Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

You can’t think about public policy for the needy in the South without coming across several related Bible verses.  2 Thessalonians 3:10 says “For even when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

But, we should also consider Psalm 82:2-4 “How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?  Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.  Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.”

Look, no one thinks of themselves as wicked and I am not calling anyone wicked.  However, some good people in politics and policy will do some somewhat devious things to win the battle and hopefully the war.

Everyone hates seeing hungry people and particularly hungry children.  Reasonable folks fairly state that those people got themselves into their circumstances with questionable life choices and personal responsibility.  It burns a taxpayer up to get into an old truck to leave a shift at a plant after standing 12 hours in steel-toed shoes then past grown fathers standing on the corner—guys who are too proud or crazy to do manual labor, pick crops or flip burgers.

The radio in that old pickup is blasting far Right talk radio in that worker’s ear.  “Your tax dollars provided those assistance checks, food stamps and free school lunches…you are sweating over a drill press while that bum plays video games all day in government assisted housing and sips malt liquor that was purchased with money intended for hungry kids.”  Dam, I am writing this stuff too easily…have I been watching Fox News.

We live in a free society; this isn’t North Korea or China.  Dictating better living isn’t legal.  So, children are born into struggling situations but Jesus wouldn’t want us to let them starve because their parents made bad choices.

The Farm Bill is the law that directs USDA programs and therefore seriously impacts the South.  Back when members of congress talked across the aisle, the farm bill supported commodity programs (which helped farm families) and provide food assistance programs (which helped farm families by creating  additional markets.)  Today, the far Right wanted to end most food assistance to force needy people to work and stop having kids they can’t afford.  Social media was a buzzed this week with the story of a seedy woman with 15 kids who upset that the government wasn’t doing more to help her.  Say what? I watch the news video about this family but paused it to say a little pray for those kids.

http://nation.foxnews.com/homelessness/2011/12/01/homeless-lady-15-kids-somebody-needs-pay-all-my-children

 

The school lunch/breakfast program ensures that needy kids have two meals a day five days a week during the school year.  Without those meals, the hospitals would be packed with malnourished kids and that cost would be astronomical.  Of course, hungry kids can’t focus on classwork so the labor force would be untrained and looking for ways to make fast money.  Fast money leads to prison at a cost of $35,000 a year.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston is the best House Republican from the Georgia but as a Senate candidate even Jack started tripping.  Kingston has represented chocolate city Savannah for 20 years, he was worked in chocolate city D.C. for the same 20 years and he has served during that time on the House Ag Committee and/or the Appropriations Sub-Committee on Agriculture.  Jack is UDSA food programs like the back of his hand.

If Kingston really said that needy kids should work at the school to pay off their free lunch, he was saying that to get Senate primary votes.  He knows that would never happen nor would he want that to happen.  So, poor people, people who grew up poor (Black, White and Brown) and those of us with compassion for the poor make up a bloc of voters who some in the GOP are simple writing off.

I watched the GOP Senate primary like a hawk and waited to see how much campaign would be done in the Black community.  Karen Handel had a wealth of supporters in the ATL and Jack has always shown the flag in every community in his district.  I never heard these two candidates making overtures to the Black community because there are few primary voters there.   For the record, I am a moderate Dem who voted in the GOP primary because that was where the action was.

Surprisingly, former Dollar General executive David Perdue was the only GOP senate candidate that my Black GOP friends said reached out to the non GOP Black community; he supposedly met with 32 Black pastors in the Albany area.  I like that right there.

I told those same GOP friends that they can mark my word:  the school lunch comment by Kingston would drive out thousands of occasional voters—it’s a hornet’s nest.  Voters sometimes vote for candidates and sometimes vote against candidates.  Remember, the confederate flag drama drove some people to vote against then Governor Roy Barnes….hell, some of them didn’t know David Perdue’s cousin Sonny at the time.

People who live off checks provide to assist kids are seedy.  Blue Dog Democrats supported Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich’s welfare reform that included work or training requirements.  As Justice Clarence grandfather taught him, public assistance makes people weak and dependent.

However, Democrat blood will boil when the T.V. ads run next fall featuring kids mopping schools as their friends laugh.  I think control of the U.S. Senate for the last two years of Obama presidency hang on that school lunch comment.  Oh, it’s going to be on and popping when child nutrition supporter Michelle Obama and Orpah see that YouTube video.   School lunch programs also teach kids about healthy food choice and that education leads to better eating as adults.

Read Full Post »

demotivation.us_Scientists-Discovered-the-Formula-to-understand-women

As President Nixon would say, I want to make one thing perfectly clear: Nunns and Carters can’t win in Georgia in 2014 without Obamas and Clintons.  Jason Carter is running for governor and Michelle Nunn seeks an open U.S. Senate seat.

The exodus of the Georgia Whites from the Democrats to the Republicans was completed when Congressman Jim Marshall was defeated by Austin Scott.  Marshall tried to paint himself as a non-Democrat Democrat by running from Barrack Obama and then Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  He basically tried to become Sam Nunn.  Sir, I staffed in the Georgia congressional delegation that was led by Sam Nunn…I met Sam Nunn during my high school years…we went to countless Hill receptions with Senator Nunn.. you, Jim Marshall, was no Sam Nunn.  You don’t run from Obama and expect my communities support.

Like it or hate it, the formula for November 2014 Dem success in Georgia is:

(n + ca)/(o x cl)=w         or (Nunns + Carters) / (Obamas x Clintons) = wins

 

First, Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn are good and decent candidates on their own.  However, Georgia is a Red State because the Democrat base is so very shaky.  The four pillars of strength that support the Dem foundation nationally are two Obamas and two Clintons.  To be honest, Michelle needs to be a flying Nunn crisscrossing the peach state with Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama or both.  As Bernie Mack would say, “you don’t understand”…. Michelle Obama still has rock star status with Dem voters; she could pack a college football stadium with only three days notice.

The reality is this: rural Whites are a lock for the GOP but suburban voters of all colors are on the table if the Dems come out with a moderate agenda focused on job creation.  Who can deny that Bill Clinton’s economy plan left the nation in great shape.  On Meet The Press this past weekend, the question was “would Hillary run as a continuation of the Obama years or restart of the Clinton years?”  I say it would be the beginning of the Hillary years.

The far Right should stop tripping on Hillary Clinton’s age because she would take office at the same age as President Reagan and a few years younger than John McCain would have been if he won.

Michelle Nunn is on that chill style like her father and that won’t get out the bloc of voters that almost won Georgia for Obama.  That’s okay because unlikely voters have a lot to think about this year….the motivation is there.  They just need a little knowledge and wisdom from the blogosphere; we call it “that fire.”  Don’t sleep: Nunn’s senate race will be studied by Team Hillary as they plan to take parts of suburbia back from the GOP.

Read Full Post »

During primary season, the poll workers shouldn’t ask if I am a Republican or a Democrat in Georgia.  I am a realist who knows that there are very few contested elections in our divided state.  I am going to say “I will take the Republican ballot” but have that “I’m no Republican” look on my face.  Wise guys like me simply want to be where the action is or shall I say want our votes to have some meaning.

 

Democrat voters could save that little gas money by staying home in my area because Michelle Nunn will be the U.S. Senate nominee and Jason Carter will get the governor nod.  In Albany Georgia on the other hand, voters should take the Dem ballot to put professor Aaron Johnson on the school board—he is good people and smart as a whip.

 

Dems voting in the GOP primary could a) select a Republican who the Dem would have an easier time defeating in November or b) select a Republican who would respectfully debate issues across the aisle like the current two Georgia Senators.  In other words, pick the less crazy Republican because there is a strong chance the GOP will keep that seat in Congress.

 

Most Republicans in Georgia smiled and laughed when the nutty segment of their party talked about candidate Obama, President Obama, his wife, his kids, his momma, his daddy and his birthplace.  But, the same folks are surprised that the White House isn’t quickly putting funds into the deepening of the Port of Savannah, a project that means over 200,000 jobs indirectly in the South.  I am not saying the White House is in payback mode but I appreciate Senator Chambliss, Senator Isakson, and Rep. Austin Scott for keeping the debates fiscal and having some degree of respect for the office of the presidency.  Georgia’s congressional Dems generally respected the Bushes.

 

So, I am a moderate who will be voting for the coolest cat in the U.S. Senate Republican primary and the coolest cat in the Georgia state Senate primary.  Of course, there is no Democrat running for Senate District 13 so the primary winner gets the position.

 

(The following is intended for Black voters only)  When the Republicans win a position with few votes from our community, they usually ignore said community on that To the Victor The Soils style.  (Non Black voters please rejoin the post now.)

 

All kidding aside, there is a young man from my county running for state senate and people from my community have been friendly with him since high school or before.  But, I shouldn’t public say that I am voting for him because the purists in the GOP will get ticked that their selection process is tainted whose who haven’t taken the Red Team blood oath.

 

Of the other hand, Mrs. Vivian Childs is running for congress against my old boss Rep. Sanford Bishop and I wish I lived in that district because I would welcome the opportunity to vote for a GOP primary candidate who would have a robust and healthy debate on the issues with SDB.  While SDB will likely win against either GOP candidate, Childs campaign serves as a testing ground for improving the conservative approach to new demographics (People of color).  She might lose the battle but help nation win the war against partisan ignorance.

Read Full Post »

GOP Rep. Paul Ryan shouldn’t back down from his honest opinions on inner city young men living in a “don’t even think about working” culture.  The House Budget Committee Chairman and Romney running mate should double-down by acknowledging the culture in rural areas also.

http://news.yahoo.com/paul-ryan-meet-black-u-lawmakers-offensive-remarks-220153718–business.html

I like Ryan because he was a congressional staffer during my Hill days but if we ever bumped into each other, it would have been at his part-time job waiting tables at Tortilla Coast next to Bullfeathers.  He was a high level staffer yet he served nachos and pitchers to interns and receptionists.  That’s the mentality that built America.  Of course, some of the people who built this great nation did so in bondage and the Congressional Black Caucus considers themselves to be guardians of that heritage.

So, Ryan is meeting with the CBC next week and that’s non-sense to me.  The CBC should be making that important observation about the jobless culture before Ryan.  Oh, but a change is coming.  There is a new segment of CBC members and these new folks have budgets and fairness on their minds more than the old “we are suffering” crowd.

**********************

This blog is pleased to rollout a year-long theme/effort called “Changing Mindsets.”  An overview can be found on the tab on the top of this page.  Ryan’s comments are consistent with our contention that many of the problems facing struggling people start outside the range of governmental responsibility and the elected officials should say that.

An old, well-used Chinese proverb states “it’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.”  Well, it’s better to start this important conversation involving all sides than to continue on the wrong path.

Read Full Post »

A conservative named Vivian Childs is running for the U.S. House seat held by Rep. Sanford D. Bishop and I say great.  Her candidacy seems like that ant with the rubber tree plant but sometimes it’s about the journey.

The people of Georgia have received over three decades of quality service from SDB and I, for one, wish he would have been selfish and left a few years to bring his golf score down and his personal wealth up.. think 2 Timothy 4:7  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Bishop and the Blue Dogs are important targets to the GOP because without them the Dem Team would be as liberal as the far Right pretends they current are. If their silly behinds listened to me, they would have push for SDB to be Agriculture Secretary to get the seat but they wanted to play hardball.

Mrs. Childs’ candidacy seems like the type candidacies that Michael Steele wanted to create to gently approach certain areas but the Tea Party’s brassiness happened to that.  Oh, candidate Obama was so fortunate to be in the Congressional Black Caucus with Bishop because he had to model some of his moderation after him.

Childs and her family seem like wonderful, successful people and her conservatism is rooted in the Black communities of our past—when you knew who you were and whose you were.  In those days, shame still existed and you admired how someone “carried themselves.”

Here is the real talk: we need some candidates who spend their time listening to and talking with everyone rather than preaching to the choir; candidates who put a positive spin on the limited role of government and fiscal realities.  A Bishop vs. Childs race would have a healthy impact on our state and introduce conservative ideals to a new segment of the population.  Some people would discover that they are actually more conservative than liberal and that Bishop was moderate to conservative all along.

I am sure the other candidate in the GOP primary in the 2nd District is a decent fellow but Childs opens doors of possibilities than would normally be closed. Ultimately, giving the people choices and options is so beneficial.  The first Black GOP member of Congress from Georgia since reconstruction might very well be someone who was introduced to a different way of governing by VC’s running for congress….plant the seed.

On a sly note, Bishop having a solid opponent forces him to fully engage his campaign apparatus and that move helps the Dem ticket statewide.  Wink

Read Full Post »

So, the political comic strip Doonesbury spent this week messing the GOP regarding sensitivity training.  They should have hired me because I would have made it simple: love thy neighbor as thyself.  Secondly, the Left and Right should try to know as much as possible about others (the opposition.)  Finally, you learn about the other side from members of the other side.

As kids, we loved Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett because those White guys were smart enough to learn the ways of the Indians.  Of course as teens, we discovered that that knowledge was useful in robbing the natives.  I tell young guys to keep several women in their circle of close friends because no one knows about women as much as women (but you still can never understand women.)

At times, people don’t know what they don’t know and the righteous way to handle those situations is to enlighten them.  The guy from Duck Dynasty isn’t a bad guy; he isn’t knowledgeable of people and groups outside his comfort zone.  The same can be said for those liberals who don’t live in rural areas.

However, we do have people in politics that know better and are acting to maneuver in the political arena.  Readers of this blog know that Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah is one of my favor members of Congress from my Hill days; I spent some time hanging with his staff.  Kingston is currently running for the U.S. Senate and I wouldn’t mind seeing him as the GOP nominee because he has a deep knowledge of regional issues and a long relationship with the Black community in Savannah.

So, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned that Jack was saying that kids who eat free lunches at school should maybe work off the free meals by cleaning at the schools.  (Crickets)

Okay, I could have heard that parents worked at school for that reason but kids.  Clearly, Jack made that statement to make himself appear to be the most conservative badass in the GOP primary.  Hell, I like my idea that only healthful foods are purchased with food stamps but Jack’s lunch plan is too much.

I have a close friend who worked for Jack and she should be in the middle of his campaign at night and on the weekends because a Spelmanite would have put the kibosh on that cleaning kids stuff.  She knows that statements like that would energize the Dems voters who might normally blow off a non-presidential election.  Why upset the hornets’ nest?

My area is represented by cool young Congressman “hey, man, how are doing” Austin Scott.  Who would have “tunk” that Scott has the second most conservative voting record in the House?  Austin could learn a valuable lesson Jack’s schoolhouse drama because Atlanta and Georgia’s other urban centers will be motivated to learn that conservative candidates said some interesting things.  Politics is like chess and you must think three moves ahead and if my conservative friends need some risk management eyes, they should call me.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/comics/doonesbury-slideshow/

 

Read Full Post »

There is more than one way to skin a cat and the Republicans have recently taken the worst ways to address outreach.  First, their outreach reeks because policy, techniques and branding is being driven by their most vocal and most angry.

For years, I have been telling conservative friends that 20% of the Black vote was prime for the taking and that those 20% were actually the head of the snake (the political, economic, faith and social leadership of my community.)  Without the deep thinking 20% of the body, the rest would be aimless. But, talk radio and the Fox News types get paid not for creating good policy and solving problems but for keeping up drama and mess.  I am starting to believe that MSNBC does the same thing on the left.

If the GOP conservatives listened to me years ago, they would have allowed a moderate, centrist segment of their team– a segment that would outnumber the far right and would counterbalance the centrists on the Dem Team.  I wanted to call them Red Dogs like the Dems’ Blue Dogs.  Basically, the Red Dogs would be the traditional conservatives who deliberate and compromise with others.

When I staffed on the Hill, Rep. Paul Ryan staffed and was a waiter a Tortilla Coast.  The guy is old school like me and we remember the days when lawmakers knew each other; when state delegations had a weekly meal together and the dean of the delegation was respected by both sides of the aisle.

During this holiday season, there are minorities and women sitting down with family and discussing the possibility of running for office as a member of the GOP.  Of course, many conservatives don’t realize that people other than those who look like them are also moderate to conservative.

You don’t need to skin a black cat because old superstitions are silly.  Cats are cats and if the GOP spent a little more time getting to know Blakc cats and less time being ticked off, they would have a new segment of their team.  That segment would be just right to approach my community about the sensibleness of personal responsibility and life choices.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74 other followers