Saturday, February 23, 2008

Harassing Smiley's Momma for Dis of Obama

Talk show host Tavis Smiley is getting some heat for criticizing Barack Obama for not attending the State of the Black Union Forum in New Orleans this year. From an article posted on CNN's site Smiley says:
"I have family in Indianapolis. They are harassing my momma, harassing my brother. It's getting to be crazy."
The story is here on CNN. Briefly it states:
In a letter to Smiley earlier this month, Obama commended the forum for addressing important issues, but explained he needed to focus on his presidential run ahead of the critical March 4 primaries....

.... Smiley has been vocal about his disapproval of Obama's decision.

"I think it's a missed opportunity on Mr. Obama's part," Smiley told CNN. "Now, I am not interested in demonizing him for his choice, but I do disagree with it."

But Smiley's criticism has also prompted many people to come to Obama's defense. The talk show host told The Washington Post he has been inundated with angry e-mails and even death threats.
It's kind of crazy for people to threaten the man with death for criticizing Barack Obama. That's a little bit scary. People who would do something like that are probably a bit unhinged in the first place. It might be time for Barack Obama to ask people to give Tavis a break before things get out of hand.

As an aside I have to say that although conferences like this are absolutely valuable, no doubt necessary, I think the name is a bit unfortunate. It can be construed as meaning black people have a separate union as opposed to being part of the union we are all a part of, the United States of America. I know it doesn't mean that, but it's a matter of perception and it sounds separatist in a way that a name like, the State of Black People in the Union, though definitely not as catchy and not a name I'm recommending, but I put forth as a contrast to illustrate my point, does not. It seems to me that we fought long and hard not to be separate and symbols like these and the Black National Anthem, put forth a perception that belie those struggles.

Hot Naked Babes!

Mr. Spock challenges American beauty standards in his new book featuring nudie pics of women who don't necessarily meet those standards, but are beautiful regardless. Leonard Nimoy's book is the Full Body Project. Featured on the Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central last Valentine's Day, 2/14/2008.


BTW, I'm not trying to boost my blog's readership or hits by posting a title like "Hot Naked Babes!" It would be beneath the high standards this blog upholds. I only mean to affirm along with Mr. Nimoy that the women featured in his book are indeed beautiful.

Stop With All the Plagiarism Charges Already!

Ok, enough. We get it. Everybody borrows from everyone. It's like I've always said, and I coined this phrase myself, "I only steal from the best." Please, don't steal that from me. You know what, Ok, Barack, you can use it. I give you my permission. If anyone accuses you of plagiarizing it, just have them see this post.

-Fight the powers.
(That's mine too.)

More on Don Siegelman, Cuba, Castro and Irony

The video above is from a 2004 interview with former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman discussing irregularities in vote counts when he ran for re-election. A few posts back I wrote about new revelations regarding Siegelman's conviction on bribery charges being featured on 60 minutes Sunday. About how Republican lawyer Jill Simpson admitted doing "opposition research" for Karl Rove to catch Siegelman in a compromising position.

A few days ago I posted this video about the irony of George Bush scolding the Castro brothers for holding unfair elections. If it turns out that Rove and his minions through the US Attorney's office targeted Siegelman with a politically motivated prosecution, convicting him on trumped up charges, we will have another irony to add to the list. George Bush will have what amounts to a political prisoner.

With regard to Cuba and Fidel Castro what we'll have is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. And one more way that the Bush administration has sullied the reputation of the US in the eyes of the world, by doing the kinds of things I learned in Civics class in High School only happened in Communist countries and under dictatorships. But then I never really bought a good portion of the crap they taught us in Civics as we fought an unjust war in Vietnam and beat down peaceful student protesters and civil rights marchers.

Is that why we shouldn't do things like torture prisoners or spy on our citizens? So that when we lecture Communists, dictators, terrorists, and militant religious extremists about it, we don't look like total hypocrites? I was probably absent when they taught that in Civics class. There is a second part to the video above on Youtube. The video below is an interview of a lawyer supporting Siegelman and outlines what was wrong with his prosecution. It is also in several parts. Click on either video to see them on Youtube and see the additional videos.

-Fight the powers.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bill O Apologizes for Lynching Comment

Bill O'Reilly casually apologizes for using the word "lynching" in defense of Michelle Obama, excusing it by reaching way back to remarks made by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991. Thomas referred to a "high tech lynching" in defending himself against sexual harassment charges by Anita Hill during his Senate confirmation hearings. There's a major difference in this case.

Beyond the fact that it was 16 years ago and the standards were a little different then, Clarence Thomas is black. Without addressing whether you think Thomas was correct in using the metaphor in his case, it can appropriately used by a black man referring to himself in a befitting circumstance. Meaning said black man is describing a situation where someone did something to him akin to lynching. Not by a white man about a black woman, as in Bill O's case.

It isn't much of an apology, if this clip is all he said. It's almost flippant, using the justification that in Michelle Obama's defense, context justified her statement. Somehow he believes that context justifies his. Except he conveniently leaves out the fact that he made no reference to Clarence Thomas in his original statement about Michelle Obama. So how does it fit into the context of his statement about her? Also, it's a qualified apology, which is no apology at all. And it makes no acknowledgment of the offensiveness of the word and that it should never be used.

It's more of a justification than an apology. The word came out of his mouth. But in the context of, "If I offended anybody", and the Clarence Thomas also said it defense, it's not really an apology at all. Context, Bill, is everything.

Is Rove the Teflon Turd Blossom?

So far Bush's Brain has managed to survive stories of spreading scandal to sink the re-election bid of Texas Governor Ann Richards, and the 2000 presidential candidacy of John McCain. He was suspected of some involvement in Plame-gate. And he is the suspected mastermind behind the effort to use the US Attorney's office politically for the benefit of the Republican party in a scandal that sunk the career of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Yet Mr. Rove has managed, so far, to escape any serious legal entanglements as a result of those suspicions. Some of Rove's nefarious dealings are revealed in this 60 Minutes piece to air this Sunday, and may finally lead to some legal trouble for him. Will charges of dirty dealing finally stick to Rove. Or will he turn out to be the the Teflon Turd Blossom?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Clinton - Obama Debate from Austin Texas

I don't know why I ever watch the after debate analysis. It's like those people watched something completely different than I did. I guess so much of it is subjective and probably has to do with who you support up front. I don't think it was a knock out for anyone, but I think Barack Obama clearly won on points. I was following the threads during the debate on Daily Kos, and I think most people there thought Barack won.

The video above was one of the better exchanges for Barack Obama. The video below is of the end of the debate and was by far Hillary Clinton's best moment. It was a moving and warm finish for her and received a standing ovation from the audience, but it also seemed to express a note of conciliation and resignation. Most of the on-air pundits on CNN and MSNBC are saying she won on the strength of that finish. I don't think it's the case at all. I think it practically conceded defeat. It's ironically being described as valedictory by the pundits, some of the same ones who are saying she won.

I think the race is nearly over. The fat lady isn't singing, but she's warming up in the wings. Finally hearing one pundit, Jonathan Alter on Chris Matthew's Hardball, who got it right and said that Barack won the debate.

Bill O on "Hate Speech"

Ok, if I wasn't certain that Bill O'Reilly is basically F-ing with us, excuse my french, I am now. On his site is a column entitled, Hate Speech and the 'Net, in which he takes Arianna Huffington to task for comments, not her own words, but comments on the Huffington Post blog. In my last post, I know I suggested completely ignoring him, but I wanted to see if he was getting any heat at all for his Michelle Obama lynching comments. What I found was all the evidence I need that he's playing games. His comment was obviously intentional. It's simply not humanly possible to be this clueless.

-Fight the powers.

NY Times: John McCain Possible Hook Up with Lobbyist

Did crusty old John McCain get some nookie from a 40 year old lobbyist hottie? No! Wait, aarrgghhh! Get the image out of my head!

Michelle Obama "Lynching" Comment: Is Bll O Crazy Like a Fox?

There is a kind of cluelessness that is completely ironic in the fact that it is both common and utterly shocking at the same time. It is the kind of cluelessness that you encounter regularly, often daily, but simultaneously forces you to say, this person cannot possibly be that stupid. Your mind has trouble wrapping itself around the signs of apparent intelligence in that individual. The fact that they are standing upright, have the power of speech, they are dressed appropriately, and appear to be gainfully employed. Yet they said or did something that exhibited a complete lack of intelligence. Bill O'Reilly's "lynching party" comment rises to that level of cluelessness because it comes after the two week suspension of Golf Channel commentator Kelly Tilghman for making a reference to lynching about Tiger Woods, it comes after the incidence of nooses appearing in work places and hanging from the tailgate of a pick-up truck in the wake of the Jena Six protests, and after the president's unequivocal remarks during a speech for Black History Month at the White House that, "lynching is not a word to be used in jest."

And it makes you wonder, if just for a second, if Bill O could be that clueless, or if it is possible that he does these kinds of things on purpose? Did he say what he said about Michelle Obama with full knowledge and intent because he knew it would stir up controversy à la Don Imus and the, "nappy headed ho's," furor? Is Bill O'Reilly that smart? That crafty? After reading comments on this post at Daily Kos, and listening to clips at Media Matters, I got carried away and started to theorize that maybe Bill O is some kind of media Columbo. Feigning stupidity to boost his ratings, or create an Imus-like controversy in the middle of Barack Obama's presidential campaign by getting himself fired and then hired again on satellite radio for beaucoup bucks.

Both pictures of Bill O'Reilly are equally difficult to reconcile. Is the man utterly clueless or a media genius? And in either case what do you do about him? Do we give him what he's possibly asking for and definitely deserves, a full blown media controversy and demand that he, like Imus, be fired? Or instead do give him what would truly be hell for him, no matter which Bill O you believe to be the real one, ignore him completely. Stop writing about him, stop screaming about him, stop tearing our hair out about him. Because we who hold him in the contempt he deserves, give him far more than half the attention he gets, and raise his stature among those who love him. I believe the latter would hurt him most and give him what he most deserves, anonymity. On the other hand I hate to let the ass get a pass on something that is totally and inexcusably over the line.

Please share your thoughts in comments and as always....

-Fight the powers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Update: Michelle Obama Really is Proud of America

In this video from MSNBC, Michelle Obama clarifies her statement that she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. Her words are clear enough. You can draw your own conclusions.

I'm Sorry, Were You Saying Something...?

Etiquette has been politely pushed aside in the race for a Democratic nominee for president. Since the South Carolina primary on January 26, in each of her losses to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton has either failed, or given only a cursory word of concession to her opponent. Traditionally candidates congratulate their opposition in a concession speech. Clinton, so far, has given her standard stump speech when she looses. Last night Obama's speech started only minutes after Hillary Clinton's began. All the major networks switched from Hillary's speech to Obama's. He basically stomped on her speech, and though neither campaign will admit that it had anything to do with etiquette, Obama's folks saying it was "unintentional", the pundits were all speculating whether his camp had gotten tired of Clinton's lack of courtesy. Clinton's staff later issued a statement that she called to congratulate Obama. But that is not a public concession and I don't think it counts.

At the end of the video there was a clip of Michelle Obama's controversial statement about being proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. It's a statement that will be misunderstood and will probably cost Obama some political capital. But if you are an African American in this country, you know what she means. It's not going to be a popular thing to say, especially for white folks. But I totally understand in a way that Cindy McCain, the rich white Republican wife of a senator, never will. I hate to put it in those polarizing terms. I wonder how the Obama campaign will find a way to cast her remarks in a more diplomatic and politically palatable light.

I hate to speak for any group of people as a whole, but I think most, emphasis on most, African American's will get it and there will be no need for anyone to make an excuse for what she said. I'm sure she did not mean that there was nothing to be proud of America for, but that there is a whole lot not to be proud of. A few things come to mind in recent history, but I don't think I need to make a list. Hopefully people will not take what she said literally and will understand what she meant. I think the most direct and honest way to handle it is to say she misspoke, apologize, tell us what she is proud of, and move on.


I got this Obama response from of all places, Michelle Malkin's web site. I held my nose long enough to copy it to paste here.
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama sought Tuesday to clarify his wife’s statement that she is proud of the U.S. “for the first time in my adult life.” He said her newfound pride is about the political system and was not meant to disparage her country…”Statements like this are made and people try to take it out of context and make a great big deal out of it, and that isn’t at all what she meant,” Obama said. “What she meant was, this is the first time that she’s been proud of the politics of America,” he said. “Because she’s pretty cynical about the political process, and with good reason, and she’s not alone. But she has seen large numbers of people get involved in the process, and she’s encouraged.”
I haven't taken the time to look for other sources as yet. It's better than what I came up with above, but then, I'm not a politician and I don't have to say, nor would I ever want to be the person who has to say the politically expedient thing. What I am doing here, I hope, is something different. Above I probably shouldn't have drawn the conclusion that most African American's would agree with me. Maybe most won't. Personally I think living in this country as probably any minority can cause you, at times, to have some ambivalence about it. Sorry I don't have the rose-colored glasses, fag-waving, super patriotic view of America. I don't and never will. Even if Obama is elected.

-Fight the powers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Washington Primary Election Results

Refresh your browser to see available updated results.

MSNBC projects John McCain winner of the Washington state primary election. The Democratic primary results are non-binding, meaning no delegates will be awarded.

Hawaii Primary Caucus Results

CNN and MSNBC project Barack Obama winner of the Hawaii presidential Democratic primary election. The Republican presidential convention will be held May 16-18 in Hawaii.

Wisconsin Primary Election Results

Refresh your browser to see available updated results.

MSNBC and CNN project John McCain the winner of the Wisconsin Republican Primary. Both are calling the Democratic race too early to call, however MSNBC reports that Barack Obama is leading in exit polls.

MSNBC is calling the Wisconsin Democratic primary for Barack Obama. With 1% of the primary results in Obama leads Hillary Clinton 53% to 46%.

CNN - The Most Busted Name in News

I have to post this link from the Huffington Post. This is one of the most insightful and honest posts I have seen about the MSM, CNN in particular, by someone who, until recently worked for them. Chez Pazienza is a blogger for Huffington Post, and was a producer for American Morning on CNN. He was fired for blogging. That is to his and our good fortune because now he is saying what should be said about them and he knows from the inside. In his words:
CNN fired me, and did it without even a thought to the power that I might wield as an average person with a brain, a computer, and an audience. The mainstream media doesn't believe that new media can embarrass them, hurt them or generally hold them accountable in any way, and they've never been more wrong.

I'm suddenly in a position to do all three, and I know now that this is what I've been working toward the last few years of my career.
This part sounds more sour grapes than it actually is, you have to read the post to see. CNN is the cable news network I love to hate. I hate them all, but I have CNN on most of the day, backgrounding while I'm doing other things. They are a prime example of what is wrong with the MSM and what is wrong with television news.

But what really cracks me up is their recent clumsy attempts to adopt new media. As if it were something they invented. Now they are all bloggers. Wolf Blitzer, Jack Cafferty and Anderson Cooper, who live blogs during the commercial breaks. Give me a break. They are starting to figure out that the world is changing and that occasional blog reports from their Internet reporters and email from their audience isn't enough to compete for the attention of young people who are more comfortable with new media than traditional cable news.

Rather than promoting their blogs with every spare moment they have and telling us how trusted they are and how they are the best team of reporters, blah, blah, blah; they could start giving us real news. Stop sensationalizing everything. Stop giving us the Britney Spears and the Paris Hilton news, or from today's headlines it's Lindsay Lohan in a nude photo shoot tribute to Marilyn Monroe. If they did real news, they would never need to tell us how trusted they are, or that they are the best. It wouldn't be necessary. Now thanks the Chez Pazienza, they may soon be known as the Most Busted Name in News.
Rock on Chez!

-Fight the powers.

Total Lunar Eclipse Wednesday Night

Tomorrow night there will be a total eclipse of the moon. If you're on the left coast, like me, the moon will move into the earth's shadow at about 5:43pm PST (8:43pm EST). First hints of the eclipse will be visible earlier at 7pm PST. It should be cool because the moon is waxing gibbous at 97% full tonight. More details in this Slashdot post.

Castro Resigns: Can Bush Say Fair Elections Without Irony?

Does anyone, but me, find any irony in this statement by President Bush in the video above regarding fair elections? Any irony in the fact that Cuba is just 90 miles from Florida? Hanging chads? Daddy's hand-picked Justices key to his Supreme Court declared election in 2000. Disenfranchisement of African American voters who's votes were lost? Is that Bush talking about fair elections? To give him credit, he has always spoken out for fair elections, that is in almost any country except the US.

The video below is a retrospective of the life and career of Fidel Castro, Cuban leader and dictator since January of 1959. Castro is stepping down this morning from his post as Cuban head of state. This NY Times article also summarizes his career, the things we always hear about him, dictator, Communist, responsible for a failed economy, and inciter of Communist revolution around the globe. Despite all he managed to reign in the shadow of the US, the biggest superpower on the globe for almost 50 years and accomplished a few things we could not in this country with our great wealth. Among them, universal health care, free education through college, and according to the Times, the "rooting out of racism."

-Fight the powers.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Barack Obama Superstar!!!

He's the Beatles of politicians. Or the *NSync. Six separate incidents of women fainting at Obama rallies. Ok, it's strange, but it been a good long time since a politician generated this much excitement, and so far, I think that's a good thing.

More Guns on College Campuses - Bizarro World?

I watch a lot of news, maybe too much. As of yet I have heard absolutely nothing in response to the NIU school shooting suggesting more control of guns in this country. And today on CNN, I see this story, suggesting more guns on college campuses might be what's needed. Am I in Bizarro World? Is this not an absolutely insane suggestion or maybe it's me? Maybe I watch too much CNN.

-Fight the powers.

CNN - Just Sniping: Accusing Obama of Pagiarism

CNN is making a big deal out of this campaign propaganda from the Clinton camp, actually calling it plagiarism. Instead of focusing on real news, like the item I just posted today about Clinton links to a polling company that supplies polls to CNN. Uhm, OK, I can see why they wouldn't want to cover that story, they focus on sniping from the desperate Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign accuses Obama of lifting rhetoric from a speech by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. CNN updated the story with this response from Barack Obama, I'll post video of it as soon as I can find some.
CNN's Chris Welch reports that Obama is playing down the allegations, telling reporters that he's written two books and most of his own speeches.

“Deval and I do trade ideas all the time, and you know he's occasionally used lines of mine, and I at a Jefferson Jackson dinner in Wisconsin used some words of his. And you know I would add I’ve noticed on occasion Sen. Clinton has used words of mine as well,” said Obama, adding, "…As I said before, I really don't think this is too big of a deal."
Reminds me of this cartoon I saw from This Modern World this morning.

-Fight the powers.

the Clintonian Files: CNN Polling Company Linked to Clinton Contributor

I met Zennie (he's in the video below) a couple years ago at Youtube's As One Festival in San Francisco. He's a video blogger and has a regular (not video) blog called Zennie's Zeitgeist. His vlog below is about a link between the Clintons and the owner of a Polling company that supplies polling data to CNN. Zennie makes a few assertions in this video that are yet to be substantiated, the suspicions however, are warranted. But to me there's enough of a problem here without drawing any additional conclusions.

Here's a couple blurbs from Zennie's blog:
I argued that CNN -- the Cable News Network -- should not be using polls that came from a company linked to Vinod Gupta, a major Clinton Donor. Gupta owns Info USA and the Opinion Research Corporation (OPC). It's the OPC that makes the polls that are reported by CNN, and those same polls early in the 2008 Democratic Presidential race gave consistently enormously high leads for Senator Clinton. Polls by the OPC were consistently high for months, even as other organizations like Gallup USA began to show Obama closing on Clinton.

Now, it's revealed in this NPR article that the Clinton campaign sold -- or rented -- their donor list to Info USA and the OPC, but NPR's article does not make the extra step of explaining why InfoUSA / OPC would even need such a list. That's what this video is about. The list was rented for just $8,225, and not the six-figures it's valued to be, and the Clinton campaign did not collect the money until 11-months after the list was delivered.

Meanwhile Gupta himself is in some trouble, as his activities of lending the Clintons the use of his private jet, and hiring President Bill Clinton for $3 million a year have ignited a shareholder lawsuit against Gupta. as Gupta's corporate operatives want to know what value, if any, Gupta's free-spending ways on Clinton have gained InfoUSA.
It raises the question of whether Democrats want someone with potential skeletons in the closet like this as their nominee this fall. Especially in view of the fact that the Republicans will be especially energized and gunning for her. Check out Zennie's Zeitgiest and the accompanying links.

-Fight the powers.

Sir Charles Blasts Fake "christians"

Love him or hate him, you have to give Sir Charles Barkley credit for always speaking his mind. It's not always a virtue, but you can't say that he ever lied about how he felt. I think Charles is expressing the frustration a lot of us feel after almost eight years of George "Mission Accomplished" Bush, and the rest of the chickenhawk Neo-Cons, and the christian Wrong.

I may not be the first, but I'd like to start the practice of referring to their ilk as the small "c" christians. That is the ones who think they can stand as judge and jury on the lifestyles and morality of everyone else in the world. As opposed to the large "C" Christians who are living an example of being Christ-like. I doubt whether speaking his mind like this will get Barkley elected Governor of Alabama. If I was a resident, I'd vote for him. We may have to give Sir Charles a new moniker and dub him Reverend Barkley, because he makes me want to say, Amen!

-Fight the powers.