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Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Folks in Cuba

We should always respectfully question the actions and agendas of our leaders.  Today, President Obama will announce new rules regarding Cuba.  Thank you Mr. President because it should have been done years ago.  I am about to go off with a rant-filled list.

So, Americans could travel to the former U.S.S.R. but could not go to Cuba.  Why were Japanese put in camps during World War II but I never heard of the German and Italian camps.  Why was Jackie Robinson court-marshaled for not going to the back of the bus on Fort Hood, Texas, while Germany POWs were allowed to eat in Whites only sections of the mess hall there?  Why was my brother in the Navy fighting for freedom during Vietnam but I couldn’t drink out of a public water fountain or check out a book in the library?

Why weren’t Blacks involved in the discussion about what would happen with them after the Civil War (yea, half Black Fredrick Douglas was there sometimes..)  Why, oh why, didn’t President U.S. Grant’s plan to buy the island of Hispaniola for former slaves catch on seriously?

Since I am ranting on the U.S. Civil War, you should remember the villain Lovelace’s plans in Will Smith’s movie the Wild Wild West.  Those plans were similar to the Confederacy’s plan if they won the war and the plans of slave owners since they didn’t.  They wanted a warm weather, slave-hold confederacy across the American South, Latin America, the Caribbean and the north of the South America…cotton, bananas, and sugar.

While Fidel Castro is a rough dude, the dudes he tossed out were also dirty.  To be honest, White Spanish (from Spain) oppressed Blacks in Cuba for a long time….since the conquistadors with the metal hats.  They worked those people in the cane fields but didn’t share the wealth and opportunities.   When the Fulgencio Batista regime from the 1950s was toppled in the movie the Godfather and rich people were running for the airport, I always cheered.  Cuba was their playground and Batista allowed seediness similar to early Las Vegas.

In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the power of the defense industrial complex and I am convinced defense private sector interests were behind the killing of JFK, MLK and RFK because those three question our involvement in Vietnam.  Don’t stand between rich cats and more loot.

Often, the leaders of nations hate each other but not the people.  The History Channel is the bomb.  The Japanese people thought U.S. Marines would eat their children.  People behind the Iron Curtain thought we Americans spent all of our time planning their destructions.  We were actually chilling while watching cartoons.  These leaders need to get into a boxing ring and duke it out rather than waging war from their secure locations.

I have had the best time hanging the Eastern Europe.  Rock and hip hop have done more to bridge the divide than the diplomatic corps.  Something told me the Cuba people didn’t hate the America people as much as the leaders did.  I am not saying I discovered this to be the case before President Obama changes the travel ban.  If I travelled to Cuba, it would have been as a brown person who knew that those people were being controlled by the Communist like we were limited north of them.

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Blacks and Whites are in a world of trouble politically in the South; I don’t care what the election results say.  We are a house divided and it’s never healthy having political parties of one color. Never.

Steve and Cokie Roberts breakdown some amazing numbers and facts in their column recently but the essence is that Whites have left the Democrat Party in the South for the GOP and therefore the Dems are mostly Black.  The GOP in the South control most governorships and state houses but as of January, there won’t be a White Democrat in the U.S. House or U.S. Senate from the South.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2014/dec/11/steve-and-cokie-roberts-the-decline-of-the/?opinion

To me, elections could have been won if the people that the Clinton White House and the Obama White House sought to help would have simply voted and if the GOP far right wasn’t a well-oiled fear machine.

But, the reality is this: everyone better figuring out what is in our best interests and function accordingly.  It’s not in our best interests as southerners if GOP leaders win elections and the far right dares them to dialog with the rest of the population.  Perhaps, those people who Dems help who don’t vote will be forced into living differently when they realize that the people winning elections aren’t baby-sitting them. Hey, tough love or tough hate could get things moving.

Let me make it plain: the Black community needs to have a relationship with whoever is sworn into office.  Secondly, we need to have a frank discussion about living better without government being at the center of our universe.  Lastly, it might be time to sub-divide the interests of our community because we are spending too much time, energy and resources on a certain segment— a segment that needs everything but won’t vote.

Hillary Clinton would be a great president but the Dem Team better come up with a plan of substance.  If not, the door could be open for Senator Rand Paul or Governor Jeb Bush to secure the most productive selection of our community by finding something new and by telling the crazies on the Red Team to chill.  I hate to say it but our community might need to show numbers in the GOP primaries to select Republicans who are less nutty because that’s where the decisions are being made.

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Southern Blacks shouldn’t be a presidential lock for anyone in 2016.  Secretary Hillary Clinton is one nice candidate and she is better prepared to be potus than most were at the time of their election.  But, the times they are a changing and we need more than good campaigning; we need a comprehensive plan and approach for living better.   That P and A might involve the government finally admitting that its role in our personal well-being should be limited.  They should tell the people the truth so we are function accordingly.

Politics and campaigning are the arts of getting people elected (often times, by saying bad stuff about the other side.)  Governing is about the proper running of public enterprises.  In the midterm elections, fancy Ivy League types in D.C. planned how to get regular folks thinking to produce their desired results.  Their desired results weren’t better governing and better personal living; it was making money for them and keeping power.

They spent a zillion dollars on campaign ads with candidates wearing denim shirts while walking on farms with dogs.  If the Democrats spent 15% of their ad money hosting events to meet and listen to voters, they would have done much better.  The old Get Out The Vote model of having teams in every area gives regular people the opportunity to make a few bucks while helping the campaign process.   In the basement of the DNC and the RNC on Capitol Hill, low level congressional staffers attend workshops on how to get campaign volunteers to work for nothing while stacks of cash are spent on TV ads that turn off the voters.

Carlton Fletcher of the Albany Herald recently wrote an instant classic about campaign ads.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2014/nov/04/carlton-fletcher-please-god-no-more-political/?opinion

After a chill holiday season, those in the political arena should spend 2015 listening to regular people.  Elections are often decided by who secures the sensible center.  The GOP presidential primary will likely pull their nominee so far right than the party turns off the center in the November election again.  They need to go get Michael Steele’s old plans for growth—plans that start with telling crazies to relax and end with embracing the minority version conservatism.

Southern Blacks outside big cities aren’t really liberal.  Oh, we won’t be hooking up with the GOP because the nuttiest on that team are running the show.  But, we might grow disillusion and stay home.  There is an emerging segment of my community that feels that a return to non-government solutions is the answer; solutions that center on personal responsibility and how we carry ourselves.  That opens the door to GOP mavericks like Rand Paul and Jeb Bush.  Is the GOP so far gone that Jeb Bush’s level-headiness makes him an outlier.  Yes.

In 2014 in the South, the Democrats assume they had the Black vote and therefore spent their time courting the Whites who bounced for the GOP.  They better court our Black “blanks” are we might bounce also.

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The Democrats failed in the mid-term elections for reasons that were clear to most—except them.  I knew a year ago (no five years ago) that I would be writing these points today.

Money: Dems in Georgia raised and spent enough money for Nunn and Carter to win but they spent it in the wrong places.  Most voters are unaware of the cottage industry surrounding elections, an industry that centers on Buckhead in Atlanta.  First, you find a candidate who can raise tons of dollars with our friends then you hire our other friends to run the campaigns and still other friends to produce and do media buys for a zillion TV ads. How many people didn’t vote because they were weary from campaign ads?

The people inside this cottage industry won the election a year ago when they secured legacy candidates like Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, rich fellows like David Perdue and sitting congressmen like Jack Kingston and a few others.  They had the money makers.

Better Money: If Nunn and Carter listened to seasoned cats like Sanford Bishop, they would have cut the media buy money by a third and put that money on old school street teams outside of Atlanta.  When the original Carter and Nunn were winning in the 1970s, the Dems knew to secure the support of old ball coaches, funeral directors, barbers, pastors and other community leaders.  These community leaders would put together teams of workers who made a few dollars.  Grandmothers would be so proud that their family members were involved and leading rallies.

I knew Michelle Nunn would make a great senator but her work history involving volunteerism concerned me from the start.  Black folks aren’t volunteering when they can see that you spent millions on T.V. ads.  They should have spent those millions on rally D.J.s and those free hot dog trucks.  Food and old school music will get the crowd out and that’s when you hook them with warmth.

Learning from Florida: There are two important lessons we can learn this election season from our neighbors to the south.  First, Gwen Graham won a U.S. House in North Florida by striking a correct balance between T.V. ads and community events.  Of course, she is from a famous political family but she rolled up her sleeves and pressed pressed pressed the flesh at dozens of free food events.  Hey, we like free food and Frankie Beverly music.  Graham took it home last week with a free Jimmy Buffet show…nice.

Secondly, Governor Rick Scott narrowly won reelection by running up the numbers in rural areas to counterbalance big Dem numbers in the Florida cities.  In Georgia, we have city Blacks in Atlanta, Blacks in the next five cities (Columbus, Albany, Macon, Savannah and Augusta) and rural Blacks.  Obviously, the plan was to get metro Atlanta to balance the GOP’s rural base.  But, those Blacks in Atlanta are real liberals who weren’t going to get pumped up to help Michelle Nunn while she ran from President Obama and ran to Governor/Senator Zell Miller.  Yes, Miller was a great Georgian back when but he spoke at the GOP national convention for Obama’s opponent. Black folks have memories.  On the other hand, rural Blacks are more conservative and more likely to support moderates like Sanford Bishop.  The Democrat efforts should have started by listening to Bishop.

Second guessing: The Democrat Party in Georgia spent the last year trying to get White Republicans to switch back…newsflash “They are gone.”  The party spent less energy getting the Obama base out.

Future: Michelle Nunn is still a big winner because she is position to be the Dem Senate candidate when Senator Isakson retires.  Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed would be the natural candidate but you know the cottage industry mentioned above must eat and they eat exceptionally well.  Again, getting money is more important than winning.

Black diversity: This blog started years ago as an effort to convince our community to take a better look at the details of politics and policymaking.  Both major political parties have incorrect approaches to us.  We need to take a hard look at the role political hope plans in how we carry ourselves because the parties and the government are indirectly hurting us.

Hillary 2016: Not so fast, we need to talk.

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With one week before the 2014 mid-term elections, we should think about three presidential impeachments and the impact on our community.  The good news is that one of them can still be avoided.  Of course, impeachment is a need process in our democracy—Nixon.  But, like many other things, people in Washington use it to play dirty games.

First, I can’t stand people who don’t respect the “fair and square” American election process or those who choose to IGNORE the law.  The latter would be un-American to me.  For example, the law says Blacks are citizens with the right to not be killed but that didn’t stop others from blowing off those laws since 1864.

Andrew Johnson: Johnson was a Tennessean who became Abraham Lincoln’s vice president.  Upon Lincoln’s assassination, this southerner became president and this moderate clashed with Radical Republicans who wanted to give former slaves more rights as citizens.  His “high crimes and misdemeanors” involved ignoring a law that stopped him from removing Radical Republican and Lincoln appointee William Stanton as Secretary of War, a position that oversaw the readmitted South at the time.

Johnson escaped removal from office by the U.S. Senate by one vote and it is generally understood the compromise on the rights of Blacks got him the needed votes.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/grant-impeachment/

Bill Clinton: Dam, he was a good president and that drove Republicans crazy.  The man was fair, he listened to every side and he left office with a budget surplus.  Because they couldn’t get him in the polling place, they tried to get him for lying about creeping.  The biggest crime was that his wife was a much better women than the chicks he was chasing but we don’t need to list all of the presidents who wouldn’t keep it in their pants.  That list would include some of the greatest.

The rough aspect of the Clinton impeachment/witch-hunt is that it took away from the real business of governing…being the leader of the free world.  If my memory serves me correctly, Zaire/Congo was in the middle of a near genocide in 1998 but the White House was busy dealing with impeachment.  Countless deaths could have been avoided but President Clinton had to spend his political capital addressing the GOP nonsense on the Capitol.  If you asking them about that today, they grin as if to say “part of the game.”

Barrack Obama: The far right wing of the conservative movement can’t wait until the day after the election.  They are discipline enough to stop talking publicly about impeachment from the after the primary election until the day after the general election.  They don’t want to wake the sleeping giant known as the Obamacrats.   With Republican control of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, President Obama will likely be impeached and could be removed from office for the offense of doing what he was elected to do rather than what the sour minority of the American people want him to do.  They want him to leave.

In addition to impeachment, the House and Senate will be constantly bringing the Obama cabinet members and administrators to Capitol Hill to explaining every action since they came to office—oh, you haven’t seen gridlock yet.

In summary, you can love or hate the policies of a White House but you should respect the rights, duties and authority given a president by the American people.  Democrats gave that respect to the second President Bush despite his questionable election.

Anyone who seeks to weasel around the democracy process is unconstitutional and, in my book, un-American.  Oh, nothing is new under the south sun, son.  We are talking about the people who laughed at federal court orders and U.S. Supreme Court rulings for years…..fire hoses, cattle prods, matches.

Everyone that doesn’t vote will forfeit their right to be surprised by the impeachment of the sitting American president for no good reason.

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Why are Democrats constantly out foxed by Republicans and why do Republicans insist on scaring the daylights out of voters?  When Senator Saxby Chambliss first ran for the Senate, Ralph Reed was in charge of the Georgia GOP.
Reed figured out that Democrat congressmen like Sanford Bishop shouldn’t have opponents if the GOP didn’t really have a chance of winning the seats.  Just running someone would compel Bishop to fully engage his campaign apparatus which is a Death Star to most Republicans in that district.  However, Bishop in blast mode also brings out unlikely voters who don’t care about political parties but do care about defending “our guy.”
As Daniel Boone studied the Indians, I have watched and learned from the GOP for decades.  They are as hasty as they wanted to be and as smart as they want to be.  The wizards behind theGOP  curtain know that southern Democrats aren’t real liberals but they play that card time and time again.  Smart…ugly, but smart.
The plan for victory for Jason Carter for governor and Michelle Nunn for senate should have involved Sanford Bishop having an interesting GOP opponent.  Quick, name Bishop’s ‘no campaign ads on tv’ opponent.   He is a dude named Duke and no Democrats know of him.  Bishop will be declared victor two minutes after the poll close.
Mrs. Vivian Childs, a wise and nice Black professional, was defeated by Duke in the GOP primary.  Democrats who wanted Carter and Nunn to win should have voted in the GOP primary for Childs because she would have raised real money from fellow Black Republicans nationally.  Actually, Bishop and Childs debating issues in a pleasant manner would have been refreshing because they are cool like that.
Most importantly, Bishop would have pulled out the full power of the Death Star and much better turnout would have happened in Macon, Columbus and Albany.  Those better numbers might have been the deciding factors for governor and senator.
When will the conservatives realize that their efforts to reach Black voters starts with understanding successful sections of our community.  For example, they love to play the fear factor card with Malcolm X, Rev. Jeremiah Wright  and other Black nationalists. But, Black nationalism is black conservatism.  The GOP should be in love with the “do for self” movement and the “government isn’t your savior” mindset.   But, they never listen to me.

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In the last fifty years, there have been only two women in the Georgia congressional delegation..Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Rep. Denise Majette.  When national decisions are made, various voices need to be heard at the table.

Michelle Nunn is running for the U.S. Senate against super-rich David Perdue and I simply have a problem with sending another dude into the world most exclusive fraternity.   Oh, both candidates have produced bios that highlight humbleness but Perdue is a scary combination of older and richer—$20 million a year richer.  When you have stacks like Perdue, the average guy is cog in your huge money-making machine.

Why don’t you see liberal women’s political group pounding the pavement in their Birkenstocks for Michelle Nunn?  They aren’t pumped because she is a moderate/centrist like Rep. Sanford Bishop and Rep. John Barrow rather than a real liberal as the GOP claims.  The Democrats are a bigger tent than the Republicans because the discussion should involve everyone.  You know macho dudes in Congress are quick to send our daughters and sons in uniform to foreign battlefields (which are now house to house) while women will demand a rationale, mission statement and exit strategy.

I was watching a PBS documentary on Women’s Lib and they said that the State Department was once Pale, Male and Yale.  Yale was the Ivy League school of choice for rich southerners.  We have come a long way to have Secretaries of State named Madilyn, Colin, Condoleezza and Hillary.  I am a tennis player and in that PBS doc Billie Jean King said that when she played Bobby Riggs in the Astrodome, a woman couldn’t have a credit card in her own name.  However, the struggle continues.

To be honest, Georgia political bloggers should admit that Michelle Nunn’s campaign is, to some limited degree, about Hillary Clinton for president.  If Michelle Nunn for Senate and Jason Carter for Governor do well, Georgia will be on the table for 2016.   The Clinton campaign will model their southern efforts after what worked or didn’t work here.

The biggest Democrat problem during this mid-term election is lack of Black voter interest.  Some watchers feel the Dem Team has spent more money, time and energy trying to get Republicans back to the Blue Team than securing the loyal Black and Blue base.  They need to get their stuff together with a quickness because presidential hopeful Senator Rand Paul is saying some things that are starting to resonate in my community.

I was tailgating at the FSU-Norte Dame game last weekend and the Gwen Graham for Congress people were out in full force.  Senator Bob Graham was in our tent and he taught his daughter how to work a crowd.  Michelle Nunn has a different nature than Gwen Graham and that is cool.  Senator Saxby Chambliss is a southern gentleman who respectfully dialoged with Democrats and the Obama White House as part of his duties.  Michelle Nunn would do the same with a motherly vibe.   A woman’s place is in the House…and Senate….and State Department…..and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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