Archive for April, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011

Oprah Asks The President, “Why did you wait so long to show your long-form birth certificate?”

President Obama: “Well O, I needed to let Donald Trump and the rest of the racist MF’s, excuse me, ‘birthers’, dig themselves into a hole so deep that once I did finally release my long-form BC, which by the way, I’ve had for yearrrrrsssss, all they could do was say ‘Oh well’ and shut the ‘F’ up. You see, contrary to popular belief, I know what I’m doing each and every moment of the day. Comprende mi bella?”

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“Okay, so maybe,just maybe, the n*****, excuse me, half-n***** was actually born in America. But, I’m still whiter than him, I’m still richer than him, I’ve had more wives than him and I’m still far nuttier than he can ever hope to be. Thank you and God Bless the white people of America. Seig Heil!”

PRESIDENT OBAMA VS. ‘REALITY SHOW’ – The president told an audience of Democratic donors in New York last night that his budget clash with congressional Republicans will be a “clarifying moment” in American politics. And hours after he released his birth certificate to the public, Obama called for a “serious debate” over the direction of the country, swiping at unnamed parties who think politics is a “reality show.” “Part of what happened this morning was me trying to remind the press and trying to remind both parties that what we do in politics is not a reality show. It’s serious,” Obama said. “We’re going to have, between now and 2012, a serious debate about the kind of America we believe in. And it is my intention to make sure that as hopeful as 2008 was, I want 2012 to be an election in which we’re not just talking slogans, we don’t just have pretty posters, but we are looking soberly at the choices we face.” Obama didn’t denounce “Celebrity Apprentice” host Donald Trump by name, but earlier in the day he also urged reporters not to be distracted by “sideshows and carnival barkers.” – Politico’s Morning Score-04/28/11

PLUS – ‘NBC HAS CREATED A MONSTER’ – So says MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell, who unloaded on Donald Trump and the network that employs him in a lengthy monologue last night, branding Trump as “the most deranged egomaniac in the history of NBC entertainment division.” O’Donnell: “NBC has created a monster who is using his NBC fame to spew hatred, reeking with racist overtones and undertones about the president of the United States. NBC can no longer stand idly by, not for one more day. The NBC entertainment division could not possibly have created a worse conflict with the NBC News division.” http://politi.co/kwAMeF

ONE MORE – GIBBS’S GAUNTLET – The former White House press secretary challenged Trump to open up his tax records now that the president has shared his birth certificate. Said Gibbs: “Donald Trump said he’d release his tax returns as soon as the president released his birth certificate, so the ball is in his court now and I know everybody is anxious to see his tax returns over the last 10 years.” And the response: “Trump repeatedly ignored questions about whether he’d fulfill his pledge. Asked later about Gibbs’ comments, Trump told POLITICO: ‘Gibbs is a loser.'” http://politi.co/jL7fSP

MARKOS “Daily Kos” MOULITSAS calls the White House release “nothing short of brilliant”: “It keeps the issue in the news. Even more so, it gives it that much more visibility. And let’s face it, this is a huge loser for the GOP. What better way to show how out-of-touch and irrational Republicans are, than to rub this in their face.” http://bit.ly/kddfyu 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

President and Mrs. Obama comforting a family in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Friday.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Now I see why my predecessor didn’t want to do town halls.” – Congressman Rick Berg (R-ND)

What If They Gave A GOP Primary And Nobody Ran?

GOP Presidential Primary Race On The Brink Of Gaining Steam

The 2012 Speculatron Weekly Roundup For April 29, 2011

Newt Gingrich May Not Qualify For First GOP Debate Of 2012 Campaign

“But, but, I’ve had the same religion and wife for three years in a row and everything.”

IT’S ALL ABOUT JOBS

From “Morning Fix” by Chris Cillizza-The Washington Post

Obama escapes blame for the economy, but he can’t escape the economy

President Obama continues to dodge taking the blame for causing the country’s economic problems, but people are more than happy to blame him for failing to pull the nation “out of the ditch” fast enough.

New polling from Marist College for McClatchy newspapers shows Obama’s approval on the economy hitting a new low, with just 40 percent of voters now approving of the job he’s done. His disapproval is also at a new high, 57 percent.

At the same time, voters continue to ascribe the financial crisis to Obama’s predecessors, with just 30 percent saying the problems are mostly a result of his policies, and another 63 percent saying he inherited them.

But while the blame rationing has been pretty consistent — with even one-third of Republicans still saying it wasn’t (mostly) his fault — Obama’s approval on the economy has dropped at a steady pace.

And it’s all about pessimism.

According to the poll, 57 percent of Americans think the worst of the economic crisis is yet to come — a stunning 18-point increase since January and the highest in at least seven months.

Despite small gains in the unemployment rate and other measures, people aren’t seeing things get better fast enough, and now that gas prices are rising, people are losing hope again.

Four years is a long time to avoid the blame, and whatever was left of Obama’s economic honeymoon appears to be at an end. Americans are increasingly pegging the state of the economy to Obama’s tenure as president; while it might have been the other guy who got you in this mess, it’s this guy who hasn’t yet gotten you out of it.

“I think we’re to the point that voters are holding the president responsible for not fixing the problems, regardless of their cause,” said GOP pollster Jon McHenry.

Which harkens back to something you will hear over and over again: that Obama’s reelection is almost completely tied to what happens to the economy.

Birth certificates, deficit reduction and collective bargaining may be the issues du jour, but the public’s view of the economy is so closely tied to Obama’s approval rating that we sometimes forget how simple the equation is when it comes to his reelection campaign.

The good news for Obama is that this is a poll in early 2011 — 18 months before the only poll that matters. Plenty will happen between now and then on the economy.

At this point though, it appears things may have to improve for Obama to win.

OBAMA 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina, armed with a Mac and a map, gives supporters a video “Strategy Update”: “This is not 2008. We gotta assume every single day that we need to build something new – better, faster and sleeker. Republicans are going to be fired up to take on President Obama … The 2008 campaign was the most special thing a lot of us have ever been a part of. But if we just run that same campaign, … we stand a good chance of losing. We’ve gotta run a new campaign …. [I]n 2012, we have the opportunity to make 2008 look prehistoric – to do it at a bigger scale, to do it with new technologies … and really reinvent this campaign. Grassroots will RUN this campaign. … We ought NOT to act like an incumbent. We oughta act like an insurgent campaign.” Video, PDF of charts http://bit.ly/eOvff1

 Rick Santorum Leaves Afghanistan Out Of Foreign Policy Speech

“Wait a minute. I know this one. Starts with an ‘A’…Aruba?”

ROMNEY GAFFE — Alex Burns, in Manchester, N.H.: “Mitt Romney stumbled over an explosive turn of phrase Friday night, telling an audience that Republicans would figuratively ‘hang’ President Obama with bad economic news. Speaking at an Americans for Prosperity dinner, Romney’s comment came as he recalled Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign. ‘Reagan came up with this great thing about the “misery index” and he hung that around Jimmy Carter’s neck,’ Romney said. ‘Well, we’re going to have to hang the ‘Obama Misery Index’ around his neck.’ … Romney continued, ‘We’re going to hang him that, uh’ before stopping mid-sentence. ‘So to speak – metaphorically. You have to be careful.’ …

“Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the former governor, said the context of Romney’s comment was obviously benign. ‘It is not what the governor meant and that was very clear in what he actually said,’ Saul wrote in an email.”

–Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson: “[T]he mix of nervous laughter with applause indicated at least some in the audience realized its potency.” See the video. http://bo.st/j0l7TF

SAYING GOODBYE TO BOSS HOGG, JR

Here’s to Haley  

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Only Some blacks see racism in ‘birther’ questions? How about, blacks see racism in ‘birther’ questions? I can remember as a child being told that “A Negro has to be twice as good as the average white man” just to get ahead and sadly, that was proven once again this week when President Barack Obama had to go above and beyond what every other person born in the State of Hawaii (and the other 49 states) does to prove where they were born.

While Tavis Smiley fumes and bloviates, while Reverend Al and Cornel West scream at each on the radio – Obama’s celebrity roundtable – I’m just saying.

Prominent Hispanics meeting with President Obama at the White House this week.

THE SUNDAY SHOWS, from Matt Mackowiak:

–NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); roundtable with Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-New York City), Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and former Obama White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod

–ABC’s “The Week”: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI); roundtable with ABC’s George Will, the Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington, former Reagan Budget Director David Stockman and Thomson-Reuters’ Chrystia Freeland

–CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); Gov. Robert Bentley (R-AL); roundtable with Georgetown University’s Michael Eric Dyson and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson

–“Fox News Sunday”: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN); Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); roundtable with Fox News’ Brit Hume, Fortune’s Nina Easton, the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol and Fox News’ Juan Williams

–CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); former Bush National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA); education roundtable with Sen. Michal Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Capitol Prep. Magnet School founder Steve Perry and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten

–CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS Live” (SUN 10am ET / 1pm ET): Roundtable with the Brookings Institution’s Martin Indyk, Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Elliot Abrams and the London School of Economics’ Fawaz Gerges; the New Yorker’s Malcolm Gladwell

–Univision’s “Al Punto”: Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL); Voces Action National Director Adryana Boyne; Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and Conservative blogger Javier Manjarres; Chilean Miner Mario Sepúlveda; roundtable with the Florida Sun Sentinel’s Antonio Fins and Catalunya Radio’s Xavier Vila

–NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show”: Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell, Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page and CNN’s Gloria Borger

–PBS’s “To the Contrary” (airs all weekend, check local listings): Roundtable with progressive commentator Patricia Sosa, Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, National Council of Negro Women Executive Director Avis Jones-DeWeever and conservative commentator Dana White

–TV One’s “Washington Watch with Roland Martin” (SUN 11am ET): Roundtable with Hope Christian Church’s Bishop Harry Jackson (Beltsville, MD), Metropolitan Baptist Church’s Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. (Washington, DC) and Shiloh Baptist Church’s Rev. Wallace Charles Smith (Washington, DC); Center for American Progress’ Van Jones; roundtable with Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy CEO Michelle Bernard, Roll Call TV’s Robert Tranyham, Politico’s Joe Williams, Media Matters for America’s Ari Rabin-Havt and Sirius/XM Radio’s Wilmer Leon.

BRIAN WILLIAMS IS A VERY FUNNY MAN!

I don’t how he pulls it off without losing his credibility as a serious newsman – “Google” Brian Williams slow jams the news and/or Brian Williams, Kathie Lee, Hoda, doughnut – but Brian Williams is one very funny guy – New York Magazine, “The Comic Stylings of Brian Williams: How’s an anchor to cope when network newscasts keep losing ground? Having a second career helps,” by John Swansburg: “Williams has been honing his act for some time-the first of many entertaining appearances on Conan’s ‘Late Night’ occurred back during the Clinton administration-but it’s only recently that he’s shown how funny he can be. … These days, when people come up to Williams in public, more often than not it’s to praise his extracurricular work. ‘No one ever stops me at LaGuardia to say “That oil-price-per-barrel graphic you guys use? Killer,”‘ he says. … A close study of Williams’ ever-growing body of work reveals a versatile performer who can disappear into a character, play the straight man, deliver a monologue, or trade barbs from the other side of the desk. He’s a confident, kempt success in a profession dominated by neurotics and Apatovian man-children.” http://bit.ly/h6rwOa

Only in Hollywood

66 year-old Joanna Cassidy played 55 year-old Dana Delany’s mother in the latest episode of Delany’s new ABC show, Body of Proof.  That’s like Queen Latifah playing Brandy’s mother.

 COMMENTARY

There are points in everyone’s life when one has to be completely honest with themselves. Even though his statements both before and after the release of the president’s long-form birth certificate say otherwise, I hope that Donald Trump has reached such a point in his life. He has no intention of running for president – no billionaire who made his fortune in New York City construction – wants his “financials” revealed for the world to see. His recent burst of ignorant bluster is meant to do two things and two things only: 1) Boost the name and brand of Trump and 2) Get NBC to give him more than a one-year renewal of The Apprentice. He’s already done the former – though the cost of doing it this way is yet to be determined – and he’s on the verge of accomplishing the latter too. It’s a shame that there’s no one at NBC and its parent company Comcast with the guts and class to say to Donald Trump, the same words he uses on his show when dismissing a contestant: “You’re fired.”

CARTOON OF THE WEEK

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 JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT!

 Jada Pinkett Smith arriving at the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, April 25, 2011

Giants top draft pick Prince Amukamara soaks in the spotlight with close relatives and friends at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night.

Wednesday, April 27, 2012

April 27, 2011

“READ IT AND WEEP SUCKERS!

“Are you ignorant, in-bred ‘MFs’ happy now?”

“I have been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going. We do not have time for this kind of silliness…We’ve got enormous challenges ahead of us. We have to make a series of very difficult decisions about how we invest in our future but also get a hold of the deficit and debt. But we’re not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We’re not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.” – President Barack Obama speaking to the nation on Wednesday after the White House released his long-form birth certificate.

I know and understand why the president had to do this, but there’s a side of me that really hates that he had to. On the other hand, now that this non-issue has been put to rest, Donald ***** can use this as his chance to bow out of not running for the presidency – he wasn’t before this and he’s not going to now either – and let the adults get back to the business of turning the country around.

Haley Barbour bows out of 2012  

Mission for anti-Palin movement: Expose her  

‘Birther’ claims force GOP leaders to take a stand  

Rev. Franklin Graham a birther?  

Robert De Niro To GOP, Donald Trump: ‘How Dare You!’

Donald Trump’s bankruptcies whittle away at his reputation as a great businessman

John Boehner says he’s not ‘wedded to’ Paul Ryan plan  

Jackson: Trump birth talk is race “code”  

Sarah Palin, 2012: Sarah Palin has yet to compete in Iowa  

“Look, it’s a liberal! Release the hounds!”

NEWS ITEMS

GOP Town Halls: Reps Forced To Screen Questions, Duck Out Of Meetings In Secret 

Paul Reiser’s new TV show canceled after two episodes

Mark Heisler on the NBA: Serious times on the NBA labor front  

RANDOM THOUGHTS

I can remember as a child being told that “A Negro has to be twice as good as the average white man” just to get ahead and sadly, that was proven once again this morning when President Barack Obama had to go above and beyond what every other person born in the State of Hawaii (and the other 49 states) does to prove where they were born.

Hey, didn’t Donald ***** say he’d release his “financials” if Obama released his long-form birth certificate, on ABC’s “This Week” a couple of Sundays ago? Your turn a**hole! (Yes I’m pissed-off to the highest level of pissivity about this.) Okay Donald, where’s your long-form BC and financials?

PRINCE AT THE FORUM

April 24, 2011

 

“It was Saturday nite, the moon was bright, shining down it’s harvest light…” – Saturday Nite by Earth, Wind & Fire

Let me go ahead and make the Michael Jackson fans reading this mad from the start: MJ was the bigger star, but Prince was and is a better overall performer, songwriter and musician.  In fact, any list of rock’s greatest guitarists that doesn’t have him at #1 is a farce. Yes, there may be some who play a certain genre better than Prince – Eric Clapton on blues and Eddie Van Halen on rock come to mind – but there’s NOBODY who plays R&B, Jazz, Blues, and Rock better than Prince does and that’s just a fact.

When I first heard that the Purple One was going to do a 21-night stand of shows at the once “Fabulous Forum” in Inglewood, CA, I took the news with a bit of trepidation. Oh, I had no doubt whatsoever that Prince and his current band  would rock the joint; after all, his name is Prince. My hesitation was about going to a building that I first entered in June 1970 to see the Jackson Five along with Ike and Tina Turner and Rare Earth. A building that I had watched many NBA games in, including the 1983 NBA All-Star Game that Marvin Gaye opened with his legendary rendition of the National Anthem.  A building where I saw some incredible artists give some of the best shows I’ve ever seen including Earth, Wind & Fire in 1977 and 79, The Jacksons in 1981, Journey  and Genesis in 1984, and countless others. A building in which I also worked concerts during my music industry days.

Like many others, I’d heard the stories of the Forum’s physical decline since the Lakers (and the NHL Kings) left for the much greener and lusher pastures of the Staples Center in downtown LA. Before Saturday night, it had been over 10 years since I’d been in the Forum, but this was Prince, so I bit the bullet and bought my ticket.

Imagine my pleasant surprise on the night of April 23rd, when I walked up one of the curving outdoor ramps that lead to the entrances to the Forum and through the door. Once inside, it was like the building had been recently visited by Ty Pennington and his crew. No, the Forum hadn’t received an Extreme Makeover, but it has definitely had a “nip & tuck.” The walls were freshly painted, the floors sparkled and trust me, the bathroom that I used was much cleaner than most of the ones at Dodger Stadium on any given day (I had forgotten about having to go down a flight of stairs to enter the bathroom – a space-saving innovation – which is unique to any other arena I’ve ever been in).

Yes, the menu at the concession stands was limited, but honestly, how much more than a hot dog and a drink (beer, wine, soda or water), peanuts, popcorn and nachos does anyone really need at a concert? You want a fine meal – stop at Red Lobster or Sizzler before the show. The lines moved quickly, the workers were friendly and fast, and everyone was in a great mood.

And yet, I was still nervous about entering the actual arena. What does it look like, I thought to myself. Is it raggedy like the Sports Arena or has the new management company made it comparable to its long-ago glory days?

Well, as soon as I entered the seating bowl, looked up at the iconic “Wagon Wheel” ceiling and looked around at the seats, I felt relieved. Prince’s stage – in the shape of his familiar unpronounceable symbol – was in the center of the arena floor and because of the Forum’s excellent sightlines and the hi-def screens ringing the lighting and sound rigging, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house (I was in Loge 33). And the seats themselves were in good shape and still very comfortable.

Like the President Obama reelection event that I’d attended only two days before, the crowd reflected the rich diversity of both our city and Prince’s broad-based appeal. Folks of all races, colors and ages were in their purple finery and ready to party. One of my good friends and his wife took their 13 year-old daughter and when I saw them during intermission, that teenager was grinning from ear-to-ear as if she was about to see Justin Bieber.

Before we saw Prince, we heard his deep yet playful voice introducing opening act “Chaka Khan y’all!” Chaka opened her set with I Feel For You and proceeded to remind everyone that she’s still a star. After singing many of her hits – both solo and with Rufus – she exited after singing the Stevie Wonder penned Tell Me Something Good. The fact that she didn’t sing Sweet Thing was just a hint of what was to transpire later in the evening.

After a brief intermission, in the tradition of the late, great James Brown and the Laker teams that won 5 NBA titles in the 1980s while calling the Forum home, it was SHOWTIME!

Proceeded by a trumpeted fanfare and his stunningly beautiful dancers, The Twins, Prince Nelson Rogers rose from under the stage and baby, it was on and popping!

The show itself was simply A-MAY-ZING. If you’re truly talented and have a seemingly bottomless catalog of hits to choose from, all you really need to give a great show is a killer 5-piece band (check), 3 female background vocalists who can flat-out “sang” (check) and outstanding sound and lights (double-check).

After a few of his own songs, Prince and the band effortlessly segued into some Sly and the Family Stone and lo and behold, here came the original bass popper himself, the one and only Larry Graham with his all-white bass. Then, oh my, is that Sheila E playing timbales in an impossibly short dress and 5″ ankle strap stilettos? Yes, Yes, Yes it was! After performing The Glamorous Life, Sheila stuck around as Prince brought Chaka back onstage for a rocking yet tender rendition of Sweet Thing. And yes, she can still hit the high notes in the song.

And that was just the first hour folks. The last ninety minutes were all Prince and the capacity crowd rocked, danced and sang along. I left as he was wrapping up Kiss around 11:30, happily exhausted, feeling full of joy and admiration for a legend who came back to a legendary venue and blew the roof off the joint.

If you haven’t seen Prince in a while (or ever) and miss “real music played by real musicians”, I strongly urge you to go and see him while he’s still in LA (go to LiveNation.com for info on upcoming dates). And, if you hear that he’s coming to your city or one near you, run, don’t walk to your computer and buy the best ticket you can afford. Trust me, you won’t regret one single, solitary moment of the show.

Prince won y’all. He’s still standing – singing, dancing and playing the guitar as well, if not better, than anybody else in the game.

His name is Prince and he’s still funky! See for yourself if you don’t believe me. Prince At The Forum Videos

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 23, 2011

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“I want you to think about all the unfinished business that lies ahead. I want you to be excited about the next 18 months, and then the next four years after that.” – President Barack Obama speaking to 2,500 supporters at a 2012 campaign kickoff event held at Sony Pictures Studio on Thursday evening.

Barack Obama charms left coast

Race for the Republican presidential nomination finally begins

Clockwise from bottom left: Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

 The 2012 Speculatron Weekly Roundup

L-R: Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Donald *****

Newt Gingrich’s 2012 immigration dance

“Birther” claims force GOP leaders to take a stand  

Activist Stirs Palin Mystery in Iowa  

DOONESBURY

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There’s a better chance of Mary J. Blige staying on-key for an entire song than there is of Donald ***** actually running for president and having to open up his financial books Donald Trump Admitted In Deposition That He Exaggerated His Net Worth, Stretched The Truth according to Federal Election Committee rules.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

If I had asked you a few weeks ago to name the one Republican who could run for the presidency and out-crazy Sarah Palin while doing so, the obvious answer would have been Michelle Bachmann. Little did anyone see the train-wreck that Donald *****  Trump to McCain: ‘You’re Hired!’ is quickly becoming. This MF is straight-out I.N.S.A.N.E.!

The sad irony of this story John McCain visits Libya to meet with rebels is that in one day in Libya, John McCain spent more time with the rebels who oppose Qadhafi than he did with Sarah Palin before selecting her as his running mate in 2008.

Is sanity finally rearing its ugly head in Arizona Jan Brewer Vetoes Presidential Birther Bill or has that state’s governor been secretly replaced by an alien life-form?

“How many times do I have to tell you people: I AM NOT JOAN RIVERS’ OLDER SISTER!”

If nothing else, you’ve got to give the GOP credit for being consistently anti-Hispanic Boehner Bucks Tradition, Punts on Capitol Cinco De Mayo Event even at the risk of never getting another vote from that section of the electorate.

Boehner

“Don’t get me wrong, I like Mexicans just  as much as the next rich white American man –especially when they’re cleaning my house or cutting my lawn in a gated golf-course community in Ohio; I just don’t want to party with them! Comprende mi amigo?”

Why do I have the feeling that somehow, “Quitter” Palin will make, or at least try to make this Alaskans not wild about Sarah Palin President Obama’s fault or blame it on Mrs Obama’s “Let Move Program”?

I wish I could believe her George Stephanopoulos and Michele Bachmann ‘Settle’ The Obama Birth Certificate Issue, but you and I both know that she’s this close to saying something remarkably stupid at any given moment in time.

Is it just me or with the looming possible departure of Meredith Vieira from the Today Show, is NBC “glamming up” both Erin Burnett and Samantha Guthrie just a tad?

While I applaud the commissioner’s decision this week to take over the Dodgers’ operations  McCourt faces long odds in regaining control of Dodgers and  Selig vs. Dodgers’ McCourt is 29 against one, I think this Bud Selig expecting playoffs to expand to 10 teams for 2012 is a bad idea. On the other hand, watching NFL games and the World Series on Thanksgiving Day could be fun.

Speaking of Frank McCourt, I wish I had written this Demise of the Dodgers article from The Daily Beast.

As a former Dodger Stadium usher, I’m much more concerned about the impact all of this is having on the ushers, ticket takers, vendors, concession workers, etc who depend on the money they make each season to help stretch their budgets than I am on the players whose contracts are ultimately guaranteed by Major League Baseball.

It’s not that nobody in Los Angeles likes Jamie and Frank McCourt, it’s that NOBODY in Los Angeles likes them!

Was Tuesday’s release of the 2011 NFL season schedule a promising sign that there will be a season this year, a calculated move by the league to put pressure on players to make a deal, or just a mean-spirited tease to football fans across the country? Personally, I’m picking a combination of “all of the above for a $100 please Alex.”

There’s a good chance that Lakers television play-by-play announcer Joel Meyers, who’s been notified that his contract won’t be renewed for next season (whenever that is), is the only person in LA rooting for a seven-game series with the Hornets. Once this first-game round is over, there won’t be any local TV broadcasts the rest of the playoffs.

Not that I think this is a pressing issue, but a sudden thought hit me during Wednesday night’s Lakers/Hornets game. Since the NBA currently “owns” the Hornets, if they somehow won the NBA Finals, would Herr Commissioner David Stern present the Larry O’Brien Trophy to himself or the other 29 team owners? (Yes Monica, these are the kinds of things that run through my mind at any given moment). 

JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT!

Oakland A’s outfielder Coco Crisp

“I’M IN!”

April 22, 2011

Taken at the Obama Victory Fund 2012 Kick-Off on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at Sony Pictures Studio, Stage 30 in Culver City, CA.

I first heard about Barack Obama in 2000 when I was working on the Democratic National Convention here in Los Angeles. I was a researcher for the in-house television network, Democracy Live, which was aired in the main hall (Staples Center), the Convention Center and convention hotels. A couple of days before the convention started, one of the segment producers quit in a huff and lo and behold, I became a segment producer. One of the shows I produced was a hour panel discussion, Friends of Al Gore, which was hosted by Academy Award nominated director Rob Reiner.

In the process of gathering materials for the various programs we produced, I came across news stories about a very bitter race for a congressional seat in Chicago, IL.  Obama was challenging incumbent congressman (and former Black Panther) Bobby Rush and got “rushed” in the primary. Obama himself described this time as the low point in his life and political career. He’s told the story many times of being so down that when he came to LA for the convention that summer, no one knew who he was and his credit card was rejected when he tried to rent a car (been there, done that).

I don’t remember exactly when I heard about Barack Obama again, but it must have been sometime in 2003 when he, still an Illinois state senator, launched a bid for the US Senate. After winning a grueling primary, his Republican challenger had to drop out of the race when sordid details of his divorce surfaced and Obama defeated the imported Alan Keyes for the seat. But, even before his election to the Senate in November 2004, it was his electrifying, star-making keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention that put him in the nation’s conscience where he’s remained ever since.

Like many others, I became intrigued by Barack Obama and his rise to the Senate and the forefront of the Democratic Party. So, when he came to Los Angeles on a book tour right before the 2006 fall elections, I went to hear him speak at the Urban Issues Breakfast Forum at the California African-American  Museum. To say that I was inspired is to say that Earth, Wind & Fire was a “pretty good band back in the day.” I turned to my best friend, L. Bishop Austin, and said, “Man, he’s got to run for president.” From that moment, I was totally for Barack Obama for President of the United States and I remain so today.

The next time I saw Mr. Obama in person was at a rally in mid-2007 at Jackie Robinson Stadium near my house. He was different in that “life has changed for me” kind of way that happens to anyone in that position. He had gone from the longest of long-shots against the likes of Hillary Clinton who because of her husband, former president Bill Clinton, retained a huge and devoted following in the African-American community to someone the media was paying a lot of attention to. I had family and friends who were so devoted to Hillary Clinton’s campaign that I couldn’t get anyone to attend the rally with me. But, I went not only because I believed in his campaign and platform even then, but because I felt that this country truly didn’t need more of the same and to me, that’s what Hillary Clinton represented.

I left the rally inspired and uplifted. I came home and immediately started blogging about Barack Obama for President. Slowly but surely, the tide turned both nationally and among my group of family and friends. It took a while, many discussions – some so heated, that we had to agree to stop talking about the race so it wouldn’t hurt our friendship – but I eventually brought them to see “The Light” as one of them laughingly put it.

We all know what happened in 2007 and 2008 and what has transpired since. And now, seemingly in the blink of an eye, here we go again. It’s time for Barack Obama to run again.

I’d already made up my mind to do even more this time around – more on that to come in the next few weeks – when I received an email that there would be a 2012 campaign kickoff event here in Los Angeles. I eagerly looked at the details and was crestfallen when I saw the ticket prices. As most of you know, I’m disabled, in school and to say that I live on a fixed income is to say that Aretha Franklin can sing. But, blessings come when you least expect them and from places and/or people you may not even know exist. And that’s exactly what happened earlier this week.

I found out that there was a very limited number of tickets available at a price I could afford if I didn’t eat for the rest of the month (just kidding). And on Thursday night, April 21,once again with L. Bishop Austin, I attended an event for Barack Obama. But, this time, it was different in every way from the amount of security surrounding the Sony Pictures Studios area to the simple fact that this time, I wouldn’t be seeing Illinois’ junior senator, I would be seeing the President of the United States.

Because of my many years in the entertainment industry and being around politics through my uncle, former LA City Councilman David S. Cunningham, Jr, I’ve been many places and met many famous and “important” people. But last night, even though I had no chance of actually meeting him or shaking his hand as the lucky few in the front row got to (no I’m not bitter, just insanely, irrationally jealous, but I digress), topped them all.

Last night, on Soundstage 30 on the Sony Pictures Studio lot in Culver City, CA, I saw and heard Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th and first African-American President of the United States. For someone born in segregated Memphis, Tennessee, the grandson of a minister who was a soldier in the struggle for Civil Rights  who marched with Dr. King across the South and at the March on Washington and served as president of the Memphis branch of the NAACP during some of its most turbulent times, this was a moment that I simply could not have imagined I would ever have in life.

I’m not going to get into what the president said last night (you can find his remarks on any number of websites) because frankly, as important as his words were, what was most important to me was who said them.   

Barack Obama has inspired me, even at this older stage of my life, to want to do more for myself, my family, my friends, my neighborhood, my city, my state, my country, my world.

I left Thursday night’s event tired but ecstatic. I left ready for the fight ahead. I left knowing that there is much work to be done and ready to do it.

I left saying, over and over again, “I’m In!”

I hope you are too.

THE LONG-LOST SECRET BARACK OBAMA BIRTH TELEGRAM

April 19, 2011

Don’t ask me how I got my hands on it, but this is just one of the long-buried documents Donald Trump’s private investigators have uncovered that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Barack Obama isn’t a natural-born American citizen and therefore, ineligible to be president.

WESTERN UNION INTERNATIONAL TELEGRAM

August 4, 1961 – Nyanza Province, Kenya (Africa)

To: Mrs Madelyn Dunham 6085 Kalaniana’ole Highway, Honolulu Hawaii USA

Dear Mom  stop  Just had the baby in Barack’s mother’s hut   stop  Her name is Sarah  stop  It’s a boy and we named him Barack Hussein Obama II  stop  Barack Sr is outside with his fellow Muslims holding the baby up to the sky  stop  I think it’s some kind of traditional African ceremony  stop

I need you to do me a huge favor  stop  The baby has big ears and Sarah says that means he will grow up to be a leader  stop  So, I need you to place a birth announcement in both of the daily papers there in Honolulu saying that I had little Barack at the Kapi ‘ olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital today  stop  My friend Trudy Aliphanavousky works in the Records Office and can get you the forms for a birth certificate  stop

Mom, this is important because little Barack may want to run for president someday and we need to create a paper trail that says he was born in America  stop  This way, after Al Gore creates the Internet (I’ll explain what that is later) and all the states digitize their long-form birth certificates, we’ll be ahead of the “birthers” and all their prying questions  stop

See you in a few months. Tell Daddy I love him  stop

Love, Stanley Ann  stop

THIS IS AN OFFICIAL WESTERN UNION INTERNATIONAL TELEGRAM TRANSMITTED VIA THE TRANS-PACIFIC CABLE UNDER THE WATER BETWEEN AFRICA AND HAWAII

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

IS THIS THE WORST PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE POOL OF ALL-TIME?

Rep Michelle “Crazy” Bachmann of Minnesota, Mississippi governor Haley “Boss Hogg Jr” Barbour, Herman “I’se So Damn Happy To Be Off The Democrats Plantation” Cain, Indiana governor Mitch “Maybe I’ll Run, Maybe I Won’t” Daniels, and Newt “Three Wives and Counting” Gingrich, religious zealot and former Arkansas governor Mike “Chubb Rock” Huckabee, former Worst VP Candidate Ever  Sarah “I Can See Clearly Now” Palin, Rep Ron “Loon Sr” Paul of Texas, former Minnesota governor Tim “Mr Charisma” Pawlenty, former Massachusetts governor Mitt “I Was For Healthcare Reform Before I Was Against It” Romney, and Donald ***** of Planet His Head Is Up His A**.

I hope and pray that I’m wrong, but something tells me that the Republican primary campaign, even if Sarah Palin and Donald ***** don’t actually run, is going to make 2008 look like a love-in. Let’s be frank about one thing: Palin and *****’s vitriolic talk about President Obama’s birthplace – long accepted that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii but anyone with the sense Go gave a seedless grape – is blatant RACISM. Nothing more, nothing less. And anyone who says it isn’t, is a lying sack of s**t as evidenced by this Californian Republican official under fire for e-mailing “joke” of Obama as a chimpanzee article.  

Apparently, the next phase of Donald *****’s pseudo-campaign for the presidency – after “launching” it with a naked appeal to the GOP’s lunatic, blatantly racist  fringe of “birthers” – is  to brag his way  “I’m richer than Romney” to the nomination.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

The stunned “Nobody told me about any deal on raising the debt limit ceiling” look on Paul Ryan’s face yesterday when he was asked about Treasury Secretary Geithner’s assertion that members of Congress conveyed this view to President Obama on Wednesday at the White House – “I sat there with them, and they said, we recognize we have to do this. And we’re not going to play around with it,” Geithner said. “We know that the risk would be catastrophic. It’s not something you can take too close to the edge.” – was absolutely priceless.

The “Celebrity/Political Culture” when find ourselves in today is the only reason why Donald ***** is leading GOP polls at this time. Nothing more, nothing less. He has no message other than anger and bluster and no platform to run on other than “I, I, I…”and because more people know who he is compared to legitimate politicians with track records and real accomplishments like say, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney, he gets a lot of attention. But, there’s no way ***** is going to run, let alone be the Republican nominee in 2012 because running for president is a day-to-day humbling grind which someone like ***** isn’t going to do at this point in his life.

Something tells me that many, if not most of the GOP freshmen representatives are going to be “one and done” if they do the adult thing – vote to raise the debt ceiling for one example – and not some of the crazy things The pressure’s on House Republican freshmen they ran on last year.

You may not realize this, but the recent problems with air traffic controllers is the end result of when Ronald Reagan fired all of them during his first term. The dominoes have finally fallen in a system that has never truly recovered from that incredibly stupid decision.

If the NBA playoffs were formatted like March Madness, the Lakers, Magic and Spurs would be packing up their lockers and preparing for summer vacations later today.

I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that you didn’t know that you were watching history being made at the Staples Center yesterday. There have been over 3,300 NBA playoff games and when he had 33 points, 14 assists and 7 rebounds, New Orleans’ Chris Paul became only the 4th player to do so in a playoff game. You may have heard of the other three: Oscar Robertson (twice), Walt Frazier and Magic Johnson.

Do his teammates and friends really call Kobe Bryant “Black Mamba” or even “Mamba”?

When LA Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling says, “So, sue me”, it’s not a dare, it’s a strategy.

 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 16, 2011

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“The America I know is generous and compassionate.  It’s a land of opportunity and optimism.  Yes, we take responsibility for ourselves, but we also take responsibility for each other; for the country we want and the future that we share.  We’re a nation that built a railroad across a continent and brought light to communities shrouded in darkness.  We sent a generation to college on the GI Bill and we saved millions of seniors from poverty with Social Security and Medicare.  We have led the world in scientific research and technological breakthroughs that have transformed millions of lives.  That’s who we are.  This is the America that I know.  We don’t have to choose between a future of spiraling debt and one where we forfeit our investment in our people and our country. 

“Read my lips MFs.”

To meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make reforms. We will all need to make sacrifices.  But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in.  And as long as I’m President, we won’t.” – President Barack Obama during his speech on fiscal policy at George Washington University on Wednesday.

OTHER QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“We need to face up to what’s happening: A right-wing minority of the Republican Party has a far greater influence on the governing process than its share of the electorate would justify because its members turn out in large numbers in Republican primaries. … For President Obama, it’s no longer good enough to be seen as the school principal scolding competing gangs. He needs the courage to defend the government he leads.” – Columnist E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post.

“I’ve chosen to work for the man whose record, principles and vision will give us the strongest Republican nominee, who has the greatest chance of victory in November 2012. “[Pawlenty] is someone who knows what he believes and doesn’t need polls to know how to say it, and he has lived honorably in both his public and private life.” – Nick Ayers, recently named as campaign manager for Tim Pawlenty’s presidential run.

“We’d better have a candidate who is out there and very, very strong in opposition to government-run health care and focuses on a health care system that centers on you, not on the government. And that, I think, is a problem for Governor Romney this time around.” – Republican wannabe presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Fox News Tuesday morning.

“I think the citizenship test has been passed. I believe the president was born in the United States. There are real reasons to get this guy out of office. The man needs to be taken out of office but his citizenship isn’t the reason why.” – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to CNBC’s Larry Kudlow the day after he formally announced that he’s exploring a run for the White House.

ALAN SIMPSON CUTS LOOSE: “Who the hell is for abortion? I don’t know anybody running around with a sign ‘Have an abortion, they’re wonderful.’ They’re hideous. But they’re a deeply intimate and personal decision, and I don’t think men legislators should even vote on the issue.

You’ve got homosexuality. You’ve got don’t ask, don’t tell. We’ve got homophobes in our party. That’s disgusting to me. … If they’re going to get off on that stuff — [former senator Rick] Santorum [Pa.] has said some cruel, cruel things about homosexuals. Ask him about it. See if he attributes the cruelness of his remarks years ago. Foul.

You know, that’s the kind of guys that are going to be on my ticket.” Noting that President Reagan would want Republicans to stick together, Simpson flat out declared, “I’m not sticking with people who are homophobic, anti-women, [talking about] moral values while you’re diddling your secretary, while you’re giving a speech on moral values. Come on, get off of it.” – Former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) during an interview with MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews on Monday.

“I’m a principled reformer, and my goal is to see the country turn around. I’m also committed to being a one-term president [if I were to run] if that’s what it takes in order to turn things around, because this is not about a personal ambition. It’s about getting our financial house in order and to become respected again in the world on an international scale.” Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) in a telephone interview with The Des Moines Register. The funny and blissfully ignorant and ironic thing about this pledge is that she’s going to be a “no-term” president!

“It doesn’t take a genius to see that Obama is very likely to be re-elected. Every few years, Republicans try to reform the welfare delivery systems to make them more market-like. Every few years, voters, even Republican voters, reject this. The situation today is slightly less hostile to these ideas, but not much.” – New York Times columnist David Brooks Ultimate Spoiler Alert  

“The atmosphere out there was just incredible. A phenomenal day.” – 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, moments before the winner’s green jacket was draped over his shoulders. (Schwartzel’s victory came 50 years to the day after his fellow South African, Gary Player, became the first foreign player to win the Masters).

“When you birdie the last four holes at the Masters and you’re around the lead, that usually wins.”- Adam Scott, who tied for second behind Schwartzel.

Despite Strong Start, Record Of Changing Positions Could Prove Problematic For Romney

 “Gosh darn it to h-e- double hockey sticks! Don’t you people get it? I was for healthcare reform before I was against it! Is that really so hard for you caffeine swillers to understand? Gee willikers!”

5 challenges for front-runner Romney   

Potential GOP Candidates Say Obama’s Debt Speech Is ‘Too Little, Too Late’  

Trump’s Clown Show Rolls On     The Cook Report: Trump’s a Joke  

Obama Says ‘Birther’ Claim Will Hurt GOP in 2012  

Knoller reveals Obama’s donor chat  

‘Remarkable leader’  “You are a remarkable leader,”  Jon Huntsman wrote to Obama in an Aug. 16, 2009 note, underlining the word “remarkable,” “and it has been a great honor getting to know you.” Nope, no way this comes back to haunt Jon Huntsman while he mulls running against the Democratic president he’s worked for as ambassador to China since 2009. He’s all good in the ‘hood!

Mitt Romney: Iowa, New Hampshire go first in 2012  

He says Iowa and New Hampshire should hold the first presidential primary contests in the nation next year, not Florida. I’ve got nothing against the people of either Iowa or New Hampshire, but in this day and age of an increasingly  multicultural  America, why two practically all-white states with a combined population of a little bit more than 1% of the nation’s population continue to have so much weight in presidential politics is beyond me.

The President “Unplugged”

Obama to GOP: “You think we’re stupid?”  

THE KIND OF PICTURE THE GOP HATES TO SEE

President Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, April 9, 2011. 

Was President Obama’s brief visit to the Lincoln Memorial last Saturday designed to show Americans that because there was no government “shutdown”, everything was still open as the White House claimed or was it the first public appearance of his recently announced reelection campaign? Even if it wasn’t an “official” campaign appearance, it was an absolutely brilliant move.

RANDOM THOUGHTS
I predict that his Massachusetts healthcare plan will be for Mitt Romney in 2012 what Hillary Clinton’s Iraq War vote was for her during the 2008 campaign: an albatross around his neck that he simply won’t be able to overcome.

If President Obama can avoid the same fratricidal fighting that doomed Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush in 1980 and 1992 respectively, he’s free to move toward the political center and retain the independent voters who were so crucial to his victory in ’08. Meantime, on the other side of the aisle, GOP voters will force their eventual nominee to move to the far, far right during the primary campaign and then watch in horror as he or she tries desperately to scamper back toward the center in time for the fall run.

Isn’t it strangely appropriate that the only Republicans with any name value whatsoever who have voiced any support for Donald ***** so far are Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin? Frankly, I’m at the point now where I’d have more respect for ***** if he just came right out and said, “Look, I don’t think the nigger was born in America and that’s that!”

HE’S GOT THOSE “CRAZY PAUL RYAN EYES!

 “And, if you’re one of the first 500,000 to call and order this crap, excuse me, plan to restore America’s promise, you’ll get your choice of an old, crippled person or welfare mother and her five kids by four different men to come live with your family because if we can somehow trick the Kenyan, excuse me again, the president into signing this, they’ll need a place to live. AND, if you’re willing to make a donation of at least $1,000, we’ll throw in a lesbian couple too! Come on white people born in America, let’s take back our country one cup of tea at a time!” 

Speaking of “taking back America/our country, etc”, why didn’t Republicans and the so-called Tea Party want to do this while Bush 43 (the dumb one) and Cheney (Satan’s spawn) were driving us into the ditch?

I’m not a constitutional attorney nor do I play one on TV, but there’s absolutely no way this Arizona Legislature Approves Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates To Prove U.S. Citizenship doesn’t end up at the Supreme Court before too long. And I’m betting that it will be found to be unconstitutional.

If, and that’s a damn big “if” at this point, John McCain was the “Maverick” he once claimed to be, he could go a long way in putting the “birther” stupidity – I refuse to dignify it by calling it a “controversy” – to rest much as he did about Obama being an Arab in this classic moment during the 2008 campaign McCain Tells Crowd Obama is Not Arab.

The news this week that Academy Award winner and wife of Michael Douglass, Catherine Zeta-Jones, was recently treated for bi-polar disease in a Connecticut clinic, is just one more reminder that stars are people too.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the occasional surprise earthquake over tornadoes and hurricanes EVERY year.

Could this “GMA” nipping at “Today’s” heels be the real reason behind the rumors surrounding both Meredith Vierra and Matt Lauer possibly leaving the show?

 

 

Robin Roberts and the “GMA” crew are nipping at the heels of the first-place “Today” show. “GMA’s” viewership is up 17 percent over this time last year.

The fact that Kobe Bryant admitted to nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dan Patrick that he’s used the word **ggot “several times before” during an interview on Friday just confirms what I’ve written about him since Tuesday’s incident: his anger and frustration during the game didn’t put that word in his mind and mouth, it was already there and he fully intended, apologies be damned, to direct it at referee Bennie Adams in an attempt to hurt and embarrass Adams. Great player, not so great of a person – that’s my call on Kobe Bean Bryant.

The two-month march to the Larry O’Brien Trophy aka the NBA playoffs get under today and there hasn’t been a more wide-open field in years. In the west, no one knows which Laker team will show up – the one that went 17-1 in the first 18 games after the All-Star break – or the one that lost 5 out of 7 down the home stretch, or what to expect from the aging Spurs, the dinged-up Blazers, the rejuvenated after trading arguably their best player Denver Nuggets or if the kids of OKC are ready to take that step up to the big time. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the questions are can the Heat bring it all together like the UCONN men’s team did in winning 11 straight games in the Big East and NCAA tournaments to win a national title, do the ancient Celtics have enough left in the tank, what can the Knicks do and if Derrick Rose can actually will the Bulls out of the first round and possibly to the conference finals.

While many fans, along with Herr Commissioner David Stern and the folks at ESPN/ABC are hoping/praying for yet another Celtics/Lakers finals, my wish is for a Bulls/Lakers 20th anniversary of the only time these two franchises have played each other in the finals. Think of the storylines and possible marketing angles including the fact that Phil Jackson won his first title as a coach with the Bulls in 1991 and could win his 12th (the most in league history) as coach of the Lakers. Magic vs MJ revisited with Kobe and D-Rose. Oh, the drama!!! It could be so good and dramatic that the looming and probable lockout (they’ve already quietly cancelled the Las Vegas summer league) could be forgotten/ignored for a few weeks longer.

THE FREEMAN FLYER 2011 NBA AWARDS

MVP – Derrick Rose  Kept his team in contention despite the fact that he Carlos Boozer and Yoakim Noah only played 29 games together all season.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Blake Griffin  Who else but the future former Clipper?

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR – Lamar Odom  Could start for 29 other teams.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Dwight Howard  The future Laker center is a force in the middle.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER – Kevin Love  The last, great hope of white kids across America who dream of playing in the NBA some day.

COACH OF THE YEAR – (tie) Doug Collins (76ers) and Tom Thibodeau (Bulls)  Collins took basically the same team that didn’t make the playoffs last season and turned them into a tough, always in the game cohesive unit that could make waves in the east bracket while career assistant Thibodeau brought his defensive genius and no nonsense approach to basketball to Chicago and got the team’s best player, Derrick Rose, to buy into the system.

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR – (tie) Sam Presti (OKC) and Masai Ujiri (Nuggets)  The former stole Kendrick Perkins from the Celtics and the latter kept his cool and patience before dumping Mr La La Vasquez (along with a rapidly aging Chauncey Billups) on the Knicks and getting back a playoff team in return.

THE DONALD T. STERLING “OH NO HE DIDN’T” AWARD – (tie) Dan Gilbert (Cavaliers) and Donald T. Sterling (Clippers)  Gilbert made sure that former Cavs superstar Le Bron James and his crew couldn’t park in the players private area during the Heat’s recent game-day shoot around at the Quicken Loans Arena in C-town and what other owner besides Sterling could heckle his own players – Chris Kaman and the departed Baron Davis (he’s not dead, he’s just in Cleveland) – from his courtside seat and not have one single person currently living on the planet we call Earth raise an eyebrow in surprise.

THE ALLEN IVERSON STILL WEARING BRAIDS AWARD – (tie) Michael Beasley and Ronny Turiaf  Dudes, you know it’s 2011, right?

I hope Derek Jeter gets his 3,000th career hit, has a good season and then wisely retires because even Ray Charles in his current condition of being dead since June 2004, can see that time has caught up with the Yankee captain.

Did they have the NFL Draft in a secret location and just not tell anyone? 

The Flyer’s prayers are with NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw Terry Bradshaw says he’s feeling effects of concussions. I just hope the NFL and other players, both current and former (I’m looking at you Troy Aikman) heed Bradshaw’s words before it’s too late for them.

FINALLY

Thank you to my family, friends, instructors, counselors for all your prayers, support and help in my being named to the 2010 Fall Semester Dean’s Honor List at Los Angeles Trade Technical College this week. I’m not going to school by myself – you are all with me every step of my journey.  

Stay classy Sacramento, you deserve better.

JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pia Toscano

“IT’S A SHAME”

April 14, 2011

Usually, that’s just the title of one of my all-time favorite records by the Spinners, which by the way, was written and produced by Stevie Wonder. But today, it’s how I’ve felt the last two days in the wake of the inexcusable slur shouted at NBA referee Bennie Adams by Lakers star Kobe Bryant during Tuesday’s game. By now, you’ve all either seen the video or read what Bryant screamed so I won’t repeat it here.

As upset as I am over the fact that anyone, let alone a well-known public figure like Bryant, would dare utter in public what he said, what troubles me even more has been the reaction of many African-Americans, particularly some of my own friends and associates. If I hear or read the words, “Well, yeah, he shouldn’t have said it but…” one more time, I’m going to scream. He shouldn’t have said it period. No “if”, “but” or “well…” about it.

Bryant meant to say it because apparently, for whatever reason, that’s how he feels about Bennie Adams. Being frustrated or in the heat of a game is no excuse. Emotion, or alcohol for that matter, may very well loosen one’s tongue and let you say things out loud that you normally wouldn’t say, but they don’t put vile words in one’s mouth. Those types of words come out because they are already in someone’s vocabulary and mind and they are used as weapons, meaning to offend and hurt.

I am appalled and disgusted by anyone who says Bryant didn’t mean to offend homosexuals in general and Bennie Adams in particular or that he didn’t deserve to be fined 100K by the NBA. I even read a remarkably ignorant entry by one of Roland Martin’s Facebook page “friends” that because NBA commissioner David Stern chose to fine Bryant for his actions, Stern must be gay too. If you ask me, and granted, not many have, I think the fine should have been 250K and if the Laker organization had any guts, they’d fine him too.

Many African-Americans need to stop and think about this for a minute: what if the situation had been exactly the same but the player had been say, Kevin Love and the referee was Leon Wood, an African-American and Love called Wood a “f**king n***er”. What do you think the reaction from the NBA, black fans, “The Reverends” (Al and Jesse) and folks like Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Steve Harvey, Tom Joyner, etc? I’m pretty sure there would have been an uproar unheard since the day Don Imus lost his mind and called the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos” a few years ago. And rightfully so.

Civil Rights are not just for people of color. They are for EVERYONE, regardless of race, creed, color, religious beliefs and sexual orientation. It’s a shame that so many of us forget or don’t know that in the first place.

It’s a shame that Kobe Bryant doesn’t realize or admit that what he said on Tuesday night was one of the most appalling and stupidest things one could ever say about another human being and an even bigger shame that instead of taking his medicine (the fine) like a man, he’s appealing it through the NBA Players Association.

It’s a shame that one of sport’s biggest stars is also one of its smallest people.

Kobe Bryant’s Use of a Gay Slur

April 13, 2011

There is absolutely no excuse for what Kobe Bryant said to/at that official last night. NONE WHATSOEVER. He meant what he said, he meant to say it to and about that particular official, and that’s all there is to it. People say what’s on their heart and in their mind. I mean, he didn’t call the official a “rocket scientist” or a damn “fry cook.” He called him a *aggot because that’s EXACTLY how he feels about that particular person. Imagine if you will, Pau Gasol was angry and called referee Leon Wood a *igger. What would you be saying then? Wrong is wrong. Period. Case closed. End of story.