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Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

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Health/Wellness: Diet and Exercise; Wise Food Choices, Moderation; “Own Grave”, Understanding Wellness/Health Care Industry

Health/Wellness is an area of public policy that really hits home because we are talking life and death.  Would someone in the government or a recently retired congressman just drink some truth serum and tell the God’s honest truth.   The average American is personally responsible for their health problems due to bad diet and infrequent exercise.  While some ailments occur naturally, fast food and sugar drinks are the roots of too many issues.

If Baretta said don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time, a similar saying should be “don’t eat everything and anything if you don’t want to do hospital and early grave time.”  Are some foods literally “to die for?”  I had a chubby buddy who was told he was a diabetic but he simply said no…maybe later but for now no.  He learned everything about diabetes and dropped most of his body fat in six months by exercising and eating right.  While he is still a diabetic technically, he doesn’t take medication because he fought the good fight.

The good fight makes me think about Paul’s biblical statement in 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.   So, you have all these obese church folks up in the buffet spot on Sunday afternoon polluting the temple of the Lord.

Wise food choices are so easy for Americans because the stores are plentiful with variety and T.V. shows tell us what to prepare and why.  We jokingly say that modern-day soul brothers are using low-fat fatback.  Right On.  I decided to walk away from pork and beef until I get my 230 pounds weight under 210.  That was two years ago and I really miss hamburger but pork is likely gone for good.

People drink a surprisingly large number of calories.  Is Mountain Dew worth the health trouble…it’s basically syrup.   High fructose corn syrup and salt kill more people than bullets.  I want to declare my respect for the First Lady Michelle Obama and really all first ladies of my lifetime.  Even Betty Ford turned pill issues into a noble cause.

I have friends who have issues with (hate) Flotus Obama for championing the food choice issues.  From the public policy standpoint, it seems Orwellian that the government and the non-elected first lady would tell (advise)  kids on eating habits or work to remove unhealthful foods from schools.  The eating habits of kids led to a lifetime (sometimes a shorten lifetime) of medical problems.  Oh, health concerns are no problems…give ‘em pills for this and pills for that.

Yes, some people actually take the cholesterol drug Lipitor in Golden Corral before eating a fried chicken…not some fried chicken… a whole fried chicken.  Too often, that person with long-term bad eating habits is the same uninsured person that cost the government over $200,000 as doctors try to save them…from themselves.

There is a different between what Mrs. Obama wants us to eat and what the government can force or compel us to eat.  At the same time, should medical ethics draw treatment lines when someone dug their own grave?

When Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House, he considered changes to the health care system that would reward those who ate right and exercised.  His plan was similar to the auto insurance plans with vanishing deductibles today.   If a person didn’t have a major health care expense in say five years, that person’s premium would be zero until there was a big expense.

Another aspect to consider would be the food kids receive free and reduced as part of the school lunch program.  Should the government have a right to dictate the healthfulness of that food because the taxpayers are buying it?  What about food stamps for veggies only?  Of course, the beef, corn and pork lobbyists aren’t having it.

Moderation: The motto of the great state of Georgia is “justice, wisdom and moderation.”  Friends in the health care profession tell me that I didn’t need to abandon beef and pork totally; I should have moderated my consumption of all foods.   The smart First Lady Obama promotes the USDA change from the food pyramid of old to the new food plate which calls for wise amounts of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy.   Like Columbus discovering a place with millions of inhabitants, Americans are discovering what the Greeks and Japanese have known for centuries.  You put a lot of veggies on the plate and add a little protein for seasoning.

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/about.html

As we get older, we apply moderation to many parts of life: one glass of wine, an occasional cigar, ribs on the Fourth of July only.   The workout process starts with moderation because you have to crawl before you ball….it starts with walking.

Healthy choices also involve “relations.”   Like with food, alcohol and drugs, don’t do it if you aren’t prepared to live with the possible consequence.   Relations are likely better for most people without latex but I don’t want to hear a dam word of complaining if the worst results happen.  You knew the risk factors and you made your choice.

Healthcare Industry: Again, everyone has an agenda and it usually involves staying paid.  When I was a kid, you went to the doctor and he tried to figure out what was wrong with you.   Today, the doctors want to give you medications to stop your body from sending pain messages to your brain.  You don’t need pills long-term; you need to correct what is wrong.

The whole Obamacare debate was a political football being kicked around by two political parties with donors from all sides of the private sector.  The reality is this: uninsured people use the emergency room as a doctor’s office and go to the doctor far too late.

If I had my own island nation, we would have universal health care coverage with an annual doctor’s examination.  My doctors would catch a little bump that was going to be cancerous and remove it for a few bucks.  In America, that person would receive half million dollars in government-funded indigent care before dying.  Dam.  The annual exam on my island would give doctors the opportunity to say “you are 100 pounds overweight from poor eating habits and zero exercise.  If you don’t get those 100 pounds off you in two years, the state will not pay for fat-related treatments.  We will however pay your gym fees.”

While the last paragraph was mostly humor, there is nothing funny about the insurance industry making decision about coverage for insured people.   I didn’t say doctors making decisions.  We are talking about insurance company employees in call centers somewhere.  So, do you want to know why I eat wiser and limited Budweiser?   It’s because I don’t like those people making life decisions about me.  Yes, illness is part of life but it’s a part I avoid by fighting the good fight.

Big Pharma is the nickname for the pharmaceutical industry and they sell drugs.  To me, helpful drugs are gifts from heaven but we shouldn’t seek a big pharma solution to a problem that can be addressed naturally..ie. diet and exercise.

Mrs. Obama must be dumbfounded when she thinks that we give bad free foods to poor kids and those kids become adults with horrible eating habits who again cost 500k for healthcare coverage.  We are the greatest nation in human history because the best third of the population makes things happen but the worst third needs to step their game up …with no more excuses.   And yes, first lady and the government should discuss eating habits carefully because the taxpayers often fund medical care resulting from bad choices.

Mental/Emotional Health: People with emotional and mental health issues often self-medicate with alcohol, illegal drugs and wrongful usage of legal drugs.  We should be mindful that emotional eating leads to health problems.  Chris Rock says Blacks folks only go to counseling when it’s court ordered but with all kidding aside, all people need to check their mental health with the care they give their precious cars.

Peace, rest and happiness are good medicines; the soul needs wellness.  Some people go from childhood to the grave stuck on angry – mad at the world for spinning.  You don’t need experts to tell you that constantly boiling blood isn’t good for the mind, body or soul.

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This is a little too strong

Personal Responsibility: Choices, Decisions and Consequences; Deliberation; Focus; Family Engineering; Self-analysis

Elected officials and others in the political arena spend too much time giving the public the impression that governmental actions can fix what is wrong most of the time.  If you think about it, most of the solutions start with personal responsibility (PR); people owning what they did, will do and what they should teach children to do.

The conservative movement devoted considerable amounts of attention to PR over the years but some of those guys can be mean with it.  A better approach would be to firmly and positively encourage people to select a different path or course of action.  It’s all about mindset.

We should acknowledge that Speaker Newt Gingrich has had the right idea in the past when he wasn’t being playfully mean himself.  Gingrich use to say that the federal government’s limited role was to create a fair playing field; a climate in which people’s prosperity was determined by their actions.  Of course, we haven’t had that climate in America yet but it’s a better approach than the almost socialist method of having people think that the government should act to correct what’s wrong in their lives.  Newsflash: there will be winners and losers in life.  As Prince sang in Pop Life, “Everybody can’t be on top.”

If your life stinks, you should ask yourself if the stench is the result of what you did or didn’t do.  You went to elementary school with people who ended up at Florida State University and people who ended up at Florida State Penitentiary.  While parenting is a factor, most of us could have done more to be the masters of your fates.

Choices, Decisions and Consequences (CDC): While teaching in a job training program, I luckily turned on ESPN to see a speaker breaking CDC down for NFL rookies.   You have choices in life, you make decisions about those choices and you better be ready to accept the consequences of those decisions.  Since the being of humankind, it’s has been about the organic/natural CDC process.

However, government involvement (while well-intended) introduces inorganic or unnatural aspects into the process.  Yes, we need a safety net to help during rough periods but some folks feel that the awareness of assistance encourages risky decision-making.  Hell, some people want to argue more with the government about money for raising kids than with the kid’s other parent.  A trip to the assistance office comes before a trip to the hiring fast food business.  People need to own or live in the reality created by their actions—stop the blame game.

Deliberation: I am amazed by the ease with which people make life-altering decisions. Big choices and actions should require a very slow, well-researched decision-making process.  One must be deliberate in his actions.  It’s sad but true that some young people give more consideration to which pictures to post online than when and with whom to have a child.  “I just happen to be in the car with those guys when someone started shooting at them about something.”

Of course, deliberation starts with research and research begins from the knowledge and wisdom of wiser people. Guys taking life skills advice from friends on the corner is the very definition of the blind leading the blind.  General Colin Powell said that you should never take counsel from unproductive people.

Focus: Once good decisions are made, they must be implemented and executed with focus—keep your eyes on the prize.  Smart people design and map out goals and objectives.

Family Engineering: Can people in the public policy arena openly discuss this subject or does that discussion violate the ethics of public policy; this isn’t China.  I broach the subject because poorly engineered or planned families cost the taxpayers billions.  Who had a baby with whom at what time and under what financial conditions?  Time is big because reasonable people know that folks in their late teens to early 20s are still growing into who they will be.  The moms in my job training program often said that life would have been better if they simple had their kids five years later and after better knowing the fathers (they would have selected better guys who were they husbands.)

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The age-old discussion in college social science classes is the debate between nature and nurture.  Is behavior based on DNA, environment or a combination?  Either way, family members often put their faces in their hands when they discover who a family member is having a baby with, for or whatever. Again, where is the deliberation?  Grandmother is going to spend money for the next 18 years; she might be 65 years old with a net worth of less than $6,500 because she kept helping her family members.  Mercy.

Can we get back to the days when you knew who you were and whose you were?  People once functioned with a sense of community; they were mindful of “how you carried yourself” and folks knew that good families required careful cultivation like good crops.

Self-analysis: Quick, name a close friend who isn’t good at self-analysis.  From the good, the bad and the ugly, improvements in any aspect of life start with taking an honest look in the mirror.   Of course, people can’t be critical of themselves if their mindsets are twisted.  Some people never say or think that they are wrong or could have handled something better.

Why are we having a personal responsibility discussion on a public policy forum?  This discussion is needed because people sometimes make horrible life choice and taxpayers directly or indirectly end up with the bill.  That situation simply isn’t fair and we must find a way to reverse it.

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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.

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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. 

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The word “Santorum” doesn’t appear in my local newspaper this morning but presidential candidate Rick Santorum could be leader of the free world or should I say the less free world.   While Gingrich and Romney are presidential material, “President Sanatorium” scares the daylights out of me because he is small-minded in my opinion.

Santorum has been keeping it real since his days in the House and Senate. He could have serious appeal to blue-collar voters if unemployment and gas prices are high next fall.  This candidate keeps saying “the president thinks he is smarter that you.”  To me, that statement is code for “this uppity elitist is running and ruining your life.”  Newsflash: the former president of the Harvard Law Review  is smarter that 99.99% of the people in the world.

I have written half a dozen blog post over the last six months encouraging Democrats to vote in the GOP primaries for someone President Obama could handle with ease next November.  But, that was when Romney was leading and the calculated risk was not that dire.  Again, Romney or Newt could govern.  Santorum’s candidacy and the recent decline of Newt has me thinking seriously about voting for Romney to ensure that far Right Rick doesn’t get into the White House.

While watching the Rachael Maddow Show last night, I saw a report about the liberal blog Daily Kos introducing the “Democrats voting for GOPers” idea.  The same idea that I have been pushing for months but no one listens to me.  If we want President Obama to win reelection, we must watch the GOP candidates now because they are tripping.  After securing the nomination, Romney will start remembering his moderate record as he seeks support from the middle.  But, Santorum can’t do that; he would double down on the hard stuff and it might work.  So, I might vote for Newt or Romney to avoid a cultural civil war if Rick wins.     

http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/02/daily-kos-announces-operation-hilarity-114604.html

http://projectlogicga.com/2011/11/18/rush-limbaughs-2008-support-hillary-plan-could-help-obama-2012/

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I can’t stand Bill Belichick but must admit that he was smart to tell his Patriots defenders to allow the Giants’ Ahmad Bradshaw to score a touchdown in the last few minutes of the Super Bowl.  Belichick did the calculations and knew he wanted the ball back in Tom Brady’s hands.  The decision, which almost won them another championship, put me in the mind of Muhammad Ali’s Rope-dope and made me think about this presidential primary season.

Belichick didn’t tell his team to “let” them score; he told them to “help” them score.  If you noticed, Pats players were prepared to push Bradshaw into the endzone to preserve precious seconds.  President Obama might have a hard time beating a GOP candidate like Mitt Romney because Romney knows business and the business sector needs to create millions of  jobs.  The Belichick type move for Obama supporters would be helping Newt Gingrich score by winning open primary state elections. 

If you notice, I wrote Obama supporters rather than Democrats because the Democratic National Committee would never endorse or support party members voting for any Republican anywhere for any reasons.  I am more interested in holding the White House than protecting their party brand.   If Romney gets his party’s nomination one day, he will become sweet and nice to the political center the next day to win the general election (if the Tea Party lets him.)  It will be Romney’s Belichick type move to soften his party and secure the White House—it might work. 

But, good old Newt doesn’t play that game.  He is hardcore and has a long record to prove it.  Remember, we can beat Newt in November if we help him win the nomination now—hold your nose and think Belichick.

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I am voting for President Obama in November and Newt Gingrich in March. Obama supporters in conservative states with open primaries should know that giving the president Newt as a target is as important as their general election vote.  Every Mitt Romney associated super PAC T.V. ad regarding Newt’s negatives actually reinforces my contentions.   The reasons Democrats should vote for Newt jump out at you:

Clean cut Romney: That Mitt Romney reminds me of a guy from a soap opera star.  He actually is a nice person with a super family so there is little motivation to vote against him for personal reasons while Newt gets our blood boiling.  “Obama is a food stamp president.”  “Poor kids should work at school.”  A longer GOP primary gives Newt time to rough up Romney. 

Plan B: While we want to see a second Obama term, we must explore options.  To me, Romney is pro-big business but Gingrich would inadvertently improve regular folks’ lives.  The government doesn’t really care about babying grown people nor should it.  With Newt in the White House, everyone would be compelled to step their game up because the safety net would be thin.  Plus, I am tired of watching Obama fight the good fight alone.

Michelle vs. Callista: Quick, name five Black women who are more important that Michelle Obama in the history of this nation.  Better yet, name five women of any color.  The sista is special and I can’t imagine replacing her with Mrs. Gingrich.  Mrs. Obama vs. Mrs. Gingrich would drive millions to the polls for Obama.

Homeboy Newt: Newt knows the South.  If someone other than Obama must be president it should be a Georgian.  As quiet as it is kept, Newt has a great record of supporting African American conservatives.  When I worked on the Hill, a sista was Newt’s Chief of Staff and Newt is constantly cultivating the next generation of Black conservatives.    

Tick off the GOP: The Republicans are purists that only want conservatives voting in their primaries (except Ron Paul.)  Democrats voting in their primary would drive them crazy and distort their statistical analysis.  Actually, open primary better reflect a cross section of the electorate.  

Summary: we need to educate voters on their options.  If you live in an open primary state, voting for Newt is something to consider.

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