Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Unfolding even as this bitch types…

Lawd!

Florida…
Senator John McCain won it all from the Florida Republican Primary yesterday. Now, the same pundits who were questioning his sanity are praising his tenacity. All questions about political mental soundness have now shifted to Rudy Giuliani.

Mitt says he won’t quit, but clearly Super Duper Tuesday is a make it or break it day long multi-state deal for him.

And a bitch can’t be the only political junkie who noticed the subtle verbal indication that a certain Huckster is in the running for Senator McCain’s next in line should the GOP ticket wrap itself up February 5th.

Cough.

Dropping out…
Rudy Giuliani, having run the most random and illogical campaign of my lifetime, is expected to drop out and endorse McCain.

And John Edwards has announced that he is dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination.

Pause…sip water…continue…

Regarding the Edwards announcement, a bitch is beyond impressed with his request for a poverty pledge from Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. News outlets are reporting that Edwards is asking both candidates to pledge to make the war on poverty a serious focus of their administrations should they be elected.

In our nation’s history poverty is the only war we appear to be comfortable losing.

What I like about Edwards request is that it is completely doable. More to the point, most policy issues require that poverty be factored in.

And domestic tranquility requires that poverty be addressed.

Universal healthcare would redefine poverty in America. We, as a people, would be able to tackle illness and disease proactively…dramatically cut the cost of medical care for every citizen…improve our fellow citizen’s ability to participate in society…and remove the price tag from wellness and the privilege from health.

Living wages and labor issues are rooted in the war on poverty. My own Great Grandfather stood with his union brothers and walked the line to demand a living wage, dignity and job protection. Not a damn thing has changed but the date.

Poverty is at the core of the new educational segregation. School in poor communities struggle while schools located in wealthy communities flourish and I’m not so concerned with the fact that many Americans think that’s right…I’m more troubled with how can anyone with a clue could think that crap is beneficial!

Affordable housing, environmental responsibility, corporate responsibility, support for independent farmers and agricultural workers…foreign aid, dismissing the debt of third world countries, committing to viable anti-hunger programs and establishing international relationships built on respect rather than power….all of this is worthy of our attention, focus and commitment.

John Edwards should be commended for reminding us all that combating poverty is central to our nation’s security and future.

We can no longer afford to simply be pleased with a slight reduction in poverty rates.

We must act.

We must commit.

And we must demand a like commitment from those who seek the honor of representing us in government.

I, for one, am grateful Edwards took this moment to remind us all of that

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

G - D = F2...

Last night Scooter B. gave his final State of the Union address. Our long national nightmare is almost over and hopefully the nation will recover.

Sporting a smug smirk, Scooter B. stood before a joint session of Congress and addressed the nation. Once again, and blessedly for the last time, a bitch offers a sorta-translation of a few low lights...

"Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. We faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens."

Translation - I am The Decider but feel free to continue to amuse yourselves by voicing disagreement which I will mentally veto until I'm outta this no horse town.

"All of us were sent to Washington to carry out the people's business. That is the purpose of this body. It is the meaning of our oath. It remains our charge to keep."

Translation - Well, I should say your charge to try to keep since I'm The Decider and that doesn't leave a lot of room for the bitness of the people.

"In the work ahead, we must be guided by the philosophy that made our nation great. As Americans, we believe in the power of individuals to determine their destiny and shape the course of history. We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens."

Translation - Unless that collective wisdom fails to meet with my approval or the approval of my minions or the narrow assed base whom we actually serve.

"The people's trust in their government is undermined by congressional earmarks, special interest projects that are often snuck in at the last minute, without discussion or debate. committee reports that never even come to a vote. Unfortunately, neither goal was met. So, this time, if you send me an appropriations bill that does not cut the number and cost of earmarks in half, I'll send it back to you with my veto. And tomorrow I will issue an executive order that directs federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on by Congress."

"If these items are truly worth funding, Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote."

Translation - Only The Decider (that's me...snort) and my minions are allowed to meet in secret and decide the people's business. But y'all need to get transparent, stat while me and mine get busy feasting on the pork of our previous majority.

"To build a future of quality health care, we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information and better options."

Translation - Unless those patients are women or those doctors decide to do something the narrow assed base I pandered into a two term presidency is morally opposed to.

"So I propose ending the bias in the tax code against those who do not get their health insurance through their employer. This one reform would put private coverage within reach for millions, and I call on the Congress to pass it this year. Congress must also expand health savings accounts, create association health plans for small businesses, promote health information technology and confront the epidemic of junk medical lawsuits. With all these steps, we will ensure that decisions about your medical care are made in the privacy of your doctor's office, not in the halls of Congress."

Translation - To clarify, those decisions should actually be made by the 5-4 Supremes or the voices in my head. DAMN THESE VOICES IN MY HEAD!!!

"Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no one can deny its results. Last year, 4th and 8th graders achieved the highest math scores on record. Reading scores are on the rise. African-American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs."

Translation - So you see, by making it harder for educators to educate and then evaluating test results through what I like to call Intelligent Math/Science Redesign Fubarity 2.0 everything works out to be a faith-based success!

Around this time my Afro started to hurt but Scooter B. went on to demand more shit of Congress...big up his surge...toss a convention/summit at New Orleans...demand peace in the "Holy Land"...renew his demand for immigration reform...and fuck up the word nuclear for old time's sake.

Then he said...

"And so long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure and the state of our union will remain strong. So tonight, with confidence in freedom's power and trust in the people, let us set forth to do their business. God bless America."

Yeah.


If only.

Final Score...
Tax breaks for the rich cut in stone reference -3
No Child Left Behind best thing since tax breaks for the rich - 5
Surge great, political progress be damned - 10
Big brother is a good thing - 50
Mention of unstimulating stimulus plan - 5
Use of the word nuclear - 5
Remembering that New Orleans and the Gulf exist +50
Critical mention of Pakistan (note - lack of China or Russia) I'll give that +17

We have a total of -11 points proving once and for all that Greed - Decency = Fubar (G - D = F2).

Mission accomplished.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

State of the Union Preparedness…

Lawd, a bitch has been busier than busy!

Last week C-Money and this bitch got our debauch on at Brother Rob Thurman’s birthday celebration…ropes, handcuffs and vodka crans, oh my!...and yesterday I enjoyed myself at PROMO’s Trivia Night with friends. Hanging out with friends served to remind me that I need to hang out with friends more!

Moving forward…

Monday evening Scooter B. will give his final State of the Union address to the nation.

Pause…savor the moment then offer thanks…continue…

A bitch always watches the State of the Union and the response but listening to that level of verbalized delusional bullshit requires supplies and planning.

ABB's Final Bush State of the Union address list of needed things…

Munchables…
Chips
Queso...gotta give the recipe a test drive before the big game
Chicken pot pie...Lawd knows I’ll need some comfort food
Fudge-based brownies...yes, a sometimes food but the SotU is a once a year thang

Beverages…
Lager…for C-Money
Fresh water…for the dawgs
Vodka crans…for a bitch
Ice water…to balance out the vodka crans

Materials…
Notepad for…well, for note taking
10 pens…because a bitch has been known to throw writing instruments at the telly
And Ms. Sistah Girl Mac Book…fired up and ready to rock and roll!

The Scorecard…
Demand to make tax cuts permanent – subtract 3 pts.
Declaration that No Child Left Behind has been a good thing – subtract 5 pts

Statement about military gains of surge with no reference to lack of political reconciliation – subtract 10 pts.

Demand to tighten domestic surveillance programs and give corporations immunity – subtract 50 points

Use of the word stimulus – subtract 5 pts
Use of the word nuclear – subtract 5 pts
Any mention of New Orleans or the Gulf region – add 50 points

Any critical statement about Pakistan, Russia or China – add 50 points per country

Any admission that he will leave office having brought about a state of extreme fubar – add…ummm, uh…hmmmmm.

Fuck it, what are the odds?

Blink.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Traditional bullshit on ice…

A bitch has been annoyed as hell over the use of language lately. When I hear certain words I just want to projectile vomit straight into the speaker’s mouth.

For example, change.

Saying change doesn’t equal making change and, even if it did, that wouldn’t guarantee that the change you intend to do will be positive. Every time I hear a politician say change I sit there waiting for someone in the audience to shout “Hey asshole, are you allergic to specifics or is your complete lack of them due to a moral objection to keeping it real?”

Shit, Scooter B. brought about change and this bitch will require years of therapy to recover from that shit.

Cough.

Now, the economic shit storm has resulted in the resurrection of the word stimulus. A bitch is pretty sure stimulus is listed on the Top Ten Words That Make Talking Heads Sound Like They May Have a Clue list.

Mercy!

None of the talking heads seem to agree on how to stimulate the economy so instead they sit around debating whether the economy needs stimulation or not and putting a bitch to sleep.

From stimulus comes economic stimulus and then the oh so needed economic stimulus package. The stimulus package requires only one thing…a huge block of voters just waiting to be seduced by it.

Cue the middle class!

This bitch is pretty sure that there isn’t a more misunderstood group in America than the middle class. The middle class has been cast as the foundation, the salvation, the assholes that need to spend more money, the bedrock, the soul of the nation and the best client a capitalist drug pusher ever had all at the same time. The one thing I know the middle class isn’t is heavy in the pockets. Everyone I think is middle class is up to their eyelids in debt just like my working class peers.

Combine an election year, economic drama and a complete misunderstanding of the middle class….mix it all together…and you’ll end up with some politician saying something along the lines of “I will be an agent of change who will create an economic stimulus package that will revitalize the middle class.”

Note - traditional bullshit should be served steaming hot over a thick slab of ice.

Blink.

Confession of a grace malfunction…

Okay, so I wasn’t able to post yesterday because I fucked up my thumb.

Sigh.

A bitch is clumsy….very clumsy…not at all coordinated…often on my ass post tumble without a clue how I got there.

Yesterday, I was gathering items for a meeting at my office. My intention was to walk around my desk to get a business card. What actually happened was that I tripped over the mass of computer wires positioned perfectly for just such a incident…flew across the room (think Crouching Tiger Hidden Shark-fu)…and managed to ram my thumb into an air duct type thing aligned to the wall.

Blink.

Oh, and I scratched my ear but I have no idea how the fuck that happened…must have been whilst my ass was flying.

Sigh once again.

Anyhoo, all is well and nothing is broken.

Unfortunately, every time I try to forget this latest grace malfunction my fucking thumb sends out an ache/throb/sharp pain to remind me that I’ m a danger to myself and others.

Ugh.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oh, thank Gawd…


Fellow Missourians, our long statewide nightmare is coming to an end.

Gov. Blunt, saying that he has accomplished everything he set out to do (which means that he meant to bring about absolute fubar) will not seek re-election.
Yes!

Blog for Choice Day – Speaking Out About Choice...

A tip of the Afro goes out to St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus, who is taking heavy fire from St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke for stating his support of abortion rights and stem cell research.

Majerus made the remarks at a Clinton campaign rally over the weekend.

St. Louis University is a Jesuit, Catholic university. Unrelated rulings from the Missouri Supreme Court have made it clear that SLU is not controlled by the church or Catholic beliefs.

So it looks like Majerus (one of the most successful coaches in college basketball) will not face the discipline Archbishop Burke is fantasizing about for saying he’s pro-choice.

Go on with your bad self, Coach Majerus!

Blog for Choice Day – Salon.com feature…


Please take a moment to visit Salon.com’s feature on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

A bitch was thrilled to be asked to offer my thoughts which are featured along with some amazing feminists.

Enjoy!

Blog for Choice – The right thing to do...

Happy Blog for Choice Day!

A bitch is all over this year’s topic – why folks should vote pro-choice. Longtime readers know that I am passionate about the vote and about people voting from a place of knowledge.

So, why should people vote pro-choice?

Because of its very Wilford Brimley!

You know, the right thing to do and a tasty...okay, not tasty...smart way to do it (wink).

Shall we?

You should vote.

You should vote from a place of knowledge.

You should vote for pro-choice candidates because they understand how privacy rights apply to the law and that includes a whole lot of other important things too.

You should vote for pro-choice candidates because you believe that women and our doctors should make decisions about our health.

You should vote pro-choice because comprehensive sex education empowers our youth to make intelligent decisions about their health.

You should vote pro-choice to put an end to anti-knowledge policies that put our communities and fellow citizens at risk.

Why do I vote pro-choice?

Because I don’t think I should have to explain to a pharmacist why I need medication. I would…shit, I’m not afraid…but it wouldn’t be pretty. Just imagine me, late for something, at the pharmacy saying “I need those pills because I have fibroids that cause me to have multi-week heavy as hell periods and cramp to high heaven so could you please put away the Bible and fill my prescription or do I need to tap a vein, say five Our Fathers, take a lie detector test allow you to depose my gynecologist?”

Yeah...uh huh.

Blink.

So, I vote pro-choice because I am a witness that ignorance is not bliss and that anti-choice policies do anything but support a culture of life. Women I volunteer get their sex education after the having sex…find out about prevention after a preventable thing is diagnosed…and make family planning decisions after conception. Mmmhmmm, everything in reverse of logic because anti-choice advocates fear empowerment and crave the control that comes with an ignorant population.

I vote pro-choice to keep clinic doors open and medical care available to those in need.

I vote pro-choice because I want to be able to decide the best treatment with my doctor…not the Governor (ugh), or some Pastor from that church up the street, or my neighbor who has no bitness up in my bitness or some well meaning activist who has not bitness up in my bitness.

I vote pro-choice for the youth who are not old enough to vote and for my community that deserves choices.

I vote.

I vote pro-choice.

It is the right thing to do and a smart way to do it (wink).

Monday, January 21, 2008

A reality yet to be achieved…

Why pause to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

Blink.

To mourn his loss and honor his accomplishments?

Yes, but we can't stop there.

We have not transcended race or gender…we have not defeated poverty…we are a nation once again at war…we have yet to overcome.

In honoring Dr. King and all of those who participated in the movement we must also acknowledge our capabilities and breathe life into what can be.

Today, nooses are hung on high school campuses and arrogantly displayed on the cover of national magazines…media critics discuss how even racists will vote for an ‘acceptably black’ candidate and fashion editors chastise women of color for wearing natural hairstyles in corporate environments…the achievement of thousands is credited to the system they struggled against…the historic campaign of Shirley Chisholm is scarcely mentioned in an election year where a woman and a black man are trying to do separately what she strove to do as one in 1972…white supremacists plan to march in Jena Louisiana even as the language of immigration reform is laced with bigotry and fear…and education is still separate and unequal.
We are a nation that does not resist funding war but hesitates to feed the hungry, that rushes to close the doors of opportunity that many an ancestor walked through not 100 years ago and that tolerates a system more interested in pandering to corporations than respecting workers.

Now is the time to bring back the Poor People’s Campaign, mobilize in opposition to war, resist The Man’s efforts to divide people of color and progressive causes, educate and empower your community to vote and participate and be heard.
Now is the time to honor the King legacy through action and unite in the struggle for what I know is possible…

…no longer a dream, more a reality yet to be achieved.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Timely, targeted, temporary and trifling…

Happy Friday, y’all!

A bitch is feeling illish just in time for the weekend.

Nice.

Suffice it to say, I’m in a mood and listening to Scooter B. (President Bush for the uninitiated) speak didn’t do a damn thing to improve it. I mean, how the fuck am I supposed to feel better when that idiot is announcing his stimulus proposal with all the authority of a 5th grader trying to explain cold nuclear fusion.

Jesus!

If you ever needed proof that our government is in service to somebody other than the masses you’ve got it in this so-called economic stimulus plan.

The Growth Package (get your mind out of the gutter) is big on ideas and small on specifics but leaks hint at tax rebates for low to moderate income families and some businesses. The hope appears to be that rebates of between $300 and $800 will make the American consumer feel more secure and encourage spending.

Blink.

Okay, so the Federal Government is encouraging low to moderate income Americans to ignore their debt, the lack of job growth, the increase in the cost of gas and food, the stagnant economic growth not to mention common fucking sense and take a whopping $800 to the mall. Oh, and they want us to do that shit swiftly so as not to delay stimulation (mind out of gutter!!).

Gawd, my Afro stings!

After years of pro-corporation anti-citizen let the rich get rich and the poor get poorer economic abuse dressed up as policy, these crazy motherfuckers fixed their face to tell the American people that we need to get our spending on or we’ll be sorry. “Let them eat cake” has become “Let them buy another iPod.”

How about an economic policy that encourages the production of something other than consumers? I don’t know, maybe something we could market to the world other than war and vacationing rich people that would bring some fucking cash in?

Or is that too much like right?

Well, fuck this shit.

Fuck it!

Low and moderate income Americans need to pay down our debt…because the economy is fubar and we’re the first to get fucked over, fired or downsized.

You know what?

Let the people making six figures plus a year get the economy stimulated to the point of fulfillment (ooooh, you've got a naughty mind!) and increase their fucking debt since they’re the ones who’ve been feeling the bulk of the tax love from Bush and his minions.

They'll only understand a wallet based correction anyway.

The rest of us should follow sound economic policy and put that pitiful rebate towards debt …

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A political presence pondering...

As most of you know, a bitch is politically involved (wink).

After years of teaching Voter Education classes I have learned that many people are unaware of the multitude of ways they can and should participate in the political process. At the same time I’ve noticed that the political dialogue is influenced by those who do participate.

Oh, I've heard all about how the powerful silence certain voices but a bitch is loud
as hell and rarely silenced by anyone (wink).

The other day I heard a commentator say that women of color have a difficult choice to make between voting for Obama, Clinton or Edwards. That may be true, but a bitch also thinks this campaign has brought to light another task facing all people not currently represented in government.

How can we increase our political presence?

That we, the under or not at all represented, need to be politically present and why we need to be is very clear.

No one can speak to our issues the way that we can.

So we must be on top of all the issues, allergic to spin and mindful of the responsibility of our vote.

We must participate in political life so religiously that no one could legitimately speculate over what matters to us or how to achieve our vote.

We must be politically present so that those who run for office know who they represent and respect the power of our vote, needs and opinion.

We must have the courage to run for local, state and national office.

We can run...we can win...and we must add our voice to the chorus.

This election has already been historic...a black man won the Iowa caucus and a woman won the New Hampshire primary...but it has also been a clinic on the complexity of diversity and variety of privilege.

So, we have to be politically present...women, young people, people of color, seniors, LGBT people, the disabled, the poor, workers, immigrants, religious minorities and any and all combinations of all of the above must stand up and step forward into political life.

No one will speak for me as well as I can so you can bet your ass a bitch is standing up...

Pondering Scrabulous...

A bitch is concerned about the news that Scrabulous may be pulled.

Of course I’m concerned about other more important shit…but I’m also concerned about Scrabulous. Hasbro is beyond pissed that Facebook is offering Scrabulous without paying them and they may shut Scrabulous down.

Gasp!

Confession - I don’t play a lot of Scrabulous, but C-Money does and she’s got several games going right now.

Let me tell you, if they shut Scrabulous down before C-Money has the opportunity to establish herself as the ruler of all things Scrabulous…or at least the second in command…there will be hell to pay in the house of bitchitude!

Truth is C-Money hates to lose anything game-based.

HATES to!

If they shut Scrabulous down I may be forced to play a board game with her (shudder) and she’s beyond evil when playing board games. Hell, she talks Spades level trash talk while playing Go Fish.

So, this bitch is pulling for Facebook for purely selfish reasons.

C’mon Facebook!

Win this one for a bitch!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A trust-based pondering...

A bitch read two Food and Drug Administration related stories today.

One dealt with the FDA saying cloned meat and milk are safe. The other covered the news that Zetia, a drug approved by the FDA, has been shown to not do what it was supposed to be doing.

Blink.

The same FDA that approved Zetia, Avandia, Baycol, Vioxx, and Zelnorm…cough…is now going to tell us that cloned food is perfectly safe for consumption too.

With that kind of track record (wince) all a bitch can say is Lawd, have mercy!

***logs off to research starting a home garden***

Monday, January 14, 2008

Acceptably Black - The merchandise...

A bitch’s sister C-Money read my post regarding acceptable blackness and decided it demanded merchandise.
That’s why we call her C-Money (wink)!

Seriously though, we've got Acceptably Black t-shirts and mugs on sale at the ABB store.

Shake shit up...challenge people's idea of what acceptable blackness is all about...and, at the very least, make people think.

Oh, and help a bitch pay for my groceries!
And a HUGE thank you to Brother Rob Thurman for the design work on this and all ABB related merchandise!

A bitch on NPR's Tell Me More...

A bitch was asked to read an edited version of my Steinem piece for Tell Me More with Michel Martin on NPR.

Yay!

Once again, it was worth having my Afro squished by those headphones (wink).

Check it out and be sure to check out Michel Martin's Tell Me More and support excellence in radio!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Full disclosure...

Okay, I'm going to answer several e-mails all at one time here.

A bitch does not work for any politician, political campaign or political party.

A bitch has not, nor do I intend to, endorsed a presidential candidate. Hell, I'm not even sure who my ass is voting for next month!

This blog is not funded and I take no profit from it.

Jesus to Gawd, where do y'all come up with this shit?

Got it?

Good.

Now, let's move on...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

And regarding Cuomo's stankified mess...

Pam of Pam's House Blend breaks down the Cuomo "shuck and jive" comment.

Excellent, as usual.

A bitch has nothing to add to this...Brilliant!!

This bitch yields the floor to dnA of Jack and Jill politics, who breaks down then drops the mic on the Clinton's 'LBJ made the dream of the Civil Rights movement a reality' argument.

I have nothing to add to this.

Brilliant!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday!

Happy Friday, y’all!

A bitch glanced at the calendar and realized that that the 35th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision is coming up.

On Tuesday, January 22, 2008, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region (PPSLR) and the Freedom of Choice Council (FCC) will celebrate 35 years of reproductive freedom by commemorating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case which legalized abortion nationwide, at the highly anticipated Fired Up for Freedom event.

For more information visit www.myspace.com/STLfreedomofchoicecouncil

I shall be there, afro fluffed and party shoes on!

Pause…consider…continue…

Shit, if Roe v. Wade turns 35 this month then this bitch will be 35 in February.

Blink.

Thank Gawd a bitch is still fine as hell (wink)!

Like freedom of choice, a bitch gets better with each year in existence.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Acceptably black, my ass...

A bitch has spent many a year working in the advertising industry with agencies and business owners. Years ago I worked directly with minority advertising agencies and I hoped, and still hope, that minority marketing done by minorities will better represent who we are to the world and to ourselves.

Having said that, advertising is still riding a big fucking F on the diversity report card. Agencies and vendors struggle to recruit minority talent even as they struggle to develop campaigns that appeal to a population that is diverse and more willing than ever to embrace our individual diversity.

Unlike other industries where small minded fools can debate the benefit of a diverse workforce as relates to the shit their company does, advertising really demands workforce representation. It doesn’t get it, but it needs it…big time. Even so-called general market agencies would benefit from having a workforce that reflects, well…the general market, which is not exclusively young straight white snarky Volkswagen driving indie band adoring desperate to set an international trend and win that coveted Addie award men.

Cough.

Hell, just look at the ads that offend you and you can bet your ass “you” weren’t in the room when that shit got the green light for production. Or, if “you” were, you were shot down due to lack of research to prove what you know to be true about your own damn culture.

Anyhoo, industry publications like Ad Age have been moaning about the challenge of recruiting diverse talent…and they have danced around any real examination of why agencies still struggle. Personally, I think agencies may want to look at the ad people in the mirror and I present this piece of shit article as an example of why.

Oh no…uh, uh…you really need to read this shit before you continue reading my post.

Pause to allow time for reading (wink).

Alrighty then!

I could go into detail about the unbelievable bullshit that is the phrase “acceptably black”. Who the fuck gave Bob fucking Garfield the anointed power to determine what about my blackness is acceptable and what isn’t? And since when do we validate the notion that society has the privilege to level that distinction on some and deny it to others?

And this, my brothers and sisters, is the twisted freak ad critic who influences the ad creators who then deliver the image of “blackness” for clients.

Think about that as I move on to Garfield’s “Halle Berry and Denzel Washington are acceptably black. Your local news anchors are acceptably black. Tupac was not.”

Mmmmhmm, it made my Afro hurt too.

Anyhoo, I could easily explore the disturbing glee with which Garfield drops the “N” word in his article. A bitch is pretty sure he was semi-aroused by the process and got an adrenaline rush when his rancid ass hit send. “Fuck yeah,” he probably sighed, “that’s Gonzo as a motherfucker, right?”

Wrong.

That was pathetic.

But this Ad Age article is a rare gem of a find…a look inside the mind of The Ad Man and how they justify their thinking.
Garfield wrote this shit.

Ad Age published it.

And this bitch can’t believe anyone at a general market ad agency is still trying to figure out why Black people…LGBT people…Hispanic people…Native American people...Asian people…women who would like to achieve something greater than middle management and a pat on the head…or the disabled take a pass on their trifling stereotype obsessed industry whilst cruising Monster.com?

Heaven to hell and back again, the answer to that shit is probably sitting next to you in a conference room arguing passionately about how board X is better because the images shown are “acceptably black” and not “threatening”.

People of color and other minorities aren’t martyrs to the cause of an industry’s diversity initiative. There’s a limit to what anyone is willing to put themselves through and, now that other industries have made advances, those industries that are still trapped in 1954 will not be able to compete.

The other thing this article makes very clear is that the imaging of black people is deliberate. That imaging perpetuates stereotypes…influences society…and often has a negative impact on how we see ourselves. Acceptable or Tupac...successful or dead…appealing even to racists or un-electable? We simply can not continue to allow The Man to define that shit and part of the definition begins with marketing.

I’m not arguing that the concept of “acceptable blackness” doesn’t exit. Advertising is a powerful medium and decades of marketing have had the desired affect.

But I’m sure as shit not ready to declare the mountaintop achieved because Bob Garfield predicts that even a racist would feel comfortable voting for Obama.
C’mon, Bob…even Tiger Woods (the ultimate marketing creation of man of color acceptability) has a white woman casually calling for his ass to be lynched without advertisers running from the television channel she works for.

That ain’t progress…this shit is not acceptable …and Bob Garfield sure ain’t slick.

Lawd.

Give.

Me.

Strength.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A REAL Task Force to Protect Women’s Health and Lives…

After repeatedly rejecting calls to include alternate views in his Task Force on Abortion, Governor Matt Blunt of Missouri threw down the gauntlet: “nothing is stopping Planned Parenthood from forming their own group.”

Blink.

This will probably be the only advice we ever take from Governor Blunt (wink).

Gov. Blunt has gathered 14 extremists to spend months pretending to ‘study’ abortion. Let’s show Blunt Trauma we can get 10 times that number of people to form a REAL Task Force to Protect Women’s Health and Lives in Missouri.

Working together we can gather thousands of Missourians who have more knowledge, expertise and sense to protect women’s health than Governor Blunt will ever have!

Let’s not lose sight of what the anti-choice forces are working towards with their sorta task force. A similar group in South Dakota launched an abortion ban in law that South Dakota voters ultimately revoked. If Governor Blunt is serious about reducing the need for abortion, we must put Prevention First and focus on reducing unintended pregnancies through comprehensive sex education and increased access to contraception and other family planning services. Unfortunately, Governor Blunt seems to believe that restricting access will reduce the need for safe abortion care.

Visit Planned Parenthood online and join the REAL Task Force to Protect Women’s Health and Lives and SIGN THE PETITION against an abortion ban in Missouri!

Thanks.

Chaos, my black ass...

I’ve just got to share how proud I am of my Voter Education students!
They called me yesterday around midnight to talks politics and that means that a bunch of exhausted working mothers who are also students stayed up to watch election returns.
Lawd, I'm so bloody proud my face hurts from smiling!
Listening to young women argue about politics and debate policy with passion and depth fucking rocks! Having them call at midnight to say that they are thrilled that Clinton, Obama and Edwards are all going on because they want to be able to consider all three for our Missouri Primary in February…well, shit that was just fantabulous!

My students are new voters and sometimes fresh eyes see things I may miss. They have no interest in the Democratic race being decided early because they want a chance to have their say! As far as they are concerned, it’s a good thing that more states will vote before a top candidate is revealed.

Damn good insight, huh?

Mayhap CNN should have my students on and tell Ralph I hate women Reed and Bill I’m a racist asshole Bennett to go fuck themselves twice on Sunday.
Blink.

Anyhoo, the results of the New Hampshire Primary do not throw both races into chaos. The results make a race out of this thing...for the life of me, I don’t know why that annoys pundits so much…and any campaign that is thrown into turmoil after one Caucus and a Primary needs to pack up and head for home.

The way I see it, this country made a monumental fuck up in 2004 and all the talk about change is code for political divorce. Good…we totally need to kick Scooter B. to the curb! But the last thing we need to do in that process is rush headlong into another commitment without dating for a while.

Lawd, I’ve watched girlfriends put more time into shopping for shoes than we’ve put into this current election cycle.

Relax…relate…release!
This shit is just getting started...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Breaking News - like deja vue all over again...

Senator John McCain has won the New Hampshire Republican primary.

Yawn.

Senator Clinton has won the New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

Congrats.

Blink...yawn...blink...sigh.

I'm for bed, y'all.

Toodles!

I’m worried too, Ms. Steinem…

This isn’t an easy post to write. I am a proud black feminist who holds a deep respect for feminist leaders and has done a lot of inner work to come to terms with feminism’s history with race and class.

Yeah, this is not an easy post to write…but a sistah’s got to do what a sistah’s got to do.

Gloria Steinem has an Op-Ed in the New York Times titled Women Are Never Front-Runners. I read the Op-Ed and I feel compelled to address it here.

I highly recommend that you read the piece before you go on reading this post.

After reading Steinem’s Op-Ed I felt invisible…as if black and woman can’t exist in the same body. I felt undocumented…as if the history of blacks and the history of women have nothing to do with the history of black women.

When I read “Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were allowed to mark a ballot, and generally have ascended to positions of power, from the military to the boardroom, before any women (with the possible exception of obedient family members in the latter).” I felt both attacked and ignored at the same time.

I think of the women and men in my family who were not extended the protected vote until 1965. I wince at the lack of acknowledgment for the black women of Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery who had to march with their brothers in the 1960s to attain the vote because the suffrage movement abandoned them in a Southern strategy to get the vote in 1920.

And there it is again…that invisibility; like a brutal weight that I am so bloody tired of carrying.

When I consider Steinem's “So why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one?” I’m left confused.

What country does Gloria live in where race barriers are taken seriously? I’d love to know…shit, maybe I’ll move there. But I’m a black woman and this is America where none of my barriers are given more than a token consideration and I’ll present this Op-Ed as exhibit A in that argument.

Steinem goes on to say, “I’m not advocating a competition for who has it toughest. The caste systems of sex and race are interdependent and can only be uprooted together. That’s why Senators Clinton and Obama have to be careful not to let a healthy debate turn into the kind of hostility that the news media love. Both will need a coalition of outsiders to win a general election. The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.”

But this article is soaked in the fluid of competition. It reeks of frustration that I fear is born from a place of entitlement even though it is dressed in the language of the oppressed. And I’ll point out again, the suffrage movement progressed without racial or true class unity and many a sister were damaged by that division.

We should remember that, but first we have to know it.

What worries me is that Gloria bought that bullshit about Obama’s race being a unifying factor. C’mon now, these are early dates yet and campaign operatives have already taken a dip in the race baiting pool. Not for one second do I believe that the unifying power of Senator Obama’s blackness will not eventually collide with the same elegant condescension contained in Steinem's Op-Ed.

What worries me is that this is kind of article that makes some black women wary of feminism…wary of the sisterhood…because eventually, just give it time, it will all come down to black and white or women and men with black women vanished from the equation.

What worries me is the ease with which Ms. Steinem tossed out the insult of implying that Iowans, when faced with a black male candidate, went with that candidate because they are somehow more comfortable with black male leadership than female leadership. It begs the question how John Edwards failed to win by a landslide.

What worries me is that the author is frustrated that Obama hasn’t been accused of playing the race card for his civil rights references and feels that Hillary is getting a raw deal when she gets accused of playing the gender card. Let’s keep it real…Steinem is just frustrated about that race card because a black man is supposed to get called on that shit and she didn’t give permission for any rule change.

What worries me is the patronizing tone with which Steinem dismisses the choices of young women voters. Is it any wonder that young women pause before embracing the feminist movement? Steinem concludes that young women are not radical yet. Will she conclude the same of black women should Clinton lose South Carolina?

I agree with Ms. Steinem that we have to be able to say that we are supporting her, a woman candidate, "because she would be a great president and because she is a woman."

But we also have to be able to say I’m not supporting her because I’ve evaluated her and examined her resume without being labeled a victim or self hating or not radical enough or not feminist enough or easily dazzled by great oratory skills or more black than woman or just too darn stupid to do what Ms. Steinem thinks we should do.

Speaking of votes…

A bitch just received a fresh shipment of Smartie-based joy from a certain Jeremy in Montreal just in time for my first Voter Education class of the new year!

Happy, happy, happy followed by joy times three!

Sigh.

Longtime readers know that a bitch teaches Voter Education classes and that Smarties play a key role. My students get a kick out of munching on "imported" chocolate (wink).

Anyhoo…

Speaking of the vote…
This bitch knows that there is more to voting in elections than just showing up and casting a ballot. St. Louis has a long history of voting irregularities…and isn’t that a pleasant way to say someone pulled the old ‘how many chickens are in the chicken coop?’ out on black folks trying to get their suffrage on?

Cough.

Anyhoo, I teach Voter Education classes at several local women’s shelters because all of us need to walk into a voting location packing knowledge and a strong understanding of our rights are the polls.

Suppressing the vote remains a favorite tool of The Man.

As we turn our focus to New Hampshire, we should also take notice that the Supreme Court is set to hear the ACLU’s landmark Voter ID challenge.

Missourians will remember the ignorant drama of the voter identification battle that took place here in 2006.

Well, the Indiana case goes to the Supreme Court tomorrow.

You heard me right...the ACLU’s challenge to Indiana’s Voter identification law goes before the Supreme Court tomorrow January 9.

Pause…sip water…continue.

Indiana’s voter identification law requires voters to present a government-issued ID to vote in federal, state and local elections. Voters without identification may vote using a provisional ballot, which is counted only if the voter travels to a circuit court or county election board to prove his or her identity within 10 days of the election.

This law could disenfranchise thousands of Indiana’s registered voters who do not have, and, in many cases, cannot obtain the limited identification that Indiana will accept for voting

Which is exactly what The Man wants to see happen.

Doubt me not…voter identification is folded in with all the calls for voting reform and technological upgrades because it limits access and therefore limits input. Back in the day the vote was suppressed by flashing a noose but now voter identification is poised to efficiently accomplish what the noose failed to…keep poor people, people of color, renters, young people and the disabled from speaking truth to power at the polls.

So, take a moment from watching the primary madness and get up to speed on this issue. Those of us who are committed to educating and empowering voters in our communities will need to be ready for whatever comes our way.

Best wishes to the ACLU as they present the people’s case to the Supreme Court tomorrow.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Shoulda, coulda, woulda…

A bitch woke up with a sinus headache that’s still lingering.

Ugh.

Anyhoo, this bitch caught the morning sorta-news and was fascinated by something Tim Russert said while analyzing Senator Clinton’s prospects in New Hampshire given Senator Obama’s poll ranking there and his win in Iowa.

“What she has to do is find a way to substantively say to people this is where I differ from Barack Obama on these critical issues”.

Pause…sip water…continue.

Now, a bitch is on record with the fact that Senator Clinton’s campaign tactics during the Iowa push pissed me the hell off…but something about Russert’s statement hit that nerve all over again.

It pisses me off that Clinton minions were all over the media in mid December mouthing off about Senator Obama’s middle name, spreading known lies about his religious upbringing and trying to stretch teen drug use into a vast criminal enterprise (mercy!) when they should have been discussing where Senator Clinton stands on the issues and how/if that’s different from Senator Obama’s stance on those issues.

This is the ever fucking problem with smear tactics and race baiting ...the time wasted, the missed opportunities and the votes and support lost to that shit.

Now, instead of reinforcing policy differences that were spun during Iowa, Clinton 2008 is trying to bring them up. The potential free advertising to New Hampshire that the national coverage of Iowa represented was lost in the shit storm of a New Hampshire campaign manager being forced to resign over ig’nant comments…a staffer being forced to resign after she sent out an e-mail stuffed to bursting with ig’nant comments…and then Bob Kerrey being forced to apologize for, you guessed it, making ig'nant 'why GOTV when you can stir up the bigots' comments.

Now, as I watch Clinton 2008 point out differences in the eleventh hour of the New Hampshire Primary campaign, this bitch can’t help but wish they had done that shit a month ago…spared me this bitter disgust and ripe resentment…and made this a campaign about the issues from jump rather than an extended exposure to the acrid smell of politics as usual followed by a desperate spritz of 'by the way, here’s what I stand for' at the end.

Fuck it.

That shit may work tomorrow.

Anything is possible.

Or this may be a case of shoulda, coulda, woulda.

Did I mention that anything is possible?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Vote for the American beagle!

I just had to share what Brother Rob Thurman gave me as a holiday present!

Vote for the American Beagle

Fantabulous!

Thank you Rob.

I shall cherish it always.

All we have to do now is take these lies and make them true somehow…

Yesterday Theo the sorta-beagle got into the kitchen garbage and got his feed on…then spent the entire night shitting himself silly.

Sigh.

His bowels settled around 4 o’clock in the morning, so a bitch had a lot of time last night between letting him out to do his business every hour to think.

My mind kept spirally around the language of politics right now…freedom and change…and I couldn’t help but wonder why some people think you can’t have both. I settled on fear as the reason because fear will keep a body from having the courage to make the political changes that allow freedom to exist.

But just because politicians speak of protecting freedom doesn’t mean they really want to. Too many of them toil in the garden of fear to fight against change and justify their questionable actions.

I was raised by a fearful mother who struggled with anxiety issues that kept her from doing a lot of things. The language of fear was ever present in my house…don’t do X because Y may happen to you or, Gawd forbid, Z! Fear rubbed off on me…guided my actions and lack of action for years…until I eventually doubted the value of freedom in the face of so much potential danger.

But I didn’t like that fearful place. A body can’t be whole when it is forever not living life. I worked on it and still work on it…get up and go out of the house, take that chance because it is worth it and try to trust because some people are worthy of that.

A bitch understands the struggle against fear and I truly believe that the only thing I have to fear is fear itself.

But we are a nation…a people…that has been doing little else but fearing shit for years.

I am troubled by the lack of faith and courage that are so obviously present beneath the thick layer of faux patriotism some politicians slap on before public appearances.

They who advise that we don’t try to address the problem of so many uninsured Americans and a fucked up healthcare system caution that X many happen or even Y or, Gawd forbid, Z.

Don’t try to reform our immigration policies so that those who would like to live here can legally do so and participate fully in our society…X may happen or even Y or, Gawd forbid, Z.

Don’t have expectations about public school education despite the fact that it used to be so much better and can be again and despite the fact that our public education system is one of the greatest achievements of our society in a world where so many are denied access to any education at all…X or Y or, Gawd forbid, Z!

Don’t go so fast, seek so much, believe so strongly, fight so fiercely…have you thought about X or Y or, Gawd forbid, Z?

And don’t speak of peace because “so much is at stake” and “the risks are so high”.

Just don’t! they advise and remind a bitch of that fearful place…of my country that is not whole after so many years living in it.

What does freedom really mean?

It means everything, because so much is at stake and the risks are so high (wink).

Its sad that a nation that owes its greatest accomplishments to amazing courage and radical at the time demands has become too scared to take our hard earned freedom out for regular rides.

No, freedom isn’t free…of the potential of X or Y or, Gawd forbid, Z.

Freedom isn’t free of risk or fear…this child of Civil Rights parents and grandchild of a WWII veteran knows that very well.

But if we want to be whole again…if we truly want to be of the people, by the people and for the people…if we want to be worthy of the ultimate sacrifice too many have made…freedom must be everything.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, so what remains to be decided is what we really want to be...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Quote of the Caucus...

Andrea Mitchell 9:08pm CST on MSNBC regarding Senator Clinton's Iowa finish...

"Perhaps this is the David Letterman effect since she appeared on Letterman versus Jay Leno and Leno won."

Blink.

And with that a bitch is done for the night...

Breaking like a wave breaking news - Obama Wins Iowa Caucus...

Senator Obama has won the Iowa Caucus.

Oh my.

Edwards and Clinton are currently fighting for second place.

Logs off to observe C-Money making tarts...

They speaketh in tongues...

Lawd, have mercy!

C-Money just turned to me and predicted the followed overwhelming response from Team Huckabee regarding their Iowa win...

"Mekka Lekka Hi-Mekka Hiney Ho!"

...followed by lots of dancing with serpents and the lifting of hands skyward as Huckabee supporters praise Gawd for delivering him from the devil of heavily funded negative advertising.

Mercy.

Breaking like crusty bread news - Huckabee Projected Winner in Iowa...

C-Money ... 2 Sam Adams Winter Lagers

Shark-Fu ... 2 vodka crans

Huckabee ... projected winner of Iowa Republican Caucus

Blink.

Damn, that was quick as hell!

Logs off to freshen vodka cran...

Something smells familiarly foul…

A bitch can’t wait to get my Caucus viewage on but even I was distracted by this wee bit of CIA tape scandal news.

Scooter B. (President Bush, just in case you’re newish) strongly…mmmhmmm, strongly…supports the CIA tapes probe.

Blink.

Don't get excited. In the past he held strong convictions about America not getting into the bitness of nation building…funding education reform…actually initiating energy reform…you get the point.

Now Scooter B. is going on record that his rancid ass is all for a serious criminal probe into the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes.

Right, just like he welcomed the investigation into whom within his administration leaked the name of a CIA operative to the press.

Pause...consider...continue...

Come to think of it, Scooter B.’s bring it on response is rather telling.

He either knows, kind of like Nixon knew those 18 minutes where gone baby gone from that Watergate-based tape, that the CIA tapes have been vanished without a trace into a rumor. Or he’s betting that the investigation wraps up quickly and he can just get his pardon on and make it go away.

But it won't go away, will it?

Much like those now infamous 18 minutes tainted all politicians, the missing CIA interrogation tapes will forever taint the Bush Administration as the practitioners of torture because everyone believes that those tapes contained proof of horrible acts.

The way I see it is kind of like walking into a room, seeing a dawg and smelling a foul shit-based stink but not being able to find the pile of shit.

Stank don’t just happen all on its own and you know that shit was in the room at some point.

The only thing left to do is prove true what you already know to be true and the only question left to ask how to get rid of the smell.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Caucus preparedness…

I know that some of you aren’t at all interested in the Iowa Caucus, but a bitch is.

I can’t get enough of the breaking then breaking again then breaking for another hour until finally developing into a development worth following closely all night and over and over political news.

For real!

Tomorrow will be happy, happy, happy followed by joy times three for me. Plus this shit has the added benefit of providing my ass with two weeks worth of discussable content for my Voter Education class!

Nice.

So, obviously a bitch needs to get my Iowa Caucus Viewification List of Needed Things together.

Cough.

Instrument of writing?

Check!

Notepad to write upon?

Check!

Barbequed something to dine on with a side of potato salad based yummified joy?

Pre-ordered!

What?

Other bitches might have the same idea…there could be a run on barbequed something tomorrow and then where would my ass be...hmmm?

Pause…consider…continue…

Promise from C-Money to rustle up berry tarts and cookies?

Mmmmhmm, and I’m holding her to it…big time.

Ice…vodka…sparkling cran (much love to a certain Live Journal sistah for that cran-based tip!!)?

Got it!

Shit, it’s going to feel like I’m getting my caucus on right along with all those dedicated Iowans...

…except my casa won’t be full of a bunch of my fellow citizens and the never ending story chasing political B-team from {insert annoying news outlet trying to squeeze this Caucus for all it has ever been worth}.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The job description...

Shall we?

Before considering supporting a candidate for any elected office this bitch likes to remind myself what my role is as a voter. That role is of interviewer and investigator (dare I say decider (wink)) of any and all candidates for the elected office they seek.

Come November of this year, a bitch and my fellow Americans will be asked to extend a job offer to candidates for everything from President of the United States to Governor to local city official. That's why this bitch takes careful note of the various job descriptions...who has fuck up the job and who has done the job justice...before I decide a damn thing or settle on a single candidate.

First up, the job of President of the United States of America!

Confessional - a bitch is always amazed that this job gets so many applicants since it's thankless and full of stress and drama, but...well, this bitch's nightmare is another person's dream come true.

Wince.

Anyhoo...

The Constitution of the United States of America lists the following job description for President.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Okay, got that shit.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

No raises or side deals or speaker fees.

Ouch.

But fuck it, they don't have to pay rent or for meals and travel or shit like that.

Alrighty, then...continue!

Before he (or she) enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Oh my! Now that is interesting. Why oh why do some folks running for office think it is more important to protect the masses than uphold the rule of law and govern based on the Constitution? Mayhap they are running for some other office...kind of feels like some of them are applying for President with the hopes of changing the job into Ruler of the Known Universe?

Cough.

Now, I know in these times of war it is frightening to some to imagine holding the Constitution above the protection of the masses, but the greatest threat to our national security is the willful disregard of the law of the land...and you can bet your ass the founders knew that shit and considered it when they signed off on the Constitution.

And the rest of it?

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Got that.

And?

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

And last but not least?

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.


Whew!

That's some job description but that's the job we the people should be interviewing the candidates for.

Funny thing is, this doesn't read like the job most of them are running for.

Blink.