Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Crumbling Of Kwame Kilpatrick!

Former Detroit Mayor made a major spectacle of himself this year with the quickness of his fall from grace. Kilpatrick's public face has always been a display of arrogance, but behind the scenes as the text message scandal was bringing the downfall of his political career, Kilpatrick was very disjointed and receiving advice from people who were beholden to him for their jobs.

The Detroit Free Press reports on the happenings behind the scenes as Kilpatrick's options for keeping his job were evaporating. The article reports that Kilpatrick's sister Ayanna was very angry at her brother, and that Kilpatrick's options were sealed when he attacked a police officer for trying to serve a subpoena to a friend. A very interesting story on the behind the scenes political maneuvering involving a mayor who was in crisis mode, and that at the end of the day everybody involved with Kilpatrick was simply looking out for their best interests.

"Blago" Stays Arrogant

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich continued his arrogance by naming former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. The arrogance of it all is that the Senate Democrats in Illinois are refusing to seat Burris making the appointment a waste of time. Blagojevich is intentionally bringing race into the issue knowing that there are no blacks in the Senate with the absence of Obama. It looks like people fall for anything just to get a little publicity.

60 Less Murders!

Despite a growing budget crisis, the City of Brotherly Love saw a 15% decline in murders this year according to the Philadelphia Daily News, which in raw numbers is 60 less murders. The numbers were short of the goal of a 25% decline in murders, but progress is progress. One somber note is that the city lost 5 police officers to murder over a 14 month span, and 4 in an alarming 5 month span.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Google "Martin Luther King" and the site shows up third in the ranking. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the site was created by someone named Don Black and is being used to disparage the name of the civil rights icon. The King family has attempted to have the site shut down, but the attempts have been futile. Ignorance is still alive and well.

Mychal Bell, One of The "Jena Six" Shoots Himself In The Chest

Last year many black people traveled to Jena, Louisiana to protest the treatment of black teens as part of the "Jena Six". Mychal Bell was one of the 6 teens who was brought up on charges. Bell, who now lives with foster parents in Monroe, Louisiana was arrested last week for stealing and charged with shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple assault, police said. Police said Bell tried to steal several shirts and a pair of jeans from a department store and fled when a security guard and off-duty police officer tried to detain him. After they found him hiding under a car, Bell "swung his arms wildly" and one of his elbows struck the security guard with a glancing blow, according to a police report. He was freed on $1,300 bond. Subsequently, Bell somehow managed to shoot himself in the chest on Monday, which resulted in injuries that are not life threatening.

I want to see the Rev. Al Sharpton jump on this bandwagon to try to justify Bell's actions. Black people from all over the country jumped on the "Jena Six" injustice bandwagon, and now we see that perhaps Mychal Bell is just a troubled young man. Bell's improper reaction to a problem or action is what caused the Jena problem. Perhaps Sharpton will try to get Bell the help that he needs with the hope that he'll become a productive citizen. Thanks to the Houston Chron for the article.

The Roc-A-Fella Breakup!

Damon Dash and Jay-Z were childhood friends who built a hip-hop empire. Jay-Z evolved into a rap legend, while Dash parlayed his fame towards becoming a multi-millionaire. Like most empires, the Roc-A-Fella empire appears to have crumbled under the pressure of egos. The New York Post's Page Six reports that former BET producer and Roc employee Choke No Joke is releasing a documentary next year - titled "I Am Choke, No Joke" - about the infamous crumbling of the hip-hop empire founded by former fast friends Jay and Dash. In a interview, Joke says: " 'Dame' was a camera freak. He loved people to tape him, 'cause he started thinking he was a star . . . Ever since the 'Big Pimpin' ' video, he started gettin' a little light and it started to get to his head."

Joke claims that Dash's signing of Ol' Dirty Bastard and his proposal of Cam'ron as a vice president of the label (which Jay-Z rejected) were among the disputes that drove a wedge between the two. "Jay wasn't feeling none of that [bleep]," Joke said. .

Jay-Z and Dash's fortunes have gone in separate ways since the break up. Uncontrolled egos' always seem to break up a good thing.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Is Obama "The Magic Negro"?

David Ehrenstein, who is black writes for the Los Angeles Times, and has written an interesting piece titled Obama the "Magic Negro". This is another article questioning the authenticity of the president-elect's blackness when compared to a Rev. Al Sharpton or Snoop Dogg. It's amazing that after 2 years of campaigning, Obama's historic rise to the cusp of the presidency can't be seen as simply a qualified candidate who ran an unparalleled campaign to win the presidency. Our blackness isn't and never will be monolithic, and can this madness of questioning Obama's "blackness" just stop.

16 Year-Old Could Face Murder Charges In Detroit Cop Slaying

Officer Mason Samborski, 28, stopped 16 year-old Jonathan Belton on a traffic stop and found that Belton was unlicensed and had no insurance. While proceeding to take Belton to a supervised adult, the two wrestled and Samborski was killed after being shot in the head. Belton turned himself into police yesterday and is now facing murder charges, while Samborski leaves behind a wife and child. Thanks to the Detroit Free Press for the story, as the city of Detroit essentially lost two lives in what appears to be a senseless murder over the weekend.

Killadelphia Ending The Year With A Bang!

The Philadelphia Daily News chronicles the continued violence in the City of Brotherly Love. Over the holiday weekend, 6 more people were killed and 3 people injured including an 18 year- old man who's been left paralyzed. Way to end the year with a bang!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chillin' In Hawaii

The Washington Post reports on President-elect Barack Obama and his family spending a relaxing Christmas holiday in Kailua, Hawaii with friends and family. The Obama's are spending 13 days of relaxation at a private compound with 7 foot gates, and of course plenty of secret service protection.

The president-elect who always exudes cool and calm in pressurized environments appears to be prepared to have his sister near him as it's being reported that his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng who is a school teacher and her family may be moving to Washington, D.C. for at least a year.

Nutter Taking Care Of His Own

I guess it doesn't matter that the city that you've been elected to lead has a ridiculously high crime rate, a failing educational system, and a growing homeless problem. Despite the economy being in a recession and your city facing massive budget cuts, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has decided that his staff deserves to make more money than the staff of his predecessor John Street according to the Philadelphia Daily News. Even after budget cuts, Nutter's staffers will make $1.8 million more than Street's staffers.

Nutter states that the city is making an investment in quality people. This issue deserves close scrutiny by the residents of the city, because Nutter is going against conventional wisdom unless he's also putting money into other services.

R.I.P. Eartha Kitt

We lost Eartha Kitt yesterday due to complications from colon cancer yesterday, she was 81. Kitt, who even in her advanced age exuded a sultriness that eluded women many decades her junior. My most recent recollection of Kitt has to be her performance in the Eddie Murphy led movie "Boomerang' in which she played the character Lady Eloise. R.I.P. Ms. Kitt.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Obama Clean

As suspected, President-elect Barack Obama's team released their internal report regarding the Gov. Rod Blagojevich's scandal. The report states that Obama had no contact with "Blago" but that incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel did discuss the vacant Illinois Senate seat and a possible appointment of Valerie Jarrett who took a position as an Obama advisor. Obama did, however, sit down with federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's staff to discuss his knowledge of any contact that his team had with Blagojevich. Thanks to the Chicago Sun-Times for the information.

At this point, this is a non story in relation to the president-elect. It will stay front and center because of the Chicago political cesspool that launched Obama.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Prayers For The Dead Homeless

The homeless in our society are often looked upon as the lowest of the low receiving very little respect in city after city, and town after town. In the Philadelphia, 85 homeless people have died in the last year. Yesterday in Philadelphia homeless advocates and the homeless themselves gathered for a memorial to recognize National Homeless Memorial Day, held in 90 cities across the country as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Unfortunately with the economy tanking we'll probably see the homeless population increase to very scary numbers.

Buff Obama

Everyone knows that our President-elect is into his fitness, now it appears he's being dogged by the paparazzi as he enjoys his Christmas vacation in Hawaii. Barack Obama was captured walking on the beach Sunday, and the New York Post reports that our president-elect's body is getting major attention throughout the world.

While it appears that we're very fortunate to have Barack Obama becoming our president in less than 30 days, I guess most people will simply say that Michelle is a very lucky woman.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Obama's Word Man

Jon Favreau is a 27 year old graduate from Holy Cross, and also President-elect's Barack Obama's head speechwriter. Three months ago, Favreau lived in a group house with six friends in Chicago, now he's just put a down payment on a Dupont Circle condo in Washington, D.C.. Great article from the Washington Post about taking advantage of a tremendous opportunity, and now being in synch with the soon to be most powerful man in the world.

Obama/"Blago" Link Tobe Be Revealed This Week

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Rahm Emanuel/Rod Blagojevich link will be revealed this week. I'm sure that none of the details will be earth shattering once revealed, and as usual any potential dirt on our President-elect Barack Obama will roll off his shoulders.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Is Obama Dodging The Illinois Senate Issue?

President-elect Barack Obama has deftly deflected the question regarding whether anyone in his camp has had contact with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Obama has used the pending investigation as a crutch to not release the results of an internal investigation, but Chicago news reporters want to continue to put heat on Obama to push for a special election according to the Chicago Tribune.

Obama is clearly trying to protect his boy Rahm Emanuel, who clearly had contact with Blaagojevich about preferred Senate candidates. I can't put heat on our president-elect for that as it appears that Emanuel did nothing wrong in making contact with the Illinois governor.

Is Caroline Kennedy Going The Affirmative Action Route?

Caroline Kennedy has been the buzz in political circles since she expressed interest in the New York senate seat now being vacated by Sen. Hillary Clinton. Yesterday she met with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia's Restaurant, and was bombarded by throngs of reporters once the two exited the restaurant.

The New York Daily News writes that Kennedy shouldn't be given the seat by Gov. David Paterson simply because she's the last remaining child of John F. Kennedy. There will be heavy pressure on Paterson to appoint Kennedy to the seat, as she endorsed our incoming president-elect and was part of the V.P. vetting process. With Obama, Clinton, and now Sharpton in her corner Kennedy will probably get appointed to the post. The fact that she has a passion for education seals the deal in my opinion.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The 1980 Obama Cool

Back in 1980 when Lisa Jack was a college student at Occidental College in Los Angeles she asked "a really cute" young man to pose for a photo shoot. Little did she know that 28 years later, that Barack Obama would be our President-elect.

The new president-elect was chosen Time Magazine's 2008 Person of the Year this week and Jack supplied the magazine with some of the photos which can be viewed here. Thanks to the New York Post for the article.

Keyshia Now 3 For 3

R&B Superstar Keyshia Cole released her third album this week titled "A Different Me" and expects the album to debut with sales in the 250k-300k range, which would give her a #2 debut behind singer Taylor Swift on next weeks charts.

It looks like Cole is headed to her third straight platinum disc, further cementing her role as the Mary J. Blige of her generation.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Queensberry Avenue Needs A Bailout Too

Linda Dennis grew up on Queensberry Avenue in Baltimore in the 1950s and 1960s, and now laments about "how happy people were." Fast forwarding to 2008, and the neighborhood is not quite the same. Drug dealers now harass the neighbors and vandalize property in an effort to force their will on the neighborhood, and essentially keep the neighborhood hostage.

Dennis, who moved back to her childhood home in 1996 so her mother could live her final days in her childhood home, now fears for her life and spoke to the Baltimore Sun in an effort to solicit help from anyone who will listen. Mrs. Dennis has the courage to speak out against the dealers, who are ravaging her childhood neighborhood. There are many more people who simply live as prisoners in their own homes and neighborhoods. Since we're we now in the business of bailing out everyone, perhaps the president-elect will travel to Queensberry Avenue in Baltimore and lend a helping hand.

Paterson Wants To Implement iTax

If New York Gov. David Paterson has his way, music and movies downloaded on iTunes will require a tax in an effort to minimize the New York budget shortfall according to the New York Post. The average song downloaded on iTunes that costs $.99 would cost $1.07 if the tax is implemented. Critics of the measure state that it will only increase music piracy, which is still out of control. Gov. Paterson may want to reconsider this proposal, he probably will be disappointed in the revenue that would be generated from the taxes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Detroit School Board Ousts School Chief

It looks like city school superintendents now have the job security of an N.B.A. head coach. Last week, Los Angeles city schools ousted their school head, and yesterday, the Detroit School Board removed Connie Calloway of her duties as head of the city's school district as reported by the Detroit Free Press. Calloway has been blamed for the financial issues of the troubled school district, and was only on the job for 18 months.

In these tough times, bottom line accomplishments is all that matters.

Obama Taps Arne Duncan As Education Secretary

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that President-elect Barack Obama will nominate Chicago public schools chief Arne Duncan to be his Education Secretary. Duncan's bio is listed below:

Arne Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, majoring in sociology. He was co-captain of Harvard's basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American. From 1987-1991, Mr. Duncan played professional basketball in Australia, where he also worked with children who were wards of the state.

Duncan returned to Chicago in 1992 to direct the Ariel Education Initiative, which seeks to create outstanding educational opportunities for inner-city children on the City's South Side. In 1998, he joined the Chicago Public Schools.
In June, 2001, Mayor Richard M. Daley named Duncan Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools.

Duncan currently serves on the Boards of the Ariel Education Initiative, Chicago Cares, The Children's Center, the Golden Apple Foundation, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Jobs for America's Graduates, Junior Achievement, the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Foundation, Renaissance Schools Fund, Scholarship Chicago and the South Side YMCA.

He also serves on the Board of Overseers for Harvard College and the Visiting Committees for Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. He was a fellow in the Leadership Greater Chicago's class of 1995, and a member of the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellowship Program, Class of 2002. He has received honorary degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Lake Forest College and National Louis University.

In 2006, the City Club of Chicago named Duncan Citizen of the Year.

This is one of Obama's most critical appointments, as our educational system is in shambles especially in our inner cities. Duncan, is a basketball buddy of the president-elect, here's hoping that Duncan is up to the task.

Barkley Rips Alma Mater For Not Hiring Black Football Coach

Former NBA basketball player turned sports analyst and social commentator, Charles Barkley, has ripped his Alma Mater Auburn University for not hiring a black head football coach who he felt was qualified for the position. Auburn hired Gene Chizik who went 5-19 in his only coaching experience at Iowa State, instead of a black coach Turner Gill whose record is 15 - 22 at Buffalo State. Barkley stated the following:

“It’s a comment on Auburn. It’s a comment on the state of Alabama,” Barkley said Monday night. “I just feel sadness because you know what people think of the South and Alabama, things like that. And you just hope that at some point, that people are going to say we’re going to change this. Or it’s just going to stay status quo.”

Charles Barkley is one of the few ex-athletes who will openly speak about race issues. Whether you agree or disagree with him, he calls it likes he sees it. Thanks to the Atlanta Journal Constitution for the article.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Unanswered Questions

The weekend has passed, and the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich arrest scandal still simmers with no real answers from our President-elect Barack Obama regarding who on his team spoke with the embattled governor about the now vacant Senate seat in Illinois. writes about the "unanswered questions" from the president-elect. It's already been confirmed that incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with the Illinois Gov about the vacant Senate seat.

If Blagojevich doesn't resign within the next few days, Obama needs to simply address the ongoing issues of who spoke with Blagojevich, and go about working on his transition to the presidency.

Google to Digitize Ebony and Jet Archives

The Chicago Tribune reports that Google will be digitizing archives of Ebony and Jet magazine in a partnership with Johnson Publishing Company. Currently issues published after 1960 can be viewed at Google Book Search.
I must admit that I never knew that this existed. School aged kids looking to do research can read an entire older issues of the magazines on their computer. Amazing!.

Michelle Supports Defense Secretary Gates

The New York Daily News is reporting that Robert Gates, who's staying on as Secretary of Defense has a friend in Michelle Obama. The incoming First lady is said to be deeply moved with Gates' penchant for sending personal handwritten letters to families of troops killed in action. Michelle Obama is too smart not to have heavy influence on her husband's decision making. I'm sure she'll continue to work behind the scenes, and ultimately find her own niche and sphere of influence within the Obama administration.

Trillion Dollar Stimulus

Reuters is reporting that the once projected $600 billion stimulus package being projected by President-elect Barack Obama, may reach $1 trillion. I thought that welfare as we knew it, had ceased to exist. These numbers just keep getting larger and larger.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Plot Thickens!

While "Candidate 5" has steadfastly stated that he wants no part of "pay for play" political schemes, it appears that some of his close allies including his brother Jonathan have recently been maintaining pretty close contact with embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich according to the Chicago Tribune. The following is a snippet from the article:

Blagojevich made an appearance at an Oct. 31 luncheon meeting at the India House restaurant in Schaumburg sponsored by Oak Brook businessman Raghuveer Nayak, a major Blagojevich supporter who also has fundraising and business ties to the Jackson family, according to several attendees and public records.

Two businessmen who attended the meeting and spoke to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity said that Nayak and Blagojevich aide Rajinder Bedi privately told many of the more than two dozen attendees the fundraising effort was aimed at supporting Jackson's bid for the Senate. Among the attendees was a Blagojevich fundraiser already under scrutiny by federal investigators, Joliet pharmacist Harish Bhatt.

That meeting led to a Blagojevich fundraiser Saturday in Elmhurst, co-sponsored by Nayak and attended by Jesse Jackson Jr.'s brother, Jonathan, as well as Blagojevich, according to several people who were there. Nayak and Jonathan Jackson go back years and the two even went into business together years ago as part of a land purchase on the South Side.

Interesting article on the back room deals being made in Chicago political circles. It really looks like Jackson Jr. was going to be appointed by the governor, and federal authorities brought the hammer down on Blagokevich to prevent that from happening. Jesse Jackson Jr. may not have known what was happening behind the scenes, but obviously some close friends of his were working diligently on his behalf. All of the hard work may have been for nothing, and possibly ended Jackson Jr.'s chance at a very coveted seat in the United States Senate.

Mayor Dixon Decides To Give Raise To Charity

In a follow up to a story posted yesterday, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has now decided to give her raise to charity according to the Baltimore Sun. Dixon stated yesterday:

"I woke up this morning and said, 'You know what? It is not worth it,'" Dixon said. She said she hopes the decision will help "get things moving forward and stay focused on the bigger plan."

Smart move, Mayor Dixon!

Jam Says Yes To "Time" Reunion and Possibly Janet

James Harris III, better know as Jimmy Jam of the famed music production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis gave an interview with and Lee Bailey, disclosing that he's presently working with his old group the Time on a new album. Jam says the following:

“We’re in the studio right now putting the final touches on a brand new Time album – all the original members,” Jam said. “We’re having a great time. We’re getting along, which is amazing.”
“[That] led us to ‘We’re all still getting along, why don’t we put an album together?’” Jam continued. “So we’re having a great time and hopefully at the beginning of the year, you’ll hear some brand new Time music.”

It's been 18 years since the Time has released an album with it's original members, so the wait is long overdue. During the interview, Jimmy Jam also hinted that the duo may reunite with their "go to person" Janet Jackson in the future, stating:

“We’re not perfect,” he said of the Jam & Lewis team. “We don’t always make the right decisions. We’ve done records in our time, luckily not many, but we’ve done some that weren’t the best records to do. We went into all the records with good intentions though. You don’t go into it saying, ‘Ooh, I’m going to make a bad record.’ You go in to make a great record. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We had mad records together for 20 years and she decided to go a different direction and I applaud her for it. I want to see her successful in whatever she does.”

“I think she’s anxious to do some work. And [The Time] is back together because we want to be together, not because we need to be together,” he said. “If we collaborate with Janet again, and by the way, I never thought that we wouldn’t collaborate again. Just because you work with another producer or decide to go the other way, that that closes the door of the possibility. We want to work with her and I think she wants to work with us and if that all happens, then that’s what we’re going to do.”

Jimmy Jam's, who is also chairman of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, honesty is refreshing. Here's hoping that both reunions have successful endings.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baltimore Mayor Keeping Raise

According to the Baltimore Sun, Mayor Sheila Dixon has maintained that she will keep her $3,700 pay increase, which raises her salary to $151,700 per year. When asked yesterday at a news conference whether she would donate her raise to charity, Dixon made the following statement, "To be honest with you, no, 2 1/2 percent, based on what I do seven days a week, 24 hours [a day], trying to raise a family, a daughter in college."

This has to be the ultimate act of selfishness for a public official. Especially with the city facing a budget shortfall and reductions in overtime for police and firemen. If she truly decides to keep the raise, I hope that Mayor Dixon enjoys her additional $71.15 per week in salary.

Can "Candidate 5" Still Become Senator?

As the Gov. Rod Blagojevich's scandal in Illinois continues to gain steam, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been identified in the complaint as being "Candidate 5" who according to the complaint through an emissary was willing to participate in a "pay to play" deal for the now vacant Senate seat once held by President-elect Barack Obama. Jackson Jr. who reportedly still wants the seat, has admitted to meeting with Blagojevich on this past Monday, and has hired an attorney for a scheduled meeting with federal officials on Friday.

Jackson Jr. held a news conference in Washington, D.C yesterday, but didn't answer questions. This revelation will throw a wrench in Jackson Jr.'s goal of being appointed to the Senate seat. It's expected that Blagojevich's power to appoint a successor to the position will be removed, and perhaps a special election will be held to fill the position. Jackson Jr. has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, but as they say in most cases perception is reality. The Chicago Tribune has additional information on the interesting happenings in the Windy City.

MJ Auctioning Off Personal Items

I guess the "King of Pop" has finally realized that if you're a famous singer, who hasn't released a hit record in a while and refuse to tour to generate income, the final option is probably going to be selling off personal items. That's what Michael Jackson has decided to do on April 21, 2009 according to

Jackson has agreed to auction more than 2,00o personal items including the gloves that he wore in his "Billie Jean" video and gates from his Neverland Ranch. He plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to MusiCares, a charitable organization founded by the Recording Academy to help musicians in need. Rumors have circulated for years that Jackson has been having a rough time financially.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Timing Is Everything!

By now everyone has heard, and read that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested yesterday along with his chief of staff in a what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald is describing as a political corruption crime spree. There are many charges being thrown at the governor, however, the juiciest and most damning is related to him attempting to sell President-elect Barack Obama's now vacant Senate seat "to the highest bidder." Obama for his part is not named in the complaint, but it's another Chicago association for which he'll undoubtedly have to answer questions. questions "Can Obama Escape The Taint of Blagojevich?" Federal wiretaps were placed at Blagojevich's office and recorded the following regarding the Senate seat:

In a discussion with his deputy governor Nov. 5, Blagojevich talks about getting an ambassadorship or a cabinet position (such as Secretary of Health and Human Services) in exchange for the Senate seat. The same day he said, "I've got this thing and it's f------ golden and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for f------ nothing. I'm not gonna do it."
Things don't appear to have gone well over the following days, however. On Nov. 10, Blagojevich allegedly held a conference call with his wife, close aides and a handful of Washington-based advisers in which he complains that the advisers are telling him he has to "suck it up" and give this "motherf----- [Obama] his senator. F--- him. For nothing? F--- him."

The discussion intimates that Blagojevich would be willing to give Obama his choice for the Senate seat at a price. None of this at this point appears to be sticking to Obama, but it's obvious that discussions had taken place between Blagovevich and people in Obama's camp. reports that Obama advisor David Axelrod now states that he was "mistaken" when he said in November that his boss had talked to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about Obama's Senate seat.

The Axelrod backtrack is really "not a good look" for the president-elect who was able to navigate through the Ayers, Wright, and Rezko associations out of Chicago. The Chicago political machine is infamous for it's corruption, and Obama rose to the presidency out of that machine. He's obviously has people in high paces watching his back, because if this arrest had taken place just 2 months ago, he may not have become the president-elect, and I'm pretty sure if it had occurred during the Democratic primaries, that he wouldn't have beaten Hillary Clinton.

Los Angeles School Superintendent Accepts Buyout

The Los Angeles Times reports that the contentious battle between the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and Supt. David Brewer has ended with the board agreeing to buyout Brewers contract for a reported $500,000. Brewer did his best to downplay the racial divisiveness that had developed with the following statement:

"As an African American, I've experienced my share of discrimination," he told reporters, school board members and district employees Monday. "I know what it looks like, smells like, and the consequences.""Although this debate is disconcerting and troubling, it must not become an ethnic issue. When adults fight, it can manifest itself in our children," said Brewer, the district's second African American superintendent. "This must not become an ethnic or racial battle that infests our schools, our campuses, our playgrounds. This is not about settling an old score; this must be about what is best for every LAUSD student."

Brewer, who wasn't any more than a figurehead in recent months did the right thing in accepting the buyout, and now the board can name his successor who can continue to do what's really important, continuing the business of educating the children of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oprah Admits That She Now Weighs 200 Pounds

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has always been brutally honest about her battle with weight control, and admits in the latest issue of "O" Magazine that she's now carrying 200 pounds on her 5 ft. 6in. frame. She also admits that she's gained 40 pounds in the last two years. She attributes the weight gain to a thyroid condition that made her develop a "fear of working out."

Oprah will discuss her weight gain on her show during the week of January 5th. Thanks to the Atlanta Journal Constitution for the article. Oprah's still a tremendous role model for all of us who are trying to live healthier lives.

Detroit Mother Accused Of Using 16 Year Old Daughter In Sex Party

Things continue to get creeper and creepier in our society, as a Detroit area mother is accused of using her 16 year-old daughter as a lure in a sex party that featured another 16 year old and 19 prostitutes according to the Detroit Free Press. The daughter was taken into protective custody, and the other minor released to her parents. Officers also confiscated three handguns and quantities of marijuana, ecstasy pills and heroin, along with several hundred dollars in cash. Approximately 10 vehicles also were impounded.

Baltimore Teen Shot Dead While Taking Fruit To A Neighbor

Ronald Jackson's mother never thought that by asking her son to carry grapefruit across the street to a neighbor on a Sunday night that it would be the last errand that he'd be able to do for her. Well unfortunately, that was the case as Ronald was shot 3 times and killed Sunday evening. He became Baltimore's 221st homicide victim, and the seventh in seven days, according to figures compiled by The Baltimore Sun. He is also the city's 25th juvenile homicide victim and the fifth 14-year-old slain this year, the figures show.

Another senseless killing on our city streets.

Jamie Foxx Back With "Intuition"

R&B Singer/Actor/Comedian Jamie Foxx releases his latest album next Tuesday titled "Intuition." According to Foxx enlisted such guests and producers as Kanye West, the-Dream and Tricky Stewart, Ne-Yo, Fabolous, Timbaland, Floetry's Marsha Ambrosius, T.I. and Lil Wayne. The first single "Just Like Me" features T.I..

Foxx's last album "Unpredictable" was released in 2005, and went double platinum. The music landscape has changed for the worse since then, and the single is presently resting at #22 on the Radio & Records Urban Airplay Charts after 3 weeks. Foxx essentially has 3 careers going at once, so his continuing to hustle at the music game is a testament to his drive to succeed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rev. Wright: "Obama Made A Bad Choice"

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that during a sermon yesterday that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright stated that President-elect Barack Obama made a "bad decision" in distancing himself from Wright and his church Trinity United Church of Christ, but that "He's still my child." Wright also took a few jabs at Elizabeth Hasselbeck of The View, whom — while not saying her name — twice referred to as a "broad," including once as "that dumb broad."

Rev. Wright knows that the president-elect did the only thing that he could do to keep his presidential hopes alive. He's famous because of the association to Obama, and I'm sure from time to time he'll continue to remind us that he's back from his long vacation.

"In Prison My Whole Life"

The Sundance Channel will be broadcasting a 2007 documentary regarding Mumia Abul-Jamal titled "In Prison My Whole Life" at 9 p.m. tonight. Abu-Jamal is presently facing life in prison for killing police officer William Faulkner on Dec. 9, 1981 in Philadelphia. Jamal, who was a member of the Black Panther Party and a local journalist, has consistently maintained his innocence, and continues to appeal the verdict some 27 years later.

Ellen Gray of the Philadelphia Daily News profiles the documentary and actually worked for the newspaper at the time of the killing, walking nightly by the scene of the killing at 13th and Locust street.

Obama: "It's Going To Get Worse"

President-elect Barack Obama appeared yesterday on "Meet The Press" and made a couple of statements about our economic situation that were about as honest as a leader can be in tough times. Obama stated the obvious in that the economy will probably get worse before it gets better, and issued a warning to the executives of "the big three" automakers by stating "If this management team that's currently in place doesn't understand the urgency of the situation and is not willing to make the tough choices and adapt to these new circumstances, then they should go."

The executives of "the big three" will probably not be running those companies if they're able to rebound leaner and meaner. If the government is loaning billions of dollars to a company it should have a say in who runs it. Thanks to the New York Post for the related article.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jesse Meeting With Laid Off Workers

Rev. Jesse Jackson is back to doing what he does best, helping those in need. Today he met with laid off workers of the Republic Windows and Doors plant in Chicago, who have refused to leave until they are guaranteed that they'll receive their severance package and vacation pay. The plant closed down on Friday after Bank of America pulled it's line of credit due to a downturn in business at the plant. 300 workers have been affected, and Jackson is trying to get Bank of America to reinstate the line of credit in an effort to save the jobs.

This is a perfect example of the three pronged effect of this economic downturn. Bank of America pulls the line of credit, the plant closes, and 300 people lose their jobs. This is too scary! Thanks to the Chicago Tribune for the update.

Barack's Diet

By now we all know the President-elect Barack Obama loves his daily basketball game, and that he has a very slight frame. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Obama eats a range of items from chicken wings and barbecue and ribs to grilled fish and steamed broccoli. He also has an affinity for MET-Rx chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew -- Black Forest Berry Honest Tea. According to the article, the president-elect prefers water over soft drinks, and also doesn't like ice cream.

It will be interesting to see how Obama's food menu expands once he has the White House chef at his disposal.

William Balfour: A Troubled Soul

William Balfour, who last week was charged with the slayings of 3 of Jennifer Hudson's family members, lived a life of instability, and as early as age 14 was arrested for heroin possession and possessing a stolen vehicle according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. Balfour entered this world with a family history of drug use, and violence. His grandmother was sent to prison in 1969 for manslaughter, and he had an aunt and uncle who were drug users.

Balfour's mother was rarely in his life as a teen, and his father was incarcerated. However, regardless of his tough upbringing and feelings of isolation, if Balfour is indeed guilty of the crimes that he's been charged with, an erratic upbringing isn't a license to kill.

How To Go Through $18.2 Million In 2 Years

If you think $18.2 million is a lot of money, and that it should last for a reasonable amount of time, Michael Vick has showed us that you can go through a small fortune while sitting in jail, and over a 2 year period. This is the amount of money that Vick reportedly went through between 2006 to 2008 according to documents filed recently in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Norfolk, Va. The day that he went to jail, Vick spent a total of $201,840, including the following payments: $99,000 for a Mercedes, $28,000 to the mother of his oldest child, and $16,000 to a friend.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has provided a detailed article on Vick's expenditures. I had the audacity to write a post about not dumping on the ex Atlanta Falcon, but after seeing how he went through a small fortune, Michael Vick really needs to have his head examined and should have used an insanity defense in his dog fighting case.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Play-N-Skillz Surprised By Grammy Nomination

I've always been intrigued my music production duos. The production duo Play-N-Skills two brothers from Irving, Texas, are one of the hottest production duos in music today. They first gained prominence after winning a Grammy last year for Chamillionaire's "Ridin" (Dirty). This year that received another Grammy nod for producing Lil Wayne's "Got Money". They tell that the track wasn't even supposed to appear on "Tha Carter III," which is nominated for Album of the Year.

The brothers state that the original track was accidentally erased by the engineer, and after rerecording it, they had T-Pain sing the chorus, the track was given to Lil Wayne and the rest is history. Good to see these brothers living their dream.

When Using Nebraska's Safe Haven Law Became A Mistake

Teri Martin thought she was doing the best thing for her adopted 13 year-old son when she decided to transport him to Nebraska to take advantage of Nebraska's Safe Haven Law, which allows parents to essentially abandon their children without fear of prosecution. As a result of that decision, Teri Martin and her husband Terrence are now facing a trial for neglecting all 4 of their children on December 12th according to the Detroit Free Press. Teri Martin is also barred from the home and only allowed one hour of supervised visits per week.

Teri Martin described a 13 year-old boy who set fires, got expelled from schools and was being recruited by gangs. Martin did say that after she delivered her son to the Nebraska hospital, she knew that she'd made a mistake. What happened to parents taking responsibility for their children. If a 13 year-old is already having issues, how can dropping him off at a Nebraska hospital, 700 miles from home, make things better.