Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pay up TI

Well, we try to stick to politics here, but TI is an Atlanta homeboy. Check out the latest report:

The mother of two of T.I.'s children has sued the platinum-selling rapper for child support, saying she is having a hard time supporting the boys and now wants a court-ordered arrangement for payment.

Lashon Dixon and T.I. have known each other since they were teenagers and dated before he reached megastar status. They have two sons together, ages 7 and 8.

Dixon says T.I. currently gives her about $2,000 a month to care for the boys, but now she wants to schedule a more stable stipend that is commensurate with his success. Both parties appeared in Fulton County Superior Court on Thursday.

In March, T.I. is expected to be sentenced to at least a year in prison after he pleaded guilty to federal weapon possession charges.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"You can't put lipstick on a pig"

Wow! Barack Obama is already getting a lot of heat from his lipstick on a pig comment. While it isn't a direct shot at Gov. Sarah Palin's comment that lipstick is the only thing that separates a hockey mom from a pit bull, there are some shots that could be implied.

Let's suppose Obama was trying to take an underhanded shot at Palin, what would that message be? Here are a few ideas:

Palin cooks some mean bacon.
She looks like a pig? (hubba hubba)
She is a female chauvinist pig
Palin needs to wear more make up

OK, I know you can come up with better. Please share your thoughts. What was this comment really supposed to mean?

Oh and if anyone cares, here is the actual article. I find it hard to believe this really was a shot after knowing all the facts, but facts don't seem to matter too much in this race.


Associated Press Writer

What's the difference between the presidential campaign before and after the national political conventions? Lipstick.
The colorful cosmetic has become a political buzzword, thanks to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's joke in her acceptance speech that lipstick is the only thing that separates a hockey mom like her from a pit bull.

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama told an audience Tuesday that GOP presidential nominee John McCain says he'll change Washington, but he's just like President Bush.

"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said to an outbreak of laughter, shouts and raucous applause from his audience, clearly drawing a connection to Palin's joke even if it's not what Obama meant. "It's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years."

McCain's campaign called the comments "offensive and disgraceful" and said Obama owes Palin an apology. Obama's campaign said he wasn't referring to Palin and said the GOP camp was engaging in a "pathetic attempt to play the gender card." Obama's camp also noted that McCain once used the same phrase to describe Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan.

Obama followed up by saying Palin is an interesting story, drawing boos at the mention of her name that he tried to cut off.
"Look, she's new, she hasn't been on the scene, she's got five kids. And my hat goes off to anybody whose looking after five. I've got two and they tire Michelle and me out," he said.

In Virginia, a questioner asked Obama to join Republicans and agree that candidates' families and religion are off limits. Palin's pregnant teenage daughter and the teachings of her church, the nondenominational Wasilla Bible Church, have been the subject of scrutiny since McCain picked her as his running mate.

Obama responded that he already has said families are off limits and he's very protective of his daughters, 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha. He said he doesn't want their inevitable future mistakes to become newspaper fodder if he gets to the White House.

Obama also is no stranger to attacks on his religion. He's been the subject of a false rumor campaign saying he's a Muslim, and the racially tinged sermons of his longtime former preacher caused problems for his campaign earlier this year.

He stressed that he's a Christian and "so the fact that Gov. Palin is deeply religious, that's a good thing." He said poking around in her religion or saying it's wrong is "offensive" and he wants to have a debate about the issues.

"But don't give people some sort of religious litmus test because I don't want somebody to question my faith and I'm certainly not going to question somebody else's," he said.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Obama on cable: duel of softballs vs. shout-downs

Here is an interesting piece I just saw. Check it out

Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Barack Obama competed against himself Monday with interviews airing simultaneously on two different networks. They might as well have been two different galaxies.

The Democrat waded into cable TV's blood feud, between Keith Olbermann of MSNBC and Bill O'Reilly of Fox News Channel, becoming as much a bit player as any even-odds presidential candidate can be.

In one interview Obama had to fight — not always successfully — to keep from being shouted down. In the other he couldn't succeed in keeping a straight face at the ease of the softballs tossed at him.

We'll leave you to guess which is which.

Obama sat down with O'Reilly first last week. The Fox News Channel host aired a portion of the interview last Thursday, and it became the second-highest rated episode of "The O'Reilly Factor" ever. He'll spread the interview out over two more nights this week.

O'Reilly came after the senator for an income tax plan that Obama said would lower tax rates for 95 percent of Americans while increasing rates for the richest citizens to Clinton administration levels.

The Fox host complained that Obama wanted "50 percent of my success." They fought briefly over numbers, and Obama said to O'Reilly, "you can afford that." O'Reilly said Obama's plans would promote class warfare. He called him "Robin Hood Obama" and said his tax plan was a "socialist tenet."

"If I'm sitting pretty and you've got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips, and I can afford it and she can't, what's the big deal for me to say I'm going to pay a little more?" Obama said. "That's neighborliness."

O'Reilly said he and others he knew would be be making less stock transfers if the Obama tax plan went through. "It's going to come back and haunt you, senator," O'Reilly said.

It was a much different atmosphere at the MSNBC studio in Rockefeller Center. Olbermann interviewed Obama campaign on Monday and will run it in two parts with the second one on Tuesday.

He criticized a McCain television ad that characterized him and Palin as mavericks who can get things done.
What, he asked Obama, could he do to prevent people from lying about his record? "Why do people hesitate to use the word 'lie' about these things?"

Olbermann drew the smile from Obama when he asked whether the candidate should use more "exclamation points" in its statements. "Have you thought of getting angrier?" he asked.

He praised Obama for his use of the word "enough" in his convention acceptance speech and wondered why the Republicans, in his words, were having success muddying the waters of the campaign.

"The Republicans cannot always govern, but they run very smart campaigns," Obama said.

O'Reilly said he had frequently interrupted Obama because he didn't want to let him wander. Olbermann let him wander, lapse into stump speeches, and ducked when Olbermann asked him the most direct question, about whether he believed Sarah Palin had enough experience to be president.

"I'll let Gov. Palin answer that," Obama said with a smile. "I'm sure she'll be appearing on your show."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's Sarah Palin's turn: What she must say tonight

Now it's Sarah Palin's turn.

Seldom has someone who hopes to introduce herself to a nation gotten such an unwanted introduction by her critics beforehand.

Tonight, she has to define herself. The media has already painted a picture of her, but tonight she can show the country who she is for herself.

So far, we know the personal story of the 44-year-old mother of five and a soon-to-be grandmother. There is the pregnancy of her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol,who is playing a surprising role in the campaign. Tonight the soon to be father, 18-year-old Levi Johnston, plans to join the Palin family at the convention, presenting something of a three-generation tableau on stage.

But tonight should be more the political story of someone who may be highly popular in Alaska, but is largely unknown throughout the nation. It turns out that, as mayor of tiny Wasilla, she hired lobbyists to draw earmark money from Washington - the evil that McCain promises to eliminate as president - raising questions about how much of a "reformer'' this running mate of a self-styled "original maverick'' really is.

It turns out that as a longtime member of the Wasilla Assembly of God - she since has changed churches - she espouses a faith that may carry a lot of appeal to the Evangelical Christian base of the Republican Party but cause pause among independent voters: On the stage of that church this year, she called the war in Iraq "a task that is from God'' and a new pipeline "God's will.''

Supporters say she knows something about foreign policy because Alaska sits next door to Russia. But Palin's own world travels, with a not-long-issued passport, appear to center on her visit to the Alaska National Guard deployed in Iraq. It is said, too, that Palin has more executive experience than Democrat Barack Obama - presiding for less than two years over the government of a state of 670,000, and having run and served on the council of a city that had about 5,500 citizens at the time.

Now it will be Palin's turn to tell her story, and there is a potential for a big audience here at this convention that got off to such a slow, storm-soaked start.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The first real night of the Republican National Convention

I just finished watching Joe Lieberman's speech and I must say the entire evening was very interesting.

As expected, the Republicans really pushed John McCain's history as a POW. And why not? It is a truly magnificent story and McCain is truly an American hero.

Fred Thompson really laid it out well. He went over the story in detail, explaining how McCain spent 5 1/2 years being tortured. Thompson acknowledged that being a POW doesn't make you a good president, but he argued it showed the character we are looking for in a president. Good point.

Another point from Thompson, and later Lieberman, is that McCain voted to send more troops over to Iraq last year and we are now winning the war. That is good, but they failed to mention that Barack Obama also voted in favor of this (oh and everyone in America knew we had to do that to win the war). But, in fact, this seems to show a weakness for McCain. When it was extremely unpopular to vote against the war and the Bush machine, it was Obama who opposed it.

The Republicans are saying how bold McCain was last year, but what about when the war first began? Wasn't Obama the correct one back then? That decision is one of the main reasons he catapulted to the top of the Democratic party.

I was also not surprised to see Lieberman speaking tonight. Throughout his career, his beliefs have strongly favored the Republicans, as we saw when he lost the Democratic primary for his Senate seat. He quickly became an Independent, and after getting the Republican voters, he won. Sure he is/was a Democrat, but it seems like it was just lip service. But it was very smart to put him there as the Keynote speaker. Imagine, seeing a former Democrat debunking his own party.

What is really odd about this convention is the Republicans are running against themselves. In every speech they admit we are experiencing tough times. They are trying to embrace George W. Bush, but not embrace the past 8 years under his control (including many of those years when the Republicans controlled the Senate and the House).

So here they are openly advocating change, when they have been in charge.

Tonight the RNC did a good job of tugging the heart, McCain's story is amazing and his character is unquestioned. He is clearly a leader. The question will be, are his policies different from the past 8 years and will they be effective? That is something he will have to prove to America before the end of this convention.

Gov. Sarah Palin is set to speak on Wednesday and she has a whole list of other issues she could address. She could be the wild card in this thing. If she is impressive, she could bring in tons of votes. On the other hand, if she falls on her face, so will McCain.

The good and bad of Sarah Palin

Well, I admitted I was shocked by John McCain's selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. I am trying to keep an objective opinion of her, but the more I learn the harder that is to do. I really get the feeling she was picked just because she was a woman. I am all for a woman being VP or even president, but it can't just be any woman. She would have to have a solid backround.

Anyway here are the pros and cons for her. We'll go cons first, because those are easier for me to make:


Palin is a first-term governor who has served less than 2 years. She has governed over Alaska, which has one of the lowest populations in the country. Before that she was a mayor of a very small town, Wasilla, Alaska. She has very little international experience.

Palin is under investigation for her firing of a state official, Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. She has been instructed to hand over documents and recordings of telephone conversations as part of the inquiry, which grew out of allegations that she sacked Monegan for refusing to fire her former brother-in-law from the state police. But Palin acknowledged that a member of her staff made a call to a trooper in which the staffer suggested that he was speaking for the governor. Palin has admitted that the call could be interpreted as pressure to fire state trooper Mike Wooten, who was locked in a child-custody battle with Palin's sister. She suspended the staffer who made the call.

Her 17-year-old daughter is about to have a child out of wedlock. I don't want to beat up a 17-year-old, but this is a blow for Palin who has touted her triumphs as a mother of 5 children. She has also been a staunch advocate for abstinence.

She is a mother of 5, which is hard to do while running a state.

She stood up against Republican leaders and oil companies who wanted to ease restrictions on big oil. It was a corrupt system and she is credited with making a change. She is considered to be an expert on energy policy.

She was a runner-up for Ms. Alaska in 1984. Um, yay!?!

She has "executive experience." She ran a state for almost 2 years as the top dog.

OK, what else am I leaving out about her? What do you think about her?