Jay Smooth on the Republican Hater’s Ball

Posted in Politics, Videos on September 4th, 2008 by Hyphen

As always, Jay Smooth is so on point. Between all of the fire and brimstone spewed by Palin, Romney, and Rudy and the 9-11’s, there was one overriding theme: these people have no ideas of their own and have nothing left other than attacking Barack. Besides the fact that we’re all tired of these divisive tactics, last night, Palin crossed the line by disrespecting and belittling community organizers. This is the year when the voters, especially all the new blood registered by the Obama campaign, will step up and change American politics. Goodbye Rove and company. Your days are numbered.

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They’re just lying to you

Posted in News, Politics on September 4th, 2008 by Hyphen

Plain and simple, the Republicans took to the stage last night and lied through their teeth to the American people. It’s pretty shocking and despicable when the Associated Press (a news service based on reporting facts, not opinion) has to take you to task for some of your inaccuracies. Here are just a few of the examples:

Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

Associated Press Writer
Wed Sep 3, 11:48 PM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

PALIN: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending … and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a “bridge to nowhere.”

PALIN: “There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate.”

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

PALIN: “The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama’s plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain’s plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

MCCAIN: “She’s been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America’s energy supply … She’s responsible for 20 percent of the nation’s energy supply. I’m entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America,” he said in an interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson.

THE FACTS: McCain’s phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she’s no more “responsible” for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.

MCCAIN: “She’s the commander of the Alaska National Guard. … She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,” he said on ABC.

THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under “federal status,” which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska’s national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin “got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.”

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor’s election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: “We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin.”

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.


Keep this in mind when McCain hobbles on stage tonight and spews some more falsehoods.

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Murs’ press conference > RNC

Posted in Artists, Videos on September 3rd, 2008 by Hyphen

Murs’ press conference for Murs For President is about 9870983120322x better than this crap the Republicans are trying to push on us through their convention speeches. I just heard McCain was a war hero…did y’all know that? Why do they keep these things so underwraps?

They’re breaking world records for jingoism in Bolt/Phelps-esque fashion. This is why the world hates us.

Swiped from DopeBoyz.

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The Next President of the United States of America

Posted in Live Performances, Politics, Videos on August 29th, 2008 by Hyphen

Masterful.  Inspirational.  Heroic.  Epic.  Brilliant.  Educational.  Transcendent.  A moment in history.

Was it the potential all-timer that I talked about yesterday?  No, but it was up there.  Again, I don’t recommend trying to blog at 6 AM, especially about an event as monumental as Barack accepting the Democratic nomination last night in Denver, but I’ll give some quick thoughts before I crash.  My sleep schedule is so effed up.

First off, the spectacle was outstanding.  Barack effortlessly pulled in 85,000+ people to watch him speak, not to mention the thousands that watched it from outside the venue and at special events all around the globe.  Oh, and the millions on television.  While the crowd wasn’t as large as the 200K he drew in Berlin, it speaks to the same undeniable inspiration that Barack has brought to the world.  The Republicans have tried to attack him by saying this popularity is actually a negative, and he’s nothing more than a celebrity or phenomenon.  How completely false.

Obama is not here because he’s a celebrity, he’s a celebrity because he’s here.  He’s a celebrity because of the man he is, what he’s accomplished, and what he has already meant to the world.  Without his fundamental ideals, morals, policies, and passions, he would not be in this position.  Any attempt to trivialize that is absurd.  I’m sorry John McCain pulls crowds the size of local musicians and can’t read off a teleprompter.  Perhaps if he could, or had any worthwhile ideas and policies (did you hear he was a prisoner of war?), the Republicans would focus their campaign around their candidate.  Since he’s a sham, they have no choice but to try to tear down Barack.

Unfortunately for them, it won’t work and tonight Barack struck back.  The difference between McCain’s attacks and Barack’s is that Obama stays focused on the issues and policies to score direct hits.  McCain and his cronies continue to insinuate that Barack is an “other” and he’s not ready to lead this country.  While there are surely legitimate criticisms centered around Barack’s “inexperience,” far too many are using that word as code for “different,” or perhaps too bluntly, “black.”

As I mentioned last night, Barack is one of us.  He’s the face of the new America.  The multi-racial America.  The America that is pushing past the social problems of our past like Usain Bolt down the straightaway.  Is he all the way there?  No, he’s not.  For example, like many in his age group, he’s a little behind on gay rights.  However, he still understands that everyone deserves equal treatment and even if his religion doesn’t understand them, he welcomes “our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters” into the fold.  That is what a true leader does.  When speaking at a college during the primaries, he said that he “may be on the wrong side of history” in respect to his personal beliefs on homosexuality and I think that will ultimately be proven true.  The important thing is that he understands this and understands the importance of looking towards the future.

This election is not about rich vs. poor, white vs. black, left vs. right, blue vs. red, etc..  This election is about the past vs. the future, and whether we want to be progressive in moving forward, or conservative while holding on to the notion of “the good ol’ days.”  You know what?  The good ol’ days had their share of bright spots, but they were far from perfect.  We’ll never achieve any sort of utopia, but we must always strive to “work towards a more perfect union.”  We can be better in the future, every single one of us.  We can be smarter.  We can be healthier.  We can be friendlier.  We can be more understanding.  We can be harder, better, faster, stronger.

But, we have to work for it.  For Barack to become president, we all have to show people how important this particular election is and how we are teetering on a knife’s edge.  Do you think we can afford four more years of the current policies?  Not if you want to maintain or better your standard of living and participate in the global economy of tomorrow, no way in hell.  Make sure you and everyone you know are registered to vote.  [Hov] It’s so necessary [/Jay] and it’s easy, especially if you know how to use a computer.

Hmm, I guess that rules John McCain out. Think about it people: he can’t even use a computer (“ahhh…it’s beeping at me!”), so how could he possibly guide the free world without basic understanding of the single most important invention of our time?  I’m adding a rule to my presidential threshold test:  if you don’t know how to use the internet, you can’t be president.  I’m sorry, it’s 2008.  I demand you to be elite.

John McCain and the Republicans are simply on the wrong side of history right now.  They are wrong about the war.  They are wrong about health care and social security.  They are wrong about the rights of women and homosexuals.  They are wrong about education.  They are wrong about foreign policy.  They are wrong about taxes.  And most importantly, in our dollar euro dominated world, they are wrong about the economy.

They will do whatever it takes to maintain their power, so we have to rise above it and overpower them with our organization, numbers, and intelligence.  We don’t want to stoop to their level, but instead we need to brush them off and keep pushing forward.  Recognize and value where you’ve been, then apply what you’ve learned as you move in to the future.  gObama.

“They thought I’d make another Illmatic,
But it’s always forward I’m movin’,
Never backwards, stupid, here’s another classic”

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The Clintons bounce back & Jumpoff Joe Biden lays down the gauntlet

Posted in Politics, Videos on August 28th, 2008 by Hyphen

Now this is the Bill I remember.  I can’t believe we impeached this man because of a booty call while George ‘Strategery’ Bush literally broke law after law while ruining our country and his only punishment is going down as the worst president of all time.  What a world.

Anyway, at last night’s Democratic National Convention, Bill dusted off his boots and got that old Clinton swag going with an excellent speech in support of Barack Obama.  Again, my late night blogging hours are killing me, so I won’t get too in depth here.  I just wanted to toss it up on TAOD, along with Hillary’s (good, not great) speech from Tuesday and Biden’s rousing performance, to remind y’all that tonight is the main event.

Forty-five years to the day after Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech, Barack is set to formally accept the nomination tonight in Denver.  I hate to build the hype, but I’ve been saying for a while that Barack has one of the greatest speeches in history in him, it’s just a question of when he’s going to drop it.  You could argue that he’s already given a couple (2004’s keynote address at the Convention, “Yes We Can” in New Hampshire, and “A More Perfect Union” from earlier this year), but I think he’s capable of an all-timer.  I’m talking MLK meets JFK meets Gehrig meets Jimmy V meets William Wallace.  Will that be tonight?  Will that be his victory speech in November?  His inauguration speech in January?

Regardless, we’ll see history tonight.  Whatever you’re doing, make sure you tune in to watch. It’ll be on every channel and there’s a good chance it’ll be a moment you remember for the rest of your life.

Hit the jump to watch the speeches from Hillary and Biden (especially recommended).

Read more »

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Bun B at the Democratic National Convention

Posted in Artists, Other Peoples' Interviews, Politics on August 28th, 2008 by Hyphen

(I know what you’re sayin’)

AllHipHop caught up with Bun at the Convention to get his take on hip-hop’s role in the political process.  That’s interesting that he’s planning on going to the Republican National Convention next week in Minnesota too.  I understand where he’s coming from, but you couldn’t pay me to be surrounded by that much ignorance.  As Bill said last night, “thanks, but no thanks.”

To hear more of Bun talking politics, peep the interview I did with him for Sound Session back in April right here.  Video swiped from Eskay.

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Murs at the Democratic Convention (big ups to Jake One!)

Posted in Artists, Other Peoples' Interviews on August 26th, 2008 by Hyphen

All Hip-Hop caught up with Murs at the Democratic National Convention for a quick interview.  Aside from talking a little politics and imploring y’all to vote, he answers one of the weirdest questions I’ve ever heard by bigging up Seattle’s own Jake One.  Murs over “Rock KoKaine Flow”?  I’d love to hear it.  Better yet, I’d love to see Murs and Jake link up for a track or two…

Swiped from illRoots.

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Michelle Obama speaks at the Democratic National Convention

Posted in Politics, Videos on August 26th, 2008 by Hyphen

(Memo to the Repubs: She loves this country.)

If you missed our next first lady speak at the Democratic National Convention last night, here’s the video of her speech.  It’s late, so I won’t go into much detail, but the basic idea behind this week is to make sure everyone in America gets to know Barack and Michelle as much as possible.  Too many people are still using the excuse of “I don’t know much about him” when explaining why they’re hesitant to vote for Obama.  If you disagree with his positions, that’s fine.  Vote for the candidate who believes what you believe.  But if you just don’t know enough about the Obamas, that’s your fault.  Educate yourself.  I strongly recommend that everyone read The Audacity of Hope as soon as possible.  Read up on the issues.  This election is too important for people to be lazy.  For real.

Some people are also falling for the despicable, false, and at their core, racist, attacks that Barack and Michelle are somehow “others,” not like the rest of us.  The Republican attack machine smartly depends on the naivete and downright ignorance of American voters, so this is the year where all that needs to change.  They’re trying to tell you that the Obamas are different.  They’re too radical.  They don’t love America.  They’re doing this for selfish, personal reasons.  They’re not like us.

False.  They are us.  They are the symbol of progression and the embodiment of all that is possible in our country when you work hard and do things the right way.  Yes, they are from outside the system.  With a broken, prejudiced system in place since our founding, that’s exactly what we need.  It’s time to move into the future and catch up to the rest of the world.  It’s time for change.

Use this week to watch as much of the Convention as possible and educate yourselves on the issues and the candidates.  Make sure you and your friends are registered to vote.  It’s time we take responsibility.

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John Legend – If You’re Out There (live)

Posted in Artists, Live Performances, Videos on August 25th, 2008 by Hyphen

John’s been slowly starting to unleash music from Evolver, first “Good Morning” at the end of the “Green Light” video, and now a live performance of “If You’re Out There” at the Democratic National Convention that kicked off today in Denver.  When I spoke to John last month for Sound Session, he talked extensively about this song and the reasons why he wrote it.  If you missed that interview, you can peep it here.

Between John’s performance, Edward Kennedy’s inspirational appearance, and Michelle Obama’s excellent speech, the Convention is off to a great start.  Kanye, N.E.R.D., and Wyclef are supposed to be doing something out there this week, so hopefully video of those performances will hit the net too.


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