Wednesday, March 31, 2010

**UPDATED** Top 5 Reasons Why Health Care Reform Will Likely Be Upheld By The SCOTUS

Yesterday, two historic events took place. First, President Obama signed into law the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010," otherwise known as Health Care Reform.  Second, no sooner than his last pen left the paper, 15 Attorneys General from various states (Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington) all filed law suits attacking the Constitutionality of the law.  Now I know what many of you are probably thinking...this is just another desperate right-wing attack in a long line of desperate right-wing attacks to kill Health Care Reform. But hold up! Not so fast.  As it turns out, ladies and gentlemen, this is not just another empty right-wing talking point (not to mention, one of the AG's, James Caldwell from Louisiana, is not a right-winger at all - he's actually a Democrat). There's actually a legitimate argument here this time which is this: the "mandate" starting in 2014 that forces people to either buy heath care or face a fine is unconstitutional because Congress cannot force people, or make the states force people, to actually do something.  A valid argument to be sure. Nevertheless, despite this meritorious argument against the 2014 health care mandate, there are 5 reasons why this argument will lose if this issue ever makes its way to the Supreme Court. I'll break them down in the most NON-legal speak possible after the jump:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The “Real American”: Resurrecting the “Southern Strategy”

Not only does President Obama have to prove he is a “Real American,” now we are ALL being asked the following questions.  Are you a “Real American?”

I thought I was……

I think I am……

I mean, I was born IN this country complete with birth certificate (for those who NEED to see it).  But it seems that isn’t enough anymore.  In the last two years, I have heard this SOOOOO much that I have started to question my own citizenship. There is a CLEAR line being drawn in the sand.  If you don’t believe as the "Real Americans" want you to believe, then you are NOT an American!!!

The Urban Beat - March 30, 2010

1.  President Obama signs Health Reform Reconciliation bill and Student Loan Overhaul.

2.  Strippergate is making the RNC look ridiculous (even moreso than usual).

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Word on Democrats

In the aftermath of the health care reform vote, many people are invariably caught up in the cable news talking points about [insert your issue here],  and may have become oblivious to a looming question long subverted by the controversial nature of the health care debate: what does it say about the Democratic Party that they even had to have an actual discussion on whether they, the supermajority in Congress, could actually get themselves together in order to make a simple majority vote? 

The Urban Beat - March 29, 2010

1. Racism still alive they just be concealin it...or not

Apparently there are too many black people calling in on C-SPAN according to this Republican caller from North Carolina. Really homie it's like that? Hookay!

Someone might want to let these wingers know that the racial makeup of America has been changing for some time now and it's time they caught up to reality.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 26, 2010

1.  Congressman Eric Cantor is a big fat liar.

2.  Obama bumper sticker causes road rage.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 25, 2010

1.  GOP going bats%$t insane is the top story of the day.  Oh and the reconciliation passed the Senate and will go back to the House for a vote TONIGHT.

Get the EFF outta here Congressman Cantor.  Watch him BLAME THE DEMOCRATS for the violent threats after the jump.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WTF! Pro-lifers Send Death Threats To Stupak and Other Democrats

So what exactly what do pro-lifers mean when they say they are PRO-LIFE?!  I'm more than a little concerned about the safety of President Obama, all Democrats in Congress, their staffers, and not to mention anyone who happens to be standing or living near any of the above folks listed in case one of these nut job tea partiers moves beyond simple death threats and petty vandalism. 

Since this weekend's historic health reform vote, Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak has gotten death threats from these protectors of the living and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter received death threats against her CHILDREN.  Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello's brother's address was put on a tea party website and one of these nuts cut a propane gas line as his house.

Listen to the death threats left for Congressman Stupak after the jump:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 23, 2010

1.  Picture of the day!  Which is in response to this remark by Vice President Joe Biden at the signing ceremony today.

Get Off My TeeVee: Joe Scarborough Edition

I seriously think Joe is losing his mind. He has absolutely NO CLUE. The Professor in this segment is from Tufts University too Holla!

Healthcare Bill Signing Video

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Monday, March 22, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 22, 2010

In Barack Obama’s agonising, year-long effort to pass universal health insurance, the latest bump in the road may seem trivial, and the president must surely hope the Indonesians don’t take it personally. At the last minute, he cancelled his trip to the place he grew up in. The visit was actually of great personal importance to him and a critical part of his message that America and a moderate Islam can and will get along.

But he also knows that his clout abroad depends on his success at home. The linkage matters. There is a connection between healthcare reform and the war on terror, and between relations with China and the entire Obama narrative. His opponents know this, which is why one Senate Republican said he wanted to make healthcare Obama’s Waterloo. If they could defeat him there, they could defeat him elsewhere: on Guantanamo, on financial regulation, on Israel, on withdrawal from Iraq and on torture.

This Is What Change Looks Like - Health Care Reform Passes

After decades of debate, failed attempts and rising costs (not to mention one of the ugliest year-long debates in recent history), the Health Care Reform Bill passed the House with a vote of 219 in favor - 212 opposed; it will be signed into law by President Obama shortly.

This is an historic moment in American history, but it is not without controversy as there are many angry voices out there who will likely become even angrier now that issue is no longer up for debate. Furthermore, lest we not forget, there are also those anti-anything-Obama folks out there who will be against this victory for the President just on GP.  The Attorney General from Virginia has reportedly already drafted a lawsuit to challenge the new law on Constitutional grounds...and this is surely just the first of many similar lawsuits that will will see over the following months.

So the question is, now that Health Care Reform has passed, what are your reactions, thoughts, concerns and also what do you think the reaction is going to be like from the "212" crowd come November?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tavis v. Sharpton Part II: Tavis' Black Agenda Summit in Chicago

Other than the March Madness tournament this weekend, Tavis Smiley and others held his controversial "Black Agenda" summit in Chicago that was the subject of previous debate between Smiley and the Rev. Al Sharpton a few weeks ago (we blogged about it HERE).  Among the Summit panelists were some of the regulars who we've all come to expect to be in attendance at Tavis' State of the Black Union (Dyson, West, etc.) which, incidentally, was canceled this year.  The dialogue that took place raised many good points as to what and if a "Black Agenda" should be included by the President of the United States and the U.S. Government in general, but it also left many questions unanswered.

Fellow Black Blogger, Max Reddick, and the crew over at Blog Talk Radio will be discussing this event tonight, Sunday March 21, 2010 at 9pm Eastern Standard Time at the following live stream location:

Please join the members of the Urban Politco tonight as we tune in (and dial in!) to continue this dialogue about the "Black Agenga."

Video of Tavis' Summit HERE.

Friday, March 19, 2010

1.  I hate Peggy Noonan.  Watch this clip and you will understand why.  Congressman Anthony Weiner FTW.

Get Off My TeeVee: Tim Phillips Edition

Chris Matthews PWNS the head of Americans For Prosperity a fake corporately funded "grassroots" organization set up to try to block health reform.  Phillips is a complete douche.  That is all.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Appearance of Impropriety

Dread Scott. Plessy v. Furgeson. Brown v. Board of Topeka Education.  Bush v. Gore.  Citizens United.  Try as it may, the Supreme Court of the United States is no stranger to controversy.  The latest controvery, however, comes not from the Justices themselves but from one of their significant others: to wit, Virgina “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.  Recently, Mrs. Thomas created a political action group known as Liberty Central; the group is intended to appeal to the Tea Party constituency.  Per Mrs. Thomas: "We’ve got to get the Constitution back to a place where it means something...or we’re headed for tyranny." Of course, Mrs. Thomas is not bound by the Canon of Judicial Ethics which bars political activism for her husband, but her advocacy in this high-profile arena, in light of the recent Citizens United case, begs the question: does this situation create a conflict of interest or an appearance of impropriety for Justice Thomas?  Our 2 cents after the jump:

Leave Gabourey Sidibe Alone!

I'm going on record saying that it is not okay to talk about Gabourey Sidibe as if she is not a human being with feelings.  She is young and has a wonderful personality and just got nominated for an Oscar for her first movie ever, Precious.

First it was Howard Stern.  Who, you know, should really be talking about someone else's looks because he looks just like Brad Pitt...oh wait.

She is "the most enormous fat black chick I've ever seen." --Howard Stern talking about Gabourey Sidibe

The Urban Beat - March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

1.  Rep. Dennis Kucinich flips his vote to YES on the health reform bill.  One vote closer to 216 because he was a NO vote the first time. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 16, 2010

1.  Rachel Maddow talks to Michael Lewis about financial reform.  A must see interview:

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 15, 2010

2.  The guy running against John McCain in the Republican primary is effing CRAAAAAAAZY.  He said gay marriage will lead to people being able to marry...wait for it....a horse.

Why Do Mistresses Get Photoshoots?

Why is there no shame?  You slept with a married man while his wife was going through cancer treatment.  You weren't responsible enough to use protection and so you get yourself pregnant.  And all of this happens while your lover is running for President of the United States.

Sounds like the last person we Americans need to see in a glossy photo spread right?

Wrong.  The powers that be over at GQ Magazine beg to differ.

Why are we acting like this woman is a victim in this situation?  Why is she wearing no pants?  What the eff is wrong with people?!

Why do mistresses get photoshoots?

Read the article which is as disturbing as these pictures where she is wearing what looks like one of John Edwards shirts here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 12, 2010

1. President Obama postpones trip to Australia making a vote on health reform likely for next weekend.

2.  Pelosi will not include the public option in the final House billShe will include reforms for student loans.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 10, 2010

1. Wow...just wow! Rep. Massa story just got really weird.  "Massa massages!"

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Gay Marriage Conflict in D.C.

On Wednesday March 3rd, 2010, Washington D.C. joined the growing list of U.S. jurisdictions that recognize gay marriage after the Supreme Court refused to hear a request to block it.  Chief Justice John Roberts was quoted as saying "as a matter of judicial policy, it has been the practice of the U.S. Supreme Court not to intervene in local matters."  D.C.'s 13 member "city" council voted 11 to 2 in favor of the Gay Marriage Act; the 2 lone dissenting votes were Marion Barry (D) and Yvette Alexander (D). Gay Marriage (as opposed to civil unions) is now legally recognized in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington D.C.

Although reaction from the gay community has been one of jubilation, reaction from the rest of D.C. has been mixed with some in support and others expressing disappointment.  The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, which receives $22 Million to provide services to the D.C. area, threatened to rescind its contracts with D.C. if the Act passed.  Now that the act has passed, the Catholic organization has ended its foster care program (transferring its operation over to the National Center for Children and Families) and has changed the policy of Catholic Charities with respect to employee benefits.  Starting now and going forward, Catholic Charities will no longer offer benefits to the spouses of any new employees (irrespective of sexual orientation) or any current employees who are not already signed up with a health care plan provided by the organization.

QUESTION: What do you think of the recent move by Catholic Charities? 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Get Off My TeeVee: Former Rep. Eric "The Tickler" Massa

This is such a train wreck which means makes for great TeeVee.  But still get off!

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The Urban Beat - March 9, 2010

1.  White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismantles all of former Rep. Massa's arguments related to his surprise resignation. 

2.  The President shows shades of the campaign in the final push for health reform.

The Greatest Rapper Alive Died on March 9th

Christopher Wallace aka Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G. was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York May 21, 1972 and was arguably one of rap's greatest icons and best emcee's until his untimely death in Los Angeles, California on March 9, 1997.

Food for thought:  What would the Hip-Hop/Rap scene look like today if Biggie were still alive?

Tribute video after the jump:

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 8, 2010

1.  Rep. Eric Massa's "retirement" becoming increasingly strange.  He calls out Democratic leadership for forcing him out in order to pass health reform.  Oh and he allegedly have sexually harassed a male staffer.  He is even planning to appear on Glenn Beck (yes, that Glenn Beck) tomorrow for the entire hour.

2.  Sarah Palin wrote on her hand because God did it.  She really said that. Idiot.

Get Off My TeeVee: Andrea Tantaros Edition

Did she basically just call President Obama psycho?  Ms. Tantaros you just compared the POTUS to Glenn Close from 'Fatal Attraction.'  Get off my teevee.

Memorable Moments at the Oscars

Last night marked the 82nd ceremony for the Academy Awards for motion picutres, otherwise known as "The Oscars."  Depending on whether you had Time Warner or not (who was battling over its contract with ABC), you might have witnessed the traditional promenade of Hollywood gowns and tuxedos by all the latest and most expensive fashion designers known to man.  Doogie Howser (Neil Patrick Harris) opened up the show with a full production song and dance routine to announce the two co-hosts, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.  Martin had hosted it before but this was Baldwin's first time, nevertheless you wouldn't have known it; the two seemed very comfortable and naturally funny as they went down the row heckling the all the nominees seated in the front row D.L. Hughley style.

Getting down to business, the major awards were as follows:

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 5, 2010

1.  Rep. Bart Stupak is wrong about the health reform bill covering abortion.

2.  Rep. Eric Massa seems to be admitting to something here.  To what exactly, I don't know, but he's resigning on Monday which means Pelosi only needs 216 votes to pass the Senate health reform bill.

Get Off My TeeVee: Liz McCarthy...I Mean Cheney Edition

Liz Cheney has crossed the line on this one.  Even some of her conservative allies are turning against her.

She put out this ad calling members of the Department of Justice "The Al Qaeda Seven" claiming that because they had clients in the past that were detainees they somehow are supporting jihad or something stupid like that.  This woman needs to go to the bunker with Dick!

Bonus! Check out Rachel Maddow simply DESTROY Lil Miss Cheney for this scare mongering ad after the jump:

The Hurt Locker: War is a drug.

So first off let me just say that I've seen The Hurt Locker and my personal opinion is that it is one of the most thrilling and riveting movies I've seen in a very long time. It is nominated for NINE Academy Awards, tied only with Avatar for the most nominations this year.

If she wins this Sunday, the film's director Kathryn Bigelow (who ironically was once married to her chief rival in the best director category James Cameron for Avatar) would be the first woman ever to take home the best director statue for this sleeper hit which had a budget of only $11 million dollars. The movie has gotten praise from critics for it's grit, unbelievable suspense, and realism. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sprite Stepoff-Gate: Lawrence C. Ross Jr. vs. Jason Whitlock

2 weeks ago a White sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA), sent shockwaves through the Black Community (not to mention the blogosphere) when it won Sprite's "Stepoff" stepshow, which was a national stepshow competition hosted in Atlanta, MC'd by Ludacris and judged by a panel of mostly non-greek celebrities such as Chilli from TLC and singer Monica.  The winners, ZTA, won $100,000 in scholarship money, not to mention bragging rights.  In an unusual turn of events, however, subsequent to the show Sprite announced an "error" in the scoring and reneged by announcing that the 2nd place Black sorority, the Tau chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA), was to be the "co-winner" along with the 1st place ZTA.  Aside from this obvious faux pas in Stepshow winner etiquette, the entire situation has sparked a dialogue within the Black Community. When it was initially announced that the White sorority had won the show, the mostly Black audience "booed." What does this say about race relations within our historically Black institutions and organizations?  2 general schools of thought seem to have emerged on the topic - one articulated by author Lawrence C. Ross, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc. - the other articulated by sports columnist Jason Whitlock, a Black writer for the Kansas City Star and frequent contributor to ESPN.

The Urban Beat - March 4, 2010

1.  CNN Fail.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Urban Beat - March 3, 2010

1.  Governor Paterson really might be forced to resign shortly. NYT out with yet ANOTHER story today smdh.  Now he violated ethics rules by getting free World Series tix sigh.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Epidemic: AIDS In The Black Community

The numbers are beyond alarming.  None of this is "news."  Most of us are aware that there is an epidemic of HIV/AIDSs in the Black community. 

Studies show that there are some communities in the United States that have a higher rate of infection than Africa!  For example, in the nation's capital 1 in 30 adults is HIV infected.  In New York, it's 1 in 40.

As the chart (right) shows, HALF of all AIDS cases diagnosed in the 2007, were in the Black community who remember only make up a total of 12% of the U.S. population.  Nearly 70% of these new cases are Black women.

That is just CRAZY.

How did this happen?

The Urban Beat - March 2, 2010

1.  Rough timeline for health reform.  Emphasis on ROUGH.  Subject to change!

2.  If this turns out to be true, SHAME ON YOU, Governor Paterson.  He allegedly influenced a witness in a domestic abuse case smh.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Book of the Month - Broken Government

Broken Government
John W. Dean

What happens when our government can no longer operate as it was designed to in the Constitution due to the steady bickering of political parties?  Has the Republican agenda of corporate interest irreparably harmed the way the 3 branches of government function?  John W. Dean explores these issues and more in his book "Broken Government."  Please join us in our discussion of "Broken Government."

At the time of this posting, new copies available for $1 HERE

The Urban Beat - March 1, 2010

1.  CNN Fact Checks Republicans on the use of Reconciliation.  Turns out they are lying. I'm shocked, SHOCKED!

1b. Bonus!
Former parliamentarian for the Senate goes "off message" says there is nothing wrong with the Democrats passing health care using Reconciliation: