Archive | September, 2011

Obama: Campaigning, Constituencies and Colloquialisms

30 Sep

If ever there were a thankless job, I imagine that between drags on his Newport, Barack Obama would be lamenting to Michelle that the aforementioned was that of the office of President of The United States.  Whether he’s getting kicked in the teeth for trying to ensure that all of the nation’s citizens have a reasonable means by which to acquire medical treatment, blamed for the past, present and future fundamentals of this country’s economy or excluded as having had anything to do with the termination of International Enemy #1, President Obama has seemingly been given three years before everybody and their momma has decided that he’s responsible for the current decline of American Society.  But even as Barry makes preparations for a second term while bumping Mystikal’s “It Ain’t My Fault” throughout every room in The White House, it is important that we all take an assessing look at the direction of this country and identify what this administration has done well and what still needs to be timely and wholly addressed, should The President be afforded four more years.

For many Americans though, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to our 44th.  It’s either Barry walks on water, or he needs to be publicly tarred and featured at the next Tea Party rally.  Unfortunately, thanks to these two extremes, any thoughtful or critical analysis on the job that President Obama has been doing thus far is more times than not seen as either “hate” or groupie love.  And when members of his most loyal constituency (re: black folks) start making some very vocal criticisms of the President, words like “sell out”, “jealous” or my personal favorite, “Uncle Tom” get strewn out into the Blackosphere.

For instance, people like noted philosopher, activist and Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West (don’t let his Matrix Reloaded and Raheem DeVaughn feature fool you, he’s still an academic) and political commentator/activist Tavis Smiley have been on the business end of Black America’s rebuke for publically calling out President Obama and his policies where they concern war, capitalism and the disproportionate effects of the recession on African-Americans.  Even California Congresswoman Maxine “the-Tea-Party-can-go-to-hell” Waters and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been critical of the president and the administration’s jobs record amid a current 16.7% unemployment rate for African-Americans (nearly 47% for younger African-Americans), only to be accused of rabble-rousing and not helping to join the fight in solving what ails America.

Apparently however, Mr. Obama had reached his culpability threshold and found the perfect opportunity to address some of his critics when he attended and spoke at the CBC’s annual Phoenix Awards gala last weekend.  Realizing his inner Reverend Dr. Obama, the president seared some of his detractors with fiery phrases like “stop complaining” and “take off your bedroom slippers.”  The President of course was speaking passionately about his desire to have lawmakers work with him to make legislations like his Jobs Act a reality, but his familiar dressing down of the black lawmakers may not have had the desired effect.

Rep. Allen West, a Republican member of the CBC from Florida, called Obama’s comments “disrespectful and reprehensible,” while Maxine Waters wondered if The President would have spoken so freely with other minority constituencies.

 “I found that language a bit curious because the president spoke to the Hispanic Caucus, and certainly they’re pushing him on immigration… he certainly didn’t tell them to stop complaining. And he would never say that to the gay and lesbian community, who really pushed him on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Personally, while I cringed a bit at Mr. Obama’s house slippers reference (if I’m being honest, it was deliberate and pretty indelicate), I did appreciate  the fact that he actually acknowledged that some black activists and members of the CBC were critical of his record and took the time to respond to it (if not round-aboutly).  What did annoy me a bit however, was the realization that Mr. Obama has not appeared as comfortable addressing his conservative detractors as bluntly as he did the attendees at the CBC Gala.

I don’t think that as a public servant, Barack Obama is above reproach when people are genuinely feeling as though he isn’t representing their interest, but I also don’t think Barack Obama should simply smile and nod or bend over backwards acquiescently as a means to avoid confrontation with those who don’t agree with his politics.  If he truly wants to enact change, Mr. Obama is going to have to be authoritative; he is going to have to be bold, and his is going to have to be confrontational.  And not just with the black people that Al Sharpton reminds “not to compare him with the Almighty, but with the alternative.”


Michelle’s Undercover Targe’ Run

30 Sep

Since becoming the First Family, The Obamas have often been criticized as being elitist and out of touch with the current struggle of the average American’s financial struggles while lavishing in their own routine Hawaiian and European junkets on the taxpayer’s dime.  But while I categorically disagree with the Marie Antoinette description of The President and First Lady, I will say that they are a brilliant and intellectual duo who enjoy the niceties of life; a reality that seems difficult to grasp for many with such a high national rate of unemployment and in a painfully stagnant U.S. economy, but theirs is a success that they ought not be ashamed of.

Still, none can accuse the Obamas of flaunting their wealth or relishing in sheer opulence if this picture of the week is any indicator.  Like many of us, Michelle Obama has admitted to appreciating the many aspects of her “normal”.  Whether it’s attending her girls’ sporting events, taking the First Pup Bo for his daily walk or simply getting her shop on at  Targe’, one certainly has to appreciate her desire to embrace the ordinary.

Donning a pair of shades and a Nike ball cap (which she still managed to successfully coordinate with her print blouse), Mrs. Obama tried to be incognito at a local Target Store in Alexandria V.A., a suburb just outside Washington, D.C.  Covertly situated, plain-clothed Secret Service Agents also arrived about a half-hour before The First Lady, who strolled through the main entrance with an assistant. She shopped for little less than an hour and was even seen pushing her own cart. She was apparently “outed” when while ringing up her purchases, a cashier recognized her.

That just goes to show, whether in a ball gown or a ball cap, Lady O is certainly one cool chameleon.

Babychild Chronicles: Get the Anti-Venom

27 Sep

I always find it amazing whenever I see my children’s personalities develop right before my eyes. Like today, when I came to the realization that my child’s imagination was greater than my will to work overtime.

Well into Day 2 of my “time and a half sure would be good right about now” take-home work session, the Babychild meandered into my den to determine exactly why he had not had my full and undivided attention in more than two hours.  But before he could engage me in a lengthy chat about his racing cars and The Backyardigans, I noticed some gnarly little marks on his neck.  When I asked him what happened, he looked at me rather dumfounded.  But it was when he ran down the hall to the bathroom mirror to see what I was talking about, that all hell broke loose.

 “Momm-ma! Momm-ma! Look at my owies!! I know what happened!”

I could already tell by his hyper declaration that this one was going to be a doozy, but I got up, headed to the bathroom and entertained his deduction.

 “A snake bit me…a snake with nun chucks!”

Stifling a snicker, I asked him what became of the snake.

 “He got snaked by another snake, and then I destroyed it with my karate moves!”

Silly me, surely I had to know that snakes were no match for Babychild martial arts.  Now there was the matter of the bites.

 “Ooooh. My neck really hurts momm-ma. But don’t worry. I think the brownies in the kitchen will make me feel all better.”

And just like that, my work was effectively put on hold this evening, as I had to administer medicine, of the confectionery variety to my little snake bite victim.

I swear, there is never a dull moment when it comes to The Babychild and his siblings! But maybe it’s these animated moments that are to be my salvation.  Perhaps I need to quit my job (with all of its after-hour work trappings) and pitch a Pack Kids reality series to TLC!


Overtime & THE Monday Night Rivalry

26 Sep

Sorry, nothing philosophical today folks.  Actually, I’m in Monday night prep mode for the rest of my week.  With my assistant having just gotten married this past weekend and his plans to honeymoon in the Caribbean until the beginning of October, I figured that as opposed to having to train and pay a temp or to struggle through some long and arduous days, I will be bringing the excess work home.

But don’t cry for me Argentina.  Although I will likely be working into the wee hours, I do have my Skins on Monday Night Football to keep me warm tonight. And with Tony Romo clearly continuing to bet against Dallas (if his recent playing is any indicator), I am feeling quite comfortable that the Redskins will help to alleviate a lot of my workload discontent this evening!

Babychild Chronicles: So Mom, How Do I Look?

24 Sep

At the risk of incriminating myself as a mildly negligent parent, here is another tale of when The Babychild gets out of my sight for more than two minutes.

As is usually my Saturday ritual, I found myself hauling in and putting away the groceries after an arduous couple of hours at the market.  While sorting my perishables, cans, boxes and spices, I was making some pretty good headway until my honey came into the kitchen with a smirk on his face, holding The Babychild’s hand.  Confused, I looked at him, awaiting an explanation.

“Look at his face,” he snorted.

Finally seeing the nicks, scratches and scrapes, I gasped and asked what in the world had happened to my child.

“I caught him in the bathroom shaving, Tiff!” my honey replied incredulously.

Examining his face more closely, sure enough he looked as though he’d gone 5 rounds with a Bic® and lost.  Of course, The Babychild’s initial concern was not where I’d place the Band-Aids, but instead if he was going to get a spanking or not.  After clarifying to him that three “owies” above his upper lip were punishment enough, he seemed to relax a bit.  Still, I had to know what would possess him to not only mutilate his cherub face so, but how in the world he even got access to a razor in the first place.

“Mom, I climbed on dad’s sink to get the shaver for my beard.”

Letting his dad explain to him that shaving was only for adults and going into our room and climbing on our bathroom vanity again would result in a butt-whooping, The Babychild seemed to finally grasp the reality of his situation.

“Oh no! Mom-ma, do you think my friends at school will laugh when they see my face?”

Toddler Vanity.

Welp, No More World Peace, How About a Rear Naked Choke?

21 Sep

It seems as though I was one of the suckers that clearly bought into the stereotype about all 6’7” blonds from the West Coast being able to dance. Unfortunately though, the joke was clearly on me last night.

Metta World Peace, or the L.A. Laker Forward formerly known as Ronald William Artest, Jr. and his dancing partner Peta Murgatroyd were the first couple eliminated from the Dancing with the Stars season opener, and from his convulsive Cha Cha Cha, bling’d out bowtie/fedora combo and ridiculous new ‘do, it wasn’t that hard to see why.  But like the gentler giant that World Peace has been lately, he graciously bid his competitors adieu, planted a chaste kiss on Nancy Grace’s cheek (she joined him in the bottom two) and thanked Peta for all her hard work whipping him into dancing shape.

So as promised, I’m pretty much done with DWTS for this season.  Now, I had planned to catch X-Factor to see if my favorite Brit’s acrid tongue had lost any of its venom, but thanks to my honey, I’m elbows deep into the season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter.  And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve already learned something.  Apparently ladies, it’s not called a butt-naked choke.

Thanks to Ray J, Kevin Hart’s Next Stand-Up is Going to Be a Classic!

20 Sep

By now we’ve all heard (or read the transcript of) Ray J’s fake-me-out thug rant about rapper Fabolous. Apparently, Brandy’s little brother took exception to being laughed at singing and playing the piano in Floyd Mayweather’s living room during a 24-hour concert he hosted before his underwhelming, overpriced boxing match last weekend in Vegas.

Long story short (sorry folks, I fear that Ray J’s verbal diarrhea might be contagious, so you won’t find it here) after likely marinating on Fabolous’ teasing of him and his lameness, and his entourage hyping him up not to be insulted, Willie Norwood , Jr. had one of the most epic, deplorable and embarrassing (for mankind in general) meltdowns, as aired by New Yorks, 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club”.

What was most funny (read: painful and unfortunate) was the fact that after Ray J finished his tirade about how he doesn’t tolerate *expletive* disrespect from *expletives* and how insignificant a music artist Fabolous was in comparison to he, Ray proceeded to boast pretentiously about his worldly goods, his “money team” membership and his nefarious relationship with goons who take indecent and illegal liberties with unsuspecting men.

In Fabolous’ later response, he pretty much refuted Ray J’s whimsical flights of fancy, but not before confirming a few similarities. Like the fact that Kevin Hart (and a few other celebrities) were present for the fake fisticuffs and would attest to the non-main-event.

And it is for that one reason that for the next 24 hours I plan to follow Kevin and historically explore his tweets from Saturday Night.  It’s like the material for his next stand-up pretty much just wrote itself!!!!

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