Should She Stay or Should She Go?

Liberals welcomed Ginsburg’s arrival on the Court but some worry she’s stayed too long.

The legal legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg may hinge on two  “20/20” questions only she knows the answer to.   Should she step down from the Supreme Court seat she’s held for 20 years while there’s a Democrat in the White House until 2016 and a Democratically controlled Senate for at least another 20 months?

If Ginsburg cares at all about her legacy, she should step down while there’s still an opportunity to be replaced by a like-minded justice. If she hangs on beyond 2013 the odds keep going up a Republican controlled Senate will turn back any successor they consider too far to the Left.

I’m not the only progressive checking out the calendar and worrying Ginsburg may hang around past President Obama’s term.  In an essay for Salon Jonathan Bernstein laid out the looming dilemma.

Retiring and giving up her final years on the nation’s high court is a lot to ask from Ginsburg, who has been a liberal hero for many years. But just as she was a liberal hero before serving on the Supreme Court, she can be a liberal hero again by leaving it.

This is all pretty straightforward. Ginsburg is 80. Her health is apparently fine now, although she’s a two-time cancer survivor. There’s every possibility she could not only continue in office beyond the Barack Obama presidency but that she could survive even eight years of a Republican in office after that, if that’s what’s in the cards.

And yet: “Every possibility” isn’t good enough. Ginsburg will turn 84 soon after Obama’s successor will be sworn in. Realistically, anyone planning for the future has to assume there’s a 50 percent chance of that successor being a Republican.

Moreover, the simple fact is that most Republicans will support a filibuster against any Supreme Court nominee. Right now, the 55 Democrats (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats) may be enough, combined with a handful of Republicans who are moderate enough or simply oppose knee-jerk filibusters, to get a nominee confirmed.

It’s only going to get harder, however. Next year is an election year, and Republicans fearing a Tea Party challenge will be even more reluctant to let the Kenyan socialist in the White House have a third Supreme Court nominee confirmed. And after that, the odds are pretty good that Democrats will lose ground in the 2014 elections and that they could even lose their majority in the Senate altogether.

And then every month that goes by brings us that much closer to January 2017 and makes it that much easier for Republicans to just implement a confirm-nobody strategy to run out the clock.

Polski: Thurgood Marshall

Marshall was replaced by Clarence Thomas, his polar opposite.

Why should she stay? She’s been there 20 years already. Or do you want her to repeat Thurgood Marshall‘s mistake by hanging on too long and letting a Republican president appoint her replacement?

I’ve never understood why these Justices hang on to the bitter end. They live in Washington and they’re political animals: Ginsburg knows she’s more likely to be replaced by someone closer to her ideologically if Obama has Patrick Leahy running the Judiciary Committee instead of Charles Grassley.

An appointment to the Supreme Court is a lifetime gig, but why wait until you’re almost dead to step aside gracefully.   It’s not as if Ginsburg will out-wait Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas to see who steps down first.  Those two bastards would sooner eat their feet than allow Obama to pick their replacements.  Unless they drop dead during oral arguments (and as Thomas rarely speaks or asks any questions, who’s gonna notice if he does?), it’s Ginsburg at the top of the chart of associate justices most likely to call it quits.

It sounds cold to suggest Ginsburg exchange her robes for  slippers and morning television, but if she’s replaced by another Thomas as Marshall was she might have wished she retired a year earlier than later.

I’m a political animal too. Holding on to the bitter end is not a good way for a Supreme Court Justice to go out.   Ginsburg is serving a lifetime appointment and as long as her health holds up and her mental facilities are sharp (as lawyers who  are subject to her questioning during oral argument before the Court can attest to) she shouldn’t be badgered into leaving before she’s ready to go.   The way most of the Justices ignore the media and decline to do interviews it is unlikely Ginsburg pays much attention to the angst of progressives.

Ginsburg and her colleagues on the Court serve lifetime appointments to insulate them from political pressure.  That doesn’t mean when they choose or don’t choose to step aside doesn’t have major political impact.

Whether Ginsburg decides to stay or go, this woman who is small in stature will have a huge impact on the future direction of justice in America.

Ginsburg is a little lady who has a big impact.

Dr. Carson’s Not Ready For His Close-Up

"You mean I can't just say whatever I want to when I want to say it?"

“You mean I can’t just say whatever I want to when I want to say it?”

Recently, I wrote that Dr. Ben Carson‘s 15 minutes of fame as a conservative superstar were ticking away.    Maybe I need to check my watch because I may have overestimated  how soon the Carson Flame-Out is coming.

Carson’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Convention was well received and he placed seventh in a presidential straw poll despite having no political experience. He says he may run for president if it is God’s will.

If he does, he’s going to have to learn Mitt Romney’s lesson and not say what he really thinks.  Appearing on Hannity, the not-so-good doctor responded to a question about same-sex marriage:

HANNITY: All right, last question, we have the issue of the Supreme Court dealing with two issues involving gay marriage. I’ve asked you a lot of questions. I’ve never asked you that, what are your thoughts?

CARSON: Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality. It doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition. So he, it’s not something that is against gays, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.

A guy who doesn't know what to ask and another guy who doesn't know how to answer.

A guy who doesn’t know what to ask and another guy who doesn’t know how to answer.

Well, that’s awkward, but I can’t say I’m surprised by Carson’s intolerance.  His egotism and vanity has already been well-established and now we can add cocky intolerance to the mix.  It’s a trait I’ve seen in other doctors.  They dislike being corrected because they dislike being told they got something wrong.  Their yardstick of success is how often they are right.  Carson was the first neurosurgeon to successful separate conjoined twins and if he had done nothing else, that would be a good enough reason to add some swagger in his step.

When accomplishing what seems impossible is what you specialize in, it must become easy to start believing even if you’re not God, you can handle his job when he takes a day off.

Carson wouldn’t be the first good Christian whose religious beliefs were overruled by his conservative beliefs.   He certainly sounds like just another cowardly politician trying to spin away a brain fart as he backed away from his remarks with an apology qualified with  the usual caveats of his remarks being “misunderstood” and “out of context.”

“I think in terms of what was said on Sean Hannity’s show, that was taken completely out of context and completely misunderstood in terms of what I was trying to say,” Carson told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “As a Christian, I have a duty to love all people and that includes people who have other sexual orientations, and I certainly do, and never had any intention of offending anyone… If anyone was offended, I apologize to you.”

This is the risk you take when you only talk to people who already agree with you.   Carson is not as skilled in front of a camera and he is with a scalpel.   He’s unprepared to talk about hot button topics where his disdain for “political correctness” allows him to fall into the trap of saying what he really believes even when what he believes is toxic to his  political ambitions.

Doc Carson is not changing his Facebook profile pic, so don’t ask.

Don’t you love it when someone says they’re sorry (but not really) if you misunderstood what they said and you took offense?    Doesn’t it make it your fault for being so darned thin-skinned.   Carson knows what he means.   Why’s everybody else got a problem with that?    Oh, If only those homosexuals would stop agitating for the same rights  heterosexuals have.   You know,  the same way interracial couples wanted their offensive to God and nature marriages to be legally recognized.   Craziness!

Maybe I was slightly off on how long Carson’s time in the spotlight was going to last, but it seems I was really off about his future as a politician.   Carson has already mastered the key skill to being a successful politician.   He’s great at looking people in the eye and lying to their face.

Al Roker: Slimmed Down But Not Ready to Step Up?

“Take over The Today Show? Sure. Right after I finish this hot dog.”

If it’s early in the morning and I’m trapped in a doctor’s office where the television is tuned to The Today Show, I don’t pay much attention to the various personalities on the program and their comings and goings.

So when it was mentioned that host Matt Lauer might be on the way out of the venerable show and NBC was looking at CNN’s Anderson Cooper as a possible replacement, posters on the National Association of Black Journalists rightfully wondered why is it (again) that Black talent can’t be found in the pipeline of possible replacements.

Possible replacement being Al Roker.  Mr. Weather Guy.  Mr. Gastric Bypass and Lost 100 Pounds.  Mr. “I Do the Lighter Segments on the Show.”

Al Roker?   Now why did that name escape me?

We are in “the pipeline” only if you think Al “I Crapped My Pants at The White House” Roker is a serious contender to move from Black Guy Comic Relief over to Lauer’s Big Chair.

I think we know better than that, don’t we?

You don’t have to lower yourself into stupidity to gain empathy, okay? If one of the unfortunate effects of Roker’s gastric bypass was unexpected and uncontrolled bouts of diarrhea, that’s understandable. But why tell the world? NOBODY needs to know that!

Slimmed down and ready to step up?

If you will do anything for a laugh and play yourself as the fool, you can’t turn around later and wonder why you’re not being taken seriously. Al Roker probably deserves a shot at replacing Matt Lauer as the host of The Today Show. But like Clint Eastwood growled, “Deserves got nothing to do with it.”

The problem of a blackout of Black talent from the television is an ongoing dilemma.   CNN has cast off Soledad O’Brien and told my old buddy Roland Martin to find another home for his contributions.    When MSNBC decided to shake up their prime time line-up, they exiled Ed Schultz to a weekend oblivion and promoted Chris Hayes over Melissa Harris-Perry as the newest sacrificial lamb to the “The O’Reilly Factor” juggernaut.    Byron Pitts left CBS and 60 Minutes  for another job at ABC leaving the venerable newsmagazine with no Black correspondent.

Yep, it’s a problem all right.   I’m just not convinced Al Roker is the solution.

By playing the fool so well and so long, Roker has effectively it impossible to be taken seriously. If you’re an executive at NBC and mulling over whom to replace Lauer because the President and the First Lady have invited the Today Show host in to speak to them, who would you rather have representing your show and network? Anderson Cooper or the guy who took a dump in his Dockers in the White House?

Too much information. Roker played himself. It’s not about any need to humiliate Roker or taking pleasure in his misfortune. It’s about when you know the odds are already stacked against you, but you’ve paid your dues and know the job, why ruin your own chances by demonstrating your unfitness are for the position?

Being mean about Roker, who seems like a genuinely nice guy feels a bit like kicking a kitten.  It’s completely  unjustifiable and unnecessary and I feel a little jerky for even mentioning it.

However, consistency means if I’m pulling for Black folks when they prove they are qualified for the job, I have to say “Sorry” when they show they are not.   Roker has played the second banana so well and for so long, it raises doubts he’d be a good fit in the Big Chair.

Nobody wants to see a brother get a break more than I do, but Roker’s image is one of  a former heavyweight who’s a total lightweight.

Heyyy baby, Even do it with gingerbread?

Abuse of the Elderly (or Why Air Jordan Against King James is a Bad Idea)

Michael, please.  Don't embarrass yourself.

Michael, please. Don’t embarrass yourself.

The silliest debate is What If the best of the best of one era could square off against the best of another?   Depending on the quality of the match-up,  the advantage will almost always go to the younger over the older.  Youth may be wasted on the young, but it’s a significant advantage over the old.

Michael Jordan owns the Charlotte Bobcats, the most terrible team in the NBA.  That’s pretty impressive to own the most terrible team in a league full of terrible teams such as the Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors, and Sacramento Kings, but the 16-54 Bobcats are the lousiest of the lousy.

The primary purpose of the Bobcats is to give better teams an easy win and offer Jordan dumbstruck young players he can scrimmage against, break a sweat, and entertain the fantasy that even now Jordan could play in the talent-diminished NBA.

He can’t.  There are some opponents even His Airness can’t beat and one-on-one Father Time hasn’t lost a game yet.

Which isn’t going to stop rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from feeding the fantasy after he admitted he lost to Jordan playing one-on-one.

“It was hard for me,” Kidd-Gilchrist said,  “I lost. He’s the greatest man that ever played the game.

“Oh, yeah. He’s good.”

Okay, MKG.  You’ve shown how much you can brown nose the boss.  Now get back out there on the court and do what you do best.  Losing repeatedly.

Hey LeBron, where's the rest of yours?

Hey LeBron, where’s the rest of yours?

Anyone who thinks a 50-year old Michael Jackson can come off the golf course to ball with dudes half his age is on dope or dog food.

The only thing MJ can do in the NBA on the court at this point is to get his feelings hurt. Badly.

I read a ESPN story about Mikey wanting to get back on the court and hoop. Puh-leeze. He’d better sit his butt down in the executive seats and watch his lousy team get creamed. The Heat pounded the snot out of the Bobcats on Sunday, 109-77 and number #23 was nowhere to be found.

Could you imagine Jordan trying to challenge LeBron James one-on-one? There would be nothing but broken ankles, soiled skivvies and bad karma from Jordan. I like Mike, but Space Jam was a looooonnng time ago.  At this point even Bugs Bunny could dunk on him.   If he could find a time capsule and go back to when he was 25 he could give Lebron a game.  At 50, it’s not going to even be contest.  Mike would face someone stronger, faster, bigger and who could take him to the hole repeatedly.   LeBron should spot Mike the first shot because it would be the only one he’d get.

His Airness could hang with King James…for all of one, maybe two trips up and down the court. LeBron would kill Michael. Not just beat him like a runaway slave. He would KILL Jordan. He’d go up on M.J. for a sick dunk like he put on Jason Terry last week, but Jordan would hit the floor and dissolve in a puff of smoke and dust. OLD smoke and dust.

“Oh, yeah. He’s good.”

“Dear Mike. You ARE too old for this shit. Love, Father Time.”

 

Correction.  Past tense.  WAS good.  Jordan WAS the greatest player of all time in the NBA and it’s not even a close call.  I loved watching Julius Erving  play but he wasn’t better than Jordan.   Larry Bird had a sweeter shooting stroke and a competitive streak as mean and nasty as Jordan’s, but he wasn’t better than Jordan.   Shutting down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar exquisite (and never duplicated) “Sky Hook” was an impossibility, but Kareem wasn’t better than Jordan.

But that was then and then was from between 1984 to 1998 as the unquestioned leader of the Chicago Bulls.    The Michael Jordan whose ego told him it would be a good idea to come out of retirement to  play for the Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003?   The M.J. who used to slap his own teammates upside the head should have slapped that guy back into a rocking chair.    Well, that 40-something Jordan should be slapping this one and anybody else who doesn’t want to see his legacy tarnished any further by yet another pointless comeback.

Jordan didn’t have the reflexes to stay with Allen Iverson after his killer crossover juked him outta his jockstrap.   And now you want Jordan to drag his ass up and down the court trying to stay with the bigger, stronger, faster and BETTER LeBron James?

Even Kobe Bryant knows better than that.     James is 28.  Bryant is 34.  Jordan is 50.   Kobe can’t get out of LeBron’s 6’8″, 250 pound body quick enough when he’s making a special delivery slam dunk.   Kobe isn’t likeable, but he’s not stupid.   What would Jordan do with James barreling down on him full speed and bad intentions?   If he’s smart he steps aside and says, “Pardon me, Mr. James”  otherwise he had better leave  final instructions on what to do with the body.

Somethings are not “must-see TV.”   Jordan might choose Bryant over James if he were holding a fantasy draft for the Bobcats, but that’s only because going mano-a-mano, Bryant would just make Jordan look stupid.    Going up against King James would be abusing the elderly and who wants that?

Let that dream go.   It would only be a nightmare for Michael.    Jordan likes poking the bear, but the bear named LeBron would eat hm alive and not even bother to swallow.  He’d spit him out and just glare at him with a sad look that says, “I can’t believe you wanted any of this.”

Please don’t encourage abuse of the elderly.  Let M.J. have his awful team, his cigars, his swirlie girlfriends, his Ball Park franks and tagless undies and his hideous and overpriced sneakers.  In his time and prime Jordan used to enjoy to take sadistic pleasure out of bullying weaker, slower opponents.

I’m not so cruel as to enjoy seeing the young bully now being bullied.

Mr. Cruz Goes To Washington (To Burn it Down)

“Yes, I am a snotty bastard. Glad you noticed.”

There are many ways to become well-known as a U.S. Senator.  You can be a grinder, a workhorse who shuns soundbites on Sunday morning talk shows to busy yourself doing the dirty work of writing legislation.   You can wrap yourself up in the business of providing support for the folks back in your home state.   You can learn the rules of the Senate and take the time to build working relationships with both sides of the political aisle.

Or you can say, “screw that,” and become well-known for being a jerk.   That’s where Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) comes in.   With sharpened elbows and a nasty disposition guaranteed to annoy your allies and outrage your enemies.   There is a reason freshman Senators are often treated like children underfoot. They either don’t know or don’t care what the protocols are of the Senate. Guys like Cruz prefer throwing a sharp elbow and being a royal pain in the ass.

Cruz is a Princeton debating champion, Harvard Law School graduate, law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and the former solicitor general of Texas.   He’s not dumb.  Just nasty.  He just goes about things in dumb ways such as his slimy attack on Chuck Hagel during his confirmation hearings to become Secretary of Defense.  “We do not know, for example, if he received compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme or radical groups,” Cruz told the Senate Armed Services Committee before it voted to approve Hagel’s nomination. “It is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea.”

That unsubstantiated slam against Hagel’s character earned Cruz a rebuke from John McCain.  McCain ended up voting against his former Republican colleague, but shot down the junior senator from Texas when he said of Hagel, “no one on this committee should at any time impugn his character or his integrity.”

Cruz’s bare-knuckles approach  doesn’t do much more than  calling attention to how much of a jack-ass he is.   We saw how much of mule’s patootie Cruz really is when he used a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting as an opportunity to lecture Diane Feinstein about the Constitution.   What followed was a very public display of irritation with the upstart freshman.

“Would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?” Cruz said, speaking to Feinstein.

“Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures, could properly apply only to the following specified individuals, and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the law?”

Pointing her finger and glaring at Cruz, Feinstein shot back.

“One, I’m not a sixth grader,” Feinstein said. “Senator, I’ve been on this Committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in and I saw people shot with these weapons.

“I’m not a lawyer,” she added, “but after 20 years, I’ve been up close and personal with the Constitution. I have great respect for it. … So I, you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time.”

“I thank you for the lecture. Incidentally, this does not prohibit — you used the word ‘prohibit’ – it exempts 2,271 weapons. Isn’t that enough for the people of the United States? Do they need a bazooka? Do they need other high-powered weapons that other people use in close combat? I don’t think so.”

What a snot-nosed, swaggering rookie like Cruz probably doesn’t know is while he’s trying to score rhetorical points with the Fox and Friends crowd, Feinstein wasn’t just blowing smoke when it comes to having first-hand familiarity with gun violence. She could have lectured her caustic colleague of the bloody events that led to her becoming the mayor of San Francisco. Namely, the murders of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Feinstein doesn’t suffers fools or Ted Cruz.

Feinstein went on CNN and to explain her angry reaction to Cruz’s condescending remarks.

“Well, I just felt patronized,” Feinstein told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I felt he was somewhat arrogant about it. When you come from where I’ve come from and what you’ve seen, when you found a dead body and put your finger in bullet holes, you really realize the impact of weapons. And then as you go up the technical ladder with these weapons, and they become more sophisticated, and more the product of a battlefield, and you’ve got these huge clips, or drums of 100 bullets out there that people can buy, when you see these weapons becoming attractive to grievance killers, people who take them into schools, into theaters, into malls, you wonder, does America really need these weapons? My answer to that is no. And so it’s based on my experience.”

None of this phases Cruz who seems to revel in starting new fires as soon as the previous ones are put out.   There’s no chance a nervy punk like Cruz learns anything remotely resembling humility or even simple manners from Feinstein setting him straight. That would take a degree of class Cruz shows no signs of possessing.

That’s okay. There have always been terrible Senators like him and they usually find themselves isolated by their own rudeness, offensive ways and arrogant attitudes. Cruz isn’t even the biggest asshole from Texas serving in Congress. Not as long as Louie “Terror Babies” Gohmert is gibbering like a drunken hyena in the House.

As a senator, Cruz has six years to make a complete fool of himself. He should pace himself.

Ted hangs out with the Palins. Now you know why he’s such as ass.

Bynum Busts Out

The star of “Space Jam” is tanned, rested and ready!

I have a long post I’m working on in observance of the ten year anniversary of the Iraq War and it’s not finished yet,  but I wanted to briefly follow up on  Mr. Andrew Bynum, the Greatest Center Never to Play for the Philadelphia 76ers following the news he will undergo season-ending surgery on is chronically crappy knees.

Philadelphia now has to decide if it will offer the former All-Star center any kind of long-term deal without him ever playing a second for the franchise.

Bynum’s season is officially over, and he’s set for season-ending arthroscopic surgery on both knees Tuesday. He has not played this season because of bone bruises in both of his knees. The 25-year-old is an unrestricted free agent and may never play a game for the Sixers.

Bynum last talked to the media on March 1 and said he would not play in pain or be pressured into playing and risking a potential nine-figure payday.

“I think being healthy is more important than everything else,” Bynum said. “If I am healthy, I’ll get a deal. I have to be able to play and I need to get to the point with my body where I’m able to play, however long that takes.”

“Huh?”

The Sixers can offer Bynum more years and more money than any other team.

They would be damn fools to do so.  Which means they probably will.

I do not care that Andrew Bynum‘s season is over.  What season?  This stiff never played a single solidarity second as a Philadelphia 76er.    I visited the official website of Andrew Bynum at andrewbynum.com.  The site is a big piece of crap like the lazy bastard its named for.  Want to read Andrew’s blog?  “There are currently no blog entries.  Check back soon.”   Yeah, I’ll be sure to do that.  Want to get up to date on Andrew Bynum news?  The last entry is dated December 11,, 2011.   Under the category of “Gameday” there’s a drop-down menu including “Breakfast With Bynum.”  Oh boy!  That sounds exciting.

There are no entries under “Breakfast With Bynum.”  But they are coming soon!

There are  a few small pics of Bynum rocking the gear of his ex-team, the Los Angeles Lakers.   There isn’t a single picture of Bynum in his Sixers colors, which makes sense considering he never played for the Sixers and possibly never will.

Here is a list of NBA 2013-14 free agents.   Find a center and pick one.   Anyone you choose—ANYONE–would be a better player for the 76ers than Andrew Bynum.

I would rather see  J.J. Hickson, Chris Kaman, Tiago Splitter or Al Jefferson rocking the Sixers colors than Andrew Bynum.

I would rather see former Sixers Samuel Dalembert, Marreese Speights, or Elton Brand COME BACK rocking the Sixers colors than Andrew Bynum.

I would rather see Zaza Pachulla, Johan Petro, Andray Blatche, or Ryan Hollins rocking the Sixers colors than Andrew Bynum.

“Hi, I’m Primoz. I got mad skills.”

I would rather see Isaac Austin, Primoz Brezec, Calvin Booth, Zendon Hamilton,  Manute Bol, Sharone Wright or Tony Massenburg rocking the Sixers colors than Andrew Bynum.

I would rather see Mark McNamara, Jeff Ruland, Todd McCullough, Matt Geiger, Efthimios Rentzias, Christian Welp  or Shawn Freakin’ Bradley rocking the Sixers colors than Andrew Bynum.

I would rather see Dwight How….naaaaaaah….can’t do it.

I do not care where Andrew Bynum plays.  He can play in the NBA, the WNBA, the NCAA or NASCAR.  Who cares?

Just don’t pay this zombie a max contract to turn in a performance worthy of Ron Jeremy.

Cut your losses.  Turn the page.  Lose his phone number.   Let someone else play the fool.   Let somebody else be the sucker that gives this occasionally brilliant, but mostly lazy, unmotivated, disinterested, $16 million dollar slacker to loaf, groan he’s in pain and cash his monstrous paychecks.

Do the Sixers need a reminder what the definition of insanity is?    They tried to make a big move and it blew up in their faces.    The Bynum experiment was a complete and total failure.    Thankfully, they had insurance to cover their losses with Bynum, but having avoided a crippling financial blow, do they now want to turn around and stand on the firing line again with this dude?

Goodbye and good riddance Andrew Bynum.  Now the trade of Moses Malone is only the second-worst trade in 76ers history.

“Sure, I suck. But I don’t suck as much as Andy Bynum.”

The Last 15 Minutes of Ben Carson’s Ego Trip

"Why yes, I AM pretty great."

“Why yes, I AM pretty great.”

So Dr. Uncle Ben Carson really thinks because he was publicly rude to President Obama that’s all it’s going to take for White conservatives to tap him as Obama’s successor in 2016?

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) gathering Carson continued to drop broad hints he’s still flirting with the idea of running for president.

“Let’s say you magically put me in the White House,” Carson said to wild applause from the conservative crowd.

It would probably take an act of magic to put the 62-year-old neurosurgeon in the White House.  Carson has no experience in politics and not many known positions besides advocating for a flat tax and repealing Obamacare.

Carson has been lapping up all the love he’s received for showing up President Obama last month, at the National Prayer Breakfast, but he’s only been speaking to admiring audiences.  Cal Thomas, a conservative columnist says Carson should be apologizing instead of boasting.

“If Carson wanted to voice his opinion about the president’s policies, he could have done so backstage. Even better, he might have asked for a private meeting with the man. As a fellow African American who faced personal challenges and overcame them, the president might have welcomed Dr. Carson to the White House. Instead, Carson ambushed him,” Thomas wrote on the Fox News website,  “Carson should publicly apologize and stop going on TV doing “victory laps” and proclaiming that reaction to his speech was overwhelmingly positive.”

Humility isn’t one of Carson’s strong suits.  It might be worth to for Carson to step into the ring of presidential politics to see how he handles being worked over by experts.

I got news for you, Doc. No matter how much you enjoy having your over-sized ego stroked by the acclaim and applause of White conservatives, they will NEVER allow another Negro no matter what his politics are anywhere near the Oval Office unless he’s carrying a tray or emptying the waste baskets. You need to slap yourself back into reality. You aren’t that  important.

There is a die-hard contingent among conservatives that steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of a Black man (or woman) in a place where they are not only treated as equals, but are in a position of power and authority as well over them and they cannot abide that notion.

“I’m a doctor, dammit. Not a politician.”

No matter how benign and harmless and respectable a Carson or Scott present themselves, they will not be accepted as equals.   The Republicans are making overtures to woo Latino votes.  Black folks?  Why bother making the effort?   We are far more useful to the Right in our traditional roles of scapegoats and boogeymen.

Carson is intelligent, a brilliant physician, a skilled surgeon and a total doofus with issues of vanity and exaggerated importance when it comes to understanding politics.   He is totally in over his head.  No way do Karl Rove or the Koch Brothers turn to a complete neophyte as the GOP standard bearer in 2016 no matter how many deep French kisses Carson gets from Hannity and Limbaugh.   With the possible exception of Marco Rubio, whose rising star seems to indicate a place on the ticket as a vice-president, the power brokers and the kingmakers of the Right want a White Man back in the White House.   Not just a Black man who says what Whites want to hear.

Doc Carson’s 15 minutes in the political spotlight are tick..tick..ticking away…

 

Rob Portman’s Coming Out is A Profile In No Courage

“Look, Rob, you can bring your Black friend, but leave your gay son at home. Got it?”

Big political news.  Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) became the most prominent member of the GOP caucus to come out.  In favor of same-sex marriage, that is.  Portman, who was on Mitt Romney’s short list of possible vice-presidential running mates attributed his change of heart to his son coming out as a gay man.

I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married.

That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a congressman, and more recently as a senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.

Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay. He said he’d known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn’t something he chose; it was simply a part of who he is. Jane and I were proud of him for his honesty and courage. We were surprised to learn he is gay but knew he was still the same person he’d always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love.

So let’s review: it’s okay to previously be on record as opposing gay rights and same-sex marriage just so long as your positions “evolve” once you learn your son or daughter is one of those people you’ve actively discriminated against.

It has to become personal. Oh, and you have to be a Republican too.

I was blind but now I see. Go forth and sin no more. Hallelujah!

Portman remained a religious-based, anti-equality, bigot throughout his entire career prior to his sonny-boy coming out only to be “transformed” and “evolve” when his previously held beliefs suddenly became personal for him.

Until it did he was fine with discriminating against someone else’s child.

  •     Let the military decide on don’t-ask-don’t-tell
  •     Supports Amendment to prevent same sex marriage
  •     Supports banning homosexuals in the military
  •     YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.
  •     YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage

“Same-sex marriage? Sure I have sex the same way in my marriage.”

As recently as 2011, Portman was a typical Republican homophobe actively opposing same-sex marriage and not apologizing for it.  I’m not nearly as impressed by my home state Senator’s partial-reversal as some folks are. It’s nice. It’s late, but it’s still nice. I’m sure those gays and lesbians Portman happily discriminated against will be glad he’s getting off their backs.

Hooray, and so what if Rob Portman goes forth and sins no more? Just because you got religion doesn’t mean you’re not a sinner anymore.

Everyone was wondering why Romney chose Paul Ryan over Portman as his vice-president when it was obvious Portman could have helped Romney in the critical state of Ohio (you know, that place that when it was declared for Obama and ended Election Night sent Karl Rove into such a frenzy he tried to eat his own foot).

Now we know why. Ryan didn’t have a gay son.

Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce shares my skepticism about Portman’s epiphany.

If Will hadn’t come out, or if he’d been as straight as Nebraska highway, Portman wouldn’t have cared about the sons and daughters and brothers and sisters of all the other Dads who love them and want them to have the same opportunities? It’s not just the implied notion that discrimination is OK unless it inconveniences Sunday dinner with the Portmans. It’s also the relentless banality through which even “decent” Republicans struggle to come to simple humanity. Does any group of people have dark nights of the soul that are so endlessly boring and transparently insincere?

It’s like listening to Kierkegaard sell flatware. I’m glad there’s another vote for marriage equality here. I’m also glad I didn’t have to listen to the full explanation behind it.

Me too and frankly I don’t get why I should give Portman credit for doing what he’s supposed to do.

It’s wonderful and terrific that Rob has decided to stop discriminating against a group of people. But am I supposed to bake him some cookies too?