Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chicago Gangsters: How to Ruin A City

During Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, more than 40 people were shot, and at least 10 died.  America’s veterans must be sick at the thought that they sacrificed for this.
Several of the shooting victims are young teenagers. The police believe that the mass bulk of the shootings were gang related. The number of homicides in Chicago is on an alarming increase; already 200 have been killed this year compared to 134 at the same point last year.
Read the rest here

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Romney's Trump Problem

On Tuesday, “The Donald”Trump hosted a big fundraiser for Mitt Romney at Mr. Trump’s garish Las Vegas casino. Conservatives pillory Obama for fundraising with George Clooney and other Hollywood celebrities, but at least everyone goes to the movies. Gambling is different (full disclosure – I just returned from a weekend trip to Vegas).

Read the rest here

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When Black People Don’t Play Baseball

I have heard people lament that young Black males overemphasize sports because they daydream they’ll become the next person to get a big payday by working their way to a professional team.
But, Blacks are definitely are not overemphasizing baseball.
At the start of the 2011 baseball season just 8.05% of players were African American, down from 19% in 1995. Last season, NY Yankees outfield Curtis Granderson made waves when he asked “Where are all the Black fans?” Unlike the halcyon days of the Negro Leagues, when Black players dominated the sport with dynamic field play that many observers found was more superior to the segregated major league, far fewer Black fans make it to the ballpark today and they watch far fewer Black players.
This is not good, and not just for baseball.

Read the rest here

Monday, May 28, 2012

Music Legends Pass On...

I lost count....

Bass Guitarist Donald Dunn, as part of Booker T. (Jones) & The MG's, had his hand in just about every major Soul track coming out of the South in the 60's & 70's. Booker T. & The MG's were one of the 4 great studio bands in modern American history (covered Stax Records in Memphis). The other greats were MFSB (Philly Int'l & Gamble/Huff), The Funk Brothers (Motown), and The Wrecking Crew (Motown & others).

Donald Dunn

Donna Summer

Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers (This one was ripped by Eric B. for "Paid in Full". Sampled the Hell out of him. A bunch of others used his stuff over the years. Wonder if they got paid.)

Robin Gibb

Ralph MacDonald (died in December) See credit list.
Songwriter, producer, arranger and one of the leading percussionists of the 60's, 70's & 80's. Suggested listening: 'Mister Magic', 'In The Name of Love' and just about anything on list of credits.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Keeping Track of Willard's Lies

It's time for Willard's Lies of the week.

Once again, I will point out the site on the blog roll: Romney The Liar: because there are Liars, Damn Liars, and then there's Mitt Romney.

Steve Benen, now at The Maddow Blog:. Here's last week's entry of Chronicling Mitt's mendacity:

The opening:

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XIX By Steve Benen - Fri May 25, 2012 2:32 PM EDT.

Campaigning in Iowa yesterday, President Obama reflected on some of Mitt Romney's recent speeches, including last week's remarks in Iowa. "I know Governor Romney came to Des Moines last week; warned about a 'prairie fire of debt,'" Obama said. "But he left out some facts. His speech was more like a cow pie of distortion. I don't know whose record he twisted the most -- mine or his."

It was a rhetorical point, of course, but when it comes to Romney's falsehoods, I'm not sure whose record he twists more, either. Maybe you can help me decide by taking a look at the 19th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity.

1. In an interview with Mark Halperin, Romney argued about President Obama, "Did he hold unemployment below 8%? It's been, what, 39 months now. That hasn't happened. He promised it would happen by virtue of his stimulus."

As Romney surely knows by now, that's simply not true.

2. In the same interview, Romney asked, "Are people happy with ... the level of foreclosures?"

Romney was trying to attack the administration, but he's on record supporting more foreclosures, making this, at a minimum, wildly misleading.

3. Romney added, in reference to the president, " Look at him right now. He just doesn't have a clue what to do to get this economy going. I do."

Actually, Obama's jobs agenda, unveiled in September, included specific policy proposals that Romney had previously endorsed. If the president "doesn't have a clue," then Romney doesn't have a clue.

Rest at link above.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This is what President Obama represents

I consider this to still be THE picture of Barack Obama's Presidency.

From The NYTimes:

When a Boy Found a Familiar Feel in a Pat of the Head of State


Published: May 23, 2012

For decades at the White House, photographs of the president at work and at play have hung throughout the West Wing, and each print soon gives way to a more recent shot. But one picture of President Obama remains after three years.

In the photo, Mr. Obama looks to be bowing to a sharply dressed 5-year-old black boy, who stands erect beside the Oval Office desk, his arm raised to touch the president’s hair — to see if it feels like his. The image has struck so many White House aides and visitors that by popular demand it stays put while others come and go.

As a candidate and as president, Mr. Obama has avoided discussing race except in rare instances when he seemed to have little choice — responding to the racially incendiary words of his former pastor, for example, or to the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Florida. Some black leaders criticize Mr. Obama for not directly addressing young blacks or proposing policies specifically for them.

Yet the photo is tangible evidence of what polls also show: Mr. Obama remains a potent symbol for blacks, with a deep reservoir of support. As skittish as White House aides often are in discussing race, they also clearly revel in the power of their boss’s example.

The boy in the picture is Jacob Philadelphia of Columbia, Md. Three years ago this month, his father, Carlton, a former Marine, was leaving the White House staff after a two-year stint on the National Security Council that began in the Bush administration. As departing staff members often do, Mr. Philadelphia asked for a family photograph with Mr. Obama.

When the pictures were taken and the family was about to leave, Mr. Philadelphia told Mr. Obama that his sons each had a question. In interviews, he and his wife, Roseane, said they did not know what the boys would ask. The White House photographer, Pete Souza, was surprised, too, as the photo’s awkward composition attests: The parents’ heads are cut off; Jacob’s arm obscures his face; and his older brother, Isaac, is blurry.

Jacob spoke first.

“I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.

Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?” He lowered his head, level with Jacob, who hesitated.

“Touch it, dude!” Mr. Obama said.

As Jacob patted the presidential crown, Mr. Souza snapped.

“So, what do you think?” Mr. Obama asked.

“Yes, it does feel the same,” Jacob said.

(Isaac, now 11, asked Mr. Obama why he had eliminated the F-22 fighter jet. Mr. Obama said it cost too much, Isaac and his parents recounted.)

In keeping with a practice of White House photographers back to Gerald R. Ford’s presidency, each week Mr. Souza picks new photos for display. That week, Jacob’s easily made the cut.

“As a photographer, you know when you have a unique moment. But I didn’t realize the extent to which this one would take on a life of its own,” Mr. Souza said. “That one became an instant favorite of the staff. I think people are struck by the fact that the president of the United States was willing to bend down and let a little boy feel his head.”


A copy of the photo hangs in the Philadelphia family’s living room with several others taken that day. Mr. Philadelphia, now in Afghanistan for the State Department, said: “It’s important for black children to see a black man as president. You can believe that any position is possible to achieve if you see a black person in it.”

Jacob, now 8, said he indeed does want to be president. “Or a test pilot.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Reason Why Bain is important.

Willard Romney says that the reason he is qualified to be President of the United States is because he knows how to take care of the economy and President Obama doesn't.

He's not saying that he had executive experience because he was the Governor of Massachusetts - something that he has completely run away from. Look at Willard's campaign - it's like his time as the Governor of Massachusetts just doesn't exist.

He's not running on foreign policy experience - remember the articles from last week about him 'forming a foreign policy after the election'.

No. He's staked his claim on why he should be President because he's a rich White man, and the crux of that is Bain Capital.

I'm fine if he wants folks to judge him on his time at Bain Capital.


Let us discuss the American workers that were given the shaft by Willard and Bain.

Let us discuss the fundamentals of how Bain made money. They weren't about making jobs. They were about making money.

But, they don't want to discuss that. They don't want to talk about:
1. the jobs he shipped overseas 2. the companies he bankrupted 3. the people whose economic lives he ruined.

They wanna bullshyt and call that the President's attempt at 'character assassination'.

Just once I wish someone from the Obama campaign to retort - you'd actually have to HAVE CHARACTER in order for it to be assassinated, but I know they can't.

It's not character assassination to break it down to the American people that Willard and Bain didn't give a rat's ass about 'creating jobs'. They were all about ' making money'. And, they rigged the game, so, whether the company succeeded OR FAILED - Bain made money.

The whole 99% vs. 1% isn't about the 99% being 'envious'. They just know unfair bullshyt when they see it.

People understand - if a company is doing successful, then yes, people should make money.
But, it's hard to explain, in anything other than 1% ridiculousness, how, if you run a company INTO BANKRUPTCY, how your ass should walk away with MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

And, that is EXACTLY what Willard and Bain did - time after time.

Time after time, bankrupting companies, walking away from the pension and medical benefit obligations of employees and retirees, while making MILLIONS for themselves.
On top of that, not only walking away from those worker and retiree obligations, but putting the AMERICAN TAXPAYER on the hook for them.

All while Willard - AND BAIN - walked away with MILLIONS.

THIS is why Bain is fair game.
Willard has said he should be President because of his ' business experience'. Therefore, every inch of what was done at Bain is part of what the American People have a RIGHT TO KNOW.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jeremiah Wright and Republican Hit Squads

The juicy revelations of the inner-workings of the Republican Right’s attack machine show how little respect hard-core conservatives have for President Obama, how little respect they have for the public and even how little respect they have for their nominee Gov. Mitt Romney.
On March 18, 2008, Senator Obama gave perhaps his best speech of the campaign in forcefully answering critics that were upset with some of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s more incendiary comments. The public (at least the 69 million that voted for him) accepted Obama’s response to the controversy when he said,
Read the rest of the post here

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Romney Is Hoping to Lie His Way Into The White House

It is obvious that the plan for Team Romney this year will be to lie, and lie often, hoping that if they do it often enough... the lies will stick. Old Willard now claims that he should be the one credited with saving the auto industry. He suggests that Obama stole his ideas on how to help save those jobs. I couldn't believe what I was hearing when I caught this story last week. But apparently this is what he is telling voters on the campaign trail.

I had to ask myself, "is this real life"? I had to make sure that I was awake and was not having one of my crazy dreams. I knew Willard was shifty and would say & do anything to get elected, but his attempt to play 'Etch a Sketch' on the auto industry rescue is just too much. This lie is so ridiculous that GM executives, and even a Republican task master familiar with the auto rescue, believe Willard is completely full of Bull for even attempting to 'Etch a Sketch' this issue.

Clearly the Romney camp is counting on voters not being informed and engaged. He doesn't need all of them to believe the lie...just a few voters in the middle who reside in States like Ohio and Michigan. Unfortunately there are thousands of voters who are undecided and who are willing to subject themselves to this nonsense. There are even a few who would fall for this fairy tale - largely a failure on the part of Democrats to educate and inform voters. Romney and Co. will exploit that Democratic Party weakness (weakness of Obama's PR/Strategy team) every chance they get. Hear Willard take credit for the auto rescue.

Where You Live Can Make You Poor

The report from the Pew Center on the States on the economic mobility of the states has earned some well-deserved buzz. The report fits in nicely with other research demonstrating that economic mobility in the United States is worsethan in many European countries.
Even though conservatives accuse Democrats of moving to European-style socialism, you will never get conservatives to acknowledge that Europe can teach America quite a bit about economic mobility.
Read the rest here

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Republicans: The Suge Knights of Pell Grants

This summer congressional Republicans can add to their list of “accomplishments” a large number of students that must skip summer school because of GOP priorities. Last year, during the deficit showdown with the Obama White House, House Republicans took a new Pell Grant program away, a plan specifically designed to help students meet the costs of summer school.

Read the rest here

Friday, May 04, 2012

Need a Camera

Would anyone like to gift me one of these? They are the Nikon D3100 and D3200. (Really would like that 3200... but would take either one). I want to step up from point & shoot to something more interesting & more powerful. Something that could give me decent picture quality. Unfortunately... I can't afford a better camera.

Romney vs. Obama: A Clear Choice

Why in the world is the polling even close? Sure the economy is still screwed up.... but the damage was done under the watch of a Republican Administration. I guess I keep forgetting that the memory of the average American voter is extremely short.

A new comparison chart that I threw together...partly from scratch...and also using existing work. Re-use liberally.

(Click to enlarge)

The Bad Boy Debate

I was checking on some stats for the blog a couple of days ago..and found that an old post is still drawing hits. 6 years later...the bad boy debate still leads to a steady number of site visits. I have since posted 4 or 5 followups to this post... but nice to see that it still generates interests. Reading back over the comments is also interesting. The debate lives on. However, I think time has done more to support my argument.... I think the main question (is this happening...or is it just in our heads) has been answered. I think that particular argument has been won.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

An Interview With Raphael Saadiq

Caught a great interview with Raphael Saadiq last week. Listen Here. He is one of the few Soul/R&B artists who I really appreciate from the current crop. I'm a bit of a music geek with mostly retro taste... give me 60's thru 80's and I probably don't need anything else. With the exception of Jazz, most of the accessible music of the last century that matters was made during that period (you could probably include part of the 50's in there was well).

I wasn't a huge fan of Saadiq early on. Was not a huge fan of 3T. I definitely don't care for the Hip Hop work (everyone who reads my blog regularly should know my feelings about Rap/Hip Hop by now). But I do like the solo work he did later on. The last few albums were great.

I was annoyed by parts of the interview where his work is referred to as "Black music". I just feel that it is a way to try to pigeonhole an artist. We are not in the era of  'race records' anymore...where there was a deliberate attempt to segregate music along racial lines. Yes, there is a rich musical history that Black Americans have helped to galvanize (for good or bad).... and Black Americans deserve credit... (especially for the good). But the term "Black music" annoys me. It makes it sound as if music made by Black musicians is somehow foreign to the American experience.... that it hasn't been part of the American soundtrack for the past 100 years. Furthermore... assigning it to a certain group...suggests that no one else can have it, use it, enjoy it, etc. Good music is simply good music. Soul/Neo-Soul/Blues/Funk music has no color. Bobby Caldwell, Joe Cocker, Michael McDonald, Teena Marie, Boz Scaggs, Mayer Hawthorne, Jamie Lidell, Mac Rebennack, Randy Newman and many others have proven that point.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Stop Looking at the National Polls – It’s All Local

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post has a piece on the likely “narrow” Electoral College path Mitt Romney will most likely follow in his White House pursuit.  But: it is important to remember that all politics is local. This is a key lesson when reading stories like this and all the future stories about daily tracking numbers, Obama’s approval ratings, or even the unemployment rate.
While many voters focus on the macro-level picture of the national economy, many others are concerned with politics and economics that are intensely local.  To many, the state of a person’s neighborhood is as important as what cable news is saying about it. This is why I prefer looking at state-level polling numbers like those found at Politico.
Read the rest here