Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

The Democrat Party can’t be mostly Black nor should the GOP be all White.  This blog has been saying that for years.  First, I really don’t care too much for political parties because they are about power and control over good governing.  If we must have parties, the best ones look like America—they are comprised of a cross-section of peoples and groups or the leaders communicate with everyone.

The “All In With Chris Hayes” show on MSNBC is starting a new segment on race.  The promo for the segment features Georgian Julian Bond telling Hayes that Black elected officials need to give up some Black areas to neighboring districts to get White Democrats elected.  I love it because you don’t necessarily need Black politicians to serve Black folks (and a few Black Republicans might not be bad for understanding and informative purposes.)

If you take race off the table, congressional districts should be draw in a way where candidates from either major party can win—that keeps them on their toes.  The scary fact is that the GOP turned in the early 1990s into a party that often demands that its elected officials not listen to those with other points of view.  Look here, officials are paid by all taxpayers—not just the people that voted for them.  If you listen to a constant diet of vitriol from left or right zealots, you too would swear that the other side is the devil.

Let’s look that two congressional districts that makeup southwest Georgia.  For most of his time in the Georgia state house and the U.S. Congress, Sanford Bishop didn’t have a majority Black district.  He won by serving a cross section of people well.  Former Rep. Jim Marshall was one of the last southern White Democrats and his seat was important until he started slamming Obama and Speaker Pelosi to keep rural voters.  He had to go and he was replaced with a reasonable GOP candidate, Austin Scott.  Who knew that Scott would be one of the most conservative members of the House?

In theory during redistricting, members of congress don’t own districts but the General Assembly had no problem lumping more and more Blacks into Bishop’s district because that action made the three contiguous districts more and more GOP.  Bishop is a fighter and a true representative; he could represent anyone.  But, the Tea Party, Fox News and the far right talk radio has rural Georgia White twisted and negatively brainwashed so can you blame him for accepting more safety.  In southeast Georgia, Rep. Jack Kingston took all of Black Savannah to increase the GOP chances of taking Rep. John Barrow’s seat—Barrow is the last White Democrat in the U.S. House from the deep South.

Hey, Democrats would be fine if the people they helped legislatively would simply vote.  A surprisingly large number of GOP members of the state legislature have 25% or more Blacks in their districts but folks don’t vote.  The deciding factor for the elections in November might be the effectiveness of the Get Out the Voter efforts and that requires money—more cash should be put on the streets than on the airwaves.

http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/all-in-america-behind-the-color-line-285576771633

Read Full Post »

David Perdue, Jack Kingston

Georgia primary voters should think long and hard before next month’s runoff election.  I give myself credit for being a moderate Democrat who voted in the Republican primary because that’s where the action was in this generally red state.  So, I get to vote in the runoff and important questions must be addressed.  For the record, my interests focus on improving our state more that supporting either major political party because parties are mostly interested in power and control.

  1. Will Jack Kingston explain his comments about school kids working for free lunch?  Readers of this blog know I like Jack but that was some dirty dirty design to secure the nut vote.  Shall we humiliates children who were born into families of modest means?   Does the same apply to summer lunch programs?  Is that for high school and middle school only are will 7 year olds be mopping also?  I will say that Democrat leaders on the national level want Kingston in November because that one comment could tip the election by driving young voters to the polls.  “He wants my little sister to clean food trays!?”

 

  1. Are Michelle Nunn and David Perdue Obama-like in their newness?  I am about to hit you with a new angle on the Senate race: because Nunn and Perdue are new to the political arena they don’t have a record of statements and actions like Jack Kingston now and the Clintons in 2008.  Hillary Clinton might have made a better president (to some) in 2008 but we would have never known because the conservatives would have rallied behind Romney to keep the Clintons out of the White House.  Smart Republicans know that Perdue would be safer.

 

  1. How do we want the world to see our state?  I have a problem with President Obama.  While he is still my guy, he speaks of the USA that should be rather than the USA that is.  He see a fair, positive colorfree nation and that simply isn’t reality.  Ole Jack Kingston is similar to the average Georgian and me but doesn’t attract new industry.  David Perdue is a corporate baller who can represent an international city like Atlanta.  Chambliss and Isakson are balanced gentleman and Perdue seems senatorial like them.  Kingston has done a fine job representing southeast Georgia but we should remember that Port of Savannah funding might have been delayed because Jack couldn’t or wouldn’t get the crazies on the far Right to dial down the anti-Obama vitriol.  Perdue’s handlers are messing up because they should be spinning his time at Dollar General as a job creator in my community.  Oh, we love those baby Wal-marts on every corner in forgotten neigborhoods.

 

  1. Is Hillary Clinton reading Nunn’s putt?  In golf, players watch their playing partner’s putts to judge the greens and the line.  I think Team Hillary is watching the 2014 performance of moderate Democrat women candidates to craft their 2016 approach to the South and to gauge which states are winnable.  A Michelle Nunn win puts Georgia on the table for Hillary because some GOP women put gender over party—that’s why they should have selected Karen Handel.

 

  1.  Would the Democrats prefer Kingston or Perdue in November?  I think Dems want Kingston for the school lunch thing and the southern drawl.  Yes, I am country my dam self but Jack pours that southern twang on like Karo syrup to the delight of rural voters.  But, when Dem voters in Georgia six biggest cities pay attention in the fall,  it will be on and popping because he sounds like an overseer on Roots.

Read Full Post »

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 »

On Mother’s Day, I acknowledge that being a mom to successful children is the best aspect of Vivian Childs’ campaign.  Rep. Sanford Bishop is as polished and urbane as President Barrack Obama but not being a parent left him with a third person view a parenting (can you believe all the idiots who breed like rabbits but quality DNA like Bishop, Oprah and me doesn’t continue.)

Since I last worked for Bishop, he has become a grandparent by marriage and a radiance comes over him when he speaks of his granddaughter—he sincerely wants a better nation for her.

Al Gore ran for president in 1988 to focus national attention on climate change.  In 2008, Rep. Tom Tancredo sought the Republican nomination for president primarily to put illegal immigration on the national stage.  I think that Vivian Childs should use her campaign to emphasis issue regarding America’s children and it should start with school choice.

For most of my life, I personally felt that private schools in the South were created so White kids could avoid attending school with Black kids.  You know, I might have preferred a properly funded all Black school in the 1970s during a transition phase but that didn’t happen.  In the last few years, I have been following a young man from our summer program as he play private school sports all around south Georgia.  Surprisingly, many of the current private schools are based on faith and class size rather than race.

Parents should have the option of using a school voucher to select the best learning environment for their kids.  However, I do draw the line with vouchers for home schooling because I still think that attending school is a chance to monitor the home treatment of young people.

Actually, most public schools are nice places with well-prepared teachers and staff.  I will say what elected officials won’t: the problem is poor parenting.  Some people are having kids before they are prepared for that awesome responsibility.  I see babies pushing baby carriages—children who should be somewhere playing with an Easy-bake oven.  Why do people put Air Jordans on babies who can’t walk yet?  Really?  And you need public assistance?  Child please.  (I bet you want hear Vivian Childs or Sanford Bishop pumping up a crowd with that type real talk and getting the crowd to respond “child please.”)  Today, teachers are also parental figures.  Secondly, education starts at home: speak proper English 24/7, turnoff the video games, engage in intelligent discussions nightly at the dinner table and push reading.

There is too much testosterone in the Georgia congressional delegation.  In the last 50 years, only two women have represented Georgia in congress—Cynthia McKinney and Denise Majette.  Vivian Childs’ candidacy will encourage more women to seek high office and future public policy will have more motherly sensibility.

You can’t seek to replace Rep. Sanford Bishop if you aren’t prepared to fight with your party when they are wrong.  Bishop doesn’t get enough credit for those battles.  Case in point: the GOP needs to provide a real alternative to Obamacare and that plan should address pregnancy prevention (which is different from abortion.)  Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama emphasis that a way to reduce abortion is to reduce unwanted pregnancies in the first place.  Conservatives feel that providing birth control encouraging premarital sex.  While I don’t have all the answers, I do know that half-raised kids are messing up the community, messing up the schools and filling the jails.  Do you know that it cost more to put a person in federal prison for a year than it cost to pay a teacher?

Democrats say that Republicans aren’t pro-life; they are pro-birth.  Once a child is born into poverty, GOP cuts in the nutrition programs in the Farm Bill would have kids go hungry.  Correction, they can eat at school if they clean the cafeteria later.  Child Please.  You know Bishop isn’t sweating this election because he welcomes the opportunity to debate anybody on his legislative decisions.   The debate this summer and fall is going to be good and if the GOP voters in the second congressional district fail to select Childs as the nominee, it would just another reason for Hillary Clinton to court moderate women voters in Georgia.

Read Full Post »

The primary elections next month will place the foundation for what kind of Georgia we want to have.  With secondary consideration for party politics, I want to point out a different view of a few candidates.

Helen Blocker Adams, Augusta Mayor: Helen has a heart of gold and I have never ever known a person so committed to a place.  Augusta is an old boys city but Helen is about bridging the divide between regular folks and that is a good thing.

Aaron Johnson, Dougherty County School Board: We hear too much about elected officials who aren’t smart or those who don’t spend time explaining policy and budgets to the people.  Well, Aaron Johnson can break macroeconomics down so smoothly that I can understand it.  Look, one of the biggest problems with personal responsibility is that regular folks don’t get the limited role of government or grasp governmental fiscal constraints.  Well, you have an econ professor who has sat on a dozen citizen boards running for school board and he is neck and neck with a nice Country Club type lady who attended private school.  Really?   Actually, Johnson’s opponent did a fine job in the candidate forum at Darton College but she would be a better city commissioner than school board member.

The big picture about Aaron Johnson tossing his hat into the ring is that his hat should be in another ring in a few  years.  He likely doesn’t like the speculation but I don’t care.  His students emailed this blog years ago to say that he should be considered for Congress when Rep. Sanford Bishop retires.  Dude clearly loves his wife, baby, college, and church too much to start that fly to DC every Sunday night stuff.  But, I hate the Georgia congressional map because I want Albany to have a congressman, Macon to have and congressman and Columbus to have a congresswoman.  We don’t need to share.  To me, the election of Aaron Johnson to school board would give  him years to work in K-12 education and preps him to be one of our best shots at having congressman from our part of Georgia.

Vivian Childs, U.S. Congress:  The GOP is giving lip service to wanting to dialog with the minority community.  Who better to do that than someone from said minority community?  During the primary season, I have personally seen Mrs. Childs warmly discussing issues with Black voters who welcomed her to the discussion table.  Okay, they didn’t know she was a Republican because they never met one who wasn’t angry or ticked off.  Oh, she is just as ticked off as the rest of them but as a Black woman she knows how to channel that energy into productive action.  Why is Vivian Childs a member of Delta Sigma Theta who hasn’t use that bond as a campaign opportunity?  I think she is too nice to play the soror card but that niceness is her best tool at breaking Rep. Sanford Bishop’s lock on the second district. Well, she has gotten her foot into doors that never would have opened for other GOP candidates.

 

U.S. Senate Race:  First of all, the race for U.S. Senator from Georgia is really a midterm referendum on the Obama White House.  Control of the Senate by the Dems or the GOP will likely come down to this one seat.  I have choice words for people who help put President Obama in office but aren’t wise enough to know that he needs Dem control of the Senate to finish his presidency properly.

If this Senate seat stays with the GOP, I hope it will be a Republican who doesn’t ignore Blacks folks because so many of us are with the Blue team.  Yea, I will be a Democrat voting in the GOP primary to select a quality person if Michelle Nunn doesn’t win in November.

Karen Handel, U.S. Senate: GOP candidates seem to be running away from Blacks who know them and who have supported them in the past.  Karen Handel graduated from Frederick Douglas High in Maryland but you don’t hear about that from her team.  Plus, she was chairwoman of the Fulton County Commission.  Black folks know her but her handlers must equate Black with liberal and are trying not to alienate the far Right.  Check this out right here, if she had some of those Black friends a few years ago, she would be governor today.

Jack Kingston, U.S. Senate: Savannah is a chocolate city and Jack has had a functioning relationship with the Black community on the coast for over 20 years.  His knowledge of agriculture and the military makes him the GOP candidate best suited to serve the interests of Georgia south of Atlanta.  But, Jack is alienating Black voters in the process of impressing the far right with his level fiscal conservatism.  Jack is still a good dude.

David Perdue, U.S. Senate:  First, Perdue is an outsider who made me laugh with his ad about the congress being made up of babies and his opponents being babies.  The Karen Handel baby was wearing her signature pearls.  Funny.  But on a serious note, a Black GOP friend, yes I have those, told me that Perdue came to Albany and sat down with 32 local pastors.  So, he seems to be the only GOP Senate candidate who is talking with my community during the primary process.

Summary: Voters should consider the big picture next month because politics as usual simply isn’t working.

Read Full Post »

What’s going on with immigration reform?  Former Governor Jeb Bush recently said that some illegal immigrants were committing an “act of love” when they came to this country for work to feed their families.  Bullfeathers!  To me, if you broke the law, you broke the law and we don’t need to start measuring the crime by looking at the reasons or because enforcement would be difficult.

 

My mind turns to the introduction of Biggie Smalls’ lyrics on “Juicy:” Yeah, this album is dedicated to all the teachers that told me I’d never amount to nothin’, to all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of that called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughter…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/06/jeb-bush-many-illegal-immigrants-come-out-of-an-act-of-love/

 

Well, Oh Jeb seems to say it’s okay to break a few laws if it’s for a good cause.  People who sell illegal drugs create an unregulated illicit trade.  While you are making money for your family, you might leave someone’s family as zombies.  We know dope zombies will do some of anything to feed their habits.  For the record, weed kills fewer people than alcohol and alcohol kills fewer than the calories from McDonalds.  But, legal is still legal.  Science should explore the medical benefits of marijuana but California Governor Jerry Brown was right about everyone being recreationally stoned all of the time.

 

“if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”  Gov. Jerry Brown, Meet the Press

Of course, we need more drug treatment and there are too many non-violent drug offenders in prison.  Actually, we should address the problems people are having at the root cause..before the desire to self-medical and tune-out.

America is the greatest freaking country ever and everyone wants to come here.  On a related note, people in hell want ice water…that doesn’t mean they will get any.  My problem with creating a path to citizenship for those people who are current here is centered on the fact that most of those people come from the two or third nations to our immediate south.  I am no xenophobia and I have a well-worn blue passport to prove it but maybe we should see about “us” first.

 

For the record, I live in an agriculture region and undocumented people do jobs than some folks born here refuse to do.  Man, as a congressional staffer, I did immigration and ag issues so I would be calls from Georgia that said, “why is the government giving out welfare when I am farmer who can’t get anyone to pick my crops.”

 

Also, I should mention that during college I had an understanding ear for those who felt that most of the American Southwest was stolen from Mexico.  Yea, the Mexicans were robbed; the Native Americans were really robbed and the Africans were super robbed.  You still can’t ignore our laws.  We shouldn’t fool ourselves; the Democrats and the Republicans are eyed that huge new voting bloc: new citizens and their cousins who are current citizens.  Jeb Bush is the non-latino Republican with the best relationship with that community.

 

If we are going to have an influx of new citizens, I want balance from around the world.  The stew should be seasoned with some South America, southeast Asia, the Caribbean, eastern Europe and a big dash from every corner of Africa.  Europe, Mexico and west Africa are the meat and potatoes that are currently simmering.

 

At the end of the day, we can’t ignore lawbreakers.  If that is the case, a guy who was serving time for numbers running should have been freed when the state created the lottery.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/02/gov-jerry-brown-on-legalized-marijuana-how-many-people-can-get-stoned-and-still-have-a-great-state/

 

Read Full Post »

grass

While working in the yard, I drew a connection between weeding the lawn and outreach efforts.  We spend so much money and time lawn mowing but to me we cut the grass every three weeks but cut the weeds every ten days—get it.

The weeds and the grass are mixed in together.  Grass is the largest growing thing on earth and it will fight for itself if given the opportunity to put down deep roots.  If you have a bald spot, good grass will eventually crawl in to help.  If you cut the grass to low, rain will wash away the top soil and ugly sand will remain.

I enjoy a health friendship with many southern conservatives and wonder why they don’t expand into the moderate range by getting the craziness 5% to dial down their viciousness.  If they got rid of that 5%, they could gain 25% of the moderates in the center.

After pulling weeds for hours, I noticed that my lawn cart says “Scotts” on the front.  It’s a sign…I tell you!  The two most important congressional outreach GOPers from the South are South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Georgia Rep. Austin Scott.  Tim Scott is a traditional conservative who happens to be Black.  He could do this and that to bridge the racial and partisan divide…if he wants.

Austin Scott was a freaking rock star in the state house and he even caught heat from the Klan for pushing to change the state flag.  Of course, a young guy like that who defeated a Blue Dog Dem has the formula for outreach.  But, do they turn to him for the game plan?  Some southern bloggers fell that Austin has fallen in line to avoid a Tea Party primary challenger from the far Right.  I say he is the logical choice for U.S. Senate in the future if he returns to his statehouse brand of conservative leadership.  Those Scott fellows, no relations, could be Scotts Turf Builders if the GOP wants to weed out the uglys and get back on the important lawn…the one at the White House.

On a related note, growing stronger young men is also like a lawn.  We spend so much money reacting to the weeds (thugs) that we forget the actual grass (good kids.)  When you remove the weeds, it’s vital that you go down to the roots.  If grass has deep roots, it can withstand drought and flooding.  These kids today have short roots and they are therefore easily washed away.  We oldheads are the rich topsoil and topsoil hates supporting weeds.  In public policy, we should spend less time and energy on weeds and redirect those efforts to healthy stronger grass because without a strong lawn the foundation of the house/community is at risk.

Read Full Post »

The only Democrat state or federal elected official who represents me is President Obama.  I don’t think Georgia is overwhelmingly Republican as much as I think Dems help people who don’t take the time to vote.  With that being said, you can understand why I am a moderate Dem who often votes in the Republican primary.

In states like Michigan, voters register as member of a party and can only vote in the primary for that party.  I view the Georgia process as members of two major parties listing their candidates and voters choosing from those candidates more so than people self-identifying as R or D.  Oh, Republicans clearly function like GOP is second only to their church but Southern Dems aren’t about half that interested party politics.

If the selection of leaders take place in the GOP primary, that’s where the action is.  Michelle Nunn will be the Dem nominee for Senate and Jason Carter will be the nom for governor.  In most places, there is nothing popping for Dems in the primary except local elections (those locals need to be non-partisan but save that fight for another day.)

I voted for Newt Gingrich in the presidential primary before voting for Obama again in the general election.  Because some GOP candidates are board line zealots, I will vote for the most reasonable one.  Also, cooler candidates from the other side are the ones I want to see in constructive debates before the general election. 

In the state Senate race in my area, I will be voting in the GOP primary for a decent guy who attended my high school and there will be no Dem in the general election. 

If I lived in Georgia’s 2nd congressional district, I would vote for Vivian Childs in the GOP primary because she has a demeanor similar to Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator Saxby Chambliss and Rep. Austin Scott—less Tea Party, more sweet Iced Tea.  A contest between Rep. Sanford Bishop and Childs would actually help to explain how they are alike rather than what divides them…what divides us.  If both political parties hate cross-party voting, that makes me want to see more of it. 

Read Full Post »

220px-Allen_West%2C_Official_Portrait%2C_112th_Congress

former U.S. Rep. Allen West

NBC’s The Blacklist was sneaky to have doctored photos of former GOP Rep. Allen West and current Senator Ted Cruz on this week’s episode.  They were implying that an international spy/criminal was involved with them.  That was dirty.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2014/02/25/nbcs-blacklist-photoshops-fictional-criminal-socializing-tea-party-rep

If you never heard of  West, you need to google the brother with a quickness because he will be in the Albany, Georgia area tonight and in Columbus on February, 28.  Yes, the guy who seems to dislike President Obama more than anyone has, is and will always be my from Georgia Black brother and nobody tells me not to talk with other Blacks in the political/policy arena.  (Cue Willie Hutch’s “Brothers Gonna Work It Work” from the 1972 film The Mack.)

West’s current job seems to be slamming everything Obama to the delight of the far Right.  Goldie in the Mack told his brother (Walter Mosley/T.C. from Magnum P.I.) that no one was closing him out of his business and the far Right seem to feel the same way about their grind.

http://allenbwest.com/

Some Blacks will listen to the far left Dems say that West, Herman Cain, Condi Rice, Michael Steele, Colin Powell, JC Watts and all Black Republicans should be avoided—putting them on a blacklist.  That’s not going to happen and I think that brother Clarence Thomas is the most misunderstood Georgia brother of all time—read my blog post on Thomas’s book about his grandfather before you open your Black mouth.  (That’s how we talk down here…no harm.)

http://projectlogicga.com/2012/01/23/clarence-thomas-good-brother/

I bet West gets a packed house in south Georgia this week.   When I went to hear then RNC chair Michael Steele at congressional candidate Austin Scott’s headquarters, the GOP crowd was thin.  Oh, they didn’t want to hear that smooth, less rage style.  And I will always remember that the GOP bus didn’t come to Albany until someone other than Steele was on it.  Rep. Sanford Bishop barely defeated his GOP opponent that year and heaven knows that Steele might have tipped the balance.  The opponent was smart but he didn’t dare risk upsetting the Tea Party because obviously most Blacks are naturally liberal—including the RNC chair.  Geez

There shouldn’t been a blacklist when anyone is trying to solve the problems facing this state and this nation.  Allen West needs to be at the table and sitting between Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Rev. Al Sharpton.   I have always believed that Team Obama sent a “stay away for now” message to Sharpton, Minster Farrakhan and Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Well it’s time for everyone to come together because it seems like open season on our youth. A smart sista tried to tell me last week (in her West Indian accent) that we shouldn’t teach our youth to adjust to those with a Stand Your Ground mentality.  Well, I have been a Black male for fifty years and being right on the side of a 7-11 store sometimes means that wrong people will end you.

President Obama launches an effort today called “My Brother’s Keeper” aimed at helping young men get the skills to attend college and get good jobs.  Who can be against that?

I hope GOP primary voters in Georgia’s second congressional district will select Vivian Childs as their nominee because she and Rep. Sanford Bishop would have a healthy and helpful six months dialog about building bridges.  I am sure we would learned that most southern Blacks really want the same things.  It’s going to be the summer and fall of Changing Mindsets and everyone should be there.  Helen Blocker Adams, mayoral candidate in Augusta, always promotes having everyone together; get to know every street, corner, country club, church and teen center.  Helen is wants right about our lovely state.

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 »

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 »

We need open primaries in Georgia because the elected officials are entrenched while Atlanta and D.C. could use some new blood.  Evidently, protecting jobs (their jobs) is their main concern and both major political parties support the current funky system.

So, a candidate who has support from various sections of the community must first win his or her primary before advancing to the general election in November.  Well, they draw this district lines in a way that favors their team—Democrats and Republicans both do it.  The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires preclearance of congressional and state legislature district lines in some states to improve the representation of minority voters.  A strange twist is that packing Black voters into a few districts makes adjacent districts so Republican that Black voters (often Democrats) are ignored.  Yes, we could have a sizeable number of Black Republicans if the crazy part of the GOP didn’t run them off.

Ask yourself: Is race, political party or regional interests most important to you when voting.  Do you necessarily need a Black politician to serve your needs?  Is green (money) the most important color while voting?  Hey, the homeboy Bill Clinton gets a lifetime hood pass but he dam near got it revoked for taking trash about Obama during the Obama/Hillary primary battle.  While I love the Obamas, Bill will always be my dude.. without regard for race, creed or national origin.

When Herman Cain was running for the U.S. Senate, everyone knew that he could have gotten a sizeable part of the Black vote in an open primary process.  In an open primary, candidates run together and the top two vote-getters face off in the general election.  That is similar to local elections when everyone runs for office together and a candidate wins with over 50% of the vote.  If no 50%, the two top candidates meet in a runoff.

Many believe that Karen Handel would have face Nathan Deal in November if Georgia had an open primary during the last govenor’s race.  She would have likely won because she would have received support from some Democrat woman.  Look, the South is GOP and I get that but if given a chance, I would and have voted for the GOP candidate whose views are most similar to my moderate positions.

Bottomline: we should push for open primaries so we can vote for the best person for the job rather than the person who survives a partisan primary.

Read Full Post »

NFL_Pink

While pink wristbands on football players are great, voting now would be cool also. Yea, local elections have an effect on the healthcare and all cancer.  Local politicians are the building blocks to state and national elections.  On those two levels, the big business in the healthy industry fought Hillary Clinton in the 90s and Barrack Obama recently on healthcare reform because the status quo keeps them paid.

 

In the Audacity of Hope, President Obama wrote of universal healthcare so everyone would have at least some coverage.  We know that uncovered people often use the emergency room as a doctor’s office—reacting to sickness rather than implementing wellness.  We are praying for the recovery of Rep. Sanford Bishop from throat cancer.  Early detection located it in time.  If everyone had an annual doctor’s exam, we would have more early detection rather than cancer growing; once cancer grows, we then spend billions often fight a losing battle.  Understand, a little money up front would have saved more people and more money.  We should thank Rep. Bishop for supporting rural healthcare for decades.

 

To be fair, my current local officials do a decent job on municipal matters but they also serve as sounding boards for the state legislature and U.S. Congress.  I think of that old gospel song about “he never said a mumbling word” and think of those whose tried to help poor people get basic health coverage being attacked on all fronts.  Where were the local leaders (who we know privately to be reasonable people) during those vicious attacks?  They never said a word.  We had a pastor who was nice with her logic.  She said people say “Lord they need you over here and they need you over there….but the Lord is likely saying ‘why do you think I put you there…get to work.’”

Oh, they attack Bill and Hillary Clinton in the nastiest ways.  How can you call yourself a southern gentleman or lady and attack a woman the way Hillary was attacked in the 90s and the way First Lady Michelle Obama was assailed on the campaign trail and every second of husband’s presidency….while supposedly good people stood by silently.

 

The local elections of the next two weeks are also about two other elections down the road.  In the U.S. Senate race next year in Georgia, Michelle Nunn might face former candidate for governor Karen Handel.  After losing the governor race, Handel went to work for one of the biggest women cancer fighting organizations but left in a controversy about funding or defunding places that provide women reproduction services.  Bill, Hillary and Obama always say that you reduce the number of abortions by reducing the number of unplanned pregnancy in the first place but that logic is lost on some people.

 

Sam Nunn was a great conservative Democrat in the Senate and his daughter would add a woman’s view to the Georgia congressional delegation.  But, she can’t win without local officials getting out the vote.  So, we need to put local leaders in office this year that will stand with Nunn in 2014 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.  The silly drama in Washington today could be reduced in the future if the old boys club had some more reasonable women.

 

I got to get me some pink gear for my tennis bag but I also need some local, state and federal officeholders who will make healthcare coverage (and therefore early detection) commonplace.

Read Full Post »

thathn-full-cast-600x250

From ABC’s Scandal to OWN’s The Haves and the Have Nots, I see two lovely and brilliant characters who look like me chasing weak men who don’t look like me.  So, it’s time for a blog post full of wild theories.  A post designed to stimulate healthy and interesting discussions more so than to offer solid facts.

We have a plantation mentality (PM) and by we, I mean all of the sons and daughters on the South.  Scandal takes place in D.C. and that is a southern city.  I could see General Robert E. Lee’s beloved Lee/Custis Mansion from my southwest D.C. balcony; a house that became Arlington National Cemetery.

A plantation mentality occurs when people, longer after the Civil War ended in 1865 and after Jim Crow ended in 1975, still think and function with the mindset that one group is better by nature than the other.  Under that mindset, some older Blacks did vote for Barack Obama for president because deep in their minds we can’t do what others can do.  The oppression continues but it’s not others doing it.  No, we are on oppression/self-hate autopilot.

Joe Morton plays Olivia’s father on Scandal and I still remember this gentleman from playing the candidate with whom Whitley was involved on A Different World.  While Sonya Rhimes generally avoids racial references in her shows, she started this season of Scandal with Olivia’s father reminding her that we must always be twice as good at everything we do.  It isn’t fair but it is true and if he had a son, he would have told him the life sessions that would have saved Trayvon on that rainy Florida night.  Oh, you might be right and you might have rights but know how to be a Black man in America—from sea to shining sea because the South doesn’t have a monopoly on racial drama. National PM

All high school kids should pay attention in psychology class because that Electra complex stuff about girls with daddy issues is too true.  They trying to find a guy like dad or striking at men because their pops wasn’t around.  Olivia and Candace could fill a season of Iyanla Fix My Life.  So a girl grows up loving her father as a rock but then watches the world treat him as less than a man…a boy.  That must be rough.  PM 

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-electra-complex.htm

 

The same girls are excited in college, on a cruise or in Vegas when a guy from another side (a guy from the plantation big house) finds her attractive.  It has always been my theory that southern White men of means had a thing for sistas because many of them were raised by loving maternal sistas and held them in the highest regard until they got to the frat house in Athens or Auburn and began racial reprogramming. PM

 

PM is not only a Black thing.  Oh, no.  The plantation mentality tells a below average White dude that he can holla at the sweetest sista in the world because everyone in one group is automatically better than everyone in another group.  It is in the Bible…bla bla cursed people…bla bla obey your masters… waterbearers.  Lawd have mercy.  Jesus died for all previous everything so let’s move forward.

 

And Black people need to stop lumping all White folks together.  Some of the sweet people I have ever known are White southerners and some of the meanest look just like me—I can be pretty rough my dam self.  The coolest Americans might be those in the Midwest of Scandinavian descent—think the people on the movie Fargo and Rose from the Golden Girls.  While southerners evidentially coming from places where they wanted someone to do their work for them, the Scan mentality is salt of the Earth. 

 

At the U.S. Congress, many Midwestern members did like USDA farm support programs because these people functioned with the simple notion that you put the crop in the ground then take it to market with no help from anyone.  If you couldn’t do that, you should find other work.  Barrack Obama was raised by sweet folks like that and I know that he is actually a conservative in his heart.  If you think about it, Obama did it the hard way, the old fashion way, and that is why it hurts me to see people attack his character and that of his lovely wife. 

 

That old plantation mentality had people thinking that this shady negro has conned his way into the White House with a desire to ruin this country in his Black head.  PM has some Blacks thinking that Obama isn’t one of us because he never really interacted with us until he got to Chicago. 

 

Can we give it a rest?  If the sista on T.V. or in actuality wants to love someone who doesn’t look like us, I am happy for them because there needs to be more love in this world.  The kids (and by kids I mean anyone who can remember life before T.V. remote controls) have the right idea.  Oh, they will hang, kick it or chill with their buddies with no consideration of race.  But, parents on both sides still have their heritage deep in their minds. 

 

So, Candace “be” kissing on Bo Duke.  Boss Hogg must be rolling over in his grave. On the Dukes of Hazzard, Roscoe P. Coltrane and Boss Hogg ran that southern town into the ground.  The plantation mentality subjugates poor Whites also.  But, old Bo married a sista with tens of millions, has a strikingly beautiful sista as his side thing, has a bro doing his dirt work and is about to be governor.  Modern PM..some things never change. 

Here is a fun social exercise.  When the Haves and the Have Nots is on the box and Candace is on with her roommate, ask an old Black person which woman looks better.  Nine times out of ten they will say the lighter sista when Candace is clearly one of the most beautiful women on earth.  But, old heads don’t like that brown skin…even brown old heads.  When Mrs. Cryer is on with her lady lawyer friend, an old head would say the same thing again when the lawyer is much better looking.  PM  

 

That old plantation mentality is also the reason we hold our candidates to crazy high standards during election season.  We simply don’t believe in us as much as we believe in others.  Sad PM

Read Full Post »

National and state Democrats should be watching and helping in the local elections in Sylvester, Georgia, because their hope for the future starts here.  Elections on three levels are won by securing the political center and the local mayor’s contest should be the proving grounds for the 2014 U.S. Senate race and the 2016 presidential race.

The Democratic Party of Georgia and of most southern states is struggling with the lost of rural conservative voters.  The current mayor of Sylvester has had support from a cross-section of the community in a manner that is similar to Congressman Austin Scott.  If the mayor is a Dem and if he does not win reelection, he should get a visit from the new head of the DPG, Dubose Porter.  That would be a meeting of two of the last rural White Democrats and they could plan and plot how to bring people like them back to the party.

If the mayor is GOP, he should help his fellow Republicans learn to respect the office of the president as much as Democrats respected the Bushes and President Reagan.  How many folks still can’t bring themselves to say “President Obama” or “President Clinton?”  Those “Charlton Heston Is My President” bumper stickers in the 90s were downright un-American and no, it wasn’t a NRA reference.

nra

They better get use to saying President Clinton because Hillary has a date with destiny that begins with our local elections.  One of the mayoral candidates is more conservative than me and seems more conservative than the other candidate.  But here is the kicker: it’s the Black Democrat pastor.

Oh my goodness, I went to one of his political events and it was textbook what rural southern voters have been craving for decades without the hate speak.   We are talking faith-based common sense solutions for problems with every community.  See, reasonable people know that improving the South starts with addressing issues with the worst segment of the community—let’s be honest.  We can’t ignore them because eventually they will bring down the whole community like cancer in the body.  Georgia’s governor knows we spend too much money on these jokers in failing schools then more money locking them up.

The current mayor and city council provide basic public services; they do their official jobs well.  But, this new candidate in the political arena is a pastor who isn’t just preaching to the choir.  Like me, he is familiar with the streets and regular folks trust his tough love style in the pulpit.  Does that translate to the political arena?  If it does, we should watch out because like Oprah and T.D. Jakes, the whole rural community has been waiting for some political leaders who can tell the people what they must do to improve their lives with secondary consideration for governmental involvement.

But, Pastor Terrell Carter has friends in the faith community from all over rural south Georgia.  In other words, the approach he is using to reach the politically sleeping should serve as a model for U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  In areas with no Dem state and congressional leadership, the local leaders are the foundations of party structure.

So, someone with the state Dem party should be helping Carter now since he has a message that might actually appeal to more southerners.  I guess the GOP should be doing the same with the current mayor because he enjoys considerable support in my community.  You know what, these two fellows are running clean races and the one who does not win has a bright future in politics on the next level.  Come to think of it, I really couldn’t tell you which party either is in and that is a wonderful thing.

Read Full Post »

5:10 a.m. is before the dawn of a new southern day or as we use to say “ ‘fore day in the morning.”  It’s also the dawn of a new day politically and the beginning of a new season.   Change is obligatory.

The local elections this year and the wider elections next year are good times to lay the foundation of what we need in your southern communities.  We need leaders who speak openly and honestly about bringing us together and improving our conditions.  Co-founder of this blog Helen Blocker Adams is such a leader and Augusta, Georgia, should make her their next mayor.

Helen and I have spent countless hours discussing the importance of bridging community divides and that is the reason I chose a southern bridge for the cover art of this blog.  The rock band the Police had a reggae song called “One World Is Enough For All Of Us” that includes the line “we can’t sink while others float because we are all in the same big boat.”  In Augusta, the medical college recently continued it’s land acquisition but fairly created new housing for displace citizens.

We need similar changes in my town and the changes could apply to a thousand American communities.  We are a proud agricultural community; we grown produce.  Only a few percentage of Americans work directly in ag but those hard working people feed everyone else.  While I generally have no stomach for Donald Trump, he is correct in stating that America doesn’t make things anymore and making things will be the return of jobs.

The new mission for my community should surprisingly be based on towns like Mayberry from television.  See, some people like to raise families and grow old in peaceful, friendly places where everyone knows and cares for everyone else.  My town is sandwiched between two larger cities and to me, we are a bedroom community for those who don’t mind a short drive for some peace.

We need leaders who are concerned with every little corner of the community because problems and trouble know no boundaries.  In our local elections, every candidate is personally cool with me and I would be lying if I said that basic municipal services weren’t fine.  They are.

However, there comes a time when talented leadership should step up to the next challenge…when your services and skills are better required on a different level of government.  For example, New Jersey has two bright rising stars and I personally like their new style of leadership.  Newark Major Cory Booker is running for the U.S. Senate and this guy earned his stripes.  He is a Sanford/Yale guy whose parents were two of the first Blacks at IBM but he lived in the projects as mayor to better understand the lives of his citizens.  The guy doesn’t talk in generalizations; he gets down to details of what is wrong—straight no chaser.  He speaks directly to the people about what they should do to improve their communities.

President_Barack_Obama_Tours_Storm_Damage_in_New_Jersey_7

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is clearly running for president and if Hillary isn’t the next POTUS, it should be him.  The big guy tells it like it is and doesn’t might stepping on a few toes if needed.

In southwest Georgia, the Chamber of Commerce types have done an admirable job of marketing our communities with emphasis being on the good qualities.  However, it’s time to address (deal with) the rest of the community.  Where are the leaders who can comfortably and firmly bring out the best from the rest?  Countless sons and daughters of the rural South dream about retiring to these piney forests but two main concerns are the racial climate and the growing actions of the thug element.

We need to grow our youth with the care we have traditionally used to produce our crops.  We must prepare the soil, plant the seed organically and monitor until ripeness.  But, we must also root out weeds and remove pests.

Issues that local candidates should be addressing included:

1. Police: It’s wonderful when the local police achieve that delicate balance between firmness and compassion.  During the Clinton Presidency, the Congress passed a Crime Bill that promoted Community Policing.  The best officers (we have some good ones) know their patrol areas and greet people.  They use knowledge of and relationships with citizens to serve and protect.  Unfortunately, some officers develop a hard spirit from constantly dealing with thugs; they should remember that the vast majority of the people appreciate and support them.  Cops should smile and walk more.

2. Economic Development: We know that real E.D. begins in the homes, the schools and the churches.  Hey, the Chamber can’t attract industry to a town if those industrial leaders read rough stats about the educational abilities of the workforce.  An unofficial duty of elected officials is encouraging citizens to be fully focused on achievement—get in their faces like Booker and Big Chris up Jersey way.

3. Downtown Revitalization: Madison, Tifton, Moultrie, Americus, Thomasville. Even Hahira.  These Georgia towns have cool downtown areas.  The granola-eating, bicycle-riding, wine-sipping types love to live in and visit towns with preserved character.  I still don’t get antiquing because it reminds me of rough days for us but hey, if it brings dollars to town, roadshow your blank off.  I do love old buildings with character and retrofitting them with lofts brings life back to downtown.  Paris, Napa Valley and Barcelona have a café culture and so can south Georgia but rather than sitting outside on the sidewalk sipping Riesling we might preferred sweet tea or a cool one from a Mason jar–Duck Dynasty style.  This would be a nice way to watch the Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets or Falcons give a game away…again.

4. Crime: We need leaders who will work with state and federal officials to address the growing cost of criminal activity.  Of course, it starts with education, faith and better parenting.  The next crop of leaders needs to be familiar with regular folks—dare I say that they should have street cred.  You must know the streets to fix the streets.

5. Housing: Homeowership anchors a taxpaying family to a community.  Whatever happened to starter homes?  Let’s be honest, item number four (crime) has people moving out of town.  The thug element frightens people…me included.  But, hell no.  The houses in my community were built my farmworkers who moved to town.  These people work so hard (making money for someone else) to purchase their slice of the American dream.  Today, most of those men have gone to glory and their widows live in fear from half-raised boys…raised more by hip hop videos than family and church.   You can’t be a new community leader if approaching those young men isn’t in your nature. At some point, we need to secure federal funding to relocate some ag operations from the town’s center to the outskirts and replace that area with mixed-use housing.  I want to hear “let’s walk to church” again.

6. Resourcefulness: we have a fine crop of local candidates.  If they play their cards right, those who don’t win can’t run for the Georgia General Assembly next year with the support of the person who beat them.  Our statehouses need new blood because the political parties seem out of touch.  They put party over people.  I take my hat off to Governor Christie for working with President Obama when New Jersey got hit my a super storm.  That’s what leaders do to be resourceful.

Read Full Post »

We are in the middle of local elections and my thoughts turn to the days when preachers, barbers and funeral directors were the community leaders because “the man” couldn’t quiet them since their money came for us.   Today, retirees should be added to that list because those on pensions are free to speak their minds and have plenty of free time to do it.

A friend from high school who is a vocal leader of the Tea Party Movement gave me the Beatles greatest hits cd a few years ago.  While listening to the lads sing “get back to where you once belonged” the other day, I thought about getting back to what my community was the 60s and before the mean-spirited approach of the ultra conservatives.

My community before the 1970s was a place of proud, deliberate people.  While we need the federal government to enforce basic human rights and to end Jim Crow, the well-intended assistance of the government when from temporary help to something debilitating.  The next crop of leaders, whose who come after the “I marched with MLK” ones, should be more life coaches than cheerleading politicians.  After elected leaders ensure that essential governmental services are functioning, they should get about the business of explaining to the people what the people should do to help themselves.  It starts with personal responsibility because “the man” and the Klan aren’t damaging my block as much as the people in the mirror.

Stats in the Albany Georgia newspaper blew me away the other day.  The president of the local technical college says that only 62% of people in my region are functionally literate.  Huh?  We spend millions on schools and teachers’ salaries but the folks can’t read.  Wait a dam minute!  We aren’t talking about advance subjects from high school like trig, chemistry and Lit.  We are talking about reading, writing and arithmetic; stuff that was supposed to be taught in the first few grades.  Of course, educators will say that home isn’t supporting the learning process and I agree on some level.  Once and for all: you can’t be the parents of K-12 kids speaking poor English around them all day. Double negatives, ending sentences with prepositions and leaving the “g” off of “ing” are simply the tip of the iceberg.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2013/sep/17/parker-says-adult-literacy-is-key-to-area8217s/

The governor should fund a program I designed while working with a welfare to work project.  The program refreshed grammar skills for adults in a few days because education is a lifelong endeavor.  Oh, there is no money for such programs but get ready for the second alarming statistic.  The new head of the Georgia department of juvenile justice says that a youth offender cost the state $91,000 a year.  What the blank!  We are spending money on the wrong people at the wrong times.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2013/sep/17/new-law-to-alter-juvenile-justice/

I took my nieces to a Black college football game last week.  One of the girls is a high school cheerleader who doesn’t understand football.  Let me get this right: you are cheering for an activity you don’t understand.  By the end of the game, she understood first downs, passing, rushing and the fundamentals of the sport.  We have all attended games when the cheer was “defense” while we had the ball.

Some of these elected officials are like those confused cheerleaders; they are cheering without fully understanding the situation and goals.  To me, President Obama never had a stomach for the older members of the Congressional Black Caucus for this reason.  If conservatives spent time getting to know Obama rather than tripping about Kenya, they would have learned that his conservative roots are in the Midwest.  Obama is a moderate with equal distain for the far left and the far right but most importantly, he feels that leaders should tell the people that change begins with them.

So, local elections should be the selection of those who would help Barrack Obama, Jon Huntsman, Colin Powell and Cory Booker turn the nation around with positive energy.  You hear the saying “speak truth to power” use frequently these days.  Well, the people are the power and someone need to tell them the truth about why their situation isn’t what it should be and what can be done to address it—again, the mirror.

Since football and cheering are themes in this blog post, I want to end with them.  If you can sit in a stadium for hours watching football, you can take ten minutes to go vote—vote for whomever but vote.

Read Full Post »

Local elections have statewide and national consequences because they echo the word on the street to the statehouse and the White House.  To me, we are experiencing a disconnect in Georgia because the conservatives who run state government do so with little input from rural Blacks.  Yea, Atlanta and the other cities have urban legislators run down the urban agenda but who speaks for the relatively moderate to conservative rural Blacks who conservative lawmakers are forced to ignore by that far Right (Tea Party) segment of the Republican Party.

 

It’s good seeing young Black conservative Democrat (not an oxymoron) blogger Keith McCants running for local office in middle Georgia.  Folks like Keith because he is down to earth and to me improving our community will start when leaders like him explain the limit role of government in a compassionate way to the people.  His blog Peanut Politics is a must read and Keith has the right ideas for bringing some of the rural South back to the Democrat Party.  Hell, southern moderates should come back since they have been ceremoniously kicked out of the GOP by the Tea Party/”purity test” crowd.  For those who don’t know the GOP has a recent history of creating a list of 10 or so questions for their faithful and if you aren’t with them on a few, don’t let the door knob hit you….

 

http://www.peanutpolitics-keith.blogspot.com/

 

Don’t sleep, Saxby is “retiring” from the U.S. Senate because he doesn’t like the constant threats for dialoging with Obama and the Democrats.  The next target is on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.  I am convinced that former Senator Bob Dole was right when he said that President Ronald Reagan and he wouldn’t pass the current GOP purity test.

 

What do good people do when crazy people in their organization start going off?  They get up and leave because sitting quietly is condoning the ugliness.  Keith has bunch of old political pictures and posters on his blog and I give him a hard time because we know that every pre-Jimmy Carter elected official in our state was basically a segregationist.

 

Today, we have the new segregationists who divide the South based on political parties.  But, I am puzzled by Democrats in general and Black Dems in particular who don’t question local officials about the outlandish spitefulness coming from their supporters on the other side of town.  See, a servant can’t have two masters.

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

While looking for that quote, I came across someone’s Bible references to it.   http://www.padfield.com/1997/goodmen.html

 

Voters should ask candidates for local offices the following questions during the campaign season.

  1. When they said Barrack Obama was born in Kenya, what did you think and what did you say?
  2. When they falsely label Rep. Sanford Bishop as a crook, what did you say or think since you have dealt with him for years and know him to be good people?
  3. Do you think Georgia’s version of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws should be repealed?  Was George Zimmerman profiling Trayvon Martin?
  4. Is “Stop and Frisk” a good police procedure?
  5. Is Michelle Obama a great role model?
  6. Were you against your area receiving stimulus money from the federal government?
  7. Are you bold enough to tell citizens that the government isn’t their daddy?
  8. Do you support the Tea Party movement?  Do you support the Occupy movement?

Wow, writing those questions was fun in a naughty way because some issues involve one level of government primarily.  But, I get a little squeamish when hanging with people from the far left or far right.  I love being cool with people from the entire political spectrum because dialog and communication are vital.

 

You know what, we are talking about a double standard because moderate Democrats support conservative lawmakers regarding important regional issues but conservative voters rarely give love to Blue Dog Democrats.  Be like that and maybe your Dems friends will be ghost when you need them on the legislative floor.

 

In my local elections, we have some quality candidates but I need to know what they did or didn’t when those around them privately were saying horrible things.  That s— isn’t cool because people had gotten so pumped up that they were talking about hurting the president’s family.  You never never go there…I don’t care who the president is or was.  Yea, ugliness echoes and good people can’t sit idly by.

Read Full Post »

train

Elected officials and public employees have official responsibilities and also have unofficial duties.  These duties aren’t on paper but are sometimes as important as the items on the official job descriptions.  For example, Hillary Clinton would have been and still will be a fine president; she knows presidential stuff as well as Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama and the second George Bush did on the day they were sworn into office.

 

But, there was something special about Obama becoming president; something related to healing.  Also, my community needed to have someone who looks like them in office so he could once and for all tell them that a person who is like you isn’t going to give you everything.  Obama said that from the first day of his campaign and people get it now.

 

Those unofficial duties therefore explaining the limited role of government to hardhead people who only listen to people from their circle.  In my hometown, we recently had an issue with flooding.  A city councilman was on the local T.V. news broadcast saying that the city government wasn’t the problem with certain flooding.  Water wasn’t flowing properly because locals were tossing bottles and trash into ditches and that debris clogged the pipes.  I love it; dude basically said, “The problem is you.”  We need more of that.

 

While it might sound racial, I want more Black clean cut guys in lower grades teaching positions because some kids don’t see positive brothers during their development.  Non-Black students need to see that also because they’re formulating their opinions of us on rap videos and the fools on the Maury Povich Show.  If I had Oprah/Bill Gates type money, I would give a grant or supplement to Black male teachers in lower grades.  Hey, two students at my black college told me that Senator Saxby Chambliss’ wife was one of the sweetest and most loving people in their lives.  Seeing her at school was the high point of their day and a positive light in an otherwise tough childhood.

 

Hillary Clinton is going to be president and little girls can be proud of the fact that women make the world go around.  If I had my choice, I would still like to see Republican Jon Huntsman in the White House one day because part of his unofficial duties would be being a conservative who isn’t angry and dismissive. He drives the far right crazies more crazy with his cool approach.  I am uniquely qualified to say vote for the right person in the right situation because I am a moderate Democrat who has voted for both of Georgia’s current U.S. Senators a few times.  I voted for them because they support the economic engines of this region: agriculture and the military.

 

Of course, it’s not cool for reasonable members of a group to remain quiet as other members of that group say ugly things about others.  I wouldn’t be quiet if someone was talking about all White people being this or that when I know that isn’t true.  That would be ugly by association.  What about those rich kids who had “the help” as second mothers but who grow up to say the ugliness things about all of “those people.”

 

I tell you what, I am not voting for anyone who doesn’t have a comfort level and functioning relationship with people in every community.  Coni Rice, Jon Huntsman, Colin Powell, Rep. Sanford Bishop and Rep, Jack Kingston come to mind as public servants who can dialog with anyone—disagree without being disagreeable.  The most important unofficial duty might be the ability to reasonably explain public policy to those who disagree with you.

 

America is at it’s worst when supporters of a public official dare him or her to talk with the other side.  People who don’t make much money and people who have had it rough (by their own creation) are still Americans.  Any person, political parties or group that wants to suppress their voting are un-American to me.  This whole blog post isn’t race-based because the last time I checked most of the people in my community have as much affection for the presidential service of Bill Clinton as for Barrack Obama.  As quiet as it is kept, that southerner White dude knows more about these piney woods in Georgia than any president other than James Earl Carter.

 

With unofficial duties in mind, Michelle Nunn and Karen Handel get a certain amount of consideration for U.S. Senate because they have that lady logic working.  Yes, the Georgia congressional delegation needs a woman’s touch and I would look seriously at a sista from the GOP running for the U.S. House.  Sisters in my community are now and have always been relatively conservative and they know that our community has become too reliant on the government.  It’s a shame that the Tea Party will force Handel to act hardcore to win their primary.  Rep. Jack Kingston is in that senate primary and that cat will talk with anyone anywhere because that is part of his official duties.

 

Unofficial duties include telling it like it “tiz.” If you don’t know that that adage, you might not be ready to represent both sides of the tracks down here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers