Category Archives: politics

All politicians lie. But some (Romney) are bigger liars than others.

I’ve been in a number of Facebook debates with pro-Romney folks, and I love how myopic things get every presidential election year.

It’s so funny because I’m not really a fan of Obama.

He’s done a lot during his presidency, to fix the clusterfuck left by George W.

We’re not out of the dark yet, but there are clearly brighter days ahead.

And it’s thanks to Obama, some bi-partisanship and the policies that were put in place to prop up Wall Street, Detroit, the mortgage industry, and the list goes on.

But somehow, Obama has been cast as the grand villan, responsible for the mess, and not the guy who undertook to clean it up.

What’s worse, the party responsible for putting us in the mess in the first place, are casting themselves as the solution to Obama.

It’s like folks have amnesia.

Didn’t we just have a president who’s track record before he took office was ruining corporations?

Isn’t Bain Capital another example of a privileged under-achiever playing god with other people’s moolah.

Far from being a financial wizard, Romney is a one-trick pony, who’s one-trick is the art of borrowing.

Romney believes in one thing – spending other people’s money.

And that political philosophy is the exact one that put America into the greatest recession we’ve ever experienced.

As my younger brother says, do the research, which is something that Romney (and Ryan) don’t do.

In the wake of the first debate, Both candidates exaggerated multiple facts and figures.

But Romney was by far, the worse offender.

Sure, he sounded great, and came off sounding ‘strong on the economy’.

But the reality is that he was telling numerous untruths and flip flipping on issues like a fish on the deck of a boat.

I guess Romney is simply following the path of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, who decided to make up his own religious doctrine when Christianity didn’t suit him.

And if the fact that our potential future president follows the ramblings of a 19th century religious zealot doesn’t concern you, what are a few lies going to do?

And with that, I bid you adieu.

We can talk politics November 7th after we learn which of the pied pipers will occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for the next four years.

2 Comments

Filed under politics

Want straight talk on politics? Tune in to Rachel Maddow

This chick knows her ish!

I usually don’t ‘do’ politricks because (IMO) its all just a farce.

We elect figure heads who promise us the moon when they’re campaigning, ignore us for the majority of their term, and come abegging for our votes at the end of their respective terms.

Rarely do they keep their campaign promises.

Rarely do they exude the steely fire and commitment (in office) that they demonstrated while stumping.

Rarely are they the same people they presented themselves to be, before they took office.

It’s not surprising, then, that many are disenfranchised and disillusioned after their heros get elected to office, and then turn their backs on their constituency.

I’m a registered Democrat, but I’m not some fanatic that supports Democrats just because.

Nor do I tow the party line on issues.

I generally think that most politicians are liars, not to be trusted.

Kamau bigged her up so much I had to watch the show.

So it was with great interest that I listened to Rachel Maddow, first on Totally Biased, with W. Kamau Bell show, and then again, last night on The David Letterman show.

For those of you unfamiliar with Rachel, she is an American television host, political commentator, and author.

Her nightly television show, The Rachel Maddow Show, airs on MSNBC.

She also has a syndicated talk radio program which airs on Air America Radio.

What I found particularly captivating about Rachel is that she’s just so friggin’ smart!

I mean seriously, this chick has something special going on in all that grey matter between her ears.

Her perspective about the upcoming presidential election, the respective candidates and their parties, was unquestionably, one of the most concise, objective commentaries I’ve heard in a long time.

Even more impressive, was her passion about the subject, and her ease addressing whatever was thrown at her.

To be fair, she was talking to two comedians.

It’s not like either W. Kamau Bell or Letterman were dropping bombs on her with the questioning.

But it was clear from her responses, that she knew what the heck she was talking about, and she wasn’t merely parroting some liberal party line.

I’ve never watched the Rachel Maddow show.

I was am so disgusted with the state of politricks, that I really don’t care what either side has to say about anything.

So it stands to reason that none of these political talking heads (Wolf Blitzer, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter) have ever really resonated with me.

But with Rachel Maddow, I might actually have a reason to tune in and pay attention.

Leave a comment

Filed under opinion, politics, rant, Smack talking

The Road We’ve Traveled (isn’t far enough)

I just watched Obama’s (just shy of) 17 minute video/commercial/short film directed by Academy Award®-winning director Davis Guggenheim on YouTube.

The video, which was posted on BarackObama.com and YouTube yesterday, provides an overview of the past four years of Obama’s presidency.

According to the description on YouTube,

This film gives an inside look at some of the tough calls President Obama made to get our country back on track. Featuring interviews from President Bill Clinton, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Elizabeth Warren, David Axelrod, Austan Goolsbee, and more. It’s a film everyone should see.

Here’s the video.

Whether you’re a fan of Obama or not, the video makes a persuasive case that President Obama brought us back from the brink of disaster.

I’m certain that few would doubt that former President Bush left the country is a bad way.

The video uses the condition of the country as the starting point for making the case for Obama’s success.

But despite the eloquent narration of Tom Hanks, will this video really have the desired impact?

The Washington Post provided an insightful review of the video and it’s intended purpose.

How many people are going to view this video and come away with the desired impression of Obama?

Will people see this video as a summary of success or pure propaganda?

Regardless, it’s clear that Obama’s re-election efforts will have to confront a more basic issue (again) in 2012.

Race.

Trolling Facebook yesterday, I came across the following bumper stickers:

Really?

Re-Nig? Wow. I. Am. Speechless.

Will the video be able to put a dent in the attitudes and opinions of folks creating propaganda like this?

I doubt it.

No matter how well the Obama campaign casts the past four years, some folks just don’t give a damn.

For them the issue is as simple as black and white.

Despite all that Obama has done, what’s clear is that the road we’ve traveled isn’t far enough.

Leave a comment

Filed under branding, opinion, politics, social media

When Social Media Attacks: Susan G. Komen, What Were You Thinking?!!

Susan G. Komen effed up big time!

A few days ago, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, cut Planned Parenthood’s funding for breast cancer screening.

Planned Parenthood offers almost a million breast cancer screenings a year, and without the support of organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation, hundreds of thousands of women will no longer be able to avail themselves of the benefits of screenings and early detection.

Citing a pending investigation against Planned Parenthood, the Foundation’s true motivations were quickly exposed as bowing to Republican anti-choice pressure.

The response to the foundation’ actions was as swift as it was passionate.

The social media response was immediate and massive - check the shares!

Thousands shared their outrage and posted their reactions on Facebook and Twitter.

Overnight, advocacy groups set up websites calling attention to the fight and asking visitors to sign and share the petitions.

MoveOn.org and other organizations quickly established online petitions.

No less than four separate online petitions were created, each calling on visitors to tell the Foundation to reverse it’s decision.

Hundreds of thousands of people shared the story, through links on Facebook, videos, tweets and various online calls-to-action.

The Foundation also set it’s damage control units to work, issuing (inconsistent) statement after (inconsistent) statement, trying to clean up it’s mess (but only adding fuel to the fire).

Cutting funding for Planed Parenthood’s breast cancer screening is the antithesis of this mission, and the executives at the Foundation who participated in this are feeling a social media magnified wrath that is unprecedented in the history of the organization (and likely most philanthropic organizations).

To quote Jennifer Preston and Gardiner Harris of the New York Times:

To Planned Parenthood, that decision amounted to a betrayal of the organizations’ shared goal of saving lives through breast screening programs. Ms. Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, said her organization was gratified by the support the controversy has brought.

The growing sentiment, both internally and externally, is that the Foundation waded into muddy waters (the debate on abortion), and should remain focused on it’s mission, fighting breast cancer.

Clearly, the powers that be at SGK are scrambling to make things right.

Unfortunately, in this day and age of social media, where bad news travels faster than the speed of light, ‘making things right’ are often easier said than done.

Whatever happens, someone will have egg on their face, and I imagine that someone will step down/fall on their sword/be the scapegoat for this debacle.

Hopefully, this lesson will be learned: if you’re going to do something unpopular, be prepared for the social media backlash.

UPDATE: Politico.com just reported that the Susan G. Komen Foundation backed down from it’s earlier stance and has restored funding to Planned Parenthood. 

Power to the people (and social media)!!

1 Comment

Filed under digital advocacy, opinion, politics, social media

How Do You Dethrone Charles Rangel? Guerilla Style. Welcome to Team Morgan!

20120202-084855.jpg

Vince Morgan looking dapper at our lunch meeting at Settepani.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve been working with Vincent Morgan and his campaign to become the next Congressman for the 15th District of New York, a seat currently occupied by Charles Rangel.

In 2010, we ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat Rangel, who was in the midst of an ethics investigation, and perhaps more vulnerable than he had ever been in his 40 years on office.

Although we ran a smart race, we did things the traditional way, and were very careful not to say anything too polarizing or controversial about Mr. Rangel.

We wanted Vince to be the focus of our efforts and not Mr. Rangel, who everyone else seemed to be gunning for.

We are now, once again, in an election cycle, and with an election under our belt, we feel confident that the results will be different, this time around.

Why?

Well for one, it’s a presidential election year. People typically turn out to vote in greater numbers when the president is on the bill. In the last primary election, Rangel won with less than 20,000 votes. In a District with over 200,000 registered Democrats, that screams apathy. It says that folks weren’t particularly interested in the race OR that they weren’t interested enough to vote for Rangel OR that they believed that Rangel’s re-election was a foregone conclusion. Whatever the case the last time around, this year, it’s a whole new ballgame.

Second, we know what we’re up against. In the last election, we were green. We had no idea what we were doing or what to expect. Although we were very passionate about getting Vince elected, our strategy for how we’d accomplish that was untested. This time around, we’ve got a game plan. We’ve got a great (and growing) team of experts. Our message is tight and our candidate is out early, raising awareness about his campaign.

Third, we are raising money. Everyone in this politics game knows that you need money to run a campaign. Nearly everyone in the race last time raised and spent more money than we did. This time around, raising money is of paramount importance to our efforts. Even though folks aren’t pouring boatloads of money into our coffers (yet), we’re focused on fundraising. What’s interesting is that it seems that everyone else is finding fundraising challenging too.

Fourth, our street game is bananas. Unlike anyone else in the race or planning on running, Vince has young legs and is ready to walk the entire district. We’re actively recruiting young college students, who have unbridled energy and a real desire to participate in the political process to add to our street team. Keep your eyes on the streets in Harlem, in the coming days, and you’ll see what I mean.

Fifth, we are masters of all things digital. There is no other candidate in this race with the internet, social media and general online savvy of Team Morgan. Vince is fond of telling the story of how he taught Mr. Rangel how to turn on his computer. And while the story is genuinely funny, it underscores the point that Mr. Rangel is out of touch with so much more than just the District he purports to represent.

Unlike other candidates, Vince is particularly savvy with all things digital. Vince regularly blogs, tweets, FourSquares, updates his Facebook and other social media profiles himself. He’s equally comfortable on his iPhone, iPad2 or Mac. In an increasingly technological age, it is of critical importance that our officials that aren’t technologically out of touch.

Applying the Art of War to a campaign.

Sixth, we’re going guerrilla. If you’ve ever read The Art of War by Sun Tzu, you know that any successful campaign starts with a plan. But rather than being focused on some rigid, fixed strategy, Sun Tzu emphasized the need for flexibility and fluidity, the ability to quickly adapt to changed(ing) situations.

Finally, folks recognize that enough is enough. One of the central themes (and campaign slogan) for this election cycle is that “It’s Time.” It’s time for Rangel to step down. It’s time for cronyism to end. It’s time to re-establish confidence in our elected officials. It’s time that big business did it’s fair share for the people, and not at the expense of the people.

Every once in a while, you’ll notice that I post up about Vince, share a story or link, or ask you to donate to the M4C campaign. I’m going to keep doing that. But I’m also going to write about what’s going on in the campaign, from behind-the-scenes.

Hopefully, you’ll be excited about what we’re doing, and join us…or give us money…or share it with your friends…or give us money…or volunteer to work with the campaign…or give us money.

And if you’re at a total loss for how to get involved, you can just give us money.

So stay tuned for my daily updates and welcome to Team Morgan!

Leave a comment

Filed under politics