Monday, September 29, 2008

St. Anna Can't Muster A Box Office Miracle

Wassup, Y'all!

Little under the weather today, y'all after a weekend road trip to Michigan. I noted with some disappointment that Spike Lee's new joint - Miracle at St. Anna - only got middle of the road reviews and end of the road box office receipts this weekend. Spike's WWII drama only managed about $3.5 million this weekend and barely clocked into the weekend Top Ten at #9. Somewhere you have to believe that Clint Eastwood is mildly amused.

Ol Ty will have to accept some culpability in the weak numbers as I didn't make it out to a weekend showing. I had the best intentions but 50% of my crew was under the weather and there was a bit of disagreement among the crew on whether to take in 2 hours and 40 minutes of war action or see a comedy to help get over the wet blankets known as the economic 'rescue plan', millionaire Citizen McCain and his ward Say-Pay. Later in the day, I got a good laugh on with the SNL opening spoofing Say-Pay's recent interview with Katie Couric. Man, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are national comedy treasures, jack.

So before I pop off too much on MaSA's weak debut, I'll need to get out to see that bad boy - hopefully today if I can get some fast acting, non-drowsy cold medicine down.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Walk, Chew Gum, Debate

Wassup, Y'all!

Wow. What's it like to be Smooth Barack and have to continually deal with extraordinary political maneuvering by opponents? I thought we'd seen the kitchen sink in the Democratic Primary when Sister Hillary threatened to hijack the process when her focus suddenly went from earned delegates to 'will of the people' in order to seize the nomination through the backdoor. Now, at the eleventh hour before the first presidential debate, we have Citizen McCain planning to blow off the debate under the guise of 'puttin' country first' as he rides to the rescue of an economic deal that's already mostly put together...

I'm happy to see that polls show that more than 80% of the people footing this economic bailout bill want to see the debate go on, I'm happy to see that the Commission on Presidential Debates wants to see the debate go on, I'm happy to see that Smooth Barack wants the debate to go and finally, I'm happy to see that the reaction to Citizen's hasty move is that rather than it being 'presidential' and 'putting country first' the move smacks of desperation and political gamesmanship. I also heard some chicken cluckin' goin' on from a couple shortys I know so y'all can draw your own conclusions on that.

Just based on the two news conferences given yesterday by Smooth and Citizen, you have to think that an event that has both men standing and talking side by side will not go well for Citizen just on appearance alone. But moving beyond the superficial, Smooth looked, well...smooth, making his statement and then taking questions from the press - something both Citizen and Say-Pay seem allergic to. It looked like a White House press conference without the White House press room backdrop. Ol boy was pointin' to reporters, answering questions and staying cool and steady under fire. He was also the candidate that dropped the best line yesterday when he pointed out that Americans expect their presidents to be able to multi-task and focus on more than one thing at a time. Like Iraq *and* Afghanistan. Like the economy *and* national security. Y'all get where I'm comin' from.

Hopefully the debate will go on (though it doesn't seem likely) and there won't be a delay in the VP debate as well as we all want to see Say-Pay show her presidential qualities since everyone's insisting that she has them. As I've said from the beginning of the race - you can't say that this joint is dull. This joint has more twists and turns than '24'.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

'Miracle at St. Anna': All Systems Go

Wassup, Y'all!

Testosterone fueled WWII action? Check. Southside eye-candy for the ladies in the form of Michael Ely, Derek Luke and Laz Alonzo? Check. Good box office cash and critical buzz from his last movie? Check. As previously, reported by ol Ty back in May, all systems are go for Spike Lee's newest movie, 'Miracle at St. Anna' which drops this Friday, September 26th.

In an interesting pre-review of the movie, Roger Ebert spent some time talkin' to Spike about the motivation and history of the movie. Similar to the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, which followed the exploits of the southside 99th Fighter Squadron which eventually joined with the southside 332 Fighter Group in flying highly successful sorties in both the North African and European WWII theaters, Miracle at St. Anna follows the exploits of four southside American soldiers who are part of the Army's all-southside 92nd Infantry Division (aka The Buffalo Soldiers) stationed in Tuscany, Italy during World War II...

Unknown to me in all this is the role former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt had in making it possible for southsiders to even serve in WWII. Apparently, she felt strongly about the issue and spent much of her time lightin' a fire under husband Franklin's a$$ to get him to approve the move. If ever there was a First Lady fit to be President (and this is no crack on Sister Hillary - I'm just sayin') it was Eleanor. Ol girl even put her money where her mouth was by going up in a plane piloted by a Tuskegee Airmen at their Tuskegee, Alabama training field.

Also unknown to me were the details of the opening battle in the movie (a true WWII battle) where the Buffalo Soldiers were crossing the Serchio River and get caught in a cross fire with the Germans on one side and friendly fire from their American comrades on the other side who rained down artillery fire on their position despite being given the proper firing coordinates because the artillary commander didn't believe that a group of southside soldiers could 'advance that far, that fast'. *Sigh* Don't get me started...

One final point that Spike made that made an impression on me was what he considered real patriotism. He said, "I think it takes even more of a patriot to fight when you’re still being lynched in the Jim Crow south. These black men weren’t enlisted, they signed up. You want to fight for the red, white and blue, and most of the black troops were trained in the south. You’re being trained to kill Nazis. On the same base where you’re being trained, you see Nazi POWs who are getting better housing, better food and better health care. Wow, how’d that make you feel?" So it really is more than lapel flag pins and small town values - who knew?

Wow - can't say it better than that. Needless to say, I'll be in the back row with my popcorn and Twizzlers. Drop some ducats on this one, y'all - no bootlegs! Maa fact - you might want to think about gettin' the book and gettin' all the actual factuals on this little known aspect of our history. Just thinkin' out loud on that one, y'all...

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rusty Steel Magnolia: Condi Rice Drops A Tear?

Wassup, Y'all!

Caught this piece yesterday while skimmin' news since it seemed completely out of character. Apparently in a new book titled, 'Angler' - a biography about Dick Cheney ('Angler' is his Secret Service code name. Who knew? I thought 'Buckshot' would have been more appropriate) a section relates to an incident where Donald Rumsfeld twice openly defied a request by Condoleeza Rice to attend her meeting to discuss how to handle the military tribunals that the Bush Administration was pushin' to try suspected terrorists being held at Guantanamo. According to the author, Condi-Girl got so upset at the slight and his open disregard for her position that she started crying...

Now we all know that when new books come out, there is invariably some new, salacious, never-before-heard tidbit that the publisher passes along to generate interest. A lot of times the information is discounted or discredited after a million copies fly off the shelves but you never know. Regardless, if it is true - do we really need to hear about the only female in a position of power in the Bush Administration crying? That's bush league - I'm sure most of the boyz in GW's administration have had their moments too (except Chaney - you actually need a working heart to feel the need to cry, y'all) - given the catastrophy with the 'War on Terror' and now, the implosion of the financial industry which will require a 'free market, no regulation' Republican Administration to preside over the largest government bailout of any industry in the nation's history. If GW's not cryin' over that it's only because he'll be out of office in 118 days and he'll be able to leave that foul mess to the poor sap headed in behind him. Wow - ol Ty is all for Smooth Barack but I have to admit, the next person in the Oval Office is gonna have about a millisecond long honeymoon before people start calling for his head - folks are hurtin' out here, jack. 'Course if Smooth gets in, the northsiders from that AP-Yahoo poll will chalk it up to his being an incompetent, lazy, boastful southsider who's not trying hard enough, but I think we all agree that any conversation that includes those adjectives begins and ends with GW.

So, to this nonsense about Condi-Girl droppin' a tear when going up against the good ol boys ol Ty says, 'So'? If they didn't care about the feelings of the nation, she had to know that they certainly weren't carin' about hers, but regardless I gotta give her a snap up for at least feeling so passionately about the issue that it got to that point. I know one shorty who's gonna be on the beach for about a year when they finally turn the lights out on GW's ill-advised tenure - no doubt.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Monday, September 22, 2008

Elephant Outed: Why The Election is Really So Close

Wassup, Y'all!

Since Smooth Barack's journey began in Springfield like a million years ago (actually February '07) the quiet buzz within the southside nation was this: 'Northsiders will never let a southsider get elected President of the United States'. That became the elephant in the room that got alluded to when the specter of Rev. J-Wright appeared - a series of events which culminated in Smooth giving his well received speech on race in Philly in heat of that storm. Then things died down for a few until the Democratic nomination race reached hysterical levels and disturbin' details emerged about the racial proclivities of a large component of Sister Hillary's support - less educated, northside democrats.

Cynical southsiders quickly jumped up and said, 'See? Didn't we tell, y'all?' But that argument held little water as Smooth went on to actually win the Democratic nomination. Optimistic southsiders began to think that we had turned the corner and that in an election where past and current events screamed that a change in direction (and political party) was in order, it seemed that *any* Democratic nominee would win the election in a walk. Now with data in hand from an extensive AP-Yahoo poll that sought to measure actual northside feelings toward southsiders, the results provide sobering evidence that though Smooth Barack won the battle for the Democratic Presidental nomination, he may well lose the war for the White House on some triflin' a$ bull$hit...

Now before I get to the actual factuals on this, please excuse my colorful language, but in ol Ty's view, the findings in the poll are more than enough to either 1) work a brother's *last* nerve or 2) make a brother catch a case - either way, ol Ty needs to take a chill pill before he falls out. Okay, on with the sad a$$ show. The poll revealed the following:
  • 1/3 of northside democrats harbor negative views toward southsiders
  • 40% of all northside Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents
  • More than a third of all northside Democrats and independents agreed with at least one negative adjective about southsiders and they are significantly less likely to vote for Smooth Barack than those who don't have such views
  • Just seven in 10 people who call themselves Democrats (particularly non-Hispanic northside voters) support Smooth Barack, compared to the 85% of self-identified Republicans who back McCain
  • Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe southsiders, 20% of all northsiders said the word "violent" strongly applied. Among other words, 22% agreed with "boastful," 29% "complaining," 13% "lazy" and 11% "irresponsible" When asked about positive adjectives, northsiders were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment [Ty: although they did say we could dance 'real good']
  • More than a quarter of northside Democrats agree that "if [southsiders] would only try harder, they could be just as well off as [northsiders]"
  • Among northside independents, racial stereotyping is not uncommon. For example, while about 20% of independent voters called southsiders "intelligent" or "smart," more than one third latched on the adjective "complaining" and 24% said southsiders were "violent"
  • Just 59% of [Sister Hillary's] northside Democratic supporters said they wanted [Smooth Barack] to be president. Nearly 17% of Sister Hillary's northside backers plan to vote for Citizen McCain
  • Among northside Democrats, Sister Hillary supporters were nearly twice as likely as Smooth Barack backers to say at least one negative adjective described southsiders well, a finding that suggests many of her supporters in the primaries — particularly northsiders with high school education or less — were motivated in part by racial attitudes
One talkative member of that last crew was quoted as saying, 'We still don't like black people". This heartfelt comment was from John Clouse, 57 who was reflecting the sentiments of his pals gathered at a coffee shop in Somerset, Ohio. Hmmm...bet you can't find a single white sheet when you go to the Wal-Mart Bath and Bedroom department in Somerset.

What makes this poll more far reaching (and in ol Ty's view much more accurate) it that it gathered input from folks who were first screen via phone but who were then allowed to answer these touchy questions online. My boyz and I long speculated that other polls, where you would have to verbally acknowledge your racism to a real person, would not be accurate and skew the real results in a more positive direction. You always get better results when you let someone do their dirty in the dark.

The poll also, 'broke ground by incorporating images of black and white faces to measure implicit racial attitudes, or prejudices that are so deeply rooted that people may not realize they have them. That test suggested the incidence of racial prejudice is even higher, with more than half of [northsiders] revealing more negative feelings toward [southsiders] than [northsiders]'.

Lastly, the survey also highlighted something that caught ol Ty completely off guard. It was the fact that, 'Race is not the biggest factor driving Democrats and independents away from [Smooth Barack]. Doubts about his competency loom even larger, the poll indicates. More than a quarter of all Democrats expressed doubt that [Smooth Barack] can bring about the change they want, and they are likely to vote against him because of that'

Wow - a Harvard grad and Constitutional Law professor not competent enough to run the country? That background seems to more than match up with Sister Hillary or Citizen McCain who graduated near the bottom of his Naval Academy class or Say-Pay who went to five colleges in six years. I wonder what's driving that notion?

Though these results are in no way surprising to southsiders, let ol Ty give credit where credit is really due. We know, given where Smooth is today, that not all northsiders are prejudiced. In fact, the survey also indicated that, 'more [northsiders] say good things about [southsiders] than say bad things...And many [northsiders] who see [southsiders] in a negative light are still willing or even eager to vote for [Smooth]'. I even have good northside friends who like southsiders, y'all so I can vouch for that one :-)

I think Donna Brazile said it best yesterday when asked to reflect on these poll results (which indicate that these views could be effecting Smooth's poll numbers by as much as 6%). Ol girl said, forget about the 1/3 that has these views and is a lost cause and focus on the 2/3 that have been active and avid supporters. I'd have to agree. It's gonna take more that 50 some odd days to sway those other minds (if they can ever be swayed) so let the elephant out of the closet, acknowledge its effect and move on. Time is short.

Sorry to run so long, y'all but mama said ol Ty needed to vent on this one so that he'd be able to live to type another day.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Thursday, September 18, 2008

America! Listen to Luda - Open Your Eyes

Wassup, Y'all!

Runnin' on autopilot this morning, since I have an early date with the devil but I wanted to drop a quick email that Lady E. forwarded to me yesterday titled, 'Sad But True - America Today'. It's an indictment of how trivialized some folk have made this election despite the dire predicament the country finds itself in today. Encouragingly, recent polls continue to indicate that sensical folk are beginning to take things a lot more seriously, but the fact that much of the following rings true is a sad indication of just how superficial some folk have become. If you find yourself shakin' your head at some of the ridiculousness that follows - as you've seen me report a few months back, this is likely the leading culprit for this kind of thinking...

If you're a Democrat who has been in the Senate for two years, you are a Washington 'insider'. If you're a Republican who has been in the Senate for 26 years, you are a Washington 'outsider'

If you're a northsider, win a beauty contest, attended 5-6 colleges before finally graduating , join the PTA, are voted to be mayor by 1000 people, govern a sparsely populated state for almost two years, and randomly get chosen at the last minute to be VP, you've 'lived the American dream '. If you're a southsider , raised by a single mother, lived on food stamps, help the community, get into Harvard, become the first southside editor of the Harvard Law Review, and are voted the presidential nominee by millions of people, you are 'uppity' (or 'elite').

If you live in an urban area and you get a girl pregnant, you're a 'baby daddy'. If you're the same in Alaska, you're a 'teen father'.

If you are born in the 50th state of the union and got a passport at birth, you are too 'cosmopolitan' and let the 'corruption of European ideals affect your judgment'. If you grew up in the 49th state to enter the union, and never had a passport until 2007, you are a 'true patriot of America'.

Southside teen pregnancy? A 'crisis' in America. Northside teen pregnancy? A 'blessed event'.

If you grow up in Hawaii, you're 'exotic'. If you grow up in Alaska, you're the quintessential 'American story'.

If you think it's okay to shoot wolves from helicopters, you're just an average American hockey mom having some fun. If you try to ensure those wolves are treated humanely, you are out of touch with the average American

If you name your kid ' Barack', you're 'unpatriotic'. If you name your kid 'Track ', you're 'colorful'

A Democrat who doesn't fully vet a VP is 'reckless'. A Republican who doesn't fully vet a VP is a 'maverick'.

Get 18 million people to vote for you in a national presidential primary, you're a 'phony'. Get 100,000+ people to vote you governor of the 47th most populous state in the Union, you're 'well loved'.

If you manage a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign, you are an 'empty suit'. If you are a part time mayor of a town of 7000 people, you are an 'experienced executive'.

If you cheated on your first wife with an heiress, you're a 'Christian'. If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years, you're 'risky'.

If you are biracial, America needs 2 damn years and 3 major speeches to 'get to know you'. If you're a northsider, America needs 36 minutes and 38 seconds worth of an acceptance speech to know you're 'one of us'.

If you give your wife a fist-tap on stage, it's a 'terrorist fist jab'. If your daughter licks her palm so that she can slick down your youngest child 's hair on national TV it's an 'adorable moment'. [Alright, hold up - that was cute...]

If your pastor rails against inequality in the United States of America, you're an 'extremist'. If your pastor welcomes a sermon by Jews for Jesus, who preach that the killing of Jews by terrorists is a lesson to Jews that they must convert to Christianity, you're a 'fundamentalist'.

If you' re 18, a northsider, and get a 16 year old girl pregnant 'life happens'. If you' re 18, a southsider, and impregnate a 16 year old girl, you're a 'registered sex offender'.

If you're a Republican and you talk to America's enemies, it's 'diplomacy'. If you're a Democrat and you talk to America's enemies, it's 'appeasement'.

If you're a Republican you think women should vote for a female candidate because you share the same biology, regardless of her stand on issues. If you're a Democrat and you vote for a woman who shares your ideology, you're 'playing the gender card'.

If you are a conservative and reveal that your son will be deployed on Sept. 11, but that is only the date of the deployment ceremony, you are the mother of a patriot who is doing the best to confuse the terrorists and protect the troops being sent over. If you are a democrat and announce the same thing, you would be accused of pandering to the public and trying to garner public emotion through a lie.

If you're a Republican and you don't wear a flag pin you're a 'maverick'. If you're a Democrat and you don't wear a flag pin, you're 'unpatriotic'.

If you're a Republican senator who solicits gay sex in an airport bathroom, you get to return to your job in the Senate and are encouraged to run for re-election. If you're a Democratic Senator having an affair, your political career is over and your wife who has terminal cancer is to blame.

If Bush agrees to a set date of troops leaving Iraq it is called 'horizons'. If Obama calls for a set date of troops to leave Iraq, with the blessing of the Iraq government , it is called 'timetables', 'endangering our troops','cut and run' and 'wanting to lose the war for political purposes'.

If you spend 3 years as a community organizer growing your organization from a staff of 1 to 13 and your budget from $ 70,000 to $ 400,000, then become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new African American voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, then spend nearly 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, becoming chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, then spend nearly 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of nearly 13 million people, sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you are 'woefully inexperienced'. If you spend 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, then spend 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, then you are ' well qualified' to lead the nation.

Shame, shame...

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ty's Liking Smooth Barack's new 'speed and ferocity'

Wassup, Y'all!

The old saying goes that the best defense is a strong offense and if past days are any indication, the Smooth campaign is now reaching deep into their offensive playbook. Citizen McCain's five point lead in the polls has evaporated as he finds himself on the receivin' end of a daily barrage of body blows challenging him on everything from his questionable economic aptitude to his willingness to allow his campaign to continue airing negative ads that are blatantly misleading.

You can't hit the dial these days without hearing Smooth or one of his surrogates lightin' a fire under Citizen's a$$ and it all seems to be workin' his last nerve. It's been a well known fact that Citizen could use a couple anger management classes to help keep him on an even keel, and to ol Ty's eye, it seems that's ultimately what this new offensive strategy is designed to do - wear him out, make him mad and give him the rope to hang his own campaign.

Citizen aside, I was also heartened by the fact that the Smooth campaign is also hot on the heels of all this impending GOP voter shenanigans, leaving no underhanded tactic unchallenged. On Monday I gave a holler about this madness going on in Michigan to use home foreclosure lists to mount voter challenges on election day. Now news has reached the basement that that ruckus is going to be challenged in court.

For the next Smooth offensive play I'd like to see them run the old 'Slot right hot, double shift, 44 50 IQ zero' on two, which translated for the fellas down at Winky's Corner Store means - get Sarah Palin back in front of the press (or Carly Fiorina for that matter...). In the meantime, you can find me down at Winky's takin' bets on the exact day that Citizen will go the hell off. Ol boy's already simmerin'.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Condi Finally Realizes She's From The Southside

Wassup, Y'all!

Better late than never I always say. Black folk (aka southsiders) are notorious for two things 1) forgetting where they came from once they become successful and 2) calling out our more successful brothers and sisters for forgetting where they came from once they get successful. The poster children for behavior #1 are Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and southside turncoat Ward Connerly. Of course there are many, many others but these two brothers epitomize the trend so well, I plan to update their Wikipedia entries to include a reference to famous Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold...

Now Condoleeza Rice (Condi-Girl) (seen above at her recent southside re-induction ceremony) is a bit of an enigma here. When the Bush administration began its reign of terror in 2001 it was populated with two high profile southsiders, Colin Powell (Pow-Wow) and Condi-Girl. Southsiders across the country openly wondered how they could manage to sneak the Drop Squad inside the White House gates to reclaim them both but to this day, could never get that figured out. Happily, in 2004 Pow-Wow woke up in the morning screaming, 'Oh snap! I'm working for GW!' and promptly quit. Condi-Girl on the other hand, waved a fond farewell to Pow-Wow from the White House portico and promptly took his job.

Southside strategist figured the cause was lost, some even started an irresponsible whisper campaign floating the idea that Condi-Girl and GW were sleepin' together but, in the end, ol girl remained firmly entrenched in the administration. Now word reaches the basement that a little while ago, Condi-Girl was roamin' the halls of the State Department, looked up from her briefing papers and realized, 'Oh snap! I'm the only southsider here!' It may have taken seven years, but our girl has finally hit her 'aha moment'. Yes, she's gonna need a lot of reconditioning, tough love and understanding when she stumbles from the White House in January but ol Ty is happy to report that the southside cultural experts believe that she can once again become a welcomed and productive member of the southside nation. Which is cool since ol Ty has always kinda had a thing for Condi-Girl.

Now on the flip side, a lot of my southside homeys and homettes have been exhibiting a ton of behavior #2 on my boy Smooth Barack, claiming among other things that homey 'isn't black enough'. Let me put that foolishness to bed once and for all. First, Smooth passes the 'One Drop' test with flying colors. Second, and most importantly, since this provides incontrovertible proof that Smooth is a southsider, he went on public record stating that he never would have nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. There. Quit hatin', y'all.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Monday, September 15, 2008

GOP Fall Plan: Disenfranchise Black Voters

Wassup, Y'all!

With the polls predictably tightening and the media now filled with negative ads furiously flying back and forth, you had to know that the Republican party would gather its minions to lay out the groundwork for an 11th hour attack on the Democrats vulnerable flank - southside voters. For the longest, southsiders have been a loyal voting bloc for the Democratic party and in this election cycle they have proven decisive in helpin' Smooth Barack garner the party's presidential nomination.

It's no surprise then that Smooth's campaign is counting on high southside voter turnout to help tilt the electoral table his way in states that are considered 'Toss Ups'. With that strategy in mind, the GOP is counting on two underhanded technicalities to blunt the effect of the southside vote in Michigan and Indiana...

In Michigan, the GOP plan is to use lists of foreclosed homes to block southsiders from voting. In this devious approach, the GOP plans to use those lists as the basis of voter challenges claiming that voters on the foreclosed list will not be 'true residents' since their current residence may not match the residence under which they registered to vote. It goes without saying that those lists will be filled with people who tried to take advantage of disingenuous sub-prime loans and those people are primarily lower income minorities.

In Indiana, the fix has been in since April when the Supreme Court (I'll get back to them shortly) upheld Indiana's requirement that all voters have a state or federally issued photo ID in order to vote. Here too, the impact of this rule will primarily effect lower income minorities. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont broke it down this way, "Denying a fundamental right -- the right to vote -- because a person is indigent, lacks a birth certificate or has no access to a vehicle goes against America's better values". Yep. The Supreme Court vote was 6-3 mostly down party lines with Supreme Siamese Twins Justices Scalia and Thomas down for the cause.

A few weeks ago, I finally watched the excellent HBO docu-drama 'Recount' that took an inside look at the Florida vote recount that occurred during the 2000 presidential election. As you all remember, that recount, which would have undoubtedly gone in Al Gore's favor and thereby given him the presidency, was famously short-circuited by the Supreme Court that ultimately ruled that the basis of the recount was fair but that since there was no time to complete it before a previously established deadline, it could not continue. The ironic twist being that had the Supreme Court not injected itself into the case, there would have been sufficient time to complete the recount. The laughable ruling also applied to the fact that the Court limited the precedent of their ruling to just that one specific incident. However, what also came to light in the movie was the fact that the Republican led Florida Secretary of State office manipulated their convicted felons list (in almost all cases, a convicted felon has no right to vote) to also include the names of law-abiding citizens whose names were similar to those on the list. When those folks appeared at the polls to vote (in largely democratic counties), they were also turned away.

In a race this close, where the margin is razor thin, every vote truly does count. The fact that GOP has to resort to such disingenuous trickeration to cling to power can be described in a single word: sad. What ever happened to the will of the people?

So now you know the rest of the story, y'all. It's more important than ever to make sure the folks in your 'Five' are registered and have all the necessary documents to make their votes count on election day. It's no different than the old days in the south when trickeration was the rule of the day in southern polling places. Be aware and plan ahead. Don't let them game the system and kick you to the curb on November 4th.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin: On Full Blast

Wassup, Y'all!

Wow! There's a big storm brewin' and it ain't named Ike. In a day that saw Sarah Palin's (Say-Pay) first no-holds-barred interview (Part 1 - Part 2 is tonight on ABC's World News, y'all) and the Smooth Barack campaign vowing a 'new speed and ferocity', it's clear the fall election has dropped the pedal to the metal.

Say-Pay pretty much lived up to my expectations as her interview with Charlie Gibson took on a tone of a 'C' student trying to convince her professor that she really deserves an 'A'. Gibson wasn't havin' it and it's too refreshing to see a reporter actually insist that a person answer the question asked. I saw this last night, but I have to give the original credit to CNN's Campbell Brown who took it to Citizen McCain's spokeman, Tucker Bounds. And don't get it twisted, y'all - I'm for this type of determined questioning of *any* politician, Democrat or Republican. Ol Ty is worn out from those cats avoiding the questions and always hiding behind the same tired a$$ talking points. It's just that the Republicans do it more :-). But the most talked about issue related to Say-Pay focuses on the ground breaking question of whether ex-SNL alum Tina Fey will play Say-Pay on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live which is shaping up as Must-See, Must-See TV. If so, ol Ty would have to call that brilliant casting...

Before I get to that though, I have to give Say-Pay a little credit for holding up through the maelstrom she's in. In the span of three weeks, ol girl has been plucked from relative obscurity and dropped into the eye of the biggest political storm we've seen (since the Democratic Primary). The pundits and parodies are pilin' it on high and deep when the focus really needs to be on Citizen McCain's butt, but I'm jazzed that at least Say-Pay is being revealed for what she is - a two year governor of the 47th most populated state in the Union with little to no foreign policy experience. There needs to be more truth in advertising so that people know exactly what they're buying when they head to the polls.

With respect to the SNL premiere - it's looking like host Michael Phelps will be the undercard to a highly anticipated, politically based show - an area where SNL normally shines. They must be seeing how well received The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are as they mine the rich political landscape for plentiful material. Word now is that Smooth will appear on the show as well which is cool since the ratings should be huge. Like T.O. is known to say to get a camera back focused on himself - get 'cha popcorn ready.

Have a great weekend, y'all! We'll dish on Monday!

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

P.S. Where's Joe Biden? Can homey get a little coverage too?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Erykah Badu: I Don't Want Gwen Stefani Stealing my $#!%

Wassup, Y'all!

Quick hit today, as ol Ty is rippin' and runnin'. Besides, I thought it'd be good to cool folks off from the political madness for a second (y'all know who you are - Diva, D-Splash, Strongnupe, etc....). Got to back up off the poll pipe for a few to get a little perspective and get your laugh on. So to that end I drop this bit on my girl Erykah Badu who's been a staple here in the Malone Zone since jump.

I recently borrowed a back issue of 'Wired' magazine (June '08) from my boy Smart Brother to do a little research on hydroponic herb growin' and lo and behold I find E-Bad in a place I never expected - a tech magazine (instead of a joint like 'High Life'). Her article entitled, 'SuperBadu' chronicles how ol girl was once 'so tech-phobic' that she would only record on old-school tape reel'. Now I don't doubt this about E-Bad for a minute as I'm sure she also rolls around town in a hoopty Cadillac kickin' an 8-track too...but I digress. 2004 seemed to be a turning point for homegirl when she copped her first laptop and she moved into the realm of digital tracks and mixing.

Her digital epiphany has resulted in a 'a four-month recording spree yielding more than 70 songs' which are the basis of three albums this year: February's Amerykah, Part One: 4th World War, Part Two and a final album (and Ty's favorite title) Lowdown Loretta Brown - a period piece out this fall that homegirl is being very secretive about. When asked about that joint, E-Bad went all paranoid saying simply, 'I don't want to introduce to much of that right now. I don't want Gwen Stefani stealing my $hit'. Damn, Gwen! How you gonna get straight called out like that in 'Wired' magazine? E-Bad needs to be looking over her shoulder for a midnight beatdown by the Harijuku Girls...

Ok y'all - keep the faith - we'll be back on the political trail tomorrow! But just in case you just can't make it through the day without a hit, smoke on this one about some fishiness in the recent polling samples, then call your sponsor.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's the Electoral Map, Stupid

Wassup, Y'all!

Just as Al Gore found out the hard way that popularity doesn't equal the Oval Office, with all the recent hubbub over Citizen McCain and running mate Say-Pay's surge in the polls, the race still come downs to a state-by-state electoral breakdown and in that respect, Smooth Barack is still looking good.

Of course things are still in a post convention bounce flux but as Newsweek points out, the RealClearPolitics electoral map breaks down Smooth 273 and Citizen 265 and 270 gets the job done. By all measures, the race is incredibly close and Smooth has work to do to again seize the offense and keep all of his blue states blue. The comments to yesterday's post show a lot of anxiousness as every waits to see if this McCain/Say-Pay surge has capped or becomes the beginning of the end for the Smooth Barack-star tour.

Ol Ty, for one, thinks its the former since voter fickleness has proved to jump around in 'flavor of the minute' fashion, then fade away in 'what have you done for me lately' boredom. One thing I'm happy to see is Smooth getting more pointed with his stump speeches and not veering away from directly callin' out his opponent's jibber-jabber. We'll see what happens when the focus turns away from pitbulls and lipstick and back to unemployment, deficits and morgage meltdowns. Do the right thing, America.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Monday, September 08, 2008

Despite Ty, McCain gets more bounce to the ounce

Wassup, Y'all!

To quote The Diva from 3blackchicks.com who hit me up over the weekend, 'Yeah, I'm annoyed'.

That sentiment summed up ol girl's (and most southsiders) thoughts on the inexplicable national reaction to Sarah Palin (Say-Pay), which is no small component of the huge convention 'bounce' that Citizen McCain got comin' out of the Republican National Convention. Shortly after the Democratic National Convention Smooth Barack enjoyed an eight point lead in the polls. Today, USA Today is reporting that McCain leads Smooth 50%-46% - translating into a net bounce of 12 points. In fact, Realclearpolitics.com is reporting a larger gap in their 09/05 - 09/07 polling - 54% - 44% McCain. Thankfully, other polls show that the race is either tied or Smooth leads by a range of 1% - 6%. The end result of this? The race is crazy tight, Citizen's insane bet on Say-Pay is paying big dividends (at least in the short term), The Diva is annoyed and ol Ty is wondering just what the hell people are thinking...

First, let me drop an excerpt of The Diva's thoughts on just what's so annoying about Family Say-Pay:

"I had originally called them The Beverly Hillbillies, but that was a disservice to the Clampetts. DUI, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, self-proclaimed red-neck… As the litany of their pedigree unfurled before me I just shook my head. The Obamas did everything right. Working class parents/grandparents instilled the belief and need for higher education. They struggled and worked their fingers to the bone to make sure Barack and Michelle got an excellent education. B and M graduated and then began their careers – like you are supposed to do. They performed community service and went to church. They got married, had children (notice the order of events) and yet they aren’t good enough. They are ”uppity”, “elite” “not black enough” and yet – yet These gun toting, moose hunting yahoos are some how better? Can you imagine the outcry if the skin colors were reversed?"

Then she dropped the quote that's on every southsider's mind in the wake of these poll numbers - 'Once again it is proven that black people have to be three times better to be considered half as good'. Ol Ty couldn't have summed it up better.

I've read at least one pundit (sorry, y'all - misplaced that link!) who wasn't afraid to point to the elephant in the room - that this entire election will turn on race and how we can either finally overlook it or can't get past it. I'd bet the house on the proposition that if Smooth Barack were a northsider that Citizen McCain would be so far behind in the polls that he'd be calling to concede today. I have no other explanation, especially given the outpouring of support for a candidate of Say-Pay's caliber. The Republican base doesn't even *like* Citizen McCain, yet here we are 57 days away from the election with him opening a significant lead in some polls. That's how good the Republican spin machine is.

But before y'all go jumping off a bridge too soon, there is still much to consider. First, the race is far from over. This is a convention bounce and they are normally not predictors of election victory. Second, we have three presidential and one vice-presidential debates coming up and the stark differences between the candidates will be revealed for the world to see. You think the conventions got huge ratings? Wait until the debates hit. Third, Smooth is tied or leads Citizen in the swing states Citizen needs to win the election, and fourth, the ace up the democrats sleeve - they continue to register far more voters than the republicans. The trick will be to get them all to the polls on election day but that's a good problem to have.

No one said it would be easy, y'all. Just like in the Democratic primaries - you got to keep the faith. It's gonna be a white knuckle ride from here on in - buckle up.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Friday, September 05, 2008

John McCain: He's no Sarah Palin

Wassup, Y'all!

Man, based on that snoozefest acceptance speech that Citizen McCain gave during a moment that provided his best opportunity to present himself to the nation ol Ty is thinkin' the Republicans need to shuffle the top and bottom of their ticket. After all, it's not like they arent making the case that Sarah Palin (Say-Pay) is more than ready to lead the nation at this point in her long and storied political career...

I'm sure the speech would have sounded much better coming from Say-Pay who, only the night before, wowed the convention and TV audiences with her folksy, Dana Carvey Church Lady delivery. Flush Rimjob waxed on about it the next day on his radio show saying, 'I didn't want it to end!'. Contrast that with Citizen's speech last night and I think there was nary a person in the country, Republican or Democrat, who couldn't wait for it to end. That joint was brutal.

If I'm not mistaken, I thought I heard George Stephanopoulos mention on the ABC pre-speech coverage that the speech had been written for a least a month and that Citizen had been working on it's delivery all that time. Wow. If that's true my friends, how would that joint have come off if he hadn't had time to practice it? I know, I know - it ain't all about speeches, it's about substance and ideas, but after an eight year flow of malapropisms pouring out of GW's mouth, isn't it about time for someone who can bring *all* those skills to the table?

After all - the President of the United States is also our representative on the world stage - if we're impressed with him/her, the world will no doubt be as well. I have to admit, I like Citizen McCain (or I should say 'liked' him before his wholesale embrace of the conservative right) but ol boy really doesn't inspire me and it seems after that speech, he really doesn't advocate a direction that's too far away from the one we've been heading down.

I'm sure everyone at the convention last night wished the two nights had been reversed and they ended with Say-Pay's speech. Despite the fact that it wasn't very factual or truthful - it was good theater, y'all. You have to give her that. She'd be a good addition to the cast of 'Desperate Housewives' don't you think? Shrill voice, cougar hotness, rugged husband, frisky daughter - it's all there. Guess she'll just have to settle for her #2 role on 'Desperate Republicans'.

In the meantime - Citizen! Call this number right away - 1-800-TOASTMASTERS!

*** Update ***
Reuters is reporting that Citizen's speech was seen by 38.9 million viewers - a new convention viewing record. The bad news? Smooth Barack's record only lasted a week since his 38.3 million viewers got topped by 600,000. The good news? 38.9 million viewers saw that snoozefest speech - that can only translate into new votes for Obama :-)
************

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Kwame Kilpatrick: Boy King to do a bid

Wassup, Y'all!

Surprise! After months of strenuous denials of guilt, spirited guarantees of innocence and a string of questionable courtroom wardrobe choices, Kwame Kilpatrick, Boy King of Detroit, has agreed to abdicate his throne. In so doing, Boy King joins many other homeys (most notably Mike Vick) who have professed sincere innocence before accepting a plea when recognizing that their guilt was just too damn big to completely cover up. Those two knuckleheads would do well to start their path toward redemption by sending a big a$$ box of candy and a card of apology to Chicago homey Alton Logan - a brother recently released from prison after 26 years. Time spent professing his real innocence to a crime that lawyers knew he didn't commit...

Don't cry for Boy King, Argentina - the truth is he was always guilty and thought he was bigger than the game. It's interesting that some similar ruckus is now afoot in our girl Sarah Palin's (Say-Pay) background. She also had an ax to grind with a law officer and seems to have tried to manipulate her position and the situation to get a homey fired. Maybe one day soon we'll see her on a perp walk rather than on the ticket of a national political part...doh! Too late.

My boys, 'Tini Mack and Cat Daddy, were speculatin' at lunch how this turn of events would effect the object of Boy King's text affections - his former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty (C-Beat) who herself is charged with seven felonies. Ol Ty's speculation was that he'd leave her twistin' in the wind, since after all, it was always all about him anyway. Cat Daddy jumped to Boy King's defense claiming that any 'right' brother would include some consideration for C-Beat in his plea deal. In my readings ol Ty ain't seeing it. What I am seeing is a message forming in the dust following Boy King's hasty exit - it reads, 'Good Luck, homegirl! Don't forget to text! I'm out! LOL!'

So in exchange for his guilty plea to two counts of obstruction of justice, Boy King gets the following cash and prizes: Four months in jail, five years of probation, a bill for $1 million in city restitution, a five year ban on holdin' public office, loss of his law license and state pension (damn not the state pension! You know those city officials love their cushy, life-long pensions! This one even hurt me!)

Still Boy King's country a$ departed the premises talkin' 'bout, 'Detroit, you done set me up for a comeback!'. If not that, then at least the chauffeur role in the next remake of 'Driving Miss Daisy'. But ol Ty has no doubt Boy King will be back. Despite it all, for some reason they still have much love for this fool in Motown and if, George 'Segregation Now! Segregation Tomorrow! Segregation Forever!' Wallace can stage a political comeback that actually included southsiders voting for him, there's no way Boy King won't be back. The brother's too polished and connected not too. And how sad is that?

In the meantime tho - Tossed Salad Man (NSFW)! Order up on table two!

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

NSFW = Not Safe For Work or underage viewing!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah Palin Lets The Fangs Hang Loose

Wassup, Y'all!

Didn't take long. Clearly our girl Say-Pay has learned that the best defensive is an offense so after a few days of gettin' laid out, she took the fight (and stretched the truth to the breaking point) straight to Smooth and by all accounts had a very successful coming out party. The common sentiment after that speech from the democratic side is that, 'It's On!'

Last night featured a bumper crop of good speakers (with the exception of Red Mittens Romney. Red was just whack...) who set the stage just right for Say-Pay by attacking Smooth as a well meaning, inexperienced goof and somehow conveniently forgetting to mention the sorry state of the Union, how their party is responsible for it and what, if anything, they plan to do to correct. It was classic misdirection. Don't have a record of accomplishment to talk about after eight years of Presidential control and six years of congressional control? Then demean the fact that Smooth chose to turn his back on easy lawyer money to help folks less fortunate than him by being a community organizer. By all appearances, Dick Cheney has a worthy successor in Say-Pay....

So lets get to the 'red meat' of Say-Pays less than truthful assertions about herself and Smooth:

Say-Pay says, 'I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress'. The truth says 'As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation'.

Say-Pay says that Smooth, 'is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform _ not even in the state senate'. The truth says that Smooth, 'has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles' and 'In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation'.

Say-Pay says that Smooth 'supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars'. The truth (and the Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute) says, 'Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually' while Citizen McCain's plan would 'raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent'

So clearly the Citizen/Say-Pay plan is to run away from an eight year record of republican ruin, wrap themselves in the flag and 'family values' and play fast and loose with the truth for the next 60 days. Hopefully the voters will see that the republicans have nothing behind the curtain except literally more of the same attack tactics that worked so successfully for GW and Buckshot Dick. Say-Pay is the new Dan Quayle? Nope - ol girl is the old Dick Cheney with a partial up-do...and lipstick.

I also found it interesting last night how dismissive they were of community service. The only view you can get from the performances at the Republican Convention up to this point is that the only service of value in America is military service. Community service, volunteering to help your fellow citizen get to a better place is clearly frowned upon by the party that brought you boot-strap self sufficiency. Given that, it should be interesting on September 11th when both Smooth and Citizen, invited speakers to a forum put on by Service Nation, address their topic of 'Community Service and Volunteerism'. I'm lookin' forward to hearing Citizen spin his talking points to say the only community service he doesn't value is that conducted by his opponent - the rest? All good, just like my military service that saw me get shot down and brutally tortured and refusing to leave before others in front of....

Was it me or did Citizen look like Uncle Fester when he took the stage to say about five words last night? Hopefully voters aren't superficial and prefer their candidates (like their hollywood stars) to be young, attractive and vigorous because next to Citizen a floor lamp will look will look younger and more vigorous than homey. Yet another reason to stand in the shadow of Say-Pay. Anyway, we've seen Smooth stand up to the blast for eighteen months. Let's see how Say-Pay handles it for two.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Baby Daddy Levi Johnston vs. Genarlow Wilson

Wassup, Y'all!

Now let me get this straight. 17 year old, self professed redneck Levi Johnston has consensual sex with Sarah Palin's (Say-Pay) 17 year old daughter Bristol and ends up getting an invitation to hang with the family at the Republican National Convention in front of the nation. Genarlow Wilson, who at 17 had consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl gets a mininum 10-year sentence for aggravated child molestation. Didn't matter that the 15 year old insisted in court that the oral sex was consensual (and initiated by her), Genarlow - a good student with a 3.2 GPA, his school's homecoming king well liked by students and teachers alike, a track and football star with no previous criminal record was convicted and jailed...

After serving two years of that ridiculous sentence, the Georgia Supreme court ruled 3-4 that the sentence was 'cruel and unusal punishment'. All that means is that if one judge had decided differently, Genarlow Wilson would probably *still* be in jail watching Levi Johnston hob nob at the Republican convention. He definitely would have had Georgia Republican legislator, Eric Johnson had his way. Johnson, who withdrew his support from a bill introduced in the Georgia assembly to free Genarlow based on the jacked-upness of his sentence, explained his decision this way:

'Life comes with accountability for our decisions. Genarlow Wilson could have selected different friends to hang with. He could have joined millions of law-abiding teens all over the country enjoying New Years' Eve without alcohol, drugs and sex. He could have left the hotel when "the fun" started. He didn't. He made a choice. Now his life has changed forever'

Now I'm not exactly sure what the difference is between these two, hormonally-overcharged young men that would cause such a disparate outcome but you can be sure that ol Ty will be on the case to find out. And while I'm wondering - how come you don't see too many folks who look like Genarlow at the Republican convention? Lot of folks that look like Levi though...

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sarah Palin: Why not Martha Stewart...or an egg?

Wassup, Y'all!

Wow. How far have the Republicans fallen when Sarah Palin (Say-Pay) turns up as their most qualified vice presidential candidate? If I'm Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Elizabeth Dole I'm like, 'uh huh - ain't that always the way? Dog out the older, established, faithful female candidate for the young hottie with the body'. Shame, shame. Ol Ty is just as put off as you are at this ridiculous pick by Citizen McCain, but since this is the party that also handed up J. Danforth Quayle can we really be surprised?...

Now Ol Ty has to admit that it has been fun watchin' the Republicans struggle to justify just why Say-Pay is the new standard of 'the best and the brightest'. We all know this for what it is, y'all - a blatently pandering move to pull in the disaffected Sister Hillary voters. Truthfully we should have seen it coming. Citizen McCain has been buildin' toward this since Sister Hillary threw in the towel infuriating her legion of loyal followers. Suddenly, SH became Citizen's new BFF and his minion machine couldn't crank out ads fast enough - Hillary Passed Over! Congrats to Hillary for putting 18 million cracks in the hardest, highest glass ceiling! Yada, yada, yada. Here's what we know for sure. Had Sister Hillary gotten the nomination - we *never* would have seen Say-Pay on the Republican ticket...despite her being the best, most qualified candidate for the job... And those warm feelings for Sister Hillary? They'd be burning her in effigy outside the Excel Center in St. Paul. It's politics, y'all - keep up.

The Republicans in the form of George Bush, The First perpetrated this same fraud during his administration when Pop Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to fill the Supreme Court seat of civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall. Normal southsiders saw right through that charade realizing that the only thing similar between the two men was their skin color. Clarence Thomas' views are so polar opposite from Justice Thurgood's it's like comparing a rock to a T-Bone steak - they aren't even related. I had to laugh over the weekend when Mama Malone said that if Clarence Thomas passed away, the only reason why southsiders would come see him at the Capitol Rotunda would be to make sure that he was dead. Mama! You ain't right!

So now we have Say-Pay - trotted out to help pull in disaffected Sister Hillary voters. Those shortys may be mad but they aren't stupid. Just like the Clarence / Thurgood comparison, the only thing identical between Say-Pay and Sister Hill is their gender. Their stories and political views couldn't be further apart. This time lets say it's like the difference between an egg and a Chevy Tahoe. That's just some sad stuff, y'all.

Now don't get Ol Ty wrong. I don't want any angry comments claiming that I got it in for Say-Pay because she's a shorty. Not so. I just think she's more qualified coordinatin' a bake sale for her kid's Girl Scout Troop or maybe even coordinatin' Citizen McCain's ground operations in Alaska than she is being a heartbeat away from having her finger on the button. I would have been more than comfortable seeing Sister Hillary's finger on the button. Say-Pay? I get nervous when her fingers get close to her pant suit buttons. Wow. Only in America.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone