Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Romney vs FEMA: When Ideology Must Give Way to Reality

If you're new to this blog then you should know that I'm a New Yorker. I live in Manhattan, which, as you may have heard, recently just got slammed by Hurricane Sandy.  We have 32 confirmed deaths here, power still out for thousands, tower cranes hundreds of feet above the busy streets that are hanging on by a thread, and the world's largest subway system is out of commission for at least the rest of the week - and New York, relatively speaking, is one of the lucky ones.  Our neighbors to the west in New Jersey are doing much much worse than we are.  Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia all have experienced massive losses of property ($50 Billion in damage) and life (72 deaths reported) on a scale that far exceeds the capabilities of any one state.  Which is why our leaders in the federal government put their heads together about 30 years ago and created the Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA").   The primary purpose of FEMA is to help state and local governments when natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, come along and overwhelm their resources.  And when you're talking about hurricanes, it's almost always the case that state and local governments need help.

As a resident of a city severely affected by Hurricane Sandy, I loathe to politicize this natural disaster.  However, if we're serious about making sure that disaster victims get the help that they need, then Mitt Romney must be called out for his comments on FEMA.

ObamaCare and Healthcare Costs: Revisited

A classical economics truism is that in an efficient market there is no way to make one person better off without making another person worse off. This is often used as an excuse not to make any changes. This could also be why the study of economics often seems to attract people who are invested in maintaining the status quo. This argument's weaker form is something that many people would agree with even though it tends to be associated with right-wing libertarians. This idea, famously made popular by libertarian speculative fiction author Robert Heinlein is TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). This means that every decision we make has costs and consequences. We need to account for these when we make policy choices. Again, someone who likes the status quo will piously invoke this saying and then refuse further investigation to see what the actual costs are. That's wrong.

But it's also wrong for someone who wants to change the status quo to ignore the unpleasant fact that there usually are costs. We have to at least review the costs to see if they're worth the change. This ultimately slides into a bit of utilitarian type of thinking, which is ok if you're trying to decide what a taxicab badge should cost or how much your property tax should be, but may not be the correct frame to use in questions of justice. For example no one, well few people anyway, will question the cost of liberating slaves or giving women the right to vote or stopping the arrest of homosexuals for being homosexual. If those things are right, then costs simply don't matter and you're probably a pretty cold heartless SOB for even bringing that question up.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sununu, Powell and Racism

It's silly, a little tiring and probably bad for my blood pressure to keep up with and blog about every stupid utterance that comes from major party campaign surrogates, especially racial shots from right-wing Republicans. It is what it is. But every now and then someone says something which goes a bit beyond the normal silliness and fluff of election year political statements and reveals something a bit uglier.

This was the case with former Bush Chief of Staff, former New Hampshire Governor and Romney campaign adviser John Sununu who, when asked about General Colin Powell's endorsement of President Barack Obama, could only sputter that it must have been because both men are black. Right.

When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to look at whether that's an endorsement based on issues or he's got a slightly different reason for endorsing President Obama," Sununu said, adding: "I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."

 I don't usually pay attention to endorsements because I don't really think they mean what they used to mean but I think I would have read about or remembered the uproar if Colin Powell had endorsed candidates for President like Shirley Chisholm, Dick Gregory, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cynthia McKinney or other humans who met the American standard for blackness. However I think all of those people struggled along the campaign trail without the Powell endorsement. Watch the Sununu video below.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Info

For our east coast readers, please stay safe.  Here's some info on Hurricane Sandy:

New York:

New Jersey:





North Carolina:,000010

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It Takes 2 to Tango: Challenging the Myth that Obama Caused the Political Divide in Washington

The other day, PBS ran a special election documentary entitled "The Choice 2012" which attempted to take an in-depth look at the 2 candidates currently running for President.  Towards the end of Obama's segment, the documentary notes the deep partisan division that has plagued Obama's presidency, but, oddly enough, it doesn't explain how it came to be.  In a rather cursory analysis, it left out some pretty key elements of the story that are critical to understanding how our nation got to be as divided as we are today.  While it is true that Obama ran on a platform of bridging the ideological chasm that existed (and still exists) in Washington, and while it is also true that Washington is more ideologically divided now more than any time in recent history, it is intellectually dishonest to lay 100% of the blame for this divide at the feet of the President.  In fact, I'm going to challenge this seemingly popular notion that Obama is mostly to blame for this partisan divide that is tearing our country apart.  Since the PBS documentary failed to thoroughly unearth the major elements that contributed to our nation's divide, let's take a look after the jump.

Join Us Live on "That's What's UP" Today at 5PM (EDT) w/ Special Lincoln Anthony Blades of "This Is Your Conscience"

That's What's UP - The Urban Politico Radio Hour: Discussing the Final Presidential Debate w/'s Lincoln Anthony Blades

Join us today at 5PM (Eastern) for our weekly radio hour on "That's What's UP."  On this week's episode, we are joined by special guest Lincoln Anthony Blades, founder of the blog  We will discuss the final Presidential Debate on foreign policy between former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney and incumbent US President Barack Obama, and we also take a look at the state of the race with just 9 days to go and the recent endorsements each candidate has received. 

Dial (424) 675-6844 to join the conversation

In case you missed it, listen here:
Listen to internet radio with The Urban Politico on Blog Talk Radio

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book Reviews-77 Shadow Street, Mickey Cohen, Ultimate Autos

77 Shadow Street
By Dean Koontz
I used to read Dean Koontz as avidly as I read Stephen King. Koontz was a favorite. I think he was a favorite of a lot of people since between them, King and Koontz titles used to easily take up one-half of horror section shelf space in many bookstores. However tastes change as we age and it's been a long time since I read any of Koontz's work. A few weeks back I saw this rather hefty paperback on sale for almost nothing so I picked it up. The story wasn't original but there are some talented writers who have claimed that there are very few original sci-fi/fantasy stories, just classic themes that are reworked according to a writer's individual taste and skill.

In this case the story is about The Pendleton, a old mansion with a troubled past that has been changed into a swank hotel. Every so often, usually about 38 years, there are problems, apparitions appear, people kill other people or simply disappear. So basically this is a haunted house story. Obviously this immediately reminded me of Stephen King's The Shining or Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House  or Richard Matheson's Hell House but not in a negative way. I was eager to see what a master writer like Koontz did with this format. I will have to go back and check some of his older works but my immediate impression is either that Koontz has become a lot more long-winded since last I read him or perhaps a writer of his skill and success has a slightly different relationship with editors than some neophyte would. I found myself struggling with this book's length. There are some long books where you find yourself frantically turning the pages because you can't wait to see what happened next.  For other books though you frantically turn the pages because you really want the book to end because you have other things to do. Don't get me wrong, uninspiring Koontz is still better than 90% of other genre writers but this story could have easily been chopped in half and not lost that much. It was over 500 pages. That was just too much for me. The story feels stretched out. There is a lot of detail about what each character is seeing. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Definition of Leadership: Obama 2008 vs. Romney 2012

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

One of my favorite channels is the History Channel. There is a documentary that they air as a series called "The President's." The opening is priceless and in my opinion the most accurate definition I've ever heard applied to the American Presidency. 


"Wanted ambitious individual for leadership position. Be prepared for difficult application process and stressful work environment. Challenges -- Many. Rewards -- Numerous. Failure -- Possible. Your employer, the American People. The few chosen have been The Presidents."

After Monday evenings US Presidential Debate between incumbent President Barack Obama and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, I noticed a new talking point make an appearance from the Republicans - "Presidential Test." As we all know, Mitt Romney lost the third and final debate on foreign policy to President Obama. However, the Republican establishment, as always, went into spin mode and labeled Governor Romney's performance as "passing the Presidential Test" and the definition of "a true leader." They basically gave him a win. For the purposes of this election, leadership in its truest definition refers to our candidates showing up as "Presidential."

One of my favorite bloggers Lincoln Blades of This Is Your Conscience wrote an excellent post on this leadership debacle in which he expressed my thoughts perfectly - "Mitt Romney Did Not Look Presidential By Any Standard." The word that stuck out to me is "standard." If you watched the debate Monday evening or read The Janitor's recap on Tuesday then you know exactly why the word "standard" stuck out to me. If not join me after the jump.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mourdock's rape and pregnancy comments: is there NO room for his opinion?

By now I’m sure you’ve heard Richard Mourdock’s rape and pregnancy comments.  If not, then here are his comments:

I COMPLETELY understand why many folks have taken issue with Mr. Mourdock's comments.  Rape, abortion, and anything dealing with pregnancy is pretty much taboo for congressmen to talk about, especially during an election season.  But here we are...AGAIN.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Update: If You Can't Win Cheat? - Does Tagg Romney Own Voting Machines in Swing States?

UPDATE: There appears to be a valid concern about the Romney family possibly having a conflict of interest through their investment selections. Tagg Romney owns the private equity fund Solamere, and its believed that Solamere had invested in an investment firm that holds shares to a company that owns voting machines. Per the Huffington Post: and

A private equity company run by fervent supporters of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney bought the third-largest voting machine company in the country last July, raising concerns about the appearance of impropriety, if not the possibility of impropriety itself.

H.I.G. Capital is a Miami-based private equity fund that manages $8.5 billion in capital. Hart Intercivic is a company exclusively in the business of manufacturing and programming voting systems.

H.I.G. Capital's co-founder, Anthony Tamer, previously worked at Bain & Company, the global consulting giant where Romney was once CEO. Eight of the company's managing directors came from Bain as well. Tamer and his wife are major Romney donors, having each contributed $50,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. Tamer has also donated $75,000 to the Romney Victory Fund.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Last Presidential Debate Recap

So who won the final debate?  The CNN poll calls the final debate in Obama's favor: 48% Obama, 40% Romney.  The CBS poll shows an even greater victory for President Obama with 53% of viewers saying that Obama won the debate while only 23% (a whole 30 points less) thought Romney won the debate.  These same polls showed that Romney won the first debate hands down but that Obama won the second debate last week in New York.  In other words, Romney won the first debate and Obama came back and won the next two debates in a row.  So the debate tally appears to be Romney: 1, Obama: 2.

Stepping back and looking at the final debate from 30,000 feet, Governor Romney did not seem to be interested in actually winning the foreign policy debate -- indeed, he often seemed woefully outmatched on the subject by the sitting commander-in-chief -- but instead he seemed interested only in establishing the fact that he, too, could someday be commander-in-chief.  To that end, Romney's strategy appeared to focus on simply not making any major gaffes that might upset the perception that Romney could also be commander-in-chief (he even went so far as to agree with the President several times throughout the evening).  And because he was primarily focused on not committing a major error, as opposed to actually making an effort to win the debate, he left a window of opportunity for the President to exploit.

And exploit he did.

Within the first few minutes of the debate, President Obama drew a clear line in the sand by reminding Americans that Romney, as a former governor of a state and as a businessman, has "not been in a position to actually execute foreign policy."  That was strike one.  (Note: when Obama chastised Romney with this statement, Romney nervously looked down at his paper for an extended period of time and did not bring his eyes up to meet the President much in the same manner that Obama nervously looked down during their first debate).

Strike two came when President Obama reminded everybody that Romney said that America should "not move Heaven and Earth" just to get Osama bin Laden and that we should have asked for permission from Pakistan -- which we would not have received -- before going in to get bin Laden.  This is, of course, in stark contrast with Obama who both as a candidate in 2008 and again as a President in 2011 took the position that if bin Laden is residing within Pakistan's boarders, and we have intelligence on where he is, then we will take him out.  The President also made it a point to note that Romney had once listed Russia -- and not Al Qaeda -- as our greatest foreign threat.

Striker three involved perhaps the most memorable exchange of the evening:

Romney: Our navy is smaller now than anytime since 1917.  The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission.  We're now down to 285.  We're headed down to the low 200's if we go through with sequestration.  That's unacceptable to me.  I wanna make sure we have the ships that are required by our Navy.
Obama: I think Governor Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works.  You mention the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916.  Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed.  We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them.  We have these ships that go under water - nuclear submarines.  And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships, it's what are our capabilities.    

Obama drops the mic.

ETA:  Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't discuss the impact that this debate and others will have on the election.  One gets the sense that if there were 3 more debates, Obama would likely edge out Romney in each of them.  However, due to the Romney's superb performance in the first debate -- and Obama's noticeably poor performance -- many Americans got a "first impression" of Romney which undid half a year's worth of negative campaign adds run by the by Obama Administration which attempted (successfully I might add) to define Romney as the out of touch millionaire who likes to fire people, thinks 47% of Americans are lazy, and will ship your job overseas to make a quick buck.  After the first debate, all of that changed.  If Obama goes on to lose the election, people will be talking about the legacy of that first debate for years to come.  That was the moment when Romney undoubtedly turned the momentum of the election around for his campaign and enjoyed two full weeks of positive news coverage before the President had a chance to re-engage him again for their second debate.

However, as we have reported time and time again, "it's the Electoral Map, stupid." The Electoral College path to 270 does not favor a win for Mitt Romney.  Assuming that historic Red States stay Red and that historic Blue States stay Blue, of the remaining "battleground states" Mitt could literally win Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire and still only get 267 electoral votes.  Obama, by contrast would only need Ohio and Iowa to hit 271.  This is a fact that is not lost on either campaign as they both ramp up their efforts in the key battleground states over the next 2 weeks.  But with only 2 weeks to go, the question is whether the first debate bump -- which has now been tampered by 2 consecutive debate losses for Governor Romney -- is enough to erase Obama's leads in not just one or two battleground states, but damn near all of them.    

While it's not impossible, statistically speaking it is highly unlikely.

Your thoughts on the final debate and on all 3 debates in general?

Monday, October 22, 2012


That's right folks, this is it!  With only 15 days to go until election day, the two candidates will meet for the last time for a debate on Foreign Policy.  You all know the drill by now.  Join us live tonight at 9PM (Eastern) as we live chat and play the usual Presidential Debate drinking games.  Be on the lookout for these buzz words:

"Ambassador Stevens"
"bin Laden"
"Crippling Sanctions"
"Diplomatic Solution"
"Enriched Uranium"
"Intelligence Reports"
"Manipulating their Currency"
"Nuclear Weapons Program"
"Rose Garden"
"Susan Rice"
"Tough on China"
"United Nations"

Topic: Foreign policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney
Moderator: Bob Schieffer (Host of Face the Nation on CBS)

The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate and will focus on foreign policy.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

By the way, "Binders Full of Women" is Affirmative Action

A lot has been said about Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" comment during last Tuesday's debate.  Not much of it has been good.  The comment itself went viral on the internet just seconds after he said it, so it is easy to see how many people may have missed the subtext of what the comment actually conveyed.  Let's take a look at what was actually said:

CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?
ROMNEY: Thank you. An important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.
And I -- and I went to my staff, and I said, "How come all the people for these jobs are -- are all men." They said, "Well, these are the people that have the qualifications." And I said, "Well, gosh, can't we -- can't we find some -- some women that are also qualified?"
And -- and so we -- we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.
I went to a number of women's groups and said, "Can you help us find folks," and they brought us whole binders full of women.
I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.
Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort.

The first thing that may jump out at you about this response from Gov. Romney is that it actually doesn't answer the question.  The question asked each candidate how they felt about the issue of equal pay for women in the workplace, not whether there are an equal number of women in the workforce.

Join Us Today at 5PM (Eastern) for our 1 Hour Radio Show: That's Wsup - 2nd Prez Debate

That's What's UP - The Urban Politico Radio Hour: 
Discussing the 2nd Presidential Debate

Join us today at 5PM (Eastern) for our weekly radio hour on "That's What's UP."  On this week's episode, we will discuss the second Presidential Debate and we also take a look at the race for the White House with only 2 weeks to go until election day. .

In case you missed the show, you can listen below:

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

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Music Reviews-This May Be My Last Time Singing, Doin' Hard Time on Planet Earth

This May Be My Last Time Singing-Raw African American Gospel 
There are three basic building blocks of American music (well four if you include country). These forms are blues, jazz and gospel. Just about every other music that grew up in America came from some version, combination or descendant of those genres in one way or another. In 2012 of course there is a lot of water under the bridge.

Many fantastic musicians have come and gone, leaving their mark on the world and changing music in unforeseen ways. What is understood as rock or blues today doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with what was understood as rock-n-roll in the fifties or before. But if you go back far enough as I like to do you can find music that call it what you like, is not easily or simply restricted to one category.

This would be the case with the sublime collection This May Be My Last Time Singing. This is a three CD collection of hard core indie Black gospel 45's from 1957-1982. Some of the singers are well known, most aren't. But this collection from top to bottom boasts an authenticity and soul that is really hard to find in popular music or for that matter even modern gospel these days. And although the collection is made up of people who generally first and foremost considered themselves gospel musicians there are very obvious links to blues, soul, country, and even a little rock-n-roll.

Ironically one preacher inveighs against the evils of rock-n-roll while singing over a riff that would not have been out of place on a Funkadelic album. Blues and gospel are just different facets of the same thing. This collection is gospel but you can always hear hints or occasionally outright nods to whatever the popular music of the day might have been. Just like with today's rappers some of the singers here spent time in prison and used those experiences to emote.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Romney, Obama Make Their Comedic Rounds in NYC (VIDEO)

If you've ever been stuck in New York City traffic, then you know that nothing holds up traffic like a political motorcade.  Last night we had not only the President's motorcade but also Mitt Romney's, as both candidates made their comedic rounds from the Daily Show to the annual Alfred Smith Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why Every Black and Latino In New York Should Relocate ASAP

This post comes to us from Godson originally posted on The Huffington Post
There is a large population of American citizens who call New York City their home, yet are living behind enemy lines. Despite being, in many cases contributing members of society, students and simply normal everyday people, these mostly black and brown men are stopped, searched, harassed, berated and in some cases beaten everyday by the NYPD, the most notorious police department in the United States.
It seems as if America is moving closer and closer toward becoming a police state. Some form of democracy, but a form only for a certain population of individuals, who live in certain parts of town. In the wake of the Occupy movement, which sprouted up in cities throughout the country as well as abroad, incidents involving police brutality have seen a tremendous increase. From the now infamous video of a group of college students, peacefully protesting on campus, being pepper sprayed to multiple videos showing unwarranted police beatings, the outrage most American's once had about this level of anarchy has just about disappeared.
This tragic drama could not be more evident than in New York City, where laws exist which allow the NYPD gang the ability to violate the civil and human rights of anyone with whom they see fit, whether a crime has been committed or not. Although the Stop and Frisk laws were implemented years ago, the controversy has resurfaced after an audio recording surfaced, displaying the disrespectful, intimidating, and overall harsh manner in which this law is being practiced.
The audio recording was taken by 17-year-old Alvin, the victim of NYPD harassment, posing as legislation. In Alvin's audio recording you can hear him being shoved around, cursed at and threatened by the officers for no apparent reason. Alvin explains to the officer that he had just been stopped a few moments ago, and although the officers admit they are aware, they continue their harassment of the teen, who throughout the encounter asked repeatedly what it was that he had done wrong. That question was never answered.

Urban Beat: Plot to Bomb Federal Reserve Bank in New York Foiled

Plot to Bomb Federal Reserve Bank in New York Foiled
One man was arrested in a federal terrorism sting targeting the Federal Reserve in lower Manhattan.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis , 21, was arrested this morning in downtown Manhattan after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan's financial district.

The suspect was arraigned in federal court in Downtown Brooklyn and remanded without bail.

Vote for Somebody by Democracy Prep Citizen Scholars

Democracy Prep Citizen Scholars encourage us all to exercise our civic duty and vote. 

I love to see children get involved during election cycles. I had to share.

The 2nd Presidential Debate Recap

"Don't call it a comeback! I been here for years. Rockin' my peers and puttin suckas in fear. Makin' the tears rain down like a MON-soon...listen to the bass go BOOM!"

Perhaps being so close to New York City last night caused Obama to channel his inner LL Cool J who infamously told us 20 years ago that "Mama said knock you out," because for 90 minutes Obama seemed focused like a laser on knocking Romney out.  There was a noticeable difference in everything Obama did from his speech pattern (which is usually slow and painfully deliberate) to his on-stage presence to his poignant rebuttals to much of what his opponent, Gov. Mitt Romney, attempted to sell to the American people.  The CBS poll shows Obama beat Romney 37% to 30% and the CNN poll also shows Obama over Romney 46% to 39%.  In the last debate we saw Romney establish himself as a real alternative for many voters.  Obama's performance during last night's debate may have halted, if not reversed, Romney's previous victory. 

Some of the more memorable highlights:

  • Romney outlined his 5 point plan on the economy only to have Obama rebuttal that "Gov. Romney doesn't have a 5 point plan, he's got a 1 point plan" which only helps the top 1%.
  • Obama reminded the audience that they should believe Gov. Romney when he stood on stage during the Republican Primaries and said that he would give tax cuts to the top 1%.
  • Regarding Gov. Romney's refusal to list the specifics as to which loopholes or deductions he would eliminate in order to cut taxes by 20% for everybody while simultaneously reducing the deficit, Obama challenged Romney directly by pointing out that if an investor proposed the same kind of business deal without any specifics that Romney would not take "such a sketchy deal."
  • Romney may have committed an unforced error when he was asked a question by an audience member about how he is different from President GW Bush and, instead of answering it at the beginning, he went back to respond to the previous points that President Obama made on abortion.  Then when he did answer it, he distanced himself from Bush saying that Bush drove up the deficit that Obama inherited.  
  • President Obama pointed out the many benefits that Gov. Romney has received by sending business to China and told Romney that "you're the last person who will get tough on China."
  • Obama took on the issue of immigration head on, stating that his administration has gone after the gang bangers and criminals who are here illegally and has provided relief to students who fit the Dream Act criteria.  He also pointed out that Gov. Romney has vowed to veto the Dream Act.
  • Regarding the issue of Libya, Obama chastised the Right for exploiting this national tragedy for mere political gain and reminded everybody of the reality of what he sees as President when he greets the bodies of Americans who he knows personally when they come home in coffins at Andrews Airforce Base.   He also assured the audience that "when people mess with Americans, we go after them."  Romney's response on this issue seemed to focus on why it took so long for the President to label the event as an "act of terror," which left him vulnerable to the real time fact check from both the President and the moderator when they corrected Romney by pointing out that the President did, in fact, call the even an "act of terror" the day after the event during his address to the nation in the Rose Garden. 

If you missed it, you can watch the entire debate (without commercials) here.

Your thoughts on last night's debate?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Join Us Tonight For Round 2


The Details: 

Topic: Town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney
Moderator: Candy Crowley (CNN Chief Political Correspondent)
The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

Monday, October 15, 2012

If Only Mitt Were Latino

I saw this a few days ago and had to share.

Detroit woman forced to live with house squatter

Believe it or not I really don't like writing negative blog posts about my home town. So this will be the last one for a while. There's good people in Detroit. You should know that. But there are also some dirty no good bottom feeder parasites. Every time I think I am finished writing about foolishness, lo and behold here comes another story. This story touched a nerve because I think it provides a perfect example of what plagues Detroit. This situation has a legal twist. Hopefully The Janitor or Old Guru can explain it because I am simply not understanding what is going on here.

Imagine that you left town for an extended period of time to work, have a baby, take an overseas vacation, visit a terminally ill relative, settle an estate, wait for repairs to be made on your home, wander the earth or whatever. Let's say that upon your return, you discovered that someone (a previous tenant? mentally challenged write-in presidential candidate?) had moved into your home, changed the locks, altered the wiring and plumbing, taken out liens, thrown out or sold your belongings, and otherwise taken possession of the home that you bought and paid for. Now I think that even the most peaceful person on the planet might get a little upset. And let's say that when you called the police, fully expecting that that they would remove this insolent interloper and drag them away to a richly deserved jail cell, the police said "Hey this is a civil dispute. We're not qualified to make decisions about who owns what. Tell it to the judge. Don't do anything rash. Stop bothering us. Don't call us again!"

The Death of Our Ambassador and Diplomats Should Be Off Limits

During Thursday's Vice Presidential Debate between current US Vice President Joseph Biden and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, a line was crossed. Through the Romney Campaign in an attempt to gain political points, Congressman Ryan accused the Obama Administration of denying Ambassador Stevens additional security, after he made several requests for additional security.  Ryan attempted to poke holes in the foreign policy strategy and response to the September 11th 2012 terrorist attack that resulted in the deaths of four Americans including US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. 

Debate moderator Martha Raddatz opened the debate with a question on the attacks in Libya asking this:

"I would like to begin with Libya. On a rather somber note, one month ago tonight, on the anniversary of 9/11, Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans were killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi. The State Department has now made clear, there were no protesters there. It was a pre-planned assault by heavily armed men. Wasn't this a massive intelligence failure, Vice President Biden?" 
Ryan said this:
"But what we also want it do is make sure that we're not projecting weakness abroad, and that's what's happening here. This Benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself, but unfortunately it's indicative of a broader problem. And that is what we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy, which is making the world more chaotic us less safe."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Join Us on "That's What's UP" Today at 5PM (EDT) w/ Special Guest Crystal Wright of "Conservative Black"

That's What's UP - The Urban Politico Radio Hour: Discussing the Vice Presidential Debates w/'s Crystal Wright

Join us today at 5PM (Eastern) for our weekly radio hour on "That's What's UP."  On this week's episode, we are joined by special guest Crystal Wright, founder of the blog  We will discuss the recent Vice Presidential Debate between Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and incumbent US Vice President Joe Biden, and we also take a look at the race for the White House which now has under 1 month to go.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Movie Reviews-Taken 2, King of New York

Taken 2
directed by Olivier Megaton
People should know not to mess with Liam Neeson, his friends or his family. He gets upset and kills people. The first Taken initially hid Liam Neeson's awesomeness. The villains were surprised. If you've ever seen Rob RoyGangs of New York, Next of Kin, Michael Collins or Darkman this was no surprise but apparently the mental midgets in Taken didn't see those movies. Taken depicted Bryan Mills' (Neeson) frantic search for his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) before she's sold into Third World sex-slavery to some depraved Middle Easterner. Both Taken and Taken 2  play up the sexual threat of the "dark" man to the "light" woman.
In Taken Mills eliminated roughly half of the Albanian male population, who evidently had nothing better to do than rape and pimp out American girls. Taken was convincing because the Albanian sex traffickers didn't know who they were messing with while Mills' daughter and ex-wife had no clue that the man they thought of as a loser or amiably clueless was actually a lethally protective and scarily intelligent guardian. Mills had to do a lot of sharp detective work before locating Kim's assailants and starting his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. The film was surprisingly (that word again) entertaining.

But in Taken 2, presumably everyone, including Mills' daughter, ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and the half of the Albanian male population that Mills DIDN'T kill now knows that Mills is not a man to be f***** with.  Do so and you die. And if Mills has the time you might die painfully. So there is no surprise about who's the Big Dog.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Breaking News: Shots Fired at Obama Colorado HQ

From the Denver Post:

Police say someone fired a shot at an Obama campaign field office in Denver on Friday afternoon.
No one was injured, though people were inside the offices when the incident occurred, said Denver police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez.

"It looks like it was one shot that was fired into the structure," she said.
The incident happened at about 3 p.m. at the campaign's offices on West Ninth Avenue near Acoma Street, Lopez said.

Sam Levin, a reporter for the alternative newspaper Westword, later posted a photo on Twitter showing one of the office's large, front windows broken out. By early evening, the window shards had been removed and a glass company was putting plywood up.

Lopez said police have a description of a "possible vehicle of interest." She said she could not release that information while detectives are reviewing any available video footage of the incident and pursuing leads.

An Obama campaign spokeswoman declined to comment on the incident, instead referring a question to the police.


Cleveland Bus Driver Uppercuts Girl

Last night many of us watched Vice-President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan launch verbal bombs at each other (and then heartily congratulate each other and their families after the debate). Nobody used profanity, nobody insulted anyone's mother, and nobody made bloody threats about what they were going to do to the other person.

However on the Cleveland bus system recently a different sort of debate took place, one that evidently started with profanity and threats and escalated to violence. I don't know what started this fracas as the video starts in the middle of an angry tirade from a teen girl young woman against the bus driver (a grown man). It is difficult to even make out much of what she's saying. But she clearly threatens the driver who responds that he will have his daughter or granddaughter handle her. Often times, especially in areas that are EXTREMELY touchy about personal honor and disrespect (any inner city) a mutual exchange of insults and threats would have been enough and both parties, honor having been upheld, could go about their business. I've seen that more times than I care to recall.  For whatever reason though this young lady decided to get physical with the man. And then... well just watch the video.

The Vice Presidential Debate Recap

Unlike last week's debate, the Vice Presidential debate between VP Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan had an entirely different vibe to it.  On substance, the polls are split with CNN's poll showing Ryan won 48% to 44% and a CBS poll showing that Biden won 50% to 31%.  The import of this is that Republicans walked away from the debate thinking that Ryan did well, and Democrats walked away thinking that Biden did well.  This likely means that the debate was a "draw," meaning that it's not going to shift the Presidential race one way or the other.  However, as far as style and optics are concerned, there's little doubt from anybody watching that Joe Biden dominated Ryan during the 90 minute debate, often times cutting the Congressman off in mid-sentence and smiling during Ryan's responses as if to say "can you believe this guy?"  Biden's energetic demeanor undoubtedly energized the recently dispirited Democratic base while simultaneously drawing the ire of the Republican party.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NYPD officers abuse teen-caught on audio

It is often instructive to look back at the history of white supremacy in this country and see how non-whites had to deal with openly racist whites who had no problem being violent. When we look at the pictures or video of peaceful civil rights protesters having dogs set on them or being beaten with tire irons or having things thrown at them it is hard, in 2012 not to at least occasionally question how people could allow that to happen or why didn't more people stand up and fight back or so on. Those are painful questions to be sure. At any given point in time most people are just trying to survive. By definition, most people are not heroes. Cemeteries are full of would be heroes. People did what they had to do to survive. There is no shame in that.

But although those days are thankfully gone, there are unfortunately quite a number of people who would have fit right in working for Bull Connor or Ross Barnett. Evidently many of these people are NYPD police officers. We've written before on the stop-and-frisk program that Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have instituted that is primarily aimed at Black and Hispanic men, especially young men or boys. This program doesn't catch many people carrying either drugs or guns but it does put a lot of fear, anger and rage in many New York Black and Hispanic citizens. Unfortunately until very recently this has not received any attention in the mainstream press and what attention it has received has been cautiously positive or only mildly critical. Generally speaking the people that write or edit for the New York Times or the New Yorker or the Wall Street Journal or the American Enterprise Institute are not the people being stopped and frisked so they tend not to have the mad rush of killing rage I had when I saw the below video. This is a racial quota which doesn't seem to excite their delicate constitutional sensitivities.


(From Today's New York Post - I had to share)

The Details:
TIME: 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m.  EDT, Thursday, October 11, 2012
FORMAT: The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the question.

MODERATOR: Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent, ABC News
TV: The VP  debate will air on the major networks and cable news channels: NBC, FOX, ABC, CBS,  PBS, C-SPAN, Univision, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, MSNBC.

LIVE CHAT with The Urban Politico Team TONIGHT @ 9PM EDT
Come back to and join the chat room on our page. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stacey Dash Supports Mitt Romney and Black Men Lose Their Minds

Stacey Dash -- Men love her and want to have babies with her, and women want her beauty tips embedded into their genetic makeup. Stacey was a hit in the 90's with movies like Clueless and Mo' Money. She faded off our radar, doing a video here or magazine shoot there. Something tells me that Stacey is either looking for work or has a project coming up that requires her to have some sort of relevance or additional name recognition. There is no better way to garner such attention, than to throw your bikini into the fray of politics. This is exactly what Stacey did, when she tweeted the picture to your left and these words.  

"Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Detroit Police Sex Scandal: Ralph Godbee and Angelica Robinson

If it's Tuesday it must be time for another Detroit political sex scandal. Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick fired two police officers who, in a separate investigation, were close to discovering evidence of Kilpatrick's infidelity. In the resulting civil trial for damages, text messages confirming Kilpatrick's adulterous relationship with chief of staff Christine Beatty were revealed. Since that time and Kilpatrick's subsequent resignation I would have thought that people would have changed. If you absolutely and positively just HAD to cheat at work, I would have expected you would be prudent enough to avoid creating proof in the form of text or phone messages, emails, Facebook posts, tweets or other electronic droppings that made it clear that your mule was kicking in somebody else's stall. I mean that's in the player's handbook-bolded and marked in red just for any extra special stupid player out there.

That's not how we roll in Detroit. The disturbed woman depicted is Detroit Internal Affairs police officer Angelica Robinson, who is currently (probably not happily) married. Officer Robinson was having an affair with Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee. She posted the picture of herself with her city issued sidearm on her twitter account. She learned that Chief Godbee (who is married but proceeding to divorce) allegedly was also dipping his nightstick into another woman. I don't know if the other woman is also a Detroit Police Officer. I wouldn't be surprised. To paraphrase Moe Green from The Godfather, no wonder we can't get police response in Detroit. The chief was banging officers two at a time!

Godbee only became DPD Chief when the previous DPD Chief Warren Evans was forced out for having a relationship with yet another police officer, Monique Patterson. Evans and Patterson were single during their dalliance. Godbee, who is a minister, was also seeing Patterson. Godbee got the gold mine (promotion to Chief) while Evans got the shaft. So when news of Godbee's troubles first hit, Evans was obviously, shall we say, somewhat less than sympathetic.
Video below:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Caption Contest

How about a little fun.  Submit your caption below and the UP staff will choose three finalists.  After, you all will vote fore your favorite.  The winner will recieve some Urban Politico chachkies and a t-shirt. 

So off you go.  Give it your best shot.  Provide a caption for the picture below.  Submit your entries in the comment section below.  Next week, come back and vote out of the top three.

The End of Affirmative Action? Supreme Court Hears Fisher v. Univ. of Texas

Abigail Noel Fisher
Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.  Abigail Noel Fisher, a White woman from Texas, claims that she was denied admission to the University of Texas ("UT") because of her race.  More specifically, she claims that UT's admissions process, which uses a narrowly tailored form of affirmative action to increase diversity, is unconstitutional because it discriminates against Whites. (We've written on this before).

Now, before we go any further, it is important to understand what exactly is at issue here.  Typically whenever affirmative action is up for public debate, people jump straight into a discussion about whether or not a Black or Latino student should receive an unfair advantage by being admitted into a school over an equally situated or more deserving White student.  That is not the issue before us in Fisher.  The issue in this case is whether or not state colleges and universities can use race as one factor among many other factors when determining admissions.  The key difference between this issue and the former issue is that the former assumes that race is a significant admissions factor (if not the predominant factor).  The issue in Fisher, however, asks a related yet substantially different question: can race be used at all in college admissions even if it is only a minor factor?  That is the question that will be answered by the Supreme Court. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

That's What's UP - The Urban Politico Radio Hour: The Race to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

That's What's UP - The Urban Politico Radio Hour: Race to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Join us today at 5PM (Eastern) for our weekly radio hour on "That's What's UP."  On this week's episode Jim Graves, Democratic Congressional Candidate currently running against incumbent Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachman in Minnesota's 6th District joins us. We will also give our complete analysis of this weeks past Presidential Debate between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and incumbent US President Barack Obama. We will also discuss the upcoming debate between Vice Presidential Candidates Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and incumbent US Vice President Joe Biden