*t isn't getting done, the guy at the top gets the blame. Fair, or unfair.
The afterglow of President Obama’s reelection and inauguration appears to have vanished as increasingly negative views among Americans about his stewardship of the economy have forced his public approval rating back down to the 50 percent mark, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

In December, just after he won a second term, Obama held an 18-percentage-point advantage over congressional Republicans on the question of whom the public trusted more to deal with the economy. Now, it’s a far more even split — 44 percent to 40 percent, with a slight edge for the president — but the share of those saying they have confidence in “neither” has ticked up into double digits.

The poll contains ample evidence of the disillusionment voters feel toward both sides amid a sense of continuing dysfunction in Washington, which since December has been grappling with fiscal crises and deadlines of its own making.

Asked who is responsible for the sequester, 47 percent say Republicans in Congress and 33 percent say Obama.

Obama’s overall job-approval rating stands at 50 percent, down five points from before he took the oath of office in January. Looking along partisan lines, the slippage since then has been particularly pronounced among political independents. Two months ago, independents tilted clearly in his direction, with 54 percent approving and 41 percent disapproving. Now, half of independents express a negative opinion of the president’s performance; just 44 percent approve.

The president has also seen an erosion in confidence among groups that he has counted as core supporters. Compared with a Post-ABC poll in December, the share of liberals who place their faith in Obama over Republicans when it comes to dealing with the economy is 14 points lower; there has been a 12-point slide among women.

At 50 percent, Obama’s overall standing in the poll is lower than that of most other modern second-term presidents at this point in their terms. Of the seven second-term presidents who have been in office since Harry S. Truman, only George W. Bush had a positive rating as low as 50 percent at this stage.
Personally, I don't care who is to blame at this point. The GOP hasn't wavered one bit in its opposition to Obama. Obama isn't giving an inch, or at least he isn't talking like a guy who gives one. It all adds up to one huge stalemate with no chance of resolution anytime soon.

Since the 2nd term is supposed to be about building your legacy, I wonder what Obama's legacy will be. In his first term, he passed some important legislation, but did so at the expense of his ability to pass other important legislation. Now, unless the Democrats can miraculously regain the House by winning gerrymandered heavily Conservative districts, we're looking at about 4 more years of the same ole'. At some point, do you consider switching up your approach? The GOP clearly has no intentions of giving in. Sheeit, obstruction is for all intents their mission statement.

This puts the POTUS between the proverbial rock and hard place. But one thing's for certain: doing nothing sure isn't helping his legacy. Or us.

Question: Is there any fix for the partisan gridlock in DC? Should the President be more willing to bend?

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Latest Wingut Outrage: Michelle Obama Parties With Beyonce.

I like starting my day with a plate full of ignorance and a glass of race-baiting, so naturally I tune into Fox And Friends. I'll give it to those guys on the curvy couch. They have the formula for lighthearted news/Obama sneak dissin' down to an exact science. Sure, I know watching Fox News sorta flies in the face of everything a "black progressive" like me should stand for, but I can't help it. F&F is like a peephole into the brain of middle America, albeit a peephole that's broadcast from lower Manhattan.

Anyways, this morning the hosts were complaining about how even though sequestration has prevented innocent middle American schoolkids from visiting "The People's House", it's not stopping {cue ominous music and pelvic thrusting Superbowl halfime montage!} Beyoncé from getting her West Wing on.
Preparations are already underway for Michelle Obama's big 50th birthday next January, and two of music's biggest acts have reportedly been booked for the occasion.

An unnamed (and potentially questionable) source told the UK's Daily Mail that the first lady has asked Beyonce and Adele to perform at her party.

"America’s first lady will be holding a huge celebrity-packed party for her birthday at the White House next year and, as she adores Adele and Beyonce, she has asked them both to sing," an unnamed source told The Daily Mail. "Adele has graciously accepted and waived her usual fee for the high-profile private performance. She will sing a selection of her most-loved hits for the first lady and her friends."

Beyonce has a long-standing relationship with the Obamas. The singer famously performed at President Obama's inauguration earlier this year, and, along with her husband Jay-Z, was a major supporter of Obama during his run for presidency and reelection. Beyonce also wrote the first lady a birthday card earlier this year for her 49th. "Michelle, thank you so much for every single thing that [you] do for us," Beyonce wrote. "I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to."

Michelle Obama will turn 50 on January 17, 2014.
You can look at this two ways...

It's a waste of money to hold a 50th birthday party for the First Lady. Sure, the performers are playing for free, but in these times of fiscal austerity, why shouldn't the first lady just listen to her favorite acts on Pandora like the rest of us peasants? Such actions only reinforce the notion that the Obamas are some bourgeois Negros from Chicago who think they're King And Queen Of "That Other Peoples' Amurrica". And shouldn't she be somewhere greeting military families or something? The wingnuts do not approve of this message.

On the flipside: Obama ain't runnin' for re-election, so f*ck it. And f*ck a wingnut.

For the record, I'm on #TeamF*ckIt.

On a slightly related record (pun intended), I do wonder if this is actually the FLOTUS' dream concert, or if the guest list is (as usual) indicative of some very deliberate focus grouping. I mean, seriously, I could see Beyoncé, for obvious reasons. But Adele? I'm sure the FLOTUS prolly loves 2-3 of her songs, but Michelle-O strikes me as more of an Anita Baker-type. I'm just sayin'. That one seems like it's a pick made with appealing to a certain demographic in mind. But then again, they aren't up for re-election so what do they care? Adele it is.

This had me thinking about what my dream concert would be, if I could pick and choose exactly who I wanted and the people had to still be alive (yeah, that limitation sorta ruins the whole "dream" concept).

Anyways, the AverageBro Dream Concert™ would include...
A Tribe Called Quest - This was the soundtrack of my adolescence. If I'm the President, I'm signing an Executive Order to get Tip, Phife, Ali, and (sometimes) Jarobi reunited onstage.

Roy Ayers - The single artist I've spent more waking hours listening to than any other.

Standup By Patrice O'Neal Corey Holcomb - My house, my rules. If you're faint of heart, cover your ears. Sure, most people would go for Dave Chappelle or Chris Rock here, but Holcomb is hands down the best comedian at this present moment.

Bobby Caldwell - Runs a close second to Roy Ayers for "artists I've spent the most waking hours listening to". He can sing "Open Your Eyes" a couple of times and bounce.

Rick Ross - He's a sh*tty performer (I mean, seriously, I've seen him before. Awful) but he has a lot of hits. Bawse!

SWV - Don't ask. It's my party.

E-40 - Don't ask. It's my party.

Little Brother (& 9th Wonder) - See the ATCQ "You Must Reuinite" Executive Order #4080.

Patrice Rushen - Is she still actually alive?

Jodeci - Actually, just K-Ci and JoJo. Leave Mr. Dalvin and that other weird cat at whatever Greater Charlotte-area Sizzler they're currently washing dishes for.

Jeff "Tain" Watts - Maybe the best live "real" jazz performer I've ever seen.

Jay-Z - I'm not even the biggest Jay-Z fan. This is mostly an inclusion because I've never seen him in person and he has a huge catalogue.

The Roots - House band. They can back up everyone.

Sade - To sing me to sleep when it's all over.
But that's just my Dream Concert lineup. What's yours?!?

Question: If you were POTUS or FLOTUS and could put together the lineup for your personal Dream Concert, what's the lineup? They have to be living, BTW. Exhuming corpses = not cool. Or legal.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rand Paul's 13 Hour Epic Filibuster: True Patriotism Or Typical GOP Grandstanding?!?

So yeah, while I was at home waiting on a massive snowstorm that never materialized yesterday, I managed to catch a bit of Rand Paul's 13 hour filibuster. As much as I'm in disagreement with the (theoretical) use of drones on US soil against US citizens, part of me wonders just how sincere Paul was.
Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, began an old-school, speak-until-you-can-speak-no-more filibuster on Wednesday just before noon, and was still going strong hours later.

Mr. Paul, who opposes the nomination of John O. Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, had previously said he would filibuster President Obama’s nominee after receiving a letter this month from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. that refused to rule out the use of drone strikes within the United States in “extraordinary circumstances” like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

On Wednesday, Mr. Paul did exactly as promised, taking to the Senate floor to filibuster Mr. Brennan’s nomination.

Mr. Paul is the first senator to use an actual filibuster after the Senate reached a deal earlier this year to take some basic steps to limit the filibuster.

As Mr. Paul’s filibuster — quickly nicknamed the “filiblizzard” by Twitter users, poking fun at the Washington snow storm that failed to materialize — entered its fourth hour, the senator from Kentucky got an assist from his friends, as Senators Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, and Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, joined him on the Senate floor to help with the effort.

Mr. Paul did not yield the floor — a move that would effectively end his filibuster — but he did, with some apparent relief, yield to take questions from his Republican colleagues.

And then, as the (now bipartisan) filibuster began to feel a bit like a Shakespearean drama, none other than Senator Marco Rubio of Florida entered from stage right, complete with a water joke — a reference to his recent State of the Union response, in which a video of a parched Mr. Rubio chugging water quickly went viral.

“You’ve been here for a while, so let me give you some advice,” Mr. Rubio. “Keep some water nearby. Trust me.”
Let's be real here: the use or drones to spy on US citizens is something that makes me uncomfortable. The feeling that 9/11 has now permanently turned us into a country where nearly every public activity needs to be filtered through the potential of terrorist action is sobering. I don't like that a black President and black Attorney General are responsible for this latest overreach of power. While I'm happy these drones (theoretically) are being used to keep us safe and secure, the fact that it has come to this just feels very wrong. If you need to understand this sentiment in far more eloquent words, written by a professional, look no further than Ta Nehesi Coates' excellent piece, "The Art of Infinite War" in the Atlantic.

With all that said, it's hard to separate Paul's message (which I generally agree with) from the messenger here. Paul conveniently ignored the fact that such incidents (the government bombing its own citizens) have indeed happened in the past. Google "Philly MOVE Bombings" or "Tulsa Black Wall Street bombings". Both are not-so-cheery reminders that this country sometimes takes drastic (and unnecessary) measures against its own citizens. There is already a precedence. Ignoring this, and pretending you're so concerned about the mere potential for something happening now, when it has already in fact happened in the past smacks of opportunism at best, hypocrisy at worst. To my knowledge (I had better things to do that watch a 13 hour circle jerk) Paul mentioned neither incident yesterday.

I also just can't look past the possibility that Paul chose this occasion to boost his national profile for 2016. There's also the (now totally predictable, yet still annoying) fact that the GOP is now using Paul's performance to raise campaign funds. So yeah, whatever.

I'll willingly admit my bias here: I simply don't trust (or for that matter like) Rand Paul. The same guy who equated ObamaCare to slavery, who asserted that free market capitalism would have ended segregation without the Civil Rights Act, and who thinks all government is evil, yet draws a government paycheck. I think he is disingenuous, and I wonder why he needed to burn 13 hours to make a point that could have easily been summed up before lunchtime. So yeah, my issue here is more with the messenger than the message.

And this messenger is an a$$hole.

Question: What did you think of Rand Paul's epic waste of time filibuster?!? Was he being genuine, opportunistic, or a little of both? What do you personally think about this new domestic drone policy?!?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mitt Romney Is Back. Still Has No Idea Why He Lost.

I don't know who's more annoying? Ann, who seems to be in some sort of post-election depression/denial, or Mitt, who still can't figure out why he lost, even as he spouts the very same nonsense that caused him to lose in the first place.

Seriously, why can't people just take responsibility for their own actions? You break, you buy. Romney says he regrets that 47% comment, but only minutes later says he couldn't win minority votes because they love the free stuff Obama promised them (ie: ObamaCare).

I also find it comical that Mitt is worried about what sort of country he's leaving his 20 grandkids. As if those grandkids won't somehow have privileges and advantages that 99% of the rest of the country won't enjoy, simply because of their last name.

I sympathize with Ann, but come on homegirl, you lost. People don't like your husband, and that has nothing to do with "the media". And oh yeah, your sense of entitlement, as if you "deserved" to become FLOTUS didn't help either.

Now go back to the misery of your 25,000 square foot seaside estate, and leave the rest of us poor Negroes alone.

Baby Cured Of HIV Virus.

Sometimes I hate that I'm such a skeptic. I can't simply rejoice in the moment without my Negro Spidey Sense tingling (pause). So as much as I want to rejoice in the possible ramifications of this breaking news story, I just can't stop my 3rd eye from twitchin'.
A baby born with the AIDS virus two years ago in Mississippi who was put on antiretroviral therapy within hours of birth appears to have been cured of the infection, researchers said Sunday at a scientific conference in Atlanta.

Whether the cure is complete and permanent, or only partial and long-lasting, is not certain. Either way, the highly unusual case raises hope for the more than 300,000 babies born with the infection around the world each year.

If the findings in the new case bear up under further scrutiny, it will mark the first time the infection has been cured by drugs. The only known cure of a case of HIV infection occurred in 2007. An American man living in Germany got a bone-marrow transplant from a donor who had a rare HIV-resistance mutation in his cells.

“We are calling this a ‘functional cure,’ ” said Katherine Luzuriaga, a physician at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who was involved in the baby’s care. “Time and further investigation will tell us whether this child actually has been cured or not.”

Treating a newborn with the life-extending combination of drugs known as “triple therapy” is almost never done.

The reason is that it is difficult to determine immediately after birth whether a baby is infected. Antibodies from an HIV-infected mother spill into the baby’s circulation, giving a positive test for weeks. Infants are not started on the drugs until at least six weeks after birth, when infection is certain.

Mother-to-child HIV transmission is extremely rare in the United States. Fewer than 200 cases occur each year. For more than 15 years, virtually all pregnant women known to be infected have been given antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy and labor. Their babies get one or two drugs for at least six weeks after birth — a strategy that cuts the risk of transmission to less than 5 percent.

In the Mississippi case, how­ever, the mother arrived at the hospital without prenatal care. When a screening test for HIV came back positive, “she was too near delivery to give even the dose of medicine that we routinely use during labor,” Hannah Gay, a pediatrician at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, wrote in a short narrative of the events provided to a reporter.

Because of the baby’s unusually high risk of having been infected, Gay and her colleagues started full triple therapy 30 hours after birth.

HIV tests of the infant’s blood over the next three weeks were repeatedly positive. The virus could have been from the mother, although such spillover is usually cleared quickly by the baby. Instead, the amount of HIV — the “viral load” — declined steadily over time, as happens in adults with long-established infections when they are started on triple therapy. By 29 days after birth, the baby had no detectable virus, which is the goal of treatment.

Researchers provided no personal details about the case, not even the sex of the infant.

Word of the case was being greeted with interest and skepticism by researchers, who have seen many other reports of cure prove false when examined closely or tried again.
If this case is true, and somehow repeatable, it is truly a game-changer. The thousands of children infected annually in Sub-Saharan Africa can be saved. That's a truly awesome development.

But I just can't quite shake the feeling that something about this story doesn't totally add up. I'm (obviously, duh?) no scientist, but I just have a bad feeling about this. I smell a Grand Hu$tle.

What ya'll think?!?

Question: Is this truly a groundbreaking scientific discovery, or are you just as skeptical as I am?!?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Extreme White Privilege: Mile High Edition.

Ya'll know I'm not a racism chaser. In fact, I darn near catch a beatdown here when I try to go against convention and refute that something is happening in spite of race. I have the cyber scars to prove it.

That said, perhaps more puzzling than people who see racism in a bowl of Cheerios[1] are people who refuse to acknowledge that White Privilege actually exists. I think that is a phrase that automatically puts a lot of white people on the defensive. Nobody wants to believe they benefitted from something they didn't work for. Which is understandable, but it often flies in the face of blatant evidence and common sense.

Take this story, for example, which combines two of America's most annoying cultural staples: viral video, and the 2013 Bastardization Reincarnation of The Harlem Shake.
"Harlem Shake" videos are all fun and games -- until the Feds get involved.

It seems a version of the popular dance video meme, filmed mid-February by enterprising Colorado College students aboard a Frontier Airlines flight headed for San Diego, has raised a few eyebrows over at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

ABC Denver affiliate KMGH confirmed the investigation with the FAA, which initially started the inquiry after viewing the video on YouTube.

Frontier Airlines spokeswoman Kate O'Malley added to KMGH that "[a]ll safety measures were followed and the seat belt sign was off" at the time the video was filmed.

“They are still looking into it, it’s still open,” FAA spokesman Tony Molinero said of the agency's probe, according to Colorado College student newspaper The Catalyst. “I don’t know where the [investigators] were told about it, but when they saw the video they just decided to look into it because it is better to be safe than sorry.”

For the uninitiated, the meme revolves around one person, typically wearing a helmet and dancing alone for approximately 15 seconds while "Harlem Shake," by New York-based DJ Baauer, plays in the background. When the bass drops, the solitary dancer is joined by a crowd of other dancing people. What's the point? There isn't one.
Here's the video.

Let's agree on a few of things here.
1) The "New Harlem Shake" is corny and jumped the shark about 2 months ago.

2) That sh*t is emphatically not the Real Harlem Shake anyway.

3) How, exactly does one get past security wearing a banana suit?

4) I'm absolutely astounded that seemingly everyone on this plane is in on the action? You'd think a few people would be annoyed.

5) Where's the Air Marshal? Wearing the Nixon mask? Do they evey have Air Marshals anymore?

6) There's no way non-white people would have been allowed to pull this sh*t off. No way in the world.
Seriously, could you imagine if a bunch of HBCU students from Valdosta State jumped up mid-flight and started doing the Stanky Leg (since we're talking about played out dances)? The plane would have been immediately grounded, and them Negroes would be somewhere in Federal detention right now.

Even worse, what if some Muslims got up and did the Benghazi Bounce?[2] I can reassure you the FAA wouldn't be "still looking into it". The NTSB would. You complete the punchline.

Seriously, white folks. I love ya'll and all. But you gotta admit, this is about a blatant an example of "sh*t only white people could get away with and still live to see the next episode of 'The Good Wife'".

Tell me I'm wrong.

Question: Is this an example of Extreme White Privilege, or am I just tossing out race cards today?!?

[1] "Why all the O's gotta be lightskinned?!?"

[2] Not a real thing (as far as I know), but the alliteration sounded funny, no?

Lil' Poopy And Why Black(ish) People Stay Losin'.

Happy End Of Black History Month!!!
If you’ve never heard of 9-year-old rapper Lil Poopy, you soon will.

The Brockton, Mass., boy, born Luie Rivera Jr., refers to himself as a “Coke Boy,” rides (without a seat belt) in a Ferrari and slaps a woman’s bottom, in a raunchy music video that is stirring controversy as it goes viral. The video has also triggered an emergency investigation by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families after local police filed a complaint against the boy’s father, Luis Rivera, alleging child abuse or neglect.

The family’s attorney denies any wrongdoing by father or son and calls the investigation “racially motivated.”

“White child actors are depicted in far more serious scenes, including violence and sexual content, and they get awards,” Boston attorney Joseph Krowski, Jr. told ABCNews.com. “A young Hispanic male who raps — he gets an investigation.”

Krowski calls Lil Poopy an “immense talent” whose “star has been on the rise.” He said the boy has been performing for a couple of years. “Powerful people in the industry have seen him and recognize him to be a great up-and-coming talent,” Krowski said, referring to P Diddy and Poopy’s mentor, rapper French Montana.

“He’s getting lot of media attention,” the attorney said.

That attention led a local police officer to check out Lil Poopy’s videos, including one for “Pop That,” an official remix of French Montana’s hit song of the same name, in which Poopy raps, “Coke ain’t a bad word, Coca-Cola/Coke ain’t a bad word/It’s only soda” and slaps an adult woman’s behind. In another video, the boy is in a sexually suggestive situation with a woman on a dance floor as a crowd cheers him on and throws dollar bills at him.

“It’s a bit much for a 9-year-old. It warrants the attention of the Department of Children and Families,” Brockton police Lt. David Dickinson told the Enterprise News.

Krowski said the child services investigation was initiated solely because local police found the videos “distasteful.”

But the attorney said, even if you don’t like the content, “Even 9-year-olds have First Amendment protection.”

“It’s entertainment, a play on words,” Krowski said. “It’s authentic to that culture.”
Did this lawyer really try to invoke the First Amendment to justify this coonery?!? Really doe?

Unless you actually like this song, slip to the 2:29 mark to see the problematic portion of the video.

Come on my people. We got a Black President. Try hander.