Lessons of the Election

⊆ 8:42 AM by James Manning | ˜ 9 comments »

The pundits and ideologist will tell you that there were some profound messages sent to politicians as it relates to the elections results in New Jersey and Virginia governor races. They’ll look at the NY-23 race and highlight the significance of the race and what it means for the Congressional races of 2010.

Many of them will be right on some levels but mostly they will not give you the gist of what really took place and what it means. I am no political insider or historian but I’ve followed politics long enough to know that what seems complicated to the media and politicians are very simple to the voters.

And that is my perspective on this. What the voters said and what politicians can learn from it.

All Politics are local: Never forget this. The three major elections may very well have some national implications but they are first and foremost local races. In Virginia, it was a rematch of Deeds and McDowell. McDowell, the conservative, ran a basic campaign and discussed the issues facing the people of Virginia. Deeds, conversely, talked about a paper McDowell wrote almost two decades ago. That didn’t work in the Presidential race and it certainly won’t work in a race for governor.

The New Jersey race came down to Gov. Corzine’s record. Taxes, jobs, corruption was the meme of that race and Corzine was behind the eight ball on all three. Christy ran a poor campaign but when the incumbent has no accomplishments to point out, he’s in for a long election night.

In the NY-23rd race is now the poster child for this lesson. The Conservative Party candidate, backed by a lot of big-named Conservatives did an interview where it was clear he had no idea of the issues that matter to the people in that district. Dick Army, a GOP operative then went on to say that those issue were parochial. That was a major misstep. Those issues matter. People will first care if the trash is being collected and that the garbage is being removed well before they care about making a statement about the President’s agenda. Any mayor worth his salt would tell you the same.

It’s Not About Obama… It is about Obama: It sounds crazy but both sides have a point. Although the races came down to local issues, there is a mood in this country that the Democrats are overreaching and people are anxious. That sentiment is ignored at the peril of the Democrat Party. The Democrats now have a year to SHOW that their policies will indeed make America a better place. History is not on their side. More often than not, the Party in power loses seats in midterm elections and 2010 should be no different. How many seats are lost is up the strength of the candidate and the economy as a whole. As an outsider it is possible to run on rhetoric. As an incumbent, you must run on accomplishments.
Conservatism is not dead: Karl Rove made the grave mistake of making remarks about a permanent majority for the GOP. The same holds true for Democrats. Conservatism is a main staple of American politics. Its issue is not that people no longer believed in it, it’s just that when those who touted it as their basis for governing didn’t abide by its principles once in power. Neo-Cons are gone (for now, but they’ll be back). Conservatism is not like being a Libertarian where it sounds good but no one believes you could actually govern a country in that fashion. It is possible to run the government using Conservative principles. So they’ll always be around and Liberals would be better served if we listened to them.

Tea baggers and Shill Conservatism equals loss: Forty percent of Americans identify themselves as “conservative”. But a very small segment of that 40 percent would say they believe Obama is not American, the Liberals are the enemy of America or that Creationism and Evolution should have equal standing in a science class. Yes, the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaugh’s of the world can draw ratings but remember, even with their ratings, these individuals are have a daily listening audience of maybe three percent of the American populous. The two GOP candidates in New Jersey and Virginia didn’t win by screaming socialism and Marxism. Note how Sarah Palin campaigned for neither and both won but the candidate she publicly supported, lost in the NY-23rd. There is a way back for Republicans but it’s not through a tea bagging revolt rally.

There are not coattails in midterm elections: A President can help lose a lot of seats during the mid-term elections but he can’t win many. Democrats must realize that the enthusiastic electorate of an historical campaign run cannot be duplicated for Congressmen and governors. Pundits are asking where were all of the young people and minorities that voted during the election. They were at home not giving a damn about the choices on the ticket. It is up to the candidate to generate the enthusiasm. You must give people a reason to come out and support you. The opposition has built-in enthusiasm. Not the case for an incumbent.

There is nothing scientific about any of this. Once you remove your partisan goggles, it is clear what the way forward is for both parties.


Test Site

⊆ 10:35 AM by James Manning | ˜ 5 comments »

this test


Friday’s List-O-Rama: What the boss is really saying

⊆ 9:24 AM by James Manning | ˜ 3 comments »

Corporate communication is an art form that takes several years to master. As one who has sat through many meetings and fireside chats, I am well aware of the underline meaning of management lingo. For those of you just entering the workforce, this is my quick guide to the lexicon of Corporate America and by extension, a graduate level education for managers who are not well versed in the art of dealing with the peasants.

So here are 15 sayings in Corporate America and what they really mean.

1. Let’s think out of the box: To date, all of your ideas suck and we are still hemorrhaging money like a drunken sailor in a whore house.

2. I’m looking for your to knock the ball outta the park: Just because I pay you peanuts does not mean I don’t expect you to work like I’m paying you as though you were making my salary. So STFU and give me more.

3. The ball is in your court – STFU and do your job.



John Stewart At His Best

⊆ 7:55 AM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »


Michael Steele Running Into Problems

⊆ 10:50 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

This is what I wrote the day after Michael Steele was elected the head of the RNC

I’m not surprised that Michael Steele was elected head of the RNC. The GOP needs to re-brand itself into a contemporary Party. I think he’s going to have a hard time expanding the Party considering that the core of the Republican Party doesn’t believe in its moderates. He’ll have to figure out how to make himself and not Rush Limbaugh the voice of the Party. That will not be easy. READ POST

I’m almost amazed as to how right I was about this. There is wind that GOPers are not happy with Mr. Steele as evident reading this:

"I think it's been a disaster of a first month," a Republican insider tells the DC Examiner. "He needs to disappear for 60 days, go and staff the building, put his personal energy into making sure he has the people he wants, and go from there.

That's what people are hoping he will do."

"It's not good," says another. "People feel that it's been very erratic at a time when we really need some sort of stabilizing force."

So far, Steele has responded with defiance. In an interview with Politico, he dismissed GOP critics as "nervous Nellies." SOURCE

It is too early to count Steele out but the clock is now ticking. I assume that after this week we will see less of Steele for a few months. My guess is that he’d much rather be out front waxing memes with the media rather be behind the scenes doing the grunt work of building an organization. He probably thought his face alone was enough but he’d better learn to balance both roles better real soon because if the GOP does not make significant gains in 2010, Michael Steele is gone.


To All My Blogging Friends

⊆ 11:40 AM by James Manning | ˜ 3 comments »

I've been working on a new blog call All World Crew. The site is live now but I won't start pushing it until Sunday. What I am asking from you guys is that you put a link for that blog on your blog. It will help me start generating some traffic. I'll return the favor of course!!!

I just your help pushing this blog. I'll still do this blog as I need an outlet to talk crap. But for the most part, I'll be working on the sports blog. Thanks in advance.

Drop me a comment over there when you check it and let me know what you think.


Stranger Danger Jindal

⊆ 7:44 AM by James Manning | ˜ 8 comments »

I have never witnessed a meteor burn as it enters the earth’s atmosphere. Just this past week scientist saw a gamma blast that is 9000 times more powerful than a supernova. That must have been some site. For average folk like me, last night afforded us the greatest opportunity to witness a cosmic explosion up-close and personal as the rising star called Bobby Jindal 2012 flailed and came crashing to earth in spectacular form.

Given the thankless task of what many consider one of President Obama’s finest speeches, Gov. Jindal lurched into our homes like mad scientist ready to explain how he has created a machine that could destroy the world and would use it if we did not submit to his rule. He then rambled on about soup cans, store aisle and how American can do anything in a tone that generally used by strangers dangling candy to children when trying to lure them into the car.

Once Gov. Stranger Danger Jindal got into the “substance” of his speech (and I use that term as loosely as one possibly could) he must have thought he was talking to a nation full of 4-year-olds. The melodic, folksy, southern drawl with a hint of Pashto further highlighted the creepiness of the address and mercifully ended with me thinking that I just finished watching a perverted episode of Romper Room.

Between Caribou Barbie and Stranger Danger Jindal, the GOP is poised for a character filled primary. The only thing that will come from SDJ’s “response” (and I have to use that term looser than a French whore) is that people will sit down with their children today and use the footage as an example of creepy people to stay away from.


Black Community Reaction to Stimulus Package

⊆ 1:51 PM by James Manning | ˜ 3 comments »

I am going to discuss this topic on my upcoming show but I wanted to get a sense of what you guys had to say. Let me set it up. I've been listening to WVON and hearing complaints about how the stimulus package does not address the specific needs of the black community. There is rumbling that putting so much money towards infrastructure does not create jobs for black people because we are not in that industry in great numbers. A lot of black people are in the service industry and that is where Barak Obama should have targeted stimulus in order to help our community.

I also want to tie this discussion in with a previous discussion about spending money in the black community. The theory of having money circulate in our community to create economic development is nothing new and there is ample evidence that the "multiplier effect" is sound economic policy.

But the question I have is are we thinking too small when it comes to economic development? While it would be nice to do all of my shopping with African Americans, it is also true that globalization means that a lot of businesses have to compete in a highly competitive arena. So rather than holler about what money is not coming in, we should look at where the economic activity is taking place and look to get a part of the pie.

For instance, Youngstown Ohio created an incubator project for high tech companies after losing its manufacturing base. The incubator has created several profitable companies with more growing because of the collaborative nature of the system.

Then there is the pastor, Van Jones, in Oakland, CA who received grants to train low-income people on green-construction jobs and organic foods. (Read More)

Both are innovative approaches to creating jobs and economic development and they are in areas where this administration is making its biggest investment. So while I hear complaints about what we are not getting, I'm not seeing any innovating thinking as to what we ought to be doing.

The Urban League has a few good programs but what of the small black owned businesses in Chicago taking charge. Do we have incubator projects initiated by the private sector? Is the city of Chicago or black tech businesses in particular thinking of the next generation of products that will come from nanotechnology?

Again, I ask all of this because I believe our politicians think incrementally when the times call for bold initiatives. I will read you comments on the show and I look forward to a robust discussion.


T.I. Spoof - Obama, Whatever You Like

⊆ 5:50 PM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »


Entertainment News: Suge Knight - Transformers - Jayson Williams Pisses in Sink

⊆ 6:46 AM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »

It seems that Suge Knight is losing is mojo. For the longest time, he was the beast of hip hop. I remember when Death Row Records ruled hip hop? Now it seems that Suge spends more time on his back than he does in the office.

The man responsible for putting Suge Knight in hospital over the weekend is not Akon's manager.

Reports surfaced earlier today (February 15) that Knight ended up in hospital last night after brawling with Robert Carnes Jr. at an Akon hosted party at the W Hotel in Arizona.

Police who arrived at the scene witnessed Carnes Jr. hit Knight twice in the head and had to taser both men to end the brawl.

According to TMZ, Knight fractured several bones in his face and has been discharged from the local hospital where he received treatment.

Carnes Jr. told police that he was Akon's business manager but the singer's publicist released a statement to TMZ denying Carnes Jr's claims.

"He is not Akon's business manager, David Bolno is," said Akon's publicist.

Carnes Jr. is still in custody and has been charged with one count of felony aggravated assault.

This marks the second time in nine months that Knight has ended up in hospital due to a brawl. Last year the mogul was knocked out cold at a Los Angeles nightspot after getting to brawl with a local barber.

Akon had left the party when the altercation occured.

In case you don't remember. Here is Suge Knight getting knocked out at another party. Maybe the dude should just stay at home:

Jason Williams:

Remember when Jayson Williams killed his limo driver playing around with a loaded gun. I always thought the guy was a little off and it seems that his divorce proceedings will reveal even more nuttiness:

The has-been hoopster who's still facing criminal charges in the death of a limo driver was sued Friday by his wife, who says the former Phoenix Suns No. 1 draft pick liked to go No. 1 in a sink.

Tanya Young Williams filed divorce papers in Manhattan Supreme Court in which she accuses the ex-Nets star of faking stomach cancer and suicide, and of threatening to kill her. Source

I've heard of taking a leak while in the pool (which is nasty), but how does one regard pissing in the sink? The same sink you fill to wash your face.


A Friday Funny - How Officer Ricky Got Signed

⊆ 7:26 AM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »

This is from 50 Cents' new website thisis50.com


Friday's Top Ten: 10 Worst Rappers

⊆ 10:30 AM by James Manning | ˜ 68 comments »

UPDATE (FEB 2009): This post was first made back in 2005 and since then my opinion has changed quite a bit. Most notably my take on Lil Wayne. In 2005, I thought he was the worst rapper of all time but he has proven to me that he does not belong on this list. So, replacing Lil Wayne as the worst rapper is Vanilla Ice. Lloyd Banks also has been removed from this list and in his place we have Tony Yayo (this after hearing more of his music and crying like a bitch to 50). The jury is still out for Mike Jones so he will make the honorable mention roll until I have time to suffer through more evidence.

I'm going to present a new list of Top 10 every Friday. There are a lot of bad rappers out there but I purged my memory of MC's and I think most of the people I mention would fall on any rap fan's list of worst rappers. But if they didn't, I don't give a damn because to me... these cats suck to the highest of sucktivity.

Top Ten: 10 Worst Rappers of All-Time

1.(3) Vanilla Ice – Hell, everything that needs to be said has already been said about this cat.
2.(-) Tony Yayo – It's bad enough he can't rap. But not being able to rap plus not having the good sense not to kill the goose that lay the golden egg is a crime. Crying over how bad he f---ed up is what got him to number two.
3. (5) Chingy – Marketing is a hell of an art. That is the only reason Chingy sold anything. Luda hooked him up. But they say never kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Chingy didn’t learn that and for that, he has been exposed as the wack rapper he always was. Moved up the chart after hearing one of his songs on Youtube. The more I experience him, the worse he gets.
4.(-) Marky Mark - I had completely forgotten about this rapper until I say that pile of human feces he called a Max Payne. It's an appropriate title for a movie that gave me heart burn. All this movie did was remind me of just how bad of a rapper he once was.
4.(3) Lil Romeo – Ok, pops put you on the scene but you are garbage. Maybe one day you’ll grow into a respectable rapper. But right now, you suck.
5(4). E40 – The worst the west coast has ever produced (and the west has produced a lot of bad rappers). His voice is annoying and his style is… is… hell, what style? I can’t even think of one good record that I’ve ever heard from him. When I hear one of his songs or see him on TV, I just automatically say, "nigga please" and reach to tune him out.
6. Lil John – God, I can not stand this dude. How the hell did he get a record deal. His most famous line is.. Whhhaaaat!!! I challenge someone to come up with one verse the brother has recited that made you go 'damn, that was tight'. You can't because all that comes to mind with Whhhaaaaat. And the top five rappers should be ashamed of themselves that they rank higher than this bastard. Lets face it, if you have a 'Lil' in front of your name - you suck.
7. Jermaine Dupri – I give the man props on his business skills. But he still sucks as a rapper.
8. Coolio – If it wasn’t’ for the hair and the Lakeside beat, we would have never known you.
10. Young MC – This man represents everything that went wrong when white folks started liking rap. From young MC came rap in television commercials and news anchors ending the telecast saying ‘bust the move.’ He should be number 1 except the (9) rappers before him are just too inept not be where they are. Young MC single-handly brought about the demise of rap as an urban genre. I hope you are happy with yourself.

I have to do a Honorable Mention because I just want to communicate to the following rappers that I have not overlooked the fact that as rappers, ya'll suck as well.

Honorable Mentions: (Mike Jones), Nelly, Tone Loce, DJ Quick, Luke, Mase, Lil Flip, Charlie Baltimore


Entertainment Rumors and Beef

⊆ 7:12 AM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »

Here is the lastest that I read on AllHipHop.com

According to unverified sources, Rihanna and Chris Brown broke up two weeks ago. Rihanna didn't want to break up with Chris, but he was reportedly done with her. Management forced him to act "lovey" for the Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party. He didn't want to. Rihanna's publicist, in confidence, asked him to the same. He agreed. They attended the Clive Davis party together. Management allegedly asked for Chris to drive with Rihanna in his car after the event was over for paparazzi pictures.

According to my sources, Rihanna started acting like they were in a relationship still, not realizing that it was indeed completely over. Chris told her he wasn't really with her, it was for publicity and that she needed to get it through her head that it was over. Adding insult to injury - like my previous source said - Chris picked up a girl he had a date with that night WHILE Rihanna was in the car. So, the girl was in the car like a third WHEEL.

It would appear that Chris has completely moved on from Rihanna from this new girl. My source tells me that Chris was actually acting very childish for doing his in front of Rihanna. Suddenly, Rihanna snapped and that's the situation got crazy, my sources say. Rihanna allegedly punched Chris in the face while she was screaming, and then he hit started hitting her back. Noticing there was blood, somebody called 911 and my sources say "the girl" is the one that made that call.

Here is my take. As I posted yesterday, Chris Brown has seen domestic violence in his personal life. Understand, when you are continually exposed to something as a child, it becomes a part of you. It may manifest in different ways, positive or negative, but that experience becomes a part of your DNA. So, if the story is true and Rhianna started dropping handles on CB, his reaction may not be the same as a dude who grew up in a home where he didn't see his old man going upside his moms head.

So when Rhianna started landing haymakers, instead of putting her in a chokehold, as I am apt to do - he starts treating the sister like a punching bag. And you know it's bad when the new chick calls the police. This is all conjecture on my part because we don't really know what happens. But... as it stands now, CB has some problems but at the same time, trying to get a pissed off Caribbean chick off you is a daunting task and a karate chop to the back of the throat may be you only recourse. And as Chris Rock said, Not that condone it... but I understand.

Here are some additional links and it doesn't look good for CB at all:

Rihanna's Injuries -- "Horrific"


Chris Brown & Beef

⊆ 8:08 AM by James Manning | ˜ 0 comments »

There are a lot of words going around regarding this story, but Chris Brown would be wise to recall his own words.


Another Quick Thought Monday

⊆ 7:09 AM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »

I've been off the blogs for a minute trying to get my business started, but there are some things that happened the past week that interest me.

First, the Grammy Awards was pretty good. I was impressed with the collaborative performances. TI and Justin Timberlake, Lil Wayne and Robin Thicke, and the Stevie Wonder with the Jonas Brothers. It is the only award show that I would be interested in seeing live. And props to Jennifer Hudson. She is such a beautiful woman. Oh, and Cold Play is my favorite rock group.

Second thought. Why do they even bother with the Pro Bowl game? I watch for about 45 seconds then grew board of the entire ordeal and turned back to HGTV.

Well that's it. Back to the hustle.


Monday Quick Thoughs

⊆ 7:31 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl game was much better than I anticipated and I did find myself pulling for the underdog at times. However, I think the better team won and as a Steelers fan, I’m happy about it. It is funny how the past two weeks sports writers talked about the Arizona receivers and a Pittsburgh receiver gets the game MVP.

As much as I love the Bears, I must admit that the Steelers are the best ran pro football organization in the league. They are always competitive and never stray far from their core identity.

Michael Steele

I’m not surprised that Michael Steele was elected head of the RNC. The GOP needs to re-brand itself into a contemporary Party. I think he’s going to have a hard time expanding the Party considering that the core of the Republican Party doesn’t believe in its moderates. He’ll have to figure out how to make himself and not Rush Limbaugh the voice of the Party. That will not be easy.

Stimulus Bill

I think Obama may have dropped the ball on this. He let the House Democrats put forth a bill that included a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with stimulating job growth. Most members in the House (Republican and Democrat) are tone deaf when it comes to politics and its hard to expect much from them. There are some things that are good for the long-term that should be there but about $100 billion is crap.

Something needs to get done and hopefully the Senate will get things in order but I think politics is going to ruin the bill. I do respect Obama for reaching out to Republicans and he must continue to do so because it will be easy to fall into partisan politics. He should leave that up to the media and bloggers and remain open to all ideas.



⊆ 7:46 AM by James Manning | ˜ 0 comments »

I just read an article in Fast Company about the story behind bisphenaol A (BPA), and how the chemical industry manipulates the data to ensure its continued use. According to the article, BPA is found in almost everything from CD’s and DVD’s, to cell phones, eyeglasses and drinking bottles. It’s also used in infant-formula cans and clear plastic baby bottles. Numerous studies have shown that when heated, the chemical can latch onto to food and liquids.

BPA in the body acts as a synthetic form of estrogen, which can cause infertility or cancer. Most of the studies stating that BPA is safe come from industry sponsored research. But there are studies from consumer groups and institutional research that come to a different conclusion but the FDA relies heavily on the research provided by the industry. Additionally, there are organizations such as The Weinberg Group that specialize in defending companies that produce dangerous chemicals and the “PR problem” that comes with it. The defended the use of fen-phen and ephedra in such a way that it took ten years to finally pull the drugs from the market.

I believe everyone should read this article but it will not only educate you on the chemical but it really shines a light on how inadequate the FDA is in protecting us and how little corporations care about the safety of the American consumer.

This is even more evident with the recent salmonella outbreak that we now know was caused by tainted peanut butter. Think about that for a moment. TAINTED PEANUT BUTTER. People are being killed by the Keebler Elf. And I do say killed because it has come to light that a company’s own test identified the contamination but instead of pulling the product, they shopped for a negative result. This shopping occurs time and time again and it is the public that pays the tab.

The response from the FDA and the Georgia Department of Agriculture is that they relied upon the test provided by the company. Should we not be concerned about this process? We relied upon the banks to regulate themselves and look where that got us. We have companies knowingly producing hazardous products but because of financial concerns, they place the public at risk. Now because of the criminal acts of a peanut butter manufacturer, eight people are dead and over 500 have been sickened by their product.

Where is the outrage? I realize that this is a complicated issue and not at all sexy. But seriously, the media spent a week discussing a “lipstick on a pig” comment by Barak Obama. Certainly our safety deserves more attention than that.

Until the FDA steps up to the plate and the chemical industry comes clean, the best thing to do is purchase glass baby bottle and you can go to Amazon.com BPA-Free product listing: Also, be very cautious of anything you read in the Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology journal as they are sponsored by the same people that tried to convince you that fen-phen was a safe product.


The Criminal Minded of Stereotypical Absurdity

⊆ 8:47 AM by James Manning | ˜ 0 comments »

There was a time when you could listen to a news report and right away know the race of the victim or perpetrator of the report simply based on the description of the incident. I must admit, I just knew the DC sniper was some pissed off white boy from Kentucky. It has gotten to the point that you can’t put anything past any race. We now have ample evidence that black folks are just as sick, demented and crazy as our white brethren.

However, full integration has to taken place in one area when it comes to black people: and that is being killed by exotic animals. Oh, we’ll get mauled by a pit bull and I’ve known a few to be killed after hitting a deer. But the brunt of this absurdity still rest with non-African Americans. Let’s take for example: getting killed by a tiger. The circumstances under which one is killed by a tiger will determine if it is indeed tragedy or comedic relief for the rest of us.

If you go on a safari and happen to end up in the belly of a tiger, that is a tragedy. If you are a zoo keeper and get mauled by a tiger, we could consider that a tragedy as well. However, if you are eaten by a tiger that is in a zoo and your entrance into said zoo was through the turnstile, then we have every right to laugh at your dumb ass. Oh, the laughs continue when you are then caught shoplifting a Wii after seeing your buddy mauled by aforementioned tiger. So until some dudes named Mookie and Raheem get themselves killed trying to retrieve the blunt they dropped in the tiger pit, I’m reserving meeting ones maker by the teeth of a caged carnivorous animal to those outside of the African American community.

Now, as I’ve stated before, black folk have proven themselves very adept in getting into situation where there are no reasonable explanations for the level of dumbness that is before us. The DC sniper was act of terrorism and although I do not believe in the death penalty, if we are going to have the law on the books, he is one that is deserving of such a fate. But that’s a sick crime not a dumb one.

Dumb crimes, which I believe dwell primarily in world of black folk can be seen in all of its glory with the likes of OJ Simpson and Congressman Jefferson. You see, only a black man could get away with murdering two white people then get sent to prison for attempting to steal a picture that was stolen from him of woman he murdered. The irony is not lost on anyone and I believe God not only want to punish him, but give all of us something to laugh about in the process. Yes, white folks get their comeuppance (Bernie Madoff comes to mind) but never in such comedic form.

We can say the same for Congressman Jefferson. What makes this so uniquely black is not the bribery, or that he hid the money, or even that he hid it in his freezer. What makes this so black is that he actually tried to explain away the money in the freezer. Only a black man would do that: “You see officer, it’s not what it looks like. There’s a perfectly good explanation why I got $90,000 in the freezer.” I could go on with this joke but we all know anything that follows would be absurd no matter how plausible is sounded.

As one of those that believe in equal opportunity and diversity, I’m still holding on to some of these stereotypes. I’m sure one day black people will get mauled by lions at Brookfield Zoo and some black Warren Buffet type will end up in jail for stealing $50 billion. Then those jokes will fade away. After all, there was a time when discussing a black president would garner hysterical laughter. Go figure.


It's Not All Black and White

⊆ 11:33 AM by James Manning | ˜ 0 comments »

The thing about blogging is that most bloggers are not very comfortable with ambiguity. I read the blogs of conservatives and liberals and most people will not even entertain the idea that their opinion may not encompass all of the parameters to a particular situation. This is very true with it comes to the hot button issues: abortion, gay marriage, torture, tax cuts and so on and so on.

Abortion: This past week was the something anniversary (I won’t even bother to get the exact number…look it up) of Roe v Wade and of course there was a little brouhaha from both sides. The question that no one ever answers is what would happen if we overturned RvW? “Let the states decides…” yeah I get that part but what happens if a state bans abortion? Would it become a criminal act? Who gets charged, the doctor, the woman or both? Would the charge be murder? Would the law apply even if the woman gets an abortion in a state where it is legal?

Gay Marriage: A gay couple can purchase a house together. They can draw up legal documents protecting joint assets. If fact of the 1600 laws that govern marriage, a gay couple is not banned from creating a legal binding contract that encompasses most of those laws… as long as they don’t call it marriage. That’s like saying I can use all of the ingredients needed for a salad as long as I don’t call the final a salad.

This is what our collective civil discourse has become. Polar stances, black and white with gray being treated as the red-headed stepchild. There are very few who are willing to quiver about their opinion for fear of not being seen as principled.

Well, the world is complicated and I think we should be wary of the simple suggestions to solve complicated situations. Because if the answers were so simple I think we would have resolved a lot of these issues a long time ago.


Friday's Listings

⊆ 8:11 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

The Inauguration not only ushered in a new era of American governance, but marked the death of some things important and not-so important.

1. Twelve strait hours of news coverage: Do we really need a play-by-play of every little thing that happens? Why do I need to know who made the socks the Marines are wearing? After the first few hours you could tell the talking heads had ran out of things to say. Whenever that happens you know the pundits will attempt to out cliché one another and as interesting as that is to watch, even that gets old after about 15 minutes.

2.The word “Historic”: Yeah, it was an historic event but damn if I didn’t hear that word every 15 seconds. We should completely ban the use of that word for the rest of Obama’s presidency.

3. “Did you ever think you’d live to see this day?”: Did anybody? Talk about fishing for emotional television… No, I never thought I’d live to see a day when a black man is president… but hell, I never thought I’d live to see the day when the Cardinals make it to the Super Bowl!

4. Bows on Hats: Aretha Franklin is the Queen but I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney tries to sue her for copyright infringement. Minnie don’t you weep, they’ll return you bow before the week is up. On the bright side, all she needed was a strong rubber band attached to it and she could have flown out of there and avoided the traffic.

5. Poetry: I’m sure Elizabeth Alexander is an excellent writer and poet. I am not poet laureate and who am I to question a woman who has a Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania? Still, I was not at all enthralled by her poem. Maybe it’s the way she read it. Say what you will about rap, at least its entertaining and it rhymes.

6.President Bush: He truly looked uncomfortable and I was happy that Obama dug at him at times. The world is a safer place today because we no longer have a dry drunk running this country (into the ground).

7.Neo-Cons: I read the blogs. They are grasping ever so fervently to their bitter straws in the hopes of maintaining some relevance. Their posting pictures of the National Mall after the crowds have left..”oohh, lookie here. See how much trash they left behind. What is Obama going to do about that?” Yes, it’s pitiful but it’ll take them a few years to get their footing.


The Day After History is Made

⊆ 7:48 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

Having a black president affords us the opportunity to ponder the words of great African Americans that paved the way for this moment in history. If we recall the words of Dr. King, he spoke:

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

We can now say that for most African Americans, this condition no longer exists. However, there are many that live under similar conditions, not shackled by the color of their skin but by the mediocrity of their education and the severity of their poverty. This is the challenge of our generation and we will have to engage to ensure that in 40 years, these vices too will come to pass.

This calls us to be mindful that President Obama cannot do this by himself. He needs the people to advocate and lobby for changes in policy. If we want President Obama to succeed, then we must at times push him and at other times, support him. Fredrick Douglass spelled out an agenda that people must claim:

"Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters."

"This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others."

Frederick Douglass, 1857

The past eight years has been one of anti-intellectual discourse and ostracizing those that had the nerve to dissent. Those days are behind us. Now we can truly discuss the issues. I’m sure many conservatives will cling to their petty diatribes as evident with the postings on Townhall.com. But if Ann Coulter’s recent book sales are any indication, Conservatives are tuning out to voices of the far-right fringe, but we will see how long that theory holds water.

Today, I am feeling good about the future on this country and Aretha is STILL the Queen!!!


And It is Done

⊆ 11:58 AM by James Manning | ˜ 4 comments »

So we now have the 44th President of the United States. It is a great moment in American History.


A New Day - Nuff Said

⊆ 7:32 AM by James Manning | ˜ 0 comments »


Random Thoughts

⊆ 7:56 AM by James Manning | ˜ 0 comments »

After listing to Bush’s yawning farewell address, I couldn’t help but wonder exactly what the hell is he talking about. He made Iraq it sound as though Iraq was going swell and Afghanistan isn’t on the verge of complete chaos. He made no mention of the current economic crisis but to his credit finally vanquished the “52 straight months of economic growth” line.

I’m sure Bush’s point was to have the speech be one that historians can look back on and discover how right he was. I doubt that will happen but just in case I’ll keep the blog up so people can google and re-discover just how inept of a president he was.


The movie comes out today and my fellow blogger TopMack has an interesting take on what was really going down behind all the bling. I have no intention of seeing the movie but not because I don’t like Biggie. In fact, the opposite is true; I am a big fan of his music. However, I can help but look at the previews and believe this movie will fall well short of my cinematic expectations. For people who thought Friday After Next was a good movie, this film is their Casablanca.

I, however, am a harsh critic of movies and do not suffer mediocrity lightly – especially considering the cost of movie tickets and popcorn. I’ve read the reviews of reputable critics but I recall that these same critics thought American Gangster was a great movie when it just barely passed for being good.


Are You Kidding Me

⊆ 2:23 PM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »

I just read this:

BALTIMORE – A city housing official pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing gift cards meant for needy children, becoming the latest public figure snagged in a probe that led to Mayor Sheila Dixon's indictment last week.

Lindbergh Carpenter Jr., 44, of Owings Mills pleaded guilty to stealing $140 worth of gift cards bought with city money for a Christmas program.

The cards never went to needy children. Instead, Carpenter used them to pay for part of a Nintendo Wii video game console for his own family, prosecutors said. Read

This is the type of crap that make people hate public officials. To some, $140 may not seem like a lot of money but it is the principle of the matter. To steal from poor children is about as low as one can go. It is especially low when you consider that he stole from needy children to buy A GAME!!! Not to feed his children; not to keep the heat on in the house; not to buy groceries. He purchased a game.

Someone needs to kick his arse!!!!


Just A Thought - The Weather Report

⊆ 7:26 AM by James Manning | ˜ 0 comments »

On Monday evening, there was endless coverage of the pending onslaught winter was about to deal Chicago. I seldom bother with weather reports but this time I decided to be proactive and take a sick day and save my self the trouble of commuting during a blizzard. I awoke Tuesday morning, not blistering cold temperatures and blowing snow, but to sunshine and sub-zero wind chills.

This is not the type of weather that Chicagoans worry about. And its certainly not the type of weather I deem fit for a sick day. No, a proper sick day is used in the summer to extend a weekend when the temperatures are in the mid-80’s. A sick day is for a drive to Wisconsin Dells or spending the day at Lincoln Park Zoo.

It seems as though the weather reports look to scare the crap out of people any time we get more than 2 inches of snow as though we’ve never had snow before. Unless the temperatures falls to 20-below or 12 inches of snow is on the way, there is no need to make a big fuss about the weather. C’mon Chicago, lets get it together. Cowboy the f--- up and save those sick days for the Taste.


NFL Playoff Weekend

⊆ 8:00 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

Of the many things that took place over the weekend, none were more important than the NFL Playoffs. I am relieved that the Giants are no longer in the running and as I predicted, Carolina is not a Super Bowl caliber team.

Today’s papers are filled with headlines of “Shock!” as three underdogs won and only one home team won. The only surprise is how badly Carolina got beat by the Cardinals. Is it that surprising that Eli Manning had trouble with the Eagles secondary? How surprised are we that the Titans couldn’t score against Baltimore’s defense? Last week there was discussion that the Chargers may not miss LT considering how Sproles racked over 300 all-purpose yards against the Colts. Um… whatever. The Colts and the Steelers are two entirely different animals and any comparisons between the two should stop at “they are both NFL teams”.

I predict the Eagles and Ravens will win next week but I will not be surprised if the Cardinals and Steelers pull it out. Either way, the Super Bowl will be interesting despite the old-fart halftime show. We’ll discuss that on another post.


The Perils of Identity Politics

⊆ 8:07 AM by James Manning | ˜ 7 comments »

It was presumed that one of the casualties of Obama’s victory would be the black-identity politics that catapulted many Civil Rights leaders into the political arena. For over four decades these leaders have sought and secured power by airing the grievances of the black community and attaining retribution for the centuries of inequality. On November 5, the eulogies of these leaders were written. Unbeknownst to the majority community, the younger generation has been working on these eulogies for some time. Young politically astute voters in the black community have for years called for the replacement of Civil Rights leaders in the political arena as they seemed more concerned with maintaining their own statuses than with the economic empowerment of the black community.

This past week, Rep. Bobby Rush confirmed the necessity of writing this eulogy when in defense of Roland Burris, Bobby Rush equated opposition with that of segregation. Here is man that is screaming for the inclusion of a black person in the US Senate but did not support Barak Obama when he first ran for Senate. At that time there were no blacks in the Senate, yet Rep. Bobby Rush chose to support a white candidate. Can you say hypocrisy?

There are legitimate legal arguments for seating Burris and I am sure that in the near future he will become the Junior Senator from the state of Illinois, but his skin color is not one of them and a lot of young black people are upset with how this has turned into a racial issue. Black people will just have to come to grips with the reality that not every political fight requires a racial component in order to make a compelling argument.

As for Roland Burris, he should have handled this appointment differently. Rather than make a spectacle of himself, he should have worked behind the scenes to ensure a smooth transition. The law is on his side, but the political theater counts for a lot and on that front he has bombed.


What the Senate Seat Will Cost

⊆ 7:10 AM by James Manning | ˜ 5 comments »

There is a lot of handwringing in the Chicago black community over the appointment of Roland Burris. Our beloved governor has saw fit to make the appointment despite the criminal complaint that he tried to sell the seat to the highest bidder. He (the governor) is now facing the likelihood of impeachment and in one final finger gesture on his way out, has given the state another controversy.

There are many in the black community who feel that it is necessary to have an African American replace President-Elect Obama and have suggested that not seating Burris would equate to a modern day lynching. Listening to the local talk show, African Americans are intent on keeping the seat with someone from “our community”.

All politics being local, I understand this idea but it is short-sighted of the African American community to take up this cause and what today may seem like a gain may not be the case come 2010. First, Roland Burris is 71 years-old and will probably not run for re-election. This will make it difficult for any African American to begin the process of running for the seat as the field will be wide open, leaving only the most established politicians with the means to mount a campaign running for the office. On the Democrat side, Jan Schakowsky, Lisa Madigan and Jesse Jackson Jr. are possible candidates. Tammy Duckworth is a long-shot but could mount an effective campaign. All of these individuals would have a hard time winning considering the cloud that Blago is leaving behind.

The alternative should be cause for concern as well. If Roland Burris decides to run for re-election, he will have a very difficult time beating any Republican. He is turning his appointment into a race issue but it is impossible to win state-wide elections in Illinois if you do not get large swaths of the white and Latino communities. Roland Burris lost when he ran for governor, Senator and even lost when he ran for Mayor of Chicago. If race-politics were in his favor then he certainly should have won the race for Mayor. Since winning the Attorney General post, he has not shown he can win state-wide and that should not only be a concern to those who believe that an African American should hold the seat, but a concern to the Democrat Party.

If an African America were to replace Barak Obama, a special election would have been a good opportunity to take advantage of a motivated electorate. But many in the African American community were afraid that the Blago fiasco would empower Republicans to go to the polls so here we are. I for one am more concerned with keeping the Senate seat in the hands of the Democrats than I am with keeping it in “our community”.

There isn’t much anyone can do to keep Burris from taking the job, but I feel that in two years we will see the true cost of this appointment and sadly it will have nothing to do with the job that Burris does as Senator.