Saturday, March 31, 2012

Television-Game of Thrones S1 Recap and S2 Anticipation

HBO's Game of Thrones FINALLY returns for Season Two tomorrow!!! 
Why did I like Game of Thrones? Because it's adult fantasy. It presents real characters with recognizable motivations and frailties. Few characters are one moral shade. Everyone has their own interests and limited information. Imagine The Wire or The Sopranos meets Middle Earth.
Season One started with the "hero" Ned Stark agreeing to work for the King. It ended with both the King and Ned murdered and Ned's family scattered. I hope you enjoy the Season One Recap below. Season Two Trailers are included within. There are no Season Two spoilers but Season One is detailed.

This is a series with a lot of moral complexity, backstabbing, double dealing, religious extremists, and examinations of the glory and horror that goes on when wars start. It breaks down the costs of honor and how difficult it can be to always do the right thing.
There was an asinine NYT review of Season Two that complained that Ned was dead, things weren't moving fast enough and there were too many characters. NEWS FLASH: Season Two does not complete the story. Season Two is primarily based on the second book of a series which is currently planned for seven. If you want simplistic heroes, quick results and feeble-minded plot lines, go watch a cartoon at the kiddies' table. If you have some patience for Dickensian complexity and appreciate good writing and great production values, check this out.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mega Millions Jackpot $640M

Mega Millions Jackpot $640M

Next Drawing Tonight

For the past couple weeks we've covered very important issues that were intense and forced us all to think. Today I want us to have a little fun, loosen up a bit and use our imaginations. 

The Life of Grand_Central Post Jackpot Win this evening........

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Detroit's Last Stand

As you may have heard about or read here in a previous post the City of Detroit is broke. The Mayor and Council have been unable and unwilling to fix the problem. The state review board has certified that Detroit is a hot mess. This started the legal process for Governor Rick Snyder to seek either a consent agreement between the city and state or to impose an emergency manager. The consent agreement is "emergency manager lite". Under a consent agreement the mayor and council would still have some fiscal influence, just not very much. A financial board would be set up to run the city's finances. Members would be appointed by the governor, the mayor and the city council. Union contracts could not peremptorily be thrown out. Under an emergency manager law, the mayor's and council's authority to do anything would be eliminated, not trimmed and union contracts could be reopened or rejected. Detroit has just a few days left before the city is obligated to either be in an consent agreement or the governor must impose an emergency manager. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Congratulations to Magic Johnson - Owner of Los Angeles Dodgers

From the Basketball Court to the Owners Box

Magic Johnson has once again proven that not all athletes are doomed for financial catastrophe.  As we saw with Allen Iverson a few weeks ago and just yesterday with Dennis Rodman, there seems to be a disconnect between earning a significant amount of money as a professional athlete, and setting up a financial plan that ensures a strong future. Magic has successfully navigated this process and I hope that Lebron, Dwayne, Carmelo and the rest of the younger players, pay attention to Magic or seek his counsel. 

As you will see below, financially this is a major deal. I am extremely proud of Magic! I believe he has just laid a brick that will not only solidify his financial future, but he's truly embedded his legacy into professional sports. This will supersede anything he ever did on the basketball court, in my humble opinion.

From The Wall Street Journal:

With a bid of $2.15 billion, including the surrounding land, Mr. Johnson, controlling partner Mark Walter and partners Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly beat out a group of some of the wealthiest businessmen in the country to land a team that is one of Major League Baseball's flagship franchises. The sales figure shatters the previous record sales price for a U.S. sports franchise, Steve Ross's purchase of the Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion three years ago.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Unnecessary Ignorance

New Black Panther Party Offers Bounty for George Zimmerman

I really don't want to give any traction to this ignorance, but as we continue our coverage of this story it's important that we remain fair and keep you abreast of all developments. 

These are the shenanigans and negative exposure that I feared the Martin family would be subjected to. The last thing we need is for this story to become a circus act and force us to lose sight of the true issue at hand.

Speaking on behalf of the Martin Family, Daryl Parks of Park & Crump stated very clearly:
We do not condone, in fact we condemn the conduct of this particular group and in no shape or form support it. We believe that in America in our country and our state that we can get fair justice and we are putting our confidence in the system that we have in our great state of Florida. So we don't condone those people what so ever.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Supreme Court takes up Health Care debate

Let us settle this with steel and blood
Starting on Monday (3-26) the Supreme Court of the United States will hear three days of oral arguments concerning the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)-popularly and usually derisively- known as Obamacare. We thought it might be worthwhile to revisit some of the legal and policy ramifications of this law and what questions the Court will be looking at when it makes this momentous decision.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Special Trayvon Martin Episode of the "That's What's UP" Hour Sunday at 5pm EST

Fourth Episode: That's What's UP - The Urban Politico Hour
Special Edition: Trayvon Martin

Join us again as the Urban Politico team ventures into our fourth installment of our weekly talk radio show: "That's What's UP."  This week, we talk about the Trayvon Martin tragedy and all topics related to the tragedy.

Join Us Live - Sunday, March 25th @5pm-6pm EST

Click HERE to follow on live stream
Call in: (424) 675-6844


Listen to internet radio with The Urban Politico on Blog Talk Radio

Book Reviews-LA Confidential, Why is Sex Fun?, Weapons of Choice

L.A. Confidential
by James Ellroy.
I don't know what James Ellroy really thinks of black people or what he's like in real life. Absent other evidence, as readers we should be really wary of assuming anything about authors. On the other hand I think that over time you can and indeed must make some judgments about people based on what they write. It's tricky though. SM Stirling quote:
"And a special acknowledgment to the author of Niven's Law: There is a technical, literary term for those who mistake the opinions and beliefs of characters in a novel for those of the author. The term is 'idiot.'"

I would like to provoke ambiguous responses in my readers. That's what I want. There's part of me that would really like to be one of Dudley Smith's goons and go back and beat up some jazz musicians, and there's part of me that's just appalled. I figured out a while back that I'm an unregenerate white Anglo-Saxon Protestant heterosexual. So are my men. Their racism and homophobia is appalling, but it's germane to their characters, and people will either get that or not get it. That's that.* Ellroy Quote
Also, so that we would know exactly what he thinks of people that have a problem with his prose style Ellroy thoughtfully shared this
In L.A. Confidential, Ellroy tells a multifaceted story of good and evil (perhaps lesser evil and greater evil or better yet different kinds of evil) in post-war Los Angeles. His primary protagonists are three LAPD officers. They make Daryl Gates look like Michael Dukakis. The men also almost exactly line up with id (White), ego (Vincennes) and superego (Exley) and rather less well with the old D&D alignments of Chaotic Evil (White), Neutral Evil (Vincennes) and Lawful Neutral (Exley)

The Urban Politico Reaches 250,000 Views!!!

We first launched this blog with two writers in April 2009.  Today we've grown to a staff of 7 writers, we've appeared in numerous media outlets and publications including appearances on XM radio, talk radio, The Huffington Post, The Root, and Crooks & Liars, we've even won an award from the Black Weblog Awards as the Best Political/News Blog for 2010 and we've conducted interviews with celebrities such as Steven A. Smith and Common.   And we've enjoyed having you with us every step of the way.

So we want to Thank You, the readers, for helping us reach a quarter million views.  Here's to reaching a quarter million more!

  • Godson - Washington, DC
  • The Janitor - New York, NY
  • The Fed - Washington, DC
  • Shady Grady - Detroit, MI
  • The Storyteller - Jacksonville, FL
  • Grand Central - New York, NY
  • Old Guru - Washington, DC

Friday, March 23, 2012

Obama Speaks on Trayvon Martin

What I've been waiting for at least has finally happened. Obama has spoken on shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Press play and then sound off.

Does the "Stand Your Ground" Law Apply to the Trayvon Martin Case?

It is fair to say that over the last 25 days the world has begun to take notice of who 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was and the events surrounding his death.  The case has taken America by storm, but not because of the media's sensationalism of all things race (although one would be hard pressed to argue that race played absolutely no role whatsoever in Trayvon's death).  In fact, the reason why Trayvon's case has forced so many of us to take notice has little to do with his death at all.  Indeed, young teenaged men -- and especially young Black men -- are killed without justification in this country every single day without so much as a below-the-fold headline to acknowledge their departure from this earth.  Rather, what makes this case so special is what happened after Trayvon was killed.

In a word: nothing.

Nobody was charged with a crime.  Nobody was brought before a judge or a jury.  In fact, the shooter (who identified himself to the police that evening as 28 year-old George Zimmerman) is still walking free to this day.  Which, to most reasonably minded people, immediately begs the question: why not?  This is America, right?  Usually, in America, when somebody is gunned down a few feet from their home armed with nothing more than a pack of Skittles, we don't expect the police to show up, give us the Kanye shrug, and go home as if nothing happened.  You don't have to be a federal prosecutor to know that when you shoot somebody to death in this country, you can rest assured that you will, at the very least, be spending some time behind bars while your little "misunderstanding" is sorted out.  But that did not happen here.  Instead, Sanford, Florida Police Chief Bill Lee informed America that, under Florida's so-called "Stand Your Ground" law, the Sanford Police Department concluded that they had no grounds to arrest Zimmerman.  So we thought we'd conduct our own legal analysis as to whether the "Stand Your Ground" law applies here or not.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gene Simmons Attacks Rihanna

When announcing their tour together KISS frontman/bassist Gene Simmons and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee found it necessary to gratuitously attack Rihanna for alleged lack of musical ability.
"We're sick and tired of girls getting up there with dancers and karaoke tapes in back of them," Simmons told the crowd at the press conference, reports "No fake bull***t. Leave that to the Rihanna, Shmianna and anyone who ends their name with an 'A.' "
The ironic thing of course is that although KISS was a fantastically commercially successful band in their heyday they were not considered then or now to be excellent or frankly even good musicians. They were known for exalting the stage show above any other consideration. Simmons (born Chaim Witz) in particular was known to be a greedy SOB who cared much more about the dollar signs and over the top stage performances than anything having to do with music. In short they were EXACTLY what they are accusing Rihanna of being.

Our Responsbility to Reflect and Assess Our Actions

Earlier this week I saw the open letter below and thought it was important I share with all of you. The author is not pointing any fingers or attempting to place blame, he is simply asking us as a collective community to stop and think about our actions. Trayvon Martin's murder shouldn't go in vain and we need to make a collective effort the ensure that we never have to witness such a tragedy again. We've spent a bit of time discussing this case and have each contributed our personal analysis. Let's all step back and take a moment to think.

Original Article Posted on Global Grind by BlogXilla, Senior Entertainment Editor

Dear Black People,

Look in the mirror; are you the reason why Trayvon Martin is dead?

This morning when I woke up, I put on my black Invisible Bully hoodie, a pair of blue jeans and my sneakers. As I looked in the mirror I thought of Michael Skolnik's blog. I hate to admit it, but I looked suspicious. Then my heart sank into the pit of my stomach as I thought to myself, 'Could I be to blame for Trayvon Martin's death?'

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Million Hoodie March Livestream At Union Square In NYC

Live broadcasting by Ustream

Why President Obama Should Speak on The Death of Trayvon Martin

By now we've all heard the grisly details of what happened the night of February 26th in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. A 17-year-old boy, Trayvon Martin, armed with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea was shot in his chest and killed by the neighborhood watch captain in the neighborhood where he was returning to his father and his father's fiancee's home. Martin is dead, his 28-year-old self-admitted killer is a free man. Call it murder, call it self-defense, call it vigilanteism, call it racial profiling the fact of the matter is a young Black boy is dead for no reason and our first African-American President hasn't said a word. In fact, the White House released a statement via press secretary Jay Carney saying:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Trayvon Martin's family. But obviously we're not going to wade into a local-law enforcement matter."
While I appreciate the administration believing in state and city sovereignty now is not the time to be diplomatic. It is the the time to show leadership. President Obama has waded into local and national issues before. In 2010, when the "ground zero mosque" sent the country into a feverish frenzy thirsty for Muslim blood, the President waded into the debate -- in the hot midterm election -- to offer his thoughts. In 2009 the President's "they acted stupidly" comment on the arrest of his friend Henry Louis "Skip" Gates ended in a badly acted round robin known infamously now as the "beer summit." And even before then, Presidential Candidate and then Senator Obama spoke about the senseless shooting of Sean Bell in New York, JENA 6 and other instances of racial profiling targeting the Black community specifically; Black men.

Companies Demand Facebook Passwords!

"We're watching you"
One of the nice things about being a blogger or frequent blog commenter is that you get the opportunity to build an online persona and interact with people literally all over the world. This online persona may be close to your "real life" personality or it may be 180 degrees apart. You may decide to be totally and completely transparent with readers and co-bloggers or you may hold on fiercely to your "secret" or "online identity" and associated privacy.
Now imagine if a would be employer did an online search for you and found your Facebook page. They looked at the public views and didn't find anything objectionable: no racist jokes and calls for bloody revolution, no fond memories (and pictures) of Copenhagen orgies, no five star reviews of Tijuana brothels. You're good to go right? Not so fast. Let's say that the would be employer is not convinced that you're not hiding something. After all EVERYONE is hiding something. And this employer is a watchful, distrustful sort.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Romney Cleans House in Illinois Primary

Results for Illinois Republican Primary (U.S. Presidential Primary)
Mar 20, 2012 (94% of precincts reporting)
1. Mitt Romney395,85846.8%
2. Rick Santorum296,43235%
3. Ron Paul78,4319.3%
4. Newt Gingrich66,9597.9%

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another Episode of the "That's What's UP" Hour Tonight at 5pm EST

Third Episode: That's What's UP - The Urban Politico Hour

Join us again as the Urban Politico team ventures into our third installment of our weekly talk radio show: "That's What's UP."

Join Us Live - Sunday, March 18th @5pm-6pm EST

This week up for discussion:
The Murder of Trayvon Martin
The NYPD's Surveillance of Muslims in New York City and New Jersey
The GOP's Race to the General Election
Women’s War Against Men: anti-Viagra bills, anti-vasectomy bills, sex strike

Join Godson, The Fed, Shady Grady, The Storyteller, The Janitor, OldGuru and Grand_Central for a weekly analysis of everything politics.

Click HERE to follow on live stream
Call in: (424) 675-6844

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Movie Reviews-35 and Ticking, Lucky, Attack the Block, Quarantine 2

35 and Ticking
directed by Russ Parr
Nicole Ari Parker is one of the world's most beautiful women. She's not a bad actress either. Given those two facts I'm befuddled as to why she hasn't had at least as much success as similar or lesser talented actresses like Zoe Saldana, Thandie Newton or Halle Berry. Good Roles for black actresses are hard to find though.

So when I saw her on the DVD cover I had to check out this romantic comedy. 35 and Ticking has an ensemble cast which includes people such as Megan Good (another actress of noticeable beauty), Mike Epps, Keith Robinson, Jill Marie Jones, Tamala Jones, Kevin Hart, Clifton Powell,  Kym Whitley, and Wendy Raquel Robinson. The story is older than dirt but I liked the execution. Or maybe I just liked Nicole Ari Parker. Either way this was a humorous movie with a few over the top events. It wasn't quite at the level of "gospel plays" or some of Tyler Perry's less subtle work. It's not really lowbrow but it's not afraid to occasionally go for a few cheap laughs. OK, maybe more than a few.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Seeking Individuals for Neighborhood Watch: Great Benefits, Flexible Hours, Can Murder at Will

**Update in the Trayvon Martin case**

For His Life! Witnesses Heard Trayvon Martin Screaming For Help Before He Was Killed

Apparently, there ARE other sides to this story.   Click the link and read the article.  Sound off with your responses below.

I think many of you know I am a prosecutor.  My job is to advance public safety in the District of Columbia and show the public that justice will be swift and well, just.  I have to be tough.  The public does not want a prosecutor that is soft on crime, that second guesses police, that is uncommitted, or who defense attorneys can push over.

Ok, no problems there. I am tough.  I am passionate.  I take my job seriously.  I regularly whip Harvard and Yale defense attorneys.  I really believe in the work I do.  In general, I cringe when I hear a defense attorney's main theory that police planted evidence, that witnesses made up the crime, or that the government (prosecutors) is hiding evidence helpful to the defense.  These things don't happen in 2012 do they?  Do I really need to answer that?

Urban Beat: Dharun Ravi Found Guilty in Tyler Clementi Web Spy Case

Justice Partially Served for Tyler Clementi

By now you all know how I feel about the LGBT Community and my passion for ensuring that they are treated equally on all levels. After several heated arguments with friends and family regarding this case, I am going to be honest with myself and all of you and say that I am a bit blinded by my passion, with regards to this case. The legal term if I were a judge would be to "recuse myself," so that is what I am doing. You can probably already guess what my thoughts and opinions are regarding this case and this verdict, so I can be quiet and keep them to myself. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Homeless Hotspots Coming Soon!!!

Have you ever run into a dead zone and are unable to connect to the net? And maybe you're too far away from a Starbucks or other Internet cafe? Or maybe your neighbor has shut you out of their Wi-Fi network?

Never fear. Just sidle up to the nearest homeless person in your neck of the woods. Because there's a chance he might be an actual "Homeless Hotspot". Yes, 21st century America is all about getting EVERYBODY plugged in and empowered. Be the change you seek in others. Yes we can! The world is flat!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What's Wrong With Sex

"What's wrong with sex?"

"Nothing, there's just other topics?"

"Oh Really, like what?"

Walking... walking... pen retrieved... writing in palm... pen returned... steps back with satisfied look

"But you wouldn't know anything about that now would you."

Nina Moseley and Darius Lovehall's exchange outside a fictional Chicago spoken word club set the stage for their fly by the seat of your pants romance where the sex was great, the love intense and the level of stupidity committed in their relationship just over the top. At the end of it all they had a great love story and even better sex. "The Jones" as it was called.

But now-a-days there's no love for "The Jones." Instead its all fire and brimstone and scarlet letters mistaken for "able" to ride raining down on women's heads like we just satisfy ourselves 100 percent of the time and leave our equally jonesin' lovers just hanging with a hand. For this perceived behavior of sexual selfishness we have been attacked. Called sluts, prostitutes, smeared in a debate over whether birth control should be covered by all employers -- devoutly and religiously against it or not -- and made to submit to unnecessary procedures that invade our privacy and may possibly increase humiliation, shame or angst. All of this has been thrown at women just seeking to live their lives as the sexual beings they were created to be without any of the human attachments that come from too many good nights of that great great. ( I mean baby-making needs to better than good? Right? Right.)

Apparently Romney Didn't Eat Enough Cheesy Grits - Santorum Sweeps South

For the past couple of weeks we've had to suffer through Mitt Romney -- a rich northern venture capitalist -- placate Southern voters with his talks about how he has "started eating cheesy grits" and has learned to say the word "yall" if these things can instantly build up his red neck street cred.  Steve Urkel would get more respect trying to freestyle on the streets of Baltimore than this guy.  As a result, Mr. Rick "Anti-College" Santorum decisively took the South.  It is also notable to observe that Newt Gingrich has remained in this race assuming that his "Southern Strategy" would carry him through these Southern primaries.  Now that that didn't work, he has to come up with a really really really good reason as to why he's still here.

Results for Alabama Republican Primary (U.S. Presidential Primary)
Mar 13, 2012 (91% of precincts reporting)
1. Rick Santorum199,09534.5%
2. Newt Gingrich168,83329.3%
3. Mitt Romney167,11529%
4. Ron Paul28,6985%

Results for Mississippi Republican Primary (U.S. Presidential Primary)
Mar 13, 2012 (95% of precincts reporting)
1. Rick Santorum90,67232.9%
2. Newt Gingrich86,32131.3%
3. Mitt Romney83,45730.3%
4. Ron Paul12,1844.4%

So....are we headed to a brokered convention for the GOP this August?

Monday, March 12, 2012

March Madness: The Urban Politico Bracket Challenge **UPDATE**

Your brackets MUST be submitted by 12 NOON EST TODAY!

Good luck!

(You may need to create a profile/username on ESPN.COM if you haven't done so already - It's Free)

Let the Madness begin!

It's that time of the year again. Time to take a break from politics and have some fun.  Challenge Godson, The Fed, Shady Grady, The Storyteller, Old Guru, Grand Central and last year's champion -- The Janitor -- in The Urban Politico's 2nd annual Tournament Challenge! (BTW, Honorable mention goes to Molly; do not sleep on her bracket this year, folks).

Do you know your college basketball?  Even if you don't, come join us! 

You got a team?  You got a region?  You got a state?  You got a conference?  Let the trash talk and braggin' rights begin!  Put your comments below, support your team or just talk trash about how your bracket is doing (or how bad other brackets are doing)

Here's the catch - YOU ONLY GET ONE ENTRY!!!!!  None of that 5 to 6 entry stuff.  One shot!  If you win, brag about it!  If you lose, try again next year!

Even When We Win We Lose

Al-Qaida sent planes into the World Trade center. The United States responded with a firestorm of bombs and an 11 year war. They've kidnapped and killed our soldiers, even some of our journalists, we've kidnapped, tortured and killed their operatives. Terry Jones burned a Quran they rioted in the streets and returned the disrespect in blood shed. Our U.S. military personnel burned a bunch of Qurans they again returned the blatant disrespect with the deaths of six American soldiers. Our Marines pissed on Taliban fighter corpses, and now one American soldier has taken it upon himself to show and prove the United States is no better than the ones we call our enemy, the axis of evil. He went off in the middle of the night and killed 16 Afghan civilians including nine children. Some of the victims were even burned. I understand this is war, as does the entire country. We've known more war in the eleven years of the war on terror then during the entire 20 years of the Vietnam War. But just because this is war does not mean the goal of eradicating islamist extremism should be won tit for tat for every crime against humanity.

Winning At All Costs?

"Winners NEVER cheat and Cheaters NEVER win." - Unknown

Over the weekend I watched the movie "Game Change." The movie forced me to think about the emphasis that we often place on winning and finishing first. We are in the midst of another heated primary election, this time on the Republican side, and I can't help but to ponder on the mid frames of the candidates and their philosophies around winning and finishing first.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Another Episode of the "That's What's UP" Hour Tonight at 5pm EST

Second Episode: That's What's UP - The Urban Politico Hour

Join us again as the Urban Politico team ventures into our second installment of our weekly talk radio show: "That's What's UP."

Join Us Live - Sunday, March 11th @5pm-6pm EST

Join Godson, The Fed, Shady Grady, The Storyteller, The Janitor, OldGuru and Grand_Central for a weekly analysis of everything politics.

Click HERE to follow on live stream
Call in: (424) 675-6844

If you missed this week's show you can check it out here:

Listen to internet radio with The Urban Politico on Blog Talk Radio