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Posts Tagged ‘newt’

When thinking about presidential politics, I keep hearing Georgian Ozzie Davis line from Georgia-educated Spike Lee’s movie “Always do the right thing.”  Well, “the Mayor” clearly was too fond of Albany, Georgia-produced Miller High Life beer but that simply statement speaks volumes.

The Georgia primary is tomorrow and I have been thinking hard about what I should do to optimize my vote.  Voting for President Obama would be an empty gesture but voting for Gingrich or Santorum could indirectly help the president by prolonging the GOP battle.  Our governmental directions and policies are nothing with which to play and I personally sadden by the ugliness coming from those two candidates—Newt is actually better than this but campaign is a dirt game.

 So, it comes down to Governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul.  Dr. Paul keeps it real and that is refreshing but Romney is the person who gets my vote by default.  Romney isn’t a red-meat far Right nut and people change their minds over years.  (Here is where moderates help Obama by hugging Romney publicly.)

President Obama is a real American and I think he is fully prepared to keep his 2008 promises to let someone else have it if he doesn’t turn the economy around.  I think he has us heading in the right direction but that is for all voters to decide.  If a GOPer is the next president, it should have been Jon Huntsman but Romney, when compare to their remaining field, is much better.

Romney’s ability to appeal to us in the political middle might pull Democrat policies in that direction.  As a twist, real hardcore conservatives might decide to bite the stick with more four years of Obama and get a real Santorum type in four years rather than tolerate nice guy Romney for eight years.

Because the issues on the table (jobs, taxes, gas prices, war) touch everyone, we must push for everyone to register and vote…always do the right thing.  I loved revisiting Ozzie Davis’s real eulogy of Malcolm X and when he said “he was our own Black shining prince” chills still shoot through me.  Theodore Roosevelt,  Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama were/are good guys and people shouldn’t stand idly by while they fight the good fight alone.  We must remember that we are standing on the shoulders of JFK, RFK, X and Mr. Davis.  If you don’t vote in November, you insult their memory and deserve whatever happens.

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Kanye West saying ”That S__ Crazy” on that song with Jay Z is one cool rap lyric.  But, the line should apply to some political matters as well.

Jon Huntsman: The GOP had an opportunity to select this decent conservative as their nominee but he left the race while polling in the single digits.  Huntsman could have easily secured the large political center’s vote and walked into the White House if unemployment rates and gas prices remain high.  But, the red meat people on the far Right want a president who is mad, angry and pissed so they gave him their behinds to kiss.  “That S__ Crazy.”

Newt Gingrich: The homeboy Newt needs to stop tripping.  He is as smart as President Obama and would make improving America his historic legacy if he became president.  But, the food stamp stuff is too much.  In the debate last night, Newt said, “Obama PUT more people on food stamps than any American president. Put.  Put.  Put.  No political leader in this nation wants people on food stamps or in need.  The implication is that President Obama is a socialist and that’s not the case.  Speaker Gingrich knows better but it’s a dirt game.  Newt is crazy like a fox and he might steal South Carolina with this mess.  Democrats in S.C. should vote for Newt (since Huntsman is gone) so that Obama/Biden get a louder opponent.  “That S__ Crazy.”

Sanford Bishop: Why in the world does the far Right want Bishop’s seat so badly.  My friends in the conservative movement should know that agriculture is the backbone of rural Georgia and Bishop gets urban members of Congress to support Farm Bill programs that benefit every American who eats food and the producers who grow food.  Fiscal conservatives have crop support programs as one of their main targets.  So, removing Bishop is directly shooting yourself in your southern foot because my region would be a wasteland without USDA .  “That S__ Crazy.”  

Mitt Romney: While I am an Obama supporter, I must say that people should get off Romney’s case about his work at Bain.  Capitalism involves improving companies if you can and closing them if you must.  Mitt should say that he and Jay Z “ball so hard..these (blanks) want to fined me…but first they got to find me.”  “That S__ Crazy.”

Bottomline: As the song says, you got to crawl before you ball.  Young rap listeners should understand that fact and avoid the bling.  We need to hear that from moderate leaders. (Are they still saying bling?)

 N-ggas in Paris (language warning)

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In the film classic Purple Rain, Morris Day’s character laughed at Prince’s father attempted suicide.  Day’s band The Time (the best band ever) walked pass Prince’s dressing room singing, “let’s go crazy…let’s get nuts.”  Of course, the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy” starts with the line “when you call up that Shrink in Beverly Hills—Dr. Everything Is Going To Be Alright—instead of asking him how much of your time is left…ask him how much of your mind.”  I love the part that says “And if the elevator tries to bring you down..go  crazy…push a higher floor.” 

Some political observers see the Tea Party Movement as folks gone crazy while others see them as fed up good citizens.  I ask my TPM friends how can they question the legitimacy of the Obama presidency when I never question W Bush (Bush v. Gore, Weapons of Mass Destruction, spent surplus.)  

With any large movement, you have intent and methods.  You have the core and the fringe.  The TPM basically has sound concerns (as President Obama repeatedly states) but the methods of their fringe are sometimes Machiavellian or the End Justifies the Means.  I attended the Million Man March and dug 90% of the message but knew that I would bounce out the second I heard any hate speech.  As a congressional staffer covering judiciary issues, my Saturday afternoons were spent listening to rallies on the National Mall for and against gun control and abortion.  It seemed like the right thing to do—I was paid to listen to all sides.

Quick…name a leader with whom you agree 100%.  Now name one you disagree with 100%.  It’s a big person who admits that the loyal opposition has a right to govern if they win fair and square. Moderates and centrists are encouraging to me because we take elements of both sides into policymaking.  I have some close friends who are very conservative and I constantly ask them why they want to govern with a “winner take all” mentality.  They have no problem saying that they should govern that way because they are 100% correct—and we thought Kante West had the biggest ego.

I think I owe Rev. Jeremiah Wright a sincere apology.  Rev. Wright, I am sorry for punking out on you during the drama.  Come on now, we have all said wild things or attended events where a few statements were questionable.  But, the speaker or movement were fundamentally well-intended.  At different times, every member of the Georgia congressional delegation said something they wish they didn’t say…oh, they meant it but wish they didn’t say it. 

Rev. Wright gets leeway because he is a senior and a veteran.  In the South, there is no telling what Black or White seniors might say and we understand because they are from a different time.  The funny thing about Black nationalism is that the principles of self-determination, limited governmental involvement, achievement, shame and community are actually similar to the far-right. For example, Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich have found that they are singing from the same hymnal on education reform. 

I wonder if the same people who said President Obama should have walked out of Rev. Wright’s church if he heard one questionable word think people should leave a Tea Party behind one word or bad poster.  President Obama and I would say find the common ground, seek positive dialog and solutions, and at the appropriate time point out that some of the rhetoric was straight nasty and counterproductive.

Toward the end of Purple Rain, Morris Day knew he was dead-ass wrong for joking about mental illness and a guy’s family problems but he redeemed himself by cheering for Prince’s grand finale.  If Obama is successful, will the Tea Partiers acknowledge it?  No, they will say did it was bought with our grandchildren’s money.  Did the Right admit that Clinton’s budget actions were great?  No, they don’t roll like that.

Purple Rain ended with Prince’s “Baby Im A Star.”  I wonder if young Barrack Obama listened to this album, watch the movie and told his crew that he was going to be president because he “wasn’t gonna stop ‘til he reach the top.”  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkYamJjv6Eg

Prince- Baby Im A Star

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In my community, we say, “If you don’t know, you better raise your hand and ask someone.”  With that sage wisdom (is that a redundant term) in mind, I ask these questions about Georgia politics.

1. Is the GOP counting on young voters and Black voters not returning to the polls this year?

2. Why won’t the political parties start with the desired result and work backwards to achieve it?

3. Is the ultimate goal a better functioning America or destruction of the other parties?

4. Why won’t Michael Steele and company consider the general election when producing primary candidates?

5. Why won’t the Democrats realize that Senator Isakson can’t be beaten, not run any candidate against him and leave his sizable war chest out of the equation?

6. Would a non-contested Isakson be free to dialog now?

7. Why didn’t the GOP help Rep. Sanford Bishop become Agriculture Secretary if they seriously wanted his congressional seat?  Did they forget that the Republican governor would have appointed his replacement?

8. When the ultra-conservatives say Bishop does not listen to people, are they saying that 158,000 voters are not really people?  

9. Would Rep. Jim Marshall have been an easier and more logical target for Bishop’s opponent or David Scott’s opponent?  Did anyone ask Newt? 

10. Would Macon, Tifton and Warner Robins see GOP candidate Dr. Deborah Honeycutt and family as southern Obamas or Huxtables?  Did I just go there?  Is there anything cooler than a successful family?

11. Does anyone in the GOP remember that Rep. Marshall dissed (on some level) the Obama and Hillary presidential campaigns?  Can’t you all see an opportunity there?

12. If any Blue Dogs gets bounced, who should it be? (Leading question…I’m just saying)

13. Would Ray McKinney or Karen Bogans do better against Rep. John Barrow than the current candidates? 

14. Will the GOP produce women candidates who can reach Democrat moderate women in the general election or will tea stains be too strong?  Did I just coin the term “tea stains” to describe those supported by the strong Tea Party movement who then try to secure enough “other” voters to win the general election?

15. Is Vernon Jones the Tiger Woods of Georgia politics?  Would Jones make a good congressman if Rep. Johnson did not feel well?  (Best Wishes to Rep. Johnson) 

16. Did I tell you that Austin Scott was a bright dude who should be running for congress?  Did anyone listen?

17. Is Florida senate candidate Mario Rubio the model for the smiling southern conservative candidate? Did he learn that watching Isakson?  Is Rubio the next Obama?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/vp/35476725#35476725

18. Did anyone read this whole list?

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The USDA recently released new estimates on the cost of raising a child born last year and the numbers shocked me.  For a middle-income family, $221, 000 would be needed to get that child to 17 years old.  While the costs are lower in the South, low and no income people must gasp the financial magnitude of parenthood before adding to existing families or starting new ones.  Do I sound like a Chinese official who is in charged of population control or a concerned American weary of taxpayers’ dollar supporting those who drain the system?   So, single people without kids pay taxes to support of those who have them.

During the presidential campaign last year, expanded healthcare coverage was spun as a form of abortion reduction; patients with primary care providers learn about not getting pregnant and family planning.

In a cost-benefit analysis, I keep coming back to Speaker Newt Gingrich’s idea from the 1990s of giving young people $5000 for finishing high school, not getting arrested and not having a baby before a certain age.  While it sounds Orwellian, they could call it “Cash for Humper.”

I still think we should take a serious look at a 14% flat tax.  While many Democrats want to tax the wealthy, I find one standard tax rate reasonable.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090804/ap_on_re_us/us_fea_parenting_cost

 http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2008.pdf

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Augusta Area Morning Show host Renee deMedicis posted an interesting article about political machines and I decided to reply.

 

http://wnrr.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/morning-show-renee-political-machine/

 

 

Renee: Your article on political machines provided valuable insight into the “smoke filled rooms” of American politics—it’s a dirty game.  Is the tail wagging the dog because people who make a living from political election fights want heated races (no pun intended) just to “stay paid.” 

 

In Georgia, any Democrat in the know can name the famous machines around the state from the last 40 years.  Retired teachers, coaches, military veterans, funeral home directors and barbers have long turned their community status into “side money” by getting out the vote or endorsing candidates.  “If Mr. Blank says this candidate is good, let’s put the guy in there because Mr. Blank would not back any junk.”

 

My GOP friends who get involved in campaigns around the state know GOP candidates hate the idea of “street money” or the famous stuffed envelopes.  The GOP in the South doesn’t need this practice because they have more energetic volunteers than they can use. 

 

But, I think your article would have been more complete if you fairly acknowledged the conservative machines that served as the catalyst for the Right: the faith community’s involvement in politics.  When the elite of the GOP realized that Pat Robertson had millions of supporters in his database, it was on like popcorn. 

 

Again, is the tail gagging the dog because a GOP candidate knows that answering the right (pun intended) questions on the right questionnaires brings the machine into the mix.  The “right” machine is a thing of beauty to see when it’s fully engaged and usually anything in its path will soon be in trouble.

 

Senate McCain knew that those groups would work hard to keep a Democrat out of the White House—millions of dollars for ads and volunteer hours but Obama still won because the people use the election as a referendum on President Bush.  My friends on the right say the people were mistaken, fell personally in love with charming Obama, McCain was not a real conservative or the message was mishandled.  My GOP friends who are real concluded that they got away from core conservative values, the people wanted the Dem way for awhile or Obama might be right (I mean correct). 

 

If we are going to have a “fair and balanced” discussion about American politics, let’s admit that the left and right have political machines and wizards behind those “grassroots” machines are often big corporations for the GOP and big unions for the DNC.  To be honest, the faith community works sincerely regarding abortions, illegal immigration, school vouchers, and morals but the party bosses in D.C. want their numbers to win elections then satisfy big campaign donors with regulatory reduction…hence, the origins of our current economic crisis.  It is all about welfare; on the side street for the Dems and on Wall Street for the GOP.

 

Finally, many Democrats are strong in their faiths but they are guided by the compassion of the Beatitudes rather than the commands of the Ten Commandments.  Of course, moderates like me think about both.  Ultra-liberal compassion is well intended but the government can rescue everyone and the natural selection of the jungle means people sometimes fail.  While almost no one wants to see hungry and homeless children, the role of government is limited by the practicality of economics.  The same concept should apply to financial system recovery.     

 

Yes, political machines on the right exist because they rode Newt and President Bush to death to get the investments they made in the GOP rise to power; the dividends were not stuffed envelops like the Dems but regulatory freedom.  If Newt had a chance to be Newt back in the 90s, American would be a much better place today.

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The Florida Gators won the national college football championship—again.  Go Gainesville Gators, Go.  That Tim Tebow is one outstanding young man; his parents did a fine job raising him but some of that is genetics – which they provided also. Congrats to Myron Rolle from the FSU Football Team on his Rhodes Scholarship; putting Cecil’s ill-gotten gains to good use.  Rhodes wanted a secret society to promote British rule around the world; Rolle is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.  Tebow and Rolle might be the next Obama-types. 
 

Also, don’t sleep on Georgian Maya Moore who plays basketeball with Uconn and graduated from Atlanta’s Collins Hills High School with a 4.0 GPA. 
 

Tebow, a service-minded Christian athlete, was homeschooled by smart people; which leads to the fact that not everybody who homeschools will product a brainy Heisman Trophy winner.  So, if you are not smart enough to homeschool your kids past a certain grade level, you might not be smart enough to know it.  Some kids need to be at school and/or church for socialization purposes.  Yes, many school systems have uncontrollable little monsters who are exposed to heaven-knows-what at home and the teachers can’t stop them from “sharing” in the halls and cafeterias.
 
I think Georgia now has an innovative program for children to learn via the internet.  Can you image a cul-de-sac with six or seven homes where all the parents are bright and they create their own little school in a pool house or garage.  Parents who telecommute can swing by for a few classes and the banker can come home to teach economics during her lunch hour.  And mom can bake ginger bread cookies and vacuum in heels while wearing pearls.  
 
I am sure what the answers are with education options but some dramatic changes are needed because Little Johnny who does not learn might eventually be Jo-Dog, master of the cellblock for 15 to 20 years.  Georgia spends 1.2 Billion dollars on the state’s prison system—which does not include caring for the families of some inmates.  The education system is like that old oil filter ad, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.”
 
It all comes down to parenting and home training and President Obama will likely say what many reasonable people are thinking, “Some folks need children like a fish needs a bicycle.”

 
When Soon-to-be Speaker Newt Gingrich considering provisions for his agenda, he publicly discussed giving 21 year olds $5000 if he graduated from high school, had no out of wedlock kids and no criminal activity.  Those who say you can’t legislate morality never met Newt.  Hey, that plan is cheaper than lock’em up.

UPDATE: The list grows; Stephen Curry with Davidson College is another good kid. Like Grant Hill was back in the day.

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