DCBigPappa's Blog

Politics & Pop Culture from a homocon.

#FlashbackFriday – Higher Ground


This is a new idea I recently had to write a little about covers of popular and favorite songs of yesteryear. I’ll try to steer clear of obvious choices (I Will Always Love You, Nothing Compares 2 U, etc.), and focus on songs people didn’t know were covers or that a certain artist actually covered a song by X. Below is the first installment of #flashbackfriday.

Red Hot Chili Peppers (Stevie Wonder)

Before they were giving it away under the bridge, the Red Hot Chili Peppers reached for “Higher Ground,” a Stevie Wonder cover. Released in 1989 on their fourth studio album, Mother’s Milk, the George Clinton-inspired Chili Peppers saw their first cross over hit as they were paying homage to Stevie Wonder and the important role he played in popular music.

The original, was released in 1973 on Stevie Wonder’s Innervisons album (which also included Living for the City, All in Love is Fair, Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing). It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. In an interview with the New York Times, Stevie said the song lyrics addressed the issue of reincarnation.

Rolling Stone ranked the original song #265 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Will the Real Corey Booker Please Stand Up!


Picture it. Summertime, 2018. Democrats beginning to line up for the chance to take on the incoming President. The liberal left – progressives, as they like to call themselves – can’t wait to find their next savior. Now that President Obama is riding off into the sun set (or is he?), who’s next to take up the mantle of hope and change?

The Democrat’s, err, the progressive’s bench is fairly old and predominately (lilly) white. There are few “stars and rising stars,” but each come with their own set of circumstances.

Deval Patrick, the former black Governor of Massachusetts was a strong supporter for Mr. Obama when he first ran in 2008, to the chagrin of the Clintons. But he’s been out of office for two years and needs to find a way to stay relevant to the Left.

Enter Senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination to head up the Justice Department. Having intimate history with Senator Sessions, per the Boston Globe, Mr. Patrick sent a sternly worded letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, recommending against Sessions’ nomination as the U.S. attorney general. Back in 1985, then-federal prosecutor Sessions had brought voter fraud charges against three black civil rights leaders. Patrick and the NAACP fought the case and won.

Newly minted California Senator Kamala Harris is brand new and not well known outside of her state.

And then there’s New Jersey Senator Corey Booker.

Corey Booker is running for President. How else can you explain his actions today? Since his entry into the Senate mid-way through the 113th Congress, Senator Booker has advanced himself as someone who was willing to reach across the aisle to find bipartisan agreement. Mr. Bipartisan he’s called.

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Today, that changed. Today, he became the first Senator to testify against another currently sitting Senator. While that in and of itself is astounding, an eleven-month-old quote popping up on the interwebs is even more so.

Less than one year ago – on February 27, 2016 – Booker heaped praise upon Senator Sessions, saying that he was “blessed and honored” to work with Sessions. While receiving an award for crafting legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to civil rights leaders:

“I am humbled to be able to participate here and pay tribute to some of the extraordinary Americans whose footsteps paved the way for me and my generation. I feel blessed and honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions in being the Senate sponsors of this important award.”

Will the real Corey Booker please stand up!

Twelfth Night, Time for Mardi Gras


Twelfth Night is more than just a play written by William Shakespeare. It marks the coming of the Epiphany – the day the Three Kings arrived to witness the Baby Jesus. It is highlighted by the song “12 Days of Christmas.”

Most people know that Fat Tuesday, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday represents the end of the Mardi Gras season. But many don’t realize that Twelfth Night – January 6th – marks the beginning of the Mardi Gras season.

You see, Mardi Gras, like Christmas, is a whole season – not just one day.  That being said, Fat Tuesday is the biggest day of celebration, and the date it falls on moves around. You’ll find that Fat Tuesday can be any Tuesday between Feb. 3 and March 9. Mardi Gras, or its more Pagan name, Carnival, starts its celebration on January 6th, the Twelfth Night, and picks up speed through midnight on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

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The origins of Mardi Gras in America go back to 1699, nearly twenty years before New Orleans was established, and can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th century to the French House of the Bourbons, hence Bourbon Street.

By the late 1830s, New Orleans held street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback riders to celebrate Mardi Gras. Dazzling gaslight torches, or “flambeaux,” held by slaves lit the way for the krewe’s members and lent each event an exciting air of romance and festivity. By the way, a krewe is an organization that puts on a parade or ball for the Carnival season (more on parades later).

There is one tradition that you will see throughout the entirety of the Mardi Gras season, and that is the king cake. The most simple version, said to be the most traditional, is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll-style dough topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring. King cakes may also be filled with additional foodstuffs- the most common being cream cheese, praline, cinnamon, or strawberry.

Traditionally, a small plastic or porcelain baby is hidden into the king cake. Originally, the baby was placed into the cake to symbolize baby Jesus.

Today, the baby symbolizes luck and prosperity to whoever finds it in his/her slice of cake. In some traditions, the finder of the baby is designated “king” or “queen” for the evening. That person is also responsible for purchasing next year’s cake, or for throwing the next Mardi Gras party.

We are now 52 days until Mardi Gras 2017…

Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler!!

* Some excerpts taken from mardigrasneworleans.com

Congress… Off to a Bad Start


The new is still fresh in people’s mind. A new President awaits to be inaugurated in 17 days. The new 115th Congress is about to be sworn in. And what’s on the minds of some GOP lawmakers? Gutting the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Obviously, as soon as it hit the news wires, the outcry was deafening. But it wasn’t simply from the Left.  Judicial Watch has called the proposal “shameful.” But the biggest and most surprising rebuke came from President-elect Trump in a tweet.

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Cigar Review: Romeo y Julieta Tubos #3


It has been awhile since I’ve been on here. But this occasion, the celebration of the birth of our Nation is a good reason to return.  And yes, I get the irony of smoke a Cuban on Independence Day.

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This medium corona is the smallest from the Tubos series. It was a gift from a friend who was traveling abroad. I smoked this Cuban RyJ as I tried to watch the fireworks at Meridian Hill Park near my home. But it was too overcast and there was too much fog which prevented me from a good viewing. Although it was cool for a DC July night, it was very humid and muggy, not to mention wet. It had been raining off and on all day, and there was still some scattered showers.

There is not a lot of bang in this cigar, as it is medium in strength. It is heavy on woody flavors, and offers other flavors such as herbs and nuts. Took about 25 minutes to smoke, which is a little on the short side for me. But overall, it was not a bad smoke.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars.                   starstarstar

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Katrina, 10 Years Later


With this weekend being the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I thought I would reflect on my experience with the storm.  Though I have never lived in New Orleans or Louisiana for that matter, I have many dear friends who I’ve met while in DC who are from the area.  And I’ve befriended many of the locals who I see each time I return.  My annual sojourn down to NOLA for Mardi Gras gives me a different perspective.  While I was not physically or economically impacted by Hurricane Katrina, I was emotionally affected.

Between 1995 and 2005, I had travelled to New Orleans eleven times – 6 times for Mardi Gras, and 1 time each for New Year’s Eve, Southern Decadence, a wedding and a Congressional junket.

Most tourists, unfortunately, don’t venture much outside of the French Quarter.  Thankfully, I was taught by friends local to the area that New Orleans had so much more to offer than 78 square blocks that is the Vieux Carré.

My dear friend Monica had me visiting Uptown (which ironically is south of The Quarter) quite often.  Not only did I get to see some of the most beautiful grandiose mansions along St. Charles Ave., but along the 30 minute streetcar ride, I would get to pass Tulane University and come close to the Audubon Park Zoo.  We would end up at Cooter Brown’s Tavern & Oyster Bar, where I had my first taste of alligator.

On other trips, I would visit some of the jook joints in Treme, Marigny, and Chalmette, which were not necessarily the safest of neighborhoods, but a damn good time.  I have fond memories of Sweet Lorraine’s.  Then there were the many trips to visit the famous cemeteries at the end of Canal Street near City Park.

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The photos above were taken in the lower Ninth Ward during our trip for MG06, six months after the storm.

In the months after the devastations of Katrina, me and my friends who’ve gotten so much joy from our trips down to the Crescent City, decided that we would return to New Orleans the next year for another Mardi Gras.  The city wasn’t going to recover solely from federal dollars, the economy had to rebound.  And that meant residents had to return and tourism had to continue.  The common mantra we heard that year from the locals was “thank you for coming back!”  For us, it wasn’t even a question.

Since the levees broke, we’ve been back to N’awlins seven times for Mardi Gras.  And who could forget the pouring rain mud-fest that was British Pat’s bachelor party for Jazz Fest in 2007.  And every time I return, I make new friends.  On our trip to Mardi Gras this year, we met Corey, who bartends at our favorite breakfast place – Deja Vue.  He makes a mean bloody mary and an absolute delicious French 75.

By the way, I was sitting at Deja Vu one morning, and a guy comes in, orders a drink, sits for a minute and then leaves.  When he left, I said to my bartender, he looks familiar.  He said to me, “that was Kermit Ruffins.  He comes in a lot.”  Kermit Ruffins is a local jazz trumpeter.  He’s quite well known nationwide in the jazz circuit.  He was also in the the HBO series, Treme, which is about New Orleans’ recovery after the storm.

I will continue to love this city and will visit it as often as I can.

Statement from the Keystone State


Statement Regarding the Opinion of Judge Jones in the Whitewood Case

​News for Immediate Release

May 21, 2014

Statement Regarding the Opinion of Judge Jones in the Whitewood Case

“I have thoroughly reviewed Judge Jones’ opinion in the Whitewood case. Given the high legal threshold set forth by Judge Jones in this case, the case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal. Therefore, after review of the opinion and on the advice of my Commonwealth legal team, I have decided not to appeal Judge Jones’ decision.

“As a Roman Catholic, the traditional teaching of my faith has not w​​avered. I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. My duties as Governor require that I follow the laws as interpreted by the Courts and make a judgment as to the likelihood of a successful appeal.

“Throughout the debate on this important and meaningful issue, I have maintained that Commonwealth officials and agencies would follow the provisions of Pennsylvania’s marriage law unless or until a court says otherwise. The court has spoken, and I will ensure that my administration follows the provisions of Judge Jones’ order with respect for all parties.

“It is my hope that as the important issue of same-sex relationships continues to be addressed in our society, that all involved be treated with respect.”

On Independence Day


As America celebrates her 237th Independence Day, we live in a land that’s a little more free.  Today, there is a little bit more to celebrate.  We’re not completely there yet, but we have and we will continue to persevere.

Last week, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which takes us one step closer to full equality for the LGBT.  That section had barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in states where it was legal.

There are still questions and issues to sort out, but today, we can clearly say that we are moving in the right direction.

And in the words of former Vice President Dick Cheney, “Freedom means freedom for everyone.”

 

Movie Review: White House Down


Enjoyed White House Down.  It was a good action-packed movie.  Didn’t have high expectations with the series of sub par movies lately. And it’s good to see a movie where the ending is not set up to lead to a sequel.
There are some scenes that are a bit cheesy, but the story more than makes up for it.  Channing Tatum (still hot!) is a very believable hero who has made mistakes in the past and is trying to better himself.
I give it 7 out of 10 stars

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Cigar Review: 5 Vegas Classic


I’ve never really taken the time to try a 5 Vegas Classic, until now. Boy, have I been missing out!  This is a great middle of day-let’s take a break-cigar that won’t leave you on your ass when you done.  This allows one to head back to the office to continue plotting world domination.

The 5 Vegas website says that the tobacco comes from five different plantations.  And it comes in seven sizes.  Today, I had the corona.

A very nice medium bodied cigar.

7/10

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