Saturday, July 2, 2011

Raising Cain

ATLANTA (AP) — Bolstered by support from his loyal radio talk-show audience and tea party backers, businessman Herman Cain has revved up mainstream conservatives, rising recently to third place in a poll of voters in Iowa, the leadoff caucus state.

In his pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination, Cain's views on the economy and his fiery delivery have resonated with some in the GOP. His campaign has also been marked by controversy, including his comment that he would not want a Muslim bent on killing Americans in his administration. Just this week, Cain accused comedian Jon Stewart of disliking him because he is an "American black conservative."

Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him

How apropos that a man named Cain has been propped up to metaphorically slay his brother, and to provide Tea Party activists cover for their thinly veiled racist rants against President Obama.

He relishes the role of declaring:

"I left that Democrat plantation a long time ago--and I ain't going back


"To all of those people who say that the Tea Party is a racist organization, eat your words."

Don't get me wrong, living in America, we are all entitled to our politics and opinions. I applaud Mr. Cain for having the conviction and courage to advocate his political beliefs.

My issue with Cain and many GOP black conservatives is that - more often than not - they feel compelled to out European the Europeans in their delivery. They tend to be oblivious to racism unless they are being attacked by the progressives. Then it becomes a high tech lynching (thank you Clarence Thomas)

And likewise, Cain ignores and dismisses all racism by Tea Party folks but mock him - as Jon Stewart did - and he is quick to play the race card.

The relationship of Cain and the right is quid pro quo:

He gets: Fortune, board memberships and fame.
They get: Validation of not being racist - "See even the black guy (Cain rejects being called African American) doesn't think the birther movement is rooted in racism."

As one writer stated: To be black and conservative is to reject everything about the politics of racial grievance and victimology

And I might add, they only see and yell racism when they personally are the victims.

This is my issue with Black Conservatives.

BTW, does anyone believe he has a snowball chance in hell of being the GOP nominee?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dog Days of Summer: No NFL, No NBA

Sports world speaking - the dog days of summer have arrived - this has always been my bum time of the year. The conclusion of the NBA season ends my substantive sports entertainment and fulfillment until the beginning of the NFL pre-season.

Sorry Baseball, you do not hit the spot until October - I am just not a fan until playoffs.

To compound my sports woes, my two favorite leagues - NBA and NFL - are stuck in labor shutdowns that threaten the start of their seasons.

What's an armchair quarterback to do?

I am old enough to remember when 95% of sports news was associated with on the field performances. After the advent of 24 hour news and ESPN, sporting news became 50% field and 50% off field activities - giving us the good, bad and ugly!

I adjusted. But now, well you asking to much...

Work stoppage, collective bargaining agreements, TV contract revenue, potential league contraction, profit sharing, big market vs. small market discussions all make me feel I need a law degree to follow the reported events - 100% all off the field.

To say the dog days of summer has me wishing for years prior is the understatement of the season...

Stop The Moanin' And Get To Work!

The following post is by the godfather of hip hop and business mogul, Russell Simmons. The post is a call to action for the 2012 re-election of Barack Obama. In the article, Simmons poignantly lists the remarkable accomplishments by President Obama and why it's important for us to work even harder in this upcoming campaign.

Original link: Huffington Post

In 2008 this country was in a crisis, and we came together and worked tirelessly to bring in leadership to steer us through treacherous, scary times. Today, we are at a crossroads in the road to recovery from that crisis and as we head toward the election of 2012, our commitment to our choice in leadership is even more crucial. It's been a long road, and not an easy one, but the core values that brought us together to bring about change and our commitment to a humane and inclusive America must not waver. Mine will not and I want you with me.

I reflect on a time when I was hanging out on the beach in Miami with my two beautiful daughters on my birthday, when I got a call asking if I would fly to Ohio immediately. It was a small plane. A really, really small plane. It began to rain. In fact, it began to rain very hard. I am not at all scary about flying. I couldn't believe any plane would take off in that weather. But, we did.

My office knows not to schedule anything in during my birthday -- it's when I re-charge the battery and hang with the kids. For twenty years no one has ever been able to change my vacation plans. This year would be different. This year we would make history. This year would change our lives forever. So, I hopped on this little plane by myself and flew to Ohio to campaign for Barack Obama. I hit three cities in Ohio that day and it was one of the many, many trips I took in support of our president.

In 2008, we did everything we possibly could to get Barack elected... We knocked on doors, made thousands of phone calls, went on TV and used Facebook (wasn't on twitter yet), and on the website I founded, and spent from dusk to dawn talking to people in our neighborhoods. Nothing was going to stop us. Nothing. We were on mission that was much bigger than any of us and even bigger than the candidate himself. This was the people's campaign. A chance to show the world and more importantly show ourselves just how great our country could be.

I decided to write this blog, cause I have never, not once, not for a moment during the past two and a half years lost that feeling I felt in 2008. I might have disagreed at times, thought a different approach might work better, questioned a decision or two, but NEVER did I question the brilliance, commitment, integrity and vision of President Barack Obama.

I didn't fight him when he reformed healthcare for the first time in close to a century. I didn't fight him when he took our country off of the Grand Canyon's ledge when we faced the worst economic disaster since the great depression, losing 700,000 jobs a month. I didn't fight him when he gave one of the most beautiful speeches I have ever heard in Cairo reaching out to the Muslim world in pursuit of changing the perception of our country. I didn't fight him when he ended combat operations in Iraq and is now beginning to draw down troops in Afghanistan. I didn't fight him when he signed the START Treaty with Russia. I certainly didn't fight him when he repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell and decided to no longer prosecute cases under Defense of Marriage Act. I didn't fight him when he reformed the grossly unjust crack/powder laws and put together a forum to address the spread of youth violence. I didn't fight him when he refused to let the Republicans dismantle Planned Parenthood and the National Public Radio. I didn't fight him when he removed Bush era restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research. I didn't fight him when he signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women. I didn't fight him when he saved the auto industry and made a profit for the American people along the way. I didn't fight him when he made significant reforms on Wall Street, maybe not all we wanted, but definitely more than we have ever had before.

And as difficult as it is for me to say as a practicing non-violent yogi, I didn't fight his decision to complete the mission to remove Osama bin Laden. I could continue, but you get the point. The accomplishments are remarkable. The work that still needs to get done is also remarkable. Conservatives fall in line and progressives fall in love -- well, guess what -- it's time we fall in line, because the alternatives are the Alice In Wonderland of crazy politics, and even crazier economics.

There has come a point, as we enter the 2012 election cycle, where a lot of people in this country, if they hear a little bit of criticism about the president, they begin to think that their vote doesn't count. They have to all be inspired or they won't vote at all. So, our job, as the people who are paying attention to the political discourse in this country to engage them... cause they aren't going to say, "Oh, I'll take the President cause I don't want the alternative." They just might not say anything and stay home on election day. We can't afford what happened in the mid-term elections to happen to us again. It just cannot happen. We need a Democratic House of Representatives, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president. Any variation of that combination puts a lot of things at risk that we genuinely care about (hint: Medicare, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, Pell Grants, Environmental Protection, Food Safety, etc., etc.]. The president said the political battlefield is the budget, and that is without question. If they start taking money out of the education budget and put it back into that war machine and into the investment banks, and the oil companies, instead of vice-versa, we are sunk. The middle class is sunk. And there is no way I can let that happen.

Of course I wanted Obama to frame the debate about the recovery package, about financial oversight, about gay marriage, and so much more -- but listen to me carefully: America is on the move -- and every progressive action has a reactionary counter-reaction. This is nothing new, and nothing to be scared of. Because demographics, fairness and the competition of ideas, in our great country, always favor progress. Obama is playing the long game, the game with the greatest rewards. It's time we gave him our full-hearted support.

It is time for us to be bound by the work that we do together to build a future for our children. We must not forget the unprecedented turnout of youth voters in NC, VA, OH, PA and in other key swing states and across the country in general, that we are called once again to transform history by turning out the largest youth vote in American history for Barack Obama. That special feeling that we all had in 2008 is still with us, it is still there, it has never gone away. We might want to bitch and moan a few times or yell and scream at the television, and that is okay. But, let us not forget that we have never seen a President who cares and fights this hard for every American, regardless of color, class, race, sexual orientation or creed. We have never seen a President as progressive as this. We have never seen a President who has accomplished more in his first two and a half years as him. Don't let anyone or anything break your spirit!

Join me and millions of others who know that more change and progress will depend on our every step, breath and vote. That is why I will work day and night until November 7, 2012 to get Barack Obama re-elected. Our work is not done! This is no time to cop out. The present and future are in our hands, hearts, minds and mobilization. Let's get to it. Let's continue to change America and the world. Let's re-elect President Barack Obama.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Citizen of the Bizarro World: Michelle Bachman

Every now and then, I take leave of reality and pay a visit with our friends residing in the alternative universe called the Bizarro World.

The place where up is down, left is right and crazy is sane.

This visit I learned that Michelle Bachman (queen of verbal flubs and misstatements) is now one of the front-runners among GOP presidential nomination candidates. To be sure, I'm not surprised, this is par course for the folks living in facts be damn, make it up as you go land.

However, I was amused to see the state approved media - FIX NEWS - had the gall to ask Bachman is she a flake.

To me, I was like duh? I mean that's akin to asking an apple are you a fruit. Hell yeah, that lady is as flaky as a dandruff infested scalp.

But to hear the FIX ask her, I was stunned (you know that pot kettle thing).

After all, didn't FIX provide platforms for Hannity, O'Reilly and King Fruit Loop, Glen Beck.

But then I concluded, maybe FIX's intent wasn't to disparage her. Maybe, just maybe FIX wanted to see if she was qualified to become a leader in Bizarro.

Because if you ain't Flaky enuff, you ain't fit to led.

I didn't stay long. I transported back to reality via the decontamination zone.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How Today's Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality

The following is a reprint from Time Magazine. The article is written by Fareed Zakaria.

I share it because he so eloquently expresses how loyalty to pure ideology - over facts on the ground - has poisoned the GOP. By association and influence, this toxic thinking has infected and paralyzed our government at a time when we need adults at the table to solve big problems - our economy, climate change, failing infrastructure, public school modernization, immigration reform to just name a few...

"Conservatism is true." That's what George Will told me when I interviewed him as an eager student many years ago. His formulation might have been a touch arrogant, but Will's basic point was intelligent. Conservatism, he explained, was rooted in reality. Unlike the abstract theories of Marxism and socialism, it started not from an imagined society but from the world as it actually exists. From Aristotle to Edmund Burke, the greatest conservative thinkers have said that to change societies, one must understand them, accept them as they are and help them evolve.

Watching this election campaign, one wonders what has happened to that tradition. Conservatives now espouse ideas drawn from abstract principles with little regard to the realities of America's present or past. This is a tragedy, because conservatism has an important role to play in modernizing the U.S.
(See "The Heart of Conservative Values: Not Where It Used to Be?")

Consider the debates over the economy. The Republican prescription is to cut taxes and slash government spending — then things will bounce back. Now, I would like to see lower rates in the context of tax simplification and reform, but what is the evidence that tax cuts are the best path to revive the U.S. economy? Taxes — federal and state combined — as a percentage of GDP are at their lowest level since 1950. The U.S. is among the lowest taxed of the big industrial economies. So the case that America is grinding to a halt because of high taxation is not based on facts but is simply a theoretical assertion. The rich countries that are in the best shape right now, with strong growth and low unemployment, are ones like Germany and Denmark, neither one characterized by low taxes.

Many Republican businessmen have told me that the Obama Administration is the most hostile to business in 50 years. Really? More than that of Richard Nixon, who presided over tax rates that reached 70%, regulations that spanned whole industries, and who actually instituted price and wage controls?

In fact, right now any discussion of government involvement in the economy — even to build vital infrastructure — is impossible because it is a cardinal tenet of the new conservatism that such involvement is always and forever bad. Meanwhile, across the globe, the world's fastest-growing economy, China, has managed to use government involvement to create growth and jobs for three decades. From Singapore to South Korea to Germany to Canada, evidence abounds that some strategic actions by the government can act as catalysts for free-market growth.
(See a dozen Republicans who could be the next President.)

Of course, American history suggests that as well. In the 1950s, '60s and '70s, the U.S. government made massive investments in science and technology, in state universities and in infant industries. It built infrastructure that was the envy of the rest of the world. Those investments triggered two generations of economic growth and put the U.S. on top of the world of technology and innovation.

But that history has been forgotten. When considering health care, for example, Republicans confidently assert that their ideas will lower costs, when we simply do not have much evidence for this. What we do know is that of the world's richest countries, the U.S. has by far the greatest involvement of free markets and the private sector in health care. It also consumes the largest share of GDP, with no significant gains in health on any measurable outcome. We need more market mechanisms to cut medical costs, but Republicans don't bother to study existing health care systems anywhere else in the world. They resemble the old Marxists, who refused to look around at actual experience. "I know it works in practice," the old saw goes, "but does it work in theory?"
(See "When GOP Presidential Candidates Skip, They Quickly Stumble.")

Conservatives used to be the ones with heads firmly based in reality. Their reforms were powerful because they used the market, streamlined government and empowered individuals. Their effects were large-scale and important: think of the reform of the tax code in the 1980s, for example, which was spearheaded by conservatives. Today conservatives shy away from the sensible ideas of the Bowles-Simpson commission on deficit reduction because those ideas are too deeply rooted in, well, reality. Does anyone think we are really going to get federal spending to the level it was at under Calvin Coolidge, as Paul Ryan's plan assumes? Does anyone think we will deport 11 million people?

We need conservative ideas to modernize the U.S. economy and reform American government. But what we have instead are policies that don't reform but just cut and starve government — a strategy that pays little attention to history or best practices from around the world and is based instead on a theory. It turns out that conservatives are the woolly-headed professors after all.

Read more:,8599,2077943,00.html#ixzz1QUSVUXBm

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Hate Lebron James Movement

The band leader of the I hate LBJ movement, Skip Bayless of ESPN tweeted the following yesterday:

Now Scottie Pippen says LeBron>MJ comment "taken out of context." Nope. Context was LeBron riding high after beating Bulls. Pippen plunged.

This is after the season ending and humiliating loss to the new NBA champions Dallas Mavericks. This is weeks after LBJ has eaten humble pie on a world stage by not capturing the ring and playing sub-standard in the NBA finals.

The haters got their pound of flesh and want more.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not a huge LBJ fan...yes I was rooting for the Heat (got fam that lives in Miami Beach) but it was not a live or die situation - this status is saved for my beloved Sixers.

I am just not down with this irrational hate movement - except for maybe Cleveland fans. Yes, LBJ could have handle the Decision better. Yes, he should not have predicted mucho rings (next time just paint a target on your back).

Give it a rest folks. Cleveland Cavs owner Dan Gilbert had sufficient time to surround James with the type of support Magic got in LA, Bird had in Boston and MJ had in Chi-town.

LBJ made Gilbert's Cavs a very profitable franchise and he still refused to provide James with the requisite talent necessary to win the ring.

I will not go as far as saying the haters are treating LBJ like a runaway slave - this would belittle the repugnant legacy of that strange institution.

But I will say this, y'all haters treat him like a pimp treats his top girl who just discovered religion - with dare she leave the compound.

Give it a rest won, LBJ and Heat lost. Can't you savior the victory without marinating in Hate!