I've had it UP TO HERE with Blogger. As much as it pains me to move on, I don't feel like I have a choice any more. This site isn't worth the headaches its been giving me lately. That said, I've decided to move on. My new blog can be found at: http://unmitigatedword.wordpress.com/. Until I figure out how to import my posts over to my new blog, I'll keep this one active for a grip in case you want to puruse the archives. But I'm not gonna post here anymore.
Also, in the event that I forgot to include your link to my new site please let me know. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See ya at the new site!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
"I'm punishing you because I love you..."
"This hurts me more than it hurts you..."
"One day when you're older, you'll appreciate what I'm doing here..."
For those of us who actually got whoopin's as children, we usually heard nonsensical psychobabble like this right before we got the beating of our lives. Incidentally, I'm inclined to deliver similar lines to Sen. Obama as I post this butt-whoopin' of a clip:
To be sure, I'm a huge fan of Sen. Obama. I don't think I need to qualify that any more than I already have on this blog. But sometimes, "tough love" is necessary to keep our elected officials honest. We have a duty to be critical of our leaders; even the ones for whom we have the strongest support.
That said; even though this may "hurt me more than it hurts you", what the HELL were you thinking; Senator; when you publicly said this?! If you don't want this ultimate in flip flopping to come back and bite you in your John Brown hindparts, you need to clarify your position on Iraq and explain what you meant when you said this. If not, you may cause me to reconsider how much of an advocate I'll be willing to be for you down the road. When I think of all the volunteers, bloggers, and donors that have worked tirelessly to get you in this position, I call on you to honor our commitments by setting the record straight with us. After all, it's not just your credibility that stands to take a hit (though you stand to lose the most), it's our credibility that suffers as well.
As I've said a thousand times before, I'm far more forgiving of flip floppers when they change their positions based on open-mindedness and enlightment. I'd rather see a person change their mind if they were wrong about something than to cling to false and unproven ideas solely based on stubborness, pride, or an unwillingness to see consider the other side. But if you're just playing a twisted game of fair weathered politics, you may have lost one supporter. I might just have to roll with Cynthia McKinney come November. If my saying that stings a bit, then my job of being the loving supporter was performed successfully.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
It's been a while since I did a miscellaneous news post. So here are some of the stories currently hitting the airwaves:
Pioneer comic dead
RIP Mr. Carlin.
News flash to the Lawsons: Comparing black folks to monkeys was, is, and will FOREVER BE a racist gesture. Carry on.
Imus later offered an explanation; indicating that he meant to say that Jones was simply getting picked on because he was black. But we all know the score; the racist tone of Imus' remarks. For that matter, I'm not suprised. While others are outraged (again), I predicted this would happen a long time ago. I predicted that the punishment Imus received would not reform his behavior and -- if anything -- would cause him to come back stronger than ever. Now, I couldn't predict how Imus would come back, but I knew he would.
I'm sorry, but it this is true all these girls should be in jail and their children put up for adoption. Maybe I'm sounding a bit like a Republican in this case, but I get endlessly annoyed seeing dumb a** kids bringing other kids into this world without being able to adequately provide for them. If these kids are so desperate for a sense of belonging, give them something to do. Volunteer work. A summer job. Play softball. Reading a book. There are plenty of time-consuming, self-esteem building, and engaging activities outside of inadequately bringing another life into this world. Why haven't these boneheaded girls, their parents, or THE BABY DADDIES pick up on this?! Aaagh!
In and out of context
Now, taking his comments into context, I know exactly what he meant. He certainly wasn't implying that he hated his country before becoming a POW. He was stating that it took that horrific experience for him to truly appreciate his country. It's no different that someone saying they didn't know how much they loved someone close to them until they died (a little extreme, but you get the point). I get him. I forgive him. Now, if he and his camp can extend the same courtesy to Michelle for her poorly contextualized comments. While we're at it, I'd challenge both the Obama and McCain camps to SAY WHAT THEY MEAN. As I've stated before, it's far too easy to get points lost in the way they are communicated.
Obama's presidential seal
The Obama campaign has announced that the presidential seal it recently unveiled will be removed. The seal duplicating the seal of the President -- which included the words "Vero possumus (roughly translated as saying "Yes We Can") has been viewed by many as an indication of Obama being too overly confident during this heated political campaign. While I'm praying to God that Obama pulls this off and will eventually stand behind the actual presidential seal, WTF?!
Flip flopping politicians
I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't have a problem with politicians changing their positions. Rather than staying committed to their incorrect policies, it's refreshing to see policiticans see the error of their ways and make changes accordingly. But the secret is: they have to sell it as a learning experience. If McCain and Obama can 'fess up and admit how they came to change their positions, campaign damage can be alleviated in my opinion.
One day, I'll figure out what the deal is with sports personalities and why they can't seem to leave the inappropriate hyperbolic statements at home. For one, the line made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Secondly, drudging up shameful reminders of the history's atrocities is no way to effectively come up with sports metaphors. If this lady got fired for her comments, there wouldn't be any tears shed from these hazel eyes.
I guess that's it for the time being. But I'm sure the news will provide much more to talk about soon. They never seem to disappoint.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
On a warm day in July of 1776, a document was signed that declared this nation's independence from the tyranny of the British government. Close to one hundred years later on another warm summer day, black Americans who had populated the same "free" nation for years prior as slaves were finally awarded the same freedom.
On this day in 1865 -- over two years after the Emancipation Proclaimation was signed, a general order was announced in Galveston, Texas indicating the end of the long and bloody civil war dividing the country. The order also called for the release of the close to 250,000 slaves in the state. This day of jubilee for those newly freed slaves became the day we know as Juneteeth.
Since that time, African Americans have used this time to commemorate the pain and triumph that came with years of captivity. While there is no doubt that American is deeply immersed in the shameful legacy of slavery (as much as people refuse to see that), there is much to celebrate. Now -- more than ever -- black Americans have considerable access to the same "American Dream" formerly reserved for whites. Even when only one state recognizes Juneteenth as a state holiday (Texas, for obvious reasons), the significance of the day will never be diminished.
Though I'll never be able to fully comprehend the anguish that came with bondage, I try to at least imagine the sheer joy that must have been the slaves as the document proclaiming their emancipation was finally enacted. Though it was long overdue and only truly recognized after the Civil Rights movement another 100 years later, the day was ours. We were officially declared a free people. That freedom has never been more apparent than it is today. The road for us to travel has been paved by the worn, calloused, and bloodied hands of those who came before us. We have hitched a ride to the new 'land of opportunity' on the whipped backs of our ancestors. For this reason, we owe it to those overworked and enslaved dreamers to not only remember their struggle, but to also seize every opportunity they have provided for us.
Today we have Juneteenth. But I'm also looking forward to the time where I can thank each and every one of them when we all meet in Glory.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
File this under "Things We Can't Blame on Racism."
I just read one of the most unbelievable stories ever:
A 5-year-old Los Angeles boy was fighting for his life today after suffering what police called one of the worst cases of child abuse they have seen, allegedly at the hands of his mother and her live-in girlfriend.
Police said the boy had countless cigarette burns all over his body, including his genitals, was unable to open his hands because he had been forced to put them flat on a hot stove, and was repeatedly beaten and forced to sit in his own urine.
What's worse is that these women deliberately tried to cover their tracks:
[They] brought a healthy child of a mutual friend to the appointment and tried to pass him off as [her] son, officials said. While [the women] were at DCS, a stranger found the boy abandoned and notified authorities, police said.
I was completely floored when I read this story. Obviously there is the element of torture to consider. I don't care what kind of behavioral issues this child may have had, no child deserves to be tortured; especially like this. Being a person who got his tail smacked on more than one occasion as a child, I'm not at all opposed to the occasional whoopin'. But the horrific punishment inflicted on this poor child does not constitute a whoopin' or anything comparable to one. Then I think of how these women tried to conceal the evidence of abuse by using another child to deceive child services. That to me is a clear indication that they were not out of their minds. They were well aware of their wrongdoing. Finally, I think of all the people who can't conceive children but would provide a far more loving environment; while these low lives are able to/allowed to pop out babies.
H/T to Avery from Stereo Describes My Scenario for the story.
**This Just In...**
No sooner than I could finish entering this post, Gina from What About Our Daughters just dropped a heart-wrenching post about a woman and her child being brutally slain in Minnesota. The assailants, two black teenagers (sigh...) beat their victims, stabbed them over 100 times and finished off the woman by smashing her head with a television.
Two teenage boys have been charged in the murders of a Minneapolis mother and her 10-year-old son.
The criminal charges detail a grisly scene. Police found three knives, a golf club and a television at the scene of the crime, all of which they believed were used as murder weapons. Court documents say blood was splattered all over the house and a toddler who was in the home at the time of the brutal murder was also splattered with blood. Police say Daniels was stabbed more than 100 times, Shepard died after being smashed in the head with the television.
I tell you: as more of these stories begin to surface, the less of an opponent I am of strapping people to The Chair. Of course, I won't presume to play God and determine who deserves what. But I can't say that I'd shed any tears for any of these monsters should they get their just desserts.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Last night I had the opportunity to see Senator Barack Obama for the first time. Let me just say that it was an absolute treat!
For starters, I admit: it was a little disheartening at first. Though we arrived over two hours before the doors were expected to open, we still found ourselves in a seemingly mile-long line that wrapped all the way around the arena. We later discovered that the pile up was due to a limited number of entrances being used. Though the wait was long -- almost convincing us to turn around and go home -- we were nonetheless content in knowing that we're standing in a line of history. We were in line waiting to see the first black person in our nation's history to be a legitimate nominee for POTUS. That -- and being entertained by the hoards of vendors selling Obama merchandise and petitioners passing out fliers -- made the long wait manageable.
As we finally entered the building, you could feel a strong security presence. At the entrance, we were immediately met by armed U.S. Secret Service agents who thoroughly examined each person entering the premises. Of course this was to be expected, so I traveled as lightly as possible. Other people weren't so lucky. People were forced to discard all sorts of items that -- I'll admit -- seemed pretty inconsequential. But I guess you never can be too safe...
From there, it took us a few minutes to find a seat. The floor seats were reserved for media, public officials, and randomly selected audience members (I suspect this was to represent the diversity of the attendees). Admittedly, it was pretty hard to find a good seat in the jam-packed Joe. But we finally did. By the time we were seated, the rally was just getting started. A couple of local grassroots organizers (one of whom, a solider returning from his third tour in Iraq) kicked things off. But some early audio problems (which prompted the crowd to chant "We can't hear!") made it hard to process everything they were saying. I caught bits and pieces of their shpeel, which focused mainly on the importance of organizing and contributing. But most of their talk was lost in bad audio. Shortly after that, a local Detroit singer did her rendition of the National Anthem. While the woman could definitely blow, I was getting a little restless with her gettin' her Bleeding Gums on.
Immediately after the National Anthem, the official rally began with Detroit Pistons' All-Star Chauncey Billups. The crowd erupted. Honestly, I don't think they were cheering as much for the fact that it was Chauncey Billups. I mean, the dude is crazy famous in Detroit and everything, but I don't think that was necessarily it. I think it was that he's crazy famous and an Obama supporter that got people excited. He's even gone on the record numerous times-- along with several other affluent personalities -- vocalizing his support for Obama. So when he walked through the curtains, the crowd understandably went nuts. Billups went on to talk about the importance of registering to vote and actually getting out to vote. And you know that celebrities are somehow more effective at delivering a message than you or I ever could be...
The cheers that Billups generated quickly turned into boos as the next speaker --Govenor Jennifer Granholm -- took the stage. It's no secret that many Michiganders (including Democrats) have not been particularly pleased with Granholm's performance lately. The lukewarm reception she received was a clear indication of that. It got a little better for her as she began to work the crowd more; mentioning the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings and of course Sen. Obama. She seemed to be doing well until she threw in a plug for Sen. Clinton whom she previously supported. From there, the boos were even stronger than when Granholm first took the stage. I mean, you would've seriously thought that the Colorado Avalance were in the building. Once she finished getting jeered by the audience, she called to stage the main event: Senator Obama and his latest endorser Al Gore.
(As a side note: it was no accident that Kwame wasn't anywhere to be found.)
As Gore stepped to the podium, you would've thought that he was the one running for President. His speech was full of the passion that I maintain was missing-in-action during his run in 2000. Though his endorsement came waaaaay too late in the game (which in itself drew some criticism with folks I spoke to), his speech still generated all sorts of electricity from the crowd. Even when he acknowledged the campaign of Sen. Hill Spawn (albeit, a pretty crappy campaign in my opinion), the crowd wasn't as ready to barrage him with boos as they did with Gov. Granholm. Overall, I'd say he did a pretty good job working the crowd. He was engaging, on point, articulate, and -- yes -- even funny. For a moment there, I almost forgot who I listening to.
From there, Senator Obama took center stage. At that point, the noise was deafening. I recorded the ovation on my PDA. During playback, my phone actually vibrated (if you can believe that).
Obama's message wasn't all that dissimilar to any other speeches he has delivered up to this point. Perhaps the only unique difference this time around was with his inclusion of Michigan-specific references. When citing John Mc(Ins)ane's proposed tax cuts for instance, he jokingly suggested that the only person in the building who would benefit was Chauncey Billups. He mentioned a few colleges and universities in Michigan which could pave the way for education in the state. He referred to Flint as the birthplace of GM (the pop we heard at that point gave us an indication of how many "Flintstones" were in the building). And of course, the Red Wings were given another shout-out.
From there, the remainder of his speech was pretty uniform with others he's made before. Like Gore, he praised Senator Clinton -- which was received by scattered boos. But as he chastised those hecklers, he called for the crowd to join him in acknowledging her for making him a better candidate. The crowd gave in to his request and clapped in reverence (this proves to me that rift may be resolved amongst the candidates, but has a loooong way to go with the supporters). He tossed in a few recycled jokes like how he never expected the the primaries to go as long as they did and how children who were born when the primaries started are now walking and talking. He ended his speech by stating his policies on health care, jobs, the economy, education, and the war in Iraq.
I've been to a few rallies before but this one was the most powerful and impactful. It was a pretty important event to have in a city like Detroit. Given how places like Detroit and Flint have been embattled by questionable political leadership, economic hardship, and identity seeking, people are growing restless with the way things are headed. They have an insatiable thrist for change. Obama's message last night left them (I think) with a sense of hope that such change actually is in the foreseeable future.
Yes we can!
Monday, June 16, 2008
The video below is from his speech at Kettering University, here in Flint. Check it out.
The chaos of getting tickets to the event and my busy workday didn't lend me the opportunity to go. But I'm going to his rally later on tonight at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. I'll blog about it tomorrow if I have time.
Yes we can!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
For the fellas to whom this applies, Happy Father's Day to you. Key word: Father. Trust me when I say I know that there are a lot of "daddies" out there; but for all you real fathers who are handling your business, I commend thee.
To Dad, Demetrius, ToeJoe, and the other fathers holdin' it down; here's to you!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I make no bones about being broke. So that -- coupled with the following video -- is why I will forever stay single:
I hope Congress will finally get around to passing legislation disallowing these women to have offspring.
H/T to Gina from What About Our Daughters for the clip.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Just found out that NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” Tim Russert has died after collapsing at work. He was 58.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Russert family.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I was over at Mirror on America reading an interesting report from Rikyrah; one of the site's contribitors. She wrote a post promoting a new site "Michelle Obama Watch"; created to "...monitor the media’s treatment and depiction of Michelle Obama..." The site was established by Gina McCauley at the popular blog What About Our Daughters .
After emailing a link to Rikyrah's page to some of my fellow Obama supporters (many of whom were women), some of them gave me flack for a response I posted on her page. When referring to the Michelle Obama Watch site, I said the following:
I hope this campaign to 'protect' Michelle will be successful. Lord knows, she will need it.
In the interest of "keepin' it real", we live in a pretty shallow and vacuous society that does indeed call for its leaders (including spouses and children) to fit a certain model in order to gain acceptance and validation. In that respect, Michelle's tough, no nonsense, and forced smile approach might just be an Achilles' heel to Sen. Obama's campaign when it's deemed to be the antithesis of what folks would consider socially graceful. That's not a diss on Michelle from my end. But to expect the hick in W. Virginia or the bigoted old white man in the deep south to see Michelle's strength and NOT interpret that as a negative attribute is a stretch.
I mean, even Laura Bush smiled while she delivered a pretty icy reply to Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents Dinner (I admit, I'm not sure if she said what everybody thinks she said, but the rumors have gone uncontroverted...)
I guess my ultimate point is: sometimes our identities need to be compromised...nay...softened if we want to successfully enter arenas predominately populated by superficiality. Essentially we have to "fit in to get in." This is especially true for the person who stands to be the country's first lady.
To be sure, I like Michelle Obama. I especially love what she represents: a strong black woman who climbed the ladder of success but remained devoted to her family in the process. But my liking her doesn't blind me to the reality that she will prove to be a weak spot in Barack Obama's campaign over the next few months. It's an unfortuate reality. But it is reality nonetheless.
Joslyn sent me a text yesterday reminding me of the story that made its was all over the internet (most notably in the black blogosphere) about Fox News referring to Michelle Obama as Barack's "Baby Momma." Initially, I was pretty upset about this. Not suprised, but certainly upset. This was textbook exploitation by Fixed Noise. But then I recounted a story where Michelle openly referred to Barack as her "baby's daddy." For the uninitiated, the term "baby daddy" was derived from a rap song released at the time by B Rock And The Bizz. Please forgive me for actually posting this, but I needed to so I could provide some context:
I'm sorry you had to see that. But I'm even more sorry that stuff like this is often the more portrayed aspect of black culture.
I've always maintained that black professionals are typically given an unfair charge to table our individualism to gain a certain level of social validation. As it stands, I challenge Michelle to do just that. Not to be confused with shufflin' and dancin' fo Mista Charlie, there are some activities that should never make their way to the light if you're a black person trying to accomplish the ultimate in mainstream validation: winning the Presidency of the United States. Truth be told: I'm not as critical about the Obama pound. I thought that was pretty cool (plus, if you get too critical of that, you must also go after Bush for chest-bumping a cadet during a graduation ceremony). But I am critical of (and concerned about) Michelle barely cracking a smile in front of the cameras, referring to a potential POTUS as her "baby's daddy" (as opposed to "the father of her children", which doesn't carry the same urban ties that apparently scare white folks), or any number of her antics that scream "I don't care what the world thinks." While it's pretty refreshing to see somebody so bold and committed to "keepin' it real", as an educated woman she should know that such boldness is not without consequence. As comedian Dave Chapelle joked, sometimes keepin' it real can go very, very very wrong.
I started my day in the exact opposite way I should have. I started it with a seemingly endless barrage of complaints.
As I woke up this morning (late; which has been a usual trend for me lately), I started by complaining to myself about how much I absolutely did not want to go to work. I went on to complain to myself about having to iron my clothes. I made a fuss about not having anything good to eat for breakfast. As I stopped to get gas, I complained to myself about how my $43 wasn't even enough for a fill up. Traveling along the expressway, I complained to myself about the inconvenience of road construction and lousy drivers who made it worse. Arriving on campus, I complained to myself about the double-parking job some student pulled in faculty/staff ramp; where they should not have even been in the first place. As I arrived at my office, I found myself complaining about my packed schedule and my overwhelming workload. I even took a moment to complain about the perfume one of my co-workers was wearing.
On and on I complained about how everything was annoying me. I mean, I've been profuse with my complaining before, but today was just one of those days.
Inexplicably, God put it on my heart to check out CNN. On the site, there was coverage about the twister in Iowa that killed four boys at a summer camp; along with all of the other tornadoes that have been ravaging the central and midwest parts of the country. Reports have been coming in from numerous states tracking the destruction -- both in property and lives -- brought about by the recent rash of storms. From reading that, my mind immediately shifted to the deadly cyclone that recently leveled Southeast Asia; creating an estimated death toll of 22,500 (with another 41,000+ missing). I also recalled the time when Pakistan was destroyed by a massive earthquake; which killed about 73,000 people; along with the recent earthquake in China which tallied a death toll of over 61,000. I remembered the Indian Ocean tsunami that wiped out 11 countries, killing an estimated 225,000 people (possibly more). The ever-increasing mass murdering in Darfur also came to mind. I even started to think about the time I recently spent in New Orleans. At that point, I buried my face in my hands; feeling nothing but shame. Here I am itemizing my calamities like my name was Job or something; while other folks in this world are truly suffering.
- While I complained about dragging myself out of bed, a child in Indonesia just arose from the street where they slept the night before.
- While I complained about having to iron my clothes, a flood victim in the midwest just lost every single possesion they've ever owned.
- While I complained about having an unsavory food selection in my fridge, there is an ongoing food crisis around the world.
- While I complained about how hot it was in my apartment, another family in Darfur was just raped, tortured, or murdered.
- While I complained how underpaid I am at my job, unemployment offices are filling up all over the country.
- While I complained about rising gas prices, a mother in China is arranging her child's burial.
- While I complained about some of the people I don't like, my dear friend Sylvia has been going through the unimaginable with some close people in her life.
What I realize after some contemplation is that it is very easy to overlook your blessings. At times, we feel so entitled that we even go as far as to expect for things to go our way all the time. So when life deviates from our blueprint of expectancy, we gripe about it. I'm probably the worse one in the pack. I mean, I make no bones about the fact that I can be a real jerk sometimes. My blog often reflects that. While I try to use my blog responsibly as a general clearinghouse to express my "thoughts, reflections, and rants", I admit that I can go over the top with the "rants" part at times. Don't get me wrong: I think it's important to be critical of things (especially with our religious/community/political leaders and the goings on that are socially impactful). But I think that it's equally important to accentuate all the positivity associated with our blessings.
God has been too good to me (and indeed, to us all) for me to spend too much time focusing on the miniscule things bothering me. That being the case, I've decided to once again challenge myself to go on a complaining fast. The concept is simple: whenever you feel the need to gripe about something (especially verbally) substitute that urge with either a word of thanks to God for His bountiful blessings and/or a thought or action for our brothers and sisters who are dealing with difficult situations.
It is important to remember that we are citizens of this God-given world. As such, we should make it a point to do as much as possible to leave it and its residents a little better off than we found them. This starts by being mindful of the 'least of these'; while discounting the inconsequential things that may betide us. At the end of the day -- considering all the tragic things going on in the lives of ordinary people; my paying $4 a gallon for gas doesn't seem as bad.
Please keep the world in your prayers. And, when possible, get those hands dirty.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I was talking to the Hippie Conservative not too long ago where we were discussing potential VEEP candidates for Sen. Obama. I tend to avoid posts that include predictions and suggestions (especially in the likelihood that I'm wrong), but in the off-off-off-off-off chance that Sen. Obama finds my blog (everybody laugh with me now), I put together a list of my choices for VP. *Note: although a previous post suggested that Obama needs Hillary to win (and I still believe that -- to an extent), I would absolutely LOATH an Obama/Clinton ticket. I'm praying that it won't happen.
- John Edwards: You already know how I feel about Edwards and how he and Obama would make the real Dream Team. Edwards -- being a southerner -- would be a breath of fresh air for a Democratic nominee trying to gain footing in the deep south. The GOP will be a lock in many of those middlebelt states, but I think that Edwards' southern roots can make Obama a little more appealing to those ostensibly unchanging white, lower to middle class southerners come November. Politically, he and Obama are as similar as two people can get without being carbon copies of each other; particularly relating to energy policy, grassroots organizing, and the ecomony. Edwards' initial support of the war in Afghanistan could be a hinderance, but I doubt it. I mean, even I was supportive of actually going after the real bad guys (as opposed to the ones we made up in Iraq). These similarities could be helpful as Obama plans to launch a campaign focusing on his message of "change" over the next few months. While most of the other potential candidates were unmistakably Washington insiders (none more than John McSame and Hill Spawn), Edwards bring a fresh, youthful (50 something is a newborn compared to McCain. Just keepin' it real), and innovative ideology that has been missing in the billions of years of old, white men running the White House.
- Kathleen Sebelius: What better way to kill all of the nonsensical cries of sexism from Hill Spawn than by selecting Gov. Sebelius as a VP? As a commenter of my blog mentioned: if these so-called feminists are so committed to breaking the glass ceiling, should it matter that the pioneer is not Clinton? VP Sebelius would be the ultimate litmus test to Hill's claims that it's time for a woman (not named Clinton) to make her mark. Issues of gender aside, Sebelius still makes a great choice politically. What I particularly love about her is that she truly shares in Obama's vision of 'reaching across the aisle' to make things move for the country. Rather than focusing on partisan bickering and muscling the opposition, Sebelius has used her civility and class to extend to her opponents without relinquishing her progressive idealogy. To have a so-called "Red State" govenor on the Democratic ticket (even when she's not Republican herself) could be seen as the ultimate in unification. Now, I'll admit: when it comes to issues of national security, neither she or Obama have any real experience to speak of. But what they both do possess is the competence and willingness to put together a solid team of advisors (I suspect from both parties) who can be fruitful in establishing sound policy. I'm definitely riding the Sebelius bandwagon.
- Bill Richardson: Hippie seems to think that he is the most suitable candidate, but the highest he can get on my list is third. I'm a little torn on Gov. Richardson. But it's not because I dislike him. It's just that (1) I think he is an antithesis of the "change" mantra and (2) it's possible (not likely, but possible) that the role of Hispanics will be overestimated in November. In the event, however, that their role will be as significant as it was during the primaries, Gov. Richardson would be a most suitable candidate. Additionally, Richardson brings tons of experience on foreign policy (where diplomacy is needed now more than ever), responsible spending, energy conservation, and strategic planning (all pets he gained during his tenure with the Clintons).
Gov. Ted Strickland: I hate to admit this one, because I have my bones to pick with white evangelical types in high political positions. But being a more moderate Democrat, he could provide the balance necessary to win over key states like Ohio and Florida.
Representative Jim Marshall: Also a well-known war vet, another moderate Democrat, and another Democrat in a Republican populated area, Rep. Marshall could be equally successful (I think) in captivating more of the white southern vote critical to Obama's campaign. Just as Gen Clark, Rep. Marshall can use his service as a counter to McCain's military experience pitch. Outside of that card, McCain doesn't have much else to play.
Former Representative Cynthia McKinney: It's both a good and bad thing that she's rolling with the Green Party. Good, because it's long time that we kill this two-party nonsense. Not so good because she's running during a time where a Democrat could actually be the changemaker we've been seeking. On top of that, she is set to pull another Ralph Nader with Hill Spawn's supporters. All of this is unfortunate because she would make a terrific VEEP to compliment Sen. Obama. Plus, I have to admit: it would be cool to see black faces in the two highest positions of the Executive Branch. I'm just sayin'...
General Welsey Clark: While I agree with some of the critics who cite Gen. Clark's blunders with NATO, Gen. Clark can offset McCain's trump card; his military experience. Again, as our foreign relations' image is the worst it's been since Somalia, Clark's overall experience could be a good thing. But I'm not holding my breath for him.
John Kerry: Uh...scratch that.
Please don't be suprised that Hill Spawn is not on this list...
As I've said before, Obama is not in an enviable position. Selecting the right VP will be critical if he is to repair some of the damage made by Hill Spawn's relentless and viciously attacking campaign. I'm praying that he makes the right choice.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
As it appears, Hill Spawn has thrown in the towel. In the jam-packed National Building Museum in Washington, Clinton announced her campaign's suspension, vocalized her support for Sen. Obama, and pleaded with her followers to set aside their animosity to join her in helping Obama secure the White House.
A large part of me remains skeptical of Clinton and her die-hard supporters. For one, I think this "blaze of glory" concession was strategically done later in the week to draw national attention during a time where the buzz was on Obama's nomination. Also, I don't completely trust that the deep-seated tension realized during this campaign season can be resolved so soon. Hill Spawn and her surrogates have pulled some major fouls during this campaign that many of us won't soon forget. Likewise, her supporters feel that she got a raw deal. So to expect people to suddenly sing the campfire version of Kumbaya with an accoustic guitar is a bit of a stretch.
Still, I have to give Hill Spawn her due. I can imagine how difficult it must have been to end a long, closely contested race -- and to do it in front of many of her most dedicated followers. Admitting defeat is hard. Supporting the person who defeated you is even more difficult. Getting others to support the person who defeated you is challenging beyond words. Several times in her speech, she did attempt to shift her constituency to Obama's campaign. Even on her website Hill is calling on her supporters to jump on Obama's team. Some debate can be had on whether or not she is doing/will do enough to get Obama elected. Still, I'll concede to the more important point for me: that even somebody as vile as Hill Spawn can show a good side. Say what you want, but her speech was truly amazing and captivating. Maybe if she keeps it up, she might position herself for the White House next time around. Who knows: I may even ditch the Hill Spawn monicker some day.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Regardless to what happens during the General Election, Obama will always be my homeboy. I mean, how many other presidential nominees have you known who gave their spouse a fist pound to celebrate? How cool is that?!
Even Obama winning the nomination has to take a backseat to this as being the coolest moment of this campaign season:
Way to defuse those accusations of elitism, Senator!
H/T to Rikyrah over at Mirror on America for the story.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
As Hill-Spawn delivered what should have been a concession speech, I couldn’t help but notice the defeated looks on both Chelsea and especially Bill’s face after a long and drawn out fight with Sen. Obama. In an attempt to salvage any remaining dignity from the loss, they and many of Hill’s supporters have tried repeatedly to accentuate the positive aspects of her campaign. But as for me and my house, I see the Clinton run for president exactly how it should be viewed: a complete and utter failure.
The way I see: Hill Spawn made several major mistakes during this primary season. Hopefully, the Obama camp can take their cue from Hill’s screw-ups and perform better in the General Election. Without further ado, here’s how I think Hill Spawn lost this election:
Employing the incumbent strategy
I’ve heard quite a few people cite this mishap of the Hill Spawn. I’d be far pressed to disagree. While Obama strategically took the mandate we gave politicians during the 2006 election and formulated a campaign promoting change, Hill relied too much on “experience” and the Clinton brand for validation. I suppose that if she wanted people to look past her being female, using the legacy-based Affirmative Action would make sense (had to toss that in for the folks who think that Affirmative Action only applies to race). Unfortunately for her, it didn’t work. While she spent her time getting fitted for the crown that ostensibly comes with being a Clinton, she ignored people’s desire to change the channel on Washington insiders. Don’t get me wrong: her name and background were/are formidable weapons to wield. But just like any other weapons, the key is to know how and when to use them. She flunked that part of the exam.
Drawing too many cards at once
Allowing Geraldine Ferraro to stir up racial discussions, looking the other way as Uncle Bob Johnson made his subtle inferences, not putting Bill in the doghouse for his antics (i.e. juxtaposing Obama to Jesse Jackson), not checking her “researchers” who raised the madrasah question. These are prime examples (though just a small sample) of the cheap and subtle shots involving race and religion that eventually spelled Hill’s doom. While Obama attempted to rise above those issues, Hill and her surrogates drew from that well way too often. To make matters worse, Hill also played the role of the gendered Jekyll & Hyde during this campaign. At the outset, she played the tough guy act – drinkin’ beer with the fellas and shootin’ guns with Rufus and ‘em. But when things went south for her, sexism was the first word that came out of her mouth. In fact, during a couple of debates, the self-professed “strongest candidate” got her panties in a bunch (no pun intended) when she had to answer first. Egad! If Clinton playing the race, religion, and fear cards didn’t work, pulling the gender Queen of Hearts did the trick.
Playing on a lousy team
I won’t even bother picking on her surrogates any more. I think that point has already been driven home.
[Not] Showin’ us the money
Discounting caucus states
Every time I hear Hill Spawn drone on and on about winning the popular vote, making every vote count, etc, I get a chuckle. When she refers to the number of votes she received, she does exactly what she did during the primary season that sealed her doom: discount the caucus states. Yet, it was those very caucus states that Hill ignored where Obama secured many of his pledged delegates.
No stamina for the later rounds
There you have it: my thoughts on how Hill pulled the ultimate Leon Lett-type fumble. But -- in Lett's defense, at least he got to the end zone before he lost the ball. By the time Hill even made it to the end zone, Obama was already there waiting. So let this be a lesson to anyone ever planning on running for office. If you every feel the need to say “Full speed ahead to the White House..." , maybe you should check for icebergs.
...and for that matter, why I hate teenager girls:
For the full story, click here.
To be certain, I'm not excusing the irresponsibility associated with having casual sex. But stories like this continue to amaze me. Not one, but TWO unsuspecting young men will spend time behind bars while being permanently labeled as sex offenders because an underaged girl lied on her MySpace page?
I mean, for real?!
You know, I'm this close to siding with R. Kelly. Well, maybe not. But you get the point. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.
Hat tip to The Happy Go Lucky Bachelor for the vid.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
If you never listen to another word I say, it is imperative that you listen to my tale of woe and learn from it.
It's no secret that I hate being poor. So in my efforts to get paid, I came up with a quite a few good get-rich-quick ideas; including my brilliant concept for the next big black play. But none of my ideas were as unique and income-generating as my hit song "Lick It Like a Na' Lata." Na' lata (or for you vernacular buffs,"Now & Laters"; the popular 80's candy) was going to be the one hit wonder necessary for me to earn untold fortunes. The object was simple: I come up with the most insipid and ridiculous rap song possible, add a tight beat, and watch the river of cash come flowing in. I mean, you've seen some of the nonsense on B.E.T. these days, haven't you? It was an instant hit.
But then, it happened.
I got a call from my sister regrettably informing me that some rapper named Lil Wayne came up with a song called "Lick It Like a Lollipop." I was floored. Here he is, stealing my concept and somehow going number one on the Billboard charts. This was MY IDEA!!!! I felt cheated. I felt as cheated as the Clarence Walker; the real star of the Beatles. To see his tragic story, click here. But I'm warning you: it's not pretty at all.
Stories like ours are painful reminders that you should always protect your ideas. There are some really selfish and nefarious players in this cruel game of life; lurking in the shadows waiting to rip off other people's ideas. Be on the lookout.
Ladies and gentlemen, after months of doubt, hyper-vetting, and cynicism (many of it admittedly coming from yours truly. At least I'm being honest), your 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee:
Senator Barack Obama.
Yes we can!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Some of the latest buzz coming from Washington surrounds former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan and his new tell-all memoir "What Happened" where he offers a candid account of his time as the spokesperson for one of the most controversial, disliked presidents in our nation's history. Spending three long years of his life being left in the dark, tossed into the shark-infested waters of the Brady Press Briefing Room, and being forced to destroy his own credibility by protecting the President's blunders, McClellan undoubtedly had the the hardest job in America. That said, I suppose that I shouldn't be suprised by McClellan's recent breakdown. After being subjected to that type of treatment, it was only a matter of time that he would crack. And McClellan is only the latest of former administration officials who have become turncoats (included in the group are people like former Chief of staff Larry Wilkerson, Senior Executive Service member Richard Clarke, National Intelligence Officer Paul Pillar, and Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives David Kuo). Still, his book -- an expression of repressed guilt for his role in peddling Dubya's policies on the rest of us -- comes at a suprise to many; none more shocked that the White House themselves.
It was no secret that McClellan was pretty upset when Karl Rove and Scooter Libby essentially set him up to take the bullets they deserved for the now infamous White House version of Spygate. He's made that abundantly clear in his book. But I would have never thought -- in a million years -- that he'd use a publication to terminate his relationship with the same people for whom he claims he frequently lied. Even as he stands to make a fortune off this book, I would've assumed that a tell-all of this magnitude would have been reserved for a near-death bedside confessional. McClellan unleashes attacks all over the place and about virtually every controversial aspect of the Bush Administration; from 'complicit' agents in the media, to mishandling Katrina, to the Iraq War.
After listening to some of his interviews (yes I admit that I've been following this guy way more than I should), it seems like McClellan is also protecting Bush in some ways. He defends Bush on his intelligence (or lack thereof) and often releases him from any deliberate role played in the Valerie Plame case. But that's not to say that the President has been off the hook completely. In fact, in other circles I can't seem to tell whether or not they were ever friends the way he attacks Bush for being delusional, misguided, deceptive, and confusing (my favorite example was when McClellan cites how Bush "forgot" whether or not he used cocaine when he was the Govenor of Texas).
Said McClellan in his book:
As I worked closely with President Bush, I would come to believe that sometimes he convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment. It is not unlike a witness in court who does not want to implicate himself in wrongdoing, but is also concerned about perjuring himself. So he says, 'I do not recall.' The witness knows no one can get into his head and prove it is not true, so this seems like a much safer course than actually lying. Bush, similarly, has a way of falling back on the hazy memory defense to protect himself from potential political embarrassment. Bush rationalizes it as being acceptable because he is not stating unequivocally anything that could be proven false. If something later is uncovered to show what he knew, then he can deny lying in his own mind.
All of that notwithstanding, I must admit that I have a certain level of sympathy for McClellan. From some of the exerpts I've read, his book seems to portray a person who is indirectly convicting himself for some of the more regrettable aspects of his time as Press Secretary. I haven't read the entire book yet, but I get the feeling that he's not painting himself out to be a victim; though the situation could very well have made him one. I can only imagine how hard it must be to find yourself neck high in political turmoil while trying to remain loyal to a person and an office. Doing the right thing may not be as easily discernable as it would be after introspection later on down the road.
But ultimately even in the face of that possibility, I'm not as open-armed to McClellan as many liberals seem to be. Where my sympathy goes away is when I refuse to believe how McClellan -- who was confused about how Bush "forgot" about his drug use -- failed to see the difference between right and wrong himself. That said, my message to right-wingers is simple: go after McClellan without cease. If it is indeed his intention to get rich by purging his demons and the demons of others, I say make him earn every cent.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
It pains me to write this particular post, mainly because of the mounting frustration I have with Senator Hillary Clinton. All throughout this campaign season, Sen Clinton and her surrogrates have provoked dirty attacks, selfishly created a gaping hole in the Democratic party and has given a GOP nominee who is the second coming of George W. Bush a legitimate chance of winning the Presidency despite the fact that people hate Bush and what he represents. But one thing this primary/caucus season has taught me is that -- as much as I fight the concept -- Senator Barack Obama cannont win without Hillary. Obama has found himself in the precarious position of wheezing his way to the finish line and; sadly, the only person to give him that last boost is none other than the person who attempted to derail his run from the very start.
For starters, one of the major mistakes often made by us Obama supporters (and, yes I'm including myself in that number) is that we use his record-setting fundraising and recent popularity as the sole litmus test for his electability. On one hand, I give it up to Sen. Obama for how he continues to create a certain energy from new voters that was virtually non-existent before now. Additionally, there is no denying that he is currently riding an enormous wave of popularity amongst his followers. But all of that notwithstanding, Obama's campaign -- particularly his moral high ground approach -- has made him as politically vulnerable as former 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis and his "Massachusetts Miracle" campaign (it's amazing I can still remember that). I know that sounds pretty harsh, but in the effort to stay committed to reality, we have to at least consider Obama's weaknesses as we approach November.
In order to stand a chance against the Republican machine during the general election, the people's support will be paramount. But in a culture where racial politics reign supreme, I can't say for sure that the nation is completely ready for the unification Sen. Obama has included in his platform. With the number of Clinton supporters on the rise despite her polarizing campaign, I'm convinced that Obama trying to go above the fray will not be without some consequence. In fact, even with the positivity Obama has tried to bring to politics, it has not been potent enough to compel people outside of his circle to learn much about him outside of the ongoing association with Rev. Wright. This has not been any more evident than in the Clinton's recent landslide victories. and indeed the too-close-to-call numbers in the popular vote. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that if the Dems used the same winner-take-all process for assigning delegates as the GOP uses in selecting their nominee, Clinton would have likely had this contest wrapped up. All of this in spite of Hill's attacks; subtle and otherwise. Try as I might, there is no denying the power that she brings to the table.
Also (and again, I hate to concede this point), but Hill brings a certain force to Obama's presidential campaign that others in the field may not. As much as I like John Edwards as the pick for Obama's Veep, or as much as Bill Richardson could captivate more of the much needed Hispanic vote (apparently, much more needed now as Clinton recently creamed Obama in Puerto Rico), or as much political experience as a Joe Biden would bring, Hill has shown how she can bring a mixture of all of their elements. Adding to that, she can also deliver on another highly sought group far more than any of the other prospects could: female voters. In an interesting and ironic twist, feminist types who -- in other circles -- have been socially irrelevant (that's not a diss. I'm just keepin' it real) have been making a lot of signifcant noise for Clinton that won't go away any time soon. As I watched the Rules and Bylaws committee rule on the Michigan and Florida votes, I also caught the act of some of Hill's women followers and how deeply passionate they were about the outcome. In a time where their attempts at activism have been a lost cause in most circles, the one time where their mobilization will actually be effective could be at Obama's expense.
We must also examine some of the major thumpings that the Obama camp has suffered at the hands of the Clinton camp in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, W. Virginia, and Puerto Rico. Those huge losses could potentially spell serious problems for Obama should he secure the nomination. Too many people are so deeply entranced by Hill's spellbinding campaign (most likely because they share the nation's fear of having a black president) that they have indicated that they'd rather support an arch nemisis Republican candidate than they would somebody who is not Clinton. Obama cannot simply rely on his message of change to appeal to people's 'better selves' . Instead, he needs a candidate with the necessary support and credibility to attract those not entirely convinced by Obama's spirit, message, and intentions. Regrettably, stories about Obama's fictional ties to Islam, his 20 year relationship with Rev. Wright, his "unpatriotic" lapel pin issue, etc. have been pushed so much that he can't defuse them alone. Instead, somebody who "white hard working Americans" trust like Clinton (I know. I can't figure it out either) can debunk those claims far more effectively than anybody else can. I mean, these folks cling to Clinton like she suffered, bled and died on the cross for our sins.
Most Obama supporters have become so disenchanted with Hill's shrewd tactis during this race that they've severed any ties to her. I -- for example -- make no bones about the fact that I'm decidedly done with the Clintons. Likewise, many Clinton supporters are too sore of losers to accept anything but a bid for the presidential nomination (you know: those "bitter" folks to whom Obama was referring). Still, I have to admit that an Obama/Clinton ticket may be the very thing that is needed to secure the White House. As much as I'd like to think, Obama can't do this with all the steam he's lost from diehard Clinton supporters. Likewise, we all know that we can't rely on a third party ever offering any legitimacy to the campaign. So we're stuck with the crazy Democratic party we have or the even crazier Republican party we have. But before we can start talking about striking before the iron is hot, the iron must first be heated up. Unification has to be forged before McCain can be soundly defeated. Ironically, said unification may need to be accomplished with a figure as polarizing as Clinton.