An Un-Common Attack

Rapper Common

An Un-Common Attack

Okay.

So when Fox News lost it’s collective mind way back in 2002 over Pepsi hiring Ludicris, we all giggled and shook our heads in disbelief, especially over the idea that Ludacris would be portrayed by anyone as a gangster rapper; even a right-winged wing-nut like Bill O’Reilly, but I still think most of us just thought it was funny. But this time around Fox News and the rest of their Conservative on-air and on radio minions have it so wrong, it’s pretty – well, ludicrous.

I’m talking of course about this week’s flap from the right over the White House inviting rapper Common to their American celebration of poetry and prose, which also will reportedly feature the likes of Jill Scott, and Alison Knowles. Apparently anxious to do anything to turn the tide of popularity away from Obama after his stunning surprise killing of the world’s number one terrorist, the right-wingers couldn’t do any better than rabidly attacking one of the most popular, prolific, socially conscious rappers in the game. Too funny.

Sean Hannity has the loudest bull-horn, and has used it most vehemently over the last couple of days to sling words around like ‘disgusting’, and ‘vile’ in relation to Common. He’s played clips from past poetry performances, using select passages to drive home the point that Common is hell bent on killing policeman and wants former President George W. Bush killed in cold blood over leading us into the Iraq war. Heavy sigh.

It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise intelligent people can dumb themselves down so completely in order to score whatever media-driven, political, or social point they seek to make. I mean, come on – a simple Google search by any of the lunatics at Fox News, or even one of their interns would tell the true story about Common, who was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. He has always, always been socially responsible, spiritual in his message, and most importantly, a strong opponent of what Wikipedia called ‘gangsterism’ in rap music. Period.

So what of Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, and the likes? Why go so far overboard trying to paint a picture of Common that is just plain inaccurate? Political desperation, sprinkled with liberal amounts of racism, that’s why. I HATE throwing down the race card like this, but someone has to do it. And it’s not the kind of racism you might think – it’s not overt, and in your face, and it’s not just about Common being black. It’s much more insidious than that. It’s the kind of racism that seeks to de-legitimize the importance of the African American experience, and not just who we are as African Americans.

The fact of the matter is, Common is a poet, the same kind of artisan as Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye were in their day. These men both made music that told the stories of their time, recounted the struggles of their generations, sometimes using what were considered strong themes that made some uncomfortable. Common is no different – his music and his poetry is thought provoking, timely, and meaningful; no matter how you slice it, the man simply cannot be considered a gangster rapper, not in any shape or form. And yet, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the right have spent the last 24 hours or so since it was announced that Common would be performing at the White House trying their damndest to characterize him as just that. A big, scary, black man, who stays up until all hours of the night, writing endless lyrics about the extermination of the white race, or who would, given the chance carry the blonde-haired blue eyed little daughters of their listeners off into the night – they’re purposely trying to create a Boogey-man where none exists. And it’s racist. Really, really, racist.

It’s okay to not like Common’s music – it’s okay to question the kind of event the White House is sponsoring, you know – claim that the President should have better things to do. But it’s not alright to take the lifelong body of work of an artist who by all accounts has done nothing but good in his career and try to turn it into the second coming of Charles Manson. Especially in an age where their are crazies out there who see any criticisms Fox News levels against anyone they disagree with as a call to violence. Screaming at the top of your lungs on your nightly television show that someone, anyone, wants to kill cops and maybe the President of the United States is foolish, and dangerous, and wrong.

Luckily, this too shall pass; Sarah Palin will get back to pretending she’s relevant, Sean Hannity will move on to the next thing he can drum up to try and make President Obama look bad, and hopefully Common (with his fine self) will continue making incredible music, and cool action flicks. I guess I took this one personally – I love Common, always have, and I love what he’s matured into. Never one to turn down an opportunity to catch a glimpse of him, I guess I should thank Sean and his crazed network for shoving him into the national spotlight. I just hope all of their gun-totin’, race-baiting, trigger-happy listeners were tuned into something else while Sean was ranting and raving. I don’t want a hair that might be somewhere on that gorgeous bald head touched.

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Jon Stewart Reacts to the Death of Osama bin Laden

I don’t care what you today. Watch this video. But go the bathroom first.

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Osama bin Laden Photos – You Can Keep 'Em

Osama bin Laden is Dead

Osama bin Laden Photos - You Can Keep 'Em

By Patricia Wilson-Smith

It should be a surprise to know one that even as we bask in the glow of President Obama’s stunning surprise announcement regarding the elimination of Osama bin Laden, the 24 hour news networks are already a-buzz with the burning question of whether or not to release photos of him, post double-bullet wound to the dome.

The question is nowhere near burning for me. I guess I don’t see this one as fodder for conspiracy theorists.

I mean let’s face it. It’s not like the Administration didn’t conduct DNA tests that prove the dead man’s identity. It’s not like bin Laden’s wife is not around to tell the real story if need be, and it’s not like those brave soldiers who risked their lives to storm the heavily fortified compound to take Osama out can’t testify to the facts. And most importantly, I’m quite certain that the members of the Obama Administration who worked so hard for so many months to plan this operation all know that if by some horrible twist of circumstance, the man who is by now fish-bait at the bottom of the Indian Ocean really isn’t bin Laden, that the real Osama is sure to show up in the next day or so pointing to some camera from a cave bunker somewhere, laughing, and holding a newspaper with a headline that celebrates Cinqo de Mayo, gleefully mocking the U.S. and President Obama’s attempt to capture him. That goes without saying.

No doubt in my mind. Osama bin Laden is dead. As a door nail. And by all accounts, his death was quick and to the point, and resulted in a rather unpleasant separation of one part of his skull from the other. Is that particular visual really something we all need to see, something that needs to be released to every media outlet in the country in order to quell the fears and doubts of those who are afraid to believe the truth?

No, no, a million times no.

As a society, our voracious appetite for the sensational, the bizarre, and yes, the macabre has reached epidemic levels. We flock to our televisions to watch people like Orly Taitz frantically waving fake documents that claim to prove that the President’s guilty of social security number fraud, even though we know she’s a flake. We turn up the volume every time we see Donald Trump, hair flapping in the wind, spouting off about his doubts about the President’s birthplace, a sad commentary on this country that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are some here who simply will never accept or embrace anyone who is different from them. And we clamor to watch every idiotic, mind-numbing reality show – the more ridiculous and train wrecked the better. All while the really important issues, the really substantive discussion of those issues, never take place.

The sad truth of the matter is that someday, somehow, long after the furor has died down, those photos will probably find their way onto the Internet for all to see anyway. If that happens, so be it. But it belittles us a nation to make the conscious decision to display a photo of someone, no matter how evil they were in life, gruesomely mutilated in death. It should be enough to know that this man, who was personally, directly responsible for so much pain and suffering, for forever changing the lives of so many Americans, can no longer do any harm to anyone. That should be enough.

So what to do about those who refuse to believe without photographic proof, you ask? How about this – invite the bureau chiefs of every news outlet in the world to the White House for a viewing. Search them for cameras of any kind – take their cell phones, Flip video and all other digital or other photo devices, anything that could capture a photo at all. Lead them into a room with a big screen television. Open the proceedings with testimony from an expert who can attest to the validity of the photo they’re about to see. Then show them the photo.

Let them inspect it thoroughly. Let them look at every gory detail, let them compare the image to other photos of Osama bin Laden, and then – turn off the damned television, usher them out, and let them do what they’re paid to do. Report the truth of the situation. Bing, bam, boom. No gory photos floating around the Internet for my 14 year old to seek out, a few days of non-stop coverage of the reveal, and we all go on with our lives, secure in the knowledge that at long last, that mad man is out of the picture.

That is all we can afford to do to quiet the calls for a more public viewing, I’m afraid. That is all we should do. After all, in truth, there is nothing to celebrate in the destruction of a human life, only in the elimination of a blight on mankind. And it goes without saying that for the family and friends of the thousands of people killed on 9/11, gazing triumphantly on the picture of a dead man’s corpse won’t ease the pain of what they endured that day. That’s not healing, and it’s not closure. It’s morbid curiosity at best, and really truly demeans us as a country. With any luck, someone, somewhere will read this and take heed before we inflict additional harm on the country by releasing gruesome photos that will do little to convince the die hard conspiratorial types anyway. I hope so. I hope that even as we celebrate this important victory over terrorism, we can remember that WE are the civilized ones, the grown-ups, and just – do the right thing here.

Hey – a girl can dream.

Posted in Did You Know? | Leave a comment

Osama bin Laden Photos – You Can Keep ‘Em

Osama bin Laden is Dead

Osama bin Laden Photos - You Can Keep 'Em

By Patricia Wilson-Smith

It should be a surprise to know one that even as we bask in the glow of President Obama’s stunning surprise announcement regarding the elimination of Osama bin Laden, the 24 hour news networks are already a-buzz with the burning question of whether or not to release photos of him, post double-bullet wound to the dome.

The question is nowhere near burning for me. I guess I don’t see this one as fodder for conspiracy theorists.

I mean let’s face it. It’s not like the Administration didn’t conduct DNA tests that prove the dead man’s identity. It’s not like bin Laden’s wife is not around to tell the real story if need be, and it’s not like those brave soldiers who risked their lives to storm the heavily fortified compound to take Osama out can’t testify to the facts. And most importantly, I’m quite certain that the members of the Obama Administration who worked so hard for so many months to plan this operation all know that if by some horrible twist of circumstance, the man who is by now fish-bait at the bottom of the Indian Ocean really isn’t bin Laden, that the real Osama is sure to show up in the next day or so pointing to some camera from a cave bunker somewhere, laughing, and holding a newspaper with a headline that celebrates Cinqo de Mayo, gleefully mocking the U.S. and President Obama’s attempt to capture him. That goes without saying.

No doubt in my mind. Osama bin Laden is dead. As a door nail. And by all accounts, his death was quick and to the point, and resulted in a rather unpleasant separation of one part of his skull from the other. Is that particular visual really something we all need to see, something that needs to be released to every media outlet in the country in order to quell the fears and doubts of those who are afraid to believe the truth?

No, no, a million times no.

As a society, our voracious appetite for the sensational, the bizarre, and yes, the macabre has reached epidemic levels. We flock to our televisions to watch people like Orly Taitz frantically waving fake documents that claim to prove that the President’s guilty of social security number fraud, even though we know she’s a flake. We turn up the volume every time we see Donald Trump, hair flapping in the wind, spouting off about his doubts about the President’s birthplace, a sad commentary on this country that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are some here who simply will never accept or embrace anyone who is different from them. And we clamor to watch every idiotic, mind-numbing reality show – the more ridiculous and train wrecked the better. All while the really important issues, the really substantive discussion of those issues, never take place.

The sad truth of the matter is that someday, somehow, long after the furor has died down, those photos will probably find their way onto the Internet for all to see anyway. If that happens, so be it. But it belittles us a nation to make the conscious decision to display a photo of someone, no matter how evil they were in life, gruesomely mutilated in death. It should be enough to know that this man, who was personally, directly responsible for so much pain and suffering, for forever changing the lives of so many Americans, can no longer do any harm to anyone. That should be enough.

So what to do about those who refuse to believe without photographic proof, you ask? How about this – invite the bureau chiefs of every news outlet in the world to the White House for a viewing. Search them for cameras of any kind – take their cell phones, Flip video and all other digital or other photo devices, anything that could capture a photo at all. Lead them into a room with a big screen television. Open the proceedings with testimony from an expert who can attest to the validity of the photo they’re about to see. Then show them the photo.

Let them inspect it thoroughly. Let them look at every gory detail, let them compare the image to other photos of Osama bin Laden, and then – turn off the damned television, usher them out, and let them do what they’re paid to do. Report the truth of the situation. Bing, bam, boom. No gory photos floating around the Internet for my 14 year old to seek out, a few days of non-stop coverage of the reveal, and we all go on with our lives, secure in the knowledge that at long last, that mad man is out of the picture.

That is all we can afford to do to quiet the calls for a more public viewing, I’m afraid. That is all we should do. After all, in truth, there is nothing to celebrate in the destruction of a human life, only in the elimination of a blight on mankind. And it goes without saying that for the family and friends of the thousands of people killed on 9/11, gazing triumphantly on the picture of a dead man’s corpse won’t ease the pain of what they endured that day. That’s not healing, and it’s not closure. It’s morbid curiosity at best, and really truly demeans us as a country. With any luck, someone, somewhere will read this and take heed before we inflict additional harm on the country by releasing gruesome photos that will do little to convince the die hard conspiratorial types anyway. I hope so. I hope that even as we celebrate this important victory over terrorism, we can remember that WE are the civilized ones, the grown-ups, and just – do the right thing here.

Hey – a girl can dream.

Posted in Did You Know? | Leave a comment

Donald Trump's Public Flogging at the Correspondent's Dinner

Another White House Correspondent’s Dinner has come and gone, but this year’s was truly priceless! Watch the whole video below, if you think (like I do) that the constant non-stop coverage of Donald Trump and his lunatic ramblings has caused the IQ’s of the nation to drop by several percentage points!

President Obama (through his comedy writer’s no doubt) had a field day with “The Donald”  who was in attendance. The blank stares coming from fake-Presidential wanna be Trump were a treasure, just a treasure! Fox News caught it there in the beginning as well – check it out!

Posted in Did You Know? | Leave a comment

Donald Trump’s Public Flogging at the Correspondent’s Dinner

Another White House Correspondent’s Dinner has come and gone, but this year’s was truly priceless! Watch the whole video below, if you think (like I do) that the constant non-stop coverage of Donald Trump and his lunatic ramblings has caused the IQ’s of the nation to drop by several percentage points!

President Obama (through his comedy writer’s no doubt) had a field day with “The Donald”  who was in attendance. The blank stares coming from fake-Presidential wanna be Trump were a treasure, just a treasure! Fox News caught it there in the beginning as well – check it out!

Posted in Barack Obama, Did You Know?, Events, Fox News | Leave a comment

Government Shutdown By The Numbers

(Source: HuffingtonPost.com)

Senate Democrats say that the White House has agreed to $78 billion in cuts, yet House Republicans are saying there’s no deal unless they get $40 or $41 billion. Huh?

The difference comes from the starting point. Democrats are working off of the president’s requested budget for the fiscal year, which was $1.128 trillion. That’s the same baseline that House Republicans used when they cut $102 billion with their first bill, H.R. 1, bringing the spending down to $1.026 trillion.

But House Republicans are no longer using the president’s request as their baseline and instead are using the spending level that existed on January 1. For obscure accounting reasons, there’s some dispute about whether that number is $1.087 trillion or $1.089 trillion.

There have been two stop-gap spending bills since the GOP took over the House, both of which extracted cuts, bringing the number down to $1.077 trillion.

Democrats have now agreed to bring the number down to $1.050 trillion, which is either a cut of $78 billion (from the president’s requested budget) or $37 or $39 billion (from the Jan. 1 baseline) or $27 billion (from the current baseline).

There are games being played on both sides: The president’s request was never going to be enacted into law, so both parties have been disingenuous in using it as a baseline. But there is a number that realistically could have become law, and that’s the one that was proposed by Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Known as the Sessions-McCaskill level, it blew up in December over a fight over earmarks, but it had the broad support of both parties in general.

That figure was $1.108 trillion — $58 billion above what Democrats are now willing to accept.

So while Republicans have managed to extract roughly $39 billion from current levels, the more impressive feat from their perspective is to have won $58 billion in cuts from what was broadly politically acceptable only three months ago.

Two things to keep in mind: Neither party is saying what will be cut, and on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan show Friday afternoon, House Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said that he would support Speaker John Boehner’s decision not to tell the American people what is being cut so that “special interests” don’t have the chance to fight back.

And the fiscal year is roughly half over and the government has been operating at the current spending level up until now, meaning that the $39 billion in one-year cuts will need to be made in just half a year — effectively doubling their impact. The focus on Planned Parenthood may be distracting from a dramatic GOP victory on spending.

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