Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Change Cuts

Friends, and I only call you friends because I don't know your names individually--

We've been missing. But it has been for good reason. We are getting ready for the upcoming debate parties, etc. While we at ALBC are not specifically (Obama) endorsing (Obama) any one candidate (Obama), we did like what this avid (Obama) supporter did to his hair!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Facebook feelings

I was checking my "friends'" status updates on Facebook today. Boy o boy do we have some outspoken "friends."

KC is still thinking that McCain is a dumbass. What is suspending your campaign for 3 days going to do when you can barely spell economics?

MT thinks you should not vote for a person who can't multi-task.

PH is is putting his Facebooking ON HOLD to respond to the mounting laundry crisis in his closet.

TY is asking McCain to stop the bitchassness. Somebody who doesn't understand economics skipping a debate will provide us an effective bailout plan? Doubt it.

CL thinks John McCain really doesn't understand economics. The economy is not a light switch. A Friday meeting will NOT bring an immediate fix.

TJ is thinking that McCain is pulling the "punk" move. Don't be scared. What next...postpone election day?

Presidential Status

So clearly we’re Obama supporters… unabashed supporters…start making videos and begin blogging supporters. But in all unbiased, objective honesty, the Senator from Illinois handled the “John McCain you better not punk out” press conference very well; so well that we can only describe his performance as Presidential.

This is especially true when you consider the McCain campaign’s reluctance to expose Governor Palin to the media. That’s a clear admission on their part that, with a single question, the press corps can make you say what you mean in a way that ends up being construed in a way that you didn’t mean it and will regret ever saying it in the first place.

You're probably asking, "How many press conferences have you watched?" Not that many. Closer to 0 that 10; but I've seen almost every episode of the West Wing so I know the press is no joke. That said, don't take my word for it...Know for yourself!

For Senator McCain's press conference:


"John McCain suspends campaigning to work on economy, requests postponing Friday debate; asks Obama do the same." source: CNN, via Twitter. Read instant reaction from a running Instant Message conversation between Special Agent Change and 2.0 regarding this breaking news!

2.0: John McCain suspends campaigning to work on economy, requests postponing Friday debate; asks Obama do the same.

SAC: source?

2.0 cnn

SAC: that's actually a good thing; i tip my hat to mccain

2.0: so you don't think he was ill prepared?

SAC: that bailout bill could be worse than the patriot act
prepared to debate?

2.0: yeah, he has asked BO for a debate during everyone of his appearances. I was anxious to see it

SAC: I give him the benefit of the doubt that he isn't so ill prepared as to bailout like that. the debate is supposed to be on foreign policy so it was a softball for him. its good for the debate to postpone it too cuz people arent thinking about foreign policy right now

2.0: But McCain has said himself that he doesn't understand the economic issues that well. How can he justify canceling the debate to speak at The Clinton Global Initiative. He said he was suspending his campaign. Isn't that campaigning?

you can't skip out on El Padrone
call it one more for the road
obama will probably let it ride

2.0: We need to post this for the people.
This just in Obama doesn't agree with the postponing. I guess not, he's in Florida getting ready, lol


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Game Changer: Jonathan Bender

Today I read an article on ESPN.com about the incredible work Jonathan Bender is doing to help rebuild New Orleans. In addition to making the transition from hoop star to businessman, Bender has used his notoriety and wealth to help hurricane victims. I was inspired by his story and instantly thought that his efforts were causing "a lil bit of change."

ALBC applauds citizens who capitalize on their God given abilities and then convert those blessings into gifts for others. To us, that's "a lil bit of change." People shouldn't be satisfied with merely optimizing their abilities and enjoying the awards received because of them; we should all strive to do more as we're given more. That's not us trying to preach or to be deep; we just believe that for someone who has accumulated a lot, what is a lil bit to them could do a lot of good if passed on to others with less who strive for a better life.

"He could have squandered his remaining millions or succumbed to depression over being labeled a "has-been" before his 25th birthday. But [Bender] was also an entrepreneur who'd watched the business-savvy NBA team owners, thinking 'I can be like them.'"

He always knew he was different.

A long-limbed forward with a 39-inch vertical leap, Jonathan Bender stood 6-foot-7 by the time he was 13 years old. When the soft-spoken teen graduated from Picayune Memorial High School in rural Mississippi, those who saw him play called him the next Magic, the next Jordan.

But Bender, skilled enough to forego college for the NBA, had struggled with his arthritic knees, which soon became his Achilles' heel. After only six professional seasons, he had to walk away from basketball.
For the full article click: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=JonathanBender-080923&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab4pos1

Monday, September 22, 2008

A lil bit of time off

Sorry friends,

ALBC took a lil time off because a lot of housekeeping needed to be done this weekend. But no sweat, we plan to work overtime the rest of the week to make sure we get caught up on the market and the debate later this week. Also, as a bonus, we'll be in D.C. for the Congressional Black Caucus weekend so there will be plenty of scoops and pics from our adventures in the nation's capital.

Best regards,
The Contributors

Friday, September 19, 2008

Don't Change A Word: Howard Thurman

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Correcting our unfairness

Yesterday we did something that in hindsight was unfair. We said that John McCain didn't understand the current crisis and wouldn't be competent enough to get us back on track. We still don't believe he's the right guy for the job but we should've let him speak for himself.

In a 2-minute ad, Senator Obama was clear and to the point about his plan to strengthen the economy once he's President. In a 5 minute interview, Senator McCain was...well we'll let you watch and draw your own conclusions. "Know for yourself":

All due respect Senator McCain, "...you need more people"

Notable Quotable

Photo Credit: rantsfrompurgatory.blogspot.com

In an interview with the Omaha World Herald, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel said the following in regards to Governor Sarah Palin:

"I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States"

"She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials,...You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what you can say. You can't say anything."

"I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, 'I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia.'" "That kind of thing is insulting to the American people."

Senator Hagel is a highly respected member of the Republican Party and a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Simply put, he knows what he's talking about and his opinion isn't driven by partisanship.

Change Agent: Jovian Irvin, changing perspectives

On a recent trip to China, this week's Change Agent, Jovian Irvin discovered that, "some things change, while many, bound by our human experience stay the same."

"A New Perspective on Change" by Jovian Irvin

While many things were different in China, some things seemed to be quite the same...

Chinese people still desperately seek the change in their government as we do in ours:

Their babies cry with the same intensity when they need their diapers changed.

Cab drivers fail to put their signals on when they wanna change lanes.

You more than likely have to buy something if you want to break your Yuan and get some change.

The degrees of separation between black people is still less than 2.

A smile from a cute guy would change any girls mood.

Whether you're a 20 something black girl from North Carolina, 80 yr. old Brazilian man, or 40 year old Chinese woman; when you reach the top of the Great Wall, not only do you a new perspective on life and what's REALLY high, you have a renewed fear of heights.

Like many Black kids, Chinese kids will change their hair when something really big is goin on.

Black people tend to find the shade in any desert. Chinese people do the same by bringing it with them.

Homeless people do whatever it takes to make 'a lil bit of change.'

There are still snakes on a plane.

And perhaps more importantly, songs are still in the key of life.

I traveled across China because I wanted more than a change in scenery, I wanted to new perspective. One that would helped me understand the differences in culture; one that would make me more compassionate, understanding and aware of God's presence in this world. This trip did just that--and more. It showed me how in the most basic ways, we are all the same. And that, I realize won't change.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Searching for insight-Part 1

Friends, we continue to search for insight on the current market crisis. Today we found a couple of pieces that are concise yet informative. The first is from Joseph E. Stiglitz, professor at Columbia University, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001 and as a member of the climate change panel, shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008. We pulled his 6 point commentary from CNN.com. Link provided below.

This is not the first crisis in our financial system, not the first time that those who believe in free and unregulated markets have come running to the government for bail-outs. There is a pattern here, one that suggests deep systemic problems -- and a variety of solutions:

1. We need first to correct incentives for executives, reducing the scope for conflicts of interest and improving shareholder information about dilution in share value as a result of stock options. We should mitigate the incentives for excessive risk-taking and the short-term focus that has so long prevailed, for instance, by requiring bonuses to be paid on the basis of, say, five-year returns, rather than annual returns.

2. Secondly, we need to create a financial product safety commission, to make sure that products bought and sold by banks, pension funds, etc. are safe for "human consumption." Consenting adults should be given great freedom to do whatever they want, but that does not mean they should gamble with other people's money. Some may worry that this may stifle innovation. But that may be a good thing considering the kind of innovation we had -- attempting to subvert accounting and regulations. What we need is more innovation addressing the needs of ordinary Americans, so they can stay in their homes when economic conditions change.

3. We need to create a financial systems stability commission to take an overview of the entire financial system, recognizing the interrelations among the various parts, and to prevent the excessive systemic leveraging that we have just experienced.

4. We need to impose other regulations to improve the safety and soundness of our financial system, such as "speed bumps" to limit borrowing. Historically, rapid expansion of lending has been responsible for a large fraction of crises and this crisis is no exception.

5. We need better consumer protection laws, including laws that prevent predatory lending.

6. We need better competition laws. The financial institutions have been able to prey on consumers through credit cards partly because of the absence of competition. But even more importantly, we should not be in situations where a firm is "too big to fail." If it is that big, it should be broken up.

These reforms will not guarantee that we will not have another crisis. The ingenuity of those in the financial markets is impressive. Eventually, they will figure out how to circumvent whatever regulations are imposed. But these reforms will make another crisis of this kind less likely, and, should it occur, make it less severe than it otherwise would be. And here is the rest of it.
for full article see: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/17/stiglitz.crisis/index.html

Searching for insight-Part 2

So just in case you think we're just talking big talk when we say we're in hot pursuit of answers about the state of the financial market, we decided to go a step beyond what the media is reporting on the issue and spent some time in the Lehman Brothers discussion group on Google Finance. (Ok, we were on NYMag.com and there we found the link to a post by chris_desbarres@yahoo.com, but over here following links counts as research) Disclaimer: we have no clue who Chris is but we thought his "30-second version of what happened with Bear Stearns and Lehman" broke the issue down in a way that laymen can understand. That said, know for yourself and only use this info as a condensed means to a comprehensive end:

People went to traditional banks and mortgage brokers and bought mortgages. All of these mortgages carry different amounts (e.g. $100,000 mortgage vs. a $500,000 mortgage) and different risk levels. The ones that are more likely to default have a higher interest rate, so the bank stands to gain more money...but at a greater risk of the home owner defaulting on the mortgage.

The problem with this is it is very difficult to balance your risk-reward ratio. So they created an investment vehicle called a mortgage-backed security (MBS). This is reffered to as a "derivative" because it is based off of the mortgage. The way it works is the banks chopped up all these different mortgages into different securities that were worth different amounts and different risk levels. They then sold these to other banks and investments firms. The firms who bought these MBS then received a payment based off of the mortgages. For the banks selling MBS, it helped them pool risk and generate capital, and for the firms who bought the MBS, it provided a source of cash flow with what was thought to be a very safe,secure underlying commodity: real estate.

Since real estate was so "safe," these banks used huge amounts of leverage (borrowed money to buy the securities) because they didn't think they were that risky. Some firms, like Lehman, were leveraged 30:1, meaning that for every $30 they borrowed, they had $1 of underlying assets. That would be like you making $1000 a year but taking out a loan of $30,000.

While all this is going on, people are buying up adjustable interest rate mortgages (ARMs). They offer a cheap introductory rate, but then skyrocket. So all of a sudden, all these people discovered they couldn't make their monthly payments. The default rate shot through the roof. The firms that had purchased MBS did so based on certain
calculations of default. In other words, X number of people could default on their mortgages, but they could still make a profit and have a positive cash-flow. However, when the default rate shot up, this threw all of their calculations off.

Now the firms faced a real problem. They had HUGE amounts of debt on their balance sheets, and the assets that were supposed to balance that debt were becoming worth less and less because of the rising default rate and the drop in housing prices. These are the "write-downs" that you hear about. The firms had to pay interest on that debt, but they did not have the corresponding cash flow to be able to pay the debt. Lehman, for example, had $5.4B of debt obligations last quarter, but only had $2.3B in income.

When you can't pay your debt obligations, that's called being insolvent. Many people think that bankruptcy is caused by having more liabilities than assets, but that's not true. It's caused when you can't make good on your debts, so the repo man comes and claims your assets in order to make up for it. When that happens, you have to file for bankruptcy in order to make sure that people get paid in the correct order because otherwise different creditors are going to be suing you to make sure they get what you owe them.

So that's where we are now with Lehman. They couldn't pay their debts, so they had to file for bankruptcy.

Make sense?

To visit the discussion group see:

Searching for insight-Part 3

After hearing from commentators and informed citizens, the next logical step is to hear our future leaders' perspective on the state of the economy. Senator McCain has stated that economics is not his forte and “...is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” His surrogates have all but confirmed those sentiments as fact. Today, the Senator from Illinois broke from the 30-second rule for commercials and issued a 2-minute ad as a counterpoint to the Senator from Arizona's deep knowledge on the subject. Check it out:

Change of pace

Over here at ALBC, its not all politics all the time. As you'll come to see we have a broad range of interests. The quest for "a lil bit of change" is a cultural phenomena that goes far beyond candidates, campaigns and catch phrases. It's about being the best you can be and, by doing so, inspiring others to be better .

In that vein, we borrowed this amazing pic from our neighbor thesartorialist.blogspot.com. A subtle understanding must exist between an artist and its subject; they must challenge each other while also being vulnerable amongst each other. This shot embodies "a lil bit of change" because the subject exudes an energy that is free from restraint and the artist reciprocates by capturing the subjects magnetism.

Enjoy. Thanks Sart.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For Your Information

Your friends here at ALBC are keeping close watch on Wall Street and the chaos that is our economy. Things are changing rapidly and honestly it's impossible to know what will happen next. This weekend it was Lehman and Merrill, today it is AIG, and there's potential for another major institution to fall victim later this week (knock on wood those words don't come to life). Yet in the midst of the confusion we thought we'd share some information on "Why AIG matters" courtesy of CNNMoney.com.

I have insurance through AIG. How worried should I be about the problems at the company?

At least in the short term, you probably don't need to be worried at all. The problems are with the AIG holding company, not the individual insurance company subsidiaries that you do business with, according to a source with New York State's insurance regulator.
Even if AIG's holding company is forced to file for bankruptcy court protection, there's a good chance that the subsidiaries will continue to operate normally with no disruption in claims payments. That has happened in the case of other insurance holding companies' bankruptcies in the past, such as Conseco (CNO).

What guarantees that my claims will be paid?

Typically, if an insurance company falls into financial distress and is at risk of having claims that exceed the assets it holds to make those payments, the insurance regulator in its home state will take control of the firm and make payments.

The state regulator will not only use the firm's own assets to make those payments but, if necessary, can also make payments out of a state fund into which all insurers in the state are required to pay.

This guarantee applies not just to traditional insurance policies but also to retirement products that have a promised payout, such as annuities.

But there are limits to the payments that will be made to customers that vary depending on which state a particular AIG subsidiary is based, according to Joseph Belth, professor emeritus of insurance at Indiana University and editor of The Insurance Forum, a newsletter often critical of the industry.

Should I be thinking about changing my policy away from AIG to another insurer?

While credit rating agencies downgraded debt held by AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) on Monday, AIG's ratings are still considered investment grade and the company's insurance subsidiaries are considered to be secure, at least for now.

Belth said changing insurers is not a simple decision.

"A lot depends on what kind of insurance you talk about," he said. "If you're talking about life insurance, you have to think about whether you can qualify with a new insurer, if your health has changed. But it's something you have to consider if the ratings decline into the vulnerable range."

Why should I care about problems at AIG if I'm not a customer?

AIG is by far the world's largest insurer and its stock is found in many mutual funds, including any S&P 500 index fund. It is also a component of the Dow Jones industrial average. All by itself, it's been responsible for dragging the Dow down more than 400 points so far this year.

AIG is also active in the business of credit default swaps, complicated financial instruments used by investors to protect themselves from bond defaults. Lehman Brothers (LEH, Fortune 500) was another major player in that field. If both go away, it would create a tighter credit market for consumers and businesses trying to get loans.

For this reason, there is a debate about whether the Federal Reserve will agree to lend the company the tens of billions of dollars it needs to cover its short-term funding needs or if the Fed will try and get private firms to assist AIG instead.

AIG is an insurer, not a lender. Why do I keep hearing about its problems with subprime mortgages?

All insurers take money they collect in premiums and invest them in different forms of assets. The idea is to make money on those investments so that the insurer can keep their premiums low and attract more clients.

But AIG made a bigger investment into securities that were backed by subprime mortgages than most other insurers. As defaults and foreclosures of those loans rose, the value of those securities fell, creating big problems for the firm.

In the past nine months, AIG has reported net losses of more than $18 billion, largely due to its exposure to bad mortgages.


Labor indefinitely

To say that the American economy has been in a tailspin the past few days is kind of an understatement. Honestly, I really don't know how to quite articulate what's going on right now. HOWEVER!!!, I found someone who can. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich gives his 2 cents on the economy while doing a handstand and dropping the S-bomb.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

It's hard finding good help

As the economy goes to "shit", Senator McCain and his surrogates show how well prepared they are to get us back on track.

At least Mitt Romney found it funny.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fortune Magazine: MySpace sets music free

By Devin Leonard, senior writer

Myspace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson have had an uneasy relationship with the music industry. Nearly every music act has a MySpace page; some of them, like British pop diva Lily Allen and American psychedelic-funk purveyor Gnarls Barkley, have used the social network to become stars. But two years ago Universal Music Group discovered unauthorized songs from U2 and Jay-Z on MySpace and sued the site in federal court.

Well, that relationship is about to improve. In August some of the industry's most prominent executives - including Universal's Jimmy Iovine - showed up at MySpace headquarters in Beverly Hills for a visit that couldn't have been more cordial. "It was almost like we were all singing 'Kumbaya' together," DeWolfe says.
It was the first meeting of the board of directors of MySpace Music, an unprecedented joint venture between the social network and three of the Big Four music companies: Universal, SonyBMG, and Warner Music (WMG), which together account for 77% of all U.S. album sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan. MySpace is also in talks with the fourth biggie, EMI, whose U.S. market share is 9%.

MySpace Music, scheduled to launch in September, promises to be the most significant rollout of a digital-music service since Apple's (AAPL, Fortune 500) iTunes. It will enable MySpace users to listen to any song from the catalogs of the three music giants free. There will be on-screen ads along with that music, but yes, it will be free. And that includes U2 and Jay-Z-and Christina Aguilera, Kid Rock, and rap superstar T.I.

DeWolfe says the key to the new service is this: Users will be able to visit the pages of major label artists and click on the songs they like as they listen. Then they'll be able to create playlists on their own pages made up of those tracks: "There will be a button that says, FOR THE FULL CATALOG, CLICK HERE," he says. "That's what's never been done before." The idea is that people will use the playlists to personalize their MySpace page, which, in turn, boosts traffic. "Think about why people go to a music service," he says. "They go to iTunes because they just want to get the songs and get out. MySpace is different. It's like going to your friend's house, and they have cool music playing in the background that makes the experience that much better."

"This is how people discover music now," says Luke Wood, executive VP of Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M. "It's not happening through people reading Rolling Stone. It's not happening through the radio. It's happening through social networks online."

If listeners really like a particular song, they can buy it with one click and have it routed immediately to iTunes or Windows Media Player via a download service created by Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500). To Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the alliance makes perfect sense: "MySpace, with its hundreds of millions of users, is an important place for music discovery, just like the Amazon MP3 store."

Bezos sounds excited, and no wonder. He's confident that Amazon's alliance with MySpace will increase his company's share of the music-download market. The market research firm NPD says that Amazon's year-old MP3 store is already the nation's second-largest digital-music retailer, after iTunes. MySpace's music company partners are also pleased that the joint venture will strengthen Amazon's hand. Although they won't say so on the record, they aren't happy with iTunes' current domination of digital music. Says Ivan Gavin, COO of SonyBMG's BMG Label Group: "Competition isn't the worst thing in the world."

DeWolfe believes that MySpace Music could generate enough money through ad sales, downloads, and eventually music-related e-commerce like T-shirt and concert ticket sales to put the industry back on its feet again. The music labels, of course, could use some new revenue streams right now. The industry is in a state of upheaval. Last year alone, CD sales declined an astonishing 20% - that's $2 billion in revenue gone. Digital sales rose by $500 million - nowhere near enough to make up the difference. "We think this has the ability to change the economics of the music industry and create a revenue stream that replaces lost CD sales," he says.

Yet for MySpace Music to succeed, it will have to sell ads - lots of them, and at commanding prices. Its label partners want a penny each time someone listens to a song on an ad-supported service. That means MySpace Music needs to charge $10 for every 1,000 ad impressions just to break even. Think how many MySpace pages automatically play a tune when you land on them; each one counts as an impression. MySpace won't comment, but media buyers say it has been able to charge only $3 per 1,000. Why? Because there's a glut of social-networking ad inventory on the market. That's one reason Fox Interactive Media, MySpace's parent, missed its revenue target for the fiscal year ending in June by an estimated $100 million.

DeWolfe promises that MySpace Music will have no problem selling ads. He points to his company's 300 ad salespeople, most of whom are working on the new music service. Toyota, McDonald's, and State Farm are sponsoring the launch. "We recognized that this is a groundbreaking addition to the music industry landscape," says Doug Frisbie, national media manager for Toyota Motor Sales.

In a way, MySpace Music was something that DeWolfe and Anderson had to do. Their site had a huge audience of music fans, but it wasn't making enough money. So nine months ago they pitched the idea of an ad-supported service to News Corp. (NWS, Fortune 500) CEO Rupert Murdoch and his deputy, COO Peter Chernin. The two executives took a typically contrarian stance. They weren't bothered that other major media companies have been fleeing the music business. "This venture marries the largest music community in the world with the biggest music catalogs in the world," Murdoch tells Fortune. "We're confident it will be a big success."

"It's not like we were going out and starting a record label," says Chernin. "This is something we'd been talking about for a while."

Here's a big question hovering over MySpace Music: Will it actually improve the music industry's slumping overall sales? "We believe that you can't just have ad-revenue-sponsored content," says Michael Nash, Warner's chief digital strategist. But why will people buy more music when MySpace will be offering so much for free? DeWolfe says people will still need to buy tunes to play on their iPods.

The truth is, MySpace et al. are making a leap of faith by pushing free music. Dalton Caldwell, CEO of imeem, an ad-supported music social network that has 27 million users, warns that DeWolfe is setting the bar too high. "I don't know if we can be superheroes and save the world," says Caldwell. "I think it would also be difficult for anybody to say they can replace lost CD sales."

Don't tell that to DeWolfe. He's already talking cultural juggernaut. "Think about MTV," he says. "Not necessarily what they are right now, but how they created pop culture in the late '80s, early '90s. I think that's what MySpace Music will do now." Maybe he should get those lost CD revenues replaced first.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Soapbox Sundays

Public preference on the issue of the war in Iraq has largely boiled down to those who favor withdrawing the troops and those who favor prolonging the battle. Senator McCain, who is a member of the later group, is running on a 'We can't afford to lose' platform. Yet who defines winning and losing? More specifically, what constitutes victory in a conflict such as this one where the immediate defeat and surrender of the know enemy was immediately followed by conflict with an unknown enemy?

Ultimately the People will determine the definition based on who they vote for. By electing Senator McCain, the People would be defining the recipe for victory as a continued surge in troop levels and a corresponding escalation of the conflict. Best case scenario, the surge expeditiously wears down the militias, restores a reasonable degree of peace and allows us to commence the daunting task of rebuilding. Conversely, a far worse scenario is the Iranian influence on Iraq will evolve from clandestine to conspicuous.

My preferences aside, the reality is, if elected, Senator McCain will declare he has a mandate based upon popular support. What do you think about that?

Ageism has no place in America, but...

Moments of ageism always provide me with a good laugh. This post is in honor of my two year old cousin who threw a fit when his mother wouldn't let him play football with a group of older kids. His response was, "Not too young! Vaughn not too young!" As a person who can relate to the ageism Vaughn experienced (shout out to my 2nd grade teacher who didn't believe World News was my thing and was convinced I memorized the newspaper stories every morning), ALBC would like to share with you a short video from slate.com, How to Call McCain Old Politely.

And in a knee-Jerk rebutal from Sen. McCain, he shares how he feels about his age in his own words, after the jump:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin: Obama probably wishes he'd picked Clinton as VP

(CNN) — Sarah Palin said Barack Obama could be wishing he had asked Hillary Clinton to join him on the Democratic presidential ticket.

"I think he's regretting not picking her now, I do," the Republican VP nominee told Charles Gibson of ABC News. "What determination and grit and even grace through some tough shots that were fired her way. She handled those well." Palin herself has said that Hillary Clinton had been “whining” about sexism during the primary season. "When I hear a statement like that coming from a woman candidate with any kind of perceived whine about that excess criticism, or maybe a sharper microscope put on her, I think, 'Man, that doesn't do us any good, women in politics, or women in general, trying to progress in this country,' " she said at a media forum earlier this year.

But when the Alaska governor first hit the trail after being named John McCain’s running mate, she made remarks at campaign events praising the New York senator, though she stopped making the comments after drawing consistently negative reactions from GOP crowds.

Clinton herself has largely avoided discussing Palin publicly since the governor's selection as McCain's VP.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"It's like a really bad Disney movie..." says Matt Damon

Click Read More! below to watch Matt Damon share his opinions about McCain & Palin. It's pretty straight-forward, he even mentions Actuary Tables.
"if you havent seen it, he sums it up just like i would!"
-M. J. P.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palins no porker. But John McCain's economic plan...

Change your Flight Pattern

Recorded live by a banker, beatboxed by an actor, and produced by a Genius. All done for the love of the game; not too serious but seriously interesting. And funny. And clever. And you might be in it. And if you don't see yourself it might be because the Genius tucked your shot into a fraction of a second in the frame. And if that's not the case then you need to change your flight pattern and be fly with us.

A lil bit of comment would be nice.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Engulfed in Change

On the Sunday preceding Hurricane Gustav I received a text message from an old friend from high school. It was a mass text that instructed people to use text messages to communicate so as to not tie up the cellular towers during Gustav's commencement and aftermath. Aside from being amazed at how technology has altered and improved disaster relief, the text struck me as odd because my friend lives in Baton Rouge. Prior to this text, I like many others had made the far too common mistake of relegating all things gulf coast to merely the city of new Orleans. Not to take anything away from the danger New Orleans consistently faces during hurricane season, but it is only one of many cities, towns and municipalities in Louisiana, as well as the entire South, that faces the threat of devastation.

After checking with my friend as to her safety, I was informed that she'd evacuated to our hometown, Tallulah, which is in north Louisiana a couple hundred miles from the actual Gulf. From there, I proceeded to inquire about the state of things in Tallulah and was happy to hear that all was well. I was so pleased with the news that I didn't feel compelled to check with my parents to verify. They didn't call and I didn't call; no news was good news. I proceeded to enjoy the rest of labor day weekend by overeating and debating whether Sarah Palin was the Anti-Christ or Eve with a barrel of apples. (I did finally call my mother after the storm had passed to make sure that things were as I'd hoped they were.)

It would be unfair and inappropriate for me to criticize "the government" for choosing to err on the side of avoiding catastrophe by requesting all citizens to evacuate. However, although the storms themselves have caused great damage, it seems that preexisting "weak" infrastructure, both physical and administrative, has caused the most substantial and sustaining damage to the region. It wasn't just Hurricane Katrina but also the weak levees and inadequacies of FEMA that lead to the moment in time that we will never forget but pray that we won't revisit. Further, although Hurricane Gustav has come and gone, there are still hundreds of thousands of gulf coast residents living without power, in part due to Entergy’s regional monopoly of the power industry. While the thought of citizens being without power may not shock your senses in the same manner as seeing thousands stranded in front of the Morial Convention Center, trust me when I say “Hell is probably less hot and humid than Louisiana is right now”; throw in the mosquitoes who thrive in those conditions and you have something straight out of Dante's inferno.

I don't want to cop out here and go on a Kanye-esque the government doesn't like Gulf Coast people diatribe. I could easily spew out statistics about the Gulf Coast being the most impoverished and undereducated region of the country; I could easily talk about the high crime rates in cities like New Orleans and Mobile; I could easily say that President Bush once again flew over the devastated areas to observe the damage but didn't come up with a practical and sustainable plan of action once he was back on the ground. However, doing so would only place this amongst the already thunderous chorus of op-eds, articles and essays that chronicle the post hurricane state of affairs. What I would rather do is challenge us all to use this as an example of why it's important for citizens to serve as a check on government. We must elect officials who can articulate an understanding of and a plan of action for the needs in the community they seek to serve. We must form citizen groups to counter the influence wielded by corporate special interests. We must use the advancements in technology and communication to modernize citizen activism.

We must use the tools at our disposal to incite change.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Change Agent: Cassandra Henderson, changing sex education

Every month, ALBC will highlight citizens who are serving as a catalyst for change in various civic capacities. Meet our first "Agent of Change", the multi-talented Cassandra Henderson. ALBC interviewed Ms. Henderson about her quest to change the way sex education is taught to students. In an era where the rules of engagement and the possible consequences have drastically changed, it has become even more important to properly educate our children on the facts about sex.

ALBC: What change are you currently involved in?

CH: As of July 2008, I incorporated my now growing entertainment company Yardi Entertainment Inc., and as the first major project, I am working to revamp the sex education curriculum, first in the United States and ultimately world-wide. It is a project I have been wanting to do for over 10 years.

ALBC: What made you interested in revamping the Sex Education curriculum?
CH: In 1996, Georgia had the nations highest rate of teen pregnancy. Having spent most of my life in Georgia, this was important to me. As a teenager at the time, I became involved in an organization founded by actor, activist, and advocate Jane Fonda called "The Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention" (G-CAPP). I served as one of the youth spokespersons of this organization for two years. I attended conferences, made speeches and promotional videos, but the most life-changing experience I had was being part of a "support group" for teen mothers at my high school. I had never had a child, so spearheading this group with one of the guidance counselors put me in a very unique situation to see the before, during and after effects of teen pregnancy. Ultimately, this experience opened my eyes to not only the consequence of unplanned parenthood, but other repercussions of unprotected sex and sparked an interest in me to learn about safer sex options--something it seemed my peers didn't really understand or know about. How do you make the best possible decision without proper information? Answer: you can't. It is my firm belief that revamping the curriculum for human growth & development will not only aid to inform youth, but will also be a bit more relatable to today's adolescent.

ALBC: Why is this change important to you?
CH: I am a filmmaker, producer, writer, director, actor and entrepreneur. With all of these titles under my belt I am very aware of the "magic of moviemaking" I know that the images of romance and the "fairy tales" of love, sex, romance, relationships, and life that appear in 1-2 hours or less shape young and older minds alike. It is important to have a balance between fiction and reality. It is important to be able to see the persona, and still understand that when the lights fade to black, the person in those roles returns to real life just as the viewer in the audience. This is why I am utilizing the headliners of today, the people behind the personas to use this opportunity to speak honestly to youth everywhere. I am inviting musicians, actors, artists, politicians and other public leaders to use this platform as a platform to tell their own stories to speak on drug abuse, date rape, eating disorders, teenage pregnancy, abortion, relationships, depression, curable and incurable STDs, etc. With the help of these celebrities and role models and the collaborative help of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), we can and will inform, entertain, enlighten and inspire awareness, provide real information and resources for young people. We are all here to live the best lives we possibly can, and to help others do the same. William Penn is quoted as saying "If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." With the rise in cases of AIDS and HIV, it is imperative that we find ways of reaching young people, teaching young people, and providing young people with the most helpful resources available to help them learn, grow and achieve.

ALBC: What can other citizens do to be a part of this change?
CH: I am always looking for help. Grant writing, funding, researchers, community organizers, fundraisers, parents, young people are imperative to the continued development of this project. Educating young people is truly a collaborative effort. Equally as important are people who have stories to tell. Yardi Entertainment Inc.'s motto/slogan is "Find your voice...tell your stories" if you have a story that you feel may help a young person, or bring an issue to the forefront that may typically not be included in human growth and development curriculum, please send your stories to us yardient@yahoo.com. If you would like to help in any way, please send your contact information via e-mail to yardient@yahoo.com. I welcome both monetary and in-kind donations in support of this project as well as other current and future projects.

Find out more about Ms. Henderson and Yardi Entertainment at www.cassandrahenderson.biz

" Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson

Monday, September 8, 2008

Did you know that you can register to vote the DAY OF THE ELECTION!?!?

...well that's only if you live in Minnesota, Idaho, or Wyoming. But it's not too late to move! We at ALBC have heard great things about the agriculture and textiles in all three of these states. If you are anything like us, you like to travel; or maybe you have business in more than one state; or maybe you have pleasure in more than one state. Either way, if you are not already registered to vote and plan on traveling domestically this fall, paste this Voter Registration Deadline chart in your wallet...right next to your tip chart.

State Voter Registration Deadline
Alabama Fri, Oct. 24
Alaska Sun, Oct. 5 (postmark by Sat, Oct. 4)
Arizona Mon, Oct. 6
Arkansas Mon, Oct. 6
California Mon, Oct. 20
Colorado Mon, Oct. 6
Connecticut Tues, Oct. 21
Delaware Sat, Oct. 11
D.C. Mon, Oct. 6
Florida Mon, Oct. 6
Georgia Mon, Oct. 6
Hawaii Mon, Oct. 6
Idaho Register at Polls
Illinois Tues, Oct. 7
Indiana Mon, Oct. 6
Iowa Fri, Oct. 24
Kansas Mon, Oct. 20
Kentucky Mon, Oct. 6
Louisiana Mon, Oct. 6
Maine Tue, Oct. 21
Maryland Tue, Oct. 14
Massachusetts Wed, Oct. 15
Michigan Mon, Oct. 6
Minnesota Same Day Registration at polling place
Mississippi Mon, Oct. 6
Missouri Wed, Oct. 8
Montana Mon, Oct. 6 (or same day at elections office)
Nebraska Fri, Oct. 24 (mail by Fri, Oct. 17)
Nevada Tue, Oct. 14
New Hampshire Same Day
New Jersey Tues, Oct. 14
New Mexico Tues, Oct. 7
New York Fri, Oct. 10
North Carolina Fri, Oct. 10
North Dakota N/A
Ohio Mon, Oct. 6
Oklahoma Fri, Oct. 10
Oregon Tue, Oct. 14
Pennsylvania Mon, Oct. 6
Rhode Island Sat, Oct. 4
South Carolina Sat, Oct. 4
South Dakota Mon, Oct. 20
Tennessee Mon, Oct. 6
Texas Mon, Oct. 6
Utah Mon, Oct. 6 or in person Tue, Oct. 28
Vermont Wed, Oct. 29
Virginia Mon, Oct. 6
Washington Mon, Oct. 4 (or Mon, Oct. 20 in person)
West Virginia Wed, Oct. 15
Wisconsin Wed, Oct. 15 (or on Election Day at polling place)
Wyoming Can register at polls

Friday, September 5, 2008

L. L. Cool McCain?

Lynn Green summed it all up in her article on hicktownpress.com where Fred Thompson says McCain earned OVER 300 Demerits in Naval Academy AND had a Stripper Girlfriend. What in the world was Thompson thinking with his comments? Hey, you've gotta admit that the Ladies Love Cool McCain ... at least, we found one. Watch the video:

"...in flight school in Pensacola, he did drive a Corvette and date a girl who worked in a bar as an exotic dancer under the name of Marie, the Flame of Florida," remarked Fred Thompson while adressing the Republican National Convention yesterday. Wow. McCain been pimpin!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thanks ol buddy, ol Palin

CNN) – Barack Obama's campaign says it has raised more than $8 million from over 130,000 donors following Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin's speech Wednesday night.

The campaign also says it is on track to raise $10 million before John McCain takes the podium at the Republican National Convention tonight. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

Less than compalin arguement

There was a great article on washingtonpost.com (By Shailagh Murray)about Obama's direct reactions to the RNC- by direct, I mean HIM, not his peeps. I really love that he refuses to attack and do dirty politics as the GOP insists on practicing. At any rate, I thought he said some great stuff:) Enjoy!

"I think she's got a compelling story. But I assume she wants to be treated the same way that guys want to be treated, which means that their records are under scrutiny. I've been through this for nineteen months. She's been through it what, four days so far?" (On the GOP crying sexism) "They're talking about the three years of work that I did right out of college, as if I'm making the leap from two or three years out of college into the presidency. I would argue that doing work in the community, to try to create jobs, to bring people together, to rejuvenate communities that have fallen on hard times, to set up job training programs in areas that have been hard hit when the steel plants closed, that that's relevant only in understanding where I'm coming from. Who I believe in. Who I'm fighting for. And why I'm in this race. And the question I have for them is, why would that kind of work be ridiculous? Who are they fighting for? What are they advocating for? They think the lives of those folks who are struggling each and every day, that working with them to try to improve their lives, is somehow not relevant to the presidency? Maybe that's the problem." (On his 'lack of experience and work as a community organizer')

"What did you guys expect? I anticipated this last Thursday in my acceptance speech. This is what they do. They don't have an agenda to run on. They haven't offered a single concrete idea so far in two nights. They spent the entire two nights attacking me and extolling John McCain's biography, which is fine -- they can use their convention time any way they want. But you can't expect that I'd be surprised by attacks from Republicans. And by the way, I've been called worse on the basketball court." (On why HE's the man, lol)

I love this dude!

Only in America, is right.

***Kalia Booker***

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I almost voted for you in the 2004 primary, since I'm a native of CT and for a time you were MY senator. Losing must be such great sorrow to push you to appear at the RNC.

There's so many great Joes ... it's a good name. There's also a Cup of Joe that people all around the world enjoy, so why did Joe Lieberman have to go and spoil a great name? He could be remembered with other popular Joes like Joe Biden or even middle-of-the-road, don't trouble the water Joes, like R&B singer Joe. But now, he's down there with Joe Dirt.

This is the only time I will ever reference something Star Jones said, but Mr. Lieberman, it's so sad for you to sink so low just to get a prime time TV spot as you "are in the sunset of [your] career."

Lucky for you, the ink on the napkin I wrote my notes on during your speech smeered when I wiped the tears from my eyes after laughing hysterically at the lack luster appeal you made to the American people...so I'm gonna have to watch your speech again to rip it apart piece by piece. Shame.

Less Than Pallateable Palin

I opened my email this morning and found this. "Not an SNL Skit". Who cares about her politics? Get this Alaskan hottie a Maxim Spread. I'm sure she gives the best Eskimos kisses. Do I smell another scandal?? This pic is from her future son-in-law, Levi Johnson's MySpace page. Maybe the baby is hers and Levis?????

***it's been revealed that the pic is a photoshop edit but we like it so it'll stay up a few more days.***
Read more from the eloquent Mr. Johnston's Myspace profile after the jump.

"I'm a f - - -in' redneck" who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.
"But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some s- - - and just f - - -in' chillin' I guess."
"Ya f - - - with me I'll kick [your] ass," he added.
He also claims to be "in a relationship," but states, "I don't want kids."

Um, would this guy be hanging in the White House? Will Sarah be??? Proud to be an American....yeeehaw!

Monday, September 1, 2008

What is A Lil Bit of Change?

A Lil Bit of Change (ALBC) is a production company committed to public service as exhibited through our creation of content based on social, economic and political themes packaged in a palatable and edgy format that is entertaining, inspirational and informative.

We believe American citizens are not a people who need more direction from the top down; we are a country who needs direction from the bottom up, starting with our citizens up to our civic leaders.

We all have played the elementary school game "Telephone" where one student comes up with a sentence and it is passed from one kid to the next. By the time the message makes it to the last student, the original sentence is usually butchered ... sometimes on purpose. I was one of those kids who would sometimes alter the message for laughs. Well, the game changes as we grow up - the stakes become higher and the need to get information first hand becomes critical, especially when that information is used in a decision making process. Politics is no different. Take the time to research primary sources and "KNOW FOR YOURSELF."

NYTimes.com Op-Art

A Lil Bit of Liberal Laborday Laughter


Letter to the Senator from Illinois

In the wake of a campaign that has insisted upon our participation and thrived off of our scrutiny and opinion, we, "A Lil Bit of Change" offer this letter of hope to the Democratic Nominee for President of the United States of America, Sen. Barack Obama

"Decisions are made by those who show up." - President Josiah Bartlet

Dear Senator Obama,

Its always good to hear from you.

We've been reading your emails, gettin your messages on Myspace and checking your updates on Facebook. Oh and we've definitely been making contributions on barackobama.com.

Listen, we know you probably can't get all of us on the VIP list for the inaguration ball but if you make it to the White House don't act like you don't know us anymore.

When you move to Pennsylvania Ave, keep us in the loop. Hit us up on Twitter. Shoot us a text.

We're not just ready for a Brand New Deal, we're ready to put in work for A Lil Bit of Change.


The Citizens

Lunch time banter

On the BIG DAY, your humble correspondents took some time to have lunch and digest the abundance of happenings we'd witnessed. But even downtime was worktime; while having appetizers, our new friend Bill Clarke from the Rocky Mountain News was so gracious as to ask us to be part of his Politics at the Palm segment. He was such a great guy we couldn't tell him no. Check it out.

Notable Quotable

ALBC: You excited?
High Level Staffer: I'll be excited when we nominate the next Black President.

Very well stated.

Her Voice: Politically INCORRECT Views on Obama by H.T.

I have recently been compelled to write on the topic of politics. I’ve had many interesting conversations concerning Obama, McPalin, and the African American status, scratch that black status because there are plenty of black people in America who are not considered Americans(but that’s another topic)…so lets get to it!

First, after posting a comment about McCain I received an email from a friend stating, “I could not help but notice that you both are definite supporters of Obama. I myself support Obama because of the significance of what he has achieved, but at the same time I am having trouble really deciding who to vote for due to his liberal policies and lack of experience. If you have any type of substantial opinion on either of these matters I would love for you to share them with me.” I read the email and it really made me think because at first I thought well no I don’t have any substantial opinion about his liberal views or his lack of years. I believe in Obama, I believe in what he represents and what he stands for and that’s enough for me! Then I started second guessing myself because I thought well maybe I’m caught up in the brand of Obama and I need to familiarize myself with the hardcore issues and what he’s really about. After a couple of days watching CNN and hearing the same stuff over and over, I’ve come to the conclusion that come HELL or HIGH WATER, I will be voting for Obama, but its important that I share why and how I came to this conclusion.

I don’t know much about politics.period. I recently became a citizen (October '07) and this will be my first time voting for anything. So, I never really got into politics because one, it was boring and two, I couldn’t vote anyway. But the reason I am voting for Obama isn’t because I know where he stands on the issue of space exploration when Earth becomes so polluted that our grandchildren will not be able to breathe without a gas mask. It’s because as an African, African American, and a Black human being, the “DREAM” is finally being produced as a movie!!!!! We are at the forefront of what all the other black “leaders” have been prophesizing. I use leader in quotations because, for me, it has become a very abstract word when talking about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman…etc. these have been extremely influential people in the advancement of black people and have made strides in encouraging a very focused group of people, Black people. HOWEVER, with Barack Obama there is no abstraction about it! He will be the LEADER of the United States of America! That’s EVERYONE in the United states, and when you start to think about how much influence America has on the rest of the world, leadership starts to become Global…and that’s HUGE. And he’s BLACK! The movie is in production ya’ll, its just up to us to make it a blockbuster hit!

There is no turning back for us. Obama has single handily changed the CURRENT perception of black people in America. This, immediately, becomes a good and a bad thing. However, long term, it will advance the state not only of Black people, but ultimately all of America….I’m not trying to go to deep with my audience but follow me, if you will. I recently read a article about Michele and Barack and their relationship, Barack said in the article that his mother told him that she could tell if a country would develop depending on how they treat their women. Basically, making sure a woman had equal rights and was treated fairly would determine the outcome of a country. Well, I hate to tell ya’ll, but Black people are the “women” of America, and there is a direct correlation between the growth of the United States and African Americans (I’ll let you decide whether it’s positive or negative). I had to go deep to prove that this changed perception is a great thing! We are that much closer to that 40 acres and a mule! So much is about to change. It’s cool now to wear suits, when we go for that loan so we're not looked at as just another Black person who may or may not be about anything. You’re in a better position to get that loan cause if this color can run the free world, imagine how quickly I can double this investment. Hillary might have put 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling but Obama bout to crack that sucka wide open. But here’s the trick, Black people now have to step their game WAY UP. There’s no more “man I hustle cause I cant find a job” my response “nigga (and I have no problems with this word when used appropriately…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigga) did you know we have a Black president.” Get off welfare, apply to Yale, and play rugby, WE-HAVE- A-BLACK-PRESIDENT!!!! I never thought I would be quoting [rapper] the Game but, “F*ck Jesse Jackson cause it ain’t about race!” yeah I said it. Obama isn’t talking down to Black people he’s trying to prepare us, [because] it’s about to be a whole new ball game!!! There are no more excuses. Now when we talk people are really going to be listening so please make sure you can back it up. We as a people have become so comfortable feeling un-entitled. Now my child can say I want to be president and no one is thinking to themselves yeah right…especially black people because we are our own worst critics!

I don’t want to come across as the next Malcolm X, I am simply enthusiastic about myself, and being Black, I am naturally voting for Obama because he’s Black. And I’m here to tell you if you are too, it’s OK!!!!!!!!! If you know nothing about how he feels on the issue of oyster mining ... who cares! He wants to bring our troops home and lower gas prices…that’s good enough for me. I know a little about the NWA, ILLUMINATI, 5%, and PROPAGANDA to realize that politics are politics, talk is talk and whether OBAMA is part of the “master plan” at this point I don’t care because at the end of the day there are only two presidential candidates and I’m picking the one who looks just like me, AND WHO JUST HAPPENS TO BE THE BEST CANIDATE ANYWAY!!!

So on that note, let;s address McPALIN. McCain I’m not dumb! And while I find you to be mildly smart only because the rest of the world is mildly stupid, you’re not fooling me. I know a Gimmick when I see one. You barely know this woman, in fact no one knows this woman. He couldn’t pick a Black candidate cause that would have been too obvious, he didn’t want to pick a more fitted suitor because that would have done nothing for his campaign. So what does he do, picks a Tina Fey look-a- like with 5 kids one with down syndrome. Super woman!!! Nonetheless, I have a hard time accepting that (God forbid) McCain becomes president and he dies (not necessarily in that order) and Palin become our president, she could make abortion illegal, or give every citizen a gun…not cool!

I am a capitalist at the end of the day…I am 'bout my money, so honestly it wouldn’t kill me to vote republican. But if I did I would be kicking myself for all the missed opportunity Obama as president will bring for me in the future. This has become more than politics and its OK because America is more than just in a bad situation we need a drastic change. African Americans need a drastic change. So, for me morally, politically, and selfishly Obama is my candidate and if anyone knows how he feels about oyster mining or space exploration please let me know, but it wont change my vote!

“The greatness of any product is measured by longevity, not success, anyone can be successful.”

Harriette Thomas, Liberian-American

A Lil Bit of Ticker Tape