Saturday, February 21, 2009

The hangover and not the drink

Almost intentionally, I've refrained from commenting publicly about the poor, delusional woman who recently gave birth to children seven through 14. This was mostly because I had nothing of real substance to say.

But this almost throwaway line from Katha Pollitt intrigued me:

"Suleman seems to have combined an extraordinary degree of planning for conception with no realistic planning for childraising."
Imagine that, for a young, single, unemployed mother of few apparent financial means. This seems like the height of irresponsibility, right?

And it leads into this great observation from Megan of Jezebel:

"It seems like there are certain people who get more than a little entranced by the idea of getting married or having kids, fetishizing it even, to the point that they don't pay quite as much attention to being a spouse or parenting a child."
Spot on.

I'm not normally one to point to self-help books but my mother bought me a good one from Dr. Robin L. Smith several years ago (about 75 percent off at Sam's Club), when she feared that I was getting too close to a woman - pre First Lady - who might have brought me a lifetime's worth of misery.

In the book, Dr. Smith talks a lot about showing up to the altar and, likely in Suleman's case, to the obstetrician, as a grown-up. Mostly, the book is a reminder that if you're more concerned about the wedding and baby shower and not the work of marriage and parenthood, it's probably a good idea to reconsider them all.

And what to think of a woman who spent upwards of $160,000 on fertility treatments yet receives about $500 a month in food stamps? Perhaps that, my goodness, she and her children are in for an extremely bumpy ride:

“All I can do is do my very best and be there for them; be present in their lives and have them my absolute priority in my life,” Suleman said. “I was not expecting it.”
Surprise, surprise.
Continue Reading »

Linked Up

So many links, so little time:

1. Honestly, I'm really trying not to be too partisan today. But after reading about the latest bit of jibber-jabber to come from former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), I came to a sort of epiphany about the underlying cause of the GOP's struggles at the polls in the last couple of elections. They're simply outgunned when it comes to intelligence. Both sides of the aisles have their fair share of crooks and liars, but when it comes down to parsing policy and articulating a coherent vision, the modern Republican Party is the Washington Generals.

2. When I read this column from David Brooks about the problems of urban planning and the supposed American "dream" of more suburban sprawl, my bullshit detector started throbbing so badly that I needed a drink of water and a Flintstones vitamin. Glad to see that it wasn't just me.

3. The nationally renowned Posts, the one in Washington and the other in New York, should know – and do – better than that. Hilzoy absolutes devastates the editor's response to concerns about George Will's recent column about global, uh, cooling.

4. Via an old colleague and friend, John McWhorter claps back at Eric Holder over his assertion that we're a "nation of cowards" when it comes to discussing race. I'm trying to refrain from judging the substance of McWhorter's piece until I actually watch Holder's speech. But my initial thought is that McWhorter has based his thesis on quite a large bed of straw.

5. Please, quit with the histrionics and just take the money. Slate's Christopher Beam details what's at stake should GOP governors turn their backs on stimulus relief for their states. Why double down on the crazy?

6. Our nation's only black U.S. Senator, ladies and gentlemen: His press secretary quit Thursday, his chief of staff resigned yesterday and his "good friend" Gov. Pat Quinn has called on him to resign. The White House has asked him to, ahem, "think about his future." Now would probably be a good time for Roland Burris to freshen up that resume. And from here on out, we should go ahead and always describe him as "embattled."

7. You should take a look at this, ugh, Fox News interview with the mayor of Lansing, Mich., a rock-ribbed labor town if there ever was one. The mayor, Virg Bernero, is rightfully passionate about the implication from the anchor that auto workers must continue to surrender benefits even as the government continues to hand over billions of dollars to Wall Street bankers who were onboard when they steered the nation's economy into a ditch. Not only does the Fox anchor use that highly misleading figure of $70 an hour figure for automakers, but he also comes off as quite the condescending jerk. Greenwald nails it: "It's just not possible to overstate the stupidity both of our political discourse and of the TV actors who lead that discourse as they play the role of journalists."

8. Is it too early to start the calls for the impeachment of Obama? Thirty-one days is long enough for this charade of a presidency, right?

9. Because it's time I spoke out against the elite liberal media, I should note that the New York Times really should have 'fessed up and offered a sincere apology to Vicki Iseman. Remember, the blonde telecommunications lobbyist who some anonymous goons implied was having an affair with John McCain? By needlessly and shamelessly sexing up the story, they overlooked the bigger story about influence and possible conflicts of interests. John Cole echoes my general sentiments: "It was sleazy, and the Times did themselves and their readers a profound disservice, and continue to do themselves a disservice with their weaselly handling of their statement yesterday." James Rainey has some good thoughts about this issue, too.

10. Since when did college students think effort was merely enough to warrant an "A"? Not to get all old-school on you, but that's a bunch of bunk. Maybe this is what people are really referring to when they speak of the age of entitlement.

11. Apropos of nothing really, "Ring King" truly was a horrible video game. You almost have to be trying to ruin a game about boxing. Hard to believe that I ever owned that 8-bit piece of garbage.

12. Finally, a friend and former co-worker of mine wrote an online column, presumably as part of her graduate studies at USC. It's about blackface or something. Read it.

Twelve is my lucky number, so that seems a reasonable number of items for this week's edition. Continue Reading »

Friday, February 20, 2009

More from beyond the cutting edge

Being that he's a professional blogger and all, TNC beat me to posting the following segment from last night's Rachel Maddow Show:

I'm pretty much in agreement with Maddow and Melissa Harris-Lacewell. Especially this line from my favorite professor: "This is going to be fail. But it's going to be so funny."

In the end, I think Michael Steele's "stratergery" for hip-hop outreach can be summed up by another professor, Jeru.


Food: couple handfuls of almonds, couple handfuls of dried cherries, chocolate-chip granola bar, Target brand pomegranate fruit bar, Target brand tropical fruit strip, cup of light chocolate soy milk, rotisserie turkey, creamed spinach, grilled veggies and five sugar-free cookies. (I'm nothing if I'm not a slave to routine).

No workout. Three days in a row is enough. I'll be back on the grind Saturday or Sunday - 4 or 5 times a week is the goal, depending on my weekly schedule. I realize that I've got to tighten up that ship next week. Continue Reading »

The Notorious G.O.P.

They can hire Jay-Z and Nas to perform at all future College Republicans mixers. They could have J.C. Watts address a crowd with "Atomic Dog" playing over the loudspeaker. They could even have Daddy Yankee vouch for them at all political rallies.

Problem is, none of this has anything to do with their message. And therein lies the rub.

So when Michael Steele tries to go all backpack b-boy on us, talking about going "beyond the cutting edge" and invoking tired slanguage, we should all know better. One can only guess his next interview will be with The Source and not noted hip-hop journal, The Washington Times:

"We need messengers to really capture that region - young, Hispanic, black, a cross section ... We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings."

But, he elaborated with a laugh, "we need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets."

Ugh. Awkwaaaaard. Maybe his next big idea will be a D.J. Premier-produced version of "Barack the Magic Negro."

Once and again, I'll believe Steele and his, uh, posse, when he turns these lofty words into substantive political action. Beats and "bling-bling" and boomboxes aren't going to be enough. I'll meet them out there beyond "the cutting edge" - wherever that is - if they can honestly pull it off.

But before they start with the hip-hop makeover, a word of advice: for credibility's sake, please stop sending George "Macaca" Allen out on minority outreach efforts. He's really not helping your newfound cause.

h/t to Keith Olbermann for the title of the post.

UPDATE: Maria is right - I failed on my promise already. And, no, I haven't fallen off the wagon.

Food: Couple handfuls of almonds, handful of dried cherries, grilled chicken salad with Ranch dressing on the side, Target brand pomegranate fruit bar, Target brand tropical fruit strip, grilled chicken with grilled vegetables and a small cup of broccoli and cheese soup (believe it or not, this cuts the muster under my "regiment"). I also ate two - only two - chocolate-covered cherries. Dammit.

Workout: 20 minutes on the treadmill, 30 minutes of weightlifting. (no workout on Friday). Continue Reading »

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Finding the funny in Obama

This is really cute.

Conserva-tard Michelle Malkin is seen here posing for a picture with fans, some of whom don't seem to mind invoking use of the swastika for political funnies.
O-bama is a Nazi. Get it? This is he-larious. Almost as funny as, oh, I don't know ... comparing him to an escaped ape.

Remember when the punditocracy fretted about how hard it would be to find comedy gold in an Obama Administration? I can only assume they're still mining away.

Continue Reading »

This is why I'm fat

Because we're all tight like that, I'm going to share my personal struggles with sweets and cheese and carbs in general with you.

As such, I'm starting anew with my eating regiment (men don't diet) and workout plan. Like, today. Or this past Tuesday.

So as not to bore you too much, I'm just going to add a small list of the food I consumed throughout the day and my workout to the bottom of my final post of the day. This would normally be problematic because I tend to write all my posts the night before and then schedule them for posting the next day.

But this is a time to be serious and to soldier up. The actual food list and the final blog post of the day, most likely in the evening, will merely be something else to add to my to-do list.

I'm simply trying to hold myself accountable, readers. Things have gotten out of hand and, in a way, out of my pants. I need to be in beach shape for the summer. I need to look right for those engagement pictures that we need to take later this year. And I need to get rid of this steadily creeping back pain that I've been having - I'm too young for that.

This is 100-percent pure thug motivation.

So ... Wednesday:

Food - a couple handfuls of almonds, a handful of dried cherries, chef salad with ranch dressing on side, cup of white bean chicken chili, Target brand pomegranate fruit bar, Target brand tropical fruit strip, another handful of almonds, two Lean Pockets. (I'm mostly going with a low-carb sorta thing).

Workout - two and a half miles on the treadmill at 5.5-6.0 speed on a 5.0-5.5 incline for 22 minutes and three sets of incline crunches with a 25-pound plate (I got to the gym waaay late tonight).

Ok. No more big announcements. This will be just a very, very, very small addition to the blog. Promise. I've got some larger housecleaning issues on this site that I'm going to address in the near future.

For pictures of the sort of food that I need to avoid, check out this site.

P.S. Not to state the obvious but, yo, I still look damn good. Continue Reading »

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Best not to call this man "Uncle Tom"

This moment in Black History Month highlights the short-lived but relatively successful fighting career of Roy Innis. Few people were more eager for a televised scuffle - in a suit, no less - than Innis.

Judging from the available footage, Innis finished his fight career 2-0 with 1 KO and 1 chokeout.

I salute you, Mr. Innis. I'm sure plenty of people have wanted to knock Al Sharpton on his ass.

Continue Reading »

What's playing in my deck

I put together a helluva road mix CD for my weekend trip, if I say so myself. It was just a reminder that somewhere deep in my iTunes, I've got some good music.

I'll need some it this morning to get through Hump Day, for sure:

1. Tainted by Slum Village featuring Dwele.

2. I Can't Help It by Michael Jackson.

3. You Will Rise by Sweetback.

4. I Wish by Skee-Lo.

5. 24 Hours to Live by Mase featuring The Lox, Black Rob and DMX. No lie, I probably played this song about 50 times in the first two or three days after I heard it. This was my joint in college.

Speaking of Mase, I found the following YouTube video with a voiceover from someone who seems to be Cam'ron. I'm still trying to figure out if this thing is a hoax:

More later. Continue Reading »

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Deep thought

Thought of the day - hell, of the past couple weeks - from Atrios:

Every village has an idiot -- but what if the entire village is rife with them?
I'm particularly looking in your direction, California and Kansas. This financial crisis is exposing the charlatans among us, don't you think?

More on this later. Continue Reading »

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love taps

At the moment, I'm in the midst of a three-day getaway to the First Coast. It's all about the beach, some sightseeing and a lot of seafood.

Hopefully, the weather will eventually cooperate. Sixty degrees and cloudy skies just aren't going to cut it.

Anyway, this will probably be my last post for the next couple of days. Because that's the point of a getaway, no?

But a few things:

1. The First Lady and I caught most of "The Breakup" with Vince Vaughan and Jennifer Aniston late last night and earlier this morning. Gotta say that we were both disappointed with the end.

2. That said, hands down the best romantic comedy of my lifetime has to be "When Harry Met Sally." I'll stop whatever I'm doing - within reason - to watch that movie.

3. I learned last night that I like bread pudding. It only took me 30 and a half years to figure this out. In particular, I'm a fan of white chocolate sundried cherry bread pudding. Who knew?

4. Now that I've had time to think about it, I really want to apologize for the Deep Thought last week. In no way did I mean to make light of the abuse allegations against Chris Brown. I'll refrain from much comment until there's been some sort of resolution in the case. But whether herpes or infidelity or sheer teenage stupidity preceded the alleged assault, there's never a reason for a man to put his hands on a woman in anger. The whole situation, in general, just makes me sad. Also, check out this link to Jay Smooth's interview with Elizabeth Mendez Berry, who wrote Vibe magazine's 2005 Love Hurts feature about domestic violence within (and without) hip-hop.

5. And because I love you all, here's a gift of music. Happy belated Valentine's Day. I wish my arms were long enough to hug you all:

Show Me The Way featuring Raphael Saadiq - Earth, Wind & Fire Continue Reading »

Deep thought

The owners of today's most disgusting job has to be the cleaning staff at any hotel. Continue Reading »