Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hello, Hello, They Know, They Know!


And yeaaaahhhh I'll see you later BIG UPS... TO ALL MY HATERS!

Looks like the New York Times has an idea of who the democratic nominee will be.

"There is a widespread feeling among donors and some advisers, though, that a comeback this time may be improbable. Her advisers said internal polls showed a very tough race to win the Texas primary — a contest that no less than Mr. Clinton has said is a “must win.” And while advisers are drawing some hope from Mrs. Clinton’s indefatigable nature, some are burning out.

Morale is low. After 13 months of dawn-to-dark seven-day weeks, the staff is exhausted. Some have taken to going home early — 9 p.m. — turning off their BlackBerrys, and polishing off bottles of wine, several senior staff members said."

I bet somewhere Barack is doing the Heisman pose singing, "Hello, Hello, They Know, They Know!"

Sunday's Good, Better & Best.

I'm trying something new here at Dionedga 412. I have dubbed it "Sunday's Good, Better & Best", a listing of my favorite youtube clips, with a little sprinkle of Diondega in the form my humble opinion. Enjoy, I hope.

But before we go there...

Once Again It's On!

Ralph Nader is back in the game: In 2000, Ralph Nader ran for President as the authentic alternative to Al Gore's "progressive light". Many still blame his third party candidacy for George Bush's narrow victory. This morning on Meet the Press, the quintessential consumer advocate announced his candidacy for President of the United States. Imagine what would happen if Nader was blamed for spoiling an Obama victory this November?

Clinton and Obama: With the once unbeatable Clinton's Express barrelling down the road to nowhere, Clinton threw the gloves off after a congenial debate Thursday night. Senator Clinton compared Barack Obama to George Bush, calling a recent Obama direct mailing criticizing Clinton's health care plan and NAFTA's record stealing jobs from the rust belt. Clinton chastised Obama ordering him to, "Meet me in Ohio!" Is this a desperate last resort attempt to score an upset knockout or a legitimate knock?

Sunday's Good, Better & Best!

Allen Iverson hearts Michael Jackson: Denver Nuggets star forward Carmelo Anthony outs Allen Iverson as a MJ superfan saying, "he's probably the biggest Michael Jackson fan of all time, I know he don't want me saying this, but..." Now we know what he's doing when he's not at practice.

Republicans, Democrats and Wiretaps Oh My: Recent republicans and democrats released competing videos that contrast their positions on intelligence. The Republicans feel like we should sacrifice civil liberties for security. The Deomcrats take the Ben Franklin position, "

The Republican Take:

The Democratic Take:

Investigate a Super Delegate: Why Tuesday's Jacob Soboroff launches the Super Delegate Investigation Project. Find out more about these democrats who put the "smoky" in back room politics. Or is it the "backroom", or smoky politics?

Check Out Terrelle Pryor: He's one of the most sought after High School QB's in the history of Western Pennsylvania. What is that so special? For your information: Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Jim Kelly and Joe Montana are just a few of the QB's who are from Western Pennsylvania.

A transparent and honest Hillary: A great spoof video.

And finally...Do Words Matter?

Hell yeah!

But whose words are they?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Closer to your dreams...

Dear Senator Obama,

You have run one amazing campaign. Your message of hope, optimism and unity has inspired this country in a way we haven't seen in over a generation. You are inching closer and closer to history's doorstep.

Be encouraged Senator, even though you are still "miles and months away" from the ultimate goal. As you continue your historic trek, I wanted to see you a video shout in the form of Goapele's classic, "Closer". Think about this song as you get closer and closer to your dreams.

Be well,


Excerpts from "Closer", by Goapele

Some times you just have to let it go (Let it go, let it go)
Leaving all my fears to burn down
Push them all away so I can move on
Closer to my dreams
Feel it all over my being
Close your eyes and see what you believe

I'll be moving higher (Moving higher)
Closer to my dreams
And higher and higher, higher
Feel it in my being (I can feel it flow around me)
I know that I could not go alone (No, no)

I'm moving higher (Higher), oh...
I'm going higher and higher and higher (Higher and
Closer to my dreams (Higher and higher, oh...oh...)
I'm moving upward and onward and beyond all I can see
(Stretching out my arms so I can reach)

Feels so close it's like i can just reach
I can feel my dreams (Closer to my dreams)
I'm moving closer to my dreams
I'm moving (Higher and higher) higher and higher
(Higher and higher)
Moving higher, oh...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rest In Peace.

"I am not a racist. I am against every form of racism and segregation, every form of discrimination. I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color." - Malcolm X

El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, or Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was assassinated at a speaking engagement in Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965. Fifteen hundred people attended Malcolm's funeral in Harlem at the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ on February 27, 1965. After the ceremony, friends took the shovels from the gravediggers and buried him themselves. He is buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.

Malcolm X's Eulogy

Eulogy delivered by Ossie Davis at the funeral of Malcolm X

Faith Temple Church Of God
February 27,1965

"Here - at this final hour, in this quiet place - Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes -extinguished now, and gone from us forever. For Harlem is where he worked and where he struggled and fought - his home of homes, where his heart was, and where his people are - and it is, therefore, most fitting that we meet once again - in Harlem - to share these last moments with him. For Harlem has ever been gracious to those who have loved her, have fought her, and have defended her honor even to the death.

It is not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but nonetheless proud community has found a braver, more gallant young champion than this Afro-American who lies before us - unconquered still. I say the word again, as he would want me to : Afro-American - Afro-American Malcolm, who was a master, was most meticulous in his use of words. Nobody knew better than he the power words have over minds of men. Malcolm had stopped being a 'Negro' years ago. It had become too small, too puny, too weak a word for him. Malcolm was bigger than that. Malcolm had become an Afro-American and he wanted - so desperately - that we, that all his people, would become Afro-Americans too.

There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain - and we will smile. Many will say turn away - away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man - and we will smile. They will say that he is of hate - a fanatic, a racist - who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say to them : Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him.

Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves. Last year, from Africa, he wrote these words to a friend: 'My journey', he says, 'is almost ended, and I have a much broader scope than when I started out, which I believe will add new life and dimension to our struggle for freedom and honor and dignity in the States. I am writing these things so that you will know for a fact the tremendous sympathy and support we have among the African States for our Human Rights struggle. The main thing is that we keep a United Front wherein our most valuable time and energy will not be wasted fighting each other.' However we may have differed with him - or with each other about him and his value as a man - let his going from us serve only to bring us together, now.

Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man - but a seed - which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us. And we will know him then for what he was and is - a Prince - our own black shining Prince! - who didn't hesitate to die, because he loved us so."

"…I always had a deep affection for Malcolm and felt that he had a great ability to put his finger on the existence and the root of the problem. He was an eloquent spokesman for his point of view and no one can honestly doubt that Malcolm had a great concern for the problems we face as a race." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a telegram to Betty Shabazz after the murder of Malcolm X.

Rest In Peace Brother Malcolm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Anatomy of a Political Beatdown.

Chris Matthews Humiliates State Senator Kirk Watson On MSNBC

During MSNBC's coverage of Tuesday's primaries, Hardball anchor Chris Matthews politically decapitated Texas State Senator Kirk Watson, an Obama surrogate. Watson, a state senator, attorney and former Mayor of Austin was on MSNBC to represent the Obama campaign opposite of Congresswoman Cynthia Tubbs-Jones of Ohio. After Tubbs-Jones gave an extended salvo, Senator Watson rebutted and unassumingly waltzed into a lion's den.

Chris Matthews launched a preempted strike asking Watson, “What’s the unique selling point of Barack Obama to Texans?" Watson responded by making remarks about Obama's uncanny ability to coalition build, inspire and restore a sense of hope. Matthews then shot back: “You are a big Barack supporter aren’t you senator?”

“Yes, I am,” Watson replied.

“Name some of his legislative accomplishments,” Matthews retorted aggressively.

Clearly caught off guard and rattled, Watson gave no response.

“Sir, you have to give me his legislative accomplishments,” Matthews said, continuing his onslaught. “You support him for president. You are on national television. Name his legislative accomplishments, sir. Can you name anything he has accomplished, SIR?”

Watson stammered and paused.

“List Barack Obama’s accomplishments as a senator now. NOW.” Mathews commanded.

Watson was clearly overwhelmed, embarrassed, out gunned and speechless.

The camera returned to Matthews and Countdown’s Keith Olbermann, who appeared stunned by Matthews' attack asked Chris to, "Name one accomplishment the Senate has made this year?"

Matthews justified his inquisition by saying, “He is here to defend Barack Obama and he had nothing to say. That’s a problem,” . “Why do you think they call it Hardball?”

“But this isn’t Hardball. We are doing the election results,” Olbermann cleverly responded.

Keith was wrong, this is hardball...future surrogates BEWARE!

See it for yourself here:

See a mixed martial arts re-enactment:

Or a Sith Lord re-enactment:

"Talent alone won't make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: 'Are your ready?" - Johnny Carson

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Malcolm X and Hip-Hop

As a young Hip-Hopper in the 80's and 90's the rhetoric, philosophy and legacy of Malcolm had a huge influence on my generation. Groups such as X-Clan, Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions, re-introduced the civil rights and Black Power movements to us in a Hip Hop form.

"What's my mindstate if my state ain't Black, but Moses, Malcolm and Huey are back."
Brother J, X-Clan

Below is reading of Malcolm X's "Message to the Grassroots", by Mos Def.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Remembering Malcolm X.

43 years ago this week, Malcolm X was murdered in his beloved Harlem, New York. All week I will posting videos highlighting various views, insights and perspectives from a man whose transformation from common hoodlum to cultural icon is an inspiration for all people to this very day.

"Sitting at the table doesn't make you a diner, unless you eat some of what's on that plate. Being here in America doesn't make you an American. Being born here in America doesn't make you an American." - Malcolm X

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Barack Invasion.

Over the past several months Barack Obama has ascended to the ultimate level of American iconic status, the Rock Star. From city to city, Obama is attracting crowds in the tens of thousands from Boise, to Atlanta, to the Bay Area, prompting many to compare the buzz surrounding his campaign to the British invasion of 1964.

Most recently there have documented incidents of people fainting in the crowd at Obama rallies.

Is this the new blueprint for American political leaders? Some would argue that we need things like substance, details and platform. That's not to say Obama completely lacks all of that, but it is clear he is taking a new route to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In an entertainment based society with tens of millions of Americans raised on a generation of ESPN, MTV and HBO; it makes sense that a "Rock Star President" fits their sensibilities. In 21st century America, Obama may well be the 21st century candidate.

“Fads don't last, but it should be clear by now that the Beatles are no ordinary fad.”

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ready or Not?

The Governor, PA's First Lady and Me at the Governor's Mansion last year.

Last week Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell told the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette while discussing the Presidential race that, "You've got conservative whites here (in Pennsylvania), and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate." He went on to add, "I believe, looking at the returns in my election, that had Lynn Swann [2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate] been the identical candidate that he was --well-spoken, charismatic, good-looking -- but white instead of black, instead of winning by 22 points, I would have won by 17 or so."

See the remarks for yourself here:

The comment sent shockwaves throughout the national political establishment. Ed Rendell, the popular Governor, former District Attorney, Mayor of Philadelphia and DNC Chairman, is well respected in the African-American community. Some have accused Rendell of race baiting and are blaming "a desperate" Clinton camp for sending out surrogates to do their "dirty work". "This is a pattern," complained one poster on the Web site DailyKos. "The Clintons tried to split the race along racial lines as soon as they looked vulnerable."

Mr. Swann, Pennsylvania's 2006 Republican gubernatorial nominee, yesterday issued a scathing critique of Rendell's remarks, calling them "unnecessary, certainly insensitive. I think it's obvious that Ed Rendell is looking for a place to support Mrs. Clinton and took an opportunity to make a statement that would be negative toward her opponent," Mr. Swann said. "There's no need for Ed Rendell to make that comment whatsoever, and I think it's arrogant on his part to make the statement that he still would have won by 17 percent."

As of late the Governor has somewhat peddled from his statement, "I regret saying it because of the way it was interpreted," the governor said recently. "Remember -- I always tell the truth. Maybe I'm wrong, but I tell what my experience has taught me. What's so frustrating about this is that in this business, if you give an honest answer, you get skewered for it," Mr. Rendell said. "If you give the politically correct answer, the press says, 'Aw, that guy, he's just a shucker and jiver and never gives a straight answer.' I get in trouble for telling the truth." Governor Rendell then went to MSNBC to give his side of the story:

We can debate whether the comments were racist, insensitive or misinterpreted. I say that while I have always admired the Governor as the most savvy politician in the Keystone State, he really stepped in a minefield on this one. The bigger question is: Are white Pennsylvanian's ready to vote for Barack Obama, or not? And will Pennsylvania become another South Carolina?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Barack Obama's to do list to wrap up nomination.

Last night, Barack Obama continued his momentum, propelling his "improbable" campaign closer to a historic nomination. With a favorable campaign calendar ahead before upcoming battles in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania; the junior Senator for Illinois can close the door on Hillary Clinton's once inevitable and invincible candidacy. If I was Senator Obama this would be my to do list for the month of February.
  1. Harness the momentum and quietly begin to convince the voters and insiders the race is over.
  2. Talk up NAFTA, job losses and the economy to rust-belt voters in Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
  3. Correlate economic tough times in the rust-belt to the costs of the war.
  4. Win Wisconsin decisively.
  5. Talk like the underdog, walk like the nominee.
  6. Show your toughness.
  7. Convince John Edwards to endorse you.
  8. Decide whether Ohio or Texas is more winnable and go win one of them.
  9. Study up and nail the Ohio and Texas debates.
  10. Lay groundwork in Pennsylvania now in the event Clinton wins Ohio and Texas.
  11. Continue to draw contrasts with John McCain, giving voters a preview of how you'll aggressively take on the GOP.
  12. Get more and more specific as the weeks go on.
So get to it Senator, below is a tutorial how to do one on your I-Pod Touch. (If you have one.)

Is Barack Obama the Chosen One?

"He is the Chosen One...he will...bring balance."

- Qui-Gon Jinn's dying words in The Phantom Menace

There is a lot of talk about Barack Obama being an almost messianic political figure. Some of my fellow pundits have quibbed that Barack has "jumped the matrix" by 20 years, meaning that he's essentially has shifted the political landscape 20 years with his historic campaign for President. Has Barack Obama really, "jumped the matrix?" Is he the transformative political figure who will be to the left what Reagan was to the right?

More than yes or no, I think the answer is he'll have to be. I believe Barack Obama, if elected, must figure out a way to keep this unique coalition energized, while ensuring a second term. He would go the White House with more pressure, scrutiny and expectations than any President than history. Senator Barack Obama could soon find himself in the unenviable position of a mythical Neo or Anakin Skywalker, forced to carry the burden of saving the world.

How does Obama pull this off? He will have execute a political strategy that moves forward enough liberal initiatives to placate his base, while holding onto independents and moderates. At the same time he'll have to do this while as media ends their honeymoon and the GOP refines their game plan. He'll go into office immediately preparing his re-election campaign, trying to balance a delicate coalition, campaign promises and the political realities of being the leader of the free world.

The only way he can pull this off is by being the chosen one. What does that mean? It means he must bring to bear his biggest strength, the people. He must figure out how to continue to mobilize his base to move his liberal agenda forward. It is not himself that makes him the chosen one, it is the people. It is the people that he inspires who can improve the environment, reform health care and fix the economy. The community organizer who would be President will have to use a page from that old Chicago organizing playbook:

"Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict."
-Saul Alinsky

This means he must agitate his coalition to agitate him to make change. If he's the Chosen One, he'll pull it off. The video below is dedicated to those would-be Chosen Ones.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The N-Word

"See, nigga first was used back in the deep south,
Fallin out between the dome of the white mans mouth
It means that we will never grow, you know the word dummy
Other niggas in the community think its crummy
But I dont, neither does the youth cause we
Em-brace adversity it goes right with the race
And being that we use it as a term of endearment
Niggas start to bug to the dome is where the fear went
Now the little shorties say it all of the time
And a whole bunch of niggas throw the word in they rhyme
Yo I start to flinch, as I try not to say it
But my lips is like the oowop as I start to spray it"
Q-Tip, from "Sucka Nigga"

Nas pushed the envelope on the rep carpet of the Grammy's. "No longer are Black People just niggers, it's me and you", he said in a live interview on CNN. I'm sure this is just the beginning of a longer conversation about the use of this word, in light the Michael Richardson, Don Imus and Dog the Bounty Hunter incidents. I look for Nas to make a huge splash this year. Even the hip hop group Cunning Linguists used the Nas album to promote their upcoming LP, "Dirty Acres."

It's hilarious check it out:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Yes We Can, Kinda...

Gonna Be Wars, I'm Sorry To Tell You There Will Be Other Wars...

We Are Gonna Have A Lot Of Combat Wounds, It's Gonna Be Tough...

That Old Beach Boys Song, "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran"...

If you think think things are bad now, if we withdrawal you aint see nothing yet...

It was a good idea...

I don't think Americans are concerned if we are there for 100 years, 1,000 years or 10,000 years...

Maybe a Hundred? That's Fine With Me...

-Words courtesy of Senator John McCain

Obama wins four states and a grammy.

Obama bests Hillary, Bubba, Jimmy Carter & Maya Angelou in a 48 hour span...

This weekend Obama won four states convincingly, continuing his historic run for the democratic nomination. His most impressive win this weekend may have been his Grammy for spoken word album. Obama defeated former Presidents Clinton and Carter, Alan Alda and Maya Angelou for the audio version of the book, "Audacity of Hope".

Obamamania was felt throughout the Grammy Awards with Will.I.Am & John Legend, both who appeared on the "Yes We Can", video were featured in live performances. The most telling moment of the night was when Herbie Hancock, chanted YES WE CAN after winning the album of the year award.

This was his second Grammy.

In other Grammy news, Kanye West killed it with a heartfelt tribute to his mother the late Dr. Donda West. He also took his good old time when he accepted the award for hip hop album of the year, continuing his speech well after the "wrap it up" music started playing. Hip Hop legend Nas made a splash as well, wearing t-shirts promoting his soon to be released album, "N-gger". Check out his red carpet interview on CNN.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Grand Slam!

Barack Obama goes 4 for 4 this weekend, continuing the momentum he's been picking up post-South Carolina. On Saturday, he carried Washington, Louisiana and Nebraska in convincing fashion. Today, won the state of Maine with 57% of the vote. With the Obama friendly "Beltway Primary" in the crosshairs on Tuesday, Barack could wake up Wednesday morning with seven straight victories and 21 primary victories to Clinton's 10.

The question will be can Clinton afford to wait for a March 4th firewall in the Buckeye and Lone Star states; or will Obamamania be unstoppable especially if he carries Wisconsin on February 19th?

We're heading into the bottom of the 5th inning of a 9 inning game, if Obama has as good of a bullpen as he does a lineup, he'll be the democratic nominee for president.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Can You Dig It?

Barack Obama's candidacy, win or lose, is destined for the history books. He is writing the blueprint for Democrats challenging the powers and principalities of the party machinery.
  • Raise money big & small! The $ 32 million he raised in January is amazing considering the amount of small donors. Not to mention the amount of total donors since the beginning of the campaign, 300,000+.
  • Build a non-traditional coalition: Upscale liberals, Black & Young Voters. This is something Bill Bradley couldn't do in 2000.
  • Play to your strengths: Charisma, Freshness & Relevance. He's so damn charismatic compared the stale politics we've grown accustomed to. He's a fresh face is a roomful of familiar ones. He's hip, relevant and speaks in a language people can relate to, a language that people have been waiting to hear a politician speak in.
  • Make your weakness a strength: He's playing his lack of national political experience like Jimi Hendrix on an electric guitar.
Now with eight Obama-friendly states up next (huge blocs of Black, upscale & young voters), he could begin to build up the momentum he needs for the upcoming showdowns in Ohio, Texas & Pennsylvania.

Can you dig it?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A foreshadowing?

Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin with the Super Bowl Trophy

"Sports is a metaphor for overcoming obstacles and achieving against great odds. Athletes, in times of difficulty, can be important role models."
-Bill Bradley

If tonight's Super Bowl was any indication, the angels of good fortune may be on the side of the Barack Obama. For two weeks the New York Giants were told they had no chance to beat the New England Patriots, coming into the game as 12 1/2 point underdogs. People were already crowning the Patriots as the best football team of all time and planning Tom Brady's coronation as King of the World. A scrappy team led by an anal coach, rugged veterans and the underachieving member of football's first family; defeated the heavily favored Patriots is one of the most memorable Super Bowls of all time.

Senator Barack Obama is hoping for a similar win after a year of hearing it is not his time, he's too inexperienced and America's not ready for him. In the last week Obama has been picking up an incredible amount of momentum pulling within the margin of error in several national polls. In the latest USA Today poll Obama is actually up one point. He's also has been racking up major endorsements: the Los Angeles Times, Maria Shriver & Garrison Kellor. Not to mention the buzz being generated by the star studded "Yes We Can" video that is lighting the internet on fire. What looked like a foregone conclusion after New Hampshire and Nevada may turn out to be a upset special. So maybe, just maybe Obama might do on Tuesday Night what Eli and company did tonight in Glendale, Arizona.

"We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics…they will only grow louder and more dissonant ……….. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope."

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

I dedicate this video to all those who still believe that a David, some faith and a slingshot can slay a Goliath...

Yes We Can!