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            Showing posts with label Grand Hu$tle.
            Showing posts with label Grand Hu$tle.

            Tuesday, February 24, 2015

            Meet CJ Pearson: 12 Year Old Black Tea Partier.

            I've often said, without a trace of cynicism, that if I wanted to get instantly famous and rich, all I had to do with convert to an Obama-hatred site. I wouldn't need to solicit Conservatives for money or exposure. That would just come to me automatically, because there's always a market for Black People Who Publicly Profess Their Hatred For Obama. There probably always will be.

            Most of the Obama haters are grown-ups, so since I'm 41 it's not like I'd be cornering some new market. But , and he's about to cash in handsomely.
            Many 12-year-olds have figured out how to become overnight internet sensations. Twerk. Try to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon. Sing like Beebs. But C.J. Pearson took a different approach: a three-minute rant against President Barack Obama and his, “downright hate for the American values our country北京体彩网官方网站 holds.”

            Pearson said the video is in defense of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who first launched the “Obama hates America” charge in criticism of the president’s policies on ISIS.

            It was only Saturday that Pearson launched a YouTube channel and posted his very first video, “President Obama: Do you really love America?” As of Monday afternoon, it has gotten more than a half million views, nearly 6,000 likes and about 500 thumbs down.

            He was trending heavily on Facebook and several blogs. Television stations and newspapers – some international – have picked up his story. Several GOP and conservative sites picked it up. Allen West forwarded it. He said he is scheduled to be on “Fox and Friends” later this week.

            Slight in stature, his hair is closely cropped. Put him in an oversized suit and tie and he could be any other 12-year-old imitating Obama at his school’s annual President’s Day assembly. He talks years – or maybe decades – beyond his age, repackaging conservative talking points into neat little sound bites.

            Last November, he started his own political group, “Young Georgians in Government,” where he is listed as executive director. He said he started it to bring “real solutions to government.”

            Pearson said he got involved in politics by studying the 2008 presidential election. He supported John McCain, because he agreed with his conservative views. He was five years old. He has recently campaigned for the likes of Nathan Deal and David Perdue.

            “I would say that my political ideology came from researching the principles that I held dear,” Pearson said. “Limited government, personal responsibility, liberty and freedom. I personally identified with Republicans.”

            Pearson said his parents, who would not comment, have been supportive of his political course. “My parents are not as politically active as me,” Pearson said. “They are Democrats and have different views than I have.”

            There are inherent risks in becoming an internet sensation, especially when race is involved. It is not without irony that Pearson is a bright young African-American blasting the president and his love for America. Comments on his pages and throughout social media have been wildly supportive and vitriolically angry – falling largely along racial lines.

            And what about Pearson’s future? He said he has serious political aspirations and has already tried to craft legislation for this year’s general assembly.
            Here's the pro-Rudy/anti-Barry screed that's made this kid an overnight Conservative sensation.

            Okay, I'm gonna take the glass half full approach here: it's actually refreshing to hear a black kid speak good English, and find notoriety online for something other than the usual Terrio/Yeet!/Latarian nonsense. So there's that.

            Look, I get it: this is an easy way to get yourself on Fox News. He'll probably get paid to show up at CPAC or something like that. I'm sure there's a deal for his own radio show being worked on at this very moment. Even if you don't believe in what you're saying (and I'm thinking this kid is waaaay to young to even understand the talking points he's spewing) this is a damn clever way to make some quick cash, maybe even enough to afford a good shapeup a semester at community college someday.

            On the other hand: seriously, kid, WTF?

            Does he really even know what he's saying? He's clearly reading a script (quite well, FWIW) but no 12 year old can actually comprehend international diplomacy. Sheeeit, most 52 year olds can't actually comprehend international diplomacy. And yeah, I'm wondering what exactly this kid's parents are doing here. Maybe they know "the game", find their child's speeches amusing, and see an easy way to fatten up the kid's 529 Plan. If I was the sort to place wagers, I'd go to and put $100 on it.

            In any event, I hope someone semi-responsible is in this child's life. Much like , he's gonna probably realize how dumb this looks when he's 17 and suddenly wants to get laid. Either that or he's gonna be used as a Conservative Puppet and discarded before he even hits puberty.

            Word to Herman Cain. And Michael Steele. And Angela McGlowan.

            Quit while you're ahead, kid. This ends badly.

            Question: Is this poor kid heading for a very sad letdown, or is he running the ultimate Grand Hu$tle on Conservatives?

            Wednesday, January 21, 2015

            President Obama's Desperation Heave At The Buzzer.

            Did anyone watch last night's State Of the Union address? Does anyone even still care anymore? Am I the only one who's found The Obama Presidency to be as devastatingly disappointing and underwhelming as "Yeezus"? Maybe it's just me.

            I dunno, watching the President rattle off a sh*tload of new initiatives that have about as much a chance of becoming law as me getting drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies, I couldn't help but think about how much promise this man once held. Seeing him reduced to guaranteed applause talking points for the 6th time, it was disarmingly evident how hard it is for a black man to get things done in Washington, DC, provided that black man's name isn't John Wall, because John Wall gets things done and John Wall is awesome!

            But back to that other black guy running DC, yeah the President looks like a man defeated. It's like he's trying to convince America that he's still got it, when he knows he can't deliver 99% of the stuff he's promising. He's like a man making one last desperate plea to stop his wife from signing divorce papers.[1]
            I'll go to counseling! (Free community college!)

            Yes, by all means, let your mother move in with us! (Let's pass comprehensive immigration reform!)

            I'll stay off Instagram and quit messin' with thots! (We'll reform the criminal justice system!)
            I think in some odd way, watching the partisan sniping and gridlock of the past 8 years is probably going to sour an entire generation of millenials on the electoral process. Those poor young people thought electing Obama would fix world hunger, guarantee them 6 figure jobs post-graduation, and erase racism simply via the ballot box. Little did they (or hell, even I) realize the level of douchbaggery, racial bullshit, and outright assholery that the GOP had in store. I'm betting large swaths of those early twentysomethings are so disillusioned they'll just sit out the next few election cycles.

            Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if that was the GOP's goal all along. #GrandHu$tle

            Question: What's The Lame Duck Obama Administration gonna look like over the next 24 months? Any chance anything he said last night gets passed?

            [1] Not that I'd know. I got 13 years in the game.

            Tuesday, November 11, 2014

            Ashy Or Classy?!? Fat Joe Leans Back Into A Pyramid Scheme.

            I believe the operative term is "multilevel marketing", but seriously, it's the same sh*t. Any business in which you have to recruit others under you to prosper is a damn pyramid. No matter what "business services" they might be peddling. I can't really hate on Fat Joe for this though. Rap doesn't come with a 401k Plan. Big Pun been dead. There will not be Lean Back Part II. So yeah, do whatever you gotta do to avoid becoming Joey Crack again. This is semi-Ashy tho.

            Question: Ashy Or Classy? Would you sign up for Fat Joe's Invisible Train? Have you ever been suckered into a MLM scheme?

            Wednesday, August 6, 2014

            FakeABaby.com Is A Website That's Going To Get Some Woman Seriously Injured.

            . No, seriously, look at this sh*t.
            That's right, ladies. For a mere $9.95, you can keep your man (at least momentarily) by trapping him with a fake baby.

            Got a real, legitimate bun in the oven? Not sure if your man's the daddy, or that one guy you screwed at Essence Music Fest? We got fake DNA tests for that!

            Did you take the $390 he gave you for an abortion and go spend it at Nordstrom? Need a fake ultrasound to show him what he coulda actually had? Got em'.
            A website full of fake baby bumps, ultrasounds, prescriptions, and DNA tests. Yeah, sounds like an awesome "prank", said no woman ever.

            I love this "disclaimer" on the website.
            CAUTION: This item has the potential to be used irresponsibly. By completing and submitting the form below, you agree not to use this product for purposes which may be illegal, immoral, fraudulent or hurtful to others. Like almost any item in existence, this product may be used for fun or for evil, depending solely on the intentions of the user. It is designed as a novelty/gag device. Be sure your “mark” has a sense of humor before unleashing this product upon them!We again urge CAUTION when using gags which have the potential of causing emotional harm (as almost any gag or practical joke does). KNOW YOUR VICTIM. Many people will not find this issue humorous in the slightest. Be sure your “mark” has an “evolved” sense of humor.
            Yes, because a man should definitely have a sense of humor if he's even trapped with a fake baby. Exactly.[1]

            Let's be real, this website is for nefarious purposes. Spencer Gifts it ain't. And some woman is going to pull this sh*t on her man and end up in a ditch (or at the bottom of a flight of stairs) before all is said and done.

            Question: Is this merely a fun prank that I'm blowing way out of proportion, or should some things simply not be joked about?

            [1] Yes, this was just an excuse for me to watch Maury clips online. Man, being unemployed, getting a check, and sitting 北京体彩网官方网站 watching Maury and judge shows all day would be the life.

            Monday, March 24, 2014

            The Real March Madness: Just Pay The Damn Kids Already!!!

            A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a large majority of the general public opposes paying salaries to college athletes beyond the scholarships currently offered.

            Only 33 percent support paying college athletes. At 64 percent, opposition is nearly twice as high as support, with 47 percent strongly against the idea. Nearly every demographic and political group opposes it except non-whites, for whom 51 percent support. The breakdown among whites (73 percent oppose, 24 percent support) tilted strongly in the opposite direction, echoing the perspective of NCAA President Mark Emmert.

            Only 19 percent indicated they strongly support paying salaries to college athletes. No demographic or political group, except for non-whites, had more than 25 percent expressing strong support for the idea . Though some groups were more supportive overall than others, most rejected the proposition. Just 40 percent of men, for instance, are in favor vs. 27 percent for women. Among self-professed fans of college sports, 37 percent support paying player compared with 27 percent of non-fans.

            The public, however, was split evenly when asked about the proposition of allowing college athletes to form a union to negotiate their rights and working conditions, with 47 percent supporting and 47 percent opposing.

            The racial contrast was more pronounced on the issue of unions, with 66 percent of non-whites supporting the idea but 56 percent of whites opposing it. Nearly two-thirds of respondents under the age of 40 were in favor, but 57 percent of individuals over age 50 were against.
            I'm not going to unwrap the racial disparity in views on this topic. I'll let ya'll have at that. My sentiment is as it has always been: pay the damn kids!

            The NCAA has a 14-year, $11 billion agreement with CBS and Turner Sports for the TV rights to a 68-team tournament. The NCAA sells billions in merchandise bearing the number and likeness of these athletes each year. In many states, the football/basketball coach is the highest paid public employee. NCAA President Mark Emmert was credited with nearly $1.7M in salary last year. Name me any other walk of life in which the talent gets paid zero, while the people in charge literally make billions. Go ahead, I'll wait....

            I think student athletes in revenue generating sports (men's BB and FB) should share in any annual profits those programs generate. Open the books, and do some basic math. Give the athletes some small, fixed percentage at the end of each year of eligibility that the program turns a profit and put it in an interest bearing account. If you don't play a sport that generates money (ie: baseball, track, which FB and BB actually fund at most schools) and you get nothing. You drop out of school, transfer out, fail out, turn pro, or fail to graduate within 5 years and you get nothing.[1]

            Also, allow the student athletes to get summer jobs and/or take internships in their field of study to properly prepare for post-graduate life. They are prohibited from doing so right now, which just illuminates how silly the "student athlete" moniker really is. If you're a computer science major and graduate with no relevant work experience, your degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on in today's hyper-competitive workforce. By design, the NCAA says you can't both play basketball and prepare for your future. How is that fair?

            Graduate on time and you get whatever vested amount your program has set aside for you in a 401K upon receiving your diploma. At schools that make money (ie: Florida), a football player can walk away and begin their post-graduate life with maybe $15-$20k. At schools that make nothing (ie: McNeese State) the kids get nothing. It's a fair, a free market approach that rewards those who contribute to the bottom line of universities and the NCAA, cuts down on corruption, and rewards both the school and the athletes for their shared success (or lack thereof).

            So next time you're cheering for these "kids", remember they're really getting nothing in return for their efforts. and not only could you lose your eligbility, but you could also be on the hook for your own medical bills (something that happens far often than most people know). Have an off year and you could be dropped from your scholarship altogether (ditto). How on Earth is that "fair"?

            March is "Mad" in more ways than stunning upsets.[2]

            Question: Should the kids be paid? What's with the racial breakdown in those who support paying athletes and those who don't?!?

            [1] Yeah, I know, I've written this post at least once every year that this blog has been in existence. I'll stop writing it when the problem as addressed. So there.

            [2] Duck Fuke. Always. And look at that white kid doing the Nae Nae!!!!

            Tuesday, December 17, 2013

            George Zimmerman: Impressionist Era Painter.

            George W. Bush isn’t the only famous person named George developing a brand new career as a painter. That’s right, the first-ever painting by George Zimmerman appeared on eBay this week and it’s really something. With the subject listed as “America,” Zimmerman’s moody depiction of the flag comes complete with the words “One Nation” literally under the word “God”:

            Zimmerman included his own description of the piece, for which the bidding is currently up to a whopping $99,966.00 and rising, with all proceeds going directly to the pocket of the man who was acquitted after shooting and killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. He writes:

            First hand painted artwork by me, George Zimmerman. Everyone has been asking what I have been doing with myself. I found a creative, way to express myself, my emotions and the symbols that represent my experiences. My art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet and allows me to remain indoors :-) I hope you enjoy owning this piece as much as I enjoyed creating it. Your friend, George Zimmerman

            Lest you think this is some hilariously bizarre hoax, the new painter’s brother, Robert Zimmerman, Jr. confirmed that the auction is real and that “therealgeorgez,” as the eBay username reads is actually George Zimmerman.
            For those keeping score at 北京体彩网官方网站, when I last checked, since yesterday. Yesterday.

            I'm not disparaging Zimmerman's need to make a living. It is what it is. The guy's life (for reasons he entirely bought upon himself) will never be the same, and short of working for the NRA on phone sex line, I couldn't imagine any "real job" he could find to support himself.

            But I can't help but wonder what is says about our country北京体彩网官方网站 when a man who kills a black child is valued more than a woman who saves them.

            Question: What's your thought on this? Who buys a George Zimmerman oil painting anyway?

            Thursday, December 12, 2013

            What If Santa Claus (And Jesus) Was Black?!?

            I don't even know how to adequately describe this idiocy, courtesy of (who else?) Fox News. There's whitewashing, and then there's WHITEWASHING!!!! For people who profess to know everything about the Bible, you'd think they'd have a slightly better understanding of what the bible actually says about Jesus' appearance, and how the predominant image of Jesus we all have accepted as "Jesus" came into existence.

            Eff' a Santa Claus. We know that was based on St. Nick and whatnot. I'm not nearly as concerned about that.

            Whatever, why try to make sense of nonsense. "Jesus JUST IS WHITE", says Megyn Kelly. And Megyn Kelly has a law degree and sits in a leg chair. Take her word as the proverbial gospel. Or don't. Whatever.

            Question: What are your thoughts on this? Amateur theologians, here's your time to shine. Go for it.

            Thursday, November 21, 2013

            Annoying Bluetooth Cell 北京体彩网官方网站Phone Guy... Coming Soon To A Flight Near You.

            I love flying, and I do it frequently. One of the things I really enjoy about air travel is the solitude. Sure, you have people sitting all around you. But if you're like me, you can tune them out with a strategically deployed set of noise cancelling headphones. Sometimes I feel like the idle chatter, but more times than not, I'd just rather not be bothered. Between bootleg movies, video games, naps, and the infamous SkyMall, there's more than enough to keep me preoccupied without engaging in a banal episode of "So who are you and why exactly are you flying in first class?" The FAA's recent decision to allow approved electronic devices for the duration of the flight just made the whole thing even better.

            This though... because Annoying Bluebooth D-Bag is coming soon to a cabin near you.
            The nation’s top telecom regulator is planning to propose allowing passengers to make cellphone calls and use their data plans while on an airliner, officials said Thursday.

            The proposed rule change by the Federal Communications Commission would overturn the current ban on using cellphones’ wireless features in mid-flight. Commissioners are set to discuss the rule change in their December meeting.

            Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration approved the use of tablets and other electronic devices on airliners from gate to gate, but cellular service use was still restricted.

            If approved, the new guidelines would let airlines install special equipment to relay wireless signals from the plane to the ground, likely by way of satellite. A similar system already exists in Europe. Last week, the European Commission approved passengers’ use of 3G and 4G data from airplanes.

            Cellphone use would still be restricted during takeoffs and landings.
            Let's talk about how terrible an idea this is.

            People Like Sleeping On Planes - Pretty damn self explanatory. And pretty hard to do with some jerk sitting next to you talking the whole time.

            Most Cell 北京体彩网官方网站Phones Don't Work That High In The Sky - If you've ever accidentally forgotten to put your device in Airplane Mode (wow, that's gonna be an outdated concept soon) then you already know you're gonna see "No Signal" on your phone.

            This Is A Grand HuStle, Obviously - How long before some airline comes up with a "quiet cabin" or a "silent phone-free flight" and charges a premium for the convenience?

            Here's hoping the FCC uses a little common sense and keeps this not-so-bright idea grounded.

            Question: Is this a good idea or a turrible one?

            Monday, October 28, 2013

            Jay Z, Barney's, Shop & Frisk, And Black Peoples' Perpetual Search For A Savior.

            I love Black people. A lot. I'm married to one, and I've created three more of them. So yeah, we're cool and whatnot. But if there's one thing about us that really annoys me, it's our insistence on holding a handful of relatively well off people responsible for the "saving" all 44,456,009 of us when something goes wrong. You'll recall the backlash Oprah Winfrey took when she donated money to start a school for girls in Africa. Folks complained about pro-athletes who didn't jump on the Jena Six bandwagon and boycott the state of Louisiana. Dr. Dre gave millions to USC, but didn't give sh*t to Morris Brown. Reverend Al Sharpton (and at one point Jesse Jackson) is expected to fly into town and launch a Million Aggrieved Black Persons march everytime some kid gets yelled at by a white teacher. And how come nobody famous broke Trayvon Martin's parents off with a lil' somethin'?

            I've always found this "pick a savior, as long as he/she is famous" line of reasoning faulty. It presumes that the person being asked to take a stand not only cares about said stand, but is actually capable of taking said stand. Just because someone can rap doesn't mean they're literate on issues as complex as racial disparities in public school funding. When you take someone (black/white/or other) and try to shoehorn them into making a social statement when they probably can't even spell "social statement", you end up with bewilidering scenes like this.[1]

            No celebrity personifies this "please save us" mentality quite like Jay Z. His rags to riches ascension from the projects to household name has been told (and embellished) ad nauseum. He's the rare rapper who can get away with calling his own wife a b*tch in a song, and skirt charges of sexism.[2] He allows himself to be used as the smiling public face of emminent domain, yet can spin it by claiming he "owns the team", when he owned about as much of the Nets as I own Sirius XM. He's a walking, talking contridiction. Actually, that's untrue. He's a business, man. Not a businessman. Expecting him to be about anything more than money is unrealistic.

            So forgive me if I can't get on board with the petition asking the Jigga Man to sever his relationship with Barney's, after to harass a couple of young black customers last week.
            Jay-Z — under increasing pressure to back out of a collaboration with the luxury store Barneys New York after it was accused of racially profiling two black customers — said Saturday he's being unfairly "demonized" for just waiting to hear all of the facts.

            The rap mogul made his first statement about the controversy in a posting on his website. He has come under fire for remaining silent as news surfaced this week that two young black people said they were profiled by Barneys after they purchased expensive items from their Manhattan store.

            An online petition and Twitter messages from fans have been circulating this week, calling on the star to bow out of his upcoming partnership with Barneys for the holiday season, which will have the store selling items by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z, with some of the proceeds going to his charity. He is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display.

            But Jay-Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — defended himself, saying that he hasn't spoken about it because he's still trying to figure out exactly what happened.

            "I move and speak based on facts and not emotion," the statement said. "I haven't made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?" he said, referring to local newspaper headlines.

            The two Barneys customers, Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, said this week they were detained by police after making expensive purchases.

            Christian sued Barneys, saying he was accused of fraud after using his debit card to buy a $349 Ferragamo belt in April. Philips filed a notice of claim saying she would sue after she was stopped by detectives outside the store when she bought a $2,500 Celine handbag in February.

            As the criticism grew, Barneys said Thursday it had retained a civil rights expert to help review its procedures. The CEO of Barneys, Mark Lee, offered his "sincere regret and deepest apologies." Kirsten John Foy, an official with the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, said he would meet with Barneys officials on Tuesday to discuss the racial profiling allegations.

            Jay Z also dismissed reports that he would profit from the collaboration. He said he's "not making a dime" from working with Barneys. Instead, his Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides college scholarships to economically challenged students, will get 25 percent of all sales from the collaboration.

            "This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning," he said. "My idea was born out of creativity and charity... not profit."

            He also said that "making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project wouldn't hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter but all the people that stand a chance at higher education," he said. "I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn't harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration."
            There are so many things wrong with this story. Where should I begin?

            1) Jay Z thinks he's "being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?" Jigga please. You're being asked to be held accountable for the actions of the people you got in bed with. Whether fair or unfair (or downright misplaced), this is what sometimes happens when you're the sole, smiling black face attached to a multibillion dollar corporation. Deal with it.

            2) Jay Z says he's "not making a dime" and doesn't want to stop his Barney's promotion because it would cut off funds that would otherwise be going to charity. Seriously? A guy who raps about watches he can't spell and most of his listeners couldn't afford is suddenly worried about a few hundred thousand dollars? Really? We don't believe you. Cut the damn check out of your own pocket. It's just a tax writeoff anyway.

            3) "I move and speak based on facts and not emotion" has to be the biggest crock of Jigga Nonsense I've heard since American Gangster. In other words, unless these kids have proof that they were profiled, he's gonna side with the people who are paying him. And make no mistake: whether with actual cash or social currency, Barney's is paying Jay Z. If you think he's doing this out of the kindness of his heart, you prolly actually liked American Gangster.

            4) "I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn't harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration." = I had a weedcarrier Memphis Bleek Google this to see what he could find out. He didn't find anything, so I just sent him to pickup my Outback to-go order instead.

            5) In response to the claims, {read between the lines here) Barney's called Reverend Al and cut a check to the National Action Network. Damnit that man is great at extortion! He is the Michael Jordan of recordin' Extortion!

            The most ironic part of this entire story is that the two poor saps who were (allegedly) profiled as they bought those overpriced belts and bags probably got the idea from a Jay Z song.

            Just so nobody is mistaken, I don't think a petition to get Jay Z to end his relationship with Barney's is a good idea. Mostly because Jay Z isn't the sort of artist who gives two sh*ts if you get profiled at Barney's. Also because Jay Z is an ass who only cares about getting paid. And even if he wasn't that kinda guy, a better solution is to simply not give good money to people who don't respect you.

            Which would also include one Shawn Corey Carter.

            Question: Should Jay Z be more socially conscious and tell Barneys he is one of their 99 Problems? Shouldn't the National Action Network give some of that shakedown money to the actual victims of this sad episode? Are there better ways of telling Barney's "F*ck You!" than the ones I suggested?

            [1] Seriously, do you think Kanye had any idea what "Occupy Wall Street" was all about? Did 90% of the Occupiers even understand what "Occupy Wall Street" was all about? I haven't seen a black man who looked more clueless about his surroundings since... well... since I watched RGIII vs the Broncos yesterday. Seriously, Robert, get your sh*t together.

            [2] "Bad b*tch... H-Town.."

            Friday, October 11, 2013

            Truckers Against Obama: Perhaps The Dumbest Tea Party Protest, Yet.

            I don't take the Capital Beltway to work, but I once did. Until we moved deeper into the burbs a few years ago, I wasted hours and hours of my life sitting still, wondering where it all went wrong. After we moved, my commute was slashed to 1/4 of it's prior duration. And the subtracted stress of "people who can't drive!" added a few years to my life, I'm certain.

            For those of you only vaguely familiar with DC traffic, I-495's reputation is well earned. , according to smart people responsible for gauging this sorta stuff. After "the sports teams suck" and "the houses are too damn expensive", it's my biggest qualm about the DC Urreah, an otherwise splendid place to call 北京体彩网官方网站.

            I say all of that to say I'm happy I'm not on the Beltway today, because .
            No major traffic delays were reported on the Beltway during Friday’s morning commute, police authorities said, despite a protest by about 30 tractor-trailers and pickup trucks against what organize describe as excessive government intrusion.

            Around 8:30 a.m., police said, the trucks crossed into Maryland from Virginia on the Beltway. They were were traveling in the right lane of the Beltway at the rate of the rest of the traffic — around 40 to 45 miles per hour, due to the wet road conditions, according to Virginia State Police spokesman Corinne N. Geller.

            At one point, four tractor-trailers started driving side-by-side, across all four northbound lanes of the inner loop. That caused traffic to slow to 15 miles per hour. State police troopers stopped the vehicles and “warned them not to impede traffic,” Geller said. The drivers were not issued tickets and allowed to “proceed on their way.”

            There were no other major incidents reported as a result of the truck protests, she said. Minor delays were reported near the truckers at Route 236 in Annandale at the Braddock Road exit on the inner loop, but it was unclear from traffic cameras if the slowdown was due to the truckers.

            On parts of the Beltway, police said the group stood out because they had American flags draped on their vehicles, along with signs that said “#T2SDA” (Truckers to Shut Down America).

            Geller said the organizers of the protest, dubbed “Truckers Ride for the Constitution,” plan to take shifts and drive around the Beltway throughout Columbus Day holiday weekend. Extra troopers are on the road because of the expected uptick in holiday drivers, and because of the protest, she said.

            The protest group’s agenda has evolved since the story began making the rounds of news outlets early this week, with a story in U.S. News & World Report that said some truckers wanted members of Congress arrested, while others called for the ouster of President Obama.

            Andrews said the group still wants to get rid of Obama, but will do so by legal means. She said independent truckers also are upset about new regulations, including on idling and hours of service, that, she said, threaten to put them out of business.
            If you Teabaggers understood "irony", you'd grasp a few cold, hard facts:

            1) You're protesting Obama (and Congress... sure, okay) but he lives nowhere near the Beltway, and he doesn't drive either. So not only isn't he being inconvenienced by your "protest", but it's also possible he doesn't even know you nimrods exist.

            2) I doubt any Congressman is actually hurt by your traffic jam, since many of them live inside the Beltway, or have drivers. BTW, most of them were prolly already at work well before your little stunt began.

            3) You're not hurting the people who (allegedly) are tyrannically oppressing you. You're hurting taxpaying, hardworking "Real Americans" who just want to get to the jobs they're still lucky to have, to pay for houses they're still lucky to afford.

            4) You're protesting government tyranny, but make your living on roads maintained by the government.

            Get your dumb asses off the Beltway, and go deliver some freight. Assholes.

            This is literally and figuratively .

            Question: Am I being too hard on these fine "Real Americans" who just want to exercise their right to free speech? Will this protest have any lasting effects?

            Monday, August 26, 2013

            Would You Twerk To Pay Your Tuition?!?

            My daugher is now 15 months old, and she is truly the apple of daddy's eye. She can do no wrong. No. Wrong. She craps rainbows and her eye boogers prolly taste like Skittles. She is the world's cutest baby by a wiiide margin, and that's not even up for debate. She's a baaadd girl.[1]

            Last night, for the first time, she escaped the crib, which in some odd way let me know she's not a baby anymore. She also talks, sings along the the medley of her favorite Nick Jr. shows, and of yeah, she dances. Anytime music of any sort (gospel, children's music, techno, lullabies) my child immediately starts gyrating up and down. It's a really innocent thing, of course, and the subject of hours of entertainment for our entire family.

            And now, in the most awkward segue of all time (don't worry, I'll tie this all together), I present to you, .
            Who says twerking doesn't pay? Yesterday, Juicy J promised tuition money for the best female twerk champions, tweeting, "im giving out a 50k scholarships to the best chik that can twerk.”

            However, he didn't give up any other details, which means the post could've been a prank or a publicity stunt promoting Stay Trippy, which includes a track called "Scholarships." If the former is true, not everyone in the Twitterverse laughed it off. "Juicy J is giving away a scholarship to the girl who sends in the best twerk video? And my hope for human race is OFFICIALLY gone…," tweeted user @DanaLynn03.

            Others were more than willing to twerk it for college funds and a bunch refused to believe the story all together.

            Juicy eventually deleted the tweets but kept up those regarding Stay Trippy, out next Tuesday (Aug. 27). The release, his first on Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang imprint, features A$AP Rocky, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, Big Sean, Trina and more.
            Okay, where do I begin here?

            1) While I'm happy that Juicy J has somehow managed to re-invent himself and milk his Grammy win, adding another 3-4 years to his career, I can't help but wonder why a 40 year old man thinks this is a good idea. Does he not have daughters of his own? Nieces? Shouldn't you graduate from this sorta sh*t around age 35?

            2) That said, I can't really pick on this guy for his age when 40 year old rappers seem obsessed with keeping pace with peers half their age. Patron Saint of all cRappers Jay-Z even had a "come to Jesus moment" and said (then retracted, which only made it worse) he'd stop referring to women as b*tches now that he's got a woman to raise. So, no, rappers don't have the greatest track record of acting their age. Does this mean point 1 isn't valid? No.

            3) Isn't this sorta pointless? Isn't the whole "stripping to pay tuition" (as opposed to "because I have Daddy Issues") thing already accepted as a cultural norm? If anyone should be offended, I think it would be exotic dancers.

            4) I won't go as far as to say "twerkin'" is ruining an entire generation of young girls, both black and white (I see ya' Miley), but it's damn sure making them look bad. And unemployable. Seriously, if you know of an underaged girl with a #TwerkTeam video on Youtube, please tell her parents to have that sh*t removed. No, it won't disappear from the internets forever, but damn, at least make it harder for potential employers to Google. Cause yeah, potential employers do look at this stuff.

            5) I suppose I'm supposed to make some grand point about Miley Cyrus now becoming the most famous twerker of all time, and how this makes her a cultural interloper along the lines of Elvis, Justin Timberlake, and Robin Thicke, and how that's an awful thing. Seriously, I ain't got the energy for all that. If the girl wants to twerk, let her twerk. She will be eating off Hannah Montana residuals for the next 50 years. There aren't exactly the same ramifications for her. And besides, it's twerkin', not jazz, not beebop, not rhythm & blues. It's just twerkin'. In the annals of "sh*t I'm perfectly fine with white people claiming", this ranks right up there with the word "bling", The Harlem Shake, and Wayne Brady. Take em' all. Please.

            As for my child, there shall be no twerkin'. Nor will my sons be PIMP Scholars[2]. They will all get into [insert your own prestigious college here] the old fashioned way: Good grades and racial quotas.

            Question: Would you allow your child to apply to be a "Twerk Scholar"? Other than a lame excuse to plug Juicy J's next album (#GrandHu$tle), is there anything more we should infer about this publicity stunt and what it says about the state of hip-hop?

            [1] The fact that she'll someday be gawked at by boys (and men) isn't lost on me at all. And yes, that sh*t keeps me up at night. And yes, I'm considering getting a gun. Just off GP. And no, that's not a joke.

            [2] This was the begining of the end for Nelly. Well, that country北京体彩网官方网站 music song prolly was, but this ain't exactly help.

            Monday, June 3, 2013

            IRS Employees Do "The Cupid Shuffle On Taxpayer's Dime". #BlameObama

            In the latest black eye for the Internal Revenue Service, the agency provided Congress on Friday with another video featuring its employees, this one showing about a dozen of them line dancing on a stage.

            The video of the IRS workers practicing their dance moves, which lasts just under three minutes, comes weeks after it was revealed that agency workers produced two other videos parodying the “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island” TV shows.

            The latest recording cost about $1,600 and was produced to be shown at the end of a 2010 training and leadership conference held in Anaheim, Calif., said IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge. At a time when most government agencies are coping with across-the-board spending cuts by furloughing workers and finding other savings, that conference has become the target of a report a Treasury inspector general plans to release next week.

            The report, called “Collected and Wasted: The IRS Spending Culture and Conference Abuses,” will be the subject of a hearing Thursday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that panel said Friday.

            In a written statement, the IRS said the video was “unacceptable and an inappropriate use of government funds.” It said the agency has new policies in place “to ensure that taxpayer funds are being used appropriately.”

            Eldridge said the dance video was recorded at IRS offices in New Carrollton, Md., outside Washington, D.C.

            In the video, various workers comment as colleagues practice their dancing in the background to music that sounds like “Cupid Shuffle,” a 2007 hit by the performer Cupid. In the version obtained by The Associated Press, IRS employees’ names have been erased.
            Here's the video. It's sorta hilarious, for obvious reasons.

            This video cost $1,600? Why? Did Stephen Spielberg direct it or something? Anyone with an i北京体彩网官方网站Phone and iMovie coulda pulled this off for about $5. I'm outraged!

            I'm also outraged that every assemblage and 2 or more black people in the year 2013 still has to eventually be followed by The Cupid Shuffle or the Electric Slide. Seriously, we can do better, my people.

            Jokes aside, this was just some co-workers trying to liven up a dreary conference. And the IRS's annual operating budget is about $40 billion. This is the definition of "no big f*ckin' deal". But of course the optics are terrible, and on the heels of the IRS' recent bad news regarding the Tea Party, it all adds to the impression that the feds are a fiefdom run amok. You can bet that those on the right are gonna dig up a grainy cell phone video of Michelle Obama doing the Cupid Shuffle (or The Wobble, ) and play it side-by-side with this IRS clip. There will be a Congressional inquiry into whether or not President Obama told those IRS employees to do The Cupid Shuffle, and when he found out/covered it up. The President will be accused of being biased against the "to the right to the right to the right to the right" part in the song.

            Yeah, that's pretty much the state of politricks in America right now.

            Question: Is this an actual "controversy" or merely indicative of the current state of American politics?

            Friday, May 10, 2013

            The IRS Targeted Tea Party Groups In 2012. Finally, An Actual Conservative Bias.

            I pride myself on callin' it like it is here on AB.com. While I'm a guy who more times than not sides with Democrats, I can give credit where it's due when someone on the right has an actual point.[1] So while I thought the (belated?) Tea Party movement was a group of people comically misinformed/mislead and mostly upset that the Democrats had regained the White House[2], I never disagreed with their right to voice their opinions. That, after all, is what this country北京体彩网官方网站 is all about.

            While "the movement" essentially smothered itself in the crib by electing un-electable Republican candidates, thus ensuring the party couldn't retake the Senate (or White House for that matter), there is against them (as opposed to their usual paranoia) that just came to light.
            The Internal Revenue Service is apologizing for inappropriately flagging conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

            Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews.

            Lerner said the practice, initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati, was wrong and she apologized while speaking at a conference in Washington.

            Many conservative groups complained during the election that they were being harassed by the IRS. They said the agency asked them an inordinate number of questions to justify their tax-exempt status. Certain tax-exempt charitable groups can conduct political activities but it cannot be their primary activity.
            I'mma keep it one hunned here: This sh*t was wrong!!!!! No, I don't agree with the Tea Party on anything, but they didn't deserve to be singled out by a Federal Government agency. I wouldn't have liked this if some low level staffers had gone after organizations with "Black" in their title, and I don't like this. An abuse of power is an abuse of power, whether or not I dislike the abused party. So props to the IRS for (publicly) admitting wrongdoing. I'm hoping the morons who pulled this little stunt were fired.

            On the flipside, you already know the Conservative media narrative on this one is gonna attempt to somehow tie a few $30,000-a-year minions to the President. As if Obama didn't have more to worry about last year than trying to discriminate against a bunch of politically irrelevant fringe groups. Yes, this was abuse of government power, but just because there's a black guy you don't like in the White House doesn't mean he had any knowledge of, or any say so in the matter. #conspiracy

            You and I know this small nuance is inconsequential, however. We will see this story get the fullblown Benghazi/Fast & Furious/Solyndra treatment in the coming weeks. Elected Tea Party representatives will hold hearing after hearing trying to get to the bottom of "how and why this happened and what the President knew about it". Expect to see a lot of Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin. Not that you missed either of them. So brace yourself.

            Cause Conservatives always need a victimhood narrative. This time, niggling details aside, they've actually got a legitimate beef.

            Question: Is any abuse of power wrong? Is it even remotely possible the POTUS had anything to do with this nonsense?

            [1] As opposed to their typical fear mongering and conspiracy theories.

            [2] I still maintain the Tea Party "movement" was faaaar more sour grapes than Fear Of A Black President.

            Tuesday, April 9, 2013

            Sean Hannity Loves The Blacks. As Long As They're Conservative.

            I've harped on my qualms with "Black Conservatives" here many times. It seems like so many of these guys have some real self-identity issues, and use "Conservatism" as a convenient excuse for explaining away the lack of acceptance they get from other black people. I mean, seriously.

            I actually watched about half of this very special episode of Hannity with my wife last night. There were a bunch of open mouth "did he/she just say that" moments. But one common theme was that very few of these people could talk about substantive examples of how Conservative policies help the black community. Instead, there was a bunch of woe-is-me victimhood, a teaspoon of self loathing, and some blatant "other Negroes just won't accept me" blathering. I really think these people, to a man, experienced some serious bullying during adolescence that now makes them ashamed of their community. This gets manifested in a very perverted mentality in which the Black Conservative is almost slavelike in defending a party which for all intents and purposes depends on race baiting as a winning campaign strategy.

            I've engaged some of the people on this panel online before. When I've done so, I've always respectfully asked for tangible examples of how Conservative policy can help Black America. Instead, you get the usual BS about "the Democratic plantation" and "blacks voting like their parents did" and "free market capitalism", but nothing of substance. Instead they'll point to anecdotal examples of hard work and perseverance like Clarence Thomas and Dr. Carson, as if only black people who are Conservative actually value hard work and education.

            It's almost like a Negro version of Stockholm Syndrome.

            Question: What's up with these people? Do they truly believe in the GOP's policies, or is this some convenient way of not dealing with feelings of being ostracized as a child?

            Wednesday, April 3, 2013

            Obama Calls Congress' Bluff. Takes A Ceremonial Paycut. Who'll Follow Him?!?

            There have clearly been no "winners" in this sequestration nonsense. The President essentially claimed the country北京体彩网官方网站 would fall apart at the seams if the cuts kicked in. That hasn't exactly happened yet. The GOP claimed Obama was trying to use this stunt to raise taxes on rich people yet again, but that hasn't happened either, so they've instead marginalized this whole thing by harping on the fact that the White House has stopped giving tours to schoolchildren, as if it's that damn easy to just roll up and take a tour of the White House. I been in DC for damn near 20 years now. I've been nowhere near any parts of the West Wing. Personally, I think it looks just fine from behind the gate, but that's just me.

            As this cluster lurches into the summer, Real Americans are getting fed up with the total and utter lack of action from anyone in DC on anything. Other than John Wall and Bryce Harper, aint' na'er person in the District doing anything productive. Adding to the bad press for Obama is a recent string of trivial "controversies" drummed up by Conservative media that make it seem as it he's "living large on the taxpayer's dime" in these times of financial turmoil. They've ragged on him for playing golf with Tiger Woods, which is sorta triflin' if you think about it. But they undermine their (only vaguely valid) point by also slamming Obama for like filling out Final Four brackets, going to a basketball game a few blocks from his house, and playing golf at an Air Force base that's actually inside the Beltway.

            And, oh yeah, they were talkin' sh*t about the Obama Girls. No bueno, guys. Cut that sh*t out.

            It's odd to me that the GOP doesn't understand how crying wolf over every damn thing (and I do mean everything) the President does, they undermine any actual points they might have, and also ruin their limited credibility. I'm concerned about the possible rising cost of The Affordable Care Act myself, but when people are with the same level of fervor, forgive me if I'm not a little skeptical about whatever "facts" you might present.

            Anyways, in an attempt to get the press off his back, , but still ballsy, to call Congress' bluff.
            President Obama’s decision to return 5 percent of his salary to the U.S. Treasury in show of solidarity with federal workers might make folks wonder whether Congress will do the same.

            Members of the House and Senate earn $174,000 annually and haven’t voted to raise their salaries since 2009, knowing that increasing their paychecks would only make them more unpopular with the general public. Several lawmakers, many of them independently wealthy, donate considerable portions of their congressional pay to charity or back to the U.S. Treasury.

            Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a double amputee and Iraq war veteran, was first to announce in late February that she planned to donate part of her earnings in protest of $85 billion in automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. Duckworth plans to return to the U.S. Treasury 8.4 percent of her monthly salary for each month that Congress fails to avert the cuts.

            Duckworth’s 8.4 percent figure comes from the amount of money being slashed from discretionary federal spending accounts, which fund several primary education programs facing cuts in Duckworth’s district in the Chicago suburbs.
            In the District, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) also plans to cut her pay. For each day that federal workers are furloughed, Norton plans to donate half of her pay to the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund, which provides emergency loans as well as child-care subsidies and other financial help for federal workers. The other half will go to her congressional office budget to compensate furloughed staffers.

            The offices of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who earns $223,500 annually, and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.),who makes $193,400 per year, wouldn’t say Wednesday whether they plan to take pay cuts.

            I wasn't a math major, but the above sentence says Harry Reid, who has been in the Senate since The Civil War actually makes less than John Boehner, who is a part-time drunkard and a sometimes US Congressman. Can someone explain how this works? I assumed the Senate, by virtue of being a much harder to attain gig, would pay a lot more. Silly me.

            Anyways, it'll be interesting to see how Conservatives frame this one. Fox News is already on the job, I'm sure.

            Question: Was this a good idea by #TeamObama, or is a 5% pay cut so insignificant that it makes no sense at all?!?

            Monday, March 4, 2013

            Baby Cured Of HIV Virus.

            Sometimes I hate that I'm such a skeptic. I can't simply rejoice in the moment without my Negro Spidey Sense tingling (pause). So as much as I want to , I just can't stop my 3rd eye from twitchin'.
            A baby born with the AIDS virus two years ago in Mississippi who was put on antiretroviral therapy within hours of birth appears to have been cured of the infection, researchers said Sunday at a scientific conference in Atlanta.

            Whether the cure is complete and permanent, or only partial and long-lasting, is not certain. Either way, the highly unusual case raises hope for the more than 300,000 babies born with the infection around the world each year.

            If the findings in the new case bear up under further scrutiny, it will mark the first time the infection has been cured by drugs. The only known cure of a case of HIV infection occurred in 2007. An American man living in Germany got a bone-marrow transplant from a donor who had a rare HIV-resistance mutation in his cells.

            “We are calling this a ‘functional cure,’ ” said Katherine Luzuriaga, a physician at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who was involved in the baby’s care. “Time and further investigation will tell us whether this child actually has been cured or not.”

            Treating a newborn with the life-extending combination of drugs known as “triple therapy” is almost never done.

            The reason is that it is difficult to determine immediately after birth whether a baby is infected. Antibodies from an HIV-infected mother spill into the baby’s circulation, giving a positive test for weeks. Infants are not started on the drugs until at least six weeks after birth, when infection is certain.

            Mother-to-child HIV transmission is extremely rare in the United States. Fewer than 200 cases occur each year. For more than 15 years, virtually all pregnant women known to be infected have been given antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy and labor. Their babies get one or two drugs for at least six weeks after birth — a strategy that cuts the risk of transmission to less than 5 percent.

            In the Mississippi case, how­ever, the mother arrived at the hospital without prenatal care. When a screening test for HIV came back positive, “she was too near delivery to give even the dose of medicine that we routinely use during labor,” Hannah Gay, a pediatrician at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, wrote in a short narrative of the events provided to a reporter.

            Because of the baby’s unusually high risk of having been infected, Gay and her colleagues started full triple therapy 30 hours after birth.

            HIV tests of the infant’s blood over the next three weeks were repeatedly positive. The virus could have been from the mother, although such spillover is usually cleared quickly by the baby. Instead, the amount of HIV — the “viral load” — declined steadily over time, as happens in adults with long-established infections when they are started on triple therapy. By 29 days after birth, the baby had no detectable virus, which is the goal of treatment.

            Researchers provided no personal details about the case, not even the sex of the infant.

            Word of the case was being greeted with interest and skepticism by researchers, who have seen many other reports of cure prove false when examined closely or tried again.
            If this case is true, and somehow repeatable, it is truly a game-changer. The thousands of children infected annually in Sub-Saharan Africa can be saved. That's a truly awesome development.

            But I just can't quite shake the feeling that something about this story doesn't totally add up. I'm (obviously, duh?) no scientist, but I just have a bad feeling about this. I smell a Grand Hu$tle.

            What ya'll think?!?

            Question: Is this truly a groundbreaking scientific discovery, or are you just as skeptical as I am?!?

            Thursday, August 16, 2012

            Jay-Z Only Owns 0.0666% Of The Brooklyn Nets.

            when I see one, and when Jay-Z just so happened to be named an "owner" of the New Jersey Nets a few years back, .

            When the developer Bruce Ratner set out to buy the New Jersey Nets and build an arena for them in Brooklyn, he recruited Jay-Z, the hip-hop superstar who grew up in public housing a couple of miles from the site, to join his group of investors.

            Mr. Ratner may have thought he was getting little more than a limited partner with a boldface name and a youthful following that could prove useful someday. But Jay-Z’s contributions have dwarfed the $1 million he invested nine years ago. His influence on the project has been wildly disproportionate to his ownership stake — a scant one-fifteenth of one percent of the team. And so is the money he stands to make from it.

            Now, with the long-delayed Barclays Center arena nearing opening night in September and the Nets bidding in earnest for Brooklyn’s loyalties, Jay-Z will perform eight sold-out shows to kick things off. But away from center stage he has put his mark on almost every facet of the enterprise, his partners say.

            He helped design the team logos and choose the team’s stark black-and-white color scheme, and personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it (the N.B.A., according to a person with knowledge of the discussion, thought that African-American athletes did not look good on TV in black, an assertion that a league spokesman adamantly denied).

            All told, he has achieved a remarkable feat of leverage with his tiny sliver of the team, which was reduced from one-third to one-fifteenth of a percent upon Mr. Prokhorov’s purchase of the Nets, according to people aware of the deal terms. (Mr. Carter, who declined to be interviewed for this article, retains a slightly larger sliver of the arena itself — just under a fifth of a percent.)
            So, 1/15th of one percent. Not 1/15. 1/15 of one percent.


            [Editor's Sidenote: The line about the black uniforms/black players is kinda odd, considering the fact that, oh, maybe 5-6 NBA teams either wear black road or alternate unis already, but anyways. Given the fact that the NBA has unequivocally the best diversity record of any pro sports league period, that's just... a very strange thing to say.]

            If there's anything that really annoys me about Jay-Z claiming to "own" the Nets, it's the assumption that he's somehow done something historic, as if making a career as an entertainer is the only way to achieve such a thing. That couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, the first black men to own a pro team did it the old fashioned way: by borrowing other people's money. If you don't know anything about before you listen to "N*ggas In Paris" again. You should also read that before you write the words "hater" in the comment box. Save us all the trouble.

            That said, the article is a must read for anyone curious about the business of pro sports. While Jay doesn't own a significant part of the team and seems to be more of a celebrity endorser than a power player, his ability to is well chronicled here. Good for him.

            I do, however, wish he'd kill that "own the team nonsense".

            Question: Is Jay-Z's "ownership" just a Grand Hu$tle, or a smart business move?

            [1] BTW, . You might wanna cop some.

            Tuesday, August 7, 2012

            What, Exactly, Is Mitt Romney's "Economic Platform"?!?


            Romney’s offerings are more like simulacra of policy proposals. They look, from far away, like policy proposals. They exist on his Web site, under the heading of “Issues,” with subheads like “Tax” and “Health care.” But read closely, they are not policy proposals. They do not include the details necessary to judge Romney’s policy ideas. In many cases, they don’t contain any details at all.

            Take taxes. Romney has promised a “permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates,” alongside a grab bag of other goodies, like the end of “the death tax.” Glenn Hubbard, his top economic adviser, has promised that the plan will “broaden the tax base to ensure that tax reform is revenue-neutral.”

            It is in the distance between “cut in marginal rates” and “revenue-neutral” that all the policy happens. That is where Romney must choose which deductions to cap or close. It’s where we learn what his plan means for the mortgage-interest deduction, and the tax-free status of employer health plans and the Child Tax Credit. It is where we learn, in other words, what his plan means for people like you and me. And it is empty. Romney does not name even one deduction that he would cap or close. He even admitted, in an interview with CNBC, that his plan “can’t be scored because those details have to be worked out.”

            Romney’s plan spans 369 words. He would “promote alternatives to ‘fee for service.’” Which alternatives? It’s a mystery. He would “end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance.” That can mean any of a couple of huge policy changes. It could mean, for the first time ever, that employer-provided health plans are taxed — a massive tax increase. It could mean that all spending on health insurance is made tax free — a giant, and expensive, tax cut. Which is it? Romney doesn’t say.

            On financial regulation, Romney would “repeal Dodd-Frank and replace with streamlined, modern regulatory framework.” That is literally his entire plan. Three years after a 北京体彩网官方网站grown financial crisis wrecked the global economy, the likely Republican nominee for president would repeal the new regulatory architecture and replace it with … something.

            On deficit reduction, Romney’s plan “requires spending cuts of approximately $500 billion per year in 2016.” He has not released spending cuts that come anywhere close to that goal. He does have some nice words to say about the Ryan budget, but Romney advisers have told the media that their candidate disagrees with large parts of it, including the Medicare cuts.
            In some ways, I totally understand this approach. Providing specifics gives your opponent more things to pick apart and compare/contrast. Being purposely vague avoids such pitfalls, and allows you to keep your focus entirely on attacking your opponent's specifics, something the Romney campaign's been quite good at, even when they haven't been totally telling the truth. Still, with debate season on the way, Romney's gonna have to say something sooner or later, or he's gonna run the risk of being shown up on a national stage.

            When pressed for details, Romney provides little more than tax cuts and rolling back regulations, apparently unaware that we're in massive debt and a lack of regulations was the primary reason for the economic cliff we drove off of. In a perfect world, instead of parroting the now pointless "eliminate Bush tax cuts for the rich" line that's clearly getting his campaign nowhere, President Obama would mention all the above.

            But whatever mojo his campaign had in 08' is obviously gone.

            Question: Do the lack of specifics in Romney's "economic plan" concern you? Is this a smart campaign strategy? Other than Ron Paul, would any of the various GOP 2012 candidates have played this card any differently?!?

            Tuesday, July 31, 2012

            TJ Holmes And Driving While Black Opportunism.


            Former CNN anchor T.J. Holmes was pulled over a mile away from his Atlanta 北京体彩网官方网站 Monday morning and quickly took to Twitter to document the entire ordeal.

            The television personality tweeted a picture of a cop car in his side mirror with the caption "Driving while black ain't no joke."

            Holmes did not mention that one of the officers who pulled him over was black.

            The 34-year-old did say, however, that one of the officers, though he did not specify which, struggled to give an explanation for why he was pulled over.

            "This is a damn shame. Officer is literally stumbling over his words trying to explain why he stopped me," Holmes tweeted.

            Holmes returned to the micro-blogging site minutes later, telling his nearly 50,000 followers that the officer said he "wanted to make sure [Holmes] had insurance on the car."

            "Still pissed beyond words right now," Holmes concluded. "But Lord knows I'm not the only this will happen to today."

            Holmes, who left CNN in December 2011, will launch his new show, "Don't Sleep!" on BET this October.

            The show will feature "smart, biting social commentary on significant issues important to African Americans" that "mainstream media tends to disregard," according to BET.
            Here's Holmes on The Michael Eric Dyson Intellectual Masturbation Hour The Ed Show, explaining the ordeal.

            Something about Holmes' story just doesn't come across as totally genuine. Note: I didn't say factual, just genuine.

            I can't help but wonder if maybe he's taking a routine traffic stop and turning it into a promotional vehicle/free PR for his upcoming BET news show that surely nobody will bother watching. I mean, seriously, BET News? F'real?[1]

            His unwillingness to 1) name the location where this occurred 2) name the officers 3) point out that one of the officers was a black woman 4) mention the make/model of the car and 5) make a huge deal out of something that he says has happened to him repeatedly in the past just all smells of opportunism.

            $10,000 bet says TJ Holmes' first episode of his new show is going to milk this incident for all its worth. And sorry for being so jaded about this, but if Holmes really cared about informing the masses about this critical issue of public safety, wouldn't he have done so before he got canned from CNN instead of preaching to the choir on BET?

            I'm just sayin'.

            Question: Is Holmes' exploiting a routine traffic stop for free pub (which I just gave him)? Do you have your own DWB experience?

            [1] #sarcasm

            Tuesday, July 17, 2012

            Jon Stewart Completely Destroys Romney's Bain Capital Defense.

            What a complete and utterly thorough ethering. It's rather amazing how Stewart[1] can take Romney's talking points and so easily dismantle them, yet #TeamObama can't get the same message out with a budget of hundreds of millions. I'm not sure exactly what that says, but it says something. Maybe #TeamObama should just hire Stewart as his press secretary.

            Get More: ,,

            Question: Does Romney's defense make any sense?

            [1] Or more likely, Stewart's staff of 50+ writers.