My thoughts on the government #shutdown? If only OPA of #Scandal could handle this...

Let's face it, what's going on between Congress and the White House right is some ugly, childish, we-want-what-we-want-when-we-want-it-and-we-don't-care-who-gets-hurt bullshiggity. I know I throw around the term "hot mess" but this right here takes that label and multiplies exponentially to the nth degree. This is a chess match where we've reached a stalemate. Or a poker game where neither side will fold or call. In the meantime, no one wins. 

I mean, c'mon on, people. If nothing else, America has always been able to say that we rock as a nation. It's inherent for Americans to look at other nations and say, "This is how we do it, get like us." No one is saying that this week. China is telling their people that America is closed, no need to visit. Kids on a field trip were turned away from the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln is doing backflips in his grave. This is some epic buffoonery from a party that pushed Sarah Palin and then Mitt Romney at us with a straight face. Stop. Clearly, it's time for an intervention.

I won't point fingers (*stares hard at GOP*) or cite a lack of strong leadership (*shade thrown at Boehner*) but I will say that to unravel this will take a revolt, a revelation, a reversal or a Kennedy. Since only a few of those charming, reach-across-the-aisle Kennedys are in a position to fix this, I suggest Olivia Pope.

ABC's Scandal returns tonight to entertain us with the tale of a DC crisis manager who operates in a no-nonsense, non-partisan forward-thinking way. (Except when it comes to her on-again, off-again boyfriend,  the President of the United States of America, but that's a whole other plot line) What we wouldn't give to have an Olivia Pope at the table with Boehner, Reid, et al to straighten this mess out. Though since the problem is budget related, this could be a problem:

My point is, maybe we need to lock Boehner in a room with Huckleberry Quinn and their power tools and see what happens. Maybe Harrison could hit the House floor with his epic money clip and change some yeas to nays or nays to yeas, whichever is needed. Abby could sleep with Jack Lew (Treasury Secretary) just to put him in a more mellow frame of mind all the way around and who knows what he's got locked in a safe at his place. Olivia, of course, would explain in rapid-fire detail the hellfire and brimstone that would rain down on their collective heads if they don't figure a way to fix this and right soon. And then we could get this:

While we're waiting for that to happen at least we have fresh episodes of Scandal on tonight at 9pm central on ABC. Lord knows we need some entertainment during this exasperating, shame-inducing, trying times. Who's watching with me? Anyone got words of wisdom for Congress? Do share...

Five Lessons Learned from #Election2012

Before I get too giddy, let's review the fact that 57 million Americans voted for Mittens. Let that sink in. 57 million people thought Romney would be a better President than Barack Obama. I'm sorry, I just can't see how 57 million people thought that guy was qualified to make world-impacting decisions on a daily basis. Now whether it was disappointment or racism or party loyalty - who knows. Either way, that number is frightening. Somehow, we have to unite and come together as a country. Though I must say when I pranced into Starbucks in my "Got Hope?" T-shirt this morning... whew. Honey if looks could kill I'd be decked out in the purple casket right now.

But let's take a look at five of the important takeaways from these long, brutal and at times down right ugly election:

1. No More Rich C-students: After G-Dub, the American people are not going to accept just any old entitled so-and-so with a bankroll for the Presidency. It's no longer enough to be a "likeable" guy and truth be told, Mitt wasn't that likeable. But the point is this - all told it's estimated that over two BILLION dollars was raised/spent in the effort to get Mittens to 1600 Penn. And apparently you can no longer buy the White House with a half-assed candidate. I'm not saying wasn't smart but at no time did he appear to be on Obama's level intellectually or politically.  Conclusion - the bar has been raised. You have to have a candidate who can stand on more than a black card and a trust fund.

2. Minorities are no longer minor - Fact of the matter is that the Republicans spent a lot of time trying to segregate and categorize people. They wanted women in one bucket (next to the stove and the cleaning supplies), blacks in another bucket (out back by the cotton fields). They sort of assumed that Latinos were either on welfare or illegal and they bashed China (there goes your Asian vote) at every opportunity. Conclusion - If you shade all the minorities, they band together, turn into a majority and vote against you. Obama got over 50% of women voters, over 70% of Latino voters and over 90% of African American voters. 

3. No country for murkiness - What I mean by this is that your candidate actually has to be about something. You can't toss out some half-assed policies (and change your mind next week) and promise to be more clear when you get elected. That's like asking someone to marry you on your first date. People need to know what they are getting. Two weeks before the election I still did not know what Mittens was for or against. Conclusion - You have to have a platform. Even if it sucks. State it, claim it and stick to it.

4. Birds of a Feather - Even if Mitt was charismatic and charming, he both endorsed and surrounded himself with some pure D idiots. You are your crew, sir. And Mitts' crew was a train wreck. Paul Ryan looked like a child seated next to Biden. Mourdock had foot in mouth disease. Trump appears to need psychiatric help and/or medication. Karl Rove is a blathering hot head. This does not a great brain trust make. Conclusion - You can't just appease the money folks. At some point you need to pick people who can help you and not hurt you. Also doesn't hurt to surround yourself with a variety of viewpoints, not just the ones you like to hear.

5. Hope rises, hate fails - Hate-mongering and fear speech are old and cold tactics. It's harder to scare people who have access to 24/7 news cycles and Google. Sure you can just make things up and fling them out there to see who takes the bait but as Grandma Blanche used to say - the truth will always out. The Republicans called Obama everything but a child of God. CEOs threatened to fire people. Romney told people their jobs were being shipped overseas. I could be here all day listing the shenanigans but the conclusion is this - you can't win on fear if the other side is offering hope. 

This second term won't be easy but I'll be really surprised if Obama doesn't take the gloves off and come out swinging. He has no more elections to win. With his re-election, the healthcare plan, the immigration reform and the equal pay laws stay in place. I believe he'll try and reach out across the aisle but I also believe he'll work around any obstruction as best he can with no looking back. While the first presidency was an ascension, this is a solidification. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Exhale everybody. What did this election teach you?

Things I loved about #DNC2012 and why you care

Whew. That's a wrap ya'll. #DNC2012 is in the books. I found it to be uplifting and exhausting. Now it's a countdown to Election Day with a few interesting debates along the way. There were many, many things I loved about the convention but here are a few of my favorites:

1. Democrats are the party of inclusion - Unlike the white-washed RNC, the DNC embraced all the colors of the rainbow. Without cherry-picking, you could easily scan the crowded and see all races, all ages, and both sexes liberally represented. Why do you care? This means chances are someone who cares about the things you care about belongs to the Democratic Party.

2. Diamond Bill is still shining - I started calling former President Clinton "Diamond Bill" back in the mid-90s. 

Diamonds are created over stress and time. They are coveted and sometimes come at too high a price. Ladies love them and men don't mind them either. Diamonds are tough and resilient. You can bury them deep in shiggity for as long as you'd like but after a quick rinse, buff and polish - they shine again. You know how when a diamond is in the sun and it catches the light, it's so dazzling you just have to look at it? Diamond Bill, ya'll. Why do you care? He's going to be out on the road campaigning for Obama and it's good to know he's still got it.

3. POTUS and VPOTUS love their wives - No shade to G.Dub and Laura or Daddy Bush and Barbara or even Ron and Nancy but you never looked ad those couples and wondered if they wouldn't rather be at home stirring the cocoa. Jill Biden actually blushed when her husband shouted her out from the stage last night and this pic of Barack and Michelle tells you all you need to know:

Why do you care? Love's in need of love today people.

4. Ya boy went in - For the record, Obama put on a clinic on how to throw shade, throw 'bows and snatch wigs the bougie way. You don't name call, you don't lie, you don't question citizenship. You merely suggest that a man who insults the Queen may not be up to the task of foreign affairs. You politely scroll through your accomplishments. And you put the cherry on top of the sundae by reminding everyone listening that you  are doing the damn job right now. Why do you care? Who doesn't want their President to be the coolest guy in the room?

5. DNC riverdanced all over the RNC - Tweets (9 million vs. 4 million), ratings, ability to engage the crowd, speak factually while keeping it classy? DNC did that. As I tweeted last night, the RNC talked to a chair, the DNC talked to the citizens. Why do you care? Because now action needs to be taken.

Make sure all of your people know their voting rights and have those papers ready. Look around and see if there is anything you can do to help this campaign. To me, the theme song for last night was Black Sheep's "The Choice is Yours..." Now go make it.

Thoughts, comments, insights?

Six things I learned from #RNC2012

I watched bits and pieces of the Republican National Convention and I kept waiting. I kept waiting for that light bulb moment when I would finally understand why Mitt Romney was truly a viable candidate for the presidency. Would it shock you to know that the a-ha! moment never came?

But here's what I did learn from the Republicans this week:

1. Truth doesn't matter. Really, all of you fact checking watch dogs out there can just open up margarita huts in the Cayman Islands (next to Romney's bank). You are no longer needed. Apparently, things don't have to be true for you to say them. It's kind of like at a jury trial. Object if you like but as long as the jurors have already heard it...

2. Issues don't matter. One mo' gin, can someone give me the Republican rundown on ANY of the major issues impacting the day-to-day and long-term running of this country? Anyone? Anyone? 

3. Buzzwords = good, Details = bad. Romney detailed outlined PowerPointed his five step "turn the country around" plan but did not deign to back any of it up with details. How are you stimulating trade and ending dependency on foreign oil? Exactly? If he knew, he would tell us right? Or has he adopted an "when you pick me, I'll tell you" strategy?

4. Diversity? We don't need no stinking diversity. Alright now - trotting out Condi, some dude I didn't know, a biracial chick from Utah and having Bebe (serious side-eye to Mr. Winans) sing your closing song does not diversity make. Attendees counted what they described as a "handful" of "diverse" conventioneers. Where was the semblance of inclusion? In Tampa, you couldn't have bussed some folks in and given them a sammich to stand near a camera and pretend they cared? C'mon somebody.

5. Celebrity wins. When the biggest buzzword to come out of your convention is #Eastwooding... you're doing it wrong. I know they hate that Schwarzenegger messed all over Maria, he was their go to celeb for years. When an 82 year old celeb gets more buzz than your nominee? Something ain't right. Say what you want about the dems but we like our Presidents to be on some rock star status. Obeezy, Diamond Bill, LBJ, JFK? (Not Carter so much but darn he's a smart, personable guy)

6. Folks can't separate disagreement from discrimination  One thing the Republicans have got to learn is how to disagree with a policy or an ideal without it sounding like racist hate-speak. It's one thing to be disappointed in Obama because he didn't live up to your expectations but ReThugs had their folks all up in the camera calling him socialist, communist, Muslim, evil spawn of Satan... basically everything but a child of God. That kind of hatemongering always backfires. It takes some time but it always loses in the end. Let's make that happen in November, shall we?

And one more for a bonus-

7. Apparently the USA has left the building. So the country is gone? Who has it? Where did it go? Whose was it to begin with? If "they" didn't want "us" here, why did they bring us? Shouldn't Native Americans be waving this "take back" banner? So many questions, so few answers...

So in essence, I learned nothing about the Republican Party that I didn't already suspect. As soon as the balloon dropped, I ran to barackobama.com and gave up some more dollars. I cannot with the Romney of it all. I. CAN. NOT. 

BougieLand, a few questions - Did anything at the RNC surprise you? Who's looking forward to the DNC next week? What do you expect to see/hear? And it's about that time - what are you doing for Labor Day weekend?

Dear White Male Repubs, Say What Now?! Yours Truly, Magical Sperm-Repelling Uterus Carriers

I know, I know - it's just not fair, Joe Biden can get up and talk about folks being put "back in chains" and we shrug. "Oh that crazy-assed Joe, he didn't mean anything by it." William Jefferson Clinton can sling his presidential penis every which way but loose and we just wag a finger. "That Clinton is one scandalous sumbitch. But so damn likable!" Obama can soft pedal minority initiatives that we clamor for him to front burner and we sigh once or twice. "At least the brother is trying."

But White Male Republicans (WMRs) gets NO love from the community. Not the Black community and not the majority of women of voting age. Why? Because we don't trust them. We don't. We've had a front row seat to their long-standing effort to dial our (women and minorities) progress back to the Dark Ages and we wants none of it. Bush 1, Bush 2, Reagan - in my lifetime these have not been kindler, gentler Republicans. And lately they appear to care less and less about me and people that look like me. 

Even so, I find myself a little nervous about the upcoming election. You know after G-Dub straight jacked the country from Gore and posted up for eight years, I have to hold my breath at election time. Apparently anyone with a decent lawyer, a governor in his pocket and a wad of cash can flip an entire state's worth of electoral votes and declare themselves the winner of a Presidential race. So no matter how the popular vote goes (and let's face it, Mitt and RyRy aren't so very popular right now); this whole game could be changed up.

But God Bless the GOP. They keep finding ways to alienate entire swaths of folks in one fell swoop. It was bad enough that Rep. Todd Akin opened his mouth to declare than in cases of "legitimate rape" women's bodies had a mechanism to prevent pregnancy. [More on that in a second] But his own party can't get him and others that agree with him to STFU and GTFOH. What's that about? Dems that step knee deep in shiznit round election time (see Andrew Weiner for reference) get the hook off the national stage with much immediacy. The WMRs are arrogant with theirs. So what if he pissed of an entire sex, he gonna run dammit!

Where did these guys take SexEd? What magically sperm-repelling uteri are these and where oh where can I trade mine in for one? Believe me, if women had a way to choose which sperm made babies and which got the eject button? Woo, boy! Whole different ballgame. Prepping for the cocoa stir would take on new levels of anxiety. Let's see, do I reject or accept the sperm this evening? "Sweetie, before we do this? Imma need to see your test results, last three tax returns and the genetic code of your family for the last three generations." 

I really tried to figure out what exactly a "legitimate" rape is and I can not twist my mind around it. Perhaps I misunderstand the definition of the word rape. What the hell would legitimize it? And while Mittens and Ryan attempt to distance themselves from Akin's sinking ship, we have to look at a bill that Ryan sponsored seeking to redefine rape and only allowing abortions in cases of "forcible" rape. Isn't all rape forcible? Does a woman seriously need to prove intent in this day and age? When you are putting words in front of "rape" they should be "don't" or "convicted of" or "heinous act of" or "statutory" - don't try and get all fancy with rape. It's brutal, it's ugly, it's simple - don't jazz it up. No means no. Rape is rape. Leave it alone.

The bigger question here is who exactly are these conservative WMRs appealing to? Okay you've got some rich asses, some right wingers, some Tea Partiers, some rednecks and some old-school Klan but aren't you pissing off their wives and girlfriends right bout now? Has the Republican Party decided to run on a ticket of "Well We Ain't Bout Shit But At Least We're Not That Black Muslim Obama"? Is that what it's come down to?

I also wonder - who are the handlers on the Republican side of the aisle? Don't they have access to the same talent as the Dems? Is no one controlling the national message? Education, defense, healthcare, jobs, national security - are they for it, against it or for it if it's done their way (which is how exactly)? Color me confused. The Republican message is convoluted and messy right now. I'm missing the main idea, and I've actually been trying to listen. I couldn't tell you even with a cheat sheet what they stand for. Tax dodges? Private islands? P90X? Tanning Spray? Besides saying no to any and everything Obama sets in front of them, I don't know what they're about. And that scares me tremendously.

Therefore I'd like to respectfully request that they speak plain. I need them to spell it out. Oh, don't get it twisted... I'm not voting for WMRs on the state or federal level. Not sure about locally, I have to check out the tickets. But I feel like I should have a better idea of what you're working with, what you're striving for, what you're trying to do besides protect your money, control my magic uterus and send me back to Africa. By the way, I'm of Caribbean descent so if ish go bad in November, may I request extradition to Barbados or Trinidad? I'm just saying...

BougieLand, help me out. What the hell are the Republicans talking about? What's the master plan? What drugs is Akin taking? What were your thoughts about the redefining of rape and how it was handled in the media? Is Paul Ryan a good addition to the Romney candidacy? Are we all so fatigued by this campaign that we wish it was November 7th already? Thoughts, comments, questions...

Dear Republicans: Eff You, Pay Me. Love, Women

You know we try to keep it bougie round here put then there comes a time to step up on the soapbox and call bullshiggity. 

I try not to align myself as Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. I try to take each issue as it stands. But someone has GOT to explain what the hell the Republicans in Congress care about besides removing Obama from office and preserving their trust funds for me.

It's one thing to want to  lock down the borders and frisk people of color randomly. We sort of expect that. It's another thing to not give two shits if anyone has decent healthcare. We kinda knew that was coming too. But when it comes to equal pay for equal work and enforcing that? Well isn't that just common decency? Voting against that is kind of like kicking a (wo)man when she's down, isn't is? That's on some shiggity level right there.

Having served my time in H.R. over the past two decades, I have seen a lot of compensation disparity. A. Lot. A. Lot. A. Lot. And nothing infuriates me more than seeing two people who are at the same level with the same seniority and doing the same job at the same proficiency not being compensated in the same manner. When the only noticeable difference is that one of them pees standing up? That makes me absolutely crazy.

So as I'm reading these trifling "so-called" justifications for why not a single GOP'er voting for this addendum to the Equal Pay Act, I'm positively steaming. This wage-bias bill would have opened up new avenues for women to seek justice in wage discrimination cases. 

I have to wonder - do the Republicans just not care about the female vote? Or the "anyone under middle class" vote? Or the African-American vote? Someone please explain this strategy in an election year. I'm betwixt and befuddled. The floor is yours...

Could you be... Gloria Cain?

In the wake of Herman Cain's heauxnanigans, several people on the Twitter began speculating on his wife's state of mind and future plans. This past Saturday, as Gloria Cain stood doing her best Season One Alicia Florrick (if you don't watch The Good Wife, you really really should) imitation - I felt a little queasy. As Herman announced that he was "at peace with his wife" and she was at peace with him, she smiled and clapped like he'd just delivered the MLK "I Have a Dream" speech.

What, I wondered, could possibly motivate a woman to stand up and clap for a man who at the very least has a wandering eye but most probably is a blatant philanderer and grabber of random asses. The minute I asked the question, my timeline flooded with two flavors of responses. Either she was a good Christian woman and was standing by her man to keep the covenant or she had worked out her own economic recovery plan. In short, Gloria was getting paid.

Gloria has been married to dude for 43 years. Georgia is an "equitable distribution" state. I'm not an attorney but I believe that means she gets paid whether she stays or goes. 

There are a lot of things I joke about doing for money. And when push came to shove with millions of dollars at stake, I think I'd pause and consider the "what would you do" question. But this right here? Standing up at a nationally televised event with a man who has completely humiliated me? Could not do it.

I remember years ago, I was in a hair salon with Deion Sanders' first wife. She said she could not take all the extracurriculars and was going to bail. Now most of us in there were young and single and involved with some flavor of professional athlete. Half of the room told her to get a good attorney and bounce, the other half of the room said to give him a chance to turn the corner but stay. His earning potential in the long run was worth a little suffering now. I was stunned. I'd never heard marriage broken down like an income and expense sheet before or since. That "what happens on the road, stays on the road" nonsense did not fly with me. (Hence the failure of that relationship.) I just remember her saying, "I've run out of cheeks and blind eyes to turn." There it is.

We don't know Gloria Cain. She seems to be a real class act, old Southern bouge if you will. We definitely don't know Gloria's motivation. Maybe she really loves that idiot man, maybe she doesn't believe in divorce, maybe she believes these women are all just out to get him... I don't know. I do know that I couldn't do it. Not for all the money in the world.

Bougie Brothers and Sisters. I think we've asked before if you would stay with a cheating spouse. But would you stay with a cheating spouse for a multi-million dollar payout? Why do you think Gloria stayed? Do you think she'll leave eventually? And what do you think of the "Hillary stayed, Gloria should too" argument? Please discuss...

Five things NOT to do when running for President

It occurs to me just from the outside looking in that there are many things that should dissuade one from running for President. A lack of true commitment to public service, an unwillingness to open up every area of your life as an open book, a dearth of intelligence, criminal tendencies and the like. That's cool, not everybody is meant to be President. 

[strategic pause]

There should really be a few things that one ought to avoid doing if planning on leading our great nation. A Presidential What Not To Do, if you will. Here are five random things from the top of my head:

1. Make up a campy policy that when flipped upside down reads 666.
Does anyone even know what the 9-9-9 stand for? @CarolynEdgar suggested yesterday that it was 9 inches, 9 minutes, 9 women. But I thought that was too complementary.

2. Sing spirituals at a formal press conference.
Most of us that venture into professional life reach the understanding that there's a time and place for everything. You don't mix work hour activities with after hours activities. You don't mix professional and personal. You don't mix church and state... unless I guess you have a good singing voice and want to appear sympathetic when you're under siege. :-/ 

3. Mock the people that might have voted for yo' black azz you.
Nothing like telling an entire race of people (with the exception of Clarence Thomas and Michael Steele who we traded in the last racial draft anyway) that they are mindless idiots who can't think for themselves. Way to win friends and influence people.

4. Have sketchy financial statements.
Three things I don't play with: The I. The R. And the S.

5. Grab numerous white women's hindparts.
This is just poor thinking for married men. Married men in a position of power. Black married men in a position of power. Black married men in a position of power in the South. Black married men in a position of power in the South running for President. Nuff said.

What's that you say? A candidate did all these things and is still considered the forerunner? Oh. Uh. My bad. Carry on.

BougieLand, is this all one grand conspiracy to derail the Cain Train? Has no one told him that he's just the shill out front holding the GOP together until Perry or Romney figure out how to look the least bit Presidential? Did you believe Sharon Bialek? What are your thoughts on this entire hot mess?