Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Palin Has Gone Rogue

So for the past few weeks now it has been obvious to everyone with a political pulse that Governor Sarah Palin has distanced herself a bit from John McCain. Not in the sense that she is trying to submarine the campaign, but she is also making sure that she is seen as a strong base-republican, gearing up for a possible presidential run in 2012. Here's why this is perfect for Obama supporters, and it's not just because Palin is prematurely accepting defeat, but it's because it re-affirms how weak the current crop of Republican candidates for next election season is. If Palin and Romney are really the top candidates the GOP is going to trot out then they are in trouble. As for Palin and her distancing herself from McCain, today one of McCain's advisers called Palin a quote, "whack job". The spin from Senator McCain, "when two mavericks join together they're bound to bump heads once in a while". That's not doing the trick for me, McCain knows what's going on here, and it really makes you wonder what would happen if McCain somehow pulled off the win? Could Palin and McCain co-exist? I doubt it. Luckily for McCain, and apparently unbeknown to Palin, she wouldn't have very much power at all except in a tie breaking senate role. It actually means that McCain would probably just cast her aside and try to keep her from making any major gaffes and embarrassing the nation.

One Week Away

In exactly seven days, Barack Obama should be our next president. It's been a long, tough, exhausting journey and I can't believe that everything finally seems to be coming to fruition. As an Obama supporter from the get-go I am ecstatic to see the polls leaning so heavily in his favor right now. A week is a long time and anything can really happen when the polls open up, will the young voters show up? Will black voters show up? Will old voters show up? Will red states turn blue? Will blue states turn red? All those questions remain unanswered, but from every indication it looks like Obama in a landslide. My prediction is that Obama will carry all the states Kerry took plus Florida and Virginia, I think McCain has a decent shot at Ohio, though. In other words, it might be a little closer than the polls suggest, but I feel like everyone is so ready to end this election and I really hope that people just show up for Obama one more time and give him record numbers at the voting booths. I hope to see voting numbers go way up this year because that bodes incredibly well for Obama. Anyway, I'll have a lot of stuff for you guys this week, I have an NBA preview on the way tomorrow (it's almost finished), I'm going to have a ton of election news and opinions, and of course Skins/Steelers monday night football previews. Go Obama! If you live in Virginia, get your ass out to the voting booths, don't let the GOP steal this like they did the last two election turns.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

To Be Fair

With all the talk about Sarah Palin spending roughly $150,000 in wardrobe over the course of the campaign, I'm sure everyone is wondering why I haven't come out and clubbed her yet. For one, its too easy with Palin. But also, I just don't think its that big of a deal, its not as if Palin was hanging with some girlfriends on Rodeo Drive going on a shopping spree. I can guarantee you it was the campaign advisers who sent proxies out people to buy her clothes they felt would benefit the cause. Like it or not, that is not an unheard of technique. Plus, this is a multi-million dollar campaign, $150,000 is just a drop in the bucket, if that. Now, many haters would argue that other republican candidates could use that money to win their state-wide races, but you know what, that's not John McCain and Sarah Palin's main concern right now. Let's not get carried away with the Palin bashing, when it's on the issues, I'm all about it, I've been an enormous critic of her, but this is a bit of a joke.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Four Guys Three Mics - Episode Five

Nikolaj, Kyle, and Jason get into various topics including Iron Man 2, Deaf Women, and Fast Food


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Album Review: The Foreign Exchange - Leave It All Behind

Two album reviews in one day? I know right. Like I told you from day one of the blog, my passions are radio, sports, politics, and rap/soul music, sometimes one more than the other and then the next day the other more than the previous if that makes any sense. For those of you who have been keeping up with the blog, which I appreciate more than you could imagine, you understand that sometimes I get in zones where I talk straight politics, sports, or promote my radio show, but I realized I've kind of been "off" music for a while. Funny considering the name of the blog, yes? I guess nothing has inspired me lately and the "Evolver" review (below) and this album I'm about to review for you all is sort of only reaffirming my thoughts that music is dead right now. Music has been dead in my life for a while, it temporarily revives itself when guys like Jay-Z, John Legend, Kanye West, Oddisee, Kev Brown, Eric Roberson, and the likes release their albums, but even lately that isn't doing the trick. Maybe I'm alone in that sentiment, maybe I'm not. Anyway, as for this album, the second from Foregin Exchange, we see rapper Phonte embracing a new role; that of a singer. While I do respect him as a singer I don't know if it was wise of him to take on that aspect of his talents for the entire album. It didn't really work for me. Not that it wasn't a good album, the songs were fine, they were just a little boring. The album would actually be perfect, I was thinking, if you played it in the car on a first date or something like that. As a whole, though, it was almost as if you were waiting the entire time for Phonte to just rip into one of these tracks with a rap, but it never really comes and you feel shortchanged at the end of it. The production from Nicolay was top of the line for a soul album, but if Phonte wasn't going to rap that much he should have maybe considered some features like they had in "Connected". I kept thinking how perfect the guys from Low Budget would be on a lot of those tracks, especially Oddisee.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Album Review: John Legend - "Evolver"

John Legend's highly anticipated third album, "Evolver", is due to hit stores October 28th, luckily though, I was able to give it a listen in advance. Now, to preview this a bit, without tipping my hand too much, Legend is coming off "Once Again", his sophomore album which was critically acclaimed and definitely ranks as one of my favorite albums of all-time. His debut album, "Get Lifted", is not to be undersold either. Legend has built himself a niche as a current soul/funk artist who bridges the gap from new to old and "Evolver" is given lofty expectations. I generally have a rule of 3 for artists, that is, if an artist drops his or her first three albums and they are all dope then this person is a classic artist. A recent example is Kanye West. Unfortunately, in my eyes Legend came up a bit short on this album, luckily for him I already consider him a classic artist after "Once Again" (not that he cares).

Alright, here is my issue with the album: Where are the standout songs? There isn't a single standout on here, and that's not because they are all indistinguishably great, it's because they're all mostly filler. There are songs I would listen to again, such as "Everybody Knows", but no songs that I would listen to over and over again. It seems he went a little to modern-stream and abandoned his Stevie Wonder-esque roots. There's nothing wrong with evolving (no pun intended) as an artist, but Legend has been performing music for too long to think this is the best quality he can put out. I mean seriously, John, where is the piano? Let your voice do the talking, you were pumping way too much bass in my ear, I'm not really feeling that. It is possible he peaked as an artist, which is very distressing to real soul music fans because there are few truly great artists left to look forward to. I fear we may have seen the best of Legend and while the album isn't terrible, perhaps a more suitable name for would have been "Devolver". I'm just saying, man.

Remembering Sean Taylor

I cannot believe it's been 11 months now since Sean Taylor was murdered in his home, I don't think I was blogging when it went down, but it was one of the single most tragic things that's happened in sports. Looking forward to the Lions game as the boys try and go 6-2, I look back to what the duo of Taylor/Landry could have been, had the evens of last November 27th never taken place. R.I.P.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Powell Endorsement

I know this news came to the surface over the weekend, but I really wanted to gather my thoughts on the endorsement before I shared my views. It's one of those things where, to me, Colin Powell is a bit of a clown and one of the main reasons we ended up in Iraq war and his (as well as many others in Washington) line about having "misinformation", simply doesn't do the trick for me. I don't necessarily find his nomination surprising, but at the same time I don't find it un-surprising. Rush Limbaugh, who seems to be getting a lot of run on my blog lately, is claiming that the endorsement is "completely about race". In a sense he is right, but not in the sense that he thinks it is. Colin Powell, as he told eloquently on Meet The Press is clearly not happy with the way the McCain campaign has tried to paint Obama as a dangerous outsider. This also sort of touches on my previous post. But, really the reason for this blog is because Powell said something on MTP, that I have been saying for months upon months now. Here is his quote:
[Barack Obama] is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's 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?

Powell goes on to talk about Muslim children in this country who may aspire to be president one day and how in this country it is wrong to send a message that they can not be. Bill Mahrer said today on Hardball With Chris Matthews, and I completely agree, that if you are not a Christian you have zero chance of success in mainstream American politics. Even Barack Obama talks a lot about his faith and to me that is simply wrong. Secular politics is the only form of successful politicking in my book. Also, if you are going to hit so hard on your Christianity Mr. John McCain, than why not practice what you preach? Would a true Christian really have one of their running themes throughout the debate attacking Obama for "wanting to spread the wealth around". Hm. Seems like something a Christian would be in favor of, doesn't it? Anyway, to get back on track with the Powell endorsement, I don't think his endorsement will really swing any votes, I just wanted to dispell the ignorance going around that Powell is somehow making a blindly racial presidential endorsement. He is not. Now, by this same token, I have a hard time believing he agrees with Barack Obama on all the issues, or even most of the issues, but I do believe that Colin Powell has faith in Obama as a man and decision maker who can lead our country out of tough times. He also knows that McCain, and he points to his nomination of Sarah Palin, is trying way too many political tricks and playing way too many games at such a serious time.

I'm Boycotting Iron Man 2

Today we find out that Terrance Howard is getting the boot from "Iron Man 2", a role in which he was supposed to have have a lot of screen time evolving into the character of War Machine. I don't know nearly as much as all the comic nerds out there, but it just gets me salty that they would get rid of a guy like Howard and blame it on money. Iron Man made so much money in the box office and DVD sales, I don't want to hear anything about finances from them. I love their replacement choice, Don Cheadle, and if he weren't getting the role because of Howard's absence I would be thrilled, but this is just another instance of Hollywood trying to screw over black actors. Sorry to say it, but it happens time and time again, they think they are just interchangeable commodities. I'd like to see them try and pull this kind of sh*t with Clooney or Pacino. Here's Howard's take on what went down:

"It was the surprise of a lifetime. There was no explanation, [it] just up and vanished. And I read something in the trades that implicated it was about money... but apparently the contracts that we write and sign aren't worth the paper that they're printed on sometimes."

What a shame.

The "Real" America

I was reading the Post online today and noticed E.J. Dionne make a truly great point about right wing politicians, Sarah Palin in particular, always labeling certain parts of America as the "real" America. Dionne, made the basic point, but either was either afraid or unwilling, to call this what it is: societal warfare. It is but another brush stroke on the canvas of the McCain campaign attempting to paint Obama and others like him as not only, un-American, but anti-American. To quote Governor Palin, who believes "that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.” Palin makes the implicit implication that those who don't live in those small towns she is referring to, who just so happen to be, black, latino, non-christian, gay, etc. are not "real" Americans. She is pitting those people against outsiders as a tactic of instilling fear into voters who are afraid that their lifestyle will be fundamentally changed for the worse. All of those people she is excluding go to war for the country, pay taxes to the country, vote, participate politically, etc., but I guess because they're not white and Christian they aren't really "for" America. Pfh.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Four Guys Three Mics - Episode Four

The 4th installment of Four Guys Three Mics includes "Testo Esco", Maryland Madness, Not Repping the Terp, and more.


Now available on iTunes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain and Obama trade Zingers

Last night John McCain and Barack Obama roasted each other at the Alfred E. Smith Foundation Dinner. I give the nod to McCain for better zings, but they were both very funny. Take 10 minutes from your day and watch it, sometimes you have to laugh about politics.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The 3rd, and Final, Debate Reactions

I have to say, I'm glad this election is coming to an end, it seems like I've been knee deep in Obama/McCain news forever now and it will be good to finally have an outcome. I can say that especially because, Real Clear Politics shows Obama ahead nationally from anywhere between 6 and 14 percentage points. He also has slight-to-moderate advantages in every single swing state. Obviously 18 days is a long time and anything can happen in that time frame, but even the staunchest McCain supporters would admit that it's a real uphill climb for him. Which brings us into why last night was so important for the McCain campaign; it was his last chance to make his case, nationally, why he should be president. McCain came out firing from the get-go last night and went at Obama on everything people expected him to, Bill Ayers, the economy, ACORN, etc. McCain was more passionate than he had been in every previous debate, but he still failed to unnerve the ever-cool Barack Obama, who merely smiled away McCain's attacks. You could tell toward the end of the debate John McCain became frustrated that he was unable to bait Obama into irritability. Give McCain credit though, for the line of the night, saying to Obama that he is "not George Bush", and had Obama wanted to run against Bush, he should have done so "four years ago". Obama counter-punched though telling McCain that, he would have to excuse him if he sometimes confused him with Bush, because they are so lock-step when it comes to their economic policies. I am sure many democrats were a bit disappointed, initially, when Obama failed to deliver a knockout blow to McCain, especially given several opportunities, including a chance to blast Sarah Palin. Obama, though, has set his mind on running out the clock and preserving his lead, for which I can't blame him. He is up by so much in the polls, it would be foolish of him to do anything that could potentially alienate voters. A Fox News, of all places, focus group scored the debate in favor of Obama, as did every other major news networks focus group. So, the Obama campaign and message seems to continue to resonate with undecided voters across the board. It's hard to say who "won" the debate, but here if you look at it from the perspective of who did more to help or hurt their campaign, you have to give the edge to Obama because he is winning so handily and McCain did nothing to fundamentally change that. So, despite McCain's relatively strong outing, Obama won the debate, despite being slightly underwhelming, simply by having a "solid" outing and delivering cool, calculated, responses.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ACORN? Don't Waste My Time...

The McCain campaign is really grasping at straws here with the new ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) controversy. For those of you not in the know, ACORN is essentially a voter registration group which is generally involved in registering voters who fit in the categories of either young, poor, minority, or a combination of the aforemetinoed. Essentially, Sarah Palin has called into the Rush Limbaugh radio show and charged claims of voter fraud against ACORN and insisted that they are trying to steal the election for the democrats. First of all, let us make one thing clear; there is a difference between voter fraud, which the republicans committed in 2000 when they disenfranchised black voters in Flordia and voter registration fraud which is happening with ACORN, as the people assigned the task of registering voters are just filling out sheets registering people who don't exist in exchange for a paycheck. Obviously, this is not a good thing, but it has ZERO effect on actual voting. In other words, if an ACORN employee fills out a registration card for Mickey Mouse, is Mickey going to show up on election and cast his vote for Obama? I don't think so. Unfortunately, the verbiage that Palin is using will likely cause the uninformed, and now misinformed, public to think Obama is trying to steal the election visa vie fraud. Just another feeble attempt by John McCain to call Barack's character into question. By the way, remember when John McCain was the keynote speaker at an ACORN sponsored event just 2 years ago? Now all of a sudden, Obama is the only one with ties to the organization? Please. This is a non-story because it will have no effect on the outcome of the election.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Four Guys Three Mics - Episode Three

Full Episode this time and featuring guest Matt Brailsford. We talk PC vs. Mac, Porno, Redskins and much more.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Epsiode Two - Four Guys Three Mics

"The Lost Episode" -- We had recording issues, so we only managed to get 23 minutes of action for you guys. Regular podcasts resume next week.

Download it on iTunes, or stream/download here: http://www.zshare.net/audio/199174841e940c10/

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Palin/Biden Debate -- Initial Reaction

Alright, I'll give Palin this much, she didn't embarrass herself. I will say that I had trouble following some of her ramblings, and she was very, very scripted, but she delivered the lines without any major gaffes. Problem is, when a candidate is down like her running mate is, just not embarrassing yourself is not good enough. My main problem with Palin is still that she does not answer key questions with direct answers, especially on issues she doesn't feel comfortable with, and those issues are alarmingly abundant. Joe Biden was sharp, detail oriented, and skillful in not coming off as the big male bully, pushing around the new female on the block. Biden did not shy away from any questions and offered real political analysis on each issue, he also successfully linked McCain and Bush on a number of issues. I wish he would have blasted Palin, but I see why he didn't and frankly, I can not blame him for being slightly reserved in that regard. So, if you consider Palin not being a total buffoon a success (and if you do, I hate to break it to you, but, you yourself are the buffoon), than sure Palin won. If you look at the issues and who offered better answers and more pragmatic solutions to the problems facing our nation, Biden destroyed her.

As of 11:30 PM CNN's unscientific online poll shows the viewer breakdown, as:

Sen. Joe Biden 72% 71588 votes
Gov. Sarah Palin 25% 24864 votes
Neither 3% 3060 votes

Take that for what it's worth.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Palin Stumbles Again

Well, this sets up my Joe Biden post even more... it's time to finish this clown off. First her interview with Charlie Gibson was a complete and utter disaster, now Katie Couric's interview exposed Palin even further. What an absolute train wreck this woman is. If you were to print her interview at full out onto a transcript it would literally be incomprehensible. Here is a short clip of her failing to name a single supreme court case she disagreed with aside from Roe V. Wade, which every high schooler could name. Even the most loyal McCain supporters have to be wondering now if this was the right choice, she was a spar kplug at first, but like I said from day one, America builds you up and tears you down. I guess your boy was right, afterall. Enjoy:

Now, here it is in contrast with Joe Biden being asked the same questions:

Episode One - 4 Guys 3 Mics (Now on iTunes)

Our podcast should now be available for download via itunes, search for us under: Four Guys Three Mics.

Joe Biden, Be Merciless

Tomorrow night is the moment Obama supporters have been waiting for since McCain picked Palin as his running mate. Joe Biden and Sarah Palin will go head to head in a debate live on CNN, the topics will be long ranging, spanning foreign policy, which Palin claims to have experience in, and especially hitting the economy hard. McCain strategists will obviously spoon-feed her answers to every single question, but if Biden can catch her off her toes once, he needs to finish her, right then and there for everyone to see. Palin is an unqualified gimmick, and this is the time for Biden to knock her off her block, and effectively give McCain a major blow. For someone already running 8% behind Obama, a hit that could potentially come visa vie a disastrous appearance by Palin in her first debate, would be devastating. I personally cannot wait.