Saturday, June 30, 2012

Movie Reviews-The Samaritan, The Vampire Lovers, Safe House

The Samaritan
I am trying to write shorter reviews and The Samaritan is an excellent source on which to practice that style. There's not a whole lot I can write without giving away some spoilers which are pretty essential to the plot.

This is a modern film noir starring Samuel L. Jackson as the con man and grifter Foley. Foley has just been released from prison after serving a twenty-five year sentence for murdering his former partner. This is shown in flashback. Now Foley finds that everyone he ever cared about is either dead, somewhere in prison, indifferent to his existence or lost in substance abuse. So Foley decides now would be as good a time as any to start going straight. His parole officer tells Foley that he can either be Foley's best friend or worst enemy and the choice is Foley's. Foley constantly tells himself and others that "nothing changes unless you make it change". And by constantly I mean every five minutes. I think after the third time or so I got the point. It was really reminiscent of A Bronx Tale's mantra of "The saddest thing in life is wasted talent". And you can sense that Foley has been wasting his talents.

Friday, June 29, 2012

CNN and FOX NEWS Get Supreme Court's ObamaCare Ruling Completely Wrong

Unlike the awesome behind-the-scenes story we heard from The Storyteller yesterday on how things operate in the newsroom, CNN and Fox News completely dropped the ball and reported false information on the Supreme Court's ruling on ObamaCare (see our full break down of the Court's ruling HERE).  Taking them to task for this botched job of epic proportions yesterday was none other than Jon Stewart and the crew at the Daily Show:

Your thoughts?

Game of Thrones Political Ads

As a brief respite from the real life political issues of the day I thought it would be fun to have a quick jaunt back over to Westeros. If there were political campaign ads in Westeros what would they look like?*

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Inside the Newsroom: Supreme Court Health Care Decision

I work at the NBC/ABC affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida. (Don't ask how the duopoly works now too much explaining) I walked into work at 4:30 this morning. The top story in my area locally has been Tropical Storm Debby. Many parts of the city and our viewing area are flooded beyond repair. But on the third day of covering this natural disaster I was over Debby and excited for the Supreme Court Decision to be delivered at 10 a.m.

By the time I finished helping with other shows and got around to working on my own it was 7 a.m. The Today show came on. The morning crew and the dayside crew just arriving are all watching and waiting for Ann Curry to announce she's leaving the anchor desk. That announcement didn't come until some time after 8:30. Her tearful goodbye, which will do wonders for Today ratings, was both heartfelt and bitter. Her comment that NBC has given her a whole host of new titles allowing her to do whatever story she wants was the sincere "f*** you" she could not say profanely on daytime television.

Ann Curry went off the air. The buzz in the newsroom at about 8:45 to 9 a.m. was about her leaving, who would replace her and rumors about the inner workings of "network." As I turned away from the gossip and focused on my disorganized rundown of what I was trying to do with my show I sat anxiously waiting the decision. I booked a live shot out of Washington D.C. for the top of my show and then tried to fill the minute and a half of content before the live shot hit at 12:01:00. 90 seconds may not seem like a lot, but in a world where you have 15 seconds to answer a question 90 seconds may as well be a light year.

I pulled a soundbyte from 2010 where the President said:

"After a year of debate. After a historic vote. Health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land. The law of the land." 

My thought process at 9:15 a.m. was to open the show with this quote. And then have my anchor say "Not Anymore" because I like many other rational individuals expected this court, this conservative John Roberts court, to strike this law down hard.

Visualization for the first 15 seconds of the show before my live shot complete. I have 75 more seconds to fill and then breakouts to find afterward. I pulled a profile of Justice Kennedy who I thought was going to be the swing voter. I pulled video of people lining up to hear the decision this morning. Another 20 seconds. Down to 55. I tried to find Florida based stories on the health care bill to keep the national news local. As I'm trying to see my show in my head before it airs our resident lawyer walks in.

The criminal defense attorney was there to talk to the afternoon producers about the elements and interviews they were setting up for their shows. At this time we all got into a heated debate about the law. She and I staunchly for it. My executive producer against the law for non-sensical and selfish reasons. The three other producers having less passionate positions about a topic that will give them knots in their shoulders until their shows are over later this afternoon. We argued what we should cover, what would be the most important to our viewers, who should we talk to, what angle should we take, what should our reporters cover. We discussed until 9:58. The time I looked at the clock and realized if I wanted to have a great show I kind of needed to write the other areas not focused on health care.

10:07 CNN blasts the world with mis-information that the mandate is struck down. ABC beats NBC to say it is upheld 6 - 3. We would all later discover it was 5 - 4. Then the special reports begin: the law upheld on the taxing power of Congress and not the Commerce Clause. I exclaimed, "A legal loophole. That's my constitutional law professor President right there." I was frantic. I was excited. "Oh Shit!" I'm pressed for time.

Breaking News-Supreme Court Decision on Obamacare *UPDATED w/ BREAKDOWN*

The US Supreme Court ruled in a decision released today that the individual mandate is constitutional and falls under the power to tax.  This post will be updated in the next hour as links to opinion and dissent(s) become available.
In a victory for President Obama, the Supreme Court decided to uphold his signature health care law's individual mandate in a split decision, upending speculation after hostile-seeming oral arguments in March that the justices would overturn the law. The mandate has been upheld as a tax,according to SCOTUSblog, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberal wing of the court.
Twenty six states sued over the law, arguing that the individual mandate, which requires people to buy health insurance or face a fine starting in 2014, was unconstitutional. Opponents cast the individual mandate as the government forcing Americans to enter a market and buy a product against their will, while the government countered that the law was actually only regulating a market that everyone is already in, since almost everyone will seek health care at some point in his or her life.
Before oral arguments in March, polls of Supreme Court experts and scholars showed that most believed the mandate would be upheld as an exercise of Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce. But after justices seemed deeply skeptical of the mandate in oral arguments in March, the consensus flipped, with most experts guessing the court would strike down the law.

Our full analysis of the Supreme Court's decision on ObamaCare after the jump:


Quick Note:  I just saw that Steven Colbert said something similar to what I put in my post.  Not a big deal, but I put this together before I saw what Colbert did, and didn't feel like deleting it...  so, meh... it happens.

Also, I'm putting this out tonight because tomorrow will be nothing but SCOTUS and Obamacare... so, there you have it... now to the post...

I’m a gun owner.  I have several weapons in my house and have no issue with private – sensible – law abiding citizens owning weapons.  I come from a family of gun owners.  If war broke out and we were occupied by enemy forces, my father’s arsenal alone would be enough to equip 1,000 Minute Men.  My mother, yes, my innocent, never-hurt-a-fly mother, has a concealed carry card.  I say this to give perspective hoping you can better understand where I’m coming from.  Bottom line, I the words of the great Jay-Z, “like short sleeves, I bear arms.”  

However, I’m not a 2nd amendment lunatic.  I’m not one that believes a law restricting civilians from obtaining semiautomatic weapons, or a law prohibiting criminals from procuring tech-nines is an attack on ALL gun owning Americans.  Nor do I believe that extreme gun control laws will protect people.  If bad people want to get a gun, creating a law will not stop them from getting it.  To me, these are both weak arguments intellectually.  Unfortunately, an argument devoid of intelligence hasn’t stopped the National Rifle Association (NRA) from making it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What the Supreme Court's Health Care Ruling Will Mean for Federal Government

In HBO's recent debut of the show The Newsroom, the protagonist points out to his future executive producer that a recent study has found that America has become more politically divided today than at any point in history since the Civil War.  I don't know if that's actually true but it certainly feels that way doesn't it?  After all, the ink isn't even dry on the long-awaited Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (aka "ObamaCare") and already both sides of the political spectrum are speculating what this will mean for the country politically.  If we could take off our ideological goggles for a moment (I know that's asking a lot from some of you) then we might be able to see that there's actually an important issue being decided by the Court tomorrow that has very little to do with politics and everything to do with whether the Federal Government will either be enabled or prevented from solving the big problems that will face our country from Thursday, June 28, 2012 on forward.

Assuming that the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate tomorrow which is at the heart of ObamaCare, the short-sighted and superficial conversation will be about Obama (the man) and about Democrats vs. Republicans (mere political parties).  What will undoubtedly be lost on the masses is what a ruling against the individual mandate actually says about the ability of our government to help "promote the general welfare" for all Americans who are faced with a nation-wide problem.

When the Supreme Court announces its decision tomorrow regarding the constitutionality of ObamaCare, whether the individual mandate is upheld or not will likely turn on whether the Justices have decided to respect or overturn the precedent set by Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942).  What does this old 1942 case have to do with ObamaCare or allowing the Federal Government to solve the nation's problems?  We explain this and more after the jump:

Integrity of the Republican Party - Voter Suppression Delivers Elections

House Republican Mike Turzai of Pennsylvania - (VIDEO)
"We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years. Pro-Second Amendment, The Castle Doctrine, it’s done! First pro-life legislation, abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done! Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done!"
Just in case you were confused about the Republican Party, I hope this video pisses you off, as much as it pissed me off. Let's watch together.....

Why Charles Rangel Won

I live in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem. I moved here two years ago and since then, I've watched my 6 block radius (favorite area) transform dramatically. On a Friday evening when my friends ask to meet for drinks, I sway them uptown to my favorite bars or restaurant. When I need something, I try my best to support the small businesses in the area. I can confidently say that about 85% of my business dealings are within Harlem. Even though I hate my building (mostly the tenants), when I think about moving, I realize that I really don't want to leave Harlem. 

I participated in the 2010 midterm election in Harlem, and I remember that race being labeled as a tough race for Charles Rangel. Fast forward to 2012 and I was not at all surprised that Rangel faced challengers once again and was placed in what was considered an extremely tough race. Prior to watching NY1 Tuesday morning over breakfast; I was only aware of two candidates challenging Congressman Rangel - Clyde Williams and Craig Schley. I have been a bit behind on local news. However, it was news to my ears that New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat was in the race as well, and labeled a front runner to Charlie Rangel. 

Huh? Why didn't I know about Senator Espaillat?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hypocrisy Again: State's Rights - Montana, Oh Please!

Oh....So States Don't Really Have Rights!

As we collectively held our breathes yesterday and will continue to do so until Thursday, awaiting the United States Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare); the court gave the people of Montana and America the middle finger, again! I'm a bit confused and I am hoping someone can help me rid myself of this confusion. There is that old saying that "you can't have your cake and eat it too," well it seems to me that conservatives and the conservative leg of the US Supreme Court are looking to do just that.

Carter: Obama's Cruel and Unusual Record

We have previously discussed the horrible civil liberties and foreign policy record of the Obama Administration. Generally speaking, many liberals or progressives have assiduously ignored these things or blindly bleated that the Republicans would be worse. Some have argued that the President has access to information that we don't so we must trust him. Well maybe. But President Carter isn't having it. In a NYT column in which he never mentions President Obama by name he tears apart the post-9/11 dismantling of human rights and rule of law, which as he sees it, President Obama has accelerated.

This a really good read and you should check it out. I don't have a lot to say about this mostly because I've said it all before and somewhat because I happen to be in a bit of a pickle on the day job.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Urban Beat: SCOTUS Rules 5-3 Against Key Parts of AZ's Immigration Law

Justice Kennedy, joined by Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer and Justice Sotomayor struck down key parts of Arizona's controversial immigration law which sought to require state and local police officers to check the immigration status of people suspected to be illegal immigrants.  Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissented.  Justice Kagan recused herself from the case.

See the Text of the Case HERE.

Our Breakdown after the jump:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Join Us for another Hour of THATS WSUP Tonight LIVE at 5PM (EDT)

Join The Urban Politico Team Live: The Janitor, FedUp, Shady Grady, Godson, The Storyteller, OldGuru,  & GrandCentral

Live on Sunday, June 24th @ 5.00pm - 6.30pm EDT 


Blogtalk Radio

Click Here for our Live Stream


Join the Discussion @ 424-675-6844

Our Discussion:
  • Obama's Use of Executive Privilege in the Fast & Furious Case
  • The Obama Administration's Recent Action on Immigration
  • Bain Capital Back in the News
  • Awaiting the Supreme Court Rulings on ObamaCare and Arizona's Immigration Law

In case you missed it, hear the episode here:

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

Anti-Immigration Violence, Racism, Illegal Immigrants, Israel and the Ethnostate

Riot victim explains what happened

I've been really busy with other things over the past month so I am just now getting around to writing about this. But I as it turns out with it's still somewhat timely because of our recent discussions over illegal immigration, the President's decision to administratively implement portions of the Dream Act and this week's expected Supreme Court decision on Arizona's SB1070 law.

Let's say that a group of Caucasians ran violently amok against Third World illegal and legal immigrants, whom they blamed for increased crime, disease, unsustainable fertility and basic cultural and racial incompatibility. Imagine that their political and religious leaders endorsed the rioters' concerns in explicitly white supremacist language and promised new steps to detain and deport illegal immigrants while preventing legal immigrant entry on the basis of stopping a clear and present demographic danger. Allow that the leaders spoke of shooting illegal immigrants dead and driving out legal immigrants who were the wrong color or who had had the chutzpah to either compete for jobs with citizens, open businesses or date/marry citizens. Finally let's say that political leaders started building new detention centers just so any particularly dense illegal immigrants got the hint.

You'd probably think that Arizona had finally lost it. You might say that the National Guard needed to be sent into Arizona to protect visibly Hispanic people from violence. And if you shared the immigrants' ethnicity or were otherwise just a decent person upset about violence and racist language, you might be demanding that President Obama make it clear through word and deed that these sort of actions would not be tolerated.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Music Reviews-Ifang Bondi, Carmen

Ifang Bondi
Over the recent past years I've really gotten heavy into African music from the sixties thru the nineties. There is a vast universe of stuff out there from a variety of different countries with all sorts of different sounds. I enjoy it all and intend to learn as much about it as I can. There are just all sorts of links between African music and African-American music and American music in general. This is especially the case with West African music, which seems to have the closest relationship to my favorite American genres. One band which I've always appreciated is Ifang Bondi. Ifang Bondi is a Gambian-Senegalese group that combined some popular Afro-Cuban and African-American funk stylings with deep blues feeling and really deep traditional West African music. They deliberately went back to their roots instead of just playing Africanized versions of Western music. The mix is one I enjoy a lot but it's hard to find their stuff. Most of their music I've gotten from collections of Senegalese music

Friday, June 22, 2012

Breaking News: Jerry Sandusky Guilty on 45 Counts of Sexual Abuse

A Jury has found former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky  guilty on 45 of 48 counts related to his sexual abuse of young boys, over a 15-year period.

Guest Post: If You Want To Argue AGAINST The Dream Act, Use FACTS - Not CONJECTURE

Today's guest post comes from Lincoln Anthony Blades.  Lincoln is the founder and lead writer of His work has been featured in news papers from St. Vincent [The Guardian] to New York [New York Daily News]. He writes about relationships, politics, current events and anything that is going on in society. His blog, live appearances and podcast “R&B: Relationships & Bullsh*t” have all been critically acclaimed for being sharp, witty and incredibly honest. He is currently writing a book and one day hopes to be a published author. So please engage Mr. Blades in the comments below, as we explore the immigration debate.

There are two types of people in the world: 

Thinkers and Pundits. 

Thinkers are the creators of ideologies and people who theorize solutions and improvements on specific issues. Essentially, they are the people concerned with finding ANSWERS. Then you have pundits, who essentially are the creators of close analysis and reflective thought. In today's world, pundits are mostly concerned with creating a dissenting point of view to the thoughts that thinkers originate. Why are these definitions important in a discussion about the Dream Act and illegal immigration? Because America is already deeply rooted in this issue and finding a proper solution.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cognitive Dissonance: Kansas & Homosexuality

Cognitive Dissonance is often described as the discomfort that arises when we try to hold two conflicting views in our head at the same time.  For example, most people believe firmly in the First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech and agree that every citizen should have a right to say whatever they want in our country.  When people are saying things we agree with, then all is well.  However, the moment people start saying things that we disagree with, especially when we vehemently disagree with what they're saying with every fiber of our being, discomfort arises.  The theory of cognitive dissonance posits that those of us with sophisticated minds tend to posses the ability to allow two conflicting ideas to continue to exist, despite how much discomfort this may cause us personally.  The sophisticated mind will recognize that, even though I personally disagree with what you're saying, you still have a right to say it.  With less sophisticated minds...not so much.

Speaking of less sophisticated minds, enter my home state of Kansas:

Kansas lawmakers voted overwhelmingly today to pass a bill that opponents say legalizes discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Members of both parties joined together in the House on the 89-27 vote, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. If the Senate follows suit and Governor Sam Brownback signs the bill, as he has indicted, then anyone could opt out of anti-discrimination laws that protect gays and lesbians by claiming they violate their "religious freedom."

For example, an employer could fire someone if they discovered the employee was gay. Or a landlord could kick a renter out of their home. The religious exemption extends past places of business to universities, where students or instructors could opt out of a school's anti-discrimination policy.

The idea for the bill, called the "Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act," came in reaction to the college town of Lawrence passing an anti-discrimination ordinance that included sexual orientation. The new state law would nullify that and any other local anti-discrimination ordinance that included sexual orientation by granting citizens the right to opt out if they felt it conflicted with their religious beliefs. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Obama Asserts Exec. Privilege in "Fast & Furious" Investigation, GOP Head Explodes

Since Obama took office, two things have become clear:

1. the Right-Wing base really hates Obama as President, and
2. the Right-Wing base really hates Eric Holder as Attorney General

In fact, the only thing that the Right-Wing base hates more than Obama is Attorney General Holder.  (I wonder what these two guys have in common to draw such animosity?  Hmmmm...)  Take 5 minutes to peruse any conservative website and you will invariably find not-so-pleasant things being said about Holder and this so-called "Fast & Furious Scandal."  Very briefly, the Fast & Furious Scandal involves the U.S. government's decision to send guns into Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to track them.  Where things get sticky is that a federal agent was apparently killed by one of the aforementioned guns.  Not a good look for the feds as you can imagine.

The Right, believing that they've finally been given an opportunity to oust Eric Holder as Attorney General, have seized on this scandal.  Republican Darrell Issa has led a Congressional hearing in the House that is investigating this matter, and Eric Holder's files, among other things, have been subpoenaed for review. 

Enter the Executive Privilege.1

Per CNN:

President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents sought by a House committee investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting, according to a letter to the panel Wednesday from Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole.
The move means the Department of Justice can withhold the documents from the House Oversight Committee, which was scheduled to consider a contempt measure Wednesday against Holder.
"I write now to inform you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents," Cole wrote in a letter to committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California.
Wednesday's development further heightened the drama of a high-profile showdown between Issa and Holder over the committee's demand for the Department of Justice to turn over more documents about the Fast and Furious program.
Cole noted that the lone point of dispute was whether the February 4,2011 letter was part of a broader effort to obstruct a congressional investigation.
"The answer to that question is an emphatic 'no' and we have offered the Committee the opportunity to satisfy itself that that is so," Cole wrote.
"Currently, (the Department of Justice) has not delivered or shown the committee any of the documents it has said it is prepared to produce," the statement continued. "It is not clear if they will actually produce these documents to the committee before the Wednesday vote to facilitate a postponement."
Holder, however, said he made an unprecedented offer of documents and a briefing to the committee, which so far has turned him down.
Issa has accused the attorney general of stonewalling an investigation into Fast and Furious and how the Justice Department provided Congress with erroneous information about it. The department says it already has handed over more than 7,000 pages of records to House investigators, and that the remaining material Issa wants could jeopardize criminal prosecutions.
1- Executive Privilege is a privilege invoked during the discovery phase of a litigation or, in this case, a Congressional hearing.  It is similar to the attorney-client privilege, husband-wife privilege, or doctor-patient privilege.  If a document or a conversation involves a privilege, then the law states that those documents and/or conversations do not have to be disclosed.

Is this much ado about nothing?
Is Attorney General Eric Holder the worst Attorney General EVER in the history of everything?
Is the Obama Administration trying to hide something here?
Is this another "We Demand To See the Long Form Birth Certificate" type scenario?
In your view, why is there so much animosity from the Right towards Eric Holder?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

If Your Adidas are Racist, So Too are Your Stilettos

The interwebs were abuzz Monday after the sensitive few caught sight of these shackle adorned sneakers. On first thought I felt some kind of way. Not necessarily a "that's racist" kind of way, but just some kind of way. But then my "let's not overreact" self said "Self, what's the difference between these shackled sneakers and the brown and cream shackle stilettos in your closet?" So I took this picture to pose the question, what makes my stiletto more chic than this Adidas? A shackle is a shackle so either everybody gets mad about wearing new fangled slave wear or we all shut up and enjoy the old evolution of fashion.

Women in Combat?

You might have missed it but recently two female Army reservists decided to sue to have combat operations opened to women

Command Sergeant Major Jane Baldwin and Colonel Ellen Haring, both Army reservists, said policies barring them from assignments "solely on the basis of sex" violated their right to equal protection under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.  "This limitation on plaintiffs' careers restricts their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits," the women said in the suit filed in U.S. District Court.
I thought this was interesting because it appears at first glance that the women are more interested in their personal career options and monetary gain than they are in a supposed class based grievance. Of course to be fair, their personal interests and the larger class based unfairness would be congruent in this case if you buy their argument, which I don't. However, I am fascinated by hypocrisy as you probably can tell by now and this entire issue is full of hypocrisy on all sides.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wall Street Goes to Jail

In 2008, America found out the hard way that nobody had been minding the store on the subprime mortgage backed securities market.  As a direct result, millions of houses were foreclosed upon, millions of people lost their jobs, President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson gave Billions (with a "B") of taxpayer dollars to banks via the TARP in order to stave off another great depression, banks still stopped making loans, credit froze, the DOW plummeted, unemployment went up, and Wall Street executives still somehow managed to give each other record bonuses in the middle of all this.  America became extremely pissed off but the problem was so complex that nobody knew who to blame...except when it came to Wall Street.  No matter one's financial acumen, a consensus quickly developed among the common man that but for Wall Street taking risky bets with other people's money and other people's mortgages then none of this would have ever happened.

And so America gathered up the proverbial pitchforks and started demanding that heads be placed on spikes.  The general public first took out its frustration on Bernie Madoff (remember that guy?), a ponzie-schemer who had absolutely nothing to do with America's financial meltdown even though he had defrauded hundreds of families out of their life savings. He just so happened to pull his crap at the worst possible time; a time when America had all of a sudden developed a very low tolerance for any and all financial wrongdoing.  Once that subsided, America resumed its mission to punish all of those who had caused this great recession.  The general public expressed outrage at Wall Street bonuses and an entire anti-spending movement known as the Tea Party emerged seemingly overnight.  Everybody was angry.  Americans took to the streets as if they were hoping to catch millionaire CEO's in the process of skipping town in their White Broncos like OJ.  But nothing happened.  Wall Street CEO's did not try to flee the country.  And more importantly, none of them were arrested.  For anything.  Until recently...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Rodney King Dead at 47

He became famous and then infamous. His name synonymous with rage, outrage, riot and the struggle for Black men to be seen as men only. We will remember his indelible place in history that began to transform this country for Black men in ways they are still fighting for today. Rest in Peace, Rodney King.

From: New York Daily News

Rodney King, whose beating by police led to massive rioting in Los Angeles in 1992, was found dead at the bottom of a pool on Sunday.  
King, 47, was discovered by his fianc e, according to TMZ. CNN later confirmed the report.  
King became an icon of police brutality 20 years ago after he was brutally beaten by a group of LAPD officers after a freeway chase through the San Fernando Valley.  
Amateur video of the incident caught the officers raining more than 50 baton blows on King's crumpled, unarmed body.  
Four LAPD officers were acquitted of assault on April 29, 1992, sparking a riot that killed 54 people, led to widespread looting and arson and caused more than $1 billion in damage.  
King eventually won $3.8 million from the city, but spent it all on houses, a construction business and a record label, he told the Daily News in April. 
He made headlines again this spring as a commentator on the Trayvon Martin case and released a book in April, The Riot Within: My Journey From Redemption to Rebellion.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When Double Dutch Was Never Enuf

For the last five years attacks on Black women's anything has been fair game. Our hair, our looks, our lack of relationship status, how many children we have or don't have, our education and wealth or lack there of, you name it, it's been criticized. But now that's not enough. Instead of continuing to come after the women, researchers, demographers, analysts, and the intelligentsia with a healthy curiosity are now starting to come after a younger set. As in children. Little Black girls. They're targeting the babies.

Before my absence I attempted to write a piece on the new obesity projections. While Blogger had other ideas of what to do with my post (as in send it to the internet abyss) the fact remains by the year 2030 42 percent of U.S. adults will be obese. Many of these future adults are children now which means this new study finding Black girls benefit less from exercise than their less pigmented playmates is especially troubling. This new study from the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolsecent Medicine condemns young Black girls to a lifetime of obesity without a cure.

Today is Sunday, which means many Black families mine included will at some point sit around of table of good fattening food. In a few hours I will make candied yams, macarroni and cheese, cornbread, steamed green beans, and baked chicken. The menu is soul food at its finest. Is it the healthiest. No. However, there is a way to cook the foods you like, feast on the heart attack inducing products while also moderating portion size and just going outside to play afterwards to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

But this study disagrees.

"African-American girls might be at a disadvantage in the weight game, such as having lower metabolic rates and lower rates of fat oxidation than their white peers. 
Other potential contributing factors are a higher daily caloric intake and more sedentary behaviors, like watching TV, the study says. 
The authors note that "promoting activity would have less impact in this high-risk population." 
In other words, obesity campaigns directed at African-American girls should consider focusing less on exercise and more on controlling caloric intake." 
"It's not just physical activity," Ginny Ehrlich, chief of executive of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, told the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
"That's particularly important for African-American girls." 
Ehrlich says she would be hesitant to share the findings with young black women because body image is "already a sensitive subject."
"It creates yet another barrier to what might already feel like a struggle," she told the Times. "When we talk with young people, we talk about healthy living -- eating better and moving more. We're trying to stay away from messaging around obesity."

Best of That's Wsup!

Best of The Urban Politico Radio Hour

In celebration of Father's Day, we've decided to take a week off from our weekly show. Today is Best of The Urban Politico Radio Hour day and I invite you to enjoy a few of our favorite episodes. We will be back on Sunday, June 24th.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Is Obama's New Immigration Policy Legal?

Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano w/ President Obama
By now most of you have heard about President Obama's latest announcement that his administration (via the Department of Homeland Security) is going to grant temporary stays of deportation and work permits for illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who came into the country as children, have no criminal records, and who have either served in the military or attended college here in the U.S.  In other words, the Obama administration is effectively going to enforce the essence of the Dream Act which, as you might recall, passed in the House but was stalled in the Senate back in 2010 even though it received 55 votes in favor out of 100 [Editor's Note: in the olden days, laws used to pass by majority vote; those days appear to be behind us].  But wait -- I know what you're thinking.  If the Dream Act was stalled in the Senate then it never became law, right?  And if it never became law, then how in the hell is the Obama Administration doing what it's doing?  To ask it another way, is this Constitutional?  We already know that the Obama Administration thinks so, but Fox News certainly does not agree.  So who is right?  Let's figure it out after the jump.

Music Reviews-Thin Lizzy, Chris Thomas, Step Rideau, Jimi Hendrix

Thin Lizzy: Vagabonds of the Western World
Phil Lynott was the bassist, singer, frontman and primary songwriter for the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy. He was literally Black Irish, as his mother was Irish and his father was Afro-Guyanese.

As Lynott was influenced by Hendrix in style and to a certain extent in songwriting I always thought it was a shame they never hooked up. Now that would have been quite the band!

Vagabonds of the Western World was the band's third album and their last with original guitarist Eric Bell. The band would go to much greater commercial success with a more generic hard rock, dual lead guitar attack but actually I always preferred Bell's tone and the trio sound, although obviously there are some overdubs here and there. I don't think Lynott ever sounded better on bass. He here has a very punchy (I think he used a plectrum to play bass), well defined and yet thick sound that is upfront and in your face. The album is very well produced. I never like rock music where you can hardly hear the bass or it's playing just the bare minimum. That's not a problem here as Lynott's bass has more bottom than a house full of hippos. He's busy but never overplays. Lynott has a deft melodic sense. It's close to Motown bass god James Jamerson and Paul McCartney. His singing voice can best be described as big and earnest.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Breaking News: Obama Administration to give work permits for Illegal Immigrants!!!

The Obama Administration intends to grant work permits to illegal immigrants. This is great news for the people so impacted (i.e. illegal immigrants)  and also some people of goodwill who support some form of legalization but believe you me this will cause venomous opposition from some other voters. Some people will not understand why at a time of 8% unemployment you would want to increase the workforce. The Obama Administration is probably gambling that most people that will be opposed to this were already opposed to the Administration. Perhaps. We shall see. Although the US Latino population has increased dramatically over the past two decades that growth is not reflected at the ballot box, something that worries some Democrats. This could be a game changer either way for the election. I have to do more research to understand how this is even possible without some form of Congressional assent. There's no way that I see this as anything other than horrible pandering to one group at the expense of other groups, not to mention law and order but that may be a minority opinion here. Let us know what you think!!!


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.
The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was to announce the new policy Friday, one week before President Barack Obama plans to address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak to the group on Thursday.
Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed. The officials who described the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it in advance of the official announcement.
The policy will not lead toward citizenship but will remove the threat of deportation and grant the ability to work legally, leaving eligible immigrants able to remain in the United States for extended periods.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bloomberg, Broccoli, Smoking and Health Care

As we wait for the US Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (popularly and derisively known as "Obamacare" ) it might be useful to remember the slippery slope/limiting principle argument against the mandate to purchase private health insurance.  This was often referred to as the Broccoli argument. Opponents invoked the spectre of an empowered and leviathan Federal government ordering everyone to eat their vegetables. The law's supporters thought that this argument was completely ridiculous, not worth a response, and prima facie evidence that the mandate's opponents either had damaged amygdalae or had spent too much time surfing libertarian websites looking for pictures of S.E. Cupp.

I am not a fan of NYC Mayor Lord Michael Bloomberg because I think his bland corporatist persona is the cover for a raging power mad nutter who seeks control over other people just because he knows what's best for everyone. He may not have Sauron's One Ring but he certainly acts as if he does. This is most evidenced by his out of control NYPD that on his orders has effectively disregarded the Fourth Amendment for Black and Hispanic citizens in Gotham, especially if they happen to be young and male. Bloomberg says it's for their own good of course. But his need for control over people is not just limited to continuously stopping and frisking every single black male within the city or spying on Muslim citizens in other states. No, Bloomberg is convinced that he knows what people should be eating and how they should be eating. So his health department is poised to ban 32oz sodas. Of course that didn't go far enough and his health department, no doubt emboldened by the impending soda ban as well as the current trans fat ban, publicly mused about the desirability of banning milkshakes and popcorn as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Right Wing Attack on Government Employees

If today was your first day in America and you weren’t familiar with the everyday ins-and-outs of our government, you’d think that Federal Employees were the worst things to happen to this country since Janet Jackson’s nipple popped out at the 2004 Super Bowl forcing a nation of Christian men to act like they DIDN’T like seeing Janet Jackson’s nipple.  

To be honest, most folks know very little about the civilian work force of the federal government, as should be the case. Federal employees are like the offensive line of a football team, you know they’re doing their job when you DON’T hear much about them.  Most of the time, federal employees leave the highlights to the top-level executives (Pres, VP, Sec of State and so on…), the military, and the other two branches. The rest of us put our noses down, do our jobs, and go on living our lives– just like all of you.  We’re your friends, families, and neighbors.  Our jobs are just like yours; we go to work in the morning, put up with our bosses and irritating co-workers, and leave in the evening.  All for the purpose of collecting a pay check to pay bills, buy alcohol, and fund Obama’s Negro Socialist Army and their war on Christianity.  The difference between public sector employees and federal employees: each individual federal employee has to carry the load of the entire federal government.  Case in point, a handful of GSA agents get out of hand and the next thing you know the president of the United States doesn’t know how to lead and the entire government is wasting YOUR tax dollars. 

Movie Review: Prometheus (SPOILER ALERT)

Pardon me while I break from our normal custom for a moment.  Shady Grady usually does the Movie reviews around here, but as a sci-fi buff who's been waiting for the story of Prometheus for years, please indulge me for a moment as I attempt to express my thoughts on this complicated film.

First a bit of housekeeping.  

Caveat emptore: in this post we will talk about Prometheus spoilers.  If you have not seen the movie, this is your chance to exit stage left while you still can.

Proceed if you dare.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Robin Roberts Diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome

Robin Roberts announced Monday morning on "Good Morning America" that after beating Breast Cancer five-years ago, she faces another hurdle - Myelodysplastic Syndrome.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Things I just don't understand!!!

I've been on the planet for a while now and I like to think I'm a little wiser than I was when I first arrived. However there are some things that I've seen that I just don't understand. Perhaps you can help me out because I just don't get them.  After all these years I have to admit these things are still a mystery to me and probably always will be. But maybe I'm just not that bright.  I don't say no to that. Can you explain these things?
  • People-usually teens-walking down the middle of the street in a subdivision when the city or township has been thoughtful and kind enough to put sidewalks on not one, but both sides of the street. The low iq people who do this usually have the nerve to give you a dirty look when you blast the car horn to get out of the way. You don't see me driving on the sidewalk so why don't you stay out of the street.  If my car hits you, which one of us do you think will have more regrets? Hint, it won't be me.   

Sunday, June 10, 2012

That's Wsup! - The Urban Politico Radio Hour: Sunday, June 10th @ 5pm EDT

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Our Discussion:
  • Wisconsin recall election
  • The Obama Kill List 
  • Transgendered woman to be jailed in men's prison
  • Weekly Ridiculousness

Saturday, June 9, 2012

HBO Game of Thrones: Difference Analysis

Ok. I can't take it anymore. This post assumes you have seen both seasons of HBO's Game of Thrones. If you haven't seen them, don't know what happened and aren't interested in them skip this post. This post also discusses a few key differences between the books and the HBO series. I don't (and won't) mention anything that has yet to happen in the HBO storyline but again, if you haven't read A Game of Thrones or A Clash of Kings and don't want to know anything about what happens in those books, skip this post. And as always if you have read beyond A Clash of Kings and/or know exactly what happens PLEASE DON'T DISCUSS IT. This post is ONLY about some differences that annoyed the **** out of me in HBO's Season 2. I am not a book purist. I don't think GRRM is a god. I fully accept and am aware that a different medium requires different editing and writing choices. I think that Weiss and Benioff are doing a good job adapting, in general. I enjoy the HBO series and hope it continues for years to come to rave reviews. But I just have to say a few things:


Movie Reviews-We need to talk about Kevin, Unknown

We need to talk about Kevin
directed by Lynne Ramsay
When I was raised there was a definite boundary between parent and child. The parent was not there to be the child's friend. There was no doubt about who was in charge and who wasn't. It was unwise for a child to give attitude or profanity or snark. Today things are different. Corporal punishment is often considered abuse. If someone sees you hit a child you may be pulled into the social services system, which doesn't really seem to accept the principle of innocent until proven guilty when it comes to adults.

But what if how you raise a child doesn't make any difference? Some traits are apparently hardwired. I was never particularly talkative or sociable as a child and I'm not now. That's genetic. It occasionally bothers some people (who are too talkative from my POV) but I can't and won't change that characteristic. What if other things are passed down? What if "evil" or psychopathy is genetic? What if there are some children that are such bad seeds that the parents would be wiser to do a "post-birth abortion" and go back to the drawing board? And if the parent knows there's something  wrong with the child what is his or her responsibility? Especially if the spouse can't see the problem or there are other, normal children in the household that might be victimized by the evil kid, should the parent act? This is more complex when the child is of a different gender than the worried parent and the same gender parent seems unconcerned.

Tilda Swinton is a very talented offbeat actress with a rather striking and occasionally unsettling appearance. She can look quite androgynous (witness her turn as the angel Gabriel in the film Constantine) or extremely feminine (title character in the film Julia). I'm usually interested in her films. In We need to talk about Kevin, she is Eva, a travel writer who, after a wonderful, nay ecstatic time at a gorgeously rendered Spanish tomato festival finds ecstasy of a different kind with Franklin (John C. Reilly). Well apparently one time was all it took because she becomes pregnant, marries Franklin, and bears their first child, Kevin. Of course this requires a lifestyle change. Although she does not remain a stay-at-home mother it appears she becomes one for a while. It's not explained what Franklin does for money but evidently both husband and wife are financially very successful judging by the homes they acquire.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Detroit Messes Its Pants

I don't like being negative about my home town. Who does? I have previously written about the financial and criminal crisis that Detroit faces and the reasons that it has those problems. To paraphrase Ronnie Van Zant, there's good people in Detroit. And I hope that you all remember that!!! But sometimes it's hard to remember that because the political leadership has failed so miserably over the past few decades.

If you recall when last I wrote about this Detroit was facing an unpalatable choice among three outcomes.
  1. Immediate Bankruptcy
  2. Emergency Financial Manager
  3. Consent Agreement
Now no one in Detroit political leadership liked those choices but there they were all the same. It wasn't necessarily the fault of the current political leadership that they had those choices but nonetheless they were the ones that had to make the tough call. Again, unless you are from here I don't think you can fully understand the (primarily but not exclusively) racial disdain and divisions that plague SE Michigan. On local message boards and newspaper comment sections the glee expressed by some suburbanites at Detroit's horrible dilemma was in direct proportion to the anger and frustration and blame placed on the state by some Detroiters. But still when it came to it, a consent agreement was the best of bad options. After some posturing and anger, the City Council voted 5-4 to accept a consent agreement. This agreement between the city and state allowed a mutual (though state dominant) working relationship between the city and state to attempt to stave off municipal bankruptcy, which could have unforeseen and unpleasant impact on areas outside of Detroit. The state sent Detroit funds to allow for bond refinancing and avoid missing paydays. So despite some final vituperation expressed by my friends among the kente cloth and kufi wearing set, all's well that ends well. Right? Well not exactly.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why Do Working-Class People Vote Republican?

We've often wondered why poor people (or middle-class folks for that matter) vote Republican.  To be fair, the GOP has made a name for itself as the party of the rich.  Therefore, it makes sense to vote Republican if you are wealthy because you are voting directly in line with your own interests.  But what about the folks who are not rich?  What about the guy making $28,000/year who just got laid off because his job was shipped overseas?  Why does that guy vote Republican?

According to most folks on the Left, the reason why that guy votes Republican is because he has been bamboozled, hoodwinked and led astray by GOP talking points on social issues, such as same-sex marriage, affirmative action, illegal immigration and abortion.  And there is certainly some quantifiable truth to that proposition, however a recent article by Jonathan Haidt, a professor of psychology at NYU's Stern School of Business, suggests that the "bamboozled theory" does not actually explain why working class people vote Republican.  The "bamboozled theory," according to Professor Haidt, misses the mark and doesn't explain why more working class people are not moving to the Left in the middle of this deep recession where financial concerns should trump everything else.  Instead, he provides the following explanation as to why the blue collar workers tend to vote Republican:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

President Obama's Kill List: Murder Incorporated Drones

Obama kills children. I meant to write on this last week but due to work requirements I had to table it. Let's get back to some serious questions. You may not have noticed it what with all the media's fawning over the President at the White House Correspondents Dinner, the President's oh so brave announcement that he supports gay marriage that made some people fall out in Messianic ecstasy or the sudden Democratic "discovery" and "shocked outrage" (just in time for the November election) that the US income and wealth distributions have continued to ever more sharply tilt toward the well off but the undeclared war of worldwide drone attacks that the President has sanctioned and directed has continued. It's worse than I thought and probably worse than any of us know. 

No, while Democratic partisans were girding themselves for holy war over the pressing issue of forcing the Catholic Church to underwrite birth control for middle class women, hunting out homophobic heresies among comedians and preachers or stating with a straight face that a federal mandate to give money to huge corporate insurers without price controls was actually a progressive position, the Obama Administration was taking the so-called war on terror (a term it avoids because Bush used it) to a level of lawlessness and violence undreamed of by President Bush. The most striking aspect of Obama's first term has been not the ugliness with which some low-information racist voters oppose him, but the extent to which Obama's policies around war and civil liberties have been a continuation, well really a degradation, of Bush programs. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Decision Day in Wisconsin - Scott Walker Survives?

Wisconsin Recall Election 

Over one year ago, the people of Wisconsin set out to take their state back. The people took to the capitol and demanded answers from their newly elected Governor. Governor Walker ignored their pleas and disregarded their concerns, so the people commenced to giving him a thorough lesson in democracy. Last August, the first set of recall elections took place and the Republicans managed to keep four of the challenged senate seats, maintaining control of the state senate. Today we've reached a crossroad and its up to the people of Wisconsin to decide what direction they want to go - Incumbent Governor Scott Walker or his 2010 challenger Tom Barrett. 

The polls have been closed for 52 minutes and NBC is projecting that Governor Scott Walker has survived the recall election. 

Just in case you are not fully abreast of the situation and need additional background and context, you can review our past posts and get caught up:

Only 21% of the votes are in, so let's watch this race throughout the evening. 

**Update** - Other Races to Watch

Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor
(D)Malhon Mitchell 
(R) Rebecca Kleefisch

Wisconsin State Senate District 29
(D) Donna Siedel
(R) Jerry Petrowski

Wisconsin State Senate District 23
(D) Kristen Dexter
(R) Terry Moulton

Wisconsin State Senate District 13
(D) Lori Compas
(R) Scott Fitzgerald

Wisconsin State Senate District 21
(D) John Lehman
(R) Van Wanggaard