Does DeMint Want Illegal Immigrants To Staff TSA?

I was talking to my brother last night when it hit me - what Jim DeMint really wants to do is hire illegal immigrants to work at TSA.

There is no other explanation. As a self proclaimed patriot and proud teabagger, DeMint doesn't want government telling people what to do. He says he believes in the Constitution, and the inalienable freedoms it confers on America's citizens to do what the hell they want to do while wearing a firearm on their side.

Which, if my logic doesn't fail me here, means that if the citizenry who happen to work at the TSA want to unionize, it would fall under the all of a sudden pesky little "inalienable freedoms" section. In other words, as AMERICANS, they have the right to do what they want, including the right to organize themselves.

You don't really have to go to law school to see that.

I don't really give a damn about the intent of the Framers of the Constitution, especially since they basically hooked up everybody but the brown skinned folks from Africa who were doing all the work. Frankly, even after some people with good sense amended it down the road to correct the gross inequities against brown skin and the female sex, I was still less than ecstatic about it.

But since we need something to keep the undisciplined among us from unholstering that firearm from their side and plugging people in the streets when they feel like it, something to keep cats like Jim DeMint from rounding up us brown skinned folks and making us work at TSA for free, like we did in the old days, I can work with it.

Back to Mr. DeMint.

The only group of people you can hire and treat with impunity in this country, Senator DeMint, are illegal aliens, which is why they are so popular with the kind of businessmen who want to keep all the money in their pockets. It would be a bit of a strain, since everybody in uniform might not know much English, but I can guarantee you it would be the last group in the world who would consider organizing.

I can't think of anything more un-American than a senator who wants to reduce or infringe on the rights of his fellow American citizens - especially those tasked with helping to keep our airways safe from terror.

Senator "DeMinted" Holds Top TSA Job Hostage

Why do we even give a damn about our news people and the stuff they report?

When you interview people like Jim DeMinted, who is liable to say any damn thing he pleases in front of a camera, you shouldn't even have to work at it - a quick tour through the archives of your own publications should reveal a veritable laundry list of contradictory statements, a list long enough for you to rattle off at least ten of their previous ridiculous claims in a row, machine gun style, on practically any facet of government that comes up.

I know, I know - I'm going to get the same old canard, "we can't get the next story if we antagonize these guys". Well guess what? Given a choice between perusing what amounts to a regurgitation of the twisted, unpatriotic, anti-American level of vitriol DeMinted and his ilk spew daily or a recitation of some old, boring, actual black and white facts, I'll take the story based on facts any day.

Like this minor brouhaha over the TSA that DeMinted and friends are trying to fan into a full fledged flame. Hmmmmm...I haven't seen anyone on TV with a soundbite or ad that promos a provocative segment exploring WHY the new TSA nominee, Erroll Southers, hasn't been confirmed.

But out here on the interwebs, I see this fact on political blogs everywhere. I see the hold on Southers nomination that DeMinted requested broken down into the act itself and the procedural steps that now have to be followed because he asked for a full debate. And I see these same blogs putting Deminted's action into context by showing how infrequently this actually happens.

So why don't I see Big Journalism putting the hammer to these guys? Why don't I see them hitting these fake ass political charlatans with a ferocious flurry of left hooks, right jabs, and one-two combinations EVERY TIME THEY OPEN THEIR MOUTHS, the way we do out here in the blogosphere? Why isn't the group that calls itself the Fourth Estate as relentless in challenging every false breath these snake oil salesmen take as these carny barkers are in making this stuff up?

I know, I know, facts are like oatmeal, and the general public wants Chik-Fil-A biscuits and Egg McMuffin's and - oh, damn, I forgot about the latest thing, those breakfast burritos you can find at every gas station - the general public wants cholesterol bombs for breakfast.

What they don't want are terrorist bombs blowing up commercial airplanes on their TV.

What they need to see in the crosshairs of an army of investigative journalists, all day everyday, are the people like DeMinted who are experts at holding up progress.

The people with the power of the press behind them need to put the hammer down on people like Senator DeMinted the way John Henry put his hammer down on those railroad spikes when he beat that damn steam engine - to the death.

In the maze of your post-Christmas high triglyceride haze, you probably would have put the terrorist attempt on the back burner if it weren't for the relentless repetition of the same three pieces of news on your TV all weekend about the Nigerian national who tried to blow up the plane to Detroit.

The paradox is, the people who like President Obama the least are the ones who needed him the most when this all happened - without him to use as a punching bag, they would have to dig up real stories to talk about every night.

Bu the thing is, we're Americans.

So since the plane didn't blow up, we as a nation did what we always do - go on red alert for a day or so in our minds, and then move on to the next thing, which in this case was another big plate of that Christmas bar-be-que and a couple of shots of that Yuletide cognac. That doesn't mean we didn't think it was serious. It's just how we cope with stuff in 2009.

But the C-list chatterers were on the clock this weekend, and they tried to do what they do best - imitate the A-list commentator's techniques. They tried to tell you why the president should have hauled his narrow ass back to the White House pronto to stand in front of a presidential seal and say the magic words that would signal to the world that America is still the king of the jungle. The magic words that would signal to the entire country, including the half that doesn't think he should be president and the ten percent who don't want to believe he's even American, that they are going to be alright because he says we are.

The irony is, in the city of Detroit there are many people who know the smell of domestic terror, who get to see it up close and personal everyday. They know that speechifying against terror of any kind is a waste of time. They understand implicitly that arming their neighborhood police with more guns and more dogs is about as useful in rooting out domestic terrorists as arming combat soldiers with more tanks and more rockets to blow up piles of rocks is in rooting out foreign terrorists.

By the time the president comes on TV to talk about this in the next few days, just about the time you start to miss all of that good eating you did last week, he will have some facts in hand. He will have had time to think about the options that are available, and whether or not structural chaanges are needed in how we look at airport security.

In other words, he might just have time to do something more useful than frowning at a camera, which is all he would have done last week.

I know the day after the day after Christmas, so if you are not stuck in traffic gridlock tonight while trying to get back home, or busy rubbing your magic lamp to push Monday morning off for another 36 hours, I will be on the radio this evening with Sean Yoes, a senior reporter at The Afro American. He is the host of "The WEAA/AFRO First Edition", an hour-long political talk show on Baltimore's WEAA-FM (88.9 FM), which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

You can click this link and push the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page to hear the show.

This week is the end of the year show, so we go over some of the year's Top Ten Political Gaffe's, talk about my book "Talking Out Loud", the one that you can still download here for FREE, and say a few words about Tiger Woods.

We'll be back in 2010 with a vengeance, breaking down politics Brown Man style on your FM dial.

As always, it was fun. Check it out if you have a chance.

Can Dems Talk Politics And Walk At The Same Time?

Everybody is putting out an end-of-the-year list these days. Stuff like the "Top Ten Dumb Things I Saw On TV" or "2009's Craziest Reality Show Contestants", which could actually be the same list. I might do a couple of them myself in the next few days after I look back through this year's posts because (a) it is easy to do, and (b)it is easy to do, and (c) it is REAL easy to do.

But before I start patting myself on the back, I want to try to translate some of the thoughts that rambled around my head last night into something approaching a coherent piece. Specifically, what I want to know is - are the Democrats really serious, or are they content to just play at politics?

I say this because there have been times lately during this national healthcare debate that I've been dumbfounded at the amount of angst, rage and "my laundry list of 'things the president said he was going to do but didn't' is longer than yours" that has come from the masses of Democrats who AREN'T elected officials, but contribute greatly to getting them elected by campaigning and raising money and working the phones and providing opposition research and advancing party talking points through various venues.

Watching these latest internecine scuffles in action has made me think I'm watching an episode of Seinfeld - a whole lot of inspired outrage and professional level navel gazing goes on, but nothing ever really happens.

"He can't walk and chew gum at the same time" was one of the thousands of aphorisms my mother dispensed regularly during my childhood. To paraphrase that, "Can the Democratic activists talk politics and walk at the same time?

The Dems have more members than any political party in this country. They have learned from their president how to use the power of the internet not only to organize, but to break down tasks into manageable and actionable game plans for individuals that can be carried out en masse to achieve the desired effect practically overnight for very little money.

So why won't they put the B-team on the healthcare debate, cause that boat has just about sailed, and do something useful with the A-team folks?

Why don't they dedicate a section of Democratic Underground or DailyKos or FireDog Lake to the meat and potatoes of politics - wreaking havoc wherever the opposition has a weakness?

The GOP is having a dog fight with its own members in Florida. It doesn't matter if your candidate is a longshot. Surround them with some A-team members on the ground and on the web and throw some gas on the fire. Muddy the waters by leaking whatever you can find on Rubio or Crist to make them respond on the record. Rinse. Repeat.

GOP infighting, even in a race the Dems ultimately won't win, looks bad on TV for Republicans and takes the national office folks eyes off other things.

John McCain is (a) weak in his own state, and (b) easily irritated. So irritate him - weekly, daily, hourly. Rerun every gaffe he has ever made in his whole career, like a Citizen Kane montage, with pictures, plenty of pictures, of the Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous lifestyle he enjoys. An angry McCain is an ineffective McCain.

These are two senate races - their are thirty eight more seats out there you could easily assign to permanent message boards, with local organizers to promote youtube parodies, disruptive groups like "Billionaires For Wealthcare", and other organized efforts to work the old elephant into a frenzy.

I guess I am writing this because in discovering how to use Twitter, I have seen a phenomenon in action that I wrote about a few years ago in a story titled "Are We Storing Or Retrieving?", where I explored the idea that most of the electronic messages being emailed back and forth were forwarded messages or replies to messages that essentially meant we were either storing or retrieving the same information over and over.

I've seen the same complaints about Obama every ten minutes. The same knocks on the GOP senators all day everyday. It's almost like Groundhog Day for political conversation.

Having the same conversation over and over again is a good way to end up with the same outcome.

And we've all seen what a wonderful job constant complaining does to help you get nowhere closer to your goal.

So Dems, its time to get back on the grind of body-on-body politics, and smell the breath of your enemy - time to dance with the devil again.

Frank Rich Must Have Been Smoking Crack Yesterday

I guess that's as close as I can get to calling Frank Rich a crackhead before the New York Times legal department shoots me an email, but I don't know what else to say except to call a spade a spade when I see one.

I actually scanned his op-ed column yesterday, titled "Tiger Woods, Person of the Year", but I obviously didn't read all the way to the end. It was a tweet by Harry Allen this morning I read right after firing up my computer that had me singeing the hair in my nostrils.

harryallen Frank Rich: Many suspect "that Obama’s brilliant presidential campaign was as hollow as Tiger’s public image...."

When I clicked on the link to get to the article, I remembered why I didn't read to the end of it in the first place - it was one of those pieces based on some sort of tortured logic that meandered all over the place in order to make a predetermined statement, the kind of thing everybody who writes for public consumption does from time to time when their writing mojo just isn't doing it. That I can understand. And I know how tempting it is as a writer to want to through a Tiger Woods metaphor into everything you write right now because that story is the hottest thing going these days.

But to equate the most transparent presidency in recent history to Tiger's hubby by day, playboy by night existence is something only a crackhead would think is a valid comparison.

Somebody out there who is reading this needs to loan Mr. Rich your complete collection of Sidney Poitier movies. Ship them to him FedEx so he can watch them over the holiday weekend. And maybe, just maybe, somewhere between viewing the fifth or sixth one, about the time he gets to "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", Mr. Rich will begin to recognize that the constraints under which President Obama is laboring are the shackles on the minds of that group of white Americans who are still suspicious of the motivations of brown-skinned people in positions of real power.

This is the audience Obama plays in front of, not some half drunk phalanx of oglers who are willing to pay premium dollars to watch a brown-skinned phenom hit a white ball with a stick better than they could ever dream of doing. The media coverage of Barack Obama is as intense EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK as it was on Daisy Bates back in Arkansas when half the damn state came to stare at a little black girl on her way to her first day at school, a segregated school, I might add, that her parents had been paying taxes for years to support.

Obama could print money with Confederate flags on it, decree that illegal immigrants had to work for free, and abolish the tort system, and the conservatives still wouldn't be happy. He could champion same sex marriage and kick in a foreclosed house for every newly wed couple as a wedding gift, make doctors accept goods and services in lieu of cash for fees, and demolish every smokestack in the country and the liberals wouldn't be happy. That otherness would still be in the way, even though well-educated black men run industry giants like American Express and Symantec so well nobody even knows they are there.

So somebody somewhere, please send Mr. Rich that collection of Sidney Poitier DVD's so he can see that what we've really got is a 2009 president teeing up 2009 type problems in front of a crowd of onlookers, including many in the press, who are still struggling with the vestiges of their 1969 mindsets.

That, Mr. Rich, is about the only damn thing Barack Obama has in common with Tiger Woods.

Watching The Senate Cloture Vote With #cspanafterdark

The Brown Man discovered Tweetdeck yesterday.

Twitter finally started to make sense to me last night during the cloture vote in the Senate. I joined the #cspanafterdark contingent and had a ball chit chatting during the Senate vote last night. The trick is to add "#cspanafterdark" to the end of your tweet and it joins the stream of other messages with the same hashtag.

On top of the tweetdeck discovery, everybody seems to be on the radio these days - check out my man Rippa at The Intersection Of Madness and Insanity, who has decided to take the bull by the horns and put his two cents in the air.

The running theme on Rippa's show last night, on the show I was on last night at WEAA that we taped on Friday, and on practically every TV show that you've seen lately is a sense of confusion about exactly what it is the Democratic senators will be smiling about this morning on CNN as they trumpet the historic nature of their accomplishment last night.

Where are the Obama message guys, the people who boiled down an entire campaign platform to a few catch-phrases that the man on the street could wrap his head around?

I watched Sanjay Gupta take a call from someone last night after the vote who had a child with an expensive chronic illness. The first thing out of her mouth was how she "didn't trust politicians" and "didn't trust the government". So Gupta asked her about her challenges with her child's coverage. Then he proceeded to tick off all of the items still in the Senate bill that would specifically address her problems, and insure that her son's coverage would be extended beyond the limits of her current policy, asking her after each item whether or not she supported it.

She agreed with every one of the planned improvements, but continued to sputter about how bad it would be if "the government took over healthcare."

I don't know what political party she supports, but none of them have shrunk government, they just grow different parts of it, whether it is healthcare or the military. In an ideal world, Obama should have reformed adult education levels and started running logical thinking clinics in Walmart, Target and Kmart stores all across the country before trying to sell such a complex idea to the country. But they have still made great strides going with what they had, and in a few days, they may even regain the momentum they need to get to the finish line.

Maybe this woman Sanjay Gupta spoke to knows something I don't. Maybe she knows how to eat bullets. Maybe she has invented a way to convert laser bomb sights into laser surgery equipment.

The Obama message team needs to get cracking, because right now, the "government takeover" crowd owns the discussion.

The #cspanafterdark crowd was great - they made watching the vote fun practically all of them knew what they were talking about when it came to healthcare reform - the only reason I had to leave the sound on the TV was to have something to comment on. The tweetdeck format takes all the twitter streams and breaks them up into different conversations, which FINALLY made all those comments begin to make some sense.

If you are going to use Twitter, you've got to have this.

And if something else big happens in Congress, you've got to check out #cspanafterdark on Twitter.

I know it's Christmas time, so if you don't get stuck in traffic gridlock tonight when you try to leave the mall, I will be on the radio this evening with Sean Yoes, a senior reporter at The Afro American. He is the host of "The WEAA/AFRO First Edition", an hour-long political talk show on Baltimore's WEAA-FM (88.9 FM), which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

You can click this link and push the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page to hear the show.

This week, we talked about the latest incarnation of the healthcare bill in the Senate, analyzed whether or not the president's efforts to support this signature bill of his administration were enough, and said a few words about Tiger Woods.

Do you think the level of President Obama's leadership role in the healthcare debate has been effective? Find out what Sean Yoes and I think tonight on the show.

As always, it was fun. Check it out if you have a chance.

The Brown Man and S. have been eating Christmas party food and sipping on Christmas party booze for the last two days. It is always fun to see all your friends, but we are tired.

We've had everything from Jamaican patties to pulled pork barbeque, smoked salmon to fried chicken, chocolate mousse to layer cake.

We've played games. We've watched people play cards, and talked trash from the sidelines. We've stood in front of fires roaring bright and chit chatted about everything from train wreck litigation to Obama's economic stimulation, with a healthy helping of Tiger Woods speculation holding it all together.

And my neighbor, who has got to be the best neighbor in the world, just walked up yesterday and handed me ANOTHER box of cigars while I was blowing leaves and puffing on the last stick from first batch he gave me last month.

It is certainly the season for giving.

I guess I will have to plug back into the world in a few minutes and see what George Stephanopoulos and his smarmy self is up to today. Me and my man Sean Yoes will be back on WEAA tonight at 8:00pm, talking about healthcare and Tiger Woods.

If you are snowed in due to that winter storm in the Northeast, I hope you are warm and have plenty of supplies.

The Brown Man will be back to thinking hard tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!!

Today's topic at my blog "Resurgence" on

How The Wrong Man Can End Up Behind Bars

James Bain was convicted of kidnapping and rape of a 9 year-old boy in a field back in 1973. The DNA testing of crime scene evidence used to free him had not yet been developed. Bain’s conviction relied heavily on eyewitness identification, although the then 19 year-old Bain’s alibi contradicted the account of his accuser. Ex-prosecutor Ed Threadgill, who tried Bain’s case, expressed his regrets and said to the Associated Press "the whole system is set up to keep that from happening. It failed."

I’d like to agree with prosecutor’s assessment, but after sitting on a grand jury myself a few years ago, I would have to conclude that justice is not blind. It is no accident that of the 264 people freed so far by the efforts of the Innocence Project and DNA testing to exonerate them, 149 of them have been African American.

How do we end up locking up so many people who did not commit the crime for which they were accused?

Read More... is a global forum connecting people and ideas.

You can access hundreds of hours of direct, unfiltered interviews with today's leading thinkers, movers and shakers, and, best of all, respond in kind. You can respond to the interviewee, respond to a responder or throw your own question or idea into the ring.

BigThink is yours. We are what you think.

We're Not Just Ballers And Rappers

I was just tooling around the internet for a few minutes, looking for another topic to write about after discovering that my all but posted piece on the Citibank's 38 billion dollar tax credit had come to the wrong conclusion, when I hit one of my daily stops, Jack & Jill Politics.

They had a post titled "Jasiri X & President Obama: 'We’re Not Just Ballers & Rappers'" at the top of their page. I haven't listened to a rap song in some time, even though I grew up on rap music. I mean, grew up on it as in I owned a King Tim the III record back in the seventies.

"Ah to the beat, everybody..."

Anyway, the description of the song by Jill Tubman, the "Jill" of Jack & Jill Politics, was so inviting I clicked on the "PLAY" button on the video at the top of her post. Jasiri X delivered as advertised.

I guess you could consider Jasiri X a political rapper - he has produced several songs in response to politically sensitive events, beginning with the Jena 6.

He won't take the place of Lil' Wayne, whose appeal I can't understand at all, or Young Jeezy, whose song "Wasted" gets my attention as much for the story-telling ability the rap genre used to rely on as it does because of the hilarious and instantly recognizable imagery of the "white boy wasted" theme that permeates lyrics Jeezy matches very well with a simple driving beat.

But Jasiri X does take "responsible rap" to the next level by delivering his lyrics with a sense of energy not normally seen in this arena, and by marrying those lyrics to a rhythm track that doesn't sound like it came from Good Will. And the insert of the Obama sounding voice in the refrain is not just a part of the song - they are an actual quote of a phrase Barack Obama used in one of his speeches before he became president.

The mini-history lesson inside the song combines well-known black history events with obscure or unheralded achievements by modern day African American men, and ends with a few words from the O-Man himself.

Can you imagine this song blasting from car stereos and boom boxes on street corners? Being played over and over on I-Pod's? I've played it three times already myself.

"Ah to the beat, everybody..."

King Tim the III, eat your heart out.

Lieberman Gets Free Ride, Won't Pay Piper

The moves the Senate and the House are considering to rein in Wall Street are the real meat and potatoes story here tonight, but since Joe Lieberman is still hogging center stage, he is tonight's topic.

I talked to my buddy a little while ago, while he was on his way home. It wasn't until I brought up the Lieberman chokehold on the healthcare bill that he remembered that was why he originally called me.

"Dude," I said, "I just saw a greatest quotes from The Wire compilation. I might have to actually watch an episode now. Because to me the only thing different between the characters on The Wire and the characters in the Senate is the senators are almost all white, and they wield microphones instead of guns when they want to wreak havoc on The Game."

"Man," my buddy said, "Joe Lieberman reminds me of my real estate guy. He was supposed to be negotiating for the space for my office -- I finally had to tell him that it looked to me like he was working for the other side as much as he was working for me. So he tells me, 'I gotta work with these people after your deal is done.'"

"Damn," I said. "You're paying the rent, and paying him, and he's worrying about the damn landlord."

Which is exactly the same boat Lieberman is in. He is enjoying all the perks of being a Democratic party member, including his beloved committee chairmanships, without being a member of the party.

I don't think the healthcare bill is on the ropes just yet. Even if it gets past this point, however, it will still have to jump through a couple more difficult hoops before it gets to the White House.

I do think, though, that the person the Democrats used to reassure Lieberman when he thought he might be losing his committee chairmanships after becoming an Independent didn't stress enough what that consideration would cost. If the president would quit worrying about being a model negro next year and confine his bipartisanship efforts to his speeches, he might be surprised - the GOP resistance only really has any strength when Obama tries to get them to join together.

In the meantime, I think the White House, and its allies in both houses of Congress need to recognize that because of the increased level of attention this African American president is getting from a usually moribund press corp and the much larger and much more aggressive blogosphere-at-large, they are going to have to figure out how to incorporate some misdirection in their strategies, and devise ways to use that guaranteed "no" from the GOP on any of their efforts to the Democrats advantage.

Please, Tiger: No "Wife By Your Side" Apology

After listening to the barrage of free advice Tiger Woods is receiving from all the crisis management experts on TV, one thing is clear.

They don't get it.

Ozzie and Harriet are dead. The reality show The Osbournes is much closer to the way we really live once you tone down the profanity. Which means that advising your celebrity clients to do the equivalent of a marital dog-and-pony show before the press to refute negative press doesn't work anymore. Even the people in Peoria aren't buying that one these days.

My mother, during one of the countless scandals this last year, said to me "I don't get these women. He's embarrassed her, and now she's got to stand out there in front of everybody and show that fake smile for the cameras? Not me."

It finally came to me the other day, when the umpteenth crisis manager was on, describing what the image of a forgiving wife would do to the press, what was really going on with these guys who gamely insist on the hoary chestnut of the forgiving wife.

These displays are never for the public at large. They actually aren't even for the press. These often labored expressions of matrimonial fealty are done for the men who pull the levers of commerce, the men who stand watch over the scales of justice, the men who preside over flocks of parishioners. Make no mistake about it - the majority of the men who represent our institutions of authority and worship have invested their whole lives in perpetuating a common narrative that has a happy marriage at its core.

Maybe that's what these men need to signal that all is right with the world again, but the rest of us aren't buying it. In fact, we haven't bought it for awhile. The difference between the last decade and this one is the difference between Hillary Clinton and Jenny Sanford.

Both are smart, capable women who had their own careers before assuming the guise of a political wife. Granted, Hillary Clinton's stage as the First Lady of the United States was much bigger than Jenny Sanford's role as the First Lady of South Carolina, but both of them had to consider the same thing - their husband's political future.

Clinton has been grinning and bearing it ever since. Sanford is moving on, leaving her husband to the mercy of the lever pullers and the scale watchers and the bible thumpers, most of them men who seem to be as afraid of real life as they are of the truth.

So please, Tiger, don't give us that old, tired, "wife by my side" b.s. if you two decide to make a go of it. These are choices you made for yourself, so this is an appearance you can make by yourself.

The Christmas Season Has Begun

S. and I went to a party at our neighbor's house Saturday night. It was a low-key affair that doubled as a reunion for our neighbor's old co-workers, who had all once manned the regional commercial banking office for a national lender. We've attended the same party for a few years, so most of the faces looked at least vaguely familiar.

S. leaned over during a lull in the conversation and murmured under her breath "everyone here is networking."

"Baby, these people are commercial bankers. There are no jobs left. I mean, who are they going to lend to?"

As these things tended to do, the mood got a little lighter as the Brunswick Stew started disappearing and the booze started flowing. We talked about the economy. We talked about the government. We talked about the intricacies of the mortgage markets. We talked about paradox of our current banking dilemma - the amount of home equity homeowners no longer had that our nation's banks were still carrying on their balance sheets and our local tax commissioners were still assessing property taxes against.

And then we got to Tiger.

"Can you believe..."

"Did you see..."

"I heard that..."

There were no new jokes, just poorly told versions of the ones making their rounds on the internet. In the end it was the same old story - "the dog always chases the cat" - that we had been seeing on our TV's for the last two weeks.

By the time we were ready to leave, the pall that seemed to hang over the gathering had risen. Cheeks were rosy. Stomachs were full. Business cards had long since been tucked away. And thankfully, we had not been subjected to a single Christmas song for the entire evening.

The Christmas season has begun in earnest!!!

Today At Big Think: Peace Prize Debate On BBC

Today's topic at my blog "Resurgence" on

Peace Prize Debate On BBC

I joined a panel yesterday on BBC Radio’s “World Have Your Say” that included former Nobel Peace prize winner Jody Williamson to talk about President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Speech. As a fellow writer, I’ve always enjoyed the most those speeches Obama makes when he is intimately involved in the writing process.

Read More... is a global forum connecting people and ideas.

You can access hundreds of hours of direct, unfiltered interviews with today's leading thinkers, movers and shakers, and, best of all, respond in kind. You can respond to the interviewee, respond to a responder or throw your own question or idea into the ring.

BigThink is yours. We are what you think.

Today At Big Think: Not Enough "Moolah For Mortgages"

Today's topic at my blog "Resurgence" on

Not Enough "Moolah For Mortgages"

It looks like bailout watchdog Elizabeth Warren is not afraid to tell our emperors that they are not wearing any clothes. "The program that Treasury has designed does not have the scope, the scale, or the permanence needed to deal with the foreclosure problem," she said Tuesday night on a conference call to reporters about her Congressional Oversight Panel's December oversight report.

Read More... is a global forum connecting people and ideas.

You can access hundreds of hours of direct, unfiltered interviews with today's leading thinkers, movers and shakers, and, best of all, respond in kind. You can respond to the interviewee, respond to a responder or throw your own question or idea into the ring.

BigThink is yours. We are what you think.

I'll be joining a panel today that includes former Nobel Peace prize winner Jody Williamson on World Have Your Say", a BBC Radio show that focuses on hot topics from around the world, to talk about President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Speech today at 1:00pm EST.

I have no idea what will happen, but they always have some motormouth guests, so it should be entertaining if nothing else.


The entertainment TV executives around the world are rubbing their hands together like Bishop Magic Don Juan. The paparazzi are high fiving each other all over the world - "fo shizzle, Tizzle's bizzles brangin' big dizzles" - and somewhere deep in the heart of the internet, engineers for Google are rewriting their algorithms to make sure the phrase "Tiger Woods mistresses" has the maximum impact on their fourth quarter numbers.

Street pimps have nothing on the original pimps, these descendants of the middle men and shysters who invented prostitution centuries ago. I have wondered in the last couple of days how the Kennedy years would have been remembered if Entertainment Tonight had the president's alleged girlfriends on every night. If Glen Beck and Sean Hannity and Nancy Grace wailed about Kennedy's association with Frank Sinatra every night.

I have gone back and forth over whether or not I should mention the former owner of the most famous white Ford Bronco in the world, but even though the circumstances are vastly different, even though Mr. Woods not has been and will not be charged with any crime, for the purposes of the corporate and legal pimp game, one of them is as good as the other.

It is as if these crisis vultures have been lying dormant since the 90's, disappointed that Kobe wasn't a serial sexual aggressor, or that Michael Vick didn't claim he was innocent and subject himself to a long circus of a trial. There wasn't enough time, there wasn't enough people involved, there wasn't enough money involved, and the wronged women, when there were women, were not blond.

Tiger Woods will buy more Cadillac Escalades and more second homes than he ever imagined. He will pay for more boob jobs and more facelifts and personal trainers for women he will never meet. He will launch the national careers of half a dozen no name TV announcers, and spawn a spate of new TV talk show hosts who cut their teeth on Tiger Talk.

El Tigre will hook up black men he's never met and doesn't claim, black men whose brown skin will gleam more alluringly to white women who want to believe that dating sleeping with a black man is taking a walk on the wild side, is doing something slightly exotic and vaguely dangerous.

Doing public penance has Michael Vick pronouncing entire syllables. It has stopped him from chopping off the end of his words. It has gotten him to open his mouth wider when he speaks. And it has shown him how the simple act of standing up straight and looking directly at his audience without flinching is more powerful than ten thousand half-assed apologies when it comes to getting people to trust you.

Maybe Tiger should have been a dogfighter. The prison time would be shorter than anything he is likely to get from the court of public opinion, even though he has not been accused of any criminal act. The man will have a mountain of lemons by the time this finally dies down finally stops paying the crisis pimps enough money.

I say let's help him make some lemonade.

The wife is toast. The opinions of too many other women will kill any chance they mighta coulda woulda had, however infinitesimal that was likely to be.

And his jet doesn't run on self-pity.

Since the Cablinasian community probably isn't going to step up to support their favorite son, I say we lay off coming up with some of the best x-rated Tiger jokes I've heard and put a little pimp move on ourselves. Since Tiger will inevitably be buying his dignity back, one special interest group at a time, I say we cut to the front of the line - or maybe not, since the girl who did that at Walmart got popped for a felony. But back to business.

Instead of First Tee, how about First Laptop? Or First Internet Connection? First Bank Account? First SAT Prep Course? First Tutor?

Michael Vick got pimped by the animal rights groups before he even went to jail.

You people need to come up with something quick - the bad thing about counting someone eles's money is, that person always seem to have less than you think they have. In case you can't remember anything else that happened this year, Michael Jackson had less money than everybody thought too. And these crisis pimps are chopping up as much of Tiger's Take as they can even as we speak. They are keeping it "pimpin' pimpin'" by the billable hour.

If somebody whipped up some letterhead and came up with a name, we could have our first press release next week.

Can you imagine Nike paying for an army of tutors to invade inner city hoods? Tractor trailer trucks full of brand new sneakers, parked next to check cashing centers, as Nike runs its own "Glocks for Jordans" program?

I'm partial to "First SAT Prep Course" and "First Tutor" myself.

EVERYBODY has a book these days.

Sarah Palin, the Quitta from Wasilla, has somehow written a book.

Henry Louis Gates, the Most Famous Black Professor in America, probably has ANOTHER book by now.

Even Carrie Prejean, the Ex-Beauty Queen, has a book about her recent struggles.

The Brown Man decided to join the club.

I wrote over a hundred thousand words on this very blog last year during the presidential elections.

Since this is the season of giving...

... and because it didn't make any sense to me to try to charge you for something that is already available piecemeal on this blog, you can download it for free from this site as a PDF, a mobipocket e-book, or even to your Kindle. You can actually download Kindle for PC for free from Amazon.

For those who felt as if they were riding shotgun with Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, you will relive the highs and the lows of the campaign trail.

Merry Christmas!!

Download Link
Alternate Download Link

Download Link

Download Link

Thinking Out Loud: A Brown Man Thinking Hard Retrospective by Kris Broughton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Based on a work at

D.C. Pundits Pout Over White House No-Vite

I think a lot of us out here in the hinterlands, better known as the 99.99999% of America that does not have a press pass from a D.C. news organization, have felt for some time that the people who cover the news have their own agenda that has nothing to do with the idea that they are the Fourth Estate. The latest dustup over the White House Holiday Party invites really has me wondering if the White House correspondents need their own reality show so they can bask in a little celebrity for awhile.

In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three.

The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.

Oscar Wilde

Indeed we are.

Which is why I want to know why I should really give a damn if Important Pundits R Us, people who by all accounts can afford to throw their own lavish soirees, don't get invited to a White House holiday party. Don't you get enough free food on the chicken dinner circuit?

The hinterland dwelling public doesn't really care right now that the Obama's are messing up your collection of photos with the president. They don't want to hear about how important your opinion is to a sitting president, or why the president's people need to be jumping through hoops to make you like them on a personal level.

People in the hinterlands who thought you were supposed to be urging the president to serve the country's citizens, even when it doesn't serve his political aims, are tired of the "scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" culture you seem to revel in.

They are tired of you calling yourselves journalists while you cozy up to the very people you are supposed to be watching.

“I’ve been hearing from a lot of our members who haven’t been invited. They’re very upset and confused because they feel they put the time in covering this job, and the Christmas party was something they looked forward to,” said Julie Mason, a White House reporter for the Washington Examiner and a member of the White House Correspondents Association Board.


Maybe if you skip the White House eggnog this year, you might be able to spend some time connecting the dots between the lack of jobs, the refusal by banks to lend to business, and the high foreclosure rates that are leaving many of the homes your subscribers used to live in empty.

The rest of us think you get paid enough to act like adults and be thankful that you have a job you like that pays you. And for the rest of us who are out of jobs, or underemployed, or are waiting on our family members who are overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan dodging IED's to get home safe, this doesn't even come close to making it on our radar of things to give a rat's ass about.

If the lack of a White House invite has got you deeply depressed, and you can't seem to shake it, you can always "do a Salahi" and just walk right in. Although you might want to put your bulletproof vest on before you leave home.

Today I'll be starting as a blog contributor at

My blog there is called "Resurgens", and it is listed under my real name, Kris Broughton. I'll be updating it several times a week.

"The Brown Man will be thinking hard for Big Think."

I've been waiting all weekend to write that sentence.

This is going to be fun.

They will be different (and shorter, sometimes) posts - beyond that, I would imagine that my editor will be stepping in to moderate my excesses and/or contribute to the direction "Resurgens" takes.

Right now I'll be playing it by ear. All I can promise you is the same voice and the same style. And you'll probably learn something, because I damn sure will be.

Check it out.

Tell a friend.

Click on some of their videos - I have and I've already learned a few new things.


Freedom Through Speech Radio Show TONIGHT At 8pm

I know, I know, its in 90 minutes, but I got this on short notice - actually I just came across it 5 minutes ago.

Anyway, the RIPPA is on my blog roll with The Intersection Of Madness And Reality. I've never heard this show before, but if he is anything like his blog, their show on Blog Talk Radio tonight ought to be a riot.

Something tells me that this is uncensored - maybe its the "no rules, all exceptions" motto - so if you have tender ears, this may not be the place for you.

Freedom Through Speech

Freedom through Speech Radio (F.T.S.R) is a bi-weekly program dedicated to allowing anyone and everyone to have a voice through contributing to the discussion surrounding various timely and pertinent issues. Hosted by writer Michele Grant (OneChele), noted blogger Patrick Phillips (RiPPa), and academic and community activist Max Reddick, you can always expect lively conversation that entertains even as it enlightens.


Ebony Magazine.

Tiger Woods.

A match made in heaven.

The last time something like this happened to someone who had an ambiguous relationship with the African American part of their heritage, it was 1984.

Nude photos of Vanessa Williams surfaced in Penthouse, pictures that would barely raise eyebrows today with all the internet porn out here. Up until then, Miss America had played down her ethnicity. Then the sanctimonious sponsors and pageant backers abandoned her.

The next thing you know, she is on the cover of Ebony Magazine.

Tiger's people need to call Linda Johnson Rice, CEO and daughter of Ebony founder John H. Johnson. Her magazine could use the attention, because there aren't enough of us buying subscriptions at those Fashion Fair fashion shows to keep it coming off the presses much longer. And black people will support anybody (see R.Kelly) who looks like he's in trouble, even if they have held their African Americanness at arms length (see Michael Jackson).

JoJo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling.

I'm really just killing a little time here until that other bad boy athlete, Michael Vick, makes his first appearance in the Georgia Dome since his conviction.

The thing about this Tiger Woods story is the way in which it is being reported, as if, in a world where we sell practically everything with sexual innuendo, and celebrate the memories of our old playboys like John Kennedy and Frank Sinatra, we really are all aspiring to attain a degree of purity that never even existed.

I actually got a little disgusted with one of my buddies the other day when he started wondering what Tiger should have said to "control this thing."

"Dude, you're the only cat I know who thinks the be-all and end-all in life is to be a British gentleman. Once you put that image out there, then you've got to live up to the hype."

When I told him that people were going to get squeamish when the hoochie count reaches double digits, I couldn't believe his shocked response, as if we'd never ever stepped foot into any of Atlanta's many, many strip clubs.

The conventional news helps us to keep fooling ourselves about the kind of society we really are.

Which is why, since I'm really just killing a little time here until that other bad boy athlete, Michael Vick, makes his first appearance in the Georgia Dome since his conviction in about ten minutes when the Eagles play the Falcons today, if I were you, I would check out two of my blog roll buddies today who have done a much better job than me of giving a real-life response to the Tiger Tail Trail.

My "Dense & Intense" recommendations for today:

What About Our Daughters has a post titled "I Am NOT Tiger Woods Mistress: Where Is My Press Conference Confession Non-Confession".

"I mean isn’t a mistress supposed to have her own separate household which the man maintains? isn’t she supposed to enjoy certain mistress benefits? Or is all it takes now to maintain a mistress a famous name and a couple of Louis Vitton purses? I don’t know, I’m not an expert on mistresses, but shouldn’t you be getting more out of the relationship? I mean, can’t you form a mistresses union so you can receive better benefits than 15 minutes of fame and a topless spread in Playboy? Can you get some health care. A college fund. Debt forgiveness? Credit Counseling? I mean Steve McNair’s poor mistress was up t0 her eyeballs in debt!"

And my girl Danielle Belton, The Black Snob, gives it to you straight with "Tiger Has A Big Ego. Can't Stand His Ego. But I Love How He Plays Golf."

And after his parents sacrificed and labored for him, the world opened up and did the same. The PGA lives and dies by how Tiger is playing. The networks live and die by whether or not he is winning. Nike lives and dies by whether or not he is selling. He is unequivocally and for all intensive purposes – the man. And you get the fuck out of the man’s way. And if the man wants to drown himself in fake tittles and champagne and Vegas poker chips the man WILL HAVE his fake titties and champagne and Vegas poker chips because this is Tiger, Tiger Woods Ya’ll! Tiger Woods, ya’ll! Not Phil Mickleson or some other aspirant who will never, ever be THE MAN


Brown Man Goes To SEC Coaches Luncheon

One of my buddies from my hometown, who raises money for a historically black college (HBCU), was in town this weekend for the United Negro College Fund training session. We got together on Thursday night to catch up and watch the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets.

He made an observation while the pre-game show was winding down. "It's just so funny to see you and my brother watch football these days. You two were some of the most "no sports watching" people I knew when we were growing up."

"I've come to realize this is good cheap entertainment. And of all the sports, what I really appreciate the most is the way the NFL invests so much time and energy into telling its own story."

He was right about his brother and I, though. When we were in our teens, we didn't care about pro sports the way other guys did. Didn't know who ran a 4.2 forty. Couldn't tell you when Draft Day was (I still can't).

Which is why I was amazed myself on Friday when I actually found myself sitting in a ballroom in a hotel in downtown Atlanta for the SEC Coaches Luncheon the conference puts on the day before its championship game.

I was the guest of another buddy of mine, my pal from Alabama. I had no idea what to expect, except a very good chance, given the looks of the crowd in the lobby, that we would be having beef for lunch. I grew up in South Carolina, where the college football rivalry was between the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers, but since the HBCU my father went to was right down the street from our house, my early allegiance was to the South Carolina State Bulldogs.

The lunch itself was hilarious. The attendees were obviously diehard Florida and Alabama fans, so all you saw was either crimson or orange everywhere you looked. There was beef. It was steak. I had two - a woman at our table was a vegetarian.

The day was certainly looking up.

At our table, my buddy launched into a discussion about Alabama's top pro prospect. A short guy with a heavy Boston accent regaled us with tales of his paraphernalia hoard, clicking the button on his digital camera to show us his collection of 5,000 hats in college colors. The rest of the table thought he was pretty funny until he used the words "Harvard" and "football team" in the same sentence, whereupon the woman next to him proceeded to inform him that they were only interested in watching "real" college football teams.

The guy from Boston tried to get our attention back by asking us the date of the first SEC championship game. When nobody got it, he reached into his shirt and pulled out a plastic ticket holder that contained a ticket from that very first game. Somehow, I figured there were similar scenes between fanatic fans going on at many of the tables around us.

The Q&A by Nick Saban and Urban Meyer was almost an intrusion into the conversation we had going at our table. They said the obligatory coach things. They smiled for the cameras. They waved at their fans in the audience. Then they looked relieved that it was all over, and they could get back to their teams for some last minute instruction before today's big game.

Who knows - after all this fanfare and buildup, I might even watch the game.

Desiree Rogers Faux Pas Not Firing Offense

I don't know exactly what it meant when I started getting a lot of hits recently on Brown Faces In High Places, but since my hit counter is pretty specific about what link brings people here, what I do know is an awful lot of you seem to be very interested in Desiree Rogers these last forty eight hours. The miscreants, as my man Petey Green from the movie Talk To Me would say, the despicable miscreants whose sense of entitlement is so strong even now they deny the facts behind their security breach of a White House dinner last week are people so odious, so ridiculously full of themselves, that I won't even write their names here.

The good thing about working in the White House is you already know you're going to be taking hits from all sides on the biggies - the economy, the war, employment, education, taxes - the stuff entire battalions of commentators are ready to squawk about before the electrons settle down after your latest website update.

The bad thing is, you really can't predict what little detail you forget today will mushroom into front page news next week. From the outside looking in, the circus around the White House bears an uncanny resemblance to the king's courts of old, with a complete complement of knaves, court jesters and public fools that are an administration's constant companions. Our Virginia miscreants seemed to be dying to join the fray around the Obama administration.

I still can't understand why someone would want to break into a White House dinner to tell bad jokes and make small talk with people who don't know you and won't remember you. Taking a picture with Joe Biden is not on my "bucket list".

My buddy has season tickets to the Falcons here in the ATL, and he practically has to sell me on how much fun it might be to even get me to think about going. If it wasn't for the fact that we talk cash shit for the entire time, I'd never go. Because frankly, the game looks much, much better at home on a big screen TV. To top it all off, I've even got my very own bathroom at home, with no line to stand in at halftime.

I don't know what's going to happen to Ms. Rogers. I will say that I was definitely impressed, in a town where people are programmed to lie or deny everything, that she just flatly stated the obvious - "No, we did not" - when asked if any of her staff were stationed at the entrances to the dinner. I'd like to believe that her Chi-Town connections to the president and the first lady really mean something. Asking her to take the fall for a massive failure by the Secret Service to do the job they are paid to do 24/7/365 is wronger than wrong. Compared to the inexcusable performance by the security professionals, Ms. Rogers lapse should be correctly described as a faux pas.

I can only hope that somewhere in the White House right about now, Michelle Obama is standing in front of Rahm Emmanuel, her arms crossed, her head tilted forward just enough to let those laser beam brown eyes tell him, without one word crossing her lips, to "leave this sister alone".

Kasim Reed Wins Keys To Atlanta City Hall

It looks like Kasim Reed is going to be the next mayor of Atlanta. There is only a 1400 ballot difference between him and Mary Norwood with all the precincts reporting, but unless Norwood's absentee ballot percentage tops 65%, it is very unlikely that she will be able to pull this out.

Reed's lead has shrunk by 100 votes in the five minutes since I last checked the numbers since they started counting the early voting totals and the absentees.

Since I don't work for the networks, and have no way of losing my job here if I'm wrong, I'm going to congratulate Kasim Reed on winning this hard won race.

Mr. Reed will face his own mountain of challenges next year here in the ATL. As I've said here before, I wouldn't have had a problem with a white mayor at all. But I did have a problem with Reed's opponent, the lightweight Mary Norwood. And I have always liked Kasim Reed personally, and have a great respect for the way he has persevered in a Georgia Legislature, a body steeped in the culture of the rural parts of our state, that has been known to be less than hospitable to its urban members.

I could probably come up with a laundry list of stuff he will need to get cracking on, but there's plenty of time for that. And I don't have any intention of taking back one word about the Jackson Mafia that needs to go away into that good night and let us see what an unfettered Reed can do.

But tonight is the time for celebration.

Congratulations, Kasim Reed!!!

Come on, AB - NO president, white, black, or kryptonite enhanced could have hoped to tackle the laundry list you laid out.

Comparing any modern day president to anyone before Carter is a waste of time - the rise of cable TV and talk radio has turbo charged the national political conversation in a way that makes even the most mundane political task a Herculean effort - every time you turn around, there are a half a million twitters following your every move, and ten cable channels dedicated to nothing more than stirring up shit so the execs can afford to keep their kids they never get to see in rehab or professional student hood.

You know damn well why he got elected - because Obama WAS NOT a "warrior type" black leader. He's just like all the cats I spent most of my holidays around - law firm partners and senior associates or corporate flacks who get paid the big bucks because the folks who write their checks feel comfortable with them. The only pals I see who bust heads all own their own shops, and EVEN THEY have had to learn how to manage employees without rubbing them the wrong way, if they want to get any productivity out of them.

Obama is inside the organization. He IS the man, whether he pulls his dick out and shoves it up somebody's ass or simply ticks their name off a list on his desk.

This is the same old "gotta be hard" negro logic that gets two or three black males killed every week here in the ATL. We've got to give this "down by law at night", "down with the man by day" shit up. Our real lives are calling us, and WE ARE NOT JOJO DANCER. Not by a long shot.

When the fuck are we going to quit defining manhood and leadership by how hard we can crack a fucking whip and start understanding that it is what comes out in the wash at the end of the day that matters?

If you don't like some of the outcomes so far, fine. Neither do I. But in the reality based world the rest of us live in, there is no god damn way no fire breathing negro was going to be elected president IN THIS AMERICA WE HAVE TODAY.

You could have spotted the next ten black leaders 200 electoral votes and not a damn one of them would even come close to closing the deal. WE didn't elect Obama - it was a raggedy-ass coalition that drew from every demographic in the country outside of the cracker-assed crackers in my home state and the rest of the south.

I WAS PROUD TO HEAR OBAMA'S RETORT TO DICK CHENEY LAST WEEK. I wish it could be looped on top of a beat and used as a refrain in a rap song - the issues every president faces are much more complicated than what the spin doctors and Pablum R Us news shows can show because anything else would be a waste - the country at large doesn't have the knowledge base to understand anything more than "blue good, red bad".

I stood next to an attorney at a Xmas party a few weeks ago who pursed his lips when I mentioned politics. He said to me "Obama's stimulated everybody else. Why can't he stimulate me?"

This motherfucker holds a job that NO BLACK MEN OF NO KIND could even hope to get just forty years ago.

Politics isn't tech land, where you know what you know, or medicine, with a science base to balance out the guesswork - it is all hype and bullshit, a true reflection of how much we all lie to ourselves just to get through the day, except these guys have to wade through their bullshit on camera.

If you aren't smart enough to explain to your son why Obama is not only his president, but a leader sharp enough to juggle every fucking problem in the country and STILL bring us to the brink of pulling off the greatest Democratic political victory in decades, then maybe you need to turn your degree back in.

Thanks for the run, AB - I might have to use this rant as a post. First one of '10!

Tonight we are going to listen to the president tell us why he is sending more troops into a war he doesn't want to fight.

He does not have the bloodlust of those whose hearts are warmed by men, women and children being killed in a foreign land. But even the most ardent of anti-war activists who are able to deal with the realities of war understand that at the level of commitment we currently have in Afghanistan, there is no way to instantly withdraw our troops overnight. We will have to fight our way out.

Bill O'Reilly has already summed it all up. I was surprised myself when I saw this quote - "we can't kill all of the Muslims" - from O'Reilly a couple of weeks ago. It actually brought to mind a question - "would you advocate it, Mr. OReilly, if you thought it was possible" - but the obvious answer - "YES!" - was so depressing I left it alone.

O'Reilly actually pivoted from this macabre suggestion to a much more positive one that grudgingly acknowledged that "maybe the president was onto something with his efforts to encourage cooperation between the East and the West.

As the details of the speech begin to leak out, and the discussion of the president's withdrawal plans gets underway, I hope that those whose job it is to argue about government policies for a living remember that there are real families involved in this undertaking.

And S. begins to get on her soapbox about "guns or butter" tonight, I hope they will also be mindful of our economy, and our inability as a nation to fight through these financial hard times as we get down to this expensive business of killing.

At an estimated cost of 30 billion dollars a month, it won't take long for the bills for this latest foray into Afghanistan to total up a half a trillion dollar price tag.