Daily Dose: 3/20/17
Tiger Woods is trying to sell books
2:30 PMThe Morning Roast was all over the place this weekend, in a good way. We talked about everything from braces to DMX. The NCAA basketball tournament brings that out in every one, even if I don’t have a bracket. Tune in here!
The United States’ relationship with Russia is ever-changing. Right now, there’s reasonable cause to believe that foreign actors were involved in not only the most recent U.S. presidential election, but also any number of things, considering that nobody in the Trump administration seems to want to say anything about it at all. But today FBI Director James Comey stood in front of a House Intelligence Committee and said that not only is it impossible for Barack Obama to have wiretapped Donald Trump, but also that, yes, the FBI are investigating Russia. What a mess.
Math is fun. Not in a “omg let me go solve these quadratic equations” kind of way. But in the concept of a language of numbers, math is remarkable. On a basic level, it really is fascinating what humans have created when it comes to counting. But if you think about it, you do have to wonder, why? What actual reason is there for humans to try to add things up in their heads. Well, a guy wrote a book about it and his reasoning for it is fascinating.
I must admit. I’m really excited for the Power Rangers movie. When I was younger, the brand was just a tad too childish for me at that age, so it was never my thing then. But these new commercials for the flick look exciting and rather funny, too. To make things even better, the Yellow Ranger’s character is queer. Why does that matter? Because when it comes to superheroes, we’re so often bombarded with images of ultra cisgendered heterosexuals, so any change from that is welcome. Here are some spoilers on that front.
Tiger Woods will never win another major. I’d take a bet on whether he’ll ever win another tournament, but I don’t need to be that harsh for no reason. Now, he’s got a book out about his historic win at the Masters in 1997, which was basically his coming out party to the world. Of course, his life hasn’t been the most smooth sailing for a couple of years since his wife divorced him, so seeing these pictures of Woods in regular clothes with no real golf setting is a tad odd. He talked with Good Morning America on Monday.
Coffee Break: If you’ve ever wondered why people don’t go to the police when they’re being victimized, this story from the U.K. should explain everything you need to know. A woman calls the police about her ex-boyfriend who has been threatening her. They fine her for wasting their time. He kills her.
Snack Time: Even kids’ robotics competitions aren’t immune to rampant racism. A child’s team won a competition in Indiana, and was promptly greeted with people yelling at them to go back to Mexico.
Dessert: This is just plain funny.
Donald Trump’s budget proposal hits HBCUs hard
United Negro College Fund says promises would be ‘unfulfilled’
1:30 PMWhen Donald Trump released his budget proposal Thursday, it sent chills down the spines of people working in all sorts of different industries. Science, art, food, you name it. But there’s another field that would be adversely affected by the plan: historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In short, Trump pulled a full-blown okey doke on all those college presidents who decided to show up to his office for a photo-op.
Even at the time, Morehouse College’s president knew what was up and said as much, publicly. Now, it’s clear that was all just for show and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is not happy about it.
“Last month, while meeting with presidents of the nation’s HBCUs, President Trump pledged to do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before. However, this budget is not reflective of that sentiment,” said UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax in a statement. “Without strong federal investments, President Trump’s commitment to HBCUs and the rebuilding of African-American communities will be promises unfulfilled. While the budget blueprint provides only an outline of the administration’s budget priorities, we are deeply concerned about the proposals highlighted for the U.S. Department of Education, which include flat (or potentially reduced) funding for the essential Title III historically black colleges and universities program and deep cuts to federal student aid programs.”
The blueprint plans to cut nearly $4 billion in Pell Grant funding, which 70 percent of students at HBCUs rely on to study at the university level. More simply, without Pell Grants, black kids aren’t going to college. Why the leaders of America’s historically black institutions ever thought this president would actually help that cause? Who knows.
Daily Dose: 3/17/17
Juan Williams didn’t deserve all that from Sean Hannity
1:20 PMWe’re filling in for Bomani Jones again today, but if you missed yesterday’s show, here’s the podcast. There’s the best of, or you can tackle hours one through three. We’re on again today, from 4-7 p.m EST.
If you point a gun at me, I am going to assume you are trying to kill me. And if I think you are trying to take my life, I will do my best to take appropriate measures. So, if we’re sitting in a TV studio and you produce a heater after an argument, we’re gonna throw hands. End of story. Fox News’ Sean Hannity did exactly that to Juan Williams. Meaning, Hannity is carrying guns on set when he spits his takes. As importantly, Williams didn’t feel empowered enough to do anything about it. This story is bananas.
We don’t deserve Chance The Rapper. He flipped a high school suspension into an incredible mixtape, then turned his faith in Christ into a career the likes of no one expected. He doesn’t even charge money for his music, which is incredible, and on top of that he managed to get a song from SoundCloud nominated for a Grammy, totally upsetting the apple cart of the way the music industry typically works. All of this, of course, includes his incredible performances as a musician in a live setting. He’s great. Watch this interview with him talking about everything.
Meanwhile, the White House is dismantling all sorts of things. For reasons that are difficult to explain, President Donald Trump’s budget proposal is going to defund almost everything that helps other people or supports keeping this planet alive long enough to keep, you know, the human race going. There’s even talk of cutting Meals On Wheels, which just feels particularly cruel. What the end game is to this, who knows. Not everything has to be a profit venture, particularly if you’re a government. That’s a great way to end all profits.
Steve Kerr is officially not a fan of LaVar Ball. It’s not the best camp to be in. Mainly because Ball is really nothing more than a loudmouth whose lone sin is apparently raising his kids to be basketball stars. Granted, he is talking quite a bit of trash and it would be understandable if, say, an NBA franchise just said that his antics are not something they wanted to deal with. That said, it will be interesting to see just how far this goes. Fam is wild reckless, but his kids are damn good. Kerr is still going to defend his guys, though.
Coffee Break: When I first heard news that Monopoly was changing some of its play pieces, for some reason, I was upset. I have no idea why. I don’t even play that game, but for whatever reason felt some connectivity. Until I saw the new pieces. They are WAY better. Tremendous upgrade.
Snack Time: When Rick Ross said he was dropping a new album, he didn’t mention that he was coming for Birdman’s whole life and bringing Chris Rock to do it, too. Wow. Listen to this.
Dessert: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Daily Dose: 3/16/17
Could Congress benefit from a Rooney Rule?
1:44 PMIt’s another radio days, kiddos. Today, the gang from The Morning Roast will be filling in for Bomani Jones from 4-7 p.m. EST. So, if you want to hear us pontificate about the NCAA tournament and other stuff, you should tune in!
Yeah, this travel ban isn’t going to happen. Why, because President Donald Trump’s people couldn’t stop going on television and talking about how effective their little executive order was going to be. Turns out, a lot of people watch the news, so all these remarks don’t just fly off into the wind. When it comes to court cases like this, trust that everyone is paying attention. Now, the day before the second ban was supposed to take effect, a court in Hawaii has struck it down. Trump has no idea what checks and balances are, so now he’s implying that the courts are overreaching.
We all know the Rooney Rule. It’s the mandate in place in the NFL that requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions, for the purpose of breaking the cycle of coaching in-breeding that pervades so many franchises. There’s been a fair amount of controversy as to whether this is necessary, but it has been at least marginally effective. Is it possible that such a movement could help in other places too, like, say Congress? It’s an interesting idea.
Speaking of hyperracist stuff, how about Hollywood, yeah? We all know that when it comes to actors of certain racial descent, the battle to not be stereotyped is extremely difficult. If you’re a person of Middle Eastern or South Asian heritage, many screenwriters don’t look at you as nothing more than just a funny voice. Sidebar: There’s a new season of Master of None on the way, which is awesome. That said, actor Kal Penn decided he was going to go back through some old scripts, just to see exactly how ridiculous this gambit is.
Brackets, brackets, step right up, and get yer brackets! I have to admit something: Before noon today, I hadn’t looked at a single one. A couple of years back, I took a pledge to stop filling them out and to just enjoy the basketball. So, this season, I took it a step further. I have no idea who’s in what region or anything at all. Let’s see if I can still enjoy this basketball tournament. Northwestern fans whose team has finally made it in to the big dance will be unbearable, but here’s who most people have their money on, in Vegas.
Coffee Break: Feminism, when it comes to black women, isn’t exactly equitable. That also goes for things that strike us as more immediately dangerous, such as sexual assault. There’s a new study out that says white women feel less compelled to help rape victims if they think they’re black.
Snack Time: I try to avoid putting randomly stupid videos here, but the homey Macka B is just too strong. He raps about health food. I’m not even kidding. This banger will have you dancing at the juice bar. And I hate cucumbers.
Dessert: If you don’t know who Lee “Scratch” Perry is, do yourself a favor and check out this primer to his work.
‘Belle and Boujee’ is right on time
Nerdist parodies Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ using the Migos hit
Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast hits theaters Friday. It stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast. Bad and Boujee topped the charts for the first time in 2017. This video from Nerdist, produced by Jason Nguyen and starring Natasha Ward as Belle, was released Tuesday. Need we say more?
It’s only a matter of time before this song makes it into an actual school play production.
Daily Dose: 3/15/17
Snoop Dogg is taking figurative shots at the president
3:00 PMWe taped another All Day Podcast this week, and this time we discussed the new video surfaced from Michael Brown’s final days alive in Ferguson, Missouri, and, of course, the life and legacy that is LaVar Ball and his family.
Snoop Dogg has upset the establishment. The longtime rapper, now entertainment icon, took part in a video in which the major premise involves a character, a clown, whose name is Donald Clump. There’s a scene in which Snoop uses a toy gun to shoot the clown and a flag comes out that says, “BANG.” Meanwhile, the president got wind of this and let the Twitter chopper fly, because that’s what he does. Also, his boy Sen. Marco Rubio decided to get involved, see, because he likes hip-hop and is thus the GOP’s rap culture critic in chief.
Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league is picking up steam. Not only has he gotten a bunch of old-school NBA players to sign on, but now, he’s picked up another legend to coach: Dr. J. In all honestly, nobody is going to be tuning in for the actual basketball. The key will be using this as a vehicle for other entertainment acts, which will allow the demographic that listens to say, Backspin on SiriusXM, to spend their dollars. It’s a huge market. It’ll need to be more than the hoops since, you know, injury and fatigue will obviously be a factor.
Pi Day is awfully nerdy, but it’s fun. March 14, as identified as 3/14, is also obviously the numerical doppleganger to π, the mathematical constant. Some people take this little day more seriously than others. The pizza company &pizza decided to make a huge deal of this and set up a pop-up chapel, and folks actually showed up to get married in a fast-casual restaurant. But the Colorado Rockies took things a step further and we’re totally here for it. Check out how they decided to line up for the national anthem on Tuesday.
If you aren’t watching the World Baseball Classic, I feel sorry for you. The tournament has been tremendous so far, and Tuesday night’s tilt between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, well, you missed that incredible play above and you haven’t seen some side nations do pretty well. But when it comes to development in the baseball world, not everything is equal. For example, for Dominicans of Haitian descent, landing that scout’s eye is a much more difficult proposition.
Coffee Break: As a kid, Gang Starr was one of my favorite groups. The group’s album, Daily Operation, is still a desert island choice for me. For people who don’t know, Primo is from Texas and Guru was from Boston. If you didn’t know that, this minidocumentary about them will certainly be something you enjoy.
Snack Time: Action Bronson might be enough to get me on Snapchat. The rapper-turned-television host has a new show out — a matchmaking one — being designed exclusively for the app. Sounds like fun.
Dessert: Just put #LilUziVertChallenge into your Twitter search and thank me later, fam.
All Day Podcast: 3/15/17
New video in the Michael Brown case, and famous black sports parents
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Justin Tinsley was out this week cheating on us with another podcast (just kidding, we love you, Amin) so Martenzie Johnson filled in. A couple of us went to the movies over the weekend and there was more than the usual talk about grocery stores because a snowstorm was preparing to hit the Washington, D.C., area.
Other than that, we talked about the new video that’s surfaced from a movie called Stranger Fruit that premiered at the SXSW Festival last week. It features never-released footage of Michael Brown’s visit to a Ferguson, Missouri, convenience store, the same one that he was accused of stealing from before he was shot dead in the street by police officer Darren Wilson.
Lastly, there’s the story of the basketball world, the Ball family. The question is, does dad LaVar Ball rank on the level with black sports parent legends Earl Woods and Richard Williams? Right now, Ball might seem nuts for constantly talking up his sons and making all sorts of wild claims about his abilities, but let’s not forget that people felt the same way about the previous two dads, as well.
LaVar Ball says he could have beaten Michael Jordan back in the day
And he wants a $1 billion endorsement contract for his sons
Don’t ever accuse LaVar Ball of not aiming high. The father of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball has made his presence felt in recent weeks, and this time he’s set an asking price for his sons’ sneaker deal: $1 billion. Somehow, this is the least outlandish thing he’s said all year.
There was the initial declaration that his son, Lonzo, only had plans to play one year before going pro, an awfully bold comment for a sport where fate and futures can turn on a dime. Then, he claimed that Lonzo was better than Stephen Curry. He famously declared that Lonzo would only be playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Following that, he got into a public spat with Charles Barkley, a feud that felt like two uncles arguing at the cookout. Most recently, he claimed that he himself was a better basketball player than Michael Jordan back in his day, which is laughable.
The apparel contract stuff is real business, though. For his three sons: Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, he’s asking for the 10-figure number from one of the big companies and says that if they don’t get it, they’ll start their own. Some have speculated that his loud antics could potentially hurt his sons’ future college or pro careers. LaVar himself says he’s not doing anything more than protecting his kids from exploitation. His approach brings to mind two other patron saints of black sports parenting, Earl Woods and Richard Williams.
Woods was known for his driving style on Tiger, who eventually grew up to revolutionize the golf world. Williams was even more maligned, as he was coaching and raising not one, but two girls in Venus and Serena, who’d eventually become the two most popular tennis players on earth by a wide margin. In short, the methods to their madness were effective.
But the Balls are in a different situation. For one, they’re playing basketball, a sport that’s already undergone its cultural boom for the most part. We’re not talking about primarily country-club sports that for various socioeconomic and cultural reasons had not accepted brown faces for the most part. It’s basketball. At this point, Lonzo is just another kid who might go No. 1 overall in the NBA draft, while LaMelo, the youngest is not bolstering his reputation by scoring 92 points in high school game under questionable circumstances. Of course, there’s also LiAngelo, the forgotten Ball.
But if his three sons turn out to be something like Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams and, say, LeBron James combined, then that $1 billion number isn’t that outlandish. People are already saying that Lonzo is the second coming of Magic Johnson, which on its own, if true, makes his starting point in negotiations understandable. Ultimately, that’s the issue — there’s no way to know if that’ll be the case.
Don’t expect LaVar to back down. You might poke fun at the way he operates, including down to the way he named his kids, but he’s just continuing a family tradition. His own brothers are named LaFrance, LaValle, LaRenzo and LaShon. He won’t be backing down just because a couple of people think he’s too loud. At 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, I’m not sure a lot people are going to be able to make him do so, either.
Daily Dose: 3/14/17
Larry Sanders is ready to play ball again
2:15 PMA good part of the nation is covered in snow, so here’s to hoping that everyone out there is safe and has enough food to last a couple of days should that become an issue in coming days. Snow days are fun, but can be very annoying.
Rep. Steve King is riding for all the wrong things. After saying that he didn’t want to rebuild this country with “someone else’s babies,” he’s doubled down. No. 1, he made it clear that he meant exactly what he said, in all of its white supremacist glory and, secondly, he’s added to that by pointing out that he doesn’t think this will ever be a so-called minority-majority nation, because blacks and Latinos will be too busy fighting with each other for that to happen. That’s about as reckless a statement as we get from a congressman.
If we’re ever going to get to Mars, there’s one thing we have to think about: procreation. Because if we’re going to be inhabiting the red planet, as it seems so many people are looking to do, it’s not going to be enough to just keep shipping people out there to keep the place populated. Someone’s going to have to start having babies, born as Martians. Which means that the business of sex in space is a serious one. And the science behind how that would work for humans is actually fascinating.
Last week, it was the 20th anniversary of Biggie’s death. We’ll always love Big Poppa, of course, but one of the women who held him down during his time was of course his wife, Faith Evans. It’s sad because unfortunately her music career has always been sort of overshadowed by the fact that she is B.I.G.’s widow, but Evans has bangers, y’all. If anyone can give you a reasonably level-headed breakdown of what exactly was going on in those hectic years of regional battles in rap, she can. She sat down with Desus & Mero to talk about the old days.
A couple of years back, Larry Sanders walked away from the NBA. At the time, he’d violated the league’s drug policy a few times and ostensibly left basketball due to mental health issues. It was a tough story because many couldn’t understand why he’d leave so much money on the table in the prime of his career. But, in the time since, he’s emerged as an artist of multiple disciplines. Now, he’s coming back. The center has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who need help after Andrew Bogut’s season-ending injury. It’s a heck of a gamble, to say the least.
Coffee Break: There was a time when The Big Bang Theory was a major part of my life. I loved that show. I grew away from it and since then it’s become one of the most popular shows in America. Now, CBS is launching a prequel series for Sheldon’s character, which is all wrong. That needs to be set aside for Raj. Come on, y’all.
Snack Time: Toads get a bad rap. Somewhere along the line they were associated with ugliness, which doesn’t help their cause. But, for the most part, they’re pretty chill. Check out this story of a guy who makes hats for one. Love it.
Dessert: Behold, the best GIF from the White House Press Room of all time.