Saturday, October 25, 2008
And maybe right-wing wacko Atlas Shrugs was right, after all: Todd might, indeed, be the "new face of the Republican Party."
Friday, October 24, 2008
Seems like that state-record streak might finally come to an end this season. This is sad for a number of reasons, chief among them that the era of title-contending, inner-city football teams could be over.
Once upon a time, Yates was one of the flagship football programs in the Houston area. In 1985, Yates produced the first all-black team to win the Texas state football championship - blanking fabled powerhouse Odessa Permian 37-0. Rick Telander, who briefly touched on Yates in his book titled "The Hundred Yard Lie," watched a tape of the game and said Yates "crushed (Permian) the way a steamroller crushes a pair of sunglasses."
In the mid-1980s, Yates had more than 3,000 students walking its hallways on a aidly basis. Now, its enrollment number isn’t even half that. When the University Interscholastic League collected enrollment figures for the most recent realignment in February, Yates reported an enrollment of 1,325.
“In the ’80s, you had the whole community of Third Ward booming,” McKinney said. “Lots of families lived there and the kids took pride in going to Yates. Now you have open enrollment in HISD and there are a lot of kids in Yates’ zone that don’t attend Yates.”
That was the last time a Houston public school - in the 7th-largest public school system in the country - won a state football title. In 1992, Yates was also the last HISD school to advance to a state championship game.
Unbelievable, right? But the shift has been going on for years, with neighborhood kids - mostly those in Third Ward - taking advantage of magnet programs and others moving out of those neighborhoods completely to live in the suburbs. That transition has played itself out on the gridiron, with suburban and single-school rural districts dominating in the state's two largest classifications. The last truly inner-city school to win a Texas state championship in football was probably Aldine in 1990.
But, for schools like Yates, state titles aren't even a realistic goal at the moment. The Mighty Lions are merely hoping to win their second game of the season today, which inches them a tad closer to preserving their playoff streak. That's quite a fall for a program whose alumni includes NFL stars like Dexter Manley, Santana Dotson and John Roper, among others. (Not to mention, other prestigious former students like Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen and Roland Martin).
"The players know the pressure is on," says the Houston Chronicle.
Maybe. Yates' glorious history has nothing to do with its disappointing present. And the future doesn't look much better. Continue Reading »
A busy news day on a Friday? Go figure.
UPDATE: How about we make that Saturday? No one's reading on a Friday night anyway. No sense in wasting some hot fire on a slow night.
Enjoy Rakim. I just can't get that song out of my head today. Continue Reading »
Does that sound like the sort of leadership that we want in the White House? Again, I'm almost certain the obituary for his campaign is going to be eye-popping. We only thought Hillary Clinton's campaign was a mess.
Top Republican officials have let it be known they are distressed about McCain’s organization. Coordination between the McCain campaign and Republican National Committee, always uneven, is now nearly dysfunctional, with little high-level contact and intelligence-sharing between the two.
“There is no communication,” lamented one top Republican. “It drives you crazy.”
At his Northern Virginia headquarters, some McCain aides are already speaking of the campaign in the past tense. Morale, even among some of the heartiest and most loyal staffers, has plummeted. And many past and current McCain advisors are warring with each other over who led the candidate astray.
One well-connected Republican in the private sector was shocked to get calls and resumes in the past few days from what he said were senior McCain aides – a breach of custom for even the worst-off campaigns.“It’s not an extraordinarily happy place to be right now,” said one senior McCain aide. “I’m not gonna lie. It’s just unfortunate.”
We ain't seen nothing yet.
UPDATE: Nate at FiveThirtyEight says John McCain is "on life support." As proof, Nate and Co. put Obama's chances of a win on Nov. 4 at 96.3 percent. For the math illiterate, that means McCain has a 3.7 percent chance of pulling out a victory. We'll see Texas Tech win a national championship at football before that happens. Continue Reading »
Thursday, October 23, 2008
But what has some GOP operatives shaking their heads is the missed opportunities that that $150K represents. Had the RNC forgone the clothing purchases, they could have put more mail in mailboxes, more boots on the ground, and more advertisements on air.
Indeed, a look at some ad buy statistics provided by a Democratic source shows that the RNC put more money down on Palin's attire than they and the McCain campaign have spent on a weeks-worth of advertising in half a dozen, potentially, swing states.
That's why this latest debacle from the McCain campaign seems so inane and so thoughtless, yet so important. My fellow blogging buddy, J.P., argued today at his spot that these obscene clothing expenses are a "non-issue."
Clearly, we differ here. To me, it's a non-issue if you don't care about having two competent, introspective, responsible political parties to choose from. But I do, no matter how partisan I might seem at times.
You can't look at the steady GOP retreat in pivotal states this election cycle - many because of limited resources - and think this misuse of funds doesn't factor in there, somewhere. Were I a Republican donor or a Joe Six-Pack or a working-class voter, I'd be absolutely fuming.
Thing is, do you think McCain or Palin really care?
UPDATE: Palin on wardrobe flap: "If people only knew how frugal we are." On Main Street, I suppose that's considered a defense. Continue Reading »
So, who are we?
Since moving here in December, my stock response to "what's Tampa Bay like?" questions has been "like Houston but with better weather and beaches." That's partially true.
We are diverse racially, economically, politically and ideologically, but the area is not so much a melting pot as it is a collection of tribes situated around a giant pool of saltwater.
We ascend from places like Jamaica and Cuba and Puerto Rico, and hang tiny flags from our rearview mirrors. We descend from states like Ohio and Michigan and Indiana, and unpack our futons and Midwestern values. More and more of us are coming from New Jersey and New York, our kids sporting Long Island blowbacks and white sneakers.
But of course, it's much more complex than that and I've never really been able to get my mind around the query. Ben Montgomery does the heavy lifting for me on this one. Continue Reading »
I don't think John McCain could have handled that situation. I'm almost certain Sarah Palin couldn't do it. Barack looks him in the eye, is respectful but direct, and makes his point. This is the difference between true toughness and bluster.The following is a comment that I left at TNC's spot (with some tweaks and a little switcheroo on a couple of grafs):
You know, I watched the full-length video for the first time this evening on "Countdown." I was so taken with it that I damn near blogged about it myself (goes without saying that I followed through on this). If possible, I gained more respect for Obama than I already had.
Obama handled himself superbly, off-script and low-key but with nuance and respectfulness. He gave the man a direct answer. It was a clutch performance - like ed said, it damn near could have run as an Obama ad. "Joe" learned a little something, even if he and McCain and Palin don't want to admit it.
The longer version of their confrontation, for lack of a better word, even shows how Obama works up to the "spread the wealth" comment. Obama makes the important point that, under his plan, "Joe" would have been able to build the capital to buy the plumbing business through years of middle-class tax cuts and that his potential plumbing business would do much better if his customers have the money to pay for his services - helped, of course, by those same tax cuts.
Overall, it was just a classic moment. And it's something that McCain or Palin couldn't hope to duplicate, even if they planned for it.
In some ways, you could argue that "Joe" approached him a little too aggressively (should we not be worried that someone, possibly a plant was able to approach him that easily?). But Barack was in no way put off by this bit of gamesmanship. As TNC says, that's the difference between bluster and toughness. And for all his bombast, "Joe" really didn't have much in the way of a response. He did all his shit-talking after the fact, without the facts.
Which, given who "Joe" is riding with in this election, seems about right. Continue Reading »
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Yes, I should be too old for such childishness. Alas, I'm only 30.
(Hat tip to some guy I'm friends with on Facebook)
UPDATE: Speaking of mind-numbing hip-hop from the mid-90s, how about some Swangin' & Bangin'? A friend from high school sent this video to me the other day ... ah, it reminds me of riding home from track practice in my homeboy's Grand Marquis with the swap-meet speakers in the trunk. You know, the good ol' days.
Who knew? Continue Reading »
“In Somalia, there are over 2,300 maritime pirates who include trained military men, security experts, professional translators and experienced brokers […]
”These organised, hi-tech gangs have managed to seize a Ukrainian vessel carrying tanks, arms, ammunition and military equipment and their ransom demands are high.
“These pirates have become rich and powerful and the owners of many commercial institutions,” he wrote.
“Pirate Jama Shino in the Somali town of Garowe, threw the most lavish wedding party for his second marriage and invited hundreds of people from the local authorities and among citizens,” Hussameddin wrote.
“The bride and the young women who attended the party, said: “Marrying a pirate is every Somali girl’s dream. He has power, money, immunity, the weapons to defend the tribe and funds to give to the militias in civil war.”
For the moment, it looks like proposals for gay marriage bans are gaining wide-ranging support in California and Florida, a couple of states that should know better. I don't think history will be kind to our generation for not pushing back more forcefully against civil inequality of this kind. Continue Reading »
Maybe it's because I'm gay but I think all people should be equal
In my life, I vote for a black man for president of the u.s. It's unreal!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I asked Crist if he thought Palin was going to lure undecided voters to the ticket.
"I think we both know the answer to that," he said.
UPDATE: I wonder if Crist would have needed this sort of "stimulus package" from the Republican National Committee had he been the veep nominee. John Edwards' $400 haircuts seem absolutely bourgeois compared to some of Palin's expenditures. More than $4,700 on hair and makeup in one month? Sarah Six-Pack, eh?
Last night, when news of Obama's ailing grandmother was making its way onto cable news broadcasts, I turned to the First Lady and said: "Those are some good-hearted white people."
But now, more than anyone, I am thinking of Barack Obama's grandparents. One of the big mistakes we make when we look at the history of race in this country is to focus on big people and big events. What should be remembered is that, though our racial history is mired in utter disgrace, though the deep cowardice of post reconstruction haunts us into the 21st century, at any point on the timeline, you can find ordinary white people doing the right thing.
And I was nearly wrong. Madelyn and Stanley Dunham are merely good-hearted people.
Like many folks, I sometimes lean on lazy language and analysis - stereotypes, eh? - when it comes to issues of race. It can be too convenient to write off an entire people under the guise of remaining true to history or personal experience: all white folks didn't hold those fire hoses and all black folks didn't get on the bus with Freedom Riders, dig?
Big Boi says something like this: "Now question: is every nigga with dreads for the cause? Is every nigga with golds for the fall? Naw. So don't get caught in appearance."
But to build on TNC's key point here, I'll refer to a quote from James Baldwin: "History is not a procession of illustrious people. It's about what happens to a people. Millions of anonymous people is what history is about."
And, once upon a time, the Dunhams were merely anonymous people who chose to love their daughter and their brown-skinned grandson despite the relative disapproval of the world at large. Sure, Hawaii ain't Hattiesburg, but the racial lines were clearly drawn in the 1960s. Crossing them, no matter your address, was dangerous.
Back to TNC:
Right. And as much as I generally wish good health for everyone, I have a special place in my heart for Madelyn Dunham. She was one of those people who anonymously moved the history of our nation forward. It only seems just that Mrs. Dunham be around to see her grandson make a little history himself.
... let us speak of people who were ahead of their times, who were outside of their times. Let us remember that Barack Obama learned the great lessons of life from courageous white people. Let us speak of those who do what normal, right people should always do when faced with a child--commit an act love.
"Obama is about as far from being a socialist as Joe The Plumber is from being a rocket scientist," said Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution. "I think it's hard for McCain to call Obama a socialist when George Bush is nationalizing banks."But since when did McCain let anything like facts or book-learnin' get in the way of a good lie? Continue Reading »
Monday, October 20, 2008
Honestly, who skips out on the bill for Mexican food? Continue Reading »
It's important to remember that, as Colin Powell mentioned near the end of his endorsement of Barack Obama, our Muslim brothers and sisters are also serving this country overseas. (He was referring to the picture at right on "Meet the Press") Brothers like Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, who was killed in Iraq on Aug. 6, 2007, and whose remains were buried in Arlington. Obviously, plenty of people have lost sight of that sort of sacrifice over the course of this presidential campaign.
The Virginia GOP is losing its fucking mind. Honestly. This sort of stuff makes me sad for true, honest-to-goodness conservatives.
I mean, though I'm something of a socialist and all, I think that there are more than a few solid ideas coming from the conservative movement. You can make rational cases for deregulation in a number of industries, for instance. Not that I agree but I'll entertain those arguments.
But people like this, eh, they totally obscure those arguments with this sort of nonsense. Not just that, but it essentially limits brown-skinned folks to a single choice in electoral politics. I mean, it's extremely hard for me to swallow that sort of garbage and think voting Republican would be in my best interests.
This is an example of real voter fraud in California and, believe it or not, ACORN isn't involved. I refuse to patronize FOX News, so tell me, how did this play on their "news"casts?
More on voter fraud. To me, voting can sometimes prove to be a needlessly convoluted process.
Interesting post from Michael Tomasky, who shares a provocative e-mail highlighting some of the hypocrisy of racial stereotypes, especially when it comes to our presidential and veep nominees.
Florida is supposed to be central to McCain's hopes to claim the White House on Nov. 4. Looks like state GOP officials could care less. Particularly Gov. Charlie Crist, who at one time was thought to be a frontrunner for McCain's veep role. I wonder if Crist's reluctance to get on the stump for McCain is an effort to distance himself from a losing campaign and get in position for a 2012 run against potential candidates Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and, ugh, Palin. Just saying.
Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan and their right-wingy ridiculous ilk are sooooo predictable. Of course they believe Powell's endorsement of Obama comes down to simple - and, thus, simple-minded - racial solidarity. In the words of Steve Benen, "Far-right political analysis -- it's easier than thinking." And people wonder why I fiercely defend the "not guilty" verdict in the O.J. murder trial.
Spreading the wealth, McCain style.
I'm not sure how much newspaper endorsements matter but, for whatever it's worth, Obama is kicking McCain's ass. For what it's worth, my newspaper hasn't yet issued an opinion.
TNC points out that, all that noise in the primaries about Latinos not be willing to back Obama turned out to be, well, noise. Continue Reading »
Please get familiar with "The Human Tornado," folks. You won't be sorry.
Continue Reading »
Sunday, October 19, 2008
My initial impression is that it won't add up to much. Especially an endorsement coming from someone so closely aligned to the Bush Administration and the fiasco in Iraq. Not to mention, some pundits are already discrediting the decision as a show of racial solidarity - I imagine some other "working-class" voters might feel much the same way.
But, more than that, I'd like to highlight a couple of important things that Powell said NBC's "Meet the Press":
Powell also said "the approach the Republican Party and Mr. McCain" are taking on the campaign trail is getting "narrower and narrower" while Obama has been "inclusive." In a shot at Palin's remarks about small town values being superior, Powell -- born in Harlem, raised in the Bronx -- said Obama pushes the idea that "all villages have values, all towns have values." Powell said he was "disappointed" in McCain for tacking issues he found "no central" to the nation's challenges, specifically McCain's focus on Obama's association with education professor William Ayers, a former member of the violent radical group the Weather Underground.
... Powell, who served as Secretary of State for President George W. Bush, said he was also "troubled what members of the Republican party" have said along the lines of , "We know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." First off, Powell said, Obama is a Christian. But more to the point, he said, "is there something wrong with being a Muslim?" He worried about the message the GOP was sending to a hypothetical 7-year-old Muslim American who thinks he can grow up and be president some day.
Ignoring Hopkins' cliched spiel about the media, it's remarkable to think that the 43-year-old fighter has never really lost decisively since a 1993 title bout against Roy Jones Jr. Since that match 15 years ago, Jones has become something of a shot fighter and Hopkins has remained a viable championship contender.
“I’m tired of proving myself,” Hopkins yelled toward the reporters seated ringside.
Indeed, he entered this fight as an underdog, with many people calling the upstart Pavlik the next big thing in boxing. But after 12 rounds, it was clear that Pavlik did not have enough experience or skills to beat Hopkins, the former undisputed middleweight world champion.
“Ninety percent of the media picked Pavlik and I always appreciate naysayers,” Hopkins said. “That’s what motivates me.”
His full name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. And he owes back taxes, too, public records show. The premise of his complaint to Mr. Obama about taxes may also be flawed, according to tax analysts. Contrary to what Mr. Wurzelbacher asserted and Mr. McCain echoed, neither his personal taxes nor those of the business where he works are likely to rise if Mr. Obama’s tax plan were to go into effect, they said.Vetting and fact-checking simply aren't things McCain and his campaign have the time for, I suppose. Continue Reading »
So, basically, Palin's version of "real America" has more non-Hispanic whites than the general average. Sounds a lot like Wasilla. Or Main Street. It's just too bad she would have to govern from a Communist stronghold - and home to hundreds of thousands of Marxists black folks - like Washington, D.C.
Since her coming out in Dayton, Ohio on August, 29th, Palin has held (or is scheduled to hold) public events in 44 cities according to the Slate.com candidate tracker. These include all events described as "rallies", "town halls", "gatherings" or "discussions", but not things like press availabilities, fundraisers or debates. I looked at the racial composition of voting-age (18+) population in these 44 cities as according to the 2000 census.** They are, on average, 83.3 percent non-Hispanic white, 7.5 percent black, 5.2 percent Hispanic, and 4.0 percent "other". By comparison, the US 18+ population in 2000 was 72.0 percent white, 11.2 percent black, 11.0 percent Hispanic, and 5.9 percent other. Thirty-four of Palin's 44 cities were whiter than the US average.
UPDATE: More on fake America and the America conjured up by McCainites like Nancy Pfotenhauer. This time, it's northern Virginia - just close enough to those pinkos in D.C. - that's not real enough for Republicans.
UPDATE 2: UBM submits a link from a recent Palin rally. You know, just more real Americans. Continue Reading »