Monday, October 31, 2011

Politico Cites Herman Cain for Alleged Sexual Harassment from 1990's - Fair Game?

We all know that when you run for office, your entire past life can and will be used against you in a court of public opinion.  That being said, if allegations for sexual harassment were brought against you and "dismissed" more than a decade ago, is it right for the media to dig it up when you're running for President today?  That's what happened to Cain today when Politico.com ran a story on him during his time as head of the National Restaurants Association.  Watch the clip after the jump:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

You Might Be in the Top 1% If...

Ever since the Occupy Wall Street movement has taken America by storm, there's been a lot of discussion about who makes up the 99% and, likewise, who makes up the top 1%.  We love our fellow Americans who have prospered over the years, but many of them do not realize who they are. After all, it's not like you get a "Welcome to the Top 1%" notice in the mail once you make it to the top.  How on Earth can we expect our beloved job creators to know if they are in the Top 1% or not?  Well guess no further; in the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck," we started a list that will help our wealthy brethren identify themselves and embrace their Top 1 percent-ness.  Be sure to add some of your own items in the comments below.

YOU MIGHT BE IN THE TOP 1% IF...
1. Your daily "commute" to the office involves a private helicopter.
2. Your 3 year-old's preschool tuition costs more than most colleges.
3. You have a butler, a maid, and a driver.
4. You actually understand what a private equity firm does.
5. Your Great-Grandparents, Grandparents, and Parents all attended [insert Ivy League College here].
6. You discussed the derivatives and commodities market at breakfast with your parents when you were in grade school.
7. You have a "summer home" in places that most Americans have never heard of.
8. The staff members at the Waldorf Astoria know you on a first-name basis.
9. Your college has a building on its campus named after your family.
10. You live in New York City and haven't seen the inside of a subway.  Ever.
11. Your family has owned businesses and property for at least two or three generations.
12. You have a trust fund.
13. You have a flat screen TV in your bathroom tuned to CNBC.
14. People have actually gotten lost inside your home.
15. You own a private jet.
16. It takes an accounting firm at least 4 weeks to calculate your taxes every year.
17. You have a Manhattan law firm on retainer.
18. Your kids live next to celebrities and have never worked a day in their lives.
19. Your zip code is 06830, 10021, 30327, 60045, 77024, or 90210.
20. You keep your money in offshore accounts.


Let's keep it going.  What else might let people know if they're in the Top 1%?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Movie Reviews-Trespass, Honey Dripper and more

Trespass

The movie Trespass showed me a few things I already knew.
  • Nicole Kidman has a great pair of legs.
  • Nicolas Cage loves to overact.
  • It's a very bad idea to let strangers into your home.
Trespass emphasizes these three points over and over and over and over and over again. And then one more time just in case anyone who was really dim missed it. Trespass tells the story of the Miller family. It's barely worthwhile to list character names because you never for a moment forget that this is Kidman and Cage-for the reasons listed above. Anyway Mr. Miller (Cage) is a diamond broker. He and his family reside in a spacious mansion with state of the art security. He's on his cell phone 24-7 making deals. Miller is literally tethered to a secure briefcase from which at day's end he removes items which are carefully placed in a safe. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Next Crisis: College Costs, Loans & Losses



Over the last two months I've been saving every story about college loans and rising tuition that I can. The gist in all of them is that because of our current economic condition more students are graduating college without jobs, astronomical debt, and no way to pay it back. Furthermore, with every freshman class that enters college the amount they are having to pay to stay in school is increasing by the year. Financial advisors continue to warn that if unchecked we won't have to look far for our next major financial crisis because it is already in front of us; brewing before our eyes and very few have done anything to stop it.

Enter President Obama.


Is this America or Iraq?: Cops Get Violent with Occupy Oakland Protesters (VIDEO)

Now, I don't like to jump to conclusions about any story without getting all the facts, but it is extremely difficult to see the justification for the recent actions taken by Oakland police who bombed a crowd of unarmed protesters with tear gas.  When I watch the video below it begs the question: was all of that really necessary?  You are the Oakland PD and you can't allow a peaceful protest by a group of kids to take place in your town without turning it into a scene from Saving Private Ryan?  These are fellow Americans right?  Isn't it true that when the Tea Party protested, they went so far as to bring GUNS to their rallies???  Yet, these kids have no weapons (the PD is claiming that rocks and bottles were thrown) and what do they get?  Tear gassed like animals.  All because they want to express their frustration with Wall Street which has severely damaged the American dream that, until recently, used to allow for upward mobility through mere hard work and determination. 

From the San Francisco Chronicle:


An Iraq war veteran who was injured during the raucous Occupy Oakland protest Tuesday night was upgraded to fair condition this morning at Highland Hospital in Oakland, a nursing supervisor said.
Scott Olsen, 24, of Daly City, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, was among the hundreds of protesters who filled the streets of downtown Oakland to protest the police dismantling of the encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall.
Keith Shannon, Olsen's roommate who served with him in Iraq, said doctors told him Wednesday night that Olsen was unconscious and breathing with the help of a respirator. He was initially reported to be in critical condition.
The antiwar group said Olsen suffered a skull fracture when he was hit by a "blunt object."
Video footage shows a protester, identified by the antiwar group as Olsen, being knocked to the ground at 14th Street and Broadway after police lobbed an object - possibly a tear gas canister - at a group of protesters.
While he lay wounded in the street, other protesters came to his aid. The footage then appears to show an officer tossing another canister toward the group helping him.
One protester can be heard screaming "What the f- " at police while a demonstrator angrily bangs his sign on the street.
Video below after the jump:
 

The Bush Administration - No Jail for Us!

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that this is a photoshopped picture of the Bush Administration.

I received an interesting email from a friend on Monday regarding recent comments made by former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. In this email my friend asked:

"Since the whole reasoning behind invading Iraq in03 turned out to be a total lie, shouldnt there have been a serious war crimes trial or something?"
Well it looks like Canada answered this question over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pat Robertson thinks GOP too extreme

I rock for Jesus, baby!!!!
You know you have a substance abuse problem when Robert Downey Jr. says he's worried about your drug intake.
You know you have a weight issue when Oprah says you could stand to drop a few pounds.
You know you have an extremist issue when Pat FREAKING Robertson says you've gone too far to the Right.
That's right. Pat FREAKING Robertson, the hateful religious fraud last heard claiming that the Haitian earthquake was punishment for a slave revolt inspired by the devil and that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimers is the right thing to do thinks that the current GOP candidates are slipping too far to the right, and that this will hurt the GOP in the general election.
I believe it was Lyndon Johnson that said, ‘Don’t these people realize if they push me over to an extreme position I’ll lose the election?’” he said. “Those people in the Republican primary have got to lay off of this stuff. They’re forcing their leaders, the frontrunners, into positions that will mean they lose the general election…They’ve got to stop this! It’s just so counterproductive!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Denying Racism is the New Racism

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts once wrote "[t]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."1  On its face, this colorblind policy sounds like a noble approach to solving America's race problem -- and for the sake of brevity, we can all agree that America does, in fact, have a race problem.  However, upon closer inspection of this colorblind policy an insidious nature emerges; it is predicated on the false premise that, today, all races are operating on an even playing field.  In other words, it denies that America's unfair racial policies and practices of yesterday have any bearing on the unequal playing field that we continue to find ourselves on today.

We would like to think that, in America, all of us are free to become wealthy and successful with just a little bit of hard work.  While we can certainly point to a handful of examples that reinforce this perception, a broader perspective reveals that such cases within the minority community are the rare exceptions to what is more frequently the rule for White families in America.  Despite our many commendable strides towards equality in America, Whites today are still more likely than Blacks, Latinos and other minorities to inherit the type of wealth, property, and education from their families that turn the "American Dream" into the "American Reality."  This fact usually tends to go unnoticed by most Americans who are honestly oblivious to the role that race has played in determining their station in life. However, there are a determined select few, like those who subscribe to the notion articulated by Chief Justice Roberts above, who are very much aware of America's racial disparities but who, nevertheless, choose to deny that race should continue to play any further role in ameliorating America's race problem.  In short, denying racism has become the new racism.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

10 Things You Did Not Know About Muammar Ghaddafi



First off I apologize for spelling the name Qaddafi about 3 different ways during this post. The fact is though, I am beginning to believe that their IS no correct spelling of the Islamic Dictator's name, as I have seen it spelled differently on FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, local networks, international media outlets, etc. They all spell the name differently. The most outrageous spelling I saw was on the Local Fox Affiliate in Philadelphia. They spelled it Khadaffi. I thought that was hilarious. I am not even sure it is a completely outrageous spelling, but it just looked comical seeing it spelled that way on television. On the other hand it was a lot of fun spelling his name various different ways in the same piece.

But I Digress...

Muammar Qaddafi was not just your everyday Middle Eastern/African dictator with outrageous greed and a lust for blood. Qaddafi was a moderate tyrant, who had ties strong ties to some of recent history's most notorious, murdering, dictators such as Charles Taylor of Liberia and Idi Amin of Uganda. Not much different than the ties America has to Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and the international drug trade. Despite what you thought of Muammar Gaddafi, he was not the black and white character we have been made to think he was. He was as grey as they come.

Anyway here are 10 things you may not have known about the recently deceased dictator, unless you did a wiki on him.

Music Reviews- Rufus Harley and Harmonica Shah

RUFUS HARLEY
Ultimately all men are brothers. This is apparent when you listen to a lot of different music. Old English/Scottish murder ballads morph into African American blues songs. Herky jerky funk vamps are echoed in Eastern European dance tunes. Hearing the equivalent of “Take it to the bridge!!” in Romanian or Serbian is amusing.
Afro-Cuban son and salsa both influences and was influenced by Senegalese, Gambian and Congolese music. In some respects music is one big swamp of mixed origins.

This was certainly true of the art of famed jazz musician Rufus Harley, who made his mark not just as a passably good composer and interpreter of other people’s work but as the genre’s primary (though perhaps not sole) bagpipes player. That’s right, BAGPIPES. Harley played an ancient instrument that may have originated in North Africa, the Middle East or Eastern Europe, but has since become almost uniquely identified with Scotland and to a lesser extent Ireland. And he played his pipes in such a manner that one wonders why other jazz or blues musicians haven’t picked them up. The really defining characteristic of bagpipes of course is that the musician is able to produce a drone. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Urban Beat: Promise Kept - All US Troops Will Depart Iraq


All US Troops in Iraq Will Draw Down to Zero


After nine-years and more than 4000 lives lost, President Obama has just announced that all remaining US Troops will withdraw from Iraq before the end of the year. The US Troops will be home in time to spend the holidays with friends and love ones and the war will finally be over.


New School Warfare: Why the Obama Doctrine Trumps the Bush Doctrine

War is a sensitive subject and rightfully so.  Arguably there is no greater decision for a Commander-in-Chief to make than the decision to send young men and women into harm's way for the sake of our country.  However, for purposes of this debate I'm going to ask you to temporarily suspend whatever personal feelings you may have about War (which I realize is asking for a lot) and focus only on the following hypothetical question:  assuming that we must go to war with a foreign enemy, is it better for America to (A) send all of our armed forces in to invade a foreign country or (B) use our international connections to help us send a small military unit specifically aimed at a certain target?

Before you give your answer, perhaps a brief history lesson is in order.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Perception vs. Reality: So-Called "Liberal" Media Criticizes Obama the Most

*Hat tip to Jack & Jill Politics for inspiring this post*

A strange thing happens once you hear something repeated over and over and over again: it becomes reality whether it's true or not.  We see evidence of this phenomenon all the time.  How many times in your junior high or high school days did you witness a rumor which was completely false turn into unquestionable reality that was beyond contestation?  Sometimes we're able to expose the falsity of certain propositions, but most of the time these things go unchallenged.  Speaking of unchallenged propositions, one of the most popular "facts" often repeated by conservatives is that the main stream media has a liberal bias that favors progressives and Democrats while demonizing conservatives and Republicans.  This "fact" has remained in the ether for quite some time largely because nobody can quantitatively say one way or the other whether or not it is true...until today that is.

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has recently published an objective report about the 2012 Presidential candidates using actual data (in other words, "facts") which conclusively shows that not only does the media report more positively about the Republican candidates, it also reports more negatively about the Democratic candidate, President Obama:

Breaking News: Muammar el-Qaddafi Captured & Killed by Libyan Fighters

New York Times confirms that while many of us were still sleeping last night, the infamous Muammar el-Qaddafi was overcome by rebel forces in Libya:


The head of the Libyan military council said that Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was killed Thursday as fighters battling the vestiges of his fallen regime wrested control of his hometown of Surt after a prolonged struggle. Al-Jazeera television showed what it said was Colonel Qaddafi’s corpse as Libyans rejoiced.
Abdul Hakim Belhaj, the leader of the Tripoli military council, said on Al Jazeera that the former leader had been killed and that anti-Qaddafi forces had his body.
The report of Colonel Qaddafi’s death by the highest ranking military officer in Libya’s interim government appeared to put an end to the fierce manhunt for the former leader who remained on the lam in Libya for weeks after the fall of his government.
Libya’s interim leaders had said they believed that some Qaddafi family members — possibly including Colonel Qaddafi and several of his sons — were hiding in the coastal town of Surt or in Bani Walid, another loyalist bastion that the anti-Qaddafi forces captured several days ago.
There were multiple reports on Thursday that Colonel Qaddafi had been either captured or killed in the fighting. Previous such reports regarding high-level Qaddafi officials have proven false.
As rumor of his death spread in the capital, Tripoli, car horns blared as many celebrated in the streets. 


What are your thoughts on this latest development?
Does this result justify the U.S. involvement in supporting the NATO forces that aided the Libyan rebels?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When Keepin' it Republican Goes Wrong - GOP Debate Recap *VIDEO*

First, we'd like to give a shout out to Bill, Leon X, Molly, Penny, The Joker, and everybody else who dropped in during the live chat of last night's Republican Presidential debate in Nevada.  This debate, for the first time, showed the truly ugly side of the GOP field.  Long gone are the days of the friendly disagreements on policy.  This crowd has gone into full Mortal Kombat mode.  At the center of the battles, the two front runners: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Godfather's Pizza guru Herman Cain.  With the Iowa Caucus moving its primary date up to January 3, 2012, many of the candidates were visibly desperate to remain relevant by any means necessary.  Santorum went on the attack against Romney over "Romneycare," Bachmann went on the attack against Cain over his gaffe on negotiating with terrorists, and man did Perry ever come at Romney's neck over immigration.  The shot above was taken when Romney, attempting to speak over an irate Perry, finally had to reach over and tell him to shut the hell up so he could get a word in edgewise.  These and other shenanigans continued throughout the rest of the debate.

But the question remains - who came out on top and who needs to pack it up?  Winners and losers after the jump:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Join The Urban Politico Team: Live Chat - GOP Presidental Debates

Join The Urban Politico team for tonight's Republican Presidential Debate.


8 PM EST CNN

Live feed at http://www.cnn.com/
Airing tonight at 8pm ET/5pm PT is the Western Republican Presidential Debate live from Las Vegas, Nevada. The debate is sponsored by CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference. Tonight's broadcast will feature seven GOP candidates since Jon Huntsman has chosen not to attend this time around.

Join us this evening for a live-chat via www.theurbanpolitico.com and logging into our Chat Feature.

Top 5 Reasons Why Herman Cain Will NOT Win the GOP Nomination

Can we just take a time out for a minute and come back to reality?  Now I know it is the media's job to run with the sensation of the week, but can we stop acting as if Herman Cain has any real chance whatsoever of becoming the 2012 Republican candidate for President?  Please.  A while ago we did a post on why everybody -- especially those on the Left -- needed to stop feeding the troll known as Sarah Palin because it was obvious that she was not going to be running for president and, therefore, was/is completely irrelevant to our political discourse.  Similarly, the time has come for us to once again shoot the deuces to yet another character who is receiving way way way too much serious discussion by the mainstream media: Herman Cain.  So he rose up in a few polls among GOP contenders...AND?  Who hasn't risen up in the polls among GOP contenders?  How many times does the GOP poll have to cry wolf before you cats start to wise up?  Nevertheless, here are 5 tried and true reasons on why we can all go on about our business and let Herman Cain go back to selling 9 pizzas with 9 toppings for 9 bucks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

McDonald's NY Beatdown

Women start fight and lose badly
Our recent post on battered women syndrome engendered some discussion about when violence is appropriate. I think it's legitimate in self-defense. Unfortunately some people have a rather elastic concept of self-defense and would extend it to such actions as shooting someone while he's shaving or burning his bed while he's asleep.


Self-defense is legitimate while the aggression is taking place and when the force used is proportional to the threat. I can't shoot someone because they stepped on my blue suede shoes. But some citizens, either from their basic nature or bitter experience, have decided that a deliberately disproportionate self-defense response is the best way to discourage further attacks. Two very stupid, drunk and violent women recently discovered that the hard way in a Manhattan McDonald's. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Movie Reviews-Thor,You Kill Me, Reanimator and More

Thor
I am a huge Norse mythology fan. I was less interested in the Marvel cartoon series and comic book featuring Thor. Those were  watered down and rewritten versions of pagan myths made more palatable for children. The original stories were grim and bloody. Unlike the Greek gods or the Christian God, the Norse gods are not all-powerful. They can and do die. They are going to lose the battle at the end of the world and die. And they know this. But they persevere anyway because that's what northern heroes do-be they gods or men. The Norse mythos is the incarnation of It's Grim Up North.

So I was a little wary of the Thor movie. However Marvel has generally done a good job with its comic book adaptations. I was intrigued because this was directed by Kenneth Branagh and included Natalie Portman. So I put aside my complaints and sat down to watch it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Obama vs. The Republican Field


As you hear in the media, the Republicans are looking for someone, ANYONE, not named Mitt Romney to challenge President Obama.  So much so, every few months, the Tea Party Republicans support a different candidate: Donald Trump, then Michelle Bachmann, next was Rick Perry, and the latest “Black Walnut Ice Cream” flavorof the month, Herman Cain. 

It is clear that the Republican primary voters aren’t content with the current class.  While we watch them reluctantly select a nominee, we see, based on a recent survey, that the Republican primary voters prefer ideology over electability.  Said another way, nearly half of primary Republicans (46%) said the most important thing to them in a presidential nominee was “a candidate who comes closest to your views on issues.”  Another 33% said they valued the “right personal style and strong leadership qualities”; while just 20% said they preferred a candidate with the best chance to beat President Obama. 

With that said, it isn’t hard to understand why the primary front runner changes with the weather; however, we know the general election voter is a far different beast altogether.  So, the question is, how would the Republican candidates do in a general election against President Obama. 

Here’s what I think (of course this is ALL in a vacuum and doesn’t take into consideration money, political organization, and how well they do in head to head debates):

Dear America, You are NOT Worth a Discussion!

US Senate Filibusters American Jobs Act


DEAR AMERICAN PEOPLE YOU ARE NOT WORTH A DISCUSSION!

KIND REGARDS,
THE UNITED STATES SENATE

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Battered Woman Syndrome-Real or Not

What does self-defense mean to you?

To me it's a pretty simple concept. Someone is threatening your life, the lives of those you love or of innocent bystanders and the only way to end that threat is to use deadly force against the person or persons making that threat. This means that either you can't leave, you are under no reasonable obligation to leave (i.e. you're in your home or your car) and the threat is imminent or immediate.

This last to me is pretty important. It's not really self-defense in a legal or moral sense of the term in my non-lawyerly mind if someone threatens you on Monday and on Saturday you see them and shoot them in the back while they're unarmed. Now of course they may have deserved it but that's not really self-defense. Or is it?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Join The Urban Politico Team: Live Chat - GOP Presidental Debates

LIVE CHAT with The Urban Politico Team TUESDAY NIGHT (TONIGHT) @ 8PM EST






GOP Presidential Primary Debate Hosted By:

Bloomberg Television and The Washington Post

8pm EST TONIGHT on Bloomberg Television or Live Steam on PostPolitics.com

Join us this evening for a live-chat via www.theurbanpolitico.com and logging into our Chat Feature.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Black Unemployment: Who's to Blame?

Let's start with the basics: there are 308 Million people in the United States according to the 2010 Census.  Of those 308 Million people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that approximately 30 million are Black.  Of these 30 Million Black folks, there are nearly 18 Million Black people who are of age and available to participate in America's labor work force.  This 18 Million figure is our base line for Black employment; if all 18 Million were able to find jobs then Black unemployment in this country would be 0% and everybody would be happy.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  Of the 18 Million Black people in the labor work force, 2.9 Million (16%) are unemployed.  Black men make up 8 Million and change of our base line 18 Million figure; of the 8 Million Black men in the work force, 1.4 Million (16.8%) are unemployed.  That same figure among Black women is 1.2 Million (13.2%).  Among the 665,000 Black teenagers eligible to work, 294,000 (44.2%) are unemployed.

When we compare the Black unemployment figures to those of our White counterparts, the contrast is undeniable:  the White unemployment rate is 8% compared to 16% for Blacks; the White male unemployment rate is 7.7% compared to 16.8% for Blacks; the White female unemployment rate is 7.1% compared to 13.2% for Blacks, and the White teenager unemployment rate is 21.3% compared to 44.2% for Blacks.  It is also notable to observe that the White unemployment rate of 8% is 1.1 percent lower than the current national average of 9.1%, whereas the Black unemployment rate of 16% is nearly twice that of the national average.

Obviously, a disparity exists between Black and White unemployment. The numbers do not lie.  But the real question that has been on many of our minds lately -- especially since the election of our first Black President -- is "Who's to Blame for Black Unemployment?"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Goes South



This past Saturday I attended the "Occupy Jacksonville" march here in Jacksonville, Florida. I documented the rally on the video below. Before you press play I remind you that I am a producer not a camera-man so apologies in advance for the shaky video and cut-off faces. But I think you'll get just of what was going on. Enjoy


video

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book Reviews-Fatal Error, Coal to Cream, Prizzi's Honor, Shadows Fall

Fatal Error
By  F. Paul Wilson
This is the penultimate Repairman Jack book. Wilson is very close to wrapping things up before the end of the world as we know it. The story seemed a little rushed.  Don't get me wrong, Repairman Jack remains one of those rare characters who is always fun to read about. It's just that maybe I was a little let down because the story is coming to an end and because the usual bad guys lack a lot of their mystery and menace. Jack is called to help an Arab-American software engineer, Munir, who is being forced to put code on his pc by a 9-11 obsessed nutcase who has kidnapped Munir's wife and child. The kidnapper has sent "proof" of his viciousness and threatened worse mayhem should Munir call police.

Jack doesn't have any more cases that don't touch on the supernatural. He's now a key player in the unending war between two multi-universal entities known as the Ally (indifferent to humanity) and the Otherness (viciously hostile to humanity). The Ally means to turn Jack into a possible replacement for its previous Champion, Glaeken. When tricked into believing that the Otherness was defeated on Earth, the Ally withdrew its powers from the millennia-old Glaeken and let him age normally.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The 47 Year Poverty War: Return to Chains (Part 4)


On January 8, 1964 then President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared a war on poverty during his State of the Union Address. At the time 19 percent of the American population of nearly 192 million people lived in poverty. The unemployment rate for 1964 averaged 5.2%. The Vietnam war had recently entered into its 9th year.

Fast forward 47 years and nine months and now President Barack Obama is pushing his American Jobs Act. The rate of poverty among the American population of 308 million is at 15 percent. That's one in six Americans. 46 million total. As of today the unemployment rate for the month of September remains unchanged at 9.1%. Also as of today the war in Afghanistan turns 10 years old.

In January 1964 Black people had yet to once again earn the right to vote; 15th amendment be damned. In January 1964 the movement for civility was going strong. A young preacher was continuing his meteoric rise in popularity among his community and hatred among his foes escalated by one of the most famous speeches in this country. It would be four more years before his star was put out. In January 1964 El Hajj Malik El Shabazz was probably preparing for his second trip to Mecca in what would be the final year of his life. These men were fighting a system of systematic depression. They were fighting a system of systematic oppression. They were fighting a system of systematic economic inequality. Bagging back against laws that made them less than, and forced them to earn less than, therefore impressing upon the hegemony that they were less than.

47 years and nine months later 19 new laws and two executive orders enacted in 14 states seek to make voting harder than it may have been in 1964. Instead of a young preacher or a rebel with a cause fighting everyday for their lives we have a President doing the same. We have a President fighting a system of systematic recession. A President fighting a system of systematic oppression including against himself. A President trying to fight a system of systematic economic inequality. Bagging back against deregulation that eroded an entire class of people, set back an entire generation, and is forcing people to earn less therefore impressing upon the wealthy elite that we are less.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So What's YOUR Reason for Not Running for President?

On Tuesday, Governor Chris Christie settled the recent hype surrounding his potential presidential run in 2012 by announcing that he was not running for President.  Christie cited to his obvious obligations as Governor of the State of New Jersey as his primary reason for deciding not to run.  And speaking of Governors who have been tempted to quit half-way through their first term, in a rather bizarre "who the hell asked you anyway?" moment, she who will not be named** also announced that, in case any of us were wondering, she's not running for President either.  Unlike Governor Christie who actually has a real job with real duties and real responsibilities, she who will not be named effectively cited to a bunch of pretext which amounts to the fact that she can continue to make more money by NOT running for President as opposed to actually running for President.

So since everybody feels compelled to give us their reasons as to why they are NOT running for President -- whether we asked for them or not -- we figured everybody else might as well jump on board the bandwagon too.  So since it appears to be en vogue this week, tell us YOUR reason for not running for President.  The Urban Politico staff will make our official and undoubtedly long-awaited presidential announcements after the jump:

** - Hat tip to OldGuru for calling it a long time ago that she who will not be named was not going to run.

"We the People" vs. Wall Street

"Occupy Wall Street Movement"

Liberty Square, New York City



Photo: Joy Malone Photography
"I don't have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama Administration. Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks,If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself." - Herman Cain, Republican US Presidential Candidate


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"The most courageous civil rights fighter in the South" Died today - Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth March 18, 1922 – October 5, 2011


Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a man once described by Rev. Martin Luther King as "the most courageous civil rights fighter in the South," died today at the age of 89.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Breaking News: NJ Gov. Chris Christie is NOT Running for Prez


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced at a press conference today at 1:00 PM EST that he is sticking by his guns when he he said he did not plan to run for President of the United States.  From the Washington Post:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won’t run for president in 2012, citing his desire to continue his work in the Garden State in a press conferenc Tuesday.
“Now is not my time” Christie said at a press conference in Trenton, New Jersey this afternoon. “I have a commitment to New Jersey that I simply will not abandon.”
Christie added that he “never really wanted” to reconsider his past refusals to run but that an overwhelming sentiment from ”people all over the country” forced him to rethink his plans.
He said his wife, Mary Pat, woke him up early one morning three weeks ago and told him that if he wanted to run, he should and that the family would be fine.
Christie was heavily courted to reconsider by large Republican donors as well as a handful of elected officials and party activists in key states. That recruitment process picked up steam following several mediocre debate performances by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, showings that raised doubts about his ability to unite the party and beat President Obama next fall.
His decision is the last major domino to fall in the Republican race, which has been defined by a series of rapid rises and falls (Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann being the best example) among conservative candidates and the courting of not-yet-candidates into the race.

Also from CNN:

The ongoing coverage coincided with the release of new poll results that showed Christie in forth place nationally among the other GOP White House contenders. Christie received 10% support among registered voters behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's 21% and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Perry's 14%, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday.
Forty-two percent of those surveyed said Christie should run for the nomination, 34% said he should not and 24% were unsure.



Question: Does this mean that the Republican Presidential field is now officially set, or will there continue to be calls for other candidates to enter the race?

Bill Maher: GOP Must Accept Their Current Bad Candidates (VIDEO)

On this past Friday's Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher raised an interesting point about this current Republican Party's modus operandi when it comes to throwing their support behind the current GOP Presidential hopefuls. 

First, they were in love with Donald Trump who rose to prominence by calling into question Obama's birth certificate - apparently an issue which resonated well with GOP/Tea Party voters.  But soon reality set in and they realized that Trump was just telling them what they wanted to hear in order to boost his TV show ratings and, even if he wasn't, there was ZERO chance Trump could actually be elected President of the United States of America.

Then Bachmann came along spouting pretty much the same Tea Party nonsense as Trump (minus the birth certificate issue) and they flocked to her in droves and then dropped her like a hot potato the minute that Rick Perry arrived on the scene.

But the base quickly soured with Perry and now apparently Mr. 9 pizzas with 9 toppings for 9 bucks is leading the pack in the polls.  And since we all know that the GOP is not comfortable with the concept of a Black President, it should come at no surprise that they are now calling for a new candidate to enter the race to replace Herman Cain: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

This begs the question: what does all this bouncing around from unelectable candidate to unelectable candidate say about the Republican base?

Watch Maher's break down after the jump:


Monday, October 3, 2011

October Book of the Month: No Apology by Mitt Romney

No Apology
by 
Mitt Romney

If you've been watching the Republican debates, then you have seen how often the other candidates (especially Rick Perry) use Mitt Romney's book against him and how often Romney often quotes from it to combat the claim that he has flip-flopped on his positions.  We figured it was high time to get down to the bottom of it and go straight to the source.  So this months' book of the month comes from none other than Mr. Guy Smiley himself.  Happy reading.

The Urban Beat: Amanda Knox is Acquitted of Murder in Italy


Amanda Knox Cleared of Murder Charges

Amanda Knox's five-year ordeal has finally come to a dramatic end. Originally charged and convicted in 2007 for the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox long professed her innocence and with the help of family, friends and many supporters, received justice today.

Assassinating Citizens: The Death of Anwar al-Awlaki

Good morning boys and girls, ladies and gentleman, dedicated readers and trolls of The Urban Politico. Your team has been working hard for you this weekend cooking up a bit of controversy over what is widely considered a good thing. What is that good thing you ask: The death of an al-Qaida leader that’s been a bane on the existence of the United States since 2009. Still doesn’t ring a bell? How about this:

BREAKING: Anwar al-Awlaki, U.S. citizen linked to al-Qaida, has been killed.
That is the text of a Breaking News text I received Friday morning at a quarter to 5. I was at work and of course our sparsely populated newsroom sprung into action. But unlike the killing of Osama bin Laden, news I met with joyous whoops and chants (though it meant staying at work longer) this news settled on me differently. In short I felt some kind of way about it. So in my some kind of way feeling I fired of an email to the UP team saying:
“Yeah he inspired terrorists and therefore [was] a type of terrorist himself but he was still a U.S. Citizen. Is it right [that] he was assassinated by our own government? Also does this make Lupe’s statement true that America is the biggest terrorist in the world?”

This brief commentary was sent with A.P. copy of the events that transpired in Yemen. What followed my inquiry was a 33 message email chain that has left the six of us in disagreement on the actions of our government in regards to terrorism and foreign policy.
Since I started this mess you will hear my thoughts first followed by the rest of the team. Agree with me, disagree with me, agree with all of us, disagree with all of us. Take this for what it is… Six individuals trying to make sense of a world and a war that often doesn’t make any sense at all.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book Reviews-A Dance With Dragons, Pest Control, Camber of Culdi, Hitler's Black Victims

A Dance With Dragons
by George R.R. Martin
I finished A Dance with Dragons (ADWD).
How to write a review without discussing specific events or naming who's alive? I could write that it was a good story and stop. Many people have not read the series so no spoilers here. However I can say that whoever your favorite character might be, you are more attached to him or her than Martin is.

ADWD is the long awaited fifth book in George R.R. Martin's (GRRM) planned seven book series A Song of Ice And Fire (ASOIAF).  GRRM has stated that often morally good people can make poor leaders while people who are dreadfully wicked can turn out to be excellent executives. ADWD shows that intelligence, competence and morality are not correlated traits. 

GRRM also tweaks our desire for vengeance. ADWD makes an explicit shout out to Titus Andronicus. A few evil characters who earlier committed savage violent acts encounter people who are so demonically depraved, so psychotically sadistic, so incredibly maleficent that you almost find yourself feeling sorry for the lesser baddies and perhaps a little ashamed of your previous bloodthirst. Some of this was hinted at or even detailed in previous books but here GRRM stomps on the fuzz pedal and turns the amp up to eleven. This is ninth circle of hell stuff. Nightmare Fuel. It's as if GRRM is saying "Oh so you want vengeance huh? Let me show you just what that looks like. Still want it tough guy?" It's an echo of Ned Stark's warning that "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die".