Monday, November 7, 2011

Herman Cain and Sharon Bialek

Obama’s Big Cash Advantage  

“I’m Barack Obama, bitches”

How Not To Handle A Crisis: The Herman Cain Way

Herman Cain Doesn’t Just Play The ‘Race Card’ – He IS The Race Card!

A Dark Mood Awaits Obama and his GOP Rival

One year out from the 2012 election, President Obama faces the most difficult reelection environment of any White House incumbent in two decades, with economic woes at the center of the public’s concerns, an electorate that is deeply pessimistic and sharply polarized, and growing questions about the president’s capacity to lead. 

The GOP Race is a Strange Campaign

If you think this has been a strange campaign for president, you’re right — and not just because of the accusations of sexual harassment aimed at Herman Cain in recent days or cable chatter about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s caffeinated speech in New Hampshire a week ago. In five big ways that have nothing to do with those developments, the Republican race is breaking with patterns of the past.

“Dear Lord, please don’t let my ‘Magic Mormon Underpants’ bunch up in my butt-crack during this gathering of good, loyal white Americans, even though many of them think I belong to a cult. Amen.”

Homes of the GOP candidates

Candorville by Darrin Bell

THEY SAID IT

“If you all just listen for 30 seconds, I will explain this one time. We are getting back on message. End of story. Back on message.” – GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain telling media Saturday night that he is done answering questions about the sexual harassment flap and is going back on message. Note to Cain: The press will let you know when they’ve decided it’s the ‘end of story’, not the other way around.

“I mean, when there is a question about whether you’re running for the White House, or running for the waffle house, you’ve got a real problem with the American people.” – GOP presidential candidate and former Obama administration official Jon Huntsman echoing White House senior advisor David Plouffe’s recent [Mitt Romney lacks a] “core” line Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about rival and questions his ability to beat President Obama. If I were advising Romney, I’d tell him to call Huntsman the ultimate flip-flopper: “How do you go from working for Obama to running against him? Can Jon Huntsman explain that?”

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, to CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, on ABC’s “This Week,” asked about “more revenues”: “I believe that if we restructure our tax code, where on the corporate side and the personal side, the target would be a top rate of 25 percent, it would make our economy more competitive with the rest of the world. It would put Americans back to work. We’d have a broader base on the tax rules. And out of that, there would be real economic growth and more revenues for the federal government. . I have tried all year, with every fiber of my being, to try to get members on both sides of the aisle, try to get the president to get serious about dealing with our debt problem.” …

AMANPOUR: “A year now into the new Congress, what is your biggest regret?”

BOEHNER: ” I really thought the president and I could come to an agreement. [The super-committee is] not there yet. But I’m going to do everything I can to continue to encourage them and to help them reach a successful outcome. … I wouldn’t describe it as an impasse. … This is hard … [B]ut it has to work. And I am committed to ensuring that it works. … I’m going to do everything that I can to ensure that the super-committee is successful.”

AMANPOUR: “You look at Occupy Wall Street. … Are they a mob?”

BOEHNER: “… We are not going to engage in class warfare. The president is out there doing it every day. …[T]he president and I have a pretty good relationship. … [I]t’s been a little frosty here the last — the last few weeks. But we’ve got a pretty good relationship. … I’ve told the president, … ‘I’m the most straight up, transparent person in this town,’ that I would never mislead him. My word is my bond. Democrats and Republicans here in Washington understand that. And so we’ve got a pretty good relationship.”

“After all these years, I’ve done well and I’m cool. I feel comfortable in my skin, I’ve saved some paper, everybody’s healthy, my kids are beautiful and smart, doing different things, it’s all good. I’m trying to maintain my shit like this, and do a fun project every now and then.” – Actor Eddie Murphy in the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine on where he’s at in life today.

NEWS

House Speaker John Boehner: ”It’s [the relationship between the president and myself] been a little frosty over the last two weeks.”

“I wonder if I could get away with sipping on a glass of ‘gin and juice’ while this ‘N-word’ gives another of his boring-ass speeches.”

The Rolling Stone Interview: Eddie Murphy Speaks

A Unique Look at the Career of Eddie Murphy

20 Years Later with Earvin “Magic” Johnson   

RANDOM THOUGHTS

When Herman “The Godfather of Soul Pizza” says he’ll ‘never answer questions’ about the sexual harassments complaints against him, I can’t help but think, “Hey ‘Cornbread’ (that’s what Cain says he wants as his Secret Service codename if he ever comes under their protection), you forgot to say, “I’ll never be president of the United States.”

Herman Cain doesn’t just play the “Race Card”; he is the race card!

Speaking of white America’s favorite new “Negro”, how in the hell did Saturday Night Live open with a lame, unfunny “Ghost of Gaddafi” sketch instead of a Herman Cain sexual harassment charges piece? Are they afraid of offending an African-American candidate? I mean, they absolutely skewered “Pretty Ricky” Perry over his recent New Hampshire speech that can charitably be described as “f**king weird”.

Memo to Kim Kardashian: You can’t flaunt your big, round, luscious…excuse me, I’m back now – ass on TV and make money only during the good times. You and your entire family are TV whores and whorettes (yes, I made that up) and as such, you are compelled, if not required to put the bad times on there too.

I can’t help but chuckle at all of the reports that say Stanford’s QB Andrew Luck is the “greatest quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning” because a few months ago, many of these same college football pundits were telling us that former Auburn QB, and 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and BCS national champion, Cam Newton wasn’t ready to start in the NFL as a rookie. Yeah well, we know how that’s turning out, don’t we?

UCLA football fans must be tearing their hair out after the Bruins upset #20 Arizona Saturday night because every win makes it harder and harder for the school to fire head coach Rick Neuheisel after the season.

Sad news about Joe Frazier this weekend. The Flyer sends its prayer out to “Smokin’ Joe” and his family as he battles liver cancer.

FINALLY

“Because of the HIV virus that I have attained, I will have to retire from the Lakers today.”

Thursday, November 7, 1991. I was the VP and Assistant General Manager of M.C. Hammer’s Bust It Records label, in charge of the Los Angeles office. Hammer’s third Capitol Records album, “Too Legit” had been released two days before, we had just signed a joint-venture label agreement with Capitol and he, along with his brother/manager Louis (my boss) and others were in town from the Bay Area for various meetings and press commitments. He had agreed to host (and be the musical guest) Saturday Night Live on December 7th, which would be the 40th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and as a former member of the Navy who had been stationed in Japan, this held significant importance to Hammer. So, we were discussing various ideas for the show and how he could pay tribute to America’s service men and women without being seen in a negative light to the hip-hop community.  

There had been rumors percolating the past few days because Magic had returned to LA from Salt Lake City without playing in a game against the Jazz and hadn’t played in the first three games of the regular season. The official word was that he had the flu, but I’d heard from one the Laker players I was friends with that they’d been told it was shingles.

I didn’t call Earvin’s agent who I’d known for several years because I was very busy with Hammer and Bust It business and at first it just didn’t seem that serious. But on Wednesday, the rumors were hard to ignore – keep in mind, this was pre-Internet and cell phones were not as ubiquitous as they are today – so if you wanted to track down something like this, you really had to know “somebody.” I made several calls from home and all I could learn was that the situation was not good at all.

Finally, late Thursday morning, one of my sources called and said that the Lakers were calling a press conference for that afternoon and that it was “very serious. People are saying cancer or worse.” When I asked this person, “What’s worse than cancer?”, there was a moment of silence and when they spoke again, there was a catch in their voice. “He may have AIDS.”

Needless to say, I was stunned. I looked at the group gathered in my office through the tears that were flowing and whispered, “It’s bad.”

A couple of hours later, we sat in silence and watched one of the greatest basketball players and people any of us had ever known, a man many of knew personally and had spent time with in various settings, both professionally and personally, tell the world that he was HIV positive.

Who can forget hanging out with Magic and other Lakers when the late, great Robin Harris was holding down the stage at the Regency West in Leimert Park? Who can forget running into him at the movies in Westwood or at clubs like Jackie O’s, The Candy Store and others? You’d be eating at M&M’s and here would come MJ and some of his teammates grabbing an after-practice breakfast. It was a different time in LA, a time when Michael Cooper and Norm Nixon lived in View Park and Byron Scott in Ladera Heights. There was more interaction between stars and fans back then and never in the long, rich sports history of Los Angeles, has there been a closer relationship between a superstar and his fans than the one Magic had and still has with us.

The next time I saw Magic in person was after the Barcelona Olympics the next summer. Frankie Beverly and Maze were making a rare club appearance at the now-defunct Strand in Redondo Beach and the woman I was dating back then was a HUGE Maze fan. So I made the call, got us tickets in the VIP section and a few minutes after we were seated, in walks Magic, his wife Cookie and James Worthy and his wife. The crowd went absolutely insane chanting “Magic, Magic, Magic” over and over again until he finally stood, waved and blew kisses to the crowd and signaled for everyone to sit down.

As he sat down, he looked in our direction and said, “Hey Charles Freeman, imagine seeing you here” and laughed. We shook hands and I introduced him to my date who was an even bigger Magic fan than she was a Frankie Beverly and Maze fan. To say she was impressed doesn’t do justice to the word. I’ll just say that one of these days, I’ve got to repay Magic for one of the greatest nights of my life and leave it at that.

Let’s be honest: we never expected to see this day arrive. Based on what we knew about HIV and AIDS 20 years ago, we just assumed that Earvin wouldn’t live past five years. Little did we know that not only would he still be here and doing remarkably well, he’s transformed himself into a passionate and tireless spokesman for AIDS education and prevention along with becoming an incredibly successful and respected businessman and community leader. Charles Barkley went so far as to say that while he believed Magic was one of the top-5 NBA players of all-time, “I think he’s made even more of an impact since he’s stopped playing because of the other things he’s accomplished.” And as crazy as that might seem when talking about one of only 3 players in history to win championships in high school, college, the NBA and the Olympics, a player who, at a time when the NBA was at its most competitive level, won 3 regular season and 3 Finals MVP awards, and one of the league’s 50 Greatest Players, and arguably, the greatest Laker of all-time, Barkley may not be that far off the truth with that statement.

20 years ago today, we thought Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr had been given a death sentence. Little did we know that in actuality, he’d been given a “Life Sentence” and what a life it’s been.

God bless you Magic. We love you more than you’ll ever know.

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