Friday, November 30, 2012

First African American POTUS: What is Obama's legacy?

Probably NOT Mt. Rushmore

The reelection of President Obama proved one thing: his election in 2008 was not an historical anomaly. For a moment, the thought crossed my mind that President Obama’s election was due to a combination of new hotness, peer-pressure, black pride, and adolescent rebellion making replication near impossible. Especially when Obama’s opponent appeared to be hand crafted right out of the All American Boy mold. In reality, however, his reelection proved he wasn’t an anomaly, but a historical figure whose existence and life will play a crucial role for many Americans of color.

Some will of course debate this position. I believe, however, their disagreement is purely political. But I’m not speaking from a political legacy but an historical one. Regardless of the political bickering we are all currently a spectator too, President Obama’s historical significance cannot be denied. Regardless of how you feel about Obamacare or debt ceilings, President Obama will now and forever be the first President of the United States of America that was not a Caucasian male. PERIOD. Of course, you will have your detractors claiming that acknowledging Obama’s race is – in and of itself – racism and we should just accept him as a president… not the first “African American” President. Nah…contrary to the belief of many reverse racism zealots, race not only means something in this context, but it is exactly the point.

The UN welcomes Palestine as Observer State

As discussed the Palestinians want independence. They tried and failed to get the UN Security Council to recognize Palestine as a state. So roughly a year after this effort failed in the Security Council the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas tried again in the General Assembly where there is no veto. And this time despite threats of bad consequences from Israel, the United States and a few other nations, the bid for recognition as a state finally passed!

UNITED NATIONS — More than 130 countries voted on Thursday to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state of the United Nations, a triumph for Palestinian diplomacy and a sharp rebuke to the United States and Israel.
But the vote, at least for now, did little to bring either the Palestinians or the Israelis closer to the goal they claim to seek: two states living side by side, or increased Palestinian unity. Israel and the militant group Hamas both responded critically to the day’s events, though for different reasons.
The new status will give the Palestinians more tools to challenge Israel in international legal forums for its occupation activities in the West Bank, including settlement-building, and it helped bolster the Palestinian Authority, weakened after eight days of battle between its rival Hamas and Israel.
But even as a small but determined crowd of 2,000 celebrated in central Ramallah in the West Bank, waving flags and dancing, there was an underlying sense of concerned resignation.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Obamacare, Tax Incentives and Patriotism

Now that Obamacare (PPACA) is being implemented we can see what the response to some of the law's incentives have been. Because the PPACA requires employers of a certain size to provide health care coverage to any full time worker, employers have an additional incentive to limit full time workers to only those who are absolutely necessary. If you happen not to be absolutely necessary or your employer's business model does not provide for a large number of full time workers, then your employer might decide to limit your hours so that you don't get full time work.

Employers from community colleges to Darden Group (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse) to Applebee's have indicated that workers' hours could be limited to avoid health care liability. Stryker, a medical device manufacturer, is not very happy about the new 2.3% medical device excise tax, paid regardless of a company's profits, and has announced that it is reducing staffing levels by 5%. Stryker had other problems already of course, but no one who makes medical devices is pleased with the new tax. Papa John's founder John Schnatter, said that while he was happy that everyone would be getting health care, nothing was for free and he couldn't predict what the independently owned and operated franchises might do.

One study claims that increased costs under Obamacare for small businesses will be negligible thanks to statutory exclusions and tax credits. The problem is that the real world data doesn't line up with the study. Only 170,000 small employers, not 1,000,000 or more, claimed a tax credit. Per the GAO report, this is far fewer employers than originally estimated. It may well turn out that the employers know their business needs and costs better than the federal government does. And if it doesn't make financial sense for them to purchase health insurance they won't do so. It may be cheaper for a company to pay a penalty or reduce staffing rather than to provide health care insurance.

Breaking News: Florida Stand Your Ground Shooting - Michael Dunn kills Jordan Davis

I don't like music that is audible at insanely high decibels outside of your vehicle. Not everyone is a fan of whatever your particular music may be. I think it's rude to make everyone else listen to your favorite music whether they like it or not. Were I an officer of the law I would be handing out numerous disorderly conduct tickets for such behavior.

But despite the fact that I am irritated by such behavior I've never had a desire to shoot people for playing their music loudly. See not only is shooting someone morally worse than playing music loudly, it would probably result in me going to prison for a very long time where chances are, I'd have to get used to much much more offensive behavior patterns than someone playing music at a level I found unpleasant.

But evidently some people aren't bothered by the possibility of going to prison.
From the same state that brought you the Trayvon Martin situation comes another case where a Caucasian or non-black man shot and killed an unarmed black teenager and then tried to say he was threatened.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why Posting Copyright "Legalese" on Your Facebook Wall Has ZERO Legal Effect

It's amazing how throwing a few legal terms (aka "legalese") into a sentence can make even the most meaningless of statements sound "official" to the uninformed listener.  Allow me to demonstrate: "Upon expiration of said term, subject to aforementioned encumbrance, legatee passes by joint tenancy with right of survivorship to lease the privity of unencumbered estate as set forth more fully herein pursuant to the nontestamentary instrument established in competing interests which may warrant application of the common law rule to presently existing securities." Did you catch all of that?  Don't worry if you didn't because it is complete gibberish.  A mere collection of legal words strung together that have no more meaning than me saying "supercalifragalisticexpialidocious."  I literally picked the words at random as I skipped through several different pages of one of my old law school textbooks.  But obviously I wouldn't expect most people to know that.  After all, there are roughly 300 million people in this country but only 1 million of them are lawyers.  Which is precisely why the latest Facebook chain letter has been so successful at making its rounds onto so many Facebook profiles.

If you haven't seen it yet (and be thankful if you haven't), over the last few days many Facebook users have posted a chain mail message onto their profiles which, according to the message, protects their copyright interests with respect to any pictures, videos or writings that they might display on their respective Facebook pages.  The message then urges other users to do the same or else risk losing their rights.  A similar chain letter first emerged back in May of this year immediately after Facebook became a publicly traded company on the stock market.  Despite the previous chain mail being completely debunked back in May by every credible source out there (including Facebook itself), this latest chain mail has somehow managed to fool people once again even though it effectively uses the exact same language as the last chain mail.

In the interest of keeping our readers informed, we break down the infamous "Facebook Legal Notice" after the jump:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Women Blame Yourselves for Why Men Won't Marry You

"I Do." .... "Maybe?"
I'm not sure if I'm a feminist or more of a relationship anarchist, but what I do know is I'm progressive enough to realize all this rah rah over marriage and who's on the short end of the matrimonial stick is B.S.

Remember during the Presidential campaign how every other week there was a new "War on Women." Well peep this, the "War on Men."

"Women aren't women anymore. 
To say gender relations have changed dramatically is an understatement. Ever since the sexual revolution, there has been a profound overhaul in the way men and women interact. Men haven't changed much -- they had no revolution that demanded it -- but women have changed dramatically.
In a nutshell, women are angry. They're also defensive, though often unknowingly. That's because they've been raised to think of men as the enemy.  Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs. 
Now the men have nowhere to go. 
It is precisely this dynamic -- women good/men bad -- that has destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Yet somehow, men are still to blame when love goes awry. Heck, men have been to blame since feminists first took to the streets in the 1970s. 
But what if the dearth of good men, and ongoing battle of the sexes, is -- hold on to your seats -- women's fault?"
I really hate it when people patronize me. As a woman I'm offended another woman had the chutzpah to write this article. Now fellas before you side-eye me looks of death, I'm not offended because what the woman is saying can't possibly be true. I'm offended because after years and years of different groups pointing the finger at each other for an explanation of what's behind the decline of marriage this article adds nothing to the discourse. It is an insignificant blip on an already trite conversation.

Conservatives, It's Time To Come Out of the Bubble. No Seriously.

If you've been listening to our radio show anytime after the election then you've heard me express time and time again just how thankful I am that the election finally provided a reality check to all of the misleading and , frankly, dishonest spin that had taken the media by storm.  Things were so bad this time around that you couldn't even have a civil conversation with a regular person (as in not a politician or self-proclaimed "political strategist" on TV) without them repeating some nonsense that they had heard on the news which had no basis in reality.  So let me offer a quote from Politico's Jonathan Martin that I feel pretty much sums up my sentiments on this issue:
Increasingly, the Republican Party has created a world unto itself.  What began as an alternative to what they perceived as a "biased" media has become ultimately self-defeating and really corrosive.  And again, [these are] folks who are in the party who are both operatives and thinkers who are Republicans who believe this [and] because they only talk to themselves nowadays [then] they're not talking to the broader electorate.  So when election day does come -- and not only does Romney not win, but President Obama wins convincingly to the tune of 332 electoral votes -- there is widespread denial and shock among a lot of folks in the conservative world.  What happened was that election day finally prompted a lot of younger conservatives to go public and say what Joe [Scarborough] has been saying for some time which is "we've got to get out of the bubble."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Is Capitalism Really Good for America?

In an attempt to slowly bring myself back to the reality that vacation time is over and I must get back into the routine called "Life" on Monday morning, I decided to treat myself to one last movie night. Up on deck was Tower Heist, staring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller. The film revolves around an ultra-luxurious New York City residential skyscraper that is home to some of the most wealthiest individuals.  The movie is supposed to be an action/comedy and serve as a feel good movie, but for me it was more serious than that. This movie gives you an in-depth look at what's wrong with society as a whole, and gives you a front row seat as you witness the flaws of capitalism and why it may not be good for America. 

The building's wealthiest resident Arthur Shaw who serves as the protagonist, is a Wall Street tycoon who fictionally has the sticky fingers and business acumen of Bernard Maddoff, the aloofness and sense of entitlement of Mitt Romney, combined with the charisma of Bill Clinton. He successfully confuses the audience and garners doubts regarding the fraud and financial deception that lead to his arrest, and receives a mild dose of sympathy until the true checkmate moment in the movie happens. In a scene where Shaw is face to face with his victims, he delivers what I proclaim to be the money quote of the movie. "See you people are working stiffs, clock punchers, easily replaced and erased. You just know that while you all are sitting in jail, I'll be right up there in the penthouse of the Tower doing what I do best." Ladies and Gentleman here is the problem with Capitalism. It removes the element of humanity to an extent where we truly become broken down into classes and the higher class believes themselves to be superior to all, and even above the law. Unfortunately, this is nothing new and is very reflective of our nations history. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Movie Reviews-Lincoln, The Campaign

directed by Steven Spielberg
Some people believe that Abraham Lincoln was the country's greatest President because he successfully kept the country intact during the bloodiest war the US experienced. Lincoln not only defeated the traitors but started the legal machinery to reduce and/or eliminate formal statutory support for white supremacy. However, though he opposed slavery, as Lincoln took pains to make clear throughout his life he wasn't necessarily overly fond of either abolitionists or black people and would have been content to keep the Southern states and slavery in the Union. It was the Southern states' intransigence, paranoia, arrogance and fatal inability to count that resulted in the Civil War, the effects of which still ripple throughout American society today. At some points Lincoln thought that "colonization", by which he meant the removal of Blacks from America and their placement in Africa, was the best solution to the race problem.

Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln, isn't quite a hagiography but it's pretty doggone close. Often films like this can be problematic, especially if the subject is still living or has well known faults. With Abraham Lincoln neither of these things is true so Spielberg is free to paint Lincoln in broad heroic colors. He is much aided in this by the title role actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, who really ought to receive an Oscar right now. Day-Lewis becomes Lincoln. He is Lincoln. I think he will be Lincoln for anyone who sees this film. Method acting. It works. Like much of Spielberg's popular work , Lincoln has a gauzy, upbeat, optimistic message.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from The Urban Politico

Many holidays invoke different feelings for many folks. I like to believe the spirit of most holidays is to bring friends and family closer together. It is true that some holidays have lost their meaning; it is also true that some have benefited from their change over time. None are without their detractors and debates. Regardless of whether or not you recognize Thanksgiving, there is still something to be said for stopping and taking the time to reflect and appreciate where you are and what you have - regardless how small.

With all that has gone on within the last year, collectively we know that we all still have a lot to be thankful for. This includes, but is not limited to, our friends, family, loved ones, and those that stop by from time-to-time to say "hello." Those who provide provocative statements and debate. Thank you to all who support us. We plan on keeping the dialogue going for years to come. And that is something to be thankful for.

We each want to say what we are thankful for - after the jump. In the comments, tell us what you are thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

GOP attacks possible next Sec of State. Oh yeah, she's a Black female

History Lesson:  In 2005, then President Bush nominated a very controversial person, John Bolton, to be our Ambassador to the United Nations. Mr. Bolton, who had a very respectable resume, had some non-respectable qualities that brought his nomination into question. However, during the confirmation battle, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) became one of Bolton’s (and President Bush’s) high profile defenders.

“We need an ambassador who has the trust of the president and the Secretary of State,” McCain said on the Senate floor in defense of Bolton. Then he went on to say, “elections have consequences, and on consequence of President Bush’s re-election is that he has the right to appoint officials of his choice.” A president, McCain went on to say, “has a right to put into place the team that he believes will serve him best.”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gender Quotas for US Elected Offices?

There will be 20 women in the US Senate in 2013. This is a record. But if you're anxious to smash the patriarchy and make everything "equal" this isn't anywhere near good enough. Thus some people wonder if the time hasn't come to dust off Title IX. Instead of applying it to college or high school sports or ridiculously threatening to expand its jurisdiction to the scientific classroom, some think the US should have political gender quotas for elected seats. Some people would want women to be guaranteed at least 30% representation in elected bodies while others demand 50% representation in the US Senate.  Each state would have to have one man and one woman as its Senator. 

It is a source of constant amusement to me that Harrison Bergeron, a dystopic satire by a left-leaning writer, has instead become a virtual guidebook for some earnest current left-wingers (and a bete noire for right-wingers) who really are obsessed with trying to enforce equality of results no matter what. 

You don't have to be a fervent racist or chauvinist to understand that people aren't the same and have different interests. Looking at the state of the world today I wouldn't argue that men are better at leadership but they definitely seem to be more interested in leadership. Should we pretend that the gender that is literally awash in testosterone and aggression and gets certain (ahem) benefits from the other gender for seeking, holding and expressing status and power would not then on average show greater interest in obtaining formal leadership positions? Every single American man who's been elected to office in the past ninety two years has had to appeal to women voters. What we see is what the electorate, men and women, want. Maybe the electorate is wrong, bigoted, behind the times, etc. Maybe. But ultimately power resides in the people.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

That's What's UP: Join us at 5PM (ET) for Our Weekly Radio Show

Join us Sunday, November 18 at 5pm (ET) as we talk about the General Petraeus scandal, the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" and the aftermath of the 2012 election.


(424) 675-6844

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Book Reviews-The Book of Cthulhu, Inside HBO's Game of Thrones, Hard Feelings, Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack

The Book of Cthulhu
edited by Ross E. Lockhart
H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was one of the greatest fantastic fiction authors of all time. Although he was influenced very much by Poe, Dunsany and Machen among others he created his own mostly original mythos, much of which was set in his beloved New England and drew equally as much on his nightmares and dreams as previous authors and American myths. Lovecraft never made the big time during his life and died in an impoverished state from stomach cancer. He was mildly popular as a pulp writer but that barely paid his bills. As Lovecraft was also an intense nativist and racist for most of his life, his financial situation was especially galling to him. He thought a man of his origins and intelligence deserved better from life. He would no doubt be amused then to learn that in the years since his death his writings, stories, musings and letters have created an ever growing genre of fiction and long list of admirers. When Stephen King writes "H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale" that means something.

Ross Lockhart is an author and editor of Night Shade books who evidently discovered H.P. Lovecraft the same way I did, thru a since discontinued and now collectible 1980 edition of Dungeons and Dragons Deities and Demigods. This edition (which in good condition sells for $139-$200) contains game versions of various H.P. Lovecraft created monsters, aliens and deities. It evidently piqued Lockhart's interest to seek out H.P. Lovecraft derived or created fiction just as it did mine and who knows how many other countless people.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Israel Attack on Gaza: Same Story Different Day in Palestine

BBC correspondent Jihad Misharawi holds his son's body
There are some elements which are wholly predictable in the world. Israeli-Palestinian violence is one of those things. Israel recently assassinated the military head of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari, in the Gaza Strip. This of course led to a coordinated violent response from Hamas which in turn caused an even more violent response from Israel. There has been the normal kabuki dance in which Israeli political leaders say that they won't tolerate acts of violence from Palestinians and reserve the right to defend themselves. And US political leaders have condemned violence from Hamas, and also strongly defended Israel's right to defend itself, while insulting Hamas as cowardly. It is totally predictable that the US mainstream media has wholly accepted the Israeli point of view about the latest violence, which is that Israel was peaceably minding its own business when out of nowhere a bunch of anti-semitic religious nutball Third World savages started to shoot rockets into Israel. And anyone who doesn't conform to that pov will be attacked as anti-semitic or biased. 

Well I have no plans to join any mainstream media or think tanks anytime in the near future. So I can write what I like. And you can call me what you like. As I have written before I think the only fair and possible long term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an unitary state with equal rights for all and special rights for none. That's not perfect, as South Africa is discovering, but given the circumstances I think it's a baseline. That that solution is becoming less and less likely is a tragedy not only for Palestinians but for Israelis and ultimately Americans who are currently wedded to a bipartisan foreign policy that supports the most right-wing elements of Israeli politics no matter what.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Eddie Murphy Tribute on SPIKE TV

Unless you were dead to the world last night then I'm sure that you are aware by now that SPIKE TV had a tribute for legendary comedian/actor Eddie Murphy.  Several fellow comedians and stars came to present their favorite Eddie moments including Jamie Foxx, Adam Sandler, Tyler Perry, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Tracey Morgan, Arsenio Hall, Brett Ratner, Charlie Murphy, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Russell Brand, Stevie Wonder and Martin Lawrence.  Eddie was booed up with his new lady and gave a heartfelt thanks to everybody at the end of the night.  Watching it, you can't help but think of all the barriers that Eddie Murphy broke through that allowed other Black comedians like Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Tracey Morgan, Martin Lawrence, Dave Chapelle and many others to become household names today.  You also couldn't help but see how intelligent and versatile Eddie is; he started off as "Delirious" Eddie, Saturday Night Live Eddie, 48 Hours Eddie, Coming to America Eddie and progressed all the way to Professor Klump Eddie, Donkey from Shrek Eddie and what my friends and I have come to call "Family" Eddie since he does all PG rated "family" comedy these days (which I cannot hate on b/c hey, it did, after all, make him one of the highest paid actors in all of Hollywood several years in a row).

So without further ado, some of our favorite Eddie moments:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Secession Threats: OMG I Didn't Know it was 1861.

So perhaps you were wondering, "What happened to that snarky girl who told all the stories?" Well, after working on Florida elections for two and a half months, which completely went to hell in a hand basket, I'm back. And of course I have a story.

In my formative years when I was naive to racist micro-aggressions but all too understanding of what it felt like to be "othered" I learned about this thing called The War of Northern Aggression; also known to southernites as The War Between the States. You northern folks with your funny Yankee accents and progressive politics may remember this being labeled as the Civil War. As if there were anything civil about it.

For a brief history lesson it's the war that began with the election of Abraham Lincoln and the resulting secession of seven states of the Union to form The Confederate States of America. In the end 11 Southern states seceded while 25 others sided with the Union. At the beginning of the war the Confederate army scored a few key wins as the Union grappled with the fine line of fighting to keep the Nation together or fighting to free the slaves and keep the Nation together.

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union;..."
~ Abraham Lincoln, 
Letter to Horace Greeley
August 22, 1862

The enlistment of General Ulysses S. Grant changed the ground game for union forces, General William Tecumseh Sherman burned the entire state of Georgia with the exception of Savannah because it's just so beautiful there, and eventually Confederate General Robert E. Lee came with a white flag and his hat in hand to acknowledge the South's loss of the war and to negotiate the Confederacy's rejoining of the Union.

Oh and the slaves got a sweet deal out of this too... Freedom. Though the true meaning of that word is still being tested by slave descendants today.

Also today we find ourselves repeating history.

What's All This Talk About Republican Mandates?

There's a rather bizarre, "opposite day" type of phenomenon taking place in spin land that doesn't seem to jive with reality.  Which, given the election season we just got out of, should surprise nobody, of course.  The natural order of elections in a 2-party system goes something like this:  both sides present their proposed solutions to the problems facing the country; those solutions are then weighed by the people who then signify their approval or rejection of said solutions by taking a vote.  At the end of the day, one side wins and one side loses.  Now this next part is key: when one side wins, that means we try things THEIR way ("their"referring to the side that won).  That's the whole point of having an election.  Now that doesn't mean that the winning side won't compromise on some of their positions or refuse to bring the losing side into the discussion.  Of course not.  Both sides will still have to work together on whatever final solution is adopted.  But there seems to be an odd misconception out there among House Republicans that the "shellacking" that the Republicans just recently suffered during the 2012 election means nothing.  That somehow, America's doubling down on Obama means nothing.  That the Democrats running the table on Senate races means nothing.  Now I'm not saying that the winning side gets to have their way 100% of the time on every issue from here on out for the next 2-4 years, but it is difficult to imagine that the Republicans can make any argument based in reality that their side somehow received a "mandate" from the American people last week.  Unless the word "mandate" is Swahili for "ass whupping" then I'm pretty sure the Republican party lost on election night.  In fact, their side lost big.  Decisively even.  It's time for them to put down away the spin, stop the fighting, and rejoin the rest of us back in reality.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Side Pieceology 101: Do Not Overplay Your Position

OK folks, we're all adults here.  So chances are at some point in our many years on this planet we have all encountered what hip-hop parlance commonly refers to as the "side piece."  Perhaps you have been the side piece for a person who was in a steady relationship.  Perhaps you were the one who actually had the side piece.  Hey, The Janitor is not here to judge.  "Everybody plays the fools, sometimes; there's no exceptions to the rule"...or so they say.   If we go all the way back to the beginning of human history, we will invariably recover the first skeletal remains of King So-and-So's side piece(s).  Resolved: as long as there have been marriages, there have been side pieces.  OK.   Now that we've gotten that bit of inconvenient truth out of the way (tune in next week as we reveal that there's no Easter Bunny), it is notable to observe that if you insist on being or having a side piece (not advisable, by the way) then there are rules to abide by.  A universal Side Piece Manual, if you will.  "A step-by-step booklet for you to get your game on track, not your wig pushed back" to quote the late B.I.G.  Again, The Urban Politico does not condone or endorse the actions of anybody who ventures down the path of side-piecedom, but if you do then you should know that the fundamental rule is simple: don't get caught.  From this single fundamental principal all other side piece rules are derived.  After all, if you're going to knowingly become a man or woman's side piece, then as a threshold matter you concede that a relationship already exists that you are not a part of.  There's a reason that you (figuratively speaking here, of course) are not the "main" piece:  your lover chose to settle down with somebody else.  Some side pieces (rookies no doubt) sometimes have a hard time accepting this fact and, from time to time, fall victim to the urge to engage in conduct unbecoming of a side piece.  This activity is called "Overplaying Your Position."  And with that lead-in, please welcome to the show 4-Star General and former Director of the CIA, David Petraeus, his biographer Paula Broadwell, and some random chick named Jill Kelley.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Get the F^&K Off of Twitter and all Social Media Sites!

Apparently, there have been some rumblings over a "Twitter War" between CNN Anchor Don Lemon and Actor Jonah Hill. I must say, I am really tired of public figures like Don Lemon (who don't write their own paychecks and are employed by corporations) continuing to make public spectacles of themselves via social media. Twitter and Facebook are going to be the death of our society. Some people are just not capable of deciphering what's acceptable to display in such a public forum from what's not acceptable. 

Here is the exchange:

Don Lemon @DonLemonCNN
"Said hi to @jonahhill in hotel. Think he thought i was bellman. Didn't know his name til belman told me. A lesson to always be kind."

Jonah Hill @JonahHill
"@DonLemonCNN I said hi what do you want me to do move in with you? I was in a hurry. Didn't realize you were a 12 year old girl. Peace.

Don Lemon @DonLemonCNN
"@jonahhill Hardly. You're not my type. But I know rude. And u were."

Jonah Hill @JonahHill
"@DonLemonCNN i walked out of the restroom and found you waiting for me. Shook hands, said hi and was on my way. Sorry if you found that rude."

Don Lemon @DonLemonCNN
"@jonahhill Was waiting for luggage. Bellman & I laughed at how self-important u were. Just being honest. Be nice. Stardom is fleeting."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Special Guest on This Sunday's Show: the Obama Campaign's "Mad Men" in the Black & Latino Communities, Cliff Franklin, CEO of FUSE Advertising

Per CNN:

Far away from Washington, in the heart of the Midwest, CEO Cliff Franklin and his Fuse Advertising team worked hard to become one of the Obama campaign's secret weapons.
They helped craft the president's efforts to target minority voters -- efforts that seemed to have paid off, with Obama capturing 93% of the black vote, 71% of the Latino vote and 73% of the Asian-American vote.
Even as late as Election Night, the Fuse team couldn't even take time off to watch the returns. They were in Chicago on standby to help the campaign make any last minute changes to its message.
"It's exciting to be a part of this, but it is tough work, too. We've had to keep our studios in rapid-response mode for months," Franklin said. "Last week, we worked all night on radio ads that needed updating with voter ID law information and polling hours."

Join us Sunday, November 11 at 5pm (ET) as we take a look behind the scenes and speak with the Obama campaign's "Secret Weapon" Mr. Cliff Franklin, the president and CEO of FUSE Advertising.


(424) 675-6844

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By The Way, Nate Silver @ FiveThirtyEight Got it Right (Again)

Nate Silver of
Look, all of you "skewed poll" conspiracy theorists out there can hate him all you want but Nate Silver has proved for the third consecutive election season that he knows what he's talking about.  During the 2008 Election, he called the Presidential race nearly 100% correct (he missed 1 state (Indiana) and 1 district within Nebraska).  During the 2010 Midterm Election, he accurately predicted 34 out of the 36 US Senate races, 36 out of the 37 Gubernatorial races, and 426 out of the 435 US House of Representatives races.  Despite all of that, there were many critics (predominately on the Right) who refused to believe that Nate Silver's analytic model was correct this time in 2012.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Music Reviews-Ike Turner, Desmond Dekker

Ike Turner
When people see the words "Ike Turner" many immediately think of scenes like this. That was part of who Ike Turner was, though I would be wary of taking any fictionalized version of events as 100% historical documentation, but unfortunately it was also part of who a lot of celebrities were, including the secular saint himself  John Lennon. I try not to excuse or explain evil. However if you're living in the US you're living on land that is soaked in the blood of Indians. You're currently enjoying rights of free speech and assembly promulgated by men who owned slaves. Many of those men would be shocked and dismayed that in modern society blacks were Senators or Presidents or that women were voting. What I mean to say is that like it or not sometimes evil and good are all mixed up together. Sometimes good people make crap art and evil people make masterful art. If you happen not to like Turner's work on purely musical grounds then I understand. If you reject his work for his abuse of women, that is also your right and I won't try to convince you otherwise. I would just say you should then be willing to reject music by Muddy Waters, James Brown, George Jones, Lynyrd Sknyrd, Dr. Dre, Glen Campbell, Jackson Browne, Black Sabbath, Stan Getz, Motley Crue, Phil Spector, The Allman Brothers, Yanni, Sly Stone, Tracy Lawrence, and many others on the very same grounds.

Before Ike Turner met Annie Mae Bullock he was already a famous guitarist, songwriter, arranger, bandleader, producer, A&R man, promoter, etc who worked with such legendary names as Robert Nighthawk, BB King, Elmore James, and Little Milton. As an 11 year old Ike Turner had piano lessons from famed blues musician Pinetop Perkins. As much as people like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, etc Turner created rock-n-roll. He told stories of Elvis coming to see him play. Little Richard and BB King cited Turner as influences. Turner was originally a pianist and brought a very individualistic style to the guitar. He worked as a session pianist for early Howling Wolf and BB King releases. Turner also showed up as a session guitarist for some Otis Rush work. Left to his own devices Turner didn't really sound like very many other guitarists, though he was not averse to occasionally shamelessly copying other more popular guitarists. Anything for a buck.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Act Like A Lady: How To Let Him Down Easy

Kim Hodges

“Kim, you will not believe what happened to me last night!” My sister exclaimed. It was her junior
year at Howard University, and she was perfecting the subject of partying. I don’t want to give you the
impression she was just a party girl, however. She was an Information Systems Major in the School of
Business’s Honors Program, received excellent grades and worked on Wall Street every summer. She
also knew how to take advantage of DC’s extracurricular activities and I loved hearing
about it. “I went to Republic Gardens Last Night (a club in DC some years ago) and this guy put his
hand on my butt. So I moved his hand from my butt, and he punched me in the face.”

“WTF? Did you just say somebody punched you? And did you just say that he did it because you
removed his hand from your ass?”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Post-Election White Rage

Now that the election is over and it is settled who will be President for the next four years a little bit of disappointment from supporters of the losing candidate is only to be expected. That's normal. I am old enough to remember how bitterly let down some people were when Reagan beat Carter and four years later turned Mondale into his personal well lubricated hand puppet. And the Bush smiting of Dukakis also left many people in my circles of family and friends wishing that things were otherwise. But if you're a mature adult sooner or later you learn that things don't always go your way. If you happen to grow up as a minority in America you learn that lesson a bit more quickly and thoroughly than seems right, as you are seemingly always outnumbered and always outgunned. Your political or aesthetic choices or styles are usually not what is popular in the cultural or political marketplace.  If you happen to raise this issue with the majority, say expressing concern about the relative dearth of black faces on mainstream magazine covers the usual response is something along the lines of majority rules, so shut up and deal. And in our society that is a honest and valid statement.

But life goes on. So people didn't agree with your position this time. That doesn't mean that life is over and you fall into a pit of despair and depression. It's only politics after all. It's not life and death, right? You move on with your life and maybe work harder to bring people around to your point of view next time. I mean it's nothing to start bawling over or hang your head down in despair is it? I have voted for plenty of presidential candidates that did not win and more than a few that had virtually no chance of winning. That's life. You make your decision and work to get people to agree with you and hope that many people can see the obvious sagacity of your choice and convince others likewise. If they won't or can't then yes in private you might occasionally wonder at their IQ levels but you would never say that in public because not only is it an ugly and nasty thing to say about people but fundamentally it's untrue. There are simply too many people who are intelligent decent honest people who see the world differently than you do to say that anyone who doesn't see things just like you do is an evil wicked person who for amusement shoots puppies in their spare time. Not to say that there aren't people like that but they probably don't neatly line up with your political opposition.

Book of the Month: Some of My Best Friends Are Black by Tanner Colby

Some of My Best Friends Are Black: 
The Strange Story of Integration in America


Tanner Colby

Per Slate:

In the summer of 2008, Tanner Colby, whose book The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts had recently made the New York Times best-seller list, watched, donated money to, and generally celebrated Barack Obama’s presidential bid. As he cheered the man who would become America’s first black president, he realized that he didn’t know any black people—not well enough to have visited their homes, at least. So he set out to discover why that was. Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America follows four stories—the history of busing, housing policy, affirmative action in the workplace, and Louisiana’s segregated Roman Catholic parishes—to explore how the legal barriers of Jim Crow were replaced by policies that maintained a separate and unequal status quo.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

GOP Crossroad. What's next?

Obama won.  So what now?  

Many pundits and political wonks (including your friends here at TUP) predicted the end of the Republicans after Obama won in 2008.  Turns out, that position was very premature.  The narrative you hear today about the Republican Party requiring introspection isn't new, it was said in 2008.  They appeared to be a party restricted to ONLY white men, land-locked and cornered off from diversity of people and thought.  In 2008 there was a sense that the GOP would re-evaluate its positions and make the necessary moves to be a more inclusive party turning leadership over to a Black man.  However, instead of expanding their tent, they doubled down on excluding people on the basis of who they are, commercialized it, and made it a movement. 

That movement, complete with its very own media outlet, provided the GOP with defibrillation pumping life right back into the reeling party.  And while the jolt made a HUGE impact turning the House of Representatives from blue to red, it re-planted the middle of mainstream politics further to the right further alienating the emerging diverse electorate. 

Last night, that very same electorate sent the Republicans yet another message:  We are gay, lesbian, and straight.  We are Hispanic, Asian, Black, and White.  We are male and female.  We are young and old.  We are married and single.  We are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Agnostic, and Atheists.  We are the UNITED States of America and we want candidates who represent ALL of us, not just some. 

You will hear MANY reasons as to why the GOP lost the White House: Obama’s superior ground game; Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie; a better message from Obama; “Slick Willy” Clinton; Bain Capital and tax returns; or the auto bailout.  While correct, those are reasons why Romney lost.  But for the GOP, the problem runs much deeper than that.  It goes to the core of the Republican Party.  A core void of imagination and diversity of thought.  A core void of true leadership pushing back on their lunitic frindge.  A core that reads the 2010 electoral tea leaves as a mandate to shut down the government then spins the 2012 electoral tea leaves not as an “endorsement” of “[Obama’s] Failures” but a declaration to “restore” balanceafter the [failures] of one-party control. 

The GOP is sitting at a crossroad.  There are two paths: one to the right and one to the left. 


"How did I beat you?  Do you think that's air you're breathing?"

The Republicans will undoubtedly be unpacking and analyzing the events leading up to tonight's victory for Obama for many years to come, so please allow us to offer up a top 10 list as to why Mitt Romney lost the 2012 Presidential Election:

#10. He picked Republican House Congressman Paul Ryan.
After the surge of the Tea Party, Congress' approval rating dropped to all new historic lows.  So who better to put on your presidential campaign ticket than a member of this highly unpopular group, right?  And not only do you pick a member from the worst Congress ever, but you go the extra mile and pick the guy who made a name for himself by drafting perhaps the most controversial budget in recent memory that squarely put Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (aka the "third rails" of politics) in front of the American people for debate. By the way, in case there was any doubt, adding Paul Ryan to the ticket did not put Wisconsin in play.  At all.

#9. He did not pick Senator Ron Portman of Ohio.
Retrospect being 20/20, Ohio turned out to be THE nail in the coffin which officially confirmed Obama's re-election.  The state was so close that even after it was called by all of the major networks, the Romney camp (not to mention Karl Rove and Fox News) refused to concede the loss officially.  Stated differently, any extra help in Ohio would have been nice for the Romney camp.  Portman is a U.S. Senator for Ohio.  That means he's won in Ohio on a state-wide level. While we can never know for sure if adding Portman to the ticket would have put Ohio in the win category for Romney, it certainly couldn't have hurt.

#8. He refused to release his taxes.
This is something that really resonated with a lot of people and created more questions than it was probably worth.  We may never know why Romney refused to release his taxes, but whatever the reason was Romney has to now ask himself if it was truly worth it.

#7. Mitt Romney is a say-anything flip-flopper who has no core.
Look, let's not beat around the bush, ok?  Republicans were never crazy about Romney from the jump.  Why?  Because everybody knew he was a flip flopper.  Real talk.  Nobody likes a flip flopper.  Democrats found this out the hard way when their Massachusetts flip flopper John Kerry lost to George W. Bush in the 2004 election.  Apparently Republicans didn't get the memo about Massachusetts flip floppers.  The bottom line is this: if you're going to take out the first ever African-American President of the United States, you need to have core convictions that inspire America to follow you.  At the end of the day, Mitt Romney simply did not have any core convictions other than the personal desire to do or say anything in order to become President.  That's not inspirational.

#6. He dismissed the Black & Latino Vote.
All jokes aside, if there was a serious lesson for the Republican Party last night it is this: the United States of America is becoming less White.  In 2008, Obama only won 43% of the White vote, yet he won 53% of the popular vote because he carried the Black vote by 95% and the Latino vote by 67% (he won 70% of the Latino vote last night).  Republicans can no longer afford to cater exclusively to the White male power structure while dismissing would be minority supporters.  The White vote is not what it used to be.  Minorities and women now make up a voting block large enough to successfully elect the President of the United States without the blessing of the White male vote.  Republicans can either get with the times here or go the way of the 8-track.

#5. He fumbled the Woman Vote.
How many times did Romney fumble the opportunity to court the female vote during the course of this election?  To be clear, it was not Romney's pro-life ideology which lost him the female vote, because there are many women out there who are also pro-life.  Rather, it was the totality of one mishap after another when it came to women's issues.  From fumbling the equal pay issue during the second debate to the "binders full of women" remarks to jumping on the anti-Planned Parenthood bandwagon, it became painfully obvious that women's issues were a distant afterthought to a Romney-Ryan administration.

#4. The 47% Comment.
What?  The 47% comment is not ranked number 1 on the list?  No, it's not and here's why:  although it is true that this comment nearly sunk the Romney campaign, it was effectively undone by Romney's performance during the first debate.  It had the potential to end the election but Romney, being the crafty salesman that he is, was able to convince the 47% during the first debate that he actually didn't think of them as a bunch of big government loving free loaders who refuse to take responsibility for their lives.  Ain't politics grand?

#3. His Auto bailout ad was debunked as a lie by the Auto Industry, but he kept running it.
As we saw on election night, it was all about Ohio Ohio Ohio.  And what was one of THE biggest concerns in Ohio?  The Auto Industry.  Now, to be sure, Romney had already lost some cool points on the Auto bailout issue when he wrote an article in the NY Times titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."  As you can imagine, this didn't play over too well with the people in Michigan and Ohio where the Auto Industry provides jobs to so many people.  But where Romney really miscalculated was in running a completely false ad during the final weeks leading up to election night which basically accused Obama of trying to ship auto jobs overseas.  The Auto Industry itself had to personally come out against Romney over the untruthfulness of the ad, which only served to remind everyone in Ohio just how much they could not trust Mitt Romney.

#2. He believed the Republican narrative about Obama's job performance.
It's one thing for Republicans to spin a false narrative about everything that Obama does. It's an entirely different thing, however, to build your entire campaign strategy around it.  Critically, the Romney campaign allowed itself to drink in the Republican Party kool-aid regarding what Republicans think Obama has done over the past 4 years (overseas apology tours which never happened, death panels which never existed, gun restrictions which were never signed into law, a military which was never weakened, etc.) as opposed to what Obama has actually done over the past 4 years.  If the Republican narrative about Obama were true, then Romney could have easily won the election by making it a referendum against Obama.  Clearly, that strategy did not work.

#1. He failed to LEAD the Republican Party out of the Dark Ages.
Mitt Romney lost because the Republican Party moved entirely too far to the Right and Mitt Romney never took a stand to correct it. Consider the following (h/t to FED_UP):

In 2010 the face of the Republican Party became:
  • Allen "Crazy" West
  • Sarah "I can see Russia" Palin 
  • Michelle "Batshit Crazy" Bachmann
  • Christine "Wicked Witch" O'Donnell
  • Republican " F*** the Union" Governors
  • Donald "I know he's a Muslim" Trump
  • Rick "Oops I can't remember the 3 branches of government I would destroy on my first day" Perry
  • Herman "9-9-9" Caine
  • The perceived-to-be racist Tea Party holding the entire country hostage instead of finding common ground

The American People spoke out last night when they rejected all of the above as legitimate signs of leadership.  Mitt Romney may not be included among the aforementioned extremists, but the nation could not bring itself to put those types of people into power as evidenced by the Democratic sweep of last night's Senatorial elections.

Mitt Romney never stood up to these extremists.  He never stood up for women's issues when they came under fire at a state level. He never stood up against vaginal probes, or rape ("legitimate" or otherwise). He never stood up against Donald Trump's "birther" rhetoric.  He never stood up against the crowds during the Republican Primaries who booed a gay soldier of the United States Military just because he was gay.  He never stood up against the attempts to disenfranchise Blacks from the right to vote.  And he never stood up against Arizona when it passed a law that, on its terms, necessarily discriminates against Latino's who "look" like they might not have been born here.  In other words, the Republican Party has failed to evolve and Mitt Romney never stood up to correct it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


First and foremost, if you have not done so already GO OUT AND VOTE.  After you've voted, get your popcorn ready, stock up on your favorite libation, charge up your laptops and be prepared for a long night as we set up shop for the Grand Puba of all political events: the United States Presidential Election.  Yes, it is finally here and the staff at The Urban Politico will be chatting with you LIVE starting at 8:00 pm Eastern Time.

@6:00 pm (Eastern) the polls close in Indiana and Kentucky.
@7:00 pm (Eastern) the polls close in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.
@7:30 pm (Eastern) the polls close in North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia.
@8:00 pm (Eastern) the polls close in 18 states (plus D.C.), including the battlegrounds of Michigan (the Eastern time zone), New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
@8:30 pm (Eastern) the polls close in Arkansas.
@9:00 pm (Eastern) the polls close in 13 states including the battlegrounds of ColoradoMichigan (the Eastern time zone) and Wisconsin.
@10:00 pm (Eastern) the polls close in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon and Utah.
@11:00 pm (Eastern) the polls close in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Washington (state).
@12:00 am (Eastern) the polls close in Alaska.

In the 2008 Presidential Election, the polls closed in almost the exact same manner as described above.  The first state (Kentucky) was called around 7:00 pm (Eastern) which was one hour after the polls closed there. The second state (Vermont) was also called around 7:00 pm (Eastern) only minutes after the polls closed in that state.  During the third wave of poll closures at 7:30 pm, West Virginia was called minutes after the 7:30 pm close time while battleground state Ohio remained too close to call (Ohio was not called until 9:23 pm, almost 2 hours after the polls had closed there).  At 7:48 pm (Eastern), South Carolina was called exactly 48 minutes after the polls closed in that state.

The biggest wave of election results occurred at 8:00 pm (Eastern) where polls closed in 18 states (plus D.C.).  Of those 19 poll closures at 8:00 pm, results were called within minutes for 10 states and for the District of Columbia.  Similarly, during the 9:00 pm (Eastern) wave of 13 states, results were called within minutes for 8 of those 13 states.

At 11:13 pm (Eastern), the battleground state of Virginia was called for President Obama exactly 4 hours and 13 minutes after the polls closed in that state.  Immediately after Virginia was called, the entire election was called for Obama.  In other words, the 2008 Presidential Election night lasted just over 5 hours from 6:00 pm (Eastern) until 11:13 pm.

Of course, this is not to say that tonight's Presidential Election will be over in 5 hours.  Past results do not guarantee future performance.  Rather, we're simply providing this information as a general guideline of what to expect:

Expect a large wave of results around 8:00 pm (Eastern).

Expect a second large wave of results around 9:00 pm (Eastern).

Beyond those two benchmarks, it's anybody's guess as to what time this thing will be called for the next President of the United States. So join us on the LIVE CHAT tonight as we all find out together.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Urban Politico's 2012 Electoral Map Predictions

As we've blogged before, "It's the Electoral Map, Stupid."  After many months of following politics day in and day out, The Urban Politico team is ready to throw our hat in the ring and provide our predictions for how the electoral map will look after all is said and done on Election Day this Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

(arranged from the tightest race to the biggest blowout):

Obama - 277, Romney - 261

Shady Grady:
Obama - 277, Romney - 261

Old Guru:
Obama - 290, Romney - 248 

The Janitor:
Obama - 294, Romney -244

Obama - 296, Romney - 242

Grand Central:
Obama - 358, Romney - 180

What are your predictions?  
Go to and drop a link to your electoral map predictions in the comments below and then join us back here tomorrow night to see who among us will win bragging rights for the next 4 years.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Join Us LIVE at 5pm EST for "That's Wsup" - The Urban Politico Radio Hour

That's What's UP - The Urban Politico Radio Hour: Discussing Election Day on Tuesday, November 6th 

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 Closing Arguments of each candidate, the electoral college map, we will also take one last look at the state of the race with just 2 days to go and the recent endorsements each candidate has received.

Join the Conversation 
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In case you missed it, listen to the show here:
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