24 March 2010

GOP In Talks With Blacksheep Political Consulting To Revamp Message

It looks like Blacksheep Political Consulting will have to quit living off the money it defrauded its last paying clients out of by guaranteeing to deliver the Vietnamese immigrant vote for Congressman Roscoe P. Coltrane (RR-GA) and come out of semi-retirement to give the beleaguered Republican Party a hand.

Because whoever they are paying to advise them now needs to be brought up on crimninal charges.

This latest shenanigan - the Senate work slowdown - at a time when what's left of their tattered image is tottering over the edge of a cliff is beyond frat boy stupid, beyond redneck rowdy. These are the kinds of actions that make me think of an old dog that starts walking around in circles just before it lays down to die.

But don't worry, John Boehner and friends - Blacksheep Political Consulting is coming to the rescue, just as soon as we can set up the off-shore account where you're going to wire our fees.

There are no guarantees though - we've learned our lesson from the Vietnamese unregistered voter fiasco.

But I know I can do better than Frank Luntz, your messaging guru. As a matter of fact, I can turn your whole year around with just one change.

"Quit contradicting yourselves."

Well, okay, two changes - "quit contradicting yourselves" and "find somebody other than old fish faced Mitch McConnell to stand in front of the cameras with nasty-assed frown - he is scaring away every voter under 35."

And before you start getting all defensive, Mr. Agent Orange Orange Red, I just want you to look at the research/stuff we are "borrowing" from Russell King's blog so you can see what the public sees when they see the GOP:

You can't flip out -- and threaten impeachment - when Dems use a parlimentary procedure (deem and pass) that you used repeatedly (more than 35 times in just one session and more than 100 times in all!), that is centuries old and which the courts have supported. Especially when your leaders admit it all.

You can't vote and scream against the stimulus package and then take credit for the good it's done in your own district (happily handing out enormous checks representing money that you voted against is especially ugly) --  114 of your members (at last count) did just that -- and it's even worse when you secretly beg for more.

You can't fight against your own ideas just because the Dem president endorses your proposal.

You can't call for a pay-as-you-go policy, and then vote against your own ideas.

Are they "unlawful enemy combatants" or are they "prisoners of war" at Gitmo? You can't have it both ways.

You can't carry on about the evils of government spending when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts.

You can't refuse to go to a scheduled meeting, to which you were invited, and then blame the Dems because they didn't meet with you.

You can't rail against using teleprompters while using teleprompters.   Repeatedly.

You can't rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening.  (It was Bush who came up with that one.)

You can't be for immigration reform, then against it.

You can't enjoy socialized medicine while condemning it.

You can't flip out when the black president puts his feet on the presidential desk when you were silent about white presidents doing the same.  Bush.  Ford.

You can't complain that the president hasn't closed Gitmo yet when you've campaigned to keep Gitmo open.

You can't flip out when the black president bows to foreign dignitaries, as appropriate for their culture, when you were silent when the white presidents did the same. Bush.  Nixon. Ike. You didn't even make a peep when Bush held hands and kissed (on the mouth) leaders of countries that are not on "kissing terms" with the US.

You can't complain that the undies bomber was read his Miranda rights under Obama when the shoe bomber was read his Miranda rights under Bush and you remained silent.  (And, no, Newt -- the shoe bomber was not a US citizen either, so there is no difference.)

You can't attack the Dem president for not personally* publicly condemning a terrorist event for 72 hours when you said nothing about the Rep president waiting 6 days in an eerily similar incident (and, even then, he didn't issue any condemnation).  *Obama administration did the day of the event.

You can't throw a hissy fit, sound alarms and cry that Obama freed Gitmo prisoners who later helped plan the Christmas Day undie bombing, when -- in fact -- only one former Gitmo detainee, released by Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, helped to plan the failed attack.

You can't condemn blaming the Republican president for an attempted terror attack on his watch, then blame the Dem president for an attemted terror attack on his.

You can't mount a boycott against singers who say they're ashamed of the president for starting a war, but remain silent when another singer says he's ashamed of the president and falsely calls him a Moaist who makes him want to throw up and says he ought to be in jail.

You can't cry that the health care bill is too long, then cry that it's too short.

You can't support the individual mandate for health insurance, then call it unconstitutional when Dems propose it and campaign against your own ideas.

You can't demand television coverage, then whine about it when you get it. Repeatedly.

You can't praise criminal trials in US courts for terror suspects under a Rep president, then call it "treasonous" under a Dem president.

You can't propose ideas to create jobs, and then work against them when the Dems put your ideas in a bill.

You can't be both pro-choice and anti-choice.

You can't damn someone for failing to pay $900 in taxes when you've paid nearly $20,000 in IRS fines.

You can't condemn critizising the president when US troops are in harms way, then attack the president when US troops are in harms way, the only difference being the president's party affiliation (and, by the way, armed conflict does NOT remove our right and our duty as Americans to speak up).

You can't be both for cap-and-trade policy and against it.

You can't vote to block debate on a bill, then bemoan the lack of  'open debate'.

If you push anti-gay legislation and make anti-gay speeches, you should probably take a pass on having gay sex, regardless of whether it's 2004 or 2010.  This is true, too, if you're taking GOP money and giving anti-gay rants on CNN.  Taking right-wing money and GOP favors to write anti-gay stories for news sites while working as a gay prostitute, doubles down on both the hypocrisy and the prostitution.  This is especially true if you claim your anti-gay stand is God's stand, too.

When you chair the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, you can't send sexy emails to 16-year-old boys (illegal anyway, but you made it hypocritical as well).

You can't criticize Dems for not doing something you didn't do while you held power over the past 16 years, especially when the Dems have done more in one year than you did in 16.

You can't decry "name calling" when you've been the most consistent and outrageous at it. And the most vile.

You can't spend more than 40 years hating, cutting and trying to kill Medicare, and then pretend to be the defenders of Medicare.

You can't praise the Congressional Budget Office when it's analysis produces numbers that fit your political agenda, then claim it's unreliable when it comes up with numbers that don't.

You can't vote for X under a Republican president, then vote against X under a Democratic president. Either you support X or you don't. And it makes it worse when you change your position merely for the sake obstructionism.

You can't call a reconcilliation out of bounds when you used it repeatedly.

You can't spend tax-payer money on ads against spending tax-payer money.

You can't condemn individual health insurance mandates in a Dem bill, when the madates were your idea.

You can't demand everyone listen to the generals when they say what fits your agenda, and then ignore them when they don't.

You can't whine that it's unfair when people accuse you of exploiting racism for political gain, when your party's former leader admits you've been doing it for decades.

You can't portray yourself as fighting terrorists when you openly and passionately support terrorists.

You can't complain about a lack of bipartisanship when you've routinely obstructed for the sake of political gain -- threatening to filibuster at least 100 pieces of legislation in one session, far more than any other since the procedural tactic was invented -- and admitted it.  Some admissions are unintentional, others are made proudly. This is especially true when the bill is the result of decades of compromise between the two parties and is filled with your own ideas.

You can't question the loyalty of Department of Justice lawyers when you didn't object when your own Republican president appointed them.

You can't preach and try to legislate "Family Values" when you: take nude hot tub dips with teenagers (and pay them hush money); cheat on your wife with a secret lover and lie about it to the world; cheat with a staffer's wife (and pay them off with a new job); pay hookers for sex while wearing a diaper and cheating on your wife; or just enjoying an old fashioned non-kinky cheating on your wife; try to have gay sex in a toilet; authorize the rape of children in Iraqi prisons to coherce their parents into providing information; seek, look at or have sex with children; replace a guy who cheats on his wife with a guy who cheats on his pregnant wife with his wife's mother. ***

You say you didn't catch how much Blacksheep's fee was, Agent Orange Orange Red? Well, since your RNC chairman Michael Steele insists that "a million dollars really isn't a lot of money" just add another zero to that bid we emailed to you.

You know how it is. Jet fuel is kinda high these days. And with Tiger screwing up the bimbo market, our "out of pocket" expenses could run to six or seven figures...


***This list REALLY WAS compiled/created/crafted by Russell King of Street Prophets  -  if you go by his site to thank him, where he has a much, much longer list of GOP "can't do's", please let him know that his check from Blacksheep Political Consulting is "in the mail." 

13 March 2010

Final Round XIII Arcade Game Tourney Is "Old School" Video Game Competition

I am going to a video game tournament today...

...despite the fact that I have never played a modern video game.

The first video game I remember playing regularly was on the campus of the then South Carolina State College. We lived two blocks from campus at the time. The student center was a short walk. Inside there were ping pong tables, a pool table or two, and a Pong machine off to one side. Pong was the electronic version of Ping Pong.

For a quarter, you bought the exquisite privilege of getting to turn a black knob to the left or to the right to control a small gray rectangle that served as your electronic paddle. There were only two trick shots you could make. One involved violently spinning your knob just when the "ball", a gray square, hit the surface of your paddle. The other trick shot required precise timing, and involved ramming the rectangular paddle into the "ball" from the side just before it sailed past the end line and off the court.

So why am I going to a video game tournament, if all I've mastered is turning a little black knob on a Pong machine?

Because S.'s son is in town for a video game tournament he and his buddies cooked up about fourteen years ago called Final Round. Even though they are now all in their thirties, they all head back to Atlanta every spring to put on the southeast's biggest fighting game tournament. At this year's Final Round XIII, the competitions are being live streamed. As I write this, they seem to be setting up stuff for today's events. The Twitter news feed for the hashtag "#FinalRound" is a drama in and of itself.

I understand the basic concept behind the genesis of the tournament -- as exquisite as it was to play Pong inside the AIR CONDITIONED student center at SCSC back in the early seventies, you would eventually begin to lose interest in feeding the machine quarters if you thought you were wasting them on someone who didn't provide any real competition.

But these guys are for real. They have all been serious gamers since grade school, when they played at the arcade against each other. And when we ride down to the hotel later today where the event is held, it will be hard to get a park. And unless things have changed a lot since last year, there will be lines of young African American, Asian and Caucasian men streaming into the building, toting their controller consoles under their arms as if they are Fender guitars.

I remember visiting some friends of our family in New Orleans a few years after my love affair with Pong. The father was a pharmacist who owned a couple of pharmacies, and his son, who was about my age, had reaped the benefits accordingly -- he had a room in the back of the house with three or four arcade games in it that he could play all day without putting a single quarter in them, or having to wait his turn. I was envious all the way back to South Carolina.

Nowadays, kids have more gaming capabilities in their pockets with the Nintendo portables than we used to have in an entire arcade in the seventies. The buddies who have put together this Final Round tournament have all the latest games, from PlayStation to Wii, with all the attendant accessories, and the latest hi-tech, high touch controllers, but they seem to revel in the old schoolness of the games they built the tourney around. And the participants seem to rejoice at the amount of money they win for outfighting everybody else.

As nice as some of those joysticks look, though, I don't think they will ever top my beloved black knob on the Pong machine.

Who knows where this might lead? Video games show no signs of losing their appeal. And if the "X" Generation or "Y" Generation or whatever name some advertising exec has dreamed up this week for this demographic is anything like us, they will long for the nostalgia of arcade video games the same way us post baby boomers gravitate towards old-school rap music these thirty years later.

09 March 2010

Ralph Reed, Owner Of The Best Political Whorehouse In Georgia, Wants To Be A Congressman

I really didn't have anything to write about today, until I saw that Ralph Reed was planning to announce his candidacy for Congress tomorrow, Sarah Palin style - from his Facebook account.

I live three miles from Gwinnett County, where retiring Congressman John Linder was elected 18 years ago, back when "Gwinnettians", as the traffic reporters call them, were mostly white and mostly middle class.

Now the biggest Asian supermarket in town is in Gwinnett County, along with the biggest Hindu temple in the United States. The intersection of Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Buford Highway, which used to be major commercial corridors in Gwinnett County, looks more like you are in Mexico than Georgia. Gwinnett County is not as solidly Republican as your lazy media analysts will be telling you over the next few months.

49% of Gwinnett County was black, Asian, or Hispanic in the 2009 census, and something tells me that those numbers will be even larger after the 2010 census numbers are tallied.

The rest of Linder's district - Barrow, Walton, and a slice of Newton County - is still pretty white, but these are people central casting would go looking for if they needed to cast Tea Baggers. Which means that Reed may not have the bona fides he thinks he does with this crowd, who are all anxious to see some new faces for a change.

Which brings me back to Ralph Reed, the slimest political operator in the nation after Jack Abramoff. His political direct mail company is famous for putting out the kind of imagery that was found in the RNC PowerPoint last week. Ralph Reed isn't a dog with fleas - he is just a damn big ass flea.

As the owner of Century Strategies, Reed is one of the biggest lobbyists in this state. In a year when the dreaded "L" word isn't "liberal" but "lobbyist", he has no way to wash the stench of the "porkulus" he helps Fortune 500 companies obtain off of his hands.

Ralph Reed, the Bernie Madoff of GOP fundraisers, has relied on his schoolboy looks to charm the Christian Coalition crowd out of their hard earned money for decades to fight evils like gambling WHILE DOING CONSULTING WORKDOUBLE CROSSING AND DOUBLE BILLING INDIAN CASINOS interested in getting favorable regulatory relief from Congress.

"I'm proud of the campaign we ran," Reed, weary but ever positive, told TIME. "I'm glad we did it." He didn't want to talk about why he lost, but those who know him say he blames the media--particularly the Atlanta Journal-Constitution--for their extensive coverage of his business ties to Abramoff, his friend from their days running the College Republicans in the early 1980s. For a high-profile religious conservative like Reed, the stories of being paid millions by one Indian tribe to run a religious-based antigambling campaign to prevent another tribe from opening a rival casino made him look like something worse than a criminal--a hypocrite.

He had once called gambling a "cancer" on the body politic. And the e-mails to Abramoff didn't help, especially those that seemed to suggest that the man who had deplored in print Washington's system of "honest graft" was eager to be part of it. "I need to start humping in corporate accounts!" he wrote Abramoff a few days after the 1998 election.

Time Magazine, The Rise And Fall Of Ralph Reed

In the world of political whoring, Ralph Reed has proved time and time again that he is willing to sell his narrow ass to anybody willing to pay for a piece of it.

The only good thing about Ralph Reed running for office is that this time, with the kind of ego he's got, he is guaranteed to lose a pile of his own money in the process.

02 March 2010

The Brown Man's Mother Goes Back To College

I haven't been able to get my mother on the phone yet tonight to talk to her about the proceedings at her induction into the Half Century Club for graduates of Benedict College. It is probably because she is on the phone with her sisters, whose SIXTIETH college reunion has either just taken place or will be happening soon.

This is waaay back -- before the seatbelt was mandatory, before unleaded gas was popular, before King and Malcolm X and John Kennedy had each taken a bullet for the human race, before Pampers and airbags and cassette tapes and VCR's -- before practically everything that you see now existed, if you are under forty years of age.

I guess I'll get to talk to her a little later -- actually, this post is in its own way a method for me to kill some time until she and her sisters get off the phone, but they are talkers. In fact, we are all talkers, the way some people are chain smokers, or binge drinkers, so I am sure that I need to keep writing, to keep thinking up a few more lines to entertain both you and me until I think the line is clear.

If you have old school parents like mine, who are from the Deep South, you know how unlikely it is that they will click over when they hear the phone beep.

My mother is a Jay Leno fan, so I am sure when we talk, we will touch on tonight's guest of honor, Sarah Palin, and ruminate about what Jay might have up his sleeve to make her look bad -- not that it would be hard for a third grader to make Sarah look bad, but still, thinking about Jay's antics will take up a few minutes.

We'll talk about Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley, and both of us will say "what is wrong with Tavis?" in the same cadence, because I learned from her how to be exasperated at the kind of dumb shit certain egotistical, limelight needing black people will do or say when they think someone is paying attention to them.

What we won't talk about, but what I will write here, is the irony of her accomplishment -- to come back to her undergraduate alma mater after teaching school for thirty eight years -- in light of the recent statistics that show almost HALF of African American high school students do not graduate these days.

Congratulations, Mom, on a life well lived!!