Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama for President

On Wednesday June 20th, 2007, I officially endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States. At the time I was impressed by his ability to break through the cynicism typically associated with politics. Today, I am awestruck not by the way Barack Obama has broken through the cynicism of politics, but the way he has inspired a generation of young Americans often associated with words like superficial, narcissistic and careless. Truly, the fervor that Senator Obama has tapped into among young professionals, college students, athletes and entertainers is quite remarkable. What I find even more moving is the enthusiasm he is generating among young African-Americans often associated with words such as thug, hopeless and lost. Barack Obama, in the course of his campaign, has re-discovered a so-called “lost” generation of inner-city youth who, through him, have re-discovered a sense of purpose in themselves and faith in this nation. My experiences with these young people over the past several months prompted me to write this final appeal to the American people, just four days before the national election, to ask you join me in voting for Barack Obama on November 4th.

“Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Obama could run, Obama is running so our children can fly! Fwd to 15 ppl Ensure Change.” – Text Message (Sent by 19 yr old single mother, McKeesport, PA)

I received that text message about 9pm on a friday night a few weeks ago. It was my “Aha Moment”, that something truly amazing was happening before my eyes. Suddenly I started to notice the young guys with the oversized baseball caps, low hanging pants and colorful sneakers wearing Barack Obama t-shirts. At the corner store or the club I found myself talking politics with people who never watched a political debate prior to September 26th. Soon I met an incredible group of young people doing voter registration, knocking on doors and making phone calls to get out the vote. This inspiring group of individuals includes: teen-age mothers, Job Corps students and the formerly incarcerated. Most will admit that this will be first election they will ever vote in. Many were not registered themselves until this month and never cared about politics until very recently. I have watched these young people transform from devout apathy to believing that they can truly make difference in their troubled communities. For the first time in many of their lives, they have hope and faith in their futures and are ready to serve a cause greater than themselves.

“Obama for mankind, we ready for damn change so y’all let man shine”! – Young Jeezy from the song “My President”

Over the last 10 to 20 years, many leaders have tried unsuccessfully to motivate young people from the inner city to overcome the many challenges they face. The vast majority of these appeals have fallen on deaf ears. Most young people have lost the reverence we once held for faith leaders, civic leaders and political leaders. If my generation ever had a leader it would have been Tupac Shakur, until now. Barack Obama has somehow inspired these young Americans and gained their confidence and respect. While the Al Sharpton’s, Jesse Jackson’s and Bill Cosby’s lectures have alienated our young people at times, Obama has found a way to embrace them and be a role model. Barack Obama is making it “cool” for our young people to be intellectual, articulate and poised. This is significant for a generation of young people who often view these qualities as negative traits. He is uniquely positioned to challenge our young people to be better parents, active citizens and future leaders. Senator Obama appears to be our best hope to help rescue these young people from the perils of poverty, crime and low expectations. I cannot imagine a more noble cause in these days and times.

Over the last two decades, inner city youth have been demonized, chastised and written off. To be fair, these young people bear just as much responsibility as their elders for the many challenges they face. At a time when our future as a country is in doubt, it is inspiring to see our young people rising above their own cynicism and hopelessness. Even more moving than that is the way our youth have embraced Senator Obama’s qualities and see their own potential for excellence through him. We have a unique opportunity to seize this moment in our country’s history. A vote for Senator Obama is a vote our young people who have been cast away and forgotten. It is a vote for excellence, intelligence and service. It is a vote for responsibility, respect and hope. It is a vote for lost generation that has been found.

- Khari Mosley is the Democratic Chairman of Pittsburgh's 22nd Ward

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell sets the record straight.

Colin Powell in his own words:

"I know both of these individuals very well now. I've known John [McCain] for 25 years, and I've gotten to know Mr. Obama quite well over the past two years. Both of them are distinguished Americans who are patriotic, who are dedicated to the welfare of our country. Either one of them, I think, would be a good president.

I have said to Mr. McCain that I admire all he has done. I have some concerns about the direction that the [Republican] Party has taken in recent years. It has moved more to the right than I would like to see it, but that's a choice the party makes.

And I've said to Mr. Obama, "You have to pass the test of, do you have enough experience, and do you bring the judgment to the table that would give us confidence that you would be a good president?"

And I've watched them over the past two years, frankly, and I've had this conversation with them. I have especially watched, over the last six or seven weeks, as both of them have really taken a final exam with respect to this economic crisis that we are in, and coming out of the conventions.

And I must say that I've gotten a good measure of both. In the case of Mr. McCain, I found that he was a little unsure as to how to deal with the economic problems that we're having, and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem. And that concerned me. I got the sense that he didn't have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had.

And I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She's a very distinguished woman, and she is to be admired. But at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made.

On the Obama side, I have watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period. And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge, and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I think, is ready to be president on day one. And also, in not just jumping in and changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well.

I also believe that on the Republican side over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party and Mr. McCain has become narrower and narrower. Mr. Obama, at the same time, has given us a more inclusive, broader reach into the needs and aspirations of our people. He's crossing lines -- ethnic lines, racial lines, generational lines. He's thinking about all villages have values, all towns have values -- not just small towns have values.

I've also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Senator McCain has taken recently -- or his campaign ads -- on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about.

This Bill Ayers situation that's been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign, but Mr. McCain says that he's a washed-out terrorist. Then why do we keep talking about him? And why do we have these robo-calls going on around the country, trying to suggest that because of this very, very limited relationship that Senator Obama has had with Mr. Ayers, somehow Mr. Obama is tainted? What they're trying to connect him to is some kind of terrorist feelings. And I think that's inappropriate.

Now I understand what politics is all about. I know how you can go after one another. And that's good. But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for.

I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be looking at in a McCain administration.

I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said: such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is he is not a Muslim; he's a Christian, has always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, "What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?" The answer's "No, that's not America." Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he's Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery. And she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards -- Purple Heart, Bronze Star; showed that he died in Iraq; gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross. It didn't have a Star of David. It had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Kahn, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could go serve his country, and he gave his life.

Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as non-discriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that within the party we have these kinds of expressions.

So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time?

And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities -- and we have to take that into account -- as well as his substance. He has both style and substance. He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.

I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world -- onto the world stage, onto the American stage and for that reason, I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama."


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama Hits Hard post-debate

Obama responds with a post-debate zinger!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's unanimous!

On Fox, pollster Frank Luntz asked his group to raise their hands who won, and overwhelmingly, the group gave the victory to Obama. "This is a good night for Barack Obama," Luntz said.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grateful Dead for Obama

"Tie-dyed T-shirts and political slogans made for a heady mixture as the four surviving members of the rock band Grateful Dead put on a concert in support of Barack Obama."

For the whole story:

Friday, October 10, 2008

The GOP's bubble might have burst...

From the New York Times:

A committee investigating Gov. Sarah Palin found that she unlawfully abused her authority in firing Walter Monegan, right, the state’s public safety commissioner.

Uh oh...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate Night in America

Tonight, the Presidential candidates will share the stage at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. With the polls continuing to shift in favor of Senator Obama, look for Senator McCain to try a "game-changing event" to stop the bleeding. Recent Real Clear Politics show Obama making gains not only in national polls but in state by state polls as well. Look for McCain to continue to attack Obama on his associations with people like Williams Ayers & Jeremiah to compromise his credibility. Look for Obama to continue to hammer the economy again and again. If there are no game-changers advantage Obama, if there is a game-changer it means that either McCain is on the comeback or Obama is headed toward a landslide victory. Stay Tuned.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Birth Of An Industrial Evolution

Not too long ago, Pittsburgh was one of the greatest industrial hubs in the history of the world. Mills and factories employing hundreds of thousands workers once lined the banks of the Ohio, Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers. Back in the 1860 and 1870s, new technologies allowing for the mass-production of steel from molten pig iron were being developed and Pittsburgh made itself into the steel producing capital of the world.

Today, the mills and factories that once lined the city's three glorious rivers are gone and some say Pittsburgh's best days are behind us. I say Pittsburgh's best days could be right around the corner. I believe that we have the same type of opportunity our fore-bearers did in the 1860s and 1870s. Instead of investing in heavy rail, coal and building polluting factories, we can create a green industrial revolution that will invest in a new economy that will provide opportunity for all people, while protecting our fragile environment.

Pittsburgh appears to be once again at the crossroads of history. Leaders and citizens from all walks of life are plugging in to the green jobs movement. Yesterday, as part of Green For All's Green Jobs Day of Action hundreds of Pittsburghers participated in the day long series of activities. The day began with speakers, including nationally renowned poet Vanessa German addressing a diverse crowd of grassroots activists, environmentalists, high school students and concerned citizens. We then boarded buses headed for The Healcrest Urban Farm and G-Tech's Larimer Site for hands-on activities. In the afternoon, a rally was held with a number of community leaders and elected officials including City Councilmembers Bill Peduto & Patrick Dowd, State Representatives Joe Preston & Chelsa Wagner and City Controller Michael Lamb. It is refreshing to know we have elected officials who we can count on as allies in this effort to bring green jobs to Pittsburgh.

Don't get it twisted, the politicians weren't the only folks in the house, luminaries such as Christiane D of Soma Mestizo, Paradise Gray from X-Clan/1 Hood and DJ Supa C came through to support the cause. Paradise even got on the mic to hype up the crowd to the chorus of "I'm Ready", as Supa C dropped several classic instrumentals turing Penn Avenue in East Liberty into a makeshift amphitheater. Afterwards I was talking to my homie Franchise, local MC and community organizer. He said to me,
"I listened to speeches and read a lot of material that was being handed out. I never knew the situation was so serious with the environment. At the same time, I didn't know about these solar panels and these green jobs. If we could bring green jobs to the hood, we could deal with the violence and poverty, by giving cats an opportunity to get off the block".

Shouts to everyone who participated in Pittsburgh's Green Jobs Day of Action! Job Well Done.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sarah Soundbite?

Over the past week or so, it seems like Sarah Palin is proving to be more of a One-Hit Wonder than the full package the Governor is being presented as. The media appears weary of the way the McCain campaign is "handling" her, or some would say out right barring her from any uncontrolled interaction with the press. During a clumsy interview with Charlie Gibson, the so-called "Barracuda" was more like a robot repeating pre-programmed responses or a 1980s pop-star doing the 200,000th rendition of their one hit song, pretty uncomfortable to watch.

This week Sarah Soundbite topped herself in her interview with Katie Couric on CBS. I'm not going to ruin it for you, check it out yourself:

Watch CBS Videos Online

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Harry Belafonte on the dream, a King and a man who could be President.

This video was taken on August 28th, 2008, the day Barack Obama accepted the democratic nomination, 40 years to the day Martin Luther King gave his "I Have A Dream Speech". Mr. Belafonte, a close friend of Dr. King, took a moment to give his thoughts about the significance of the moment and his hopes for the future, while traveling through my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For information about Harry Belafonte's most recent project "The Gathering for Justice" click here

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Every Superhero Needs Theme Music

From Hip Hop DX:
"It's no secret that many musicians have backed Senator Barack Obama in the race for The White House. Although many have already released songs in support of the Senator, plans are also set to release an entire album to show solidarity on the side of Obama.

Yes We Can: Voices of a Grassroots Movement is the presumed title of the project, said to include artists including Kanye West, John Legend, Jill Scott, and others. It will be available for digital download at $24.99 and $30 for the actual CD through Hidden Beach Recordings. Proceeds will benefit the Obama campaign."

The Obama Campaign purchased the rights to the CD and they have it for sale on their site,, along with a small statement.

"Through their musical contributions, the artists seek to mobilize voters in the final stretch before the November election. Many of the artists involved will also be volunteering their time to promote voter registration."

Here is one of the stellar tracks on the compilation, "Promised Land" featuring Malik Yusef with Kanye West and Adam Levine of Maroon 5

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Re-Birth of a Nation.

“We know all too little about the factors that affect the attitudes of the peoples of the world toward one another. It is clear, however, that color and race are at once the most important and the most enigmatic.” - John Hope Franklin
Over the last 24 hours, an explosive issue has begun to creep back into the national political conscience. This issue has played a central role in American politics since the 18th century and could decide the presidential election on November 4th. As reported yesterday a recent poll suggests that up to 1 in 3 white democrats may not vote for Barack Obama due to racial biases they hold against African-Americans. Today, a Chicago Sun-Times article on the poll went on to say:

"Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks -- many calling them ''lazy,'' ''violent'' or responsible for their own troubles. The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 -- about 2.5 percentage points. Certainly, Republican John McCain has his own obstacles: He's an ally of an unpopular president and would be the nation's oldest first-term president. But Obama faces this: 40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents. More than a third of all white Democrats and independents -- voters Obama can't win the White House without -- agreed with at least one negative adjective about blacks, according to the survey, and are significantly less likely to vote for Obama than those who don't have such views."

“I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races - I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office.” - Abraham Lincoln

My friend Selena Zito, wrote an interesting column in the conservative leaning Pittsburgh Tribune-Review entitled "The States of the Unions", exploring the challenges unions in Ohio and Pennsylvania are facing to get members to vote for Barack Obama. PA State AFL-CIO President Bill George is quoted in the article as saying:

"There is no question, earlier in the primary campaign the racial issue was there, just like the gender issue was with Hillary for some unions," he says."We in America like to think we don't have any hang-ups or stereotypes. But because of our history and because of a lot of industrial psychology controlling the masses, people have innate prejudices."

Ben Smith & Avi Zenilman of Politico.Com weighed in on the re-emergence of race as an issue in this election:

"It may not be in Obama's political interests, but the national conversation on race may have just begun. But if Democrats hope to muffle a discussion of race, which polling and reporting have long suggested is a crucial factor in swing states, discussion of it also carries risks for the Republican nominee. McCain has largely steered clear of anything that could be interpreted as race-baiting, and the Republican Party earlier this year warned its officials to stay on message on the sensitive topic".

“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The article reminds us that during the democratic primary in New Hampshire when asked "if he would launch another "national conversation about race." Obama responded in the negative. "I'm less interested in a conversation about race in the abstract," he said. "All the self-flagellation, it's not useful. African-Americans get all riled up, and whites get defensive.""

A short two months later, he gave his historic address on race in Philadelphia. He may find himself giving a similar address in a battleground state in the weeks to come.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Race Matters.

What happens when the party that has portrayed itself as a champion for civil rights, diversity and other issues of import to African-Americans, does not close the deal for Barack Obama? This is a storyline yet to be explored in the general election scenario.

What happens if rust-belt and rural democratic strongholds perform considerably poorer than the past two elections? I predict a disastrous post-election backlash from people of color, young people and the left wing of the party. What began as a slam dunk for the democrats could very well turn into the worst implosion down the stretch since the 2007 NY Mets.

Today, a poll came out suggesting that up to 1 in 3 White Democrats may not vote for Obama based on racial bias. Here is a sample of the results:

"Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama,” By Ron Fournier and Trevor Tompson: “Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo! News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks … The poll suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about two and one-half percentage points. …

“More than a third of all white Democrats and independents — voters Obama can't win the White House without — agreed with at least one negative adjective about blacks, according to the survey, and they are significantly less likely to vote for Obama than those who don't have such views."

For many people this is not a revelation, but a validation of their concerns, fears and frustrations about race in America. We'll see how far this country has come on November 4th.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Public Expression or Propaganda?

Doctored pictures of John McCain that recently surfaced on renowned photographer Jill Greenberg's website have started a furor and sparked outrage from the GOP nominee's supporters and the "independent"media. The pics, shot for the October cover of the Atlantic Monthly, were later "photoshopped" capturing several very unflattering visuals (see above) of John McCain and caused one helluva firestorm in the process.

The text below is from Slate.Com
"The Atlantic offered an apology to John McCain this week after the photographer for the October cover, Jill Greenberg, posted doctored pictures of the Republican nominee on her personal Web site. It also emerged that Greenberg, a fierce anti-Republican, had photographed McCain for the magazine while he stood over a deliberately unflattering green light. In 2006, Jim Lewis discussed whether "the photographer who makes kids cry" unfairly exploits her subjects."

This a sample of what the Atlantic Monthly had to say about it:
Editors' Note
"We stand by the respectful image of John McCain that we used on our cover, and we expect to be judged by it. We were not aware of the manipulated and dishonest images Jill Greenberg had taken until this past Friday. When we contract with photographers for portraits, we don't vet them for their politics—instead, we assess their professional track records. We had never worked with Jill Greenberg before (and, obviously, we will not work with her again). Based on the portraits she had done of politicians like Arnold Schwarzenegger and her work for publications like Time, Wired, and Portfolio, we expected her, like the other photographers we work with, to behave professionally. Jill Greenberg has obviously not done that. She has, in fact, disgraced herself, and we are appalled by the manipulated images of John McCain she has created for her Web site."

We're still 40-some days out and the circus has not even truly started.

A New Way To Watch The News!

A locally grown, but nationally known emcee/activist/spiritual leader started dropping the news via hip-hop recently. This Week with Jasiri X kicked off in incredible fashion, combining politics, pop culture, sports and of course, lyrics.

Check out the Keith Olberman of Street Soldierin'

Stay tuned!

Week 1

Week 2

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not to switch topics, but...

Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That's why the U.S. Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing "thought helmets" that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will "lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone.

From Mark Thompson's article entitled: "The Army's Totally Serious Mind Control Project"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Obama Hits Back

For all you Democrats that wanted Barack to hit back, you got your wish.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bram & The Trib weigh in on Ford-Gate.

Today, Bram from the Pgh Comet & The Tribune Review weighed in on the growing suspicion around the administration and its' dealings with the URA. There seems to be a rising tide of questions about how business is being done on Grant Street. Expect a larger chorus of interrogators to descend on the 5th Floor of the City County Building with questions about corruption in the Ravenstahl Administration. Whether the allegations are true, the deeper scrutiny into city affairs will provide a level of transparency that in the end will benefit not only city government itself, but more importantly the taxpayers who support it.

The Trib pulled no punches today in an editorial entitled: A putrid deal: Hush Money It starts off a little something like this...

"Is the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh a corrupt criminal enterprise? Is the administration of Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl? We are forced to ask these serious questions in light of activities that reasonable people could conclude suggest both."

If you thought the intro was juicy check out the conclusion...

"Now, the URA will pay Pat Ford six months beyond his contract expiration to prevent him from making further public allegations and from filing a lawsuit. Well, if Ford's allegations are baseless, and therefore reckless, why's he being paid off? And what was Ford going to sue for? He wasn't terminated, he quit, under an ethics cloud, and he's not even in town anymore. This deal is putrid. Somebody's hiding something. Who? And what? Both are great questions for a grand jury."

This morning Mr. Bram from the Pgh Comet provided us with a Keith Olbermann-esque analysis and call to action for all citizen's of Pittsburgh.

"We must make ready to shoulder this burden on our own. Whatever entreaties ought be facilitated to higher authorities have been facilitated already. There's no profit in waiting on avenging angels to do our dirty work.

We should all conduct ourselves as though We the People are the sole arbiters of justice. That should be more than sufficient to throw off this yoke of infantile and self-serving gall.

Woe betide any clique, or Committee, or Conference that dares run interference on behalf of the sordid old status quo in Pittsburgh. Change is inevitable -- fundamental change. The occasion for it is the stale and increasingly ludicrous sameness championed by the callow functionaries presently inhabiting our City Hall.

The levees of machine politics are topping, and they will break soon or sooner still. It only remains to be seen who will be on the leading edge of this change -- who will be scrambling to catch up to it -- and who will be left behind."

Are these voices a militant minority of Luke-Haters? Or does this reflect a bigger problem for the Mayor as the 2009 primary nears. STAY TUNED.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"I would be surprised if they're not already investigating."

From all outward appearances, the grenade Doug Shields tossed across the 5th floor of the City-County building has started something more than just a "small skirmish". It seems like the battle lines are drawn and the troops are lining up in formation.

City Controller Michael Lamb is saying things like, "if the "non-disparagement" clause in the unwritten settlement prohibits Ford from talking to him about an audit of how the URA awards contracts, Lamb will file a legal challenge in an attempt to invalidate it. When asked about federal and state investigations Mr. Lamb said, "I would be surprised if they're not already investigating." Those are ominous signs if you ask me. Foreshadowing for all you poet laureates out there.

In the meantime, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl yesterday issued the following statement in response to Council President Shields' letters to the U.S. Attorney and the state Attorney General:

"Doug Shields has forgotten that he was sent to Council to do the people's business, not to promote a political agenda focused on hurting me and aggrandizing himself. As he has communicated to others in the back offices of City Council, he is using his public office in an attempt to hurt people politically, personally and professionally. While my administration and I have been getting the work of the City done, cleaning our neighborhoods, fixing our finances, fighting crime, and resolving potential lawsuits to protect City taxpayers, he has been playing political games. Shame on him.

Over the last two years, through an underwhelming run for citywide office, Shields' use of public funds to advance his political agenda, and his erratic and unprofessional behavior on Council, he and his cohorts have embarrassed themselves, their public offices and this City.

Shields' actions are cheap, ill-motivated and just plain wrong. I have full faith that the people of Pittsburgh see right through Shields, to the truth. It is time for Shields and company to stop playing politics and get back to the business of the City."

Say what you will about Doug Shields, you can bet he knows how to make a Mayor's life a living hell via the Council President's office. Remember this guy helped orchestrate the classic O'Connor vs. Murphy battles in city hall. I can bet this will get more interesting, before it gets less interesting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Doug Shields takes the nuclear option.

As reported by Bob Mayo: Council President Doug Shields has sent requests in writing to US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan and PA Attorney General Tom Corbett to investigate city development affairs. Details to follow.

Wow! That's pretty extreme, don't you think? Looks like the gloves are off down on Grant Street.

More from the P-G: Pittsburgh Council President Doug Shields formally asked the U.S. Attorney and the state Attorney General to investigate city development affairs today, in the wake of yesterday's settlement between the Urban Redevelopment Authority and its former executive director, Pat Ford.

More from the Burgh Report

In the letter addressed to PA Attorney General Tom Corbett and US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, Council President Shields wrote, "With serious allegations of illegal activity acknowledged in writing and nearly $100,000 taxpayer dollars being used in conjunction with what is effectively a gag order on the people raising the allegations, the time has come to put rumor and innuendo to rest and get to the truth. It has become imperative that a fulsome inquiry be conducted because it is only under oath that this matter can be definitively resolved."

What more can I say?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pastor Problem?

Looks like Sarah Palin might have a pastor problem these days. Check it out

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lipstick on a Pig?

Over the last day or so, Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment has been all over the airwaves. Many wonder if it will have a real impact on the voters, especially working class, older and independent women voters in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania & Ohio.

Will the voters fall for Pig-Gate!

Monday, September 8, 2008

McCain up 10 in Gallup poll?

What the hell's goin' on out here?

Today's USA Today Gallup Poll has McCain up 10% among likely voters, up 4% among registered voters. This is an interesting turn of events when you consider a number of things:

- Obama's nomination speech vs. McCain's nomination speech
- The Obama campaign's VP search vs. the McCain campaign's VP search
- The Democrat's Convention vs. The Republican's Convention

Personally I am baffled. If you examine the three things I just mentioned, any reasonable human being would agree the Dems did better in all three areas. What does this mean? Is the GOP that good? Do they understand the psyche of the American people better? The real question is: Does Sarah Palin really boost the GOP's ticket? Based on recent polling it appears so. At the same time this could be an aberration, but if not the next 50 some odd days will be a helluva fight.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

5 Predictions for the NFL season

As I sit in front of my TV about to watch the kick-off of the NFL season, I am super excited. I truly believe that pro football is the best sport ever invented. The combination of teamwork, strategy and intensity is unparalleled in the world of sport. As you all know, early September begins with hope and promise for 32 teams, only to end in ultimate glory for one team in February 2009 at the Super Bowl. Along with the hope and promise, come the predictions and prognosticators. It is always fun to look back later in the year and make fun of the predictions that were way off and salute the predictions that were dead on. In the spirit of the new season I'm going to get in on the fun, so to speak. So here it is...My top 5 predictions for the NFL season.

5. AFC Championship Game: Pittsburgh vs. San Diego. Roethlisberger and Rivers, now seasoned vets will begin to take their place among Brady and Manning as super elite QBs in the AFC.

4. Chad Johnson will get traded to Oakland. First of all, I refuse to refer to him by his new ridiculous last name. Secondly a true class act like Marvin Lewis (from Western PA, by the way) won't tolerate Chad's foolishness for long. Lastly, Al Davis is only guy in the NFL who will tolerate that kind of foolishness.

3. Favre will take the Jets to the divisional round. The NY media machine will ride the Favre express until early January, overshadowing underachiever turned overachiever Eli Manning. Once the Jets gets dispatched, Madison Ave will refocus on the defending Super Bowl Champs, who will make it to the NFC Championship Game.

2. NFC Championship Game: New York vs. Dallas. Manning and Romo will continue a duel that could become the Steve Young/Troy Aikman rivalry of this era.

1. Adrian Peterson will break the single season rushing record. I feel like there isn't much to explain, if you have seen him play you know what I'm talking about. If not take look at this:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Trooper-Gate Drama in Alaska.

This could literally sink the McCain-Palin ticket. Apparently the results of the investigation are scheduled to be released on October 31st, the Friday before the national election. As time goes on, more holes are being poked into the Palin defense, it looks as if Palin's attorney is trying put the investigation in a holding pattern. One of Palin's staffers was scheduled to testify in front of the investigatory body, but under advisement from Palin's attorneys he did not show up.

Stay Tuned!

Monday, September 1, 2008

May be more to Palin scandal in Alaska.

The Palin corruption scandal may have some legs. If I was the GOP i'd want the focus to stay on the teen pregnancy story. Allegedly, the first term Governor used her office to pressure state employees to fire her former brother in law. The incident is under investigation and Governor Palin has retained an attorney.

Here's a link to a recent AP article:

Below is a Youtube that really breaks it down and raises red flags!

The Fall Sprint has begun...

I spent last week in the euphoria of the of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO. A week that started semi-shaky with loud grumblings from Clinton loyalists, ended in dramatic fashion with a unified and renewed democratic party, a party poised to dominate American politics for the next 25 years.

I first arrived in Denver just hours before the Joe Biden announcement. As I walked the then empty streets of Denver's growing western metropolis, I couldn't have anticipated the impact of the week's events.

Major highlight's included: SEIU's kickoff party, the CBC Insitute's party, the Youth Council's press conference, the America Votes/Catalist briefing, the Vote Hope luncheon, the Bus Project's block party, Planned Parenthood's party, Rock the Vote's Party and Joe Biden's address to the PA delegation on Thursday morning.

The most incredible thing about the week was the build up of momentum. On Sunday, Monday & Tuesday, things moved quite slow and there still was some sense of disunity in the party. But beginning on Wednesday a crescendo began to build culminating with Bill Clinton surgical masterpiece and Joe Biden's colorful oratory.

On Thursday morning it was clear. Democrats were unified and understand the importance of this election. Throughout the day, you could feel the energy in the city streets from Governors to Janitors to even the street vendors who selling t-shirts that said, "Black Man Running... And It Aint from the Police".

As I walked up to the stadium I was in complete awe. To be in a building filled with 90,000 women and men of all races, ages, lifestyles, income levels, religions and backgrounds waving flags, singing and dancing for the purpose to moving our country into a more enlightened age was deeply humbling. Yeah I said it, "waving flags, singing and dancing", it sounds corny until you're right in it. It makes you think
man, love of country can be a beautiful thing.

As I left out of the stadium, I felt a collective sense of purpose, unity and mission that I didn't feel on Monday and Tuesday. It wasn't until I watched the replay did I realize how amazing the event looked on TV. The imagery, the message and delivery places this event in the pantheon of great political rallies.

Now the hard work begins to ensure that last night is truly the beginning of a reawakening in this country, the birthing of a New America, a New World and brighter future for all of humanity.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I've been getting my bars up!

Yeah I know the posts have been spotty for a while, but I hope to find more time in the coming days to keep in touch with y'all in Diondega Land. In the meantime I've been getting my bars back up.

What does get your bars up mean?

It is a reference to when cell phones charge up and their "bars" get higher as the battery gains more energy. It is basically the same principle, but it also can mean to "step your game up" or "get your weight up", but that's a different webinar.

Anyway it means I'm back with a vengeance, like Luke Skywalker in Episode Six.

I have a lot to say about the Presidential Election, Facebook, the Olympics, Pineapple Express and the upcoming Mayor's in Pittsburgh (May 2009). It remains to be seen whether I'm gonna say something about'em in the public arena.

In the meantime I'm headed on a flight to the Bay and hope to check Star Wars Episode 2.5 "The Clone Wars" while i'm out there.

In the meantime, may the force be with you.

Dale Denton approved this message!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Political, but Politically Incorrect!!!

"The world is ready for change, cause Obama is here!" - Ludacris

The Atlanta based, by way of Chicago MC Ludacris dropped a joint called, "Politics" that is getting a lot of attention. Some are questioning will this a be another Rev. Wright moment, based on some of the controversial lines in the song such as:

- "Hillary hated on you, so that b-tch is irrelevant"
- "The only chair McCain should sit in is if he's paralyzed"
- "George Bush is mentally handicapped"

Well i'm not much for filling your head with my ideas, here is a sample of the song that you should hear more about in the days to come.

Well, i'm gonna editorialize a bit. I think this is pretty irrelevant. I am concerned about the misogyny not only in Hip Hop but in society in general. I think Ludacris could've been more tactful, but shit it's hip hop, it is not supposed to be politically correct. Oh well, I guess Ludacris f-cked up his shot to perform at the inaugural ball.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fresh off the plane Konichiwa B--ches!!!

Turn around another plane my passport on pivot...

What's up world?

I'm continuing my crazy ass tour of the country. Right now i'm blogging from the Firewood Grill in San Francisco International Airport en route to Washington, DC.

Over the past couple days I've been building with the country's leading voices on green jobs. Very fruitful conversations with folks all committed to lifting people out of poverty while healing the planet. Real Talk for sure.

It's been real wild lately huh? I'm somewhat detached because I spend so much time on the road these days. This Presidential race got thrown for a loop by Barack Obama's vanglorious trip abroad. When was the last time an American has been so graciously received by our friends across the pond?

I've been listening to Nas' latest record, it's real tight. I think my homie Wendell Wade is right though, the beats could've been better. Nevertheless it is some good stuff.

On a somber note, I wanna send a shout out to Gloria Forouzan, we're praying for you and wish you a speedy recovery. Keep fighting!

Alright i'm about to take this red eye into Dulles, should be fun.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's Been A Long Time...

In all the excitement of my state by state travels on behalf of an unnamed group that pays my bills, I didn't realize I have not posted in like a month. WOW

Anyway a lot has been going on, too much to keep us with:

- A grassroots movement to draft a young, smart & scrappy State Rep from the South Hills to run against Mayor Luke
- Mayor Luke throwing the City Council President's hat into the ring
- Bram got interviewed by the Feds
- The bonus-gate scandal in Harrisburg, hold your head PJ!
- Jesse Jackson went gangsta rap on Barack (Must've been listening to that new Weezy too.)
- Barack Obama's about to embark on this biggest European tour featuring an American since David Hassellhoff
- The New Yorker cover
- Lil' Wayne sells over million records in a week, discusses the prison industrial and disses Al Sharpton in one fell swoop
- Nas releases the NWord Album to critical and underground acclaim

Well, all this stuff is very entertaining in some way or another. If this is just a preview of fall 2008 & the beginning of 2009, well keep blogging, taking videos and sharing your most private thoughts over the airwaves.

In the meantime, my homie State Rep Tony Payton is ringing my phone...

Could be some good stuff!!!

Until next time enjoy this selection from the Microphone Fiend Rakim Allah

- Rakim Lyrics

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Be Pro-Green!

Note: Before you begin, hit play on this you tube link...

In response to the climate crisis i'm starting the "Be Pro-Green Campaign" promoting random acts of sustainability to launch an industrial evolution.

This Evolution will be viral...

What does Pro-Green mean:
- Green Economic Development
- Green Land Use
- Clean Energy, Air and Water

The Roots Lyrics
Rising Down Lyrics

Friday, June 13, 2008

We lost a legend today y'all...

"Go get ‘em." That is how Tim Russert would wrap up his story conferences with reporters. The legendary moderator of Meet The Press died today in Washington, DC. He is a legend who will truly be missed. Nobody was more feared by leaders than Tim Russert on the hot seat, he will truly be missed.

Tim, GO GET'EM! We'll never forget you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Barack Obama's tribute to a dear friend...


I am writing to express my deepest sympathies on the loss of our friend Dwight White. On behalf of Michelle and our entire campaign family, I share my prayers with his family and friends today.

I came to know Dwight months ago, as he was one of my earliest supporters in Pennsylvania. I remember the excitement and the hope that he held for our future and the strong support he gave to me, to my staff and supporters throughout the past months. In the final days of the campaign here in Pennsylvania, Dwight and his fellow Steelers hopped on a bus and hit the road to stump for us in this great state. I will never forget his commitment to our cause and his incredible devotion not just to the Democratic Party, but to changing this country for the better.

I remember telling Dwight that coming from Hawaii I didn't have a home football team, so I always cheered on the Steelers. Dwight and I had a laugh over it then, but I always did feel that Dwight was on my team -- a friend who'd fight hard for what he believes in.

I will continue to keep his family in my prayers.


Barack Obama


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wouldn't you like to be a n-gger too?

I wrote about this a few months ago, when hip-hop icon Nas blew up the spot at the Grammys.

Over a month ago he dropped the lead single to his upcoming album "The N Word", a song called "Be A N-gger Too". This song caught a lot of flak, even from many in the hip-hop community. But just when you thought it was safe to be politically correct, Nas drops a short-film styled video to "Be A N-gger Too."

Very, very interesting and much more though provoking than you might have thought.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hillary hits a homerun.

Dear Senator Clinton:

Over the last several months, this primary campaign has driven to say some unflattering things about you and your campaign. I could roll out my laundry list of gripes but I'm going to take a page from your speech today and not look to the past. I will on focus on the amazing speech you gave today. I applaud your grace, spirit of unity and appeal to supporters to ensure a democrat takes the oath of office in January 2009. Hats off to you Senator, after that speech like Senator Obama said, "Senator Clinton is on anybody's short list for VP." I never thought I would say this, I can't wait to see you and Senator Obama sharing a stage at the first post-primary unity rally. Enjoy your vacation and be well, you made me proud to be an American today.

Good Night and Good Luck.

“Seeking to forget makes exile all the longer; the secret of redemption lies in remembrance.” - Richard von Weizsaecker

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'll mourn ya' 'til I join ya'!

Today I received a shocking email informing me of a tremendous loss to the Pittsburgh community. 4-time Super Bowl Champ Pittsburgh Steeler Dwight White passed away this morning in Pittsburgh. The details surrounding his death are not yet known, I'm truly devastated by the loss.

In the last year, Dwight has become a mentor and a teacher to me and a true example of how to transition from the NFL to the game of life. A few months ago we were together and we talked about how the Patriots blew their chance to be the best team ever, he then asked me "Do you know who the best team ever was," as he pointed at one of his 4 Super Bowl rings. He didn't have all 4 on, but I tell you that everyone needs to see a Super Bowl ring up close. Talk about Bling!

I will miss his spirit, sense of humor and his no nonsense approach to life, business and politics. I remember the early meetings we had with him to get on board with Barack Obama's campaign. He asked all the right questions and raised reasonable concerns. Nevertheless, we got him on board and he ran to be an Obama delegate in Pennsylvania's April 22nd Primary Election. I'll never forget seeing him on stage with Joy Woodruff, Dan Rooney, Senator Bob Casey and Franco Harris on the friday before the election in PA. I can't believe that would be the last time I would see him alive.

Steeler fans get your terrible towels and wave'em one time for Dwight, we'll never forget you Champ.

Pastor Manning's using his own delegate math.

Apparently he didn't get the memo.

I didn't know they had a video for this....

Just another reason that Ghostface is the best member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

"You're calling for a fair reflection to a flawed primary."

Michigan Senator Carl Levin says to Harold Ickes during DNC rules committee. If you're really into politics, the DNC is holding a hearing on whether or not to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations at the party's convention in August.

Highlights include Congressman Wexler's impassioned plea, Harold Ickes' interjections and Hartina Flournoy's interrogation.

New development! Carl Levin has threatened to take Michigan's case to the convention in Denver, effectively extending the primary until late August.

We'll what happens...

Friday, May 30, 2008

"A Lot of White People Were Crying!"

Barack Obama is proving to be the person who gets into more trouble for things other people say than anyone on Earth. Chicago Catholic Priest Michael Pfleger made some loaded comments from the pulpit this past Sunday at Trinity Church. A lot of media has been picking up on this, I think it is silly. How is this any different from people who were official Clinton surrogates (Bob Johnson, Geraldine Ferraro, Senator Clinton herself) This dude resigned from Obama's faith steering committee some time ago. I guess this is the last ditch effort to wrest the nomination from Obama, stay tuned to CSPAN for the DNC meeting on Saturday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

NY Governor pardons Slick Rick!

Some good news from Albany, NY. Newly appointed Governor David Patterson pardoned hip hop pioneer Slick Rick for a 1991 gun charge. In 1988 Slick Rick released, "The Great Adventures of Slick Rick", often considered one of the greatest hip hip albums of all-time. "La Di Dadi" and "The Show", two songs he performed as a member of Doug E. Fresh's GET FRESH CREW, are unquestionably considered two of the greatest hip hop songs of all-time.

Over the years, the native Brit has dealt with legal problems stemming from the fact he is not an American citizen. The full and unconditional pardon should allow Slick Rick to seek relief from deportation from the federal immigration courts.

Cheers to Slick Rick, a true genius, pioneer and innovator.

My Personal Tribute to Slick Rick THE RULER!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

On Vacation in Key West: Feeling It!

I'm on vacation in Key West, thank my wonderful girlfriend for the fabulous choice. I've never been here before, but now I'm like this is place I want to retire or leave Pittsburgh for. It's like a quasi-3rd World Island on the tip of America. I don't mean 3rd world in a demeaning way, I mean it as a complimentary contrast to the hustle and bustle of the industrial rustbelt where I hail from. I like the fact I can bike or walk everywhere. I see what Ernest Hemingway must've seen in this island back in the day. I would elaborate further but hey i'm in Key West, taking in the sights beats blogging!

“The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.” - Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For Hillary...

Senator Clinton,

You're not going to win. You can blame it on whatever you want: unfair media, caucus states or old fashioned American sexism. You can fight on, it doesn't matter; the primary is over. You fought a hard race, now it is time bow out gracefully, I mean this is getting silly. Especially your "spokesperson" Geraldine Ferraro, who reaches new lows on a daily basis. On the Today Show this morning, Congresswoman Ferraro tried to say Obama's "Brush the Dirt Off Your Shoulder Moment" was sexist. Come on, this is sad, this is quite pitiful. I mean cut the crap about fairness and unfairness, you keep trying to change the rules in the middle of game. You can't cry foul when you're the one bending the rules at your whim. Cut the crap about "the will of people", if the DNC overturns this election, YOU will have went against the will of the people. You are destroying the party and the Democrats first true "rock star" in almost 20 years. If you take this away from Obama you will turn the Democratic Party back 150 years. Go ahead do it, I'm begging you to. People will riot all the way to Mile High City and make sure you go down on November 4th. After that they will never support the Democratic Party ever again. Senator, I'm appealing to whatever sense you have left in your narrow minded ego maniacal head. Stop It, It's over. The Clock has struck 12. Please stop and preserve whatever legacy you have left going down the drain.

Sincerly Yours,


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Investigative Reports: Hillary Clinton, what type of f_ckery is this?

Definition of f_ckery:: Word of Jamaican Patois Origin

1. Nonsense; To make no sense; Bulls_it.

2. Absolute bulls_it; utter nonsense; something rather suspicious that can bring forth uneasy, angry, or irritated feelings. The stunt pulled by people who don't know how to tell the truth or enjoy messing with people's heads as a hobby.

3. Unrest due to an excess of bad vibes given off by dishonesty, stupidity, fiendish demenors, or f_ckerism.

4. Derived from the term f_ck. Basically, a situation that has changed from being good to a complete f_ck-up.

5. A descriptive word used when something is just plain wrong.

Yesterday I received the following f-ckery email:

from Hillary Clinton
date Sat, May 17, 2008 at 12:57 PM
subject Count every vote

Hillary for President

Dear Friend,

Michigan & Florida - Make Sure They Have a Voice!

Millions of voters in Florida and Michigan are depending on you to help make sure they have a voice in this race. Will you stand up for them today?

Thanks to your efforts, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people who have already spoken out, the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee is meeting May 31 to make a decision about whether or not the votes in Michigan and Florida will count.

Now I need you to urge the DNC to make the right decision on May 31. I need you to remind them that in the Democratic Party, we count every vote.

Tell the Democratic National Committee to count the votes of Florida and Michigan.

On May 31, the DNC has a chance to make it clear that the people of Florida and Michigan have a voice in our party. The decision is especially critical given the important role these states will play in November.

And your voice could make the difference for the millions of people who went to the polls in those two states to make their choice for president.

Stand with me today and tell the DNC to count the votes in Florida and Michigan.

I have consistently said that every vote must count. It is such an important principle in our party. I really appreciate you standing up for the values we share.

Thank you,

Hillary Rodham Clinton

P.S. Forward this message on to your friends, and urge them to join you!

I'm thinking to myself this is pure f_ckery, I can't believe they are still trying to play the f-ckery Florida/Michigan card. I'm at a loss for words, to call it desperate would be to state the obvious. There is something serious f_ckery afoot at this point and here is how the F_CKERY got exposed.

Last week on CBS's Early Show
, Senator Clinton's Campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe was quoted as saying, "(Clinton) can move ahead in the popular vote. We're assuming we get Michigan and Florida resolved...On May 31st, the Democratic National Committee rules and bylaws will hear the case and they will make a decision. And if I were a betting man, they're going to let Michigan, Florida -- we cannot disenfranchise two huge states. So, I think that gets resolved on the 31st of this month...Hillary Clinton's 16.9 million people have come out and voted for her...So we're off, we're going forward."

NOTE: This is the same f_ckery dude who as DNC Chair in 2004 met with Michigan Senator Carl Levin about Michigan’s intent to move up their contest to an earlier date in the 2004 primary calendar. In his book ‘What a Party!’, McAuliffe had this to say:

“I’m going outside the primary window,” [Michigan Sen. Carl Levin] told me definitively.

“If I allow you to do that, the whole system collapses,” I said. “We will have chaos. I let you make your case to the DNC, and we voted unanimously and you lost.”

He kept insisting that they were going to move up Michigan on their own, even though if they did that, they would lose half their delegates. By that point Carl and I were leaning toward each other over a table in the middle of the room, shouting and dropping the occasional expletive.

“You won’t deny us seats at the convention,” he said.

“Carl, take it to the bank,” I said. “They will not get a credential. The closest they’ll get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules. If you want to call my bluff, Carl, you go ahead and do it.”

We glared at each other some more, but there was nothing much left to say. I was holding all the cards and Levin knew it."

Now if this ain't pure f_ckery, I don't know what it is..

If you like me are tired of this type of f_ ckery join me and we together can launch the "No More F_ckery Tour!" and end this type of f_ckery once and for all.

In the meantime join me in a tribute to Hillary and Terry:

Monday, May 5, 2008

Keeping with the Star Wars Theme...

My good friend Chris sent me this one:

There is no emotion; there is peace.
There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.
There is no passion; there is serenity.
There is no chaos; there is harmony.
There is no death; there is the Force.
-The Jedi Code

Wisdom from Yoda for Obama...

Today, I took a break from my insane travel schedule and kicked it in Philadelphia with some my closest and dearest friends. I did get a chance to take in Meet The Press, the Celtics/Hawks Game and Michael Moore on Larry King. As I was clicking through the channels I noticed that "Stars Wars III: Revenge of the Sith" was on.

As I watched Yoda duel with The Emperor I began thinking that Senator Obama could use some wise council from none other than the Jedi Master himself at this critical juncture in the campaign. Yoda had faced much adversity during his long life such as: catastrophic accidents, loss, betrayal and near extinction of the Jedi. His experiences have given him the insight to be able to navigate the most daunting scenarios. Imagine if a long time ago in a galaxy far away, Barack Obama had the opportunity to chat with Master Yoda. What do you think Master Yoda would say?

Maybe something like this:

“Ready are you? What know you of ready? Grave danger you are in. Help you I can, yes.

Do not underestimate the powers of the Emperor. Remember, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.

Your ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Already know you that which you need. Always in motion is the future."

Friday, April 25, 2008

New York State of Mind...

This morning, 3 NYPD police detectives on trial for the murder of Sean Bell were acquitted of all charges, potentially setting off a tense weekend in the Big Apple.

Immediately after the verdict was handed down, as I traveled from my hotel in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn to the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, I heard murmurs and frustrations from scores of people unsatisfied with judges decision.

Many have called out for peace and calm, including Sean Bell's own family, we'll see if there appeals are heeded or not. I sense a real fervor in the streets of New York, stay tuned. I think this song by New York rapper Papoose reflects the mood of many New Yorker this afternoon.

*The views reflected in this song do not necessarily reflect the views of Dion Dega, Blogger.Com or Mike Bloomberg.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back from the flames...

Man the Pennsylvania primary took a lot of me. Sorry for the inconsistent postings. Here's a few thoughts about the Pennsylvania primary:

-The Machine beat the Movement: In a state like Pennsylvania, demographics weren't the only aspect that played well to the Clinton strategy; it was also the powerful democratic machine of Pennsylvania. A throng of elected officials, including over 100 mayors and dozens of party leaders all lined up to support the Hillary Clinton, even though he still has nothing more than a slim chance to win the nomination. That kind of thinking is counterintuitive to this crowd that never takes chances on eventual losers.

-Too Little Too Late: Obama had to much ground to make up and too little time.

-Rendell Was Right: Twenty percent of Pennsylvania Democrats said the race of a candidate played an important role in determining their vote. Clinton won those voters by nearly 20 percentage points, 59 percent to 41 percent.

In the end, I believe Pennsylvania got shortchanged. We are much more than beer drinking, deer hunting, ex-mill workers. We have a rich history, cultural legacy and potentially a bright future if we tackle the REAL PROBLEMS that threaten our prosperity. Issues such as:
-Infrastructure: Our crumbling roads, bridges and inadequate public transit systems
-The Economy: How do we turnaround our struggling former mill and mining towns?
-Crime & Violence: Over 500 people have been murdered in Philadelphia and Allegheny County since January 2007.

So as my parting shot, I give you Lt. Governor Knoll who typifies the flames of Pennsylvania:

Good Night & Good Luck!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Has the campaign gone hip-hop all of a sudden?

Barack brushes the the dirt off his shoulder

I guess Soulja Boy wasn't feeling the debate either...

For Good Measure...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Back From Hiatus...It's gettin', it's gettin, it's kinda hectic!

Sorry y'all my new job got a little bit hectic. Pennsylvania is getting hectic too.

Bittergate, the most ridiculous debate ever and we're still 5 days out.

Hillary's Play:

Barack's Response:

This is real funny..

As Slick Rick said once said, "HERE WE GO"!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Crazy Talk, New Polls and Ads in Pennsylvania!


In the middle of writing this blog I saw this on MSNBC:

Absolutely speechless, now back to the program.

As new a poll showing Obama closing in on Clinton in Pennsylvania, the democratic candidates for President launched new TV ads (Clinton 5 in total) targeting each other's core base. Today, Quinnipiac University released results from their latest poll in a memo declaring, "Obama Catching Up With Clinton In Pennsylvania; She's Losing Ground Even Among Women".

The memo went on to say:
"With two weeks to go, Sen. Barack Obama is knocking on the door of a major political upset in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. Obama is not only building on his own constituencies, but is taking away voters in Sen. Hillary Clinton's strongest areas - whites including white women, voters in the key swing Philadelphia suburbs and those who say the economy is the most important issue in the campaign," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The Pennsylvania primary is like a game of horseshoes: Sen. Obama needs only to come close to be considered the winner - taking away, perhaps fatally, Sen. Clinton's argument she is the candidate best able to defeat Sen. John McCain in critical swing states like Pennsylvania."

Real Clear Politics did a quick diddy on this as well.

Key info:

- This compares to a 50 - 41 percent Sen. Clinton lead in an April 2 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

- One of the biggest shifts is among women who went from 54 - 37 percent for Clinton April 2 to 54 - 41 percent for her today. A look at other groups shows:

-Obama leads 55 - 37 percent among Philadelphia voters and 53 - 42 percent in the Philadelphia suburbs, widening a 49 - 44 percent April 2 lead in this critical area.

* White voters for Clinton 56 - 38 percent, down from 59 - 34 percent last week.
* Black voters back Obama 75 - 17 percent, compared to 73 - 11 percent.
* Men are for Obama 48 - 44 percent, compared to a 46 - 46 percent tie last week.
* Voters under 45 go with Obama 55 - 40, while older voters back Clinton 55 - 38 percent.

- By a 71 - 23 percent margin, Pennsylvania likely Democratic primary voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton, compared to 67 - 19 percent for Obama.

- The economy is the single most important issue in deciding their primary vote, 52 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats say, followed by 22 percent who list the war in Iraq and 15 percent who cite healthcare.

Pennsylvania Democrats approve 65 - 23 percent of the way Obama is handling race issues in the campaign, with white voters approving 62 - 25 percent and black voters approving 80 - 14 percent.

Voters approve 56 - 28 percent of the way Clinton is handling race issues, with white approval at 60 - 24 percent and black approval at a negative 35 - 48 percent.

From April 3 - 6, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,340 Pennsylvania likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.

Check out these new TV Ads!