Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jerry Brown For California Governor Over Meg Whitman

Regardless of your view of Jerry Brown - and Oaklanders have as many views of Brown as their are City Council districts - it's hard to get passed the fact that he's more than prepared to be California's next governor. The first and most obvious reason is Brown's been there before.

"Governor Brown" is called that because Jerry was Governor of California. And while his record is both harmed and helped by the battle against, and then the support for, Proposition 13, no one can deny that Jerry has the knowledge, experience, and relationships to make a difference in Sacramento. 

But, let's face it, we all knew this was coming.

Everyone in Oakland who pays half a mind of attention to politics knew Jerry was planning for this moment - election day November 2, 2010 - when he ran for Mayor of Oakland and won in 1998. A number of people said he was working to change his image from that of "Mayor Moonbeam" to one of centrist problem solver.

His final path on the way to this moment was running for and winning the race for California Attorney General. Jerry, as much as this blogger may not have liked it at times, had a plan and stuck to it.  He continues that positive habit to today.  It's something that will be good for California.

Would I have preferred the Jerry plan include enthusiastic support for the Super Bowl I was charged with bringing to Oakland? Yes. Did it take me years to get over the political battle I waged against what seemed to be a set of Oaklanders, including Jerry, who had changing sets of agendas? Yes. Did I start Oakland's first blog (Oakland Focus) mostly out of sheer anger with Governor Brown and them. Yes. Did we talk about that later? Yes.

My message to Jerry was that I was never going to go away as a person who mattered in Oakland, and that even if he or anyone else didn't want to, they would be forced to pay attention to what I had to say. I can say Jerry gets that now. I'm done.

As I told him recently, losing the right to host the 2005 Super Bowl took me years to get over.  I may live the rest of my life never completely recovering from that episode, because it showed me why Oakland never completely gets to the point of real urban success.

So be it.  I decided to do what Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris told me to do: use my brains on myself, because few cared about Oakland as much as I did.  Elihu was right.  I can say the National Football League has been a friend through that period, and up to today.  One day, I'll write a book and make a movie about that moment of my life.  It has to be seen to be believed.

For me, the whole matter is done, and I want nothing from the Governor other than what this blog post is doing: to wish him well and ask that you vote for him.

But that aside, I really do believe Jerry Brown will make a good Governor of California.  Indeed, Jerry Brown's returning to his rightful place in this state's colorful culture.  He knows, and arguably is, California.  Thus, he's the person best able to at least take a good crack at straightening out California.

What? You'd rather have Meg Whitman?

Ha.  No.  Big HA HA.

For this blogger, the former eBay CEO's run for Governor will always be marked by the signal she sent to majority minority cities like Oakland.  A point of view encapsulated in this video I created a few months ago, where Whitman's staffers sent a message of fear of Oakland and to Oaklanders that's a punch line from a script for The Colbert Report:

You want the fearmonger for Governor of California? A person who's shown hostility to her own Latino family housekeeper, insulted Fresno, California, and dissed Oakland?


Vote for Jerry Brown.

Stewart's Rally To Restore Sanity Beats Beck's Attendance

Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity with Stephen Colbert on October 30, 2010 drew in a bigger crowd than Glenn Beck's Rally to Restore Honor.

Stewart's event drew in over 210,000 people, and Beck's rally in August had less than 100,000 people in attendance.

Entertainment Weekly reports that 250,000 attending in person and 4 million streamed the event on computers.

Dallas Cowboys Blown Out By Jacksonville Jaguars 35 to 17

The Dallas Cowboys improbable season continues. The only thing worth watching at Cowboys Stadium this season are The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the stadium's art work. The Cowboys were blown out at home by the Jacksonville Jaguars 35 to 17, as Jaguars Quarterback David Garrard threw four touchdown passes.

In fact, David Garrard tied a club record, as he was 17 of 21 for 260 yards and four touchdowns. His quarterback rating was 157.8.

By contrast, Cowboys Quarterback Jon Kitna was just good and awful at the same time, throwing for 374 yards, 34 of 49, but committing four interceptions against just one touchdown.

The Cowboys actually outgained the Jaguars 415 yards to 387 yards, but the interceptions made the difference, as Dallas gave the ball to a red-hot David Garrard.

It was so bad that fans started cheering "Let's go Rangers," referring to tonight's World Series Game 4 pitting the Texas Rangers against the San Francisco Giants.

Dallas Cowboys' Season Is Terrible

Now, The Cowboys are 1 and 6, and there's no sign their fortunes will get any better, soon.

CNN's Dana Bash' Unexplained Lisa Murkowski Tweet Causes Internet Storm

CNN's Dana Bash has some explaining to do. Her tweet about Alaska U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski caused the Senator's name to be retweeted so much, it's now the second hottest topic on Google Trends as of this writing. Used properly, Twitter can be a force for good or bad. In this case, the bad is for Lisa Murkowski and the good may be for Joe Miller if this little firestorm grows.

On Twitter, Dana sent out this tweet 54 minutes ago as of this writing:

DanaBashCNN Dana Bash
Woah. Lisa murkowski just made really clear to our drew griffin in alaska republicans can't count on her to be w them.

Now Dana (photo at left) didn't provide a link to a video or text of an interview as part of her tweet, she just tweeted that statement.

The tweet was red meet to rabid Tea Party Movement supporters just two days before the 2010 MidTerm Elections. It was retweeted 14 times directly by followers (as of this writing), but many, many more times by follower of those followers, and so on. The result is a sea of retweets helping to create the content that meets the search demand for "Lisa Murkowski."

But just what Lisa Murkowski said was never explained by Dana Bash, and it must be. Google News has no supporting information that Senator Murkowski's going to, essentially, jump ship on the Republican Party. Was that Dana's interpretation?

If it was, Dana, as a political news reporter, should be really careful how she shares her take on politics. It could be interpreted as support for the Tea Party.   The Senator's challenger, Tea Party-backed Joe Miller, is reportedly behind in the polls.  Dana's tweet is the kind of spark that could turn it around for him, which is why it was so careless for Bash not to explain it.

Stay tuned.

Marine Corps Marathon

The 35th annual Marine Corps Marathon took place Sunday, October 31, 2010 throughout the D.C. streets.

Runners from across the world came wearing festive attire as they ran through the DC. streets. Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Biden's wife, fired the starting gun at 8 a.m. and the runners began their 26.2 mile run.

The marathon is also known as The People's Marathon and there were over thousands in attendance.

Denise Borino Quinn: Sopranos Actress Dies Of Liver Cancer

Denise Borino Quinn, the actress who played mobster Johnny Sack's wife Ginny Sacramoni on The Sopranos has died of liver cancer. She was just 46 years old.

According to EOnline, Borino Quinn died last Wednesday at Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey, and her funeral was held Saturday.

On July 23rd, 2000, Denise was selected to play the role of Ginny Sacramoni after an open casting call that drew 15,000 participants.  She had never acted before at any level.

Before her famous job with the The Sopranos, Denise Borino Quinn was a legal secretary and part-time manicurist living in New Jersey. Interestingsly Ouinn said she was really at the open casting call to support her best friend Maria Galasso; Denise didn't think she herself would be picked.

Denise is a graduate of West Essex Senior and Junior High School in North Caldwell, has a business degree from Dover Business College, and two semesters at Morris County College.

In an interview Denise explained how she wanted to be remembered:

I guess I want to be remembered for always being genuinely nice to people and being able to put a smile on their face. Just before my husband Luke’s sister Theresa passed away, Luke had brought me over to her house to meet her and Luke said he hadn’t seen his sister smile like that in months so for me knowing that I brought a little bit of happiness into his sister’s life means the world to me!

Given her role on The Sopranos, it's fair to say she did put a smile on America's face.

Time Change Fall 2010: Daylight Savings Time Change Nov 7

When does Time Change Fall 2010 take place? That seems to be the question of the day online, as this first period of heavy online use in our history is causing confusion on this day of Daylight Savings Time, called "DST," or the Time Change Fall 2010.

(UPDATE - Now it's our turn!)

But for Europe, not America or the Americas.

Today is Time Change Fall 2010 for Europe; in America and the Americas, it takes place November 7th.  That's one week from today, October 31st.  It's the first Sunday in November - the time for America to change its clocks.


First, Daylight Savings Time, or DST, itself was adopted to gain more light from a single day. It was observed more when the World's economy was largely agrarian. In today's tech culture, Daylight Savings Time isn't really needed as much. However, it does help with tourism and events.

Second, if you know that sundown is at 8 PM, because the clocks reflect that, rather than 7 PM, you will leave your event open one hour longer at least. That means more money and exposure for businesses that depend on daylight for revenue generation.

Time Change Fall and Daylight Savings Time Not Everywhere

With that, some countries don't observe the practice or the Time Change Fall 2010 or whatever and a number of countries are considering changes to DST or observe it in a different way. For example, Russia reduced their number of time zones from 11 to nine and are considering ending Daylight Savings Time in 2011.   And Egypt changed its clock four times in 2010.

Time Change Fall 2010 - Daylight Savings Time Change For Europe

Note: Time Change for USA on November 7th.

Some hold that today is Time Change Fall 2010, but the problem is that Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In America.

In November. That would be next week. Today is October 31st, Halloween.

But in Europe, because it's on that side of the Earth, it's different. Today is Time Change Fall 2010, and clocks are set back one hour.

According to the website

In the European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time). It begins the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at the same moment.
So for America, the time remains the same; for Europe it goes back one hour today.  On Halloween.

London NFL Game Impacted

An NFL Football game will be played today in London. Given the time change difference, you've got to wonder if the player of the San Francisco 49ers and The Denver Broncos are all aware of this.  Not only do they have to deal with the time zone date line change, but the time change itself.  Yikes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear: Stewart & Colbert Rock in DC

The Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear, hosted today by comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in the Washington Mall, was a star studded success. Attended by performing greats such as Tony Bennett, Kid Rock, Cat Stevens, Ozzy Osbourne, the O’Jays’ and Sheryl Crow, the hundreds of thousands of people who were there in person, surely were not disappointed.

Stewart jokingly remarked that the crowd was “over ten million people” during the 3 hour event aimed at bringing civility and tolerance back to the American dialog.

The entire rally was streamed over the internet and carried live on both CSPAN 1 and Comedy Central. Complete with an awards ceremony, Myth Busters experiments, walk ons from celebrities like wrestler Mick Foley, Sam Waterston, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, R2D2 and a benediction by Father Guido Sarducci, the rally far surpassed any I have watched in Washington in quite some time.

Among the medals bestowed by Stewart and Colbert, a few excellent ones stood out: One, a Medal of Reasonableness to Velma Hart, who respectfully disagreed with the President recently, one of Colbert’s Fear Awards (the “Feary,” he called it) to Anderson Cooper’s “tight black t-shirt,” a symbol of cable-news fear-mongering and another “Feary” that was awarded to a 7 year old girl who, according to Colbert, showed more courage for attending than those Media outlets who banned their employees from going to the event. (CBS, ABC and especially NPR)

Stewart’s closing remarks: “So. Here we are.” He said he wanted to conclude with “some sincerity” that might breach the “boundaries for a comedian/talker/pundit-guy.” His message ended with media criticism: “We live in hard times, not end-times. We can have animus and not be enemies. One of our main tools is broken.” Referring to the 24-hour news media, which in his view is the real stoker of fear. “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing,” he said. “Americans don’t live on cable tv… most Americans don’t live their lives as Democrats or Republicans or liberals or conservatives. Most live their lives as people a little bit late for something they have to do…making little, reasonable compromises we all make…we have to work together to get from the darkness to the light.”

“The press is our immune system: If it over-reacts to everything, we get sicker, and maybe eczema.”

The show concluded with Tony Bennett singing “America the Beautiful” and Mavis Staples singing “I’ll Take You There.”

Some of my favorite rally monemts (besides Ozzy) was the great poem written by Colbert and read by Sam Waterston (video was not available) and Colbert's arrival on stage via a replica of the FENIX which was used recently to rescue the miners in Chile.

Kid Rock debuted an original song “The Least That I Can Do Is Care” (from his upcoming album) in a live duet with Sheryl Crow, singing lyrics that seemed quite appropriate for the message Stewart hoped to convey. (See video below)

Rally To Restore Sanity: CNN's Anderson Cooper's T-Shirt Gets Award

The Rally To Restore Sanity And / Or Fear, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's effort to restore a sane political discourse and drawing 1 million to The National Mall in Washington DC, featured CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Well, his tight t-shirt that is.

Anderson Cooper's tight t-shirt, seen at seemingly every disaster in the World, was given an "Award of Fear" at The Rally To Restore Sanity today. And that's why the t-shirt gets an award. It's everywhere. And something CNN started with Anderson two years ago, it an effort to get both the female and gay viewing population - I guess.

While the t-shirt, or a reasonable representation of it, was brought out to loud cheers at The Rally, Anderson Cooper himself was not present.

C-SPAN Polling Viewers

C-SPAN is running a phone poll of viewers asking if The Rally To Restore Sanity was politics or entertainment? This blogger says it's right down the middle. It's both.

Stay tuned.

Seattle Rally To Restore Sanity Draws Thousands

The Rally To Restore Sanity may be in Washington DC, but it has spawned events in other parts of America, like Seattle.

According to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Seattle version of The Rally To Restore Sanity has drawn "thousands" of people who could not make it to Washington DC today.

The Rally To Restore Sanity: Seattle is part of a larger set of rallies in Boston and Los Angeles, and other cities. Over 5,000 people registered to attend the The Rally To Restore Sanity: Seattle .

The Rally To Restore Sanity is a dramatic effort to bring America back to the center and toward the reasoned discourse of the recent past. Now, it seems extremists on both sides of the political fence, aided by a ratings and traffic hungry media, are working to dominate politics.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's message is that this has to stop. Especially the extremism of the Tea Party movement and what this blogger calls "Couch Potato Conservatives."

Rally To Restore Sanity Draws 1 Million People; CNN Screws Up

The Rally To Restore Sanity And / Or Fear, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's answer to Glenn Beck's insulting rally on the National Mall before MLK Day, has drawn 1 million people.

(UPDATE - Seattle Rally To Restore Sanity draws 5,000.)

This count comes from this blogger's experience attending the Presidential Inauguration, January 20, 2009. On that day, there were an estimated 2 million people, extending from the Capital down past the Washington Monument.

On today's Rally To Restore Sanity, the entire part of The National Mall is covered with people as far as the eye can see, and the Comedy Central camera's aren't covering up a thing. It's huge. So large it scared off CNN.

CNN showed one clip with Ozzy Osborne while, for some stupid reason, explaining they were going to West Virginia to show Sarah Palin and an all-white group of performer at some rally you don't care about. Meanwhile, CNN rightfully shows that the Rally To Restore Sanity And / Or Fear is on Comedy Central, then turns to the West Virginia rally. This blogger turned to Comedy Central, where The Rally has a multi-racial group of performers. So much for Jon Stewart as a bigot.

Wish I Was There

Running a business means having to give up certain things, and one of them was the trip to Washington DC for The Rally To Restore Sanity. But I'm catching it on TV, as CNN's Anderson Cooper's tight black t-shirt is getting an Award Of Fear from Jon and Stewart. Too funny.

If CNN Were Ran Well

If CNN were ran well, it would have hourly coverage of The Rally To Restore Sanity from the ground level perspective. Who's there? What do they think?  If CNN were ran well, the higher-ups would have sent the iReport team would be there in full.

CNN can do so much better.

Charlie Sheen: Did He Scream N-Word On Cocaine? Call Michael Jordan

Did CBS' Two And A Half Men star Charlie Sheen scream the N-word while on a drunken coke rant as part of his partying at the New York hotel The Plaza and at the restaurant Daniel, as reported by

 If so, what would NBA Legend Michael Jordan, who made those Hanes Commercials with Sheen, have said if he discovered that Sheen was a racist? And what's the deal with Charlie screaming the N-word, anyway? If that's the case, was Sheen thinking of Jordan?

Here's one of the commercials below  (As a note, Hanes has disassociated itself from Charlie Sheen after his January arrest for domestic violence.)

Charlie Can't Find $12,000

According to, Sheen was with Carpi Anderson, a porn star and escort he hired for the trip, as well as two of Sheen's assistants, and two friends, and all went to Daniel, Daniel Boulud's hip eatery located at 60 E. 65th St. in Manhattan's Upper East Side.

There, in a bathroom next to the private room for Sheen's party, Charlie reportedly snorted cocaine and pulled his pants down to have sex with Carpi Anderson. But Anderson wanted to be paid the $12,000 he reportedly agreed to pay her to have sex with him. Charlie didn't have the money on him, so no sexual intercourse took place in the bathroom. Later, they returned to The Plaza Hotel, the luxury hotel located at Central Park South, just a short distance from Daniel Retaurant.

It was at The Plaza that Charlie Sheen lost it when he couldn't find his money to pay Carpi Anderson. He reportedly became violent and started throwing furniture around, yelling the N-word over and over again. Why? No one knows, except that the dude must have some racist thoughts to say the N-word, over the various other things he could have done or said.

RadarOnline's source said "He just kept screaming it but he was so far gone from drinking and snorting coke and smoking coke that he had no idea what he was doing.When the cops arrive Charlie was naked. They threw a sheet on him and then tackled him."

What Would Jordan Think?

What would Michael Jordan have said if he knew Charlie Sheen had such thoughts? Would Jordan have done the famous series of Hanes Commercials with Sheen? This corner doubts it.

Maybe Sheen was upset that, in his mind, a black guy doesn't have to pay for sex with Carpi Anderson, but he does? Just a guess.

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Unemployment News: United We Stand - in the Unemployment Line that is

With the “Silly Season” of political discontent nearing an end and our most recent Terror threat (delivery via UPS from Yemen), the term “United We Stand” should have special meaning to all Americans. These days, any unemployment news we hear is how more of us are standing united all right - in the Unemployment Line that is.

Of those experiencing the heartbreak of unemployment, the most desperate by far are known as the 99ers. There are over 5 million Americans who have been without any income from UI benefits for 8 months. With no jobs in sight for these long term unemployed “exhaustees” - the rapidly approaching holiday season will be nothing to celebrate.

It is not just about no gifts from Santa (but a Tier 5 from Congress would be nice), it is the threat of winter approaching with so many living in their cars or on the streets. No Tier 5 before Thanksgiving = a Death Sentence for many 99ers.

For many of us who are frantically holding on, barely one step ahead of eviction, there are more subtle dignities being stripped away the longer we are without any income. For some it is the isolation unemployment brings. Others like me are stripped of the ability to give this holiday season and that hurts everyone.

Nearly every year since I can recall, I have spent my holidays serving the down and out, holiday meals in whatever soup kitchen needed volunteers. I always contributed to the local food banks and gave volumes to the United Way and Toys for Tots campaigns. I volunteered at local women’s shelters to create gift baskets for the adult women and wrap gifts for the children. This year, I may well need to eat my holiday meal at one of the soup kitchens where I used to serve food to others.

I do not say this for sympathy. I am blogging on this subject to reach out to those like me who feel devastated by this reality and yes - even ashamed to be in this situation. Actually, I am one of the most blessed of the 99ers as I still have my apartment, (for now). I have a very busy schedule of job hunting, blogging, host my own weekly (non-paid) Blog Talk Radio Show [Jobless Talk], Facebook groups and a host of other activities that keep me in touch with really great people in my same situation. One such great person made the cartoon you see here. His name is Bud Meyers and is a 99er in Vegas.

I have been actively campaigning for a variety of candidates, determined to do what little I can to avoid a Tea Party/Republican take over of Washington and other state and local offices. I keep up with baseball and cry or often curse at my beloved San Diego Chargers. I am just like you (if you are a 99er) and no I am not a which. LOL

With over 5 million Americans unable to support themselves with UI benefits and a few more million soon to lose their weekly checks as of November 30, 2010 - America has begun to view us as invisible, lazy or worthless. I can tell you I am none of the above.

I do not have time to be lazy, I refuse to be invisible and the only worthless folks in this country are those who call the unemployed “bums, drug addicts and whiners.”
If you have ever expressed this view when commenting on the blogs or feeling frustrated with a relative you feel might have been unemployed too long - take heart. You could be next in the unemployment line.

The next time you find yourself agreeing with selfish losers like Glenn Beck (who only 3 months back said unemployment was natural selection and those who could not find work deserve to starve to death) thinking that 99 weeks is long enough to help Americans who have worked 30 years or longer, if you do not wish to help the 99ers get their Tier 5 through Congress - just remember that by this Christmas there may well be nearly 8 million unemployed in America without a dime of income to spend in their local communities. This hurts everyone. It hurts those of you who own businesses, wait tables, build houses, do landscaping, farm, suppliers, truck drivers, insurance salesmen, hotel workers, travel/tourist businesses, cashiers, investment brokers, landlords, local parks and zoos and the list goes on.

If you think that 5 million people over the past 8 months being incapable of contributing into the economy does not hurt you - you are WRONG. Take the average of $300.00 per week UI check and multiply it by 5 million and you realize that depriving the 99ers of means to support themselves over the past 8 months has cost America and our economy the stimulative equivalent of more than $2.7 billion each and every week. (based upon the Congressional Budget Office estimate of $1.78 economic return on each $1 spent on UI benefits). That is nearly 100 billion dollars lost to our economy forever!

So before you think to judge harshly the scruffy looking man or woman in the parking lot of your supermarket (who may well be a 99er) holding a sign and looking very hungry, remember - without a Tier 5 and the extension of the filing dates for those who have not collected all UI available the them - YOU may be next in the unemployment line and others may well treat you the way you treated those hurting Americans just down on their luck and victims of this horrible economy.

And while you are here, please take a look at this powerful and entertaining video by singer/songwriter James Mcmurtry called We Can't Make It Here Anymore. If it does not touch you with the hard truth of America today, nothing will.

Oh, if anyone reading this wants to hire a talented, smart, dynamic, hardworking go getter with a great attitude and superb work ethic anywhere in the San Diego area (or for online work) Please leave me a comment with how to contact you! You will be glad you did!

Maria Viramontes, Myrna Lopez, Receive Key Endorsement From The West County Times For Richmond City Council

Richmond City Council candidates Maria Viramontes and Myrna Lopez secured a crucial endorsement this week from the West County Times.

According to the West County Times, “…incumbents Viramontes and Lopez understand the city’s finances, the need to work with the business community and the need to protect the environment.”

Receiving the sought after endorsement of the West County Times is crucial for Lopez and Viramontes, who both claim to have the economy as their first priority in this election. Voters will be going to the polls on Tuesday to cast their vote, choosing from a diverse group of ten candidates and this endorsement will be sure to make Viramontes and Lopez stand out as the best candidates for the council.

The website has more information on both Lopez and Viramontes including mail pieces that describe their stances on the economy, public safety and education in Richmond.

The economy is definitely playing an important role in this year’s election and Lopez has proven to make the right decisions for the people of Richmond as a City Councilwoman in the past. According to a recent mail piece that describes Lopez’s work to improve the economy in Richmond, “Myrna was one of the chief architects of an agreement with Chevron to create 1,200 new jobs and reduce pollution by upgrading the refinery’s equipment.”

The future of children’s education in Richmond is an important factor in this year’s election as well. A recent mail piece for Viramontes describes her passion for maintaining quality schools for Richmond’s children to learn: “When West Contra Costa School District tried to close three Richmond schools, last year, Maria Viramontes was one of the first to stand up to oppose the proposal. She helped develop a comprehensive financial plan to keep the schools open and provide necessary funding to core programs. She understands our youth deserve the resources they need to succeed.”

For more information on both candidates, please visit:
Myrna Lopez:
Maria Viramontes:

Gawker Paints Christine O'Donnell As Horny Virgin Cougar Seeking Sex

According to an anonymous Gawker blog writer, who posts his photos of her, Delaware GOP Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell's had a one-night-stand three years ago and was a horny virgin seeking sex with a 25-year-old man.

O'Donnell was 35 years old at the time, and had just come off one losing campaign for the Senate.  She and a female friend showed up at the writer's doorstep asking to change into their Halloween outfits. In Gawker, he writes:

We'd met for the first and only time three months earlier when my two roommates and I signed the lease on our apartment: Christine's aunt owned the place we were moving into, and she happened to be up from Delaware visiting at the time. But we'd only spent about five minutes together that day and we hadn't spoken much, and I hadn't thought of her since.
Yet here she was standing outside my door with a friend. And both of them were pretty tipsy.

He continues to explain an encounter that's not unlike any one a healthy young man has had in his life.  Part of it are totally funny and very revealing about Christine. Actually, she reads like a lot of fun, frankly.   And her first male target reads like a jealous guy who wasn't worth her time; yet she went after him.

When she didn't get what she wanted, she dated his roommate.  So, in what seems to be a retaliation for that, he's outing her sex life.


Now, the Republican woman presented as fearful of sex, and then a witch, is now dealing with what some claim is a smear campaign on the part of Gawker against her. But sexual harassment? That's what O'Donnell's campaign claims it is. Note, they do not deny the blog post. It's true.

Whatever one says, it's clearly an explosive story, one that emerged just five short days before the November election. Here's the Christine O'Donnell campaign response:

Wilmington, DE – Communications Director Doug Sachtleben stated in response to the universal condoning of the Gawker story:
"This story is just another example of the sexism and slander that female candidates are forced to deal with. From Secretary Clinton, to Governor Palin, to soon-to-be Governor Haley, Christine's political opponents have been willing to engage in appalling and baseless attacks — all with the aim of distracting the press from covering the real issues in this race. Even the National Organization for Women gets it, but Christine's opponent disturbingly does not. As Chris Coons said on September 16th he would not condone personal attacks against Christine. Classless Coons goons have proven yet again to have no sense of common decency or common sense with their desperate attacks to get another rubber stamp for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda. Such attacks are truly shameful, but they will not distract us from making our case to Delaware voters — and keeping the focus on Chris Coons' record of higher taxes, increased spending, and as he has done again here, breaking his promises to the voters."
The National Organization for Women (NOW) on Thursday condemned the tabloid website Gawker for publishing an anonymous account: NOW issued a statement late Thursday stating that "sexist, misogynist attacks against women have no place in the electoral process, regardless of a particular candidate's political ideology."
"NOW repudiates Gawker's decision to run this piece. It operates as public sexual harassment. And like all sexual harassment, it targets not only O'Donnell, but all women contemplating stepping into the public sphere," said NOW president Terry O'Neill.

The problem is, the encounter's not a sexual harassment issue. Sexual harassment is defined as
"intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors."

The Gawker article is certainly not appropriate.  But if it was meant to smear Christine O'Donnell and cause her to lose the campaign, it will work.   Say, it paints her as reckless with her public image.  But it also shows her as human.  Frankly, part of me feels sorry for her to have met a guy who did this to her.  It's an obvious violation of a private act, only it's OK because now O'Donnell is a full public figure.  Gawker can do this and get away with it.

But, hey, Christine's not bad looking at all.  Let's see how this plays out.  

More on this, including blog reactions, later.  Here is the full blog post at Gawker.

Oakland Mayor's Race: Don Macleay Interview #2

Followers of this space will remember that this blogger interviewed Oakland Mayor's Race candidate Don Macleay earlier in the campaign, and for about 20 minutes in front of Merritt Station Cafe at 614 Grand Avenue. But Don wanted to talk again, and this space doesn't refuse such requests. The result is the funniest and most fun of all of the interviews I've conducted thus far.

It is so, because the Green Party candidate who calls himself the "People's Mayor," has a good, natural sense of humor that smooths over a wonkish tendency. That quality makes him accessible across race and class lines. Regardless of how the election turns out, Don Macleay has created a good foundation for his political future.

The Mayor Of 40th Street

Already, Don Macleay is arguably the Mayor of 40th Street, where he lives on 40th and Opal. He's right next to what he calls the "new Temescal Neighborhood." Don owns what could be called a compound on that corner, marked with his lawn sign and another in support of Measure BB. Don's tan building houses his East Bay Computer Services, his apartment, and several other tenant businesses. He moved there in 2008, and has what he calls a "Walk, Bike, neighborhood lifestyle."

Across 40th Street from Don Macleay's home is what he laughingly refers to as his entertainment: a green building housing a laundry business, where "you can buy crack on certain days...This candidate does not live on Skyline Drive." That's a friendly shot at Oakland Mayor's Race competitor Greg Harland, who does live on Skyline Drive.

Unlike the other mayoral candidates, Macleay does not have an office with an adress; he has a "virtual office" with cell phones being the communications and information exchange system. "We have our network in the cloud, Don says. "We work with smartphones. We keep both the company and the campaign on these smartphones."

Darth Vader On The Campaign?

In his first room, Macleay has an interesting collection of "stuff," like a UCLA cup (which should be a Cal cup) and including a Darth Vader helmet because his son's into Star Wars. But that doesn't mean Don thinks there's a Darth Vader in the Oakland Mayor's Race: "I think..A lot of people want to paint Don Perata as Darth Vader and I think he's the standard American politician."

The campaign has "just been great" for Don. He's having a lot of fun going from forum to forum (there were 30 of them) and spreading his message of reform. Don says Oakland Government is not "representative enough." He thinks the Oakland City Council is not accessible to the grassroots Oakland activists and wants to change that.

The Pension Reform Issue

Don says the way to reduce the Oakland Pension Deficit is to cash it out on a sliding scale. "It's the members money. What we have set aside belongs to them, first and foremost." What Don wants to do is to give the pension system members all of their money up front, and then start a new system of pay-as-you-go. He says Oakland's government and unions don't like the idea, but it's one he's ready to go forward with should he become Mayor of Oakland.

The People's Mayor

Our talk continued with a tour of his compound and home. It's a machinist's dream, with all kinds of drills and equipment appropriate for everything from bike repair to metal sculpture. He does all of the unlicensed work on his place himself. Don's also ran a number of businesses and says that his experience "puts me in touch with about 60 percent of the economy."

The Parking Issue And The Greens

This blogger originally met Don when we worked on what was to be an initiative to change Oakland's predatory parking laws and system. One that Oakland PUEBLO said was a violation of an Oaklander's civil rights. He reports that "got him into a lot of trouble with the Greens." But Don says he was able to convince many Green Party activists that the City of Oakland's measures didn't provide a public transit alternative, just worked to feed the city's coffers at the expense of the poor.

"We do not have the transit infrastructure we should," he says, and wants a moratorium on new roads; something he will push for even if he's not Mayor of Oakland.

Don's Mayor's Office and Morale

Unlike many of the candidates, Macleay says he will have the same size of Mayor's Office as present. Rearding organizational structure, Don says he's like to keep Mayor Dellums fundraising system and staff. Overall he sees no need to expand the office, and wants to leave the matter of policy advise to the Oakland City Council.

On Oakland city employee morale, which has been poor for years, Don says he will work to make it easier for Oakland employees to talk freely about what they don't like around them. He also wants to help Oakland employees succeed at their jobs.

Don Macleay Has Matured

In closing, Don Macleay has come a long way as a mayoral candidate. At first, I didn't think he was really serious about winning this thing. But over the past few months, he changed. Don became much more engaged, present, and active as a campaigner. He's honed and refined his message and deliberately positioned himself as more a "man of the people." Macleay's an excellent listener and perhaps has the smallest ego of any of the choices for Mayor. It will be interesting to see how he performs on election day in Oakland.

2010 World Series Fight in McDonald's After Giants vs Rangers Game One

The 2010 World Series Giants vs Rangers Game One was marred by a giant fight in the McDonald's located on Brannan near 3rd Street and just one block from AT&T Park. This is the fight the SFPD Officer mentioned as being "70 persons" when we talked on the AT&T Park Muni platform last night.

According to the decription on YouTube channel gtothebomb's video page, this is what happened:

This was taken at the McDonald's right next to AT&T park. Some chick was arguing about their order, the chick with the yellow thong tells her, she shouldn't talk like that in front of her daughter. Chick says she's not my daughter and throws soda at the yellow thong chick. then all hell breaks loose.

The fight was mostly female, and mosly white, Hispanic, and a few African American women. It's not clear why the black women got involved in the fight, but one of them seemed to jump into it, then was helped by her friends as they hit another woman to the ground, then they backed off.

Then a blonde haired woman threw what seemed to be a chair at the woman in yellow. Then, some rather heavy-set Latino man got involved and punched someone else. Then next to him, two other women started fighting.

At that point, you can hear sirens go off as the SFPD comes to the scene. That seems to explain why the camera person is leaving the scene, along with a large number of people who presumably didn't want to be arrested.

It's a pretty safe bet to say that none of the people in the video had tickets to the 2010 World Series. It's also a good reason why this blogger doesn't walk into McDonald's much, if at all, down there.

While that was happening, I was at the Paragon Bar and Grill, just one long block, and a demographic world away.

MC Hammer vs Jay-Z?? An Open Letter to Hammer as He Sets Oct 31st Deadline

A lot of buzz around this ‘beef’ between Jay-Z andMC Hammer. For those who don’t know Jay-Z took shots at Hammer last month about his past financial woes. He did a song where he spit a verse about Hammer losing 30 million. This is while Jay-Z is reported to have brought an island or something like that. Hammer wasn’t feeling the slight and made his disapproval known via twitter with a promise to release a video reposnse on October 31st.

A few things to consider..on one hand Hip Hop has always had the ‘battle’ element. Taking shots or responding to disses have long been a tried and true method of getting on. 5o Cent blew up doing this. KRS made his name early on coming after folks. Hammer himself came up taking shots at all sorts of folks explaining that Hip Hop was like sport. It’s team vs team and when you stepped into the arena it was on you to bring the ruckus so to speak. I recall when he challenged Michael Jackson to a dance off. It was all about the battling on stage, on vinyl and everywhere else to establish your position. So back in the days when folks like Run DMC, 3rd Base, Ice Cube or LL took shots, Hammer got at them both on and off record. Very few emcees especially those who were popular would get a dis off and he not address them.

Jay-Z on the other hand has been interesting with his disses. He’s long known that responding to slights gave folks a chance to come up. He talked about this when he had his famous battle with Nas back in ’01. Folks forget that a lot of times he ‘brushed the disses off his shoulder’ and ignored them not allowing himself to be a free meal ticket. He did that with Jayo Felony and even Game. So why he took shots at Hammer is curious to me.

On another level when cats become elder statesmen in the rap game it just doesn’t seem right to have any sort of battle. It should be about building. It would’ve been dope if Jay-Z helped Hammer get that 30 million back and they embarked on a lucrative long sustaining project together.. It would’ve been good if Hammer shines it off and stepped to Jay privately, But respect is respect, and Hammer is not letting up as we can see in this recent video called Better Run Run.So we’ll see what happens on the 31st.

In the meantime, folks have been speaking out trying to stop this from moving forward. Below is a letter from a local Oakland based author Harry Williams.

An Open Letter To MC Hammer

Author Rev Harry Williams

Dear Brother Hammer:

The black nation is in a state of chaos. According to the Sentencing Project, oneout of every three black men can expect to see the inside of a prison cell ifcurrent trends continue. The CDC tells us that black men are ten times morelikely to contract HIV/AIDS than white men. Black women are twenty times morelikely to contract AIDS than white women. The leading cause of death for blackmen between the ages of 15 and 34 is homicide. In the computer age, theManhattan Institute tells us that only 48% of all black males in America will earn ahigh school diploma. We are in trouble; real trouble.

There are no shortage of professional race leaders to address these issues. Letme tell you where they fall short. They lack a voice that young people will listento. No young brother sitting in front of a television rolling a blunt is going tosay, “Gee, let me turn on the radio and see what Reverend So and So is talkingabout today.” No, they are going to turn on their favorite mc.

Hip hop artists have a unique power to speak into the lives of young people. Thenext Martin Luther King and the next Malcolm X are not going to show up withBrooks Brothers suits and wing tip shoes. The untapped power in ourcommunities belongs to hip hop artists. That is why it is so disheartening to seepowerful African Americans divert their tremendous potential to save lives to thepettiness of tearing down other blacks.
Brother Hammer, recently you became the victim of such an attack. Sir, youhave nothing to prove to anyone. Don’t allow yourself to be dragged down into apit. There are some people who will say mean things just to extract a negativereaction out of you. When they succeed in making you frown, their day is made.Turn your back to them.

God gave you a gift that caused hip hop to explode on the face of the earth. Ifthere had been no MC Hammer, a lot of rappers would still be serving crack infront of the projects or slinging burgers, if they could get a job at all. You createdan industry. How many people can lay down tonight and before they close theireyes say to themselves, “I changed the world.”

I know that you are from Oakland. Homeboys in the place they call “da Town”are suffering from the reverberating shocks of the Great Recession. Gangwarfare and gun violence are out of control. People are hungry and desperate.They need voices of hope. For so many years, you have owned such a voice.Come back to these streets. Leave the hatred to the haters. Perhaps God’s
greater purpose for your life is that you speak hope in the valleys of the shadowof death and despair. Come home. You name is still quadruple platinum in thesestreets.

My prayers are with you.


Reverend Harry Louis Williams, II – East Oakland, CA (

World Series 2010: San Francisco Celebrates Giants Game 1 and 2 Wins

Wow. The San Francisco Giants have won the World Series Game 1 and World Series Game 2. The combined score of 20 runs to just 7 for the Texas Rangers would be a blow-out if it were a football score. And while the scene at AT&T Park is electric inside, it was nuclear outside of it, especially on the first day.  Here's the video:

Over at, this blogger reported:

According to San Francisco Police Officer Greg Shur, the crowd, with the exception of just two arrests, was well-behaved. It was a vastly different and more controlled, yet electric feeling for World Series Game One than for the NLCS or the NLDS before that. The 21st Amendment was packed and orderly, and funny.

There was some guy behind me who yelled like a weird animal. A high pitched KIYYEEEEEEEEE sound. Then there was the man with the "Beat Texas" sign. And there was a lot of beer. It's great to see the businesses around the ballpark pick up so much business from the World Series.

Well, that was true, except that by World Series Game 2, things did get a little ugly. A SFPD Officer keeping an eye on the celebration from his perch on the Muni AT&T Park platform said, in response to the comment that there were just two arrests, laughed sarcastically and said "There were a lot more than that. There was a 70-person fight at the McDonald's (on Brannan, just a block from the ball park), someone lost $4,000 on a set of phony tickets, and Texas Rangers fan got pummeled inside their (pointing at the stadium)."

People Coming Just To Hang Out

There must have been 20,000 people hanging out outside AT&T Park without tickets on the first day, and a good 10,000 the second day.  There was one couple who flew in from Indiana, and two party girls watching the game from a line next to Momo's.  One of them said her favorite celebrity was Brett Favre and also said she would take a text from the Vikings Quarterback - and she said this on video to come on Friday!  

There were a lot of happy people, but it's sad to learn that the environment overall isn't as safe as it was reported to be on the magical World Series Game first day.

World Series Game 2: Giants Beat Rangers Again; Matt Cain, Edgar Renteria, Cody Ross Star

World Series Game 2 from AT&T Park in San Francisco is history as the SF Giants beat the Texas Rangers again with the improbable score of 9 to 0. It was tight for most of the contest until the 8th inning when the Giants exploded, causing the Rangers to leak runs like a cracked dam. The Rangers gave up a whopping seven runs in that one inning.

Overall, the game was won by Giants Pitcher Matt Cain, Shortstop Edgar Renteria, and outfielder Cody Ross, who's stop of a 6th inning base hit that could have caused extra runs made the difference.

But Matt Cain gets the win as he pitched seven and two-third scoreless innings and 21 in the post season according to The MLB Network. Cain can also tip his hat to Giants Shortstop Edgar Renteria.

Renteria's live bat produced the game's first run, as he hit a solo home-run in the fifth inning to push the SF Giants ahead 1 to zero at the time. Then, Renteria drove in another run in the dramatic eight inning. After Edgar's heroics, Ross' play in the sixth inning saved the game.

Texas Rangers movie-in-the-making Outfielder Josh Hamilton hit the ball into the right field in the sixth inning. Cody Ross had a bead on the ball, started to dive for it, realized he was too late, so stopped the balls advance past him with his body.

At the time, Texas Rangers Michael Young was at 2nd base, headed to third, but then say Cody's play on the ball, and remained at second. Had the ball gone beyond Ross, Young would have taken 3rd, and may have even scored. And the next pitch was wild, so if Young was at third, he would have scored. Instead of a 2 - 1 Texas lead, the score remained 1-0 Giants at the time.

Game Three In Texas Is  Pivotal

Now, the scene shits to World Series Game 3 in Arlington, Texas, and the Rangers are placed in a must-win position.  If they drop the first World Series game in DFW Metroplex history to the Giants, San Francisco could win it all in Texas and even sweep the Rangers.  The Giants are just two wins from World Series victory.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Charlie Chaplin Time Travel Outdoes World Series Game 2 Online

The World Series Game 2 is history and the San Francisco Giants clobbered the Texas Rangers 9 to 0, getting two games up in the best-of-seven series for the baseball championship. But would you believe that online, the MLB Championship is being out-searched by Charlie Chaplin and the matter of time travel?


Take a look at this video called Charlie Chaplin Time Travel:

It claims to show, enhanced, the image of a woman walking and using a cell phone in 1928. The movie was taken at the premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s movie The Circus in 1928. It's in front of Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Is it a hoax?

There are many people trying to figure out the video and others saying it's proof that time travel is possible and there are time travelers.  Others say she's not really there and it's a hoax, pointing to her shadow detail in the film.

But this blogger has another take: maybe the woman was talking to herself. In other words, perhaps she's not all there and that's something she does - talking into inanimate objects as if she was talking to someone else.

If so, at least she was ahead of her time, in a way.

World Series 2010: San Francisco Celebrates Giants Game One Win

The World Series 2010 is underway and and last night started off with a bang for the San Francisco Giants. The underdog SF Giants beat the favored Texas Rangers 11 to 7, and the San Francisco fans at the many bars and restaurants around AT&T Park went nuts.

This blogger skipped buying a ticket for the fun of going around from bar to bar and making the video blog above. The trip started at Momo's, then went to Tres Agave, then past Ironside, and finally wound up at a lively 21st Amendment.

According to San Francisco Police Officer Greg Shur, the crowd, with the exception of just two arrests, was well-behaved. It was a vastly different and more controlled, yet electric feeling for World Series Game One than for the NLCS or the NLDS before that. The 21st Amendment was packed and orderly, and funny.

There was some guy behind me who yelled like a weird animal. A high pitched KIYYEEEEEEEEE sound. Then there was the man with the "Beat Texas" sign. And there was a lot of beer. It's great to see the businesses around the ballpark pick up so much business from the World Series.

And that was just for game one!

President Obama Stops By The Daily Show

President Barack Obama stopped by The Daily Show to have an interview with Jon Stewart. This is worthy of recognition, because it is not likely for a president to go on The Daily Show while in office. No other president while in office has been on the show.

This was the first time that the entire show only had one guest, but Obama is definitely worthy of having his own special show. It is really something that he was willing to go on that show while in office, because it isn't something that people would expect. The Daily Show and Colbert Report are becoming more and more accepted as credible places to take in the news - and some people only get their news from watching those satirical shows.

Obama told Stewart, "Jon, I love your show, but this is something where I have a profound disagreement with you...this notion that health care was timid."

Stewart made some suggestions that in regards to health reform Obama's legislative was timid at time.

Stewart calls Obama his most interesting guest ever. It was great that the entire half hour was dedicated to the single interview with President Obama - and that does show that The Daily Show really is more than just a show to make fun of politics and other news outlets.

The video has not yet been posted online, but hopefully there will be a re-run for those who missed it on Comedy Central, Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 11 pm et.

Nissan Recalls 2.1 Million Vehicles

Nissan Motor Company has announced a recall that affects vehicles produced from August 2003-July 2006.  Included are popular models such as the March, Mycra and Cube, but over a dozen other models are on the list of recalled vehicles.
Nissan Cube ( Z12 )Image via Wikipedia

This is Nissan's third largest recall, and is close in numbers to one of the devastating recalls Toyota had earlier this year.  However, unlike Toyota's brake issues; which raised a fair amount of safety fears, the problem Nissan is having has not caused any accidents and is far less dangerous.

The defect that was discovered has to do with a part called the relay, which is a part of the ignition-system. This can sometimes cause a stall in the engine, and in the most extreme cases, the car will not start.

These cars were built in the U.S., Great Britain, Japan, Spain, Taiwan and China.
World locations of Nissan Motors factoriesImage via Wikipedia
World Locations of Nissan Factories

Nissan's announcement was made only days after other recall lists were released by Toyota and Honda.  They have yet to release a complete list of affected vehicles.

Notre Dame Student Dies After Tower Falls

Photo taken from his Facebook
College News has reported Declan Sullivan, student at  the University of Notre Dame, died when a tower he was standing on collapsed from strong wind.

CNN writes that the 20-year-old junior from Long Grove, Illinois was filming football practice on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 when the hydraulic scissor lift he was standing on fell over.

College president, Reverend John Jenkins, tells CNN that there will be a Mass today, Thursday, October 28, 2010 in memory of Sullivan which he plans to preside over. It will begin at 10 p.m.

The Associated Press has posted a video on YouTube which includes more information. The winds are said to have been blowing at over 50 mph.

President Obama w/ Jon Stewart: He needs to do that More often..

Last night President Obama appeared for a full half hour on the Daily Showwhere he verbally jousted with host Jon Stewart and pretty much defended the record of his administration. For many who watched the show, Obama directly engaging a significant part of his base had been a long time coming. There were remnants of the hopeful feelings that so many experienced in 2008 during his historic campaign and for many that was a good thing.

It was good to hear President Obama being cheered and not jeered. It was good to see him have a conversation with a host like Stewart who resonates with a lot of the voting public who for the most part feel they been left out of the conversation. Stewart articulated a number of concerns that his audience had ranging from the issues of healthcare to how and why Obama and his administration went from ‘Hope and Change‘ to ‘Please Baby Gimme One More Chance‘ and he did it in away that was both funny but right on point. You can peep the Jon Stewart episode HERE:

Pres Obama directly engaging many within his young,left leaning base via Jon Stewart needs to happen more often

With that being said, its hard to gauge if that will translate to votes in the 11th hour. Not sure if it’s too little too late. What needs to be underscored is the array of issues Obama’s appearance on the Daily Show brings up that go beyond the 2010 midterm elections. For starters, the hoopla around Obama coming on the Daily Show because it was the ‘first time in history‘ is not something to hang your hat on and beat your chest. It suggests that there’s been a serious neglect of the political relationship and continued courtship that was needed for the millions of young and first time voters who enthusiastically voted for him in ’08. Since he’s been president, we’ve seen Obama on all the morning network news show several times. We’ve seen him on shows like 60 Minutes. We’ve seen him go before the GOP House issues conference. We’ve even seen him on Fox NewsBret Baier where in many people’s minds he was disrespected both as a man and as president. This had not gone unnoticed by those who supported him. It made the man who came across as a smart, decisive hero to many, seem weak. Jon Stewart said it best, Obama has been ‘timid’.

President Obama more than most politicians clearly understands the importance of effective communicating. During his campaign he was everywhere. He was on the Steve Harvey radio show every week. He was on the Tom Joyner show. He sat down with MTV. He sat down with Jon Stewart. More importantly he was showing up on college campuses and large numbers of people on the campuses worked on his campaign. After the ’08 election all that seemed to disappear. Obama was a strong presence in those enclaves and quite frankly he needed to be. We needed to hear or see him those arenas articulating his position on policies, laying down challenges and marching orders and sharing his frustrations. We needed to hear him defending his policies and defending himself. We needed him to remind folks that they too needed to help with the heavy lifting and lay out some practical ways in which this could happen.

Have the millions of young voters who rode for Obama in 08 been effectively engaged? Many Democrats have been dismissive to the point of arrogance in how they should best be reached. The Obama voter in '08 is not necessarily a staunch Democratic voter in 2010

Now over the past year when I’ve had this conversation with people who are in Democratic circles it became clear there’s a huge disconnect. There’s a disconnect in many of them understanding that there were a lot of Barack Obama fans/voters who weren’t necessarily down for their local congressman, senator, mayor or whoever else was running even if they have a letter ‘D’ after their name. That’s been a hard pill for many to swallow and one that’s often met with defensive posturing that means absolutely nothing when we’ve had important races for mayoral and senate races all round the country with super low turnouts. from New York to Atlanta to Houston we’ve seen 20-26% come out and the wholesale absences of the throngs of new and first time voters who came out riding for Obama in 08. Where did they disappear to? Why did they not come out?

The excuses given are often drawn from the proverbial political consultant handbook which reads; We always have low turnout during elections where the president isn’t on the ticket. That excuse is usually accompanied by the often arrogantly stated ; “Well these young voters are lazy. They need to read the NY Times and Newsweek or watch CNN like I do if they wish to stay informed” Wrong answer folks. The response should’ve been: Lets figure out ways to better reach folks consistently through the mediums they enjoy.

In 2010 where folks tend to attach themselves to small or niche ‘information’ and ‘entertainment’ watering holes, to be dismissive of that fact and basically tell folks to ‘buck up’ as Vice President Joe Biden did the other day is why Dems are in trouble all over the country. It seems like some in leadership have forgotten that people are who they are and anyone who feels that a particular segment of the population can bring votes to the table needs to get up and meet them where they’re at. If they’re at NASCAR, church, concert or plopped on their couch watching the Daily Show, then innovative compelling ways need to be used to reach that audience. Every other business does that so why not the Democrats?

President Obama‘s appearance with Jon Stewart was a reminder that in 2010 it’s not enough to simply show up at the 11th hour trolling for votes. It’s about having an ongoing dialogue and relationship one that’s in place before, during and after an election cycle. This is branding 101. It’s pretty basic and like it or not we now live in a society where enhancing your presence in the minds of consumers and in this case voters is paramount. As Jay-Z famously said ‘I’m a business man, I’m a BUSINESS, man. So in short, yes, I can read about politics in the NY Times orWashington Post ? Sure I can ‘go on line and read about issues of the day at any number of sites. All the information we want is at the tip of our fingertips. However, for those who are truly in touch with their audiences the information is too much. It can be overwhelming and so direct engagement is even more important. If it was that simple and practical as surfing the web and coming away feeling empowered and connected then the topic of political engagement wouldn’t be topic. If it was that practical President Obama would not have found it necessary to go on the Jon Stewart Daily Show.

Sports writer Dave Zirin has long managed to keep folks politically engaged by connecting the dots to issues on the sports arena

Again the bottom line is everything is political including how we choose to engage folks especially on the electoral. Some like their news, views and politics in the backdrop of other things, in this case of Stewart, comedy and entertainment. Others like it served with sports as the backdrop… ala Dave Zirin and his Edge of Sports column or any number of sports stations that also carry shows like Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly.. Still others like it in gender based chat fests like the View. Lets hope folks step up their interaction game beyond the 2010 midterm elections.

Lastly, for those on the receiving end of information, its important to note that the end game for many in power is to keep you dis-empowered, uninformed, distracted and politically in the dark. This is done to keep folks from being wise to their games, susceptible to lies, doublespeak and blatant falsehoods. In other words politics is often slimy and many who do dirt don’t want an informed public to hold them accountable. The fact that corporate interests have such a strong hold in the political arena should be wake up call to all of us as we see the ways in which things play out.

It’s no accident that your local urban radio station which was calling its ‘The Obama’ station in ’08 hasn’t created a forum or show or even had a single discussion on important issues impacting your day to day lives. It’s no accident that some outlets decided to to have last minute voter registration drives only after money was spent on ads, not because they saw it as a service to the community. It’s no accident that we are hearing more about the shenanigans of actor Charlie Sheen in 5-10 minute chunks on the evening news and not who is running for mayor, city council or District Attorney in your own backyard. Commercial media is part of the corporate wave infusing itself with politics and as a result they as business have it in their interests to keep sizeable populations dumb downed so they be that pimped and exploited.

It’s also no accident that many politicians will avoid hard hitting investigative news shows like a Democracy Now orRachel Maddow for fear of being jammed up and made to address questions they’ve skirted..So yes, on many levels its up to each of us to keep ourselves informed and at the same time we will have to push and insist that folks who want your support come to where your at and not just during election time.

something to ponder

-Davey D-

PS on a side note.. if you wish to find out about all the key elections in your state, city and neighborhood, here’s the link to an incredible voting guide. It breaks down all the races and includes all the candidates, not just Republicans and Democrats. They have the folks who are running under the Green Party, Peace and Freedom and many others. This is a great resource.. hope you find it useful