Friday, May 31, 2013

AB Goes To The Movies: Fast & Furious 6

Before my wife and I settled in to catch the latest installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, I made a mental note turn my brain off. Then I turned off my brain's backup generator. Then I turned off my brain's backup-backup generator. If you want to actually enjoy a movie of this sort, you'll prolly need to do the same.

F&F, not to be confused with the faux Conservative controversy involving gun-runners, appeared to be on life support a few years ago when the franchise bottomed out with Tokyo Drift, one of the 10 worst movies I've ever personally seen. Someone finally realized that putting the fate of your multibillion dollar business in the hands of Lil' Bow Wow wasn't a great idea, and the producers ponied up to reunite the original cast for 2009's comically titled Fast And Furious. They added The Rock to the cast of 2011's Fast Five, and lots of millions later, the entire ensemble (Lil' Bow Wow and that white guy from Tokyo Drift excluded) is back for more automotive shenanigans in Fast & Furious 6.



I don't typically try and summarize the "plot" for action movies, but this one actually tried so I suppose I should. After pulling off a major heist in Brazil last go round, Dom, Brian, Mia, and Co. have dispersed around the globe to enjoy the fruits of their labor and bask in the glow of retirement. But when Agent Hobbs (The Rock, who appears to have been on a steroid IV since the last movie) informs Dom that his presumed dead girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is actually still alive, the whole gang reunites to help take down a gang of Russian arms dealers.

Okay, so now that I've got the "plot" outta the way, let's talk about the real reason you pay good money for F&F flicks: Action!!! And lemme tell you, this is about as jam packed a 130 minutes as you're gonna get.

Cars race. Cars crash. Cars blow up. Cars fly off bridges. Cars fly. Cars get crushed by tanks. Cars drive into moving airplanes. Cars drive out of moving airplanes. There is so much sh*t here that defies all rules of physics, mechanics, and common sense, but it's so freakin' incredible I can't wait until the blu-ray comes out. This is a movie made for big screens and/or home theaters. It's that good. There are also some unexpected villains, some unexpected deaths, and a totally unexpected ending that perfectly sets up the next movie, F&F7, coming next summer.

Chi-ching.

As for the cast, it's hard to believe we've been watching these meatheads for an entire decade now, and the signs of age are obvious. Vin Diesel's hairline now starts at the back of his neck. Paul Walker still can't act, and looks like someone's Dad (maybe because he actually is, in one of this movie's comical throwaway side-plots). Ludacris plays the straight guy to Tyrese's borderline coonery. Luke Evans stars as an ex-soldier turned villain, and is perhaps the most metrosexual, not-threatening bad guy in the history of bad guys. Ex-MMA star Gina Carano joins the franchise, but is sadly underutilized. And while many in Hollywood are hailing The Rock as the franchise's savior, he's mostly relegated to a supporting role. Doesn't matter, cause the cars are the stars here.

And the plane. Definitely the plane.

Final Verdict: Turn all your brains off, and enjoy this pointless, yet exciting 2 hour diversion from life. I'd even spring for the 3D/IMAX version if you can. This movie's that good. Pay full price. 4 Stars (Out Of 5)

Question: Have you seen Fast And Furious 6? What did you think?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Woman Bothers Man In Grocery Store. Woman Gets Slapped Really Hard.

[Editor's Note: I don't condone violence against women! I have a wife, a mom, and a daughter. So there.]

Sometimes I just like putting something here on AB.com and letting ya'll comment, sans my usual pithy commentary. This would be such a time. Watch the video, and tell me what you think below.



Here's what sorta funny: I know my readers so well, I can already predict how 90% of ya'll will respond. I have already written this down, and once you reply, I'll cut & paste what I predicted below your comment. This is a social experiment, disguised as an admittedly exploitative viral video. Just play along anyway.

Question: What do you think about what you just saw?!?

AB.com Open Mic Thursday.

Still busy sellin' ads with the Day Job. The blog will be back to normal soon. Till then, shoot the breeze in the comments section as usual.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Michelle Bachmann's Weird, Yet Sorta Awesome "Retirement Video".

Ding dong... the witch is retiring, and taking a source of lots of good AB.com blog fodder with her.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a tea party favorite, said Wednesday she will not run for another term in the U.S. House and said her decision had nothing to do with ongoing investigations over finances related to her unsuccessful run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Bachmann also said in an early morning announcement, released in a video posted to her website, that her decision wasn't influenced by concern about a difficult re-election campaign in her suburban Minneapolis district.

"My decision was not influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected," Bachmann said. She narrowly won a fourth term last year over Democrat Jim Graves, a hotel chain founder who is running again in 2014.

Ron Carey, a former chief of staff to Bachmann and ex-state GOP chairman, said Bachmann anticipated a tough battle ahead and seemed to be stuck in place in Congress even if she survived.
Here's the epic announcement video. BTW, when did people start retiring via video?!?



This video is just... odd, for so many reasons.
Bachmann's "dead behind the eyes" stare.

Bachmann's robotic, intonation-absent voice, which makes this whole video seem like something dictated by Siri.

Bachmann's soft-focus lense.

That music, which sounds like the backdrop to a corporate quarterly earnings announcement.

Bachmann's comical list of "achievements".
I halfway expected her to say "now please turn off all electronic devices, and enjoy your flight" at the end. You know, sorta like this...[1]



Bachmann listed plenty of reasons why she wasn't retiring, but failed to mention why she is. I've got a pretty good idea, and I'm fairly sure it rhymes with "money". Or somethin' like that. #chiching

Question: Is this video just begging for an SNL spoof? Why is Bachmann really retiring?!?

[1] I like this one much more, but the comedic value just isn't there.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

AB.com Open Mic Tuesday.

Looooong weekend, so I'm a little behind this morning. The blog will be back to normal soon. Till then, shoot the breeze in the comments section as usual.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Trayvon Martin Smoked Weed, (Possibly) Handled Guns, & Rode Horses. Does It Even Matter?!?

If you thought the tiresome Jodi Arias case was something, wait till the Trayvon Martin trial begins sometime in June. It's going to make the OJ trial look like community theater, and the defense is trying to land a premptive strike by "leaking" some unsavory photos and text messages to taint the potential pool of jurors.
Items taken from Trayvon Martin's cell phone -- including a text-message discussion of drug use and pictures of a gun and marijuana plants -- are among new details released Thursday by attorneys for the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing him without provocation 14 months ago.

The evidence, George Zimmerman's attorneys say, paints a different picture of the 17-year-old than the one portrayed by his family and supporters. Lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara says he will try to use the evidence if prosecutors attempt to attack Zimmerman's character during his trial on second-degree murder charges, set to begin next month.

Much of the new evidence disclosed Thursday in filings by Zimmerman's attorneys comes from Martin's cell phone, including photos showing a semiautomatic pistol and ammunition and small marijuana plants growing in pots.
Photos: Trayvon Martin evidence

In other pictures, Martin is pictured making obscene gestures in an apparent self-portrait, as well pictures showing him with friends and in other settings. The text messages include a conversation from November 2011 in which he appears to say his mother has kicked him out of the house after "da police caught me outta skool."

The attorney for Martin's family, Benjamin Crump, says the evidence is "irrelevant" and predicted it would never be used at Zimmerman's trial. "Is the defense trying to prove Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because (of) the way he looked?" Crump said in a statement released Thursday.

Zimmerman's defense also released Thursday a handwritten note that was allegedly written by someone who was on the phone with Martin when the confrontation with Zimmerman took place.
Here's defense attorney Mark O'Mara, pretending he will only use this "evidence" in court "if he has to", which is the biggest crock of sh*t I've heard in some time.



Seriously, I wonder how this guy (and for that matter, Fox's Megan Kelly) sleeps at night. Probably on 1,000 thread count sheets, sure. But I doubt it's peacefully.

How you view this evidence likely says a lot about how you view America through the prism of race. Some people are gonna see a track record of a teenager engaged in risky behavior and come to O'Mara's conclusion that Martin had a propensity for violence and attacked Zimmerman. Others will see the photos and texts as irrelevant, because Martin simply was defending himself against a man he didn't know, who shot him dead when he could have just as easily called 911.

One thing's for certain: this trial is not gonna be boring.

Question: What do you think of this latest "evidence"?!?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Obamas: Black America's Crotchety Grandfather And Nagging Head Of The Usher Board.

[Editor's Note: I apologize, because I realize the nature of you're about to read is sure to rankle some, and confuse others. No, (emphatically!) I'm not saying I would have voted for anyone else. I'm simply saying that I'm not altogether pleased with the guy I did vote for. For a much more nuanced, well-written piece on this same topic by an actual professional, peep "How the Obama Administration Talks to Black America" by the always excellent Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The Atlantic.]

Four and a half years into this whole "Black President" thing, I'm willing to admit some of us might have gotten it wrong. No, I'm not talking about whether voting for Obama over McCain in 2008 was the right call (it was), nor whether voting for Obama over Clinton was the right call (I'm fairly certain it was). I'm talking about the insistence of some in Black America that electing a Black President would make the lives of everyday Black Folks better. Many thought this would magically raise achievement of black students, magically get more black folks to tie the knot, magically transport black men from "The Traaaap" to Morehouse, and magically get sistas off the pole and turned into a new generation of Claire Huxtables. Personally, I always thought this sh*t was some pie in the sky, "Success By Osmosis" talk. I've expressed doubt about this repeatedly here over the years, and many of you have expressed your (fervent) disagreement. It happens.

Still, I thought the election of a Black President would yield some tangible benefits to the black community, beyond a slew of streets and schools renamed after him. I took his campaign promise to institute "Urban Empowerment Zones" to spur economic development, his promise to take the "Harlem Children's Zone" model nationwide in an effort to fix ailing schools, and his promise to end the disparity in crack/powder cocaine sentencing seriously. I mean, this sh*t was actually on his campaign website, not conjured up in the heads of people projecting each and every aspiration of an entire race onto one man. So yeah, I expected that much, at least, and that much would most certainly have yielded some benefits specific to Black People.

When folks like Tavis Smiley and Cornell West raised concerns about Obama's "Black Platform" during the election, they were summarily dismissed as crabs in a barrel by people as enlightened as yours truly. Obama would be "America's President", not "Black America's President" after all. Everyone labelled these guys haters for merely suggesting the President take seriously the very constituency that went harder for him than any other. Sure, the timing and semi-haterish tone of their objections (and the fact that Smiley had some dubious financial backers himself) undermined their points, but in retrospect, those points had some validity.

Fast forward half a decade, and much of what they warned about has come true. Obama pays very little attention to the Black Community beyond the usual lip service when it comes time to get re-elected. Sure, parading all those singing, dancing, acting Black folks in and out of the White House for events makes him appear more culturally in-tune than his predecessors, but I've always been far more concerned about the near absence of people of color in said White House making decisions and pushing policy. With the minor exception of flying to Chicago to lecture Black folks about personal responsibility (and to use them as a backdrop to push gun control post-Newtown), the President has been about as omniscient in the Black community as a Zoe's Kitchen.[1] Sure, he'll drop into a black church or show up at a black commencement speech every now and then to keep his street cred save face, but the topic of his speech is almost always the same: "Ya'll n*ggas need to stop f*ckin' up so much and get like me." Of course, he would help more people "get like him" if he pushed some actual laws that helped "them", but what's a minor detail like policy in the grand scheme of things?

The lack of concern for Black communities (beyond winning an election) was underscored 3 times last week. After some outlandishly ignorant Negroes opened fire on a Mother's Day Parade (!!!) in New Orleans, injuring 19 people (including kids), the White House did nothing beyond issue the typical "yeah, we're sorry that happened to you" press release. There was no press conference assuring Crescent City citizens that the Feds would dedicate every available resource to finding the (at that point still) on the loose gunmen. No call to examine gun laws. No promise to ensure children in New Orleans could go to a Mother's Day parade in the future without worrying about getting sprayed with bullets. No nothing, really. Seriously, Google "new orleans mothers day shooting obama" and see what you get. Lemme know how that works out for you.

The cherries on the proverbial Insult Sundae came over the weekend. I didn't watch the POTUS' speech at Morehouse, but I did watch Michelle Obama's mostly gracious speech at my wife alma mater, Bowie State.



I love the FLOTUS as much as I love myself a good Syfy movie and the subsequent long Sunday afternoon nap[2], but one segment of her speech sorta, kinda, really ticked me off.
"Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they're sitting on couches for hours, playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they're fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper. Right now, one in three African-American students are dropping out of high school; only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree."
Uh, seriously, this speech was at a ceremony for the very people who defied every stereotype and hurdled every obstacle. What exactly is the point of bringing this up, and to whom exactly are you talking? Would you toast someone at a wedding by mentioning just how terrible the state of black marriage is? I think not.

I'm sure this sounds petty and nitpicky to many of you, but this speech and others of its ilk ring hollow for many reasons. Educational attainment and gender gaps are issues also prevalent in the white community (albeit to a far lesser degree) but neither the POTUS nor FLOTUS would breach the subject of personal responsibility when addressing the graduates of a mostly white college. And this also isn't new, as the President has been giving slightly different riffs on the same topic for years now.

At what point does the President use black people for something other than a backdrop to address a much wider-focused political point, and actually use his (dwindling) power to address the very government created policies that (in)directly created many of the problems Black people are facing in the first place?

Personally, I'm getting tired of hearing all this "personal responsibility sh*t" flung at black audiences. Personally, I'd like the President to "take personal responsibility" of his own and start doing something, anything, to address said issues.

Personally, I'm not holding my breath.

Question: Does the President' lip service to the black community tick you off, or am I just in Super Hater Mode today?!?

[1] Darn good food, BTW. And no, that's not a paid ad.

[2] In other words, a lot. A whole lot.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Redskins Fans Buy RGIII Wedding Presents.

How about some trivial sh*t to end your workday? Alrighty then...

As a fan of the perennial cesspool known as DC Pro Sports, Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (aka: RGIII) is one of the few guys who makes you dream of a less crappy future. The Nationals have fallen off, Ja Rule-style, after last season's breakout. The Wizards are the Wizards. Who cares about the Caps? So yeah, it's RGIII or Bust, even for a non-football fan like me. The guy's that good.[1]

Of course, there are people who are real life Redskins fans, not the bandwagon variety like me. These folks prolly dream about Super Bowls at night, and their fandom is darn near unparalleled in the NFL. Seriously, when people are this fanatical about a team that hasn't won anything in 20 years, you know something's a lil' off.
Very few Redskins fans will score an invite to the wedding of the Robert Griffin III and Rebecca Liddicoat this summer but that apparently hasn't stopped them from sending gifts. According to RG3, his fans have already bought every item on the couple's registry with Bed, Bath & Beyond. On Sunday, the NFL's Offensive Rookie of The Year shared the photo to prove it.

The next several tweets in Griffin's timeline after he shared this photo suggest that the reaction wasn't all positive to the mountainous quantity of bath towels, cookware and flagrant candles that he had received. As he tends to do, RG3 fired back at those critics.

After being selected as the No. 2 selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, Griffin inked a four-year, guaranteed deal worth $21.1 million with the Redskins. Does this mean that he should be prohibited from receiving a mixer or set of picture frames on the occasion of his wedding?
So, in short, after the QB's registry was somehow discovered online, fans flocked to buy him and his fiancee everything they had listed. And of course, this has pissed off a lot of people who don't think a multimillionaire should be accepting gifts from peons. ESPN's Screamin' Stephen A Smith took offense to the whole thing, basically blaming Griffin's fiancee (?) for the whole kerfuffle. What a cornball brother.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a wedding gift for a multimillionaire, but that's just me. I barely wanna buy wedding gifts for people I know and love, so the thought of spending $50 on some hand towels for someone I only know via television is downright comical. Then again, I'm not a Skins fan, and no player of Griffin's caliber plays for the Wizards. If Lebron James for some odd reason bumped his head and demanded to be traded to DC, I prolly would buy those hand towels and not think twice.[2]

So I'll call this one Classy. The fans buying the gifts (obviously... this is DC after all) have the money, and if they want to tell bar stories about how their favorite athlete is hydrating bia the Brita water filters they purchased, so be it.[3] It's a free country, and people spend money on dumb sh*t that makes rich people richer erryday. It's not that much different than handing Daniel Snyder $90 to stand on a "Party Deck" to watch a game from 2 miles away. So basically, whatever.

Question: Ashy or Classy?!? Should Griffin accept the gifts, or return them? Would you guy a person you don't actually know a gift with your hard earned money?

[1] I get how thirsty people can be for a winner, but the level of fandom exhibited toward this guy borders on idolatry. Seriously, people do sh*t like this, and you kinda worry about Griffin's well being when he (inevitably) lets people down with a 3-13 season. Not because of Griffin, but because DC Pro Sports.

[2] Hyperbole. But still...

[3] It'd be nice if Griffin sent every fan who bought a gift an autographed pic, and asked his actual wedding guests to donate the money they would have spent on gifts to charity. I'm not a public relations expert, I just occasionally play one on this blog.

AB.com Open Mic Monday.

Long weekend, so I'm a little behind this morning. The blog will be back to normal soon. Till then, shoot the breeze in the comments section as usual.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Scandal.

Not gonna lie here: I'm running out of both energy and inclination to defend the many "scandals", real and overblown, of this Administration. It seems like everyday there's something new in the news, and quite frankly, this sh*t is getting old.
The most corrosive political scandals are the ones that feed a preexisting story line — which is why the White House could have difficulty putting the current ones behind it any time soon.[1]

In the view of President Obama’s adversaries, recent revelations add evidence to arguments that they have been making about the president all along: that he would do or say whatever it took to get reelected; that his is a philosophy of rampant, invasive big government; that he has not acted within the constraints of the Constitution; that he regards those who oppose him with contempt.

At issue are three ostensibly unrelated sets of events: the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Ben­ghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11; the improper and overly aggressive Internal Revenue Service scrutiny of groups opposed to Obama’s agenda; and the Justice Department’s seizure of phone records of Associated Press journalists.

On Wednesday, the administration was fighting back on all three fronts.

The White House released 100 pages of e-mails relating to the Benghazi attacks; Obama announced the resignation of the acting IRS director and pledged further action to correct the ­abuses; and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. appeared on Capitol Hill to defend his agency — at one point, going so far as to tell Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a frequent antagonist, that his conduct was “unacceptable. It is shameful.”

Taken together, and seen through the eyes of critics, the three controversies that confront the White House look like a tea party fever dream.
While I still content Benghazi is a non-issue, and the IRS problem was swiftly and effectively dealt with, I'm not so certain about the AP/DoJ story. Real talk: I just don't even care anymore. Watching grown people fight each other for Congressional Seats while the country suffers due to their inactivity is tiring. The level of political polarization is ridiculous.

Have at it in the comments section. I'm too tired to digest all this.

Question: Are you getting Scandal Fatigue?!?

[1] No, this post isn't about the TV show of the same name that seemingly every black person other than me is addicted to. Sorry, I watched a few times, it just wasn't interesting.

Mind-Blowing Belgian Diamond Heist.

The 50 million dollar diamond Belgian diamond heist has been one of the most discussed topics lately. This act of thievery of gargantuan proportions has drawn many comparisons to the events that happen in the Hollywood movie “Ocean’s Eleven”. This recent heist ranks among the biggest of recent times. After many weeks of almost absolute silence on the heist, authorities are starting to take serious action. Reports suggest that over 30 people have already been detained. To detain all of the suspects it was necessary to search in three different countries. The 50 million dollar figure that has been lost is only speculation, since the Antwerp traders are still trying to know the exact quantity of the loss. With the demand for diamonds increasing, it is no surprise that a group of criminals decided to elaborate a heist of this kind. For those interested, you can sell diamonds at www.wpdiamonds.com.

Authority mentions that most of the suspects were detained in Belgium, France and Switzerland; the 31 that have already been arrested all share something in common: criminal records. As an example, one of the suspects currently being held in France is known to be an airport robber with extensive criminal history. The airport robber has a lot of evidence against him such as the possession of large sums of cash, precious stones and luxury items.

Investigators continue to look for evidence in other countries. Other prominent suspects are a Swiss lawyer and a French luxury car exporter. Investigators in Belgium and Switzerland strongly suspect that the heist organizer is the car exporter, a 43 year old man named Marc Bertoldi. Bertoldi has a wealthy seaside house of Antibes on the C├┤te d’Azur and also owns a luxurious restaurant in Casablanca, Morocco. Bertoldi was detained this Tuesday in France and is currently waiting for his hearing on May 16.

The majority of the suspects are still under investigation, and no solid evidence has been gathered so far. Belgium authorities report that solving this incident is quite high on their list of priorities.

Philadelphia Phillies Looking For Pitching Support

Due to a very unfortunate event regarding Roy Halladay's switching to the disabled list because of shoulder problems, the Philadelphia Phillies are currently on the look for outer options to fill in the Halladay’s role. The general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. recently announced his concerns regarding this issue, since he feels that it won’t be an easy task to find someone to fill in Halladay’s place.

When Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com was interviewed a few days ago, he was quick to suggest that the Philadelphia team already has a couple of candidates in mind: Tyler Cloyd and Adam Morgan were mentioned many times. Salisbury assures that the Phillies are looking for internal players only. Many were speculating that Jesse Biddle could be a top contender to fill Halladay’s role, but Salisbury affirms that he is definitively not an option although he was already considered. There’s no doubt that baseball fans are in for a treat this season. Enjoying a game should be an event that envelops all the senses. There’s probably no better way to experience this than by using a quality home video projector. There are many different projectors here, for you to choose from. It’s only a matter of selecting the device that’s most suited to your needs.

It's too soon in the season for any major trades, but there's been a lot of guesswork regarding the availability of two important Astros hurlers: Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell. Experts mention that the Phillies would have an easier time if they pursued a trade for a seasoned veteran that's placed on a minor league; two names were mentioned a few times: Chris Young of the Nationals and Chien-Ming Wang of the Yankees. These two players with impressive careers have may have a shot with a major league contract. However, these are only speculations, and Amaro hasn’t affirmed or denied any possibilities at all.

Monday, May 13, 2013

AB.com Open Mic Monday.

I'm putting in in some extra work on the Day Job, be back soon. You know how it goes. Hold it down.

Question: What's on your mind today?

Friday, May 10, 2013

The IRS Targeted Tea Party Groups In 2012. Finally, An Actual Conservative Bias.

I pride myself on callin' it like it is here on AB.com. While I'm a guy who more times than not sides with Democrats, I can give credit where it's due when someone on the right has an actual point.[1] So while I thought the (belated?) Tea Party movement was a group of people comically misinformed/mislead and mostly upset that the Democrats had regained the White House[2], I never disagreed with their right to voice their opinions. That, after all, is what this country is all about.

While "the movement" essentially smothered itself in the crib by electing un-electable Republican candidates, thus ensuring the party couldn't retake the Senate (or White House for that matter), there is a real, actual case of bias against them (as opposed to their usual paranoia) that just came to light.
The Internal Revenue Service is apologizing for inappropriately flagging conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews.

Lerner said the practice, initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati, was wrong and she apologized while speaking at a conference in Washington.

Many conservative groups complained during the election that they were being harassed by the IRS. They said the agency asked them an inordinate number of questions to justify their tax-exempt status. Certain tax-exempt charitable groups can conduct political activities but it cannot be their primary activity.
I'mma keep it one hunned here: This sh*t was wrong!!!!! No, I don't agree with the Tea Party on anything, but they didn't deserve to be singled out by a Federal Government agency. I wouldn't have liked this if some low level staffers had gone after organizations with "Black" in their title, and I don't like this. An abuse of power is an abuse of power, whether or not I dislike the abused party. So props to the IRS for (publicly) admitting wrongdoing. I'm hoping the morons who pulled this little stunt were fired.

On the flipside, you already know the Conservative media narrative on this one is gonna attempt to somehow tie a few $30,000-a-year minions to the President. As if Obama didn't have more to worry about last year than trying to discriminate against a bunch of politically irrelevant fringe groups. Yes, this was abuse of government power, but just because there's a black guy you don't like in the White House doesn't mean he had any knowledge of, or any say so in the matter. #conspiracy

You and I know this small nuance is inconsequential, however. We will see this story get the fullblown Benghazi/Fast & Furious/Solyndra treatment in the coming weeks. Elected Tea Party representatives will hold hearing after hearing trying to get to the bottom of "how and why this happened and what the President knew about it". Expect to see a lot of Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin. Not that you missed either of them. So brace yourself.

Cause Conservatives always need a victimhood narrative. This time, niggling details aside, they've actually got a legitimate beef.

Question: Is any abuse of power wrong? Is it even remotely possible the POTUS had anything to do with this nonsense?

[1] As opposed to their typical fear mongering and conspiracy theories.

[2] I still maintain the Tea Party "movement" was faaaar more sour grapes than Fear Of A Black President.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meet The Next Charles Ramsey, Melinda Brown Duncan.

Meme makers, Youtube Autotuners, exploitative t-shirt makers, and lovers of Ignorant Negros Local News Eyewitnesses worldwide, rejoice! That black guy might have put a shoe to his ex-wife and might not have actually rescued that white woman after all, but why let that ruin the party. Move over, Charles Ramsey, cause in the words of renowned urban poet O'Shea Jackson, "they'll have a new n*gga" next year."

And by "next year", I mean "next news cycle". Meet outraged Detroit resident Melinda Brown Duncan, who is angry as hell at Barry Sanders being chosen as the Madden coverboy something or other, and lets a local reporter have an earful.



Duncan starts trending in 5...4...3...2...

AB.com Random Notes - 5.9.13

Alright, I'm catch-up. Run it down...

Benghazi Is All About Hilary 2016 - Come on, who didn't see that pivot to "blame Hilary" in yesterday's "bombshell hearings" from a mile away? This didn't sink Obama last year, so now they're trying to use it to sink Hilary. I'm obviously not a Clinton fan, but I find this reprehensible.

Charles Ramsey Had A Prior Record Of Domestic Violence - Because of course he did. Lay low, Chuck. Lay low.

NBA Playoffs - Man, is this the best playoffs ever or what? All the 2nd round series are knotted at 1-1, and the Golden State/San Antonio series looks like a changing of the guards in progress. I didn't foresee Steph Curry as being this good, nor the Spurs looking this old/nonathletic. Smart money says Grizzlies/Heat in the Finals though.

Racist Heritage Foundation Report On Immigration - Just read this sh*t for yourself, I can't even attempt to summarize this f*ckery.

The Latest On The Trayvon/Zimmerman Trial - The trial starts next month, and I suspect it'll make the Jodi Arias media circus look quaint by comparison. One thing I just stumbled across is this recent photo of George Zimmerman, and whooooooaaaa!


Ole' George Is Eatin' Good In The Neighborhood! Wowzers!!! So I guess we know where all those PayPal donations went.

Chris Christie Gets Lap Band Surgery - Yes, I realize I just made a fat joke, but obesity is no laughing matter, even if you're a person I despise for killing an innocent teen. So forgive me if I don't see anything at all political about NJ Governor Christie's decision to resort to an unconventional method to lose weight. Personally, I sorta like the guy, and I (obviously) don't want to see anyone with young children die early. It's frankly sorta insulting to surmise that he's only doing this to gear up (and trim down) for 2016. Enough already.

Question: Got any links/stories you wanna share?

Betting On The Next NFL Winner.

The new season of the NFL doesn’t actually start for several months yet, but that doesn’t mean the betting hasn’t started yet either. Indeed, the Baltimore Ravens had barely overcome the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl when the speculation started about which teams could be in contention for the upcoming season, and the odds have been available at the sports betting sites for some time now. At this stage the New England Patriots are rated the favourites to win both the AFC pennant and the Super Bowl, with odds of 3/1 and 7/1 respectively.

The beaten Super Bowl finalists also have low odds to go one better in the upcoming season – currently rated just 7/1 to win. However anyone who saw them outclassed for lengthy stretches of the Super Bowl by the Ravens will know that they need serious improvement in certain areas – notably red-zone offence – if they have a chance of claiming the title for a sixth time. The Denver Broncos are likely to prove another popular future bet for the Super Bowl, with odds of 7/1. They are expected to field much the same team as season, but having a motivated and fully fit Peyton Manning at quarterback is expected to make a real difference to their chances.

The odds of 16/1 on the Ravens to defend their title seem a little long given their impressive showing last time out, although it could be a reflection of the fact that they have lost key defensive stars Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, and they could be decent bet for those who want slightly longer odds and the chance of a better payout should their instincts prove correct. Green Bay, at 10/1 are also likely to be a popular futures choice just outside of the favourites – especially if they are able to add a bit of muscle to their defensive and offensive linesmen – which was where their chances suffered last time out.

With the Super Bowl offering upsets most years it could be an idea to wait until preseason to decide on this seasons winner. With the internet offering comprehensive statistics of each preseason game as well as live odds via online bookmakers, this may be the best idea to understand who this years winner may be. As well as offering a chance to bet on the up coming NFL season the online gambling industry also offer something else for fans of the NFL to do whilst waiting for the new season to get underway. By developing sports themed slot games online casinos offer fans of the NFL the opportunity to enjoy some sporting fun whilst making the tough call as to who will be Super Bowl champions this year.

NFL themed slots such as $5 Million Touchdown at www.luckynuggetcasino.com/au/ are popular amongst fans of the NFL. These games offer plenty of excitement due to the combination of realistic background music, cheering sound effects and a comprehensive graphic display, making for an intense atmosphere. It’s a great way to get fans ready for the arrival of new season.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Charles Ramsey Media Circuit...

Someone please stop this.[1]







I'm sorry, I see this ending badly. This man is clearly tweakin' (look at the GMA interview closely), and sleepy, and in need of another set of clothing. Just let him go on with his life already.[2]

Question: Is this guy being exploited?

[1] Yeah, I already know, spare yourself the keystrokes.

[2] See [1].
.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Charles Ramsey And The Stereotypical Ignorant Negro Eyewitness.

So as I'm watching last night amazing Double OT Spurs/Warriors instant classic, I pulled up Twitter to see who else was making jokes about Kent Bazemore's weird hairline and wouldn't you know it "Charles Ramsey" was trending. And my thought is, why would former DC police chief turned Philly police chief Charles Ramsey be trending. Dude hasn't done anything of note since those DC Sniper press conferences, and even then, Charles Moose was the real star. So I'm thinking Charles Ramsey is prolly dead, which would be awful since he seemed like a nice guy and was a fairly good chief. But wouldn't you know it, it wasn't that Charles Ramsey at all. It was this coon intelligent gentleman from Cleveland, whose local news interview has quickly gone viral.
Neighbor Charles Ramsey has told how he heard screams coming from an Ohio home and went to investigate -- a decision that led to the discovery of three women missing for years. To the neighbors, the house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland seemed normal. There was nothing to indicate that inside -- in addition to the resident they had come to know -- were women who had disappeared in separate cases about a decade ago.
That changed on Monday.

"This girl is kicking the door and screaming," Ramsey told NBC station WKYC-TV. "So I go over there ... and I say, 'Can I help? What’s going on?' And she says, 'I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been in this house a long time. I want to leave right now.'"

Ramsey, who lived across the street and let the woman use his phone to call 911, described being stunned when he realized that the woman was Amanda Berry, who had been missing for 10 years.

Ramsey told reporters he had barbecued with the 52-year-old man who lived in the house. Police said that the man and two of his brothers, ages 50 and 54, had been arrested.

There were more surprises to come for Ramsey, other neighbors and the police. Also found in the house were Gina DeJesus, 23, who had been missing for nine years, and Michelle Knight, 30, who had been missing for 11 years.
Here's a couple of clips of Ramsey hamming it up for local news stations.





Lets be real here: this was an act of heroism. Many people would have just looked the other way, but Ramsey saw the woman in distress and kicked in the door, allowing her to escape. That's gotta count for something. I don't know if there is a reward available in this case, but there should be.

That said... come on' bruh! What in the name of Sweet Brown is this?

It seems like every couple of months, local news stations will catch some black person actin' a damn fool and next thing you know, that person's got autotuned remixes on Youtube and phantom Twitter accounts. And yes, both have already happened with Ramsey. I hope he can stand the scrutiny and unwanted attention headed his way. Actually, who are we kidding? I don't give a sh*t, I just needed a Charles Ramsey post. So yeah, good luck Chuck.

If this dude becomes a Hebrew Israelite in a few months, you'll know why.

Question: Do local news stations always have to look for the most ignorant, uninformed person to interview?!? I know Ramsey was essential to this story since he IS the story, but still...

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Selective Outrage Of Female Rap Fans (aka: Why Does Drake Get A Free Pass?!?)

As you all know, I'm a cRap music aficionado. The more ignant the better. No, I don't financially support these artists, cause lets face it: there's so much free cRap music out there that's legally obtainable that it makes no sense to actually make a purchase anymore. cRap music's new mantra is Don't Kiss These Hoes In The Mouth "Give away 20 songs to sell one". Personally, I'll just take the 20. [||]

cRappers might wanna stop giving away so much free music, since other sources of revenue are quickly drying up...
As hip-hop's most unapologetic superstar, Lil Wayne will undoubtedly continue to do what he wants, musically and otherwise, but as of Friday (May 3), he will no longer be able to "Dew" anything for PepsiCo.

The multinational food and beverage corporation terminated its relationship with perhaps its most popular pitchman of its Mountain Dew soda due to the outcry over his controversial lyric mentioning civil rights martyr Emmett Till.

"Beat the pu--y up like Emmett Till," Wayne rapped on Future's "Karate Chop (Remix)."

PepsiCo released an official statement asserting that Weezy's "offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand."
So in the past month, we've seen Rick Ross lose a Reebok deal, and Tyler the Creator and Lil' Weezy lose money from Mountain Dew, all for various reasons. I'd be the last one to hate defend these clowns, but I gotta point out the obvious here: cRap fans sure are selective about what they get pissed off about. I mean, Tyler The Creator uses the word "f*ggot" like it's a personal pronoun. Lil' Wayne's entire catalog is full of bars far more egregious (albeit not as historically offensive) than the Emmett Till punchline. And as for Rick Ross, well, the guy is a former law enforcement officer masquerading as a drug lord. If you're gonna suspend reality to that degree because you really liked "Blowin' Money Fast", then why are you getting so worked up over a line about date rape? Clearly, this is the work of a fiction author. And a fairly prolific one at that. #Bawse

One guy who seems to have curiously escaped any sort of scrutiny, particularly from female fans, is Drake. Yeah, the bi-racial, child-acting, Canadian Jewish kid who passes himself off as a (sensitive) gangster. On the low, Drake's made some downright misogynist music that would make Too Short clutch his pearls, but he gets away with it, because... hell, I really don't know why to be honest with you.

Well, okay, actually I do: because unlike any rapper this side of James Todd Smith, dude really, really, really knows how to patronize women without actually coming across as patronizing at all.[1] And he does it in a way that's so insightful and respectful that it hypnotizes them into somehow overlooking the fact that he's calling them b*tches just as frequently as his less-sensitive peers.

I'm not gonna use this post to run down examples. If you've got the inclination, just start at his (admittedly great) initial mixtape "So Far Gone" and work forward to his current work, best embodied by the song "Good Kush & Alcohol".[2]



To Drake's (semi) credit, he isn't the biggest offender on this track. Lil' Wayne essentially reduces women to a single orifice, which he'd love to defile with regularity. Future's lousy preschooler hook is shared with Drake's anthemic hook.

"Long As My B*tches Love Me"

That's poetry folks. Poetry.

Question: Before you accuse me of just being a hater, answer the question: how come Drake gets a pass?

[1] Well, guys can smell the patronage, and it annoys many of us to no end.

[2] I don't listen to FM radio, but just I'm curious... is there a radio edit for this song? Do they bleep out half the words, or do they do some lazy substitution to dumb down the idiocy?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Blacks Voted At A Higher Rate Than Whites In 2012. #WhoKnew?

While the media obessed over the ramifications of the GOP losing the Latino vote by astounding margins in November 2012, one completely overlooked sidebar was the fact that President Obama actually got a smaller percentage (93% vs 95%) that he did in the 2008 election. I assumed this was mostly due to the GOP's "street money" campaign of flooding black churches with money to influence anti-gay marriage votes like the ones that helped President Bush in 2004. One thing I didn't really think about was whether black voters turned out at 2008 levels. Again, so much media attention was focused on the Latino vote, we were mostly an afterthough.

Wouldn't you know it, a deep dive into the numbers unearthed a very interesting nugget: black folks not only voted at a historically high clip, they actually voted at a higher rates than whites for the first time ever.
America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

Had people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly, according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press.

William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, analyzed the 2012 elections for the AP using census data on eligible voters and turnout, along with November’s exit polling. He estimated total votes for Obama and Romney under a scenario where 2012 turnout rates for all racial groups matched those in 2004. Overall, 2012 voter turnout was roughly 58 percent, down from 62 percent in 2008 and 60 percent in 2004.

Overall, the findings represent a tipping point for blacks, who for much of America’s history were disenfranchised and then effectively barred from voting until passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

But the numbers also offer a cautionary note to both Democrats and Republicans after Obama won in November with a historically low percentage of white supporters. While Latinos are now the biggest driver of U.S. population growth, they still trail whites and blacks in turnout and electoral share, because many of the Hispanics in the country are children or noncitizens.

In recent weeks, Republican leaders have urged a “year-round effort” to engage black and other minority voters, describing a grim future if their party does not expand its core support beyond white males.

The 2012 data suggest Romney was a particularly weak GOP candidate, unable to motivate white voters let alone attract significant black or Latino support. Obama’s personal appeal and the slowly improving economy helped overcome doubts and spur record levels of minority voters in a way that may not be easily replicated for Democrats soon.

Romney would have erased Obama’s nearly 5 million-vote victory margin and narrowly won the popular vote if voters had turned out as they did in 2004, according to Frey’s analysis. Then, white turnout was slightly higher and black voting lower.

Census data and exit polling show that whites and blacks will remain the two largest racial groups of eligible voters for the next decade. Last year’s heavy black turnout came despite concerns about the effect of new voter-identification laws on minority voting, outweighed by the desire to re-elect the first black president.
I've got a bone to pick with that last line, specifically this part.

"Last year’s heavy black turnout came despite concerns about the effect of new voter-identification laws "

Uh, isn't it entirely possible that the high black turnout was because of those voter ID laws? People could clearly see a coordinated (and in some cases blatantly bragged about!) effort to make it harder for them vote. Much like an agitated hornets nest, black folks got pissed and showed up at the polls to voice their displeasure. The GOP's subsequent "autopsy" didn't even mention the effects of these laws, which shows they've learned nothing.

There is, of course, a flip side of this good news that hopefully has the Democrats humbled: there won't be an Obama on the ticket next year, or in 2016. There probably will be more voter identification laws, however, so maybe that'll keep us heading to the polls. Go figure.

Either way, take a bow Black folks. We did it, what ever "it" is. Lets just not forget to do it when there isn't a guy who looks like us on the ballot.

Question: What do you think about these findings?

Rest In Peace Mac Daddy. Or Is It Daddy Mac?!? #KrissKross

You know you're getting old when guys you watched as a kid have their own kids in the NBA rappers you sorta grew up with are dying. I won't sit here and lie to ya'll, I wasn't the biggest Kris Kross fan. I hated "Jump! Jump!" with a passion, even though it's one of the few cRap songs I actually let my kids listen to.[1] I could tolerate "I Missed The Buss (Ohhh)" far better.

Jokes aside, the dark skinned dude from Kris Kross (Daddy Mac), who dealt with some serious health issues over the years died tragically this morning.
Chris Kelly, half of the 1990s kid rap duo Kris Kross who made one of the decade's most memorable songs with the frenetic "Jump," has died, and authorities say they are investigating his death as a possible drug overdose.

Cpl. Kay Lester of the Fulton County police said "it appears it may have been a possible drug overdose."

An official cause of death is pending an autopsy.

Kelly, known as "Mac Daddy," and Chris Smith, known as "Daddy Mac," were introduced to the music world in 1992 by music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri after he discovered the pair in an Atlanta mall. The duo wore their clothes backwards as a gimmick, but they won over fans with their raps.

Their success led to instant fame: They toured with Michael Jackson, appeared on TV shows, and even had their own video game.

The group was never able to match the tremendous success of their first song, though they had other hits like "Warm It Up," and "Tonite's tha Night."

Earlier this year, the group performed together to celebrate the anniversary of Durpri's label, So So Def.
If you read between the lines here, the cause of death (Syrup) is fairly obvious.



Rest in peace.

Question: Any Kris Kross stories you wanna share? Did you ever wear your pants backwards? Don't lie!

[1] It's an awesome "jumping on the bed till we're all tuckered out and ready for a nap!" soundtrack.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Few (More) Random Thoughts About Jason Collins, Homosexuality, And The Association.

I've had a lot of people hit me up for some extended thoughts on the whole Jason Collins "coming out" story the past few days, presumably because I'm one of the few living, breathing human beings that actually publicly professes to a fan of the Washington Wizards, the last team Collins played on. So yeah, here's some random thoughts.

Collins' Announcement Isn't About Money. At All. - One thing that puzzles me is the insistence of many that Jason Collins is coming out now because he wants to pseudo-blackmail some NBA team into paying him next year. That's borderline comical. Collins is a Stanford grad who has played over a decade in the NBA and was once a mid-first round pick. He has made roughly $33M over the course of his career already. He has played for the league minimum (about $1M) the past 3 seasons. There's no "big new contract" on the line here, just the prospect of another one year minimum deal. And I doubt dude's in financial turmoil. He doesn't have an ex-wife about to take him to the cleaners, nor child support on a gang of stray kids. Those two factors are usually what land pro athletes in finacial straits. He also has the West Coast equivalent of an Ivy League degree and lots of political and professional connections to fall back on. This isn't about wringing some team for another million dollars to add to his stash. He is simply a free agent who wants to play again.

Collins Definitely Isn't Coming Back To The Wizards. - Collins started the season on a playoff contender, serving as the 15th man for the Celtics. His job was to play hard in practice, not cause ripples in the locker room, and set screens/use all 6 fouls when he actually got in a game. He barely played for the Celtics, and around mid-season was traded to Washington, essentially as nothing more than a salary to make the deal work financially. Once here, he hardly ever got in a game, only reaching the court 6 times, when the coach had no other options. He wasn't in the team's plans for next season, and this announcement changes nothing in that regard. Oddly, since his last team was the Wizards, there have been a flurry of fans buying custom jerseys with his name on it. This strikes me as very odd. How many fans do you see wearing those Rasheed Wallace Atlanta Hawks jerseys? Anyways, that brings me to my next point...

Collins Will Absolutely Land An NBA Job Somewhere Next Season. - Reality is, he was probably going to land a gig before his announcement anyway. He hasn't been a rotation quality player since George Bush was still in office (the second Bush, not the first one) yet he still lands a job every season because of the aforementioned reasons. He is a great practice player, sets hard screens, and fouls opposing centers very hard. Some coach will certainly want this, if only for the occasional 5-7 minutes a night. And yes, in some odd way, the cynic in me says Collins being "out" will probably help his cause. Some franchise will undoubtedly utilize him to shamelessly hawk jerseys (for a guy who doesn't play), and to unshamelessly represent them offcourt in community outreach functions. Collins will undoubtedly be used as a prop/political football, and I'm sure he's wise enough to understand and accept this in exchange for playing another year.

Collins Is Set For Life, Whether Or Not He Plays Again. - There will most certainly be a book deal, and should he not play, a high profile position somewhere in sports, or public/private sector. What I really hope there isn't is some hamhanded debate about whether or not Collins didn't get signed by an NBA team because he "came out". Again, there are only 15 slots on an NBA team. It's entirely possible (but unlikely) that no team needs a guy who can't really contribute to take up a spot on their bench next season. NBA teams are also evolving quickly toward positionless lineups, which diminishes the importance of having a lumbering 7 footer on the roster. So if Collins is out of the league next year, it won't be because he's gay, it'll be because (finally) no team needed him. But trust me, he'll be fine either way.

The Locker Room/Shower Thing Really Isn't That Big A Deal. - I've been in an NBA locker room (it was mostly empty) and while there, just happened to peer into the shower area (entirely empty). When people discuss the potential negative impact of having a gay player showering around straight players, I wonder what they're logistically imagining in their heads. This isn't like my HBCU bathroom prison where the showers are wide open and the danger of dropping the soap/getting annally raped is omnipresent. NBA locker rooms are pretty much like every other locker room in every Gold's Gym you've ever been to. The showers are partitioned and have rubber curtains. And I'm assuming NBA players use the same code of locker room ettiquette as regular guys: wrap a towel around your waist, then disrobe/dress yourself by repeating the process in reverse. Sure, there's prolly the random dude who walks around junk-out and makes everyone else feel awkward and uncomfortable (just as at my Gold's Gym) but I'm thinking this isn't gonna be a big deal. Maybe his teammates will be a little more modest now, but hey, that's a good thing. Again, basic ettiquette.

Collins' Is (Emphatically) Not Jackie Robinson!!! Sorry. - Among the hyperbole tossed around after his announcment was the insistence of some that Collins is a "hero" on par with Jackie Robinson for coming out now. I'm sorry, but I beg to differ. Had Collins come out in the mid-80's, during the prime of his career, maybe so. But he isn't. He's coming out at a time when society has changed dramatically and his announcement is being greeted with near universal praise. He also isn't being asked to out go out and carry some team to an NBA championship. So please, please, please knock it off! The scrutiny Collins is going to face in no way mirrors what Robinson experienced. All "firsts" are not created equal, and everyone insisting there is a parallel needs to have a several seats and real a freakin' history book.

Question: What are your thoughts on this development?!?