Thursday, September 30, 2010

On the Record Conversation with House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn

The Urban Politico staff was honored to be among the Black Bloggers invited to speak with House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn earlier this morning about the specific issue of the accomplishments that the Federal Government has achieved within the Black Community over the past 20 months since Obama has taken office.  Congressman Clyburn was very insightful in addressing the sentiment among the Black Community that either (A) not enough has been done or (B) that what has been done is not working fast enough. (you might recall this one sister HERE who told Obama himself that she was sick and tired of defending him and his policies).  Clyburn feels that many people in the Black Community, as well as the progressive community at large, are losing sight of the big picture of progress and becoming too impatient (at one point he jokingly yet firmly noted that he's been patiently waiting for change for 70 years but some Democrats can't seem to be patient for 2 years). He also reminded those who claim that nothing has been done that the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which has 42 members, is necessary to reach majority in a House of 435 Congress men and women where a majority needed to pass any vote = 218 (the Democrats make up 253 votes in the House but without the CBC the Democrats make up only 212 votes).

Clyburn addressed these concerns by outlining 4 points that he felt all Black Bloggers in the Blogosphere should be reiterating to our viewership in an effort to change the narrative that's out there.  They are as follows:

#1. Health Care
The Black Community is no stranger to illness or hospital bills.  Many families within the Black Community have children with "pre-existing conditions" who will now benefit tremendously from the new Health Care Reform that went into effect Thursday, September 23, 2010 that prohibits health insurance companies from dropping or denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. 

#2. Wall Street Reform
'Nuff said.

#3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
How many Black families have been destroyed by predatory lending?  Now, built into the financial system for the first time in history, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, headed by Elizabeth Warren, is able to help families who have previously been taken advantage of by predatory lenders in housing, credit cards, and other important areas.

#4. Help for Small Businesses
The CBC voted as a block to help pass the Small Business Lending Funding Act which as of Monday, September 27, 2010, provides $30 Billion dollars towards small businesses, many of them Black owned. Per the associated press:  "Democrats claim that the new small business incentives are likely to result in up to $300 billion in new small business credit and 500,000 new jobs over the next few years."


What are your thoughts on what Congressman Clyburn said?
Is our generation impatient or do we have a legitimate gripe that not enough is being done within the Black Community?

Paladino: "I'll Take You Out!" (VIDEO)

Here in our fair state of New York, there are two individuals nominated to take over as Governor this fall once Governor Patterson's term comes to an end: Democratic candidate and State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and Tea Party Republican Candidate Carl Paladino.  Now this cat Paladino has been known here in New York for sending e-mails using the word "nigger" in a disrespectful way (is there really any other way?); telling an entire classroom of Black students that a certain Black professor only got his job "because he was black" even though the professor in question is highly educated and well qualified for the position, and has been quoted as saying "Obamacare will be so horrific that it will kill more Americans through deteriorating health care than were lost on 9/11," and the list goes on and on.  Not exactly a guy you would expect to be in charge of one of the most culturally diverse states in America.  (For a more in-depth take on Paladino from New York's Black Leadership CLICK HERE).

In any event, this guy Paladino apparently has somewhat of a hot temper as well.  A New York Post reporter confronted him recently about a daughter Paladino has from an extra-marital affair and Paladino went off and told the reporter that if he sent any more reporters to his (Paladino's) dauther's house that Paladino would "Take [him] out, Buddy!"  (BTW, for those of you outside of NY, the New York Post is not exactly a liberal publicaion - in fact you could say the Post is effectively the Fox News of NY Newspapers).  See video after the jump:

If the Media has such a "Liberal Bias" then why is the One Nation Rally Getting ZERO Clock-Time?

Folks, it's time we lay an old myth to rest: So-Called Liberal Media Bias.  We all remember the so-called Liberal Media Bias right?  You remember.  It's that thing that Sarah Palin swears to this day is responsible for her inability to recall the Bush Doctrine...the name of any newspaper she ever read...any Supreme Court case...or just about anything that reveals to the general public how stupid she really is.  The so-called Liberal Media Bias is the very reason why we need trusted news organizations like Fox News to keep things "fair and balanced" for us - otherwise we would all be powerless to resist the temptation to run out and hug the nearest tree on our way to our global warming meetings.

Hey look, I'm not trying to say there is absolutely no liberal bias in the news, but let's not act like there's zero conservative bias up in this piece either.  Both biases are out there, if one is so inclined to find them.  But that's not my point.  My point here is that there is an old narrative out there that's been hanging around for quite a while now, and that narrative would have us believe that somehow ALL media (except for Fox News of course) has a liberal slant to it.  ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, all the newspapers...they're all in the tank with the Lefties.  There is, of course, no proof for any of this.  We're simply supposed to take the conservatives' at their word that the entire MSM suffers from a hefty dose of "Liberal Media Bias."  Which is, of course, another way of saying that they (conservatives) disagree with much of what they see in the media. Well, as the saying goes, you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts so excuse me for a minute while I stomp a mudhole in this so-called "Liberal Media Bias" argument.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NEW YORKER AUTHOR SPEAKS SERIES: Malcolm Gladwell

Recently one of the Urban Politico's favorite authors Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Outliers, published an article in the New Yorker discussion the Twitter/Social Networking revolution, in the context of how it fits into activism in today's society. This article sparked a pretty significant debate as techies and twitter activists defended these tools as viable means of rallying together large groups of people in the context of revolution and social activism. The article even inspired Angus Johnston of the Huffington Post to publish a counter argument. 

The point of Gladwell's argument was that social networking focuses on perpetuating week ties, which do not allow for significant action beyond comments and thumbs up buttons. Today the New Yorker's website hosted an Ask The Author chat with Gladwell as he discussed Twitter and Social Networking and answered questions from the audience. We have provided our readers a copy of the transcript from the chat in hopes of stirring up a similar debate with our readers. The discussion was quite interesting and the topic equally as interesting.

After reading Gladwell's article and/or this transcript, what are your thoughts on twitter and Facebook as a means of helping create significant change in our society?

Notice the influx of Gold commercials?


In November of 2009, I took a Project Manager course for my certification.  My instructor at that time was a very...unique individual.  He was very business savvy.  He started a company, sold it to a Chinese businessman, and made a pretty good profit from him.  However, he also had a slight hint of conspiracy theory to his rhetoric.  So of course, I decided to stay behind and talk to him after class.  During our meeting, he gave me a brief overview of the "Options" market.  He explained to me how the price of oil went up SOOO much during that summer.  But his primary focus was on the price of gold and silver. 

In a nutshell, because of the two stimulus packages, the value of the US dollar had declined.  With the decline of the dollar came the decline in the confidence of the dollar.  Why is that important?  The confidence that the government and the monetary authorities use IS what provides value.  However, without the backing of gold or confidence in addition to the government trying to control the state of the economy by printing vast quantities of money transfers that confidence or value someplace else.

In Case You Missied It: Full Obama Wisconsin Speech

 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Could Dems Actually Come Out on Top at November Elections?


Per Robert Creamer of the Huffington Post, there are 4 reasons why the Democrats could actually do well at the polls this November:

1). The gap in daily spending between Democrats and Republicans will close.  

2). Voters are beginning to focus on the choice facing them between specific living, breathing candidates -- not "generic" ballots. That contrast will not be good for Republican chances.

3). President Obama has switched into campaign mode. At the national level President Obama, who has the biggest bully pulpit in the country, will use every means to define the choice before American voters.

4). Perhaps most important, the enthusiasm gap will close. 


What say you?  
Do these 4 reasons hold water?  
What are your predictions about November?
   

Monday, September 27, 2010

***Breaking News*** Rahm Emanuel to Leave White House


White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is expected to announce that he is leaving his position with the Obama administration to run for mayor of Chicago.

Though ABC News reports that he has not yet made a final decision, speculation developed around Emanuel's possible run for the position of Mayor of Chicago which Emmanuel said has been a goal of his since longtime Mayor Richard M. Daley  announced he would not seek another term.

Emanuel has already begun staffing up for a presumptive mayoral campaign by hiring a campaign manager.


Anyone want to take a shot at who his replacement might be?

Education Reform and the Debate over Affirmative Action

It seems clear that the national debate is about to undergo a sea change from the current discussion on tax cuts and Tea Partiers to a discussion about national education reform.  The White House is rolling out Education Secretary Arne Duncan as well as President Obama on all the usual talk shows in what feels like a concerted effort to turn the page before the November elections.  Up until now, the main stream media has become increasingly dominated by conservative narratives about progressive legislation seeking to transform what would normally be progressive legislative victories into progressive legislative disasters.  Education reform may prove to be one area where the Republicans may find it difficult to distinguish themselves from the President as both sides are tough on teacher's unions and both sides agree that more spending is not the answer. However, before we start jumping up and down in bi-partisan unity, there's still an Achilles heel out there that could be exploited by the Breitbarts of the world in an effort to create a wedge issue in the education reform debate:  Affirmative Action.

Obama Speaks on Education Reform on Today Show

President Barack Obama was on the TODAY Show speaking live with Matt Lauer for 30 minutes this morning from 8:00 am EST to 8:30 am during a commercial free discussion on education at the White House.

The interview focused on questions submitted from viewers around the country-- parents, students, teachers and educators. It also touched on some of the topics brought up during Sunday night's town hall education meeting hosted by NBC's Brian Williams.

Obama noted the necessity of funding but noted the importance of reform + funding and stated that either one alone would not solve our educational problem.  He also noted that parents need to play an active role in their children's education as well.  The President also voiced a need for a longer school year for students. (Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers" makes a very compelling argument on the importance of this last point for students coming from low-income households). Video after the Jump.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Farewell Message From Zerlina aka Lady Z

To our readers:

I have been offered a number of new opportunities and I am leaving The Urban Politico family.  I appreciate the opportunity this site has afforded me to express my opinions, share the news, and dialogue with our loyal readers.  I am moving on and you will be able to find me at a number of other outlets. I am very grateful to all of our readers for their intelligence and thoughtful input and for the amazing debates we've had over the past year.

You can also follow me on twitter (@ZerlinaM) in order to receive links to my most recent articles and blog posts.  (http://twitter.com/zerlinam)

God Bless,

Zerlina

Friday, September 24, 2010

Breaking News: Fourth Man Files Suit Against Bishop Eddie Long

Update: The accuser count is up to FOUR as of Friday afternoon.  Check out the latest info here.  A fourth accuser just filed his lawsuit this afternoon and in a new twist he claims to have been DRUGGED by the Bishop while they were on a trip together in Kenya.  His lawsuit also claims that the Bishop paid for his car, his house, and his tuition.  There have been reports that as many as 30 men have contacted the plaintiffs attorney B.J. Bernstein.

This Sunday Bishop Long is expected to speak at both services at 8am and 11am.  Grab the popcorn.

CNN Offering Free DVD of Black In America: Almighty Debt Before It Airs

A special message to our readers:

CNN is offering screening kits of their upcoming Black In America Special: Almighty Debt (which premieres October 21st at 9pmEST) to individuals and groups interested in holding their own screenings and sharing their experiences with CNN. Be it a student organization, religious group, family function or small gathering, CNN wants you to share this special with your world and let us know what you think.

Simply email your name and mailing address to InAmericaKit@CNN.com to request a screening kit today.

Be sure to follow @BlackAmericaCNN @soledad_obrien on Twitter and visit Facebook.com/CNNBlackinAmerica for more info.

Email us at the.urban.politico@gmail.com to let us know when your copy arrives. 

Check out a preview after the jump:

President Obama is NOT Your Savior

First off, I get it. I get that we rely on the government to create a world that is fair for all of its citizens. We expect politicians to pass legislation that is in the best interest of the people. Because after all it is the people who elect these leaders, so it is only right that we expect them to work on our behalf. It is true however, that we often misinterpret the role of government in our lives particularly in America and we tend to put too much emphasis on what we interpret as failures in our government when it doesn’t necessarily suite the purpose that we feel it should.

The misinterpretation of the American Government’s role in our lives could not be more prevalent than in the case of President Obama’s administration. The controversy surrounding his 18 months in office is unprecedented, particularly given the tremendous burden in which he inherited. Recently the President gave a speech at a Democratic Fundraiser in Manhattan, where he was heckled and taunted. Critics held up signs saying he’s broken promises and protesters yelled out that he has not given enough money for AIDS research.  His speech was interrupted multiple times as audience members protested their causes.

In a town hall meeting last week, the President was blasted by the middle class community. He was told that they were tired of defending him in the midst of high unemployment rates.

Stephen Colbert Testifies Before Congress In Character...Seriously

The hearing is about immigration/migrant workers. Colbert submitted a written statement that was serious and then delivered an entirely different satirical statement IN CHARACTER which is probably the best political stunt since he performed at the White House Correspondents Dinner. His opening statement was comedic but the substantive points he was making were serious and on point.

Check out Colbert's opening statement:

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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bishop Eddie Long: Potentially Shameful But Was It Illegal?

OK.  I just got done reading the first complaint among several filed against Bishop Long (read it here).  When I first heard about this story I, like many people, automatically assumed that the sexual allegations at issue here were being made by young boys under the age of consent but, after reading the Maurice Robinson complaint, the alleged sexual contact happened when Robinson was 19 which is three years over the legal age limit in the state of Georgia.  This led me to wonder what exactly the legal cause of action could possibly be between two male adults since homosexuality, although objectionable to some, is not illegal.   Now before anybody jumps on me about the obvious moral repugnance implicit in a sexual relationship between a grown-ass man and a teenager, just let me state upfront that I'm with you on that point.  IF (and you must always use "if" in lawsuits prior to judgment) these allegations turn out to be true, then Bishop Long deserves to be plastered on Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" segment for a year straight, lose his Church, his wife, the dog, and any other negative social stigma that we associate with somebody who is found guilty of immoral behavior in our society.  However, my focus here is not whether these legal allegations go to Bishop Long's moral charcter.  I don't know the Bishop - for all I know he could be a man of the utmost moral integrity.  My focus is instead on whether these allegations, if true, even amount to a valid legal claim in the first place.

Get Off My TeeVee: Sarah "Race Baiter" Palin Edition

You really had to drop the middle name huh Mrs. Palin? You really are a class act. I would argue that we know a lot more about President Obama than we know about you.  If I didn't know better I would say that your middle name is "race baiter."

Bishop Eddie Long Scandal: Pimping Out God

Update: Accuser count is up to FOUR as of Friday afternoon.  Check out the latest info here.  A fourth accuser just filed his lawsuit this afternoon and in a new twist he claims to have been DRUGGED by the Bishop while they were on a trip together in Kenya.  His lawsuit also claims that the Bishop paid for his car, his house, and his tuition.  There have been reports that as many as 30 men have contacted the plaintiffs attorney B.J. Bernstein.

Photo allegedly sent from Long
 to one of the young men in this case
 I don’t care whether Bishop Eddie Long is a homosexual.  According to this week’s lawsuits the Bishop allegedly has a preference for young men who are just above the age of consent.  All of this is perfectly fine with me even with Long’s long track record of homophobic and anti-gay rights rhetoric (which really is a separate blog post entirely).  Hypocrites aren’t really all that uncommon.

What is not okay with me is that Long is also accused of using funds from New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to purchase gifts for these young men.  Allegedly the church’s tithe payers paid for a Ford Mustang that Bishop Long is said to have purchased for one of the plaintiffs in the case.  If I was a member of his congregation I would demand my money back. 
This is nothing new and the instances of mega-church pastors and other religious leaders, taking their congregants money to purchase luxury items is old hat.  This thieving from the pulpit phenomena is much more disturbing than pictures of the Bishop in his bathroom in a spandex Under Armor suit.  I’m sick and tired of these jive time pastors (as my real life pastor would say) pimping out God.

I grew up in the church.  I’m the daughter of two ministers.  My mother is the child of a Baptist preacher.  I’m not being critical of the Bishop here because I am some sort of anti-religious type.  I read my bible and nowhere in it does it mention tithe money going to a Bentley and a private jet.  I realize that New Birth may do incredible things for the community, but at what cost?  Is it worth exposing these young men to what is being described in these lawsuits as a sexual predator?  Is it right that the Bishop Long is siphoning money away from charitable causes the ministry supports and instead is funding sexual rendezvous with young men who are members of his congregation?  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The GOP Small Business Tax LIE

Countdown with Keith Olbermann did an excellent segment on how the GOP is misleading lying to the public about the effect of Obama's tax policy on small businesses.

Hint: What the GOP calls a "small business" includes Pricewaterhouse Coopers and companies owned by the billionaire Koch brothers.

MUST SEE TEEVEE.

Part 1




Today In Non-News: Bob Woodward Reveals Obama Administration Fiercely Debated Afghanistan War Strategy

Famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward has a new book coming out, called "Obama's Wars" where he details the internal arguments discussions inside the Obama Administration with regards to the implementation of a new war strategy in Afghanistan among other things.  Talking Points Memo has a helpful list of the Top 5 Leaks which include the really unfortunate (but completely understandable when read in context) quote by President Obama: "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger." 

Aside from that there really is a lot of non-news here, although I predict the "we can absorb a terrorist attack" will take over a news cycle or two depending on how loud the fake outrage is over at Faux News or if Sarah Palin decides to tweet her "refudiation."

Check out the list of Top 5 Leaks via TPM below:

1. Obama set July 2011 withdrawal start date to keep support from Democrats

The New York Times details parts of the book suggesting that the Afghanistan decision was considered with a political lens.

The most telling quote from the book is one Woodward reports that Obama told to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The Times reports that Obama was asked if his withdrawal date was firm:
"I have to say that," Mr. Obama replied. "I can't let this be a war without end, and I can't lose the whole Democratic Party."
The Times also reports that Obama said he has "two years with the public on this," meaning he'd lose support without a swift exit strategy.

Guest Post: Joining the No Weddings, No Womb Campaign

To help raise awareness regarding the magnitude of out of wedlock births (72%) in the black community, I am participating in the “No Wedding No Womb” campaign. The creator of this initiative, Christelyn Karazin, believes that out of wedlock births is a contributing factor to the economic and emotional enslavement of black women and children.

I will take it further and say that having a child out of wedlock is contributing to the self-annihilation of the family unit. If 72% of children are born out of wedlock it’s just a matter of time before we get pretty close to 100%. I know that I will take some heat for some of the comments I’m about to make, but you have been fairly warned, so brace yourself.

A few weeks ago, I visited my mentee’s church at her request. While sitting in the church (a black congregation), I noticed there were no “young” married couples. In fact all the married couples I saw were in the 55 and over age range. I saw more grandparents raising their grandchildren (a growing phenomenon nationwide across all races and ethnicities) than what I recall from my childhood. The number of teen and young 20-somethings with children was disturbing. Fathers were nowhere to be found. There were only 2 married couples in their early 40s with children sitting in the church. I should note the congregation had well over 120 people in it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Health Insurance Co's Taking Toys and Going Home on Sept 23rd

Remember that kid back in the day who had all the cool toys but who threw a temper tantrum on the drop of a dime anytime he/she didn't get his/her way? 'Member? You 'member.  You and the other neighborhood kids would be sitting there in the sandbox, orchestrating your own Lord of the Rings-type battle scene using GI Joes, Transformers and Go-Bots and, without any warning, old sour-puss would feel disrespected because [insert just about any reason here], pick up his/her toys and pout all the way home.   Did you ever wonder what happened to that kid?  Well wonder no more - he/she grew up and became the CEO of a Health Insurance Company.

Bishop Eddie Long Accused of Sexually Abusing Male Church Members

Shocking news out of Atlanta today, as a lawsuit was filed by two young male member's of Bishop Eddie Long's 25,000 member mega church New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, alleging he manipulated them into performing sexual acts.

Via CNN:

The lawsuit alleges that the "Defendant [Bishop Eddie] Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship."  The suit also alleges that Bishop chose specific young male church members to be his "Spiritual Sons" and among that group were the plaintiffs in this suit.  The attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit claims to have emails, text messages, and photographs exchanged between Bishop Long and his accusers. The attorney representing the plaintiffs in this case against Long, was also the lawyer in the now famous Genarlow Wilson case and she has a solid reputation. If she agreed to take this case, then chances are there is some sort of proof but we'll let the facts come out and everyone can make their own judgments at that time.

Bishop Long is a vocal opponent of marriage equality and frequently condemns homosexuality.  It definitely wouldn't be the first time a virulent opponent of gay rights was found later to be a homosexual (See: Ken Mehlman).  This is going to get very interesting.  Check out the two clips below for more details on this story after the jump.


Thank Goodness Senator John McCain Is Not The President

Senator John McCain's "best" days are behind him and what is left is a shameless, pandering, disingenous old grumpy Senator who needs to retire and never look back.  He is a maverick no more and his legacy will be the endless train wreck that is a half term half wit governor from Alaska named Sarah Palin.  At this point, he is embarrassing to watch as he is proven over and over again to be a liar in terms of what factors needed to be present so that he would be willing to support legislation ending the unconstitutional policy that is Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  All of those factors are present and yet he still is against the policy.  Today he defended his indefensible stance and by the end of the day resorted to simply losing it and yelling at people.


Dear Senator McCain,

I thank my lucky stars every single day that you sir are not the President of the United States.  You do not have the temperament or the smarts to do the job and you validate the decision of the American people to elect Barack Obama instead of you every time you open your mouth.  President Obama is far from perfect, but he's got one huge thing going for him, he's not YOU.

Shame on you Senator McCain.  Shame. On. You.  It IS the policy, soldiers are getting kicked out the military after their private emails are searched without their consent.

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

Who Is Christine O'Donnell??

The Tea Party backed, Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has gone from near obscurity to rivaling the Quran burning redneck pastor in receiving media attention after her victory over incumbent Mike Castle last week. But much of the media attention thrown in her direction has not necessarily been positive. Although, since her primary victory she has received millions of dollars in campaign funds, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding her candidacy. Controversy that does not seem unwarranted.

But who is Christine O'Donnell?

From admittedly practicing witchcraft, to preaching an almost fanatically, conservative ideology her somewhat extreme personalities leave a lot to be questioned about just what the real Christine O'Donnell stands for.

Here's what we do know. She does not believe in lying, she thinks masturbation is wrong and is terrified of the media. These key points are hardly enough to qualify one to receive a US Senate seat. This weekend O'Donnell canceled each one of her scheduled media interviews, with no reason attached. But this is not a first for the New Jersey native. Rumor has it that O'Donnell rarely does media interviews. Rare as in almost never. Which raises the question as to how the people of Delaware can trust a candidate who has not so much as even revealed a solid platform outside of simply being a Republican and the extreme moral agenda that tends to come with that.

Senate BLOCKS Repeal of DADT

All of the Republicans vote NO along with the two Senators from Arkansas and Reid (for procedural reasons).  Final vote was 56-43.

The Senate is voting at 2:30 pm EST!

Click HERE to call your Senator now!

Also, key Senators to put pressure on listed below (call them too!):

Senator John McCain (AZ) - (202) 224-2235

Senator Olympia Snowe (ME) - (202) 224-5344

Senator Susan Collins (ME) - (202) 224-2523

Senator Scott Brown (MA) - (202) 224-4543

Call call call!



Check out Lady Gaga's moving call to action at a rally today in Maine:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Obama's Support Base Patience Wearing Thin?

Today President Obama came under tight scrutiny from his biggest power base, the middle class. The  town hall discussion was broadcast live on CNBC and presented tough questions for the President. Despite the many successes the administration has obtained, the fact his unemployment rates are simply unacceptably high.

Check out the video here

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bill Maher: What if we never went to war in Iraq or Afghanistan?

As we make our final approach into the Midterm Elections, Bill Maher has returned like the Prodigal son to provide a reality check on the state of our politics delivered, as always, with the appropriate dose of snark.  This week, Maher posed a question to the panel that, given the overwhelming focus on our economy and government spending as of late, one would assume more people would find profound - especially those in the tea party crowd:  What if the United States had never gone to war in Iraq or Afghanistan?  This is a question that can literally spawn endless parallel realities as we try to imagine how the political dynamics of the middle east would have evolved without United States intervention and if that lack of intervention would (or would not) have effected America's interests overseas.  However, the first thought it triggered in my mind was: how much money could our government have SAVED by not going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan???

Friday, September 17, 2010

Want Diveristy? Stop doing stupid $H!T

I had a long post written on this issue…and erased the whole thing! We have discussed it ad nauseum time…, and time…, and time…, and time…, and time..., and time ..., and time again.

At this point, I don’t know if there is really much to say.

So I'll keep it simple.

We've all seen the GOP website with all the Black faces, and recently, the push by the Tea Party to increase diversity among its ranks.  We've heard from everything from Blacks won't let other Blacks be conservative to Blacks are too "sensitive."  In reality, if the conservative right wing was REALLY interested in the African American community, they would STOP saying and doing FLAT OUT racist or just plan STUPID shit.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Racism and Police Brutality Hit Close to Home



On June 16, Prennis Jr. and his friend walked hurriedly down a South Philadelphia street, on their way to the pizza shop to pick up a called in order. On their way back to a friends house they noticed a block party happening in the neighborhood with music and dancing, so they decided to take that route back and join in on some of the fun. The naivety of childhood did not allow them to realize they were amongst a block full of whites, in a part of the city that is known for its hostility towards black people. But as we all know, it should not have mattered. They should have been able to walk down that street without fear of racial intimidation or violence. Unfortunately they were immediately noticed and targeted. They were told that they were in the wrong neighborhood, they were called niggers and threatened. When the two teens spoke up for themselves they were surrounded by a crowd of white kids and adults alike and threatened with violence.  Young Prennis had barely enough time to whip out his cell phone and contact his father who was around the corner. Prennis Sr. arrived on the scene promptly and this is where an already bad situation turned worse.


The September Primaries: Down With The Establishment? Really?

The results are back and everybody's talking about what last night's primaries mean for the November elections.  Is the Tea Party spelling doom for the Republican party?  Are the grass roots candidates overthrowing the incumbent/establishment candidates? Before we get into that, let's provide a recap on some of the key races last night:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tea Party Missing the Point

The Tea Party, which is widely accepted by all as a conservative movement and characterized by some as merely an offshoot of the Republican Party itself, has announced recently that it is going to take "affirmative action" to increase the level of cultural diversity among its ranks.  As the Wall Street Journal reported:

The conservative FreedomWorks group, led by former House Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey, say it plans to launch a nationwide campaign this week dubbed DiverseTea that will start with a series of ads in local Jewish publications across the country...“I get a little tired of diversity talk from liberals,” Armey said. He accused Democrats and liberals of making life miserrable for the relatively few individual conservative blacks and Hispanics who have come out in favor of the movement. FreedomWorks says the plan is to buy ads touting the tea party movement in first Jewish and then Hispanic and African-American publications.
I'm getting a sense of deja vu because we seem to have heard this exact same case before.  Didn't RNC Chairman Michael Steele pledge to hip-hop hurray the Republican Party last year?  How did that whole Hip Hop/Diverse GOP thing working out exactly? 

Monday, September 13, 2010

We Remember the Revolutionary Rapper: Tupac Shakur


Today marks 14 years since the tragic, unsolved murder - some might even go so far as to say martyrdom - of Tupac Shakur.  Whether you were an East Coast or West Coast rap fan from back in the day when such rivalries were en vogue, or even if you weren't really into rap at all, Tupac is widely known and respected as one of the most talented hip-hop artists to ever pick up a mic.  For the millions of hip-hop connoisseurs out there who never miss an opportunity to discuss the infamous "who is the best rapper of all time" debate in barber shops and on street corners from coast to coast, Tupac is undoubtedly mentioned somewhere on everybody's top 10 list.

In honor of one of our favorite rappers, a man whose music was filled with prophecy and truly portrayed the harsh realities of life as a black man, we have posted some of his most memorable interviews and music videos.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Urban Politico Remembers 9/11 (Ground Zero Pics)


We Remember 9/11
A Word from GodSon:
It is truly amazing when you sit and consider how dramatically our country has changed since September 11, 2001. In case you have been in hibernation for the last 9 years, September 11, 2001 was the day America became the target of terrorists attacks in the way of not one but two planes crashing into the World Trade Center in New York City. As a result the two towers collapsed and thousands of innocent Americans of all religions, races and social statuses perished. Throughout the nine years that has followed this tragedy America has undergone a serious evolution or some might argue regression, which has been fueled primarily by fear and pride. From Bush's now infamous Axis of Evil, to the War on Saddam Hussein Terror, the stigma that now faces many Muslims and finally the hate mongering that has followed. Through orange and red terror alerts, leading right into the election of Barack Obama and the war in Afghanistan, to the controversy surrounding what has been labeled a Ground Zero Mosque and the burning of the Qur'an, it is safe to say that our country will never be the same.

The saddest thing that has occurred since 9/11 and comparably just as tragic has been the deterioration of the spirit of unity that has always been the driving force behind this country's success. There has developed a dark sense of bitterness over the last 9 years that has been displaced and has caused our country to split into different sides. This friction has filtered down to our politics and we have allowed fear and mistrust to cause us to lose our place as the driving force behind global progression and tolerance.
Today, September 11, 2010, as we remember the victims who lost there lives in these heinous acts of terrorism, the police officers and firefighters who lost and risked there lives, the families of the victims and the former America, which existed on September 10, 2001 we must remember that initial, overwhelming desire that we the American people had shortly following the attacks. We all agreed that as our leaders declared that we were by far stronger together than we are apart. We must not forget the lesson that the attacks have served to teach us, less we allow the victims to have died in vain. Regardless of political party/ideology, race, socioeconomic status, etc the fact that we are all Americans should compel us to remember 9/11 in the context of how we have allowed it to change us and how passionate we were about being fellow Americans. It is time to again embrace that message unity as we strive to regain our place on the world stage.

A Word from The Janitor:
Although I'm a transplant like a couple million other people who live here, New York is my home.  Before I even thought about living here, I had a strange connection to New York that can most likely be attributed to the fact that many Americans share the general sentiment that New York City is a symbol of America.  And once you live here you start to realize that, despite the grimy and gritty day-to-day hustle and bustle on the surface, New York City is a special place.  It is America's focal point for the arts, theatre, film, architecture, real estate, engineering, law, business, finance, entertainment, fashion, music, dance, food, culture, diversity, religion, science, medicine, entrepreneurship, news, media...the embodiment of the heart and soul of America all wrapped up into one spot.  So with that in mind, it is not difficult to understand that when that symbol was attacked on 9/11, America's soul was damaged.  From that day forward, America was changed.  9 years later, heated discussions about Mosques and burning Qur'ans let us know that the traumatic experience of 9/11 is still an open wound for many of us.  But, just like the site of Ground Zero itself, I still have hope that we can rebuild from the ashes.

I've posted some pics from Ground Zero taken earlier today.  Enjoy.



We invite everybody to share your experience on where you were that day and also where you think we are now as a nation almost a decade after 9/11.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~PICS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This is the progress of the new World Trade Center so far; 3 floors of steel have been erected.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Is the Media Being Just as Irresponsible as Pastor Jones?

Yesterday I sat watching CNN as I do frequently and was amazed at the overwhelming amount of press that the Quran burning Florida Pastor received. For at least 3 hours the story was talked about over and over almost non-stop. It was quite painful to watch, so I decided to turn to MSNBC and they were talking about Jones as well. CBS Evening News....SAME!!! Soon I realized that all of the major media outlets were running this story in the ground as if it were the second coming of Michael Jackson. I am not exaggerating people. They WOULD NOT stop talking about Pastor Jones and his almost decision NOT to burn Quran's. This media debacle got me to doing some serious thinking. The reason why we are so outraged at this so called Christian Pastor's decision is because of all the attention it will create, which will in turn put our troops in danger, fuel the terrorists networks propaganda machine, increase recruitment and potentially put US citizens in danger. But would all this really even be a risk if this jerk were not plastered all over every TV and newspaper (blogs don't count BTW!! hehehe)?

WATCH: News Conference With President Obama

The news conference begins this morning at 11AM EST. As Atrios just tweeted, I think we should take bets on how many questions are asked about koran burning and community centers.

Update: Check out President Obama's passionate plea for tolerance of all faiths. Worth a look.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

BREAKING: Florida Pastor Cancels Koran Burning...Maybe

Pastor Terry Jones cancels the Koran burning ceremony except he claims this deal includes negotiating moving the Islamic Cultural Center in New York.  Reuters says that claim is bunk based on sources in Imam Rauf's office.

Via MSNBC:

The pastor planning to burn Qurans on the Sept. 11 anniversary said Thursday that he plans to call off the event if the Muslim group seeking to build a mosque near the World Trade Center site agrees to move the project.

"We would consider that a sign from God," the Rev. Terry Jones told reporters.
UPDATE:


The Worst Stump Speech Of All Time Starring Phil Davison

Did he forget to take his medication?  I'm being serious. I'm bookmarking this one for the next time I'm in a bad mood. Hilarious.

Reality Check: President Obama's Approval Ratings

I thought his approval collapsed in the last 12 months?!  That's what the media told me!

The truth is that President Obama's approval rating has dropped 4 points in 12 months which of course means America hates him and is ready to Elect the half-term former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. (*end snark*)



(h/t Talking Points Memo)

The Giant Word With Jay Smooth

I am so happy that Jay Smooth is back to making videos regularly. His Illdoctrine series is a favorite of mine.

"They say we should be 'sensitive' to those who think global warming is caused by gay marriage." <--- FTW


 

The New Politics: On the Elimination of the Moderate


Remember when the mainstream political debate was divided into two main categories and two subcategories? You had the Democrats and then the moderate Democrats, the Republicans and finally the moderate Republicans. It was a great era in American politics. An era that today seems like a distant memory.

For the most part the “moderate” was the voice of reason when the two sides could not come to a viable resolution on the issues facing our country. When the two parties were at war, the moderate became an important component in reminding the two sides of what was really important. Keeping the focus on the issues at hand is not always the easiest task, especially when political ideologies, vendetta's and money are at stake. But the moderate was able to get a word in edge wise throughout the yelling and bickering you might find on the Senate floor, in a committee hearing or in the Capitol hall. It's words were chosen carefully, yet they held enough power to ensure business was handled.



In Case You Missed It: President Obama Talks Koran Burning and Bush Tax Cuts

Should Obama have promised to veto an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy? Or should he leave himself open for a compromise to extend them only for 2 years.

A Sidenote: I recall a time in history when George Stephanopoulos was a Democrat. The embedding GOP talking points in his questions is so typical in the mainstream media today and it's sickening. Just ask straight forward questions George...sheesh.

President Obama on the Bush Tax Cuts for Millionaires



President Obama on the Koran Burning "Stunt"



9th Circuit Rules Executive Secrecy Trumps Right to Day in Court

Once again, the infamous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown itself back into the spotlight of political debate with it's latest ruling in Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan which is undoubtedly heading to the Supreme Court.  In a nutshell, this case deals with plaintiffs who were former CIA detainees who were allegedly tortured by various CIA operatives overseas.  Jeppesen Dataplan apparently is a subsidiary of Boeing and was responsible for the private jets that were used to transport these prisoners from country to country.  At the heart of this controversy was the following issue:  Does the States Secrecy doctrine of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government trump an individual's right to have his day in court?  According to the 9th Circuit:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What In Jim Crow Hell?

Republicans really need to stop talking about everything being a local issue that needs to be decided by the local government (except of course when a local community board approves an Islamic Community Center in lower Manhattan).  We've had this discussion already and it doesn't apply to civil rights.  It's not even like some of you weren't alive when the national guard was called just so black children could go to school safely.  Unless you are Haley Barbour you should remember that move by the federal government was a result of the decision to integrate being left to the local government who failed to follow the law.







We need the federal government because you all are not that altruistic.


I find it fitting that a member of the Little Rock 9 passed away recently. I wonder what he would have said about a comment like the ones below made by Jim Renacci a Republican candidate for the 16th congressional district in Ohio.  This man clearly is a talking point machine just like Sarah Palin.  This is the dumbest comment made about civil rights since Rand Paul's (another crazy Republican candidate) disastrous interview with Rachel Maddow a few months back.


Conclusion: When it comes to civil rights, we need the federal government.  Check out the crazy clip below.







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Get Off My TeeVee: Sharron Angle Edition

Sharron Angle is not only insane, she's a liar. This is a very effective political ad and I hope it means that this lady is gonna be off my teevee permanently.

In Case You Missed It: President Obama Talks About The Economy In Ohio

Election season is upon us folks...

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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Polls Are Stupid: Gallup Weekly Tracking Poll Now Has Democrats and GOP Tied

So the latest Gallup Weekly Tracking Poll is out! 

I bet you could assume that after last week's results showing Democrats 10 POINTS down, this week's poll would show similar or even worse results right?

Um....Not really.

Poll Question:

"Now, turning to this year's congressional elections -- If the elections for Congress were being held today, which party's candidate would you vote for in your congressional district: the Democratic Party's candidate or the Republican Party's candidate?" If other/unsure/refused: "As of today, do you lean more toward the Democratic Party's candidate or the Republican Party's candidate?"

                                           Democratic candidate      Republican candidate

8/30 - 9/5/10                           46                                         46

8/23-29/10                             41                                         51 


I hereby predict that the mainstream media will not even mention this poll after they were so quick to hype last week's results to fit into their narrative about a huge number of GOP victories in November.

I'm not saying that it's looking great for Democrats, but this does really make me think that POLLS ARE STUPID.

And like I said earlier, the only polls that matter are the ones on election day so everyone should get in gear and contact their local Organizing for America office and volunteer ASAP.

(h/t Matt Ortega)

Will Rahm Emanuel Run For Mayor Of Chicago?

In a bit of shocking news today, the long time Mayor of Chicago Richard Daley announced he will not run for re-election.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said a while back that if Daley did not run for re-election he would consider running.  One can only hope!



If Rahm decides to run, who should be the new White House Chief of Staff?