If Leno Can Invite Letterman on His Show, Surely R’s and D’s Can Come Together as Us? – #HometownChat


Trivia: What’s the name of Jay Leno’s CNBC show? (Answer below)

It’s been a series of tragic events in Orlando that hit home everywhere. The scope of which might take a long time to sink in. Even Late Night hosts took a break from political fodder to offer words. Some might wonder if Jay Leno can invite David Letterman on his show, surely R’s and D’s can come together as Us?

After leaving the Tonight Show Leno began a new CNBC show featuring exotic cars. When asked by Extra about his old gig and the current presidential campaign he said “It’s just a different time. Now it’s all nasty, it seems like we’re going backward.” This was almost the same thing Letterman said not long ago.

While neither of them misses the late night grind, they both seem to have made similar points. For one, there’s the feeling that people aren’t impressed by what sounds like a battle between political animosity and public policy. One side wants to stick it to the other side while citizens feel like things are stacked.

There’s a famed Nobel prized economist who lays out a view for rewriting the rules of the American economy. Other elected officials have campaigned on the idea that things are unbalanced. In one sense it’s like someone who’s beyond being boozed or snoozed. There’s a wobbly feeling in moving along.


Leno knows this feeling. When the tire on his car is unbalanced this causes a rough ride. If it’s not corrected, other parts of the vehicle will be affected. Eventually this could lead to a total breakdown. The fix is having the wheels rebalanced. This is true for cars and for an unbalanced life or economic system.

The campaigns are about to enter the Conventions phase. There might not be a magic answer for fixing the social inequalities of today. But if not addressed they’re likely to become bigger social inequities tomorrow. So there’s something to be said about not having citizens feel it’s just another Reality show.

Leno thinks Letterman would be great on the new season of his show. While they were past competitors, they seem to be on a similar page today. That’s something everyday citizens hope to see among public officials as well. Wouldn’t it be fun to catch both white-haired, gray-bearded guys revving their engines?

Answer: Jay Leno’s Garage


Groove-tracks: Harris J – Good Life –  https://youtu.be/-f7TA3TA8HQ

Kindred and the Family Soul
– All My People – https://youtu.be/ta_yvKFGrIY

Ice Cube & Common Bring ‘Barbershop’ Talk from Same Ol’ to New Day Solutions – #HometownChat


Trivia: Who was Major League Baseball’s first ever rookie of the year? (Answer below)

The Bad Boy Records family is back on the block. That’s what Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs wants folks to know with an upcoming tour. Tickets sold out in minutes so they’re adding more shows. On another front, Ice Cube and Common bring some Barbershop talk from same ol’ community to new day solutions.

In a statement, Diddy said “The Bad Boy Family includes some of the biggest names in music and songs that helped define a whole generation of music. Also, we are celebrating one of the greatest of all time – Notorious B.I.G.” So what if Barbershop & Hip-Hop (or old-school & new-school) helped us jell as working class heroes?

Well that might call for a 21st century Juke Joint. Back in the day that was where local peeps did the social thing. They’d hangout and get the scoop on happenings around town. Some of that is seen today on social media. But a new ‘joint’ would do a community good, just as milk does a body good.

Another throwback that might fuse ‘new day’ solutions into communities is a M.O.D.D. Squad. That name reminds us of a popular TV show back in the ‘70s that featured a diverse ethnic/cultural mix of ‘street players.’ They came together to address some stubborn problems affecting the community.


This new MODD Squad as a ‘mix of defenders and dreamers’ learns from past Civil Rights efforts and those community super-heroes. They made change happen with defenders of the cause and dreamers in the movement. That’s why Dr. King knew who he was speaking to in saying ‘I Have a Dream.’

But if King’s dream of social change and national unity is to filter ‘left and right’ across society, there’s something else we can do to make ‘smart community’ a reality. This requires the kind of hometown solutions that work like smart phones. So people, businesses and communities have more ‘zoom zoom.’

Recently there’s been lots of talk about equal pay for women. The U.S. Women’s soccer team plus others in media and Corporate America have chimed-in. As the old saying goes “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” That’s true for equal pay as well as for communities around the way.

So as the political season heats up for the NY Primary, the candidates try to explain their platform. Some are buzzing about Super PACs, Super Delegates and having flashbacks to the term super-predators. The question people need to ask today is “who’s helping us reach new heights as super citizens?”

Answer: Jackie Robinson


Groove-tracks: Ceelo Green – Working Class Heroes – https://youtu.be/-fKPn0t7j6Y

Jamal & Hakeem Lyon (Empire)
– Good People –  https://youtu.be/uWIvKIUaHv4

What’s Missing in America Seems to be What America’s Missing


Trivia: Which U.S automaker broke Consumer Reports’ scoring system? (Answer below)

It’s hard to imagine that things have come to this point. People are still reeling from the senseless tragedy in Virginia with that WDBJ7 TV station. Still others are amazed by the sometimes insulting nature of the GOP presidential campaign. Nowadays it seems what’s missing in America is what America’s missing.

Many feel we’ve grown numb to what was once seen as vile and vicious. There’re those who say it’s due to a coarsening-trend in our culture. True, everybody isn’t affected by the same issues in the same way. But maybe politicians and citizens no longer have mutual connection or relationship with the real issues.

A relationship is understood as a connection between two or more parties. Experts who work with marriages or with parent-child interactions point to the importance of listening. They emphasize things that individuals can do to strengthen the partnership. With parents it’s about role modeling for their kids.

Things don’t work well when there’s less listening and more battling. Strengthening the relationship takes better communication and less one-upping between the parties in order to achieve greater synergy. Being there for one’s spouse or child is about having a relationship with them and those issues that matter.

If only there was more of this on social media and places of power/influence. It’s hard to come by when shock value gets ‘likes’ while solution value is passed-over. It’s easier in relationships and politics to get hot-headed and trade insults to the point of having a stinging sound-bite. This gets turned into marketing.

Sometimes it seems there’s more battling and less listening that’s occurring in our political and social discourse. There’s a tendency to try to “one-up” the other person or event as opposed to a commitment to strengthening and empowering. Maybe the marketing we see is the modeling we repeat and celebrate.

A lesser known philosopher once said “if you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you deserve.” This might hold true in different ways within life’s many challenges. Plus, what’s good for getting raves might not always be good for a reality-check or America’s prospect.

Answer: Tesla Model S

Groove-tracks: Goo Goo Dolls – “Better Days” – https://youtu.be/i-kHleNYIDc

The Roots Ft Raheem DeVaughn – “Tomorrow” –  https://youtu.be/ot7FLPp8ukw

A Heads-up to American Politicians on Seeing Eye-to-Eye with Everyday Citizens


Trivia: What did Michael Jordan say was his dream job if he didn’t play NBA basketball? (Answer below)

Over 50 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a pivotal speech said “I have a dream that’s deeply rooted in the American Dream.” His speech was given at a time of heightened concern for civil rights. It was also a “Memo from Martin” as a heads-up to American politicians on seeing eye-to-eye with everyday citizens.

Dr. King felt that to fulfill our nation’s destiny or move past urban challenges/frustrations, involved having individual dreams rooted in the American Dream. This implies a social-capital infrastructure that moves us from dreams deferred to dreams deserved. So could this mean seeing “Citizens United” in a new way?

His speech was one of prophetic insight. He hoped that all races might sit at the table of “brotherly love.” It might also have been a speech with overlooked policy proposals. So here’s why his dream being rooted in the American Dream was like a mirror for “The Establishment” being linked to “The Community.”

In the mid-1950s the U.S. began an ambitious project that would eventually become the interstate highway system. It was seen as a way to invest in America’s infrastructure and be an important link for moving military equipment across the country. This road system moves millions of cars and cargo daily.

Then in the 80s another project came into the public domain as technology innovation. The Internet started out as a military computer system for inter-agency communication. Today the Internet is pretty much everywhere and is an important link for all forms of internal, external and global communication.

These “road and tech innovations” are in place. We move resources in leaps and bounds across towns, cities and states. So in 21st century America we should invest in a social innovations infrastructure that moves not only “The Establishment” but also dreams, communities and generations to the next level.

Presidential candidates have been debating the issues, trying to gain more traction. They want to overtake the frontrunner by sharing policy ideas for reform in immigration, the tax code, criminal justice and entitlements. Well, let’s hear what’s said about political or socioeconomic reforms and the Dream.

Answer: A Weatherman

Groove-tracks: Big Sean ft Kanye West, John Legend – “One Man Can Change The World” – https://youtu.be/GBVotNefYME

Kelly Clarkson – “People Like Us” –  https://youtu.be/yWbMz_aBlMU

What America Needs Besides Politicians with Bravado and Cases of Celebrity Justice


Trivia: Which U.S. Statehouse will have a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. on its grounds next year? (Answer below)

Donald Trump thinks he’ll be the best U.S. President ever. NJ Governor Chris Christie would like to think he’s ready for the top job. He recently joined the list of ‘ready to shine’ politicians running for higher office. But who’s going say what America needs besides politicians with bravado and cases of celebrity justice?

Many civil rights advocates have called for some kind of plan in urban renewal. It would need to focus on opportunity, justice and unsung dreams. It should also address senseless violence and civic accountability. A noted historian thinks FDRs ‘New Deal’ is a template for the next steps and next level.

Those programs got to the heart and soul of America’s post-Depression era. They helped spawn a ‘middle class rising’ before income inequality took roots. In today’s times of ‘post-Recession blues’ we need to champion an ‘Urban Change Now’ effort that treats blocks, brands and budgets as social assets.

The concerns in urban communities are less about ideology and more about sociology. There’s a need for greater investment in social capital. Many don’t have the opportunity to just declare themselves fit for a job. So as the political class finds campaign money, they should also find resources for backyard issues.

Maybe there’s money to be found but not so much a ‘heart for people’ or the will to change. That’s why many citizens become turned-off, disconnected and in some cases disenfranchised. Some are hoping for a political revival that replaces newsmaker grandstanding with a sense of calling to public service.

It’s almost as if being unemployed or underemployed in the political class allows them to shop around their résumés. They believe their next job will land them in the White House. They’re the connected and relatively privileged who want us to support their platform. So how should we expect them to support us?

Dr. King proclaimed a time where “justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.” So as we celebrate America’s Independence, it might be a good time for working on a ‘Mighty Rising.’ Otherwise we’ll simply be discussing a candidate’s poll numbers or debating another civilian uprising.

Answer: Georgia

Groove-tracks: John Legend ft The Roots & Melanie Fiona – “Wakeup Everybody” – https://youtu.be/iJgxJ6JrPkc

Bruce Springsteen – “The Rising” –  https://youtu.be/6i-fiRgbpr4