Archive for March, 2009

New Music Stuff March 17, 2009

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Joel Ortiz has a great cover of Pete Rock’s “T.R.O.Y.”
Link via The RapUp

Here are a couple videos of De La Soul at The Key Club in Los Angeles:

De La Soul – Oooh! (Live @ The Key Club) 3/12/09 from on Vimeo.

De La Soul – The Grind Date (Live @ The Key Club) 3/12/09 from on Vimeo.
Link via Ben de AYora

Normally I don’t care about T-Pain but Nardwuar has an interesting interview with T-Pain.
It is good to see Nardwuar bring up the fact that T-Pain is basically making a career off of rehashing Cher’s old act.
Link via

MC Lyte has a new song called “Brooklyn.” It has a nice Caribbean sound to it that I like.

I’m tempted to start DVRing The Jimmy Fallon Show just for the musical performances. Here is a video of The Roots and Public Enemy performing “Bring The Noise:”Bring The Noise is a very hard song for a live band to get right musically but the Roots do a pretty good job.

Ron Paul Debates The Guy From BioDome

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Ron Paul was recently on Larry King Live debating Stephen Baldwin about marijuana prohibition. It is a sad state of political journalism when political debate is lowered to the level of a celebrity debating a professional politician.

Is Michael Steele Hip-Hop? (Probably Not)

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Is Michael Steele hip-hop? I don’t think so but I’m not sure. Any television video I have seen Michael Steele in recently I have heard him misuse hip-hop phrases so badly it becomes painful to watch. I appreciate the effort. Micheal Steele is right to try and move the Republican party into to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings” it is just important he does not make himslef look any worse off on his quest to do this.

In the GQ interview, Michael Steele talks about his relation with hip-hop:

I was kinda expecting hip-hop to be playing in here today.

Aw, sh—. It’s on my, uh, computer there. I haven’t pulled it up yet, but I’ll get a little bit goin’ in a second or two.

Who do you listen to?

I actually listen to a cross section, because I like to hear what the medium is saying, what the voice is.

But do you have a favorite?

P. Diddy I enjoy quite a bit.

Do you want to rethink that?

[laughs] I guess I’m sorta old-school that way. Remember, I came of age with the DJ and all this other stuff, so I’m also loving Grandmaster Flash, and that’s not hip-hop, but… Um, you know, I like Chuck D. And I always thought Snoop Dogg was—he just reminded me of the fellas back home. So I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed him.

Who else?

I like Sinatra. I like old-school. You know, Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Dean Martin. Love Dean Martin. He was one of these guys who just didn’t give an F. He just didn’t. Life was a party, and you either want to party or you don’t. But yeah, I like those. I’m a big Pack Rat. I love the Pack Rats from the 1950s—Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, those guys.

You mean the Rat Pack.

The Rat Pack, yeah.

Okay, so tell me about this hip-hop plan of yours.

Well, I have to admit, I’m rather amused. It was a conversation I had with a Washington Times reporter, and we were talking about the breadth and depth of the reach that I would try to bring to the party. And I told him, everybody’s in play. I want to reach everybody; I want to touch everybody. I think we have a very strong and powerful message to deliver. The urban community is a center for economic activity. It always has been, particularly in the black community. We are very much an entrepreneurial people, and I think the Republican message is one that speaks directly to that. It’s self-empowerment, it’s ownership, it’s opportunity. And hip-hop—I used hip-hop more as a symbolic term. I know some people started going a little nuts about “Oh, well, you know, they’re misogynists!” And some call them urban terrorists, which I think is an offensive term. But you know, they miss the point of what hip-hop is. Hip-hop is about economic empowerment. You’re talking about a generation of men from, you know, P. Diddy to Russell Simmons and the like who have created empire from their talent. Russell Simmons has empire. His reach is beyond hip-hop.

You’re not gonna convert Russell Simmons, though.

I’m not trying to convert anybody. If I wanted to convert somebody, I’d have kept my collar on, as a monk. What I’m trying to do is to inform. I have enough respect for people that they can make their own decisions. I just want to be in a situation where every time they’re not against me.

Early 2 hip-hop mistakes: He says Diddy is his favorite but that is a forgivable mistake. His second mistake is to say that Grandmaster Flash is not hip-hop; this is a bad mistake.
The good:Micheal Steele seems to understand one of the things that I love about hip-hop in that it is to a large degree a culture about building something out of nothing? It’s good to see he can see the positive empowerment opportunities that are a part of hip-hop and can get past the misogyny.

Black Republican – Nas/Jay-Z

Aborting Roe v. Wade

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Micheal Steele has had a rocky start as chairman of the RNC. First, he accurately describes Rush Limbaugh and then Steele apologizes to Rush making himself extremely weak. Now, Michael Steele has mad a very confusing statement on abortion to GQ:

How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your Catholic faith but by the fact that you were adopted?

Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that—I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it… Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.

Explain that.

The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.

You do?

Yeah. Absolutely.

Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?

I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.

Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?

The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.

Now on the face of it Michael Steele’s viewpoint is very confusing and does not make much sense the first time you hear it. What Micheal Steele is trying to say is that Roe v. Wade is bad law and states should choose whether or not abortion should be legal. This is the “pro-abortion” position of allowing abortions everywhere. This is also not the religious Christian Republican Party morality position of calling for a Constitutional amendment banning
all abortions under any conditions. States like New York and Massachusetts are not going to ban abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

He Started It

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Barack Obama has pointed out to journalists that “it wasn’t under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks. It wasn’t on my watch. And it wasn’t on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement -– the prescription drug plan — without a source of funding.” As Micheal Tanner of Cato puts it “He Has a Point.” Many Republicans in Congress, as well as some conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh, have been extremely hypocritical in attacking spending now that Obama is in power and not causing a stir when Bush was in charge.

This does not excuse the bad behavior. If big spending was bad when Bush was in power, big spending is bad now. In many ways, the Democrats often sound like two kids quarreling tattling “He started it” to excuse bad behavior.

Sanjay Gupta Likes Teevee

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Sanjay Gupta announced recently that he is not interested in the position of Surgeon General for which he was being considered.

It is perfectly understandable why Sanjay Gupta would not want the position: the Surgeon General makes little difference. It is hard to think of any Surgeon General in recently history that is memorable; the only Surgeon General I can think of is Jocelyn Elders who was fired after a bunch of false outrage after she suggested that masturbation should be discussed in sex ed.

Sanjay Gupta is likely to have a lot more impact and reach a larger audience as a commentator on CNN. It would not make sense to give up a large audience for an inconsequential Washington Office. Most of the control of health care public policy remains in control of the Secretary of HHS. L:aunches

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Elliot Wilson of XXL fame has launched his new website The site seems to be in early launch because many of the sections on the site are content free; Elliot seems to his placed in getting his site up live after his promotional hype around the hip-hop blogs. The site is still lacking other things like an About Page and an RSS feed.

Elliot Wilson has called a Huffington Post like destination for the hip-hop blogosphere. had the same idea but has failed to take off as promoters had hoped.

Will be successful? Maybe. It does have some good content like an interview with Q-Tip and T.I. but do I really want to read about what Pam from Martin thought about Biggie.

Earmarks Aren’t Free

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Earmarks by themselves do not add to the cost of the federal budget. Earmarks just direct general funds to be appropriated to specific projects. As a slice of the budget, earmarks represent a small portion.

This does not mean earmarks are not a fiscal problem. Earmarks direct resources away from areas where they would be appropriated. This causes programs to go unfunded until later years when bigger federal budgets come along.