Friday, July 30, 2010

Dear Democrats: Please Follow Congressman Anthony Weiner's Lead

I need more of this from the Democrats going into the midterm elections. Less Rangel, more Weiner.



By the way, Congressman Weiner is upset about the Republicans blocking a healthcare bill for 9/11 responders.

The gentleman is awesome.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

In Case You Missed It: President Obama on The View

How'd he do? Topics covered: Race, Shirley Sherrod, the economy, and yes even Snooki and Lindsay Lohan. 

Personally, I recommend watching the full clip here.  My favorite part is when he talks about how people are focusing on the next election as opposed to the next generation.  Amen Mr. President.












President Obama talks about the high points and low points of his presidency so far:




Wednesday, July 28, 2010

*Update* Republicans Are Bad At Math

Apparently we live in bizarro world where there is a debate about whether to let the Bush era tax cuts for people making over $250,000 expire.  I thought we already decided this back in 2008 when we elected Barack Obama and rejected 8 years of Bush economic policies which had nearly sent us into a second Depression?!

Seriously, am I totally off base here?  Day after day I see Republicans on my teevee talking about how it would hurt the economy if we raise taxes on the rich folk.  Excuse me while I go shed a tear for those who won't be able to purchase another summer share in the Hamptons.  (Who am I kidding no one making $250k can afford a summer share in the Hamptons).  But seriously I do not understand how this message is working at all with mainstream America since so many people are unemployed or underemployed and a large majority falling well under $250k.

So why would it be a ridiculous idea to extend the Bush era tax cuts in order to get the deficit under control?

Fun with Charts! (h/t Bob Cesca)

As you can see above the Bush Tax Cuts are the big blue blob in the middle.  But yeah Republicans are so very worried about the deficit and we should elect them again because it worked out so well in the past.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Help Eliminate Crack Cocaine Sentencing Disparities!


This is a message from my good friend Sarah over at the MN Second Chance Coalition, where they are working tirelessly to fight many of the injustices within the Criminal Justice System:


Early next week the House of Representatives may vote on a bill to reduce the 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, S. 1789, would change the ratio to 18:1 and eliminate the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine - the first time a mandatory minimum sentence has been removed since the Nixon Administration! (Please read the Washington Post editorial about the bill!)

This historic bill would lower sentences for almost 3,000 people facing prison each year, save taxpayers $42 million in the first five years, and advance justice and restore faith in a criminal justice system that many have come to distrust. The bill has already passed the Senate so we only need the House of Representatives to pass it before it gets sent to President Obama for a signature!

Your call is critical to its successful passage. We need thousands of calls to Congress to persuade representatives that their constituents want this change. Even if you've never called your member of Congress before, now is the time.

To find out who your representative is and make your call visit http://www.famm.org/. FAMM provides talking points to deliver when you call.

With your support we can help eliminate by the government's outrageous sentencing laws - we can push this bill over the finish line!


Ps: For more information about S. 1789, visit http://www.famm.org/

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

President Obama Surprise Video Here at Netroots Nation

I'm here at Netroots Nation 2010 in Las Vegas and President Obama made a surprise appearance via pre-recorded video and asked the nearly 2,000 progressive bloggers and activists to hold him accountable.

 Check it out:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The "Decision" Jordan NEVER had to make!

We don’t talk about sports much here at The Urban Politico, but this has been bothering me for a couple of days and I haven’t heard many thoughts in line with my own. So I’m going to take advantage of the blog and rant for a second (Again).

*steps up on soap box*

Some background....

Michael Jordan, along with ‘Nique Wilkin’s, introduced me to the NBA - not basketball as I was attempting to play already - but the NBA itself. At that time, I had NEVER seen anything like the 1985 Slam Dunk Contest. Since then, I’ve been hooked.

In my eyes - with the exception of Kwame Brown…what was that about - his Airness could do NO wrong. He could yell at his teammates, gamble, kids LITERALLY killing for overpriced sneakers, leave to play minor league baseball and even join the Washington Wizards, and I would still defend him. You know that guy that would argue with you over who was better, Kobe or MJ? That was me… (Back in the day I also argued that Def Jam was better than No Limit- no point in saying that…just a random thought) don’t even think about making the comparison. Although I will give Kobe his respect…he has game and is doing his thing in the league. But me, I’ve had this fight conversation for YEARS. From Ron Harper and Anfernee Hardaway to Harold Miner and Grant Hill; anyone that was preordained “Baby Jordan” got discredited REAL quick, and I had the stats to back it up. I followed the Bulls through the rest of the 80’s and 90’s, and, though not as much, still keep a tab on the “Baby Bulls.”

I say all that to say, I RARELY…if EVER speak out against MJ…but in light of recent events, I can’t hold my tongue.

**UPDATE** What Happens When The Media Narrative Changes on Live TV?

Shirley Sherrod, a USDA official from the state of Georgia, was forced to resign in the midst of controversy over remarks that she used racial preferences when dealing with farmers. The hoopla of course being that she engaged in this preferential treatment while working for the Obama administration. Sherrod was quickly condemned by both the USDA and the NAACP (but it appears that the NAACP is having second thoughts).

The problem is that this heavily edited video, which was posted by Joseph McCarthy Andrew Breitbart (pictured right with his fake pimp from the ACORN fiasco), cuts off the rest of Sherrod's remarks which include the fact that the "controversial" story she is telling happened 24 years ago and she tells the story to reflect the idea that she was able to move past race. In sum, the remarks were meant to bring people together and were not those which reflect Sherrod's belief in racial preferences of any kind.

Video posted by Andrew Breitbart and replayed over and over by Fox News without any context:



Here is Sherrod on CNN earlier today providing all of the context for the edited clip:



The wife of the man who's farm is the subject of Sherrod's story defends her on CNN earlier today thereby pretty much making Andrew Breitbart look like an even bigger douche liar and the media narrative literally changes on live TV leaving CNN anchor Tony Harris a bit at a loss (h/t @JamilSmith):

Friday, July 16, 2010

I’m not saying OJ the NAACP was right,…but I understand…


So…by now you’ve heard about the NAACP passing a referendum on the racial elements of the Tea Party Movement. If you haven’t, here’s a little recap…

In Kansas City, Missouri, the NAACP adopted a resolution that initially would “repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties” and stand against the Tea Party and their attempts to “push our country back to pre-civil rights era.” This wording was amended to remove the criticism of ALL Tea Partiers, simply asking them to speak out against racism within their own ranks.

I’ve written this at least four times. There are so MANY elements to it, so many, I didn’t know where to begin. Let me be honest, I can appreciate the Tea Party…really, I can. I think in this government, EVERYONE needs someone to speak on their behalf. Nevertheless, after listening to, and seeing the Tea Party in action, I was glad somebody said SOMETHING, ANYTHING.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On Mel Gibson and Chris Brown and Why We Must Have A Serious Discussion About Domestic Violence

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to reports, Mel Gibson has a tendency to say racist things. First, there was the “Jews are responsible for all wars” incident and most recently he told his ex-beau Oksana Grigorieva that if she went outside in a particular outfit he disapproved of she would be “raped by a pack of ni**ers.” What has been overlooked in almost every single report of that incident is why Grigorieva was tape recording Gibson in the first place. She needed proof. Proof that Mel Gibson was abusive to her not only emotionally, but physically. She had already provided dental records in their custody fight to prove that he knocked her teeth out previously but Grigorieva still felt she needed more evidence to show the court that Gibson is much more than just politically incorrect, he’s a monster dangerous. Why is it that the detail about Gibson knocking Grigorieva’s teeth out was literally a throwaway line at the very end of an article with a splashy headline detailing his latest racist diatribe? Why did it take so long for them to launch a formal investigation into his abuse?

It is clear that the media and the public at large avoid talking about domestic violence. It’s seen as a private matter and is not to be spoken about openly. The problem with that is that this tendency to push it aside and out of our minds is teaching our young people exactly the wrong lesson. Another domestic violence incident that was in the news recently was Chris Brown and Rihanna after their now infamous drive in a Los Angeles suburb the night before the 2009 Grammy Awards. After his emotional performance at the BET Awards, many people declared Chris Brown forgiven. Bygones. He cried and apologized so we must all take it easy on him and just get past the "situation with Rihanna." Let me be clear: Domestic violence is not a "situation." We need to call it what it is. We need to point out that the repeating cycle of domestic abuse includes remorse and we should not allow Chris Brown or Mel Gibson or anyone else to simply come back and make a tear filled apology. We must not be enablers.  Domestic violence is the systematic destruction of another person emotionally, mentally, verbally, financially, socially, physically, and sexually.  Domestic violence is the de-humanization of another person that can leave scars lasting a lifetime.

This year in the United States, 3 million women will be abused.  This statistic is staggering and proves that we need to teach our young people how to properly handle conflict in their romantic relationships and that starts with how it is discussed. We must teach them that a women or man who yells or curses out their partner does not ever deserve to be hit.  Ever. No, not even if they are hit first.  No, not even if they cheat on them.  Everyone should be responsible for their own actions and reactions.  That is the lesson we should begin to teach our young people and stop trying to justify the actions of the abusive by blaming the abused. Victim blaming, while commonplace in our society, should no longer be acceptable. It sends the wrong message. It is dangerous to young people because it takes the heat off of the person who is actually committing the violence. Simply put, the blame for abuse should be placed squarely at the feet of the person choosing to be abusive. We should no longer allow people to imply that it is acceptable to abuse someone if they “deserve” it.

No one deserves it. Period.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

By The Time I Get To Arizona (The Remix)

In law school there's an annoying character known as "the gunner" who sits in the front of the class every day, constantly raising his or her hand because not only are they in love with the sound of their own voice, but they also feel that they have the correct answer to every question that the professor ever asks (even if the professor didn't ask a question).  Other than passing the bar and perhaps graduation, there is no greater feeling in the law school universe than when the forces that be provide you with the perfect opportunity to catch a "gunner" slipping on their argument by revealing that the 15-minute diatribe that they just presented to the entire class as the greatest legal argument of all time has one huge glaring logical flaw that unravels everything that they just said, thereby destroying their credibility for all the world to see and forever revoking their public speaking rights for the remainder of their time in law school.  In light of the United States Justice Department's lawsuit against the State of Arizona with respect to its recent immigration law (read it HERE), it would appear that such an opportunity has presented itself once again.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you exhibits A, B and C: Fox News, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and the architect of Arizona's immigration law, Kris Kobach.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Get Off My TeeVee: Senator Jon Kyl Edition


So if we can add to the deficit with tax cuts for the wealthy, why can't we extend benefits for the unemployed? I'm a little confused on the "logic" there Senator.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The End of DOMA?

In case you were wondering, DOMA is the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996.  It is a Federal Law that was introduced to Congress by Republican House Member Bob Barr, passed by a Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton.  So what did it do?  Well, a number of things, but the core of the law (section 3) established the Federal government's position on marriage and, more importantly, established that only marriages between a man and a woman are eligible to receive Federal marriage benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, joint filing of Federal income taxes, etc.

Thursday, two cases were decided in Boston's Federal District Court that ruled section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional: Gill v. Office of Personnel Management filed by the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, and its companion case Commonwealth v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  (yes, the same Martha Coakley that tricked off the Senate race against Scott Brown - she can't win an election but apparently she can write a persuasive legal brief damnit)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sharron Angle: Get Out Of My Life

I want Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee for Senate in Nevada against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to get out of my life! 

I don't want to hear her speak words or have thoughts ever again.  I need her to go sit down somewhere and go back to not giving any interviews (like Rand Paul).  I want her to go to a deserted island where we will never have to hear her ridiculous thoughts about anything ever again.  Or maybe she will just lose to Majority Leader Harry Reid in November and we will cease caring or paying her any attention forevermore. 

I simply cannot take her ridiculous statements about anything, from unemployment (the unemployed are "spoiled"), to BP (the escrow account created to help pay the victims is a slush fund), and now most recently her comments about victims of rape and incest!

Via The Huffington Post:
Stock: Let me bring up one other topic that I rarely talk about here, because it's one of those topics that's a lose-lose, but we've got to talk about it because it was brought up in your TV interview and that has to do with the issue of abortion, and whether or not abortion should be available in the case of rape or incest. The question to you at the time by the interviewer was that do you want the government to go and tell a 13 year-old child who has been raped by her father that she has to have that baby. And of course you responded 'I didn't say that I always say that I value life.' Where do you stand on the issue of abortion, a consensual abortion, from a person who is raped or is pregnant as a result of incest?
Angle: Well right now our law permits that. My own personal feelings and that is always what I express, my personal feeling is that we need to err on the side of life. There is a plan and a purpose, a value to every life no matter what it's location, age, gender or disability. So whenever we talk about government and government's role, government's role is to protect life and that's what our Founding Father said, that we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Stock: What do you say then to a young girl, I am going to place it as he said it, when a young girl is raped by her father, let's say, and she is pregnant. How do you explain this to her in terms of wanting her to go through the process of having the baby?

Angle: I think that two wrongs don't make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade. Well one girl in particular moved in with the adoptive parents of her child, and they both were adopted. Both of them grew up, one graduated from high school, the other had parents that loved her and she also graduated from high school. And I'll tell you the little girl who was born from that very poor situation came to me when she was 13 and said 'I know what you did thank you for saving my life.' So it is meaningful to me to err on the side of life.

Pop Quiz: What's Missing From This Sarah Palin Ad?




It is the reality though isn't it?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Inconvenient Truth About Michael Steele

About a year ago we did a post on Michael Steele where we asked the question "will Steele turn the GOP around or cause further division?"  While he hasn't exactly caused any further racial division within the GOP (due mostly to the fact that as an irrelevant political figure people tend to ignore him), he certainly hasn't turned the GOP around in any regard, racial or otherwise.  In fact, many Democrats describe Steele as the "gift that keeps on giving" in terms of his constant stream of gaffes, his embarrassingly out of touch attempts to reach out to the Black Community, and his ever increasingly reckless off-message political speeches - the latest of which finally has prominent members of the Republican Party calling for his resignation.

Which brings us all to one salient question: how exactly did this somebody this friggin' incompetent get such a high-ranking job in the first place?  

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Cynthia Tucker breaks it down for us after the jump:

The "Where Have All the Good Men Gone?" Fiction

OK Ladies, the fellas and I have to call you out on something that will invariably have some most of you saying "well I don't do that" in the ever-so-predictable effort to maintain your self-imposed halos that must remain untarnished at all times, facts be damned.  So let us dispense with the pleasantries and cut right to it shall we?  This whole "there are no good brothers out there" mantra that many of you like to recite as gospel - it's all bullshit. (pardon my French)  Now, to be clear, we're well aware of the fact that there are trifling brothers out there.  We see them out and about just like you do.  This isn't one of those "all men are good, all women are evil" type rants.  Please.  Bullshit knows no gender.  What we are trying to dispel here, however, is this fabricated notion that has been offered by far too many women as the primary reason for why they are single.  The notion that, naturally, these infallible women would have found a solid and fruitful relationship by now...if only these trifling men didn't have so many issues.  Because clearly, that's the main problem.  There couldn't possibly be any...dare we say it...fault on the part of the ladies could there?  Before you make a judgment one way or the other, please allow us to present Exhibit A after the jump.