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Diondega 412

Current Events from a Contemporary Perspective.

Updated: 2016-07-24T06:52:59.522-04:00


Welcome Back!



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After almost two years on hiatus I am making my return to the blogosphere. A lot has happened since my last post. A new President was elected, the Tea Party emerged, I got married and had a son. In the coming days, I will be bringing my own unique brand of analysis and commentary. Tomorrow: The ten reasons the Democrats got their clocks clean last Tuesday. In the meantime enjoy this little ditty from one of my favorite emcees AZ:

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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 ch[...]

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 C[...]

Obama Hits Hard post-debate


Obama responds with a post-debate zinger!

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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.

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Grateful Dead for Obama


(image) "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:

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...

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.

The Birth Of An Industrial Evolution


(image) 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.

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

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

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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

This Week With Jasiri X


The most recent episode:

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If you missed this on SNL:

Have A Good Week.

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 LincolnMy 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 democr[...]

Race Matters.


(image) 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.

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
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Week 2
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Not to switch topics, but...


(image) 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"

Obama Hits Back


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


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.

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


(image) 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.

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?

Pastor Problem?



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

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Lipstick on a Pig?


(image) 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!

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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.

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