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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Everyone has agendas this election year and there is much to sort out.  My agenda is based on the best interest of Georgia and the South but the word trump has always been a cornerstone of this blog.

To me, some factors “trump” other factors and the factors of race, faith, region, country, money, and gender can be prioritized 100 different ways by 100 different people.  For example, a local congressional candidate from a different party knows person X’s interest better than a candidate from X’s party from the other side of the area.  At the end of the day, Colin Powell and Condi Rice care more about Black people than the Red party.  Actually, they joined the Red party because in their hearts they felt they were helping every American.

If I won the sweepstakes, I would use some of that money to convene a summit on the Black agenda for this election year in middle Georgia.  The meeting would include folks from both major political parties and of every racial background.  While the “Changing Mindset” outline found as a tab at the top of this blog would be the central theme, some other matters need to be put on the table.

http://projectlogicga.com/changing-mindsets/

 

Voter Suppression: It’s clear that some leaders of the GOP plan to counterbalance changing demographics by making it hard for certain people to vote. President Obama recent comments on this topic should be heard.

http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/obama-takes-on-assaults-to-voting-rights-223929923741

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-the-real-voter-fraud-is-people-who-try-to-deny-our-rights/

 

Georgia 2nd Congressional District race:  As quiet as it is kept, many Black Republicans know that the voter suppression efforts from their party is hogwash.  These good Americans believe that the conservative agenda is in the best interest of everyone and that silly tricks and shady methods drive reasonable people away from their party.

GOP primary voters have the opportunity to select a candidate, Vivian Childs, who might plant the seeds that change the whole political arena.  Let’s be honest, the GOP often pushes Black candidates who seem a little bland on the Black hand side.  With the trump matter in mind, Vivian Childs, Andrew and Deborah Honeycutt, Karen Bogans in Savannah and Michael Murphy are Black Georgians who are conservative but they lived in the Black world, attend Black churches, and likely have Black gold fish.  I personally saw Mrs. Childs in fellowship with her sorority sister, the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta.

Fraternity and sorority trumps political party in my community and you can best believe that the Childs campaign will never function in a way that dishonors her bond.  Okay, I worked for Rep. Sanford Bishop and I was dumfounded by the ugliness of some previous campaigns—hell, if they kept the debate civic they would have won.  Childs vs. Bishop would have a residual benefit of showing how to disagree without being disagreeable.

President Obama On the Ballot: Oh yea, the primary this spring and the general election in the fall are referendums on the president in some way.  The Republicans want control of the U.S. Senate because with both houses of Congress they can make the rest of his hair gray.  If the Senate candidates are constantly attacking Obamacare, their election is a vote on Obamacare.  To me, the people who elected Obama in the first place should vote this year also.

Senate Candidate Breakdown:  I want to put a few points about these candidates on the table…as I see it.

Michelle Nunn- Don’t sleep….she can win.  While she will be running from Obama, she can’t win without a massive pro-Obama turnout.  Her father wasn’t big on being a political party person and hopefully is the same way.  She might do well with suburb Atlanta GOP soccer moms.

Paul Broun- The Democrats so so so very much want him to be the GOP nom because he has a record of being ugly to candidate and President Obama.  He would drive large numbers of ify voters to the polls for the dems and the national fundraising for Nunn would be huge courtesy of his youtube videos.

Jack Kingston- If region trumps party with me, Kingston is the people’s champ from south Georgia.  Georgia political power is now centered in north Georgia and that is scary because you can count the Black folks up there.  Jack served Black Savannah and Savannah State University for years and dude has lived in part-time in D.C.  Because he likes to play that Andy Griffin role, Kingston knows Black and White rural Georgia inside and out.  The economic engines of our state outside of Atlanta are agriculture and military.  Those Tea Party people would cut both of those areas to the bone but Jack knows what’s up.  He should come to our summit and explain that statement about free lunch kids cleaning the schools.

Karen Handel- She would hold the GOP women vote against Nunn.  She should play up her hard knock life story.  Who knew that she attended Fredrick Douglas High School in suburban D.C.  The lady was chair of the Fulton County Commission.  Her campaign clearly doesn’t want to tap her potential support in our community.  Did I mention that she went to Doug?

David Perdue- this political newcomer is was balling in the private sector. Perdue was CEO at Reebok and at Dollar General.  DG sure brings revitalization to some rough areas and heaven knows the jobs are needed.  His campaign website contains a list of companies he has helped: Rockport, Hanes, Levi’s, Polo, Coach, and Greg Norman.  I kid you not; I can get dress in a Polo shirt, a pair of Levis, Hanes drawers, old Rockport Dressports, and Greg Norman footies.  Look for forward to Dems asking if these companies gave back to our communities.

Governor race: This race will be a referendum on Governor Nathan Deal and the GOP in the state houses refusal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.  We need to hear the GOP alternative to Obamacare because current the uninsured are using the emergency room as a doctor’s office and that’s costly.

State House and State Senate:  With secondary regard for party, stay on your state legislators’ behinds because voter suppression and stand your ground start with them.

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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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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.

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This election year is an important opportunity to change the mindset of policymakers and citizens.  Most elections aren’t contested and seem more like coronations.  But, fighters should continue to fight the good fight because the stakes are so high.  We should use the debates and campaigns as platforms to unveil new and better approaches to old problems and situations because status quo simply isn’t working.

Status quo:  To me, status quo with candidates, political parties and policymakers involves the far Right telling everyone what they should do as you would address children and the far Left trying to help everyone with their problems after the problems occur.

Solution:  We need lawmakers  and policy makers who speak clearly and frankly to the people about the role of government and about personal choices, decisions, and consequences.  We need a fresh and different mindset about how we carry ourselves.  “Carry ourselves” is old school Black heritage; it harkens back to the days when we knew who we were and whose we were; times when Black people sought the opportunities to achieve and strive without encumbrances. Today, many of our encumbrances and obstacles are self-made.

Most politicians know that their abilities to improve our nation are limited by reality and fiscal constraints but those so-called leaders are reluctant to say that.  Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and Obama basely said the same thing: ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for this country; government is the problem.  Some might be surprise that I put President Obama on that list but I think he is a “do for self” person who is hamstrung by party politics.  The post-presidential Obama will be so beneficial to the spirit of this blog post.

The good fiscal news is that my solutions are free, cheap or low-cost.  It’s all about K.S.A.  Oldheads will remember that Knowledge, Skills and Abilities requirements were once part of the federal government employment application process. But, I still think in terms of young people getting knowledge from those who went before them, developing skills to function smoothly in life and understanding their God-given abilities.  Politicians and candidates always speak to youth about soaring like eagles and bla bla bla—there is plenty of that “wind beneath my wings” talk out there.

But, it’s time for some substances…some tools….some meat.  I wrote a blog post years ago called “A and B before C and D” that asked leaders to encourage if not demand that government spend more resources and energy preventing problems and life crisis than addressing the growing numbers of people with messy situations.  To be honest, most people with troubled lives walked right into their circumstances.  Did momma, daddy, school, church, friends and the police beg them to get on the right track?

(Here is the part when a moderate Democrat admits that the conservatives are right about something.) You almost want to say forget them; they made their beds when they ignore the warning and stop signs.  But, you can’t because idly watching human suffering isn’t very Christ-like.  What about 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

U.S. Congressman and Senate candidate Jack Kingston is one of my favorite lawmakers.  I kicked it with Jack at a RNC Club one night for 15 minutes alone 20 years ago and he outlined his career-long efforts to advocate for Southeast Georgia.  It blew me away to learn that Kingston wants to consider having kids who eat free school lunch clean the school or cafeteria to pay off their tab or whatever.  Come on, Jack…that’s jacked up.  I think Jack is really thinking that parents without lunch money for their kids should be shamed into going to work…. “get off your fat behinds and provide for yours.”  What ticks off reasonable people are the fact that people who need help are sometimes the same people who are too good and too proud to flip burgers or harvest vegetables.

We are approaching this wrong.  We must find a positive way to encourage personal responsibility and achievement.  To be honest again, leaders need to speak knowledge and wisdom to help replace the home training that isn’t taking place anymore.  At the same time, that old school home training needs to take place and young people should delay starting families until they have themselves together.  The writers of this blog welcome the opportunity to talk with any campaign staffers seeking to mix our thoughts and ideas into their approaches.

And the first mindset change involves video games and hip hop music.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In the local elections this fall, I know and respect all of the candidates.  But, competition is actually healthy; competition like Obama vs. Hillary that elevated both of their games.  I can’t help but think that better competition might  have compel Rep. Sanford Bishop to have been hungrier legislatively and could have lead him into the U.S. Senate or a presidential cabinet postition.

 

 

Barrack Obama was defeated in a U.S. House race by Bobby Rush, who is from Albany, Georgia.  Heaven only knows who would be president today if Obama got bogged down in the morass of the House.

 

 

Local and state elected positions are building blocks for federal positions.  Actually, there are members of the state legislature who never wanted to be in the Congress.  Being a part-time lawmaker is cool but being a full-time congressman would be a pay cut for a person balling in the private sector. i.e. state Rep. Calin Smyre of Columbus.  By building blocks I mean that congressional candidates look to members of the state house and state senate for support.  Candidates for the state houses in turn look to local officials.  Of course, presidential candidates look to elected officials on all levels.

 

 

To make it plain, Hillary Clinton 2016 starts with local elections this year.

 

 

I am ticked off by the ultra conservatives who ran moderates out of the Republican Party and who are designing laws and procedures in the state capitol to limited Americans from voting.  They seem to be functioning under the Jean-Paul Sartre/Malcolm X phrase “By any means necessary.”

 

 

Gerrymandering of state legislature and U.S. Congress lines have left large sections of the South with one party leadership. In other words, candidates can win elections with little input and support from anyone who doesn’t look like them or thinking totally like them.  My friends in the conservative movement will dare elected officials to listening to and explaining matters to the other side.  I thought that was their jobs.  To give credit where credit is due, Rep. Sanford Bishop and Rep. Jack Kingston love to talk issues with anyone in their service areas—hats off to them for that.

 

 

I want paraphrase Jesus to those whom might come up short in the coming election: Let not your heart be troubled…in my father’s house are many mansions.”  The houses I have in mind are the state house and state senate.  These are the legislative bodies where laws like “stand your ground” were passed. The place where state officials and lawmakers think it is cute to make it hard for regular people of any color to vote.

 

 

Look, I didn’t like former Democrat Congressman Jim Marshall and I gladly voted for reasonable Republican candidate Austin Scott because Marshall slamming Dems was too much.  With the same strategy in mind, I hope that some of the candidates who fall short in the local elections will consider running for the state houses next year—from either major political party.   I am sure that there are enough southern moderates to sway some primaries next year.

 

 

The most important matter is massive voter turnout.  You can vote for Dora the Explorer for all I care but vote because someone is trying to reverse your rights.  “Oh, after Obama is off the ballot…those people will go back to not voting again….right?”   Wrong.

 

 

In the future, we will have some Republican sistas in the Georgia congressional delegation.  These conservative ladies will keep legislative debate civic and tell my community what wise people already know—that the government isn’t your bank.

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The race to replace Georgia U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss is going to be better than good.  Numbers say that it should be a cakewalk for the G.O.P. but numbers can be wrong.  To me, the recent entry of Dem. Candidate Michelle Nunn is a test for a moderate woman in a changing South.  Nunn approach could open the door to a sizable section of suburban GOP women for her and for Hillary Clinton.

Let’s be honest: Obama got great numbers among Black GOPers and I think Hillary will get as much as a third of the GOP women vote.  The Georgia congressional delegation is currently all-male and heaven knows that’s too much macho.  The Good Old Boys Club in the Georgia state legislature is the farm system or minor leagues for congressional candidates.  But, I could name half-dozen Black Georgia GOP women who could have won seats from Blue Dogs if there was an ounce of flex in the conservative movement (KB, HBA, VC, DH).  There isn’t a gram of flex with him and the Jon Huntsman types were ceremonially shown the door.  Who’s waiting for them outside the door?  Sam Nunn’s daughter.

I am about to miss use the literary device pun while looking at the Georgia Senate candidates but this should be fun.

Michelle Nunn- This lady has “none” of the traditional baggage of the struggling southern Dem Team and neither did her father.  When I worked in the Georgia congressional delegation, Senate Nunn marched to his own drummer.  He simply did what he thought was best for Georgia and the Dems are hopeful that the peach doesn’t fall too far from the tree.  While the Far Right is prepping to blast her with Obama-pinko liberal, we will have “none” of that because she is actually friends with the Bushes—not the Obamas.  Oh, the Tea Party will come hard but I don’t think this lady is a “nun.”  She is kin to former Rep. Carl Vinson so she must be tough if a relative has a freaking aircraft carrier named for him.

Jack Kingston- As a kid, we said “You don’t Jack Sh–.” Well, I can unfortunately report that Georgia might not have the pleasure of knowing Jack Kingston—the Jack I briefly knew.  When I worked on the Hill, I spend time hanging in Jack’s office because he had a staffer who was a personal friend of mine.  Okay, she was so easy on the eyes that I would go to events with them at the RNC Club or whatever their lair was called.  At the time, Senator Nunn ran the Georgia delegation and half of the GA Dems were more conservative than California Republicans.  As the Bard wrote, what’s in a name?

Anyway, I spend about 15 minutes talking with Jack Kingston alone one night at the RNC and he was (is) good people.  Politically, he can blast with both barrels but that is part of the game.  In Savannah, Blacks and Whites know and like Jack personally and my first assume is that Black Savannah and the radiating influence of Savannah State University could compel nice switch numbers for Jack in the primary.  Indications are that the whole GOP field is trying “out-Obama blast” each others and you know the bros can’t get with that.

Karen Handel- “You can’t handle the truth.” The truth about this candidate dumfounded me.  She grew up hard outside D.C. and attended Frederick Douglas High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Say what? Upper Marlboro is Black middle class heaven and she went to Doug.  During the governor’s race, I couldn’t believe that she didn’t play this race card because that would have been good for some nice numbers.  She was chairwoman of the Fulton County Commission but her “handlers” didn’t cultivate that potential crossover support.  During the governor’s race, Helen Block Adams really enjoyed her meeting with Handel but it seems that the Tea Party will burn anyone seen listening to moderates. So, she lost win leaving support on the ground.  That’s hard to handle.

Derrick Grayson- I have so much fun listening to Black GOP candidate Grayson because he is “Gray, Son.” The brother is in a grey area from which he blasts the ignorance of both sides.  But, we shouldn’t sleep on his style because he sounds like the oldheads in the barber shop who bring a conservative knowledge that the GOP doesn’t we have.

Paul Broun- Physician, heal thyself.  I am “appalled” by the craziness coming out of this doctor’s mouth.  This Tea Party darling is the key to this senate race.

The Key: Democrats should clear the field for Michelle Nunn; she gets zero primary opponents.  Then, Dems should vote in the GOP primary for Paul Broun because Nunn would beat the brakes off him in the general election.

The Second Key: Some really liberal Dem. candidate will run against Nunn in the primary and she will hone her skills and tune her campaign apparatus while showing contrast.  ala, Obama vs. Hillary.

Third Key: Michelle Nunn’s candidate helps Jack Kingston and Karen Handel because it drives folks away from flirting with Paul Broun.  With a push from the Senator Nunn, the Obamas and the Clintons, Nunn should beat any of these candidates if the GOP primary gets bloody.  There will be blood because Handel has already secured the campaign services of those behind the Kerry Swift boat thing.

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In the rap classic “Fight the Power,” Chuck D said, “Gotta give ‘em what they want…gotta give ‘em what they need.” In this country, what we want isn’t necessarily what we need e.g. slavery, Jim Crow, clear cutting forest, robbing of Indians, child labor, the defense industrial complex, lifetime public assistance, fast food.

It is time for my annual venting blog post about a hodgepodge of subject relating to me being right and the status quo being clearly wrong.

Liberals: Heaven knows the left means well and their general thinking seems rooted in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.  However, long-term assistance can create a segment of the public that is weak—always looking for help from others rather than developing the ability to provide for self.  President Reagan was right about that; government is the problem.  We need to create a climate where every kid has a fair shot at learning and growing in a career field.  Failure wouldn’t be tough luck; it would be the result of being out worked.

Conservatives: My biggest problem with my conservative friends is that their plans for all Americans generally don’t involve all Americans in the discussions.  I will admit that much of their core agenda is sound but they want to force feed corrective policies—as if the rest of America is their children.  They simply don’t listen to anyone unlike them and that is a big mistake.  If they did listen, they would discover that most Black southern voters are more conservative than liberal.  Most rural Blacks hate the welfare state created my government and if the leaders of the civil rights movement from the 1950s and 1960s could see us now, they would say this wasn’t the plan.

Conservatives vs. Black nationalists: Are you kidding me!  The idiots on right wing radio and Fox News who demonized Rev. Jeremiah Wright blew a great opportunity to improve America.  President Obama needs Wright in his corner because Wright and nationalists are throwbacks to those who hate governmental involvement in our daily lives.  Uncle Sam isn’t your daddy and surprisingly Clarence Thomas is the man who is most like Wright (pun intended.)  I loved the book Justice Thomas wrote about his grandfather’s life skills.  Once and for all—the conservative movement should create a relationship with the Black pride movement because these two groups’ messages of personal responsibility are the same.

Hip Hop Culture: While I respect artistic freedom, the current rap culture is detrimental to all youths.  For us, rap reflected urban life but those suffering wanted better for their families.  Today, “good kids” idolize thugs, pimps, bangers and dealers.  When I am on a college campus, I can’t tell the students (budding professionals) from common thugs and strippers.  In my day, we call those stupid high heels “come f me” pumps. When women ruin their feet, legs and backs from those shoes, Obamacare shouldn’t cover them because dumb is a preexisting condition.

President Obama’s Vision: While I love President Obama, I need to get Nixon-like for a second and make one thing perfectly clear.  Obama vision for what America should be isn’t the reality of what America is.  Is that the role of a president—to imagine what we should be and push toward that goal (FDR, Kennedy, Lincoln.)  I just feel puzzled sometimes when the president says “we are better than that…we are fair…we are pure hearted.” No brother Obama,  “you” are those things while most of us are a mess and a trip.  His family raised a wonderful person but some of the things at the top of his agenda have regular folks scratching our heads.  But, he is still my guy.

Schemes and Games: Theoretical people like me are often broke while hustlers stay paid with schemes and games.  We have hustlers on my street and hustlers on Wall Street.  It is now and has always been a dirty game and the simple rule of the game is to get and stay paid.  I think most of official Washington today is driven by the desire to stay paid rather than the hope of a better America.  Liberals don’t recognize that throwing taxpayers’ money at problems isn’t helping and ultra conservatives don’t realize that the tough boy approach isn’t working.

Silent Majority: I still believe that most Americans are good people who are put-off by drama coming out of Washington and the state houses. Jon Huntsman, Condi Rice and others seem as pure-hearted as me. When we get about the business of having a national effort to improve this great country from the bottom up, you should join us.

I will end this rambling blog post by highlighting the parts of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” that we loved in the pol sci department of my black college.  Those lyrics are timeless.

Fight the Power–Public Enemy

[Intro]
Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight. As a matter of fact, it’s safe to say that they would rather switch than fight.

[Verse 1]
1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hitting your heart cause I know you got soul
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you’re missing y’all
Swinging while I’m singing
Giving whatcha getting
Knowing what I know
While the Black bands sweating
And the rhythm rhymes rolling
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

[Hook]
Fight the power
We’ve got to fight the powers that be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj9SeMZE_Yw

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The Georgia Republican State Convention is popping this weekend so it’s time to play “count the negroes.”   I will get calls from Black GOP friends and associates regarding the size vehicle you could put all of the African-Americans at this event in at one time comfortably.   Escalade seems appropriate because we love ourselves some Cadillacs.

 
Georgia contains the best Black area in the world, Atlanta, and therefore, the state has many many business-oriented, self-made Blacks who are conservative to moderate on paper.   Secondly, outside of Atlanta, Blacks are use to functioning with GOP elected leaders.   The opportunity has been there for GOP candidates to enjoy 10, 20, or maybe 30% of the Black vote but they don’t want it because the regular GOP crew would see sizable Black numbers as an indicator of liberalism.

 
The 2014 U.S. Senate primary on the GOP side could be decided by a few votes.   This week, former Secretary of State Karen Handel jumped into the race.   This former Atlanta area elected official could have been governor if she cultivated a little of the Black support she experienced in the ATL but she was defeated in a primary runoff by 2500 votes.   Of course, the maneuver I am suggesting would have required Black voting in the GOP primary but wise folks know that the Dem team is weak in Georgia so the GOP primary is often where leaders are picked. I do it all the time.
 

Rep. Jack Kingston is in the senate race also. …Jack…cool Jack….my man Jack.  Careful, Jack. Please.   One on one, Kingston is one friendly guy but the GOP information (or disinformation) machine requires the delivery of rough talking point (yes, the Dems do the same thing.)   Jack is well liked in the Black community from Augusta to Warner Robins to Valdosta because he supports our military bases and farms.   So, Kingston should play that Rep. Austin Scott/Rep. Sanford Bishop nice guy role by voting the party line but limited the non-policy attacks on the president from the other party.   The Obama administration is currently giving them plenty of real targets so fire away nicely.

 
Handel or Kingston could get 20% of their primary votes from crossover Blacks who aren’t GOP if they play their cards right.   The percentage is more than enough to tip the scales to victory and if Michelle Nunn doesn’t jump into the race, the whole state should vote in the GOP primary.

 

In the land of MLK, “I have a dream” that one day the GOP—the party of Lincoln- will have a state convention with brothers and sistas with goatees and naturals.   I mean the bros should have goatees.   You know, guys who grew up on Black self-reliance discussions at the dinner table. People who are uncomfortable with the government being all up in their business.   People who don’t need the state to tell them to care for and feed their children.

 
Surprisingly, Clarence Thomas is one the most afro-centric cats on the nation stage and as Chuck D said about someone else “don’t tell me that you understand until you hear the man.”   A new Black conservatism could be based on Thomas’s book about his grandfather. Black southerners are primed to be separated from real liberals and from the thug element of the hip hop culture.   However, we can’t find a home inside the Right because the far Right likes ugly talk too much.   What’s a brother to do?

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The horrific, cowardly acts in Boston last year were carried out by young men who were brainwashed and/or radicalized. An argument can be made that all or most of us could be or have been radicalized on some level when inundated with too much of a particular point of view.

Blacks in America would be a good place to start this discussion. We knew upon arriving on these shores that wrongful actions brought us here. But, we had to patiently wait until the mid-1970s to experience the freedoms of this free nation. Americans who believe in the Christian Bible know our book is filled with references to waiting on the Lord and to me, being humbled by suffering prepares us for heaven as a proposed to those who think they have heaven on earth. Those cats might have a dated with a fire on the other side.

My friends from the Taxed Enough Already Party (TEA) are correct in many ways on taxes but they don’t have the patience of Black folks. If these guys don’t get what they want now, they are ready for an actual revolution…now.

People on both ends of the political spectrum often constantly listen to and read information from pumped-up sources. Too much of these opinions at one time can lead to an overdose. For example, viewers should know how to watch T.V. shows in their proper entertainment context.

Seinfeld doesn’t reflect all of my Jewish friends; Homeland doesn’t reflect all of my Muslim friends and the Real Housewives of Atlanta only reflects the lifestyles of about a dozen families in the ATL.

Oh, we should talk about Married To Medicine, the latest effort of the gay agenda at Bravo to make everyone else look foolish. (Kidding)

When I was a child, people said that politics was show business for ugly people. But, reality television has blown that out of the water…like blowing stumps on Swamp People. Today, the music T.V. channels have no music videos and the history channel has little history on it’s main channel. It’s all about reality shows and the affect of American culture could be cancerous.

The fight between lovely sistas in ball gowns last week on Married To Medicine should in no way reflect the behavior of Black professionals in Georgia. Bravo searched high and low (really low) for people who would trade dignity for instant fame. Oh, I knew as a child that lawyers, bankers, professors and physicians were regular people away from work and subject to the same drama as anyone else. Actually, my college sweetheart contends that her colleagues in the medical profession are socially awkward because they spent so many years in the books while others were learning social skills.

An old adage states “just because you paid for college, doesn’t mean you have class.” We have a problem in the Black community that centers on the desire for wealth. We like people to see us with shiny stuff in shiny cars heading to fancy meals at fancy places. If your natural abilities didn’t provide you the means to get this stuff, you can always marry well if you are smoking hot.

The Mariah lady to M to M is simply hood and will always be hood. The show is produced in some way in association with her production company. So, she sat in a board room at Bravo and pitched this product with promises of cattiness, ugliness and fights. The two lady doctors are classy as is the attractive woman Toya, who was basically jumped by Mariah. Of course, the hood has people without money who have class and they lack of money could be based on their refusal to compromise their integrity wealth.

So, people across America watch messy T.V. about groups of Americans they don’t know and formulate faulted opinions. “He is not this child’s father…either.” Then during the news hour, Fox News tells you that you are paying for these people to hang out all day while you are at work making money that a Kenyan born president will take from your check. On the other side of the extreme, MSNBC is doing the same thing from the stay point of “the government can fix all the problems in the nation with enough tax money….no one in America should be outside the middle class.” Huh? Can everyone be middle class? Isn’t the government ensuring a minimum quality of life basically socialism?

Fox, MSMBC and Bravo don’t brainwashing as well as the hip hop culture. Did I love hip hop as a college student? Yes sir, I was proud that urban youth created an art medium to reflect the realities of their situations. But today, life is imitating art because youth are glamorizing thugs and strippers while some students are actually downplaying their academic success. On his quality reality show last week, rapper T.I. told his kids that he never met a thug who wanted to be a thug. My man told them to rap about having a nice life. T.I. is the king of the South.

In summary, we need to be careful what we watch and hear because forces can radicalize you before you know it. In a diverse nation, there is no substitute for getting to know (humanizing) others. When we know each other, we can start the process of explaining now personal choices and decisions have consequences. If not, the next generation of Black southerners might include people that some people (including positive Blacks) will want to rightfully avoid.

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To me, Alicia  Keys has written the political song of the decade unbeknownst to her.   She was writing about love or whatever but the lyrics capture my feelings and concerns for the troubled environment in the political/policy arena.

The arena stinks out loud these days.  People are more interested in fighting the opposition than building solutions which improve our great nation.   Is the tail wagging the dog because people in official Washington are battling and giggling while the rest of the nation scratches our heads.

Look, I don’t hate members of any political party and hope that leaders can constructively dialog with each other.   While television fuels intramural conflicts among Americans, I personal believe (like General Colin Powell) that a silent majority of people in the political center and seeks healthy communication at the policy-making table.

I feel sorry for those who live for negativity and thrive on angst.  My life is too short to spend it bitter—that takes too much energy.   We should look at A. Keyes words as if they were written to ugly-acting political folks on both sides.

To be hopefully, I personally feel that we have many good-hearted Americans in the arena.   To start, I like the spirit of Barrack Obama, Jon Huntsman, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.   Also, the guys at No Labels are on the right track.  As readers of this blog know, I am a moderate Dem who votes for good people with secondary regard for party.   I am more interested in solutions, peace and regional issues.   Plus, good old plain talk is music to my ears.

In my community, the leaders that get us back to self-reliance and away from governmental preoccupation will be golden.   Politically, I am a brand new kind of me and I feel better than I did during my hyper-partisan college years.   Is anyone with me?   I know that rural southerners generally seek the good in people and situations.

Alicia Keys — Brand New Me

It’s been a while, I’m not who I was before
You look surprised, your words don’t burn me anymore
Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it’s clear to see
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
Can’t be bad, I found a brand new kind of free
Careful with your ego, he’s the one that we should blame
Had to grab my heart back
God know something had to change
I thought that you’d be happy
I found the one thing I need, why you mad
It’s just the brand new kind of me

It took a long long time to get here
It took a brave, brave girl to try
It took one too many excuses, one too many lies
Don’t be surprised, don’t be surprised

If I talk a little louder
If I speak up when you’re wrong
If I walk a little taller
I’ve been on to you too long
If you noticed that I’m different
Don’t take it personally
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
And it ain’t bad, I found a brand new kind of free

Oh, it took a long long road to get here
It took a brave brave girl to try
I’ve taken one too many excuses, one too many lies
Don’t be surprised, oh see you look surprised

Hey, if you were a friend, you want to get know me again
If you were worth a while
You’d be happy to see me smile
I’m not expecting sorry
I’m too busy finding myself
I got this
I found me, I found me, yeah
I don’t need your opinion
I’m not waiting for your ok
I’ll never be perfect, but at least now i’m brave
Now, my heart is open
And I can finally breathe
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of free
That ain’t bad, I found a brand new kind of me
Don’t be mad, it’s a brand new time for me, yeah

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hill harper
Between Barrack Obama and his Harvard Law School classmate actor Hill Harper, I surprisingly think that Harper could have as big an impact on young Americans of all colors.  Hill has dedicated his life to sharing positive information with others.  Below are my notes from his first book.  The underline sections are the beings of paragraphs that I really found useful.

Letters To A Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny         Author: Hill Harper

Xii           I want young men to have knowledge of the things that bring them true empowerment: education, a strong sense of purpose, compassion, confidence, and humility to name a few.

Xvi          It is no coincidence that both my mother and father became doctors just as it is no accident that I graduated from Brown University magna cum laude and received graduate degrees with honors from Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government.  My family taught me that doing my best, educating myself, and being in service to others were not optional and that having values and being truthful were not negotiable.

p. 5         You will live longer, become better educated, make more money and be happier than the previous generation.  You are here to improve the human race, and you need to embrace that.

p. 8         A good man is honest, lives his life with integrity, and behaves responsibly.

p. 9         Be Balanced

p. 13      You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends.

p. 14      While it is important to have friends, it’s also important to realize that you, completely on your own, have to be able to make yourself happy.

p. 17      There is nothing wrong

p.  20     Luckily, as I matured

p. 21      Rejection is God’s protection

p. 21      So the most important thing I learned is that my absentee parent didn’t leave me, she left the situation.  My mom left the relationship with my father because she felt she had no other choice.  Even though your father may have left when you were a baby, it’s important that you realize he didn’t leave you.  He didn’t even know you.  Your father left for reasons that had nothing to do with you.

p. 24      Truth be told

p. 24      Also, you may not

p. 33      Will Smith: Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.

p. 34      School, as hard as it may seem, is easier than the real world.

p. 36      The only two areas in your life where you should allow yourself to owe someone else money is for school (education debt) and when you buy your house – and notice I’m saying “when” you buy your house not “if” – that’s what we call “mortgage debt.”

p. 42      Hey, man

p. 44      General Colin Powell: “There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

p. 44      “Working smart” means using your brains first to formulate a plan of how to “work” most effectively.  If you are working smart, you are first very clear about what you want to achieve – that’s your goal. Then, before you take the first step toward achieving that goal, you use all the knowledge and information you have at your disposal to decide what the most effective route will be to get there.

p. 66      “There are some things that money can’t buy.”  In fact,, if you break it down, money can buy one thing, and one thing only and you know what that is?  Options.  Money cannot buy you freedom or happiness or love.  If you have enough money, it gives you options as to what you can do in your life and with your life.

p. 68      More focus needs to be put on developing an inner happiness, doing what you love, and having faith that if you do these things, the money will come.

p. 69      For instance

p. 74      The first car

p. 79      Girls are attracted

p. 81      Women care about much more than just external things.  A woman wants a man who will treat her with respect and wants to do fun things with her and make her laugh.

p. 82      Sanaa Lathan: All I want to know is can I talk to him?  Is he really interested in getting to know how my mind works?  Does he truly listen when we talk?  Do we have fun, do we laugh, and ultimately how do I feel when we’re together?  Be careful of wearing too much bling cuz it might outshine your better qualities.

p. 87      Throughout the history of the world more men have been brought down and had their lives destroyed because of their irresponsible sexual activity than by any other single act.

p. 88      Sex is not a bad thing.

p. 89      And remember, just because a woman wants to have sex with you, it doesn’t mean you should feel you have to have sex with her.

p. 90      Men have lost

p.  92     Gabrielle Union: Oftentimes as girls and women

p. 99      Let’s face it-mistakes

p. 101    Mistakes are decisions we have control over.  And you can make a mistake in an instant, which is why it’s important to know who you are and what you stand for before you find yourself in a situation where you make a wrong decision.

p.  103   It seems a recurring theme

p.  111   So let me set you straight- making money is not a goal.  Making money is a result.

p. 114    If you find what you love to do then, ‘hard work’ becomes easy – it’s more fun than just chillin’ or doing some job just for the money.  If you’re doing something you love, working hard at it is more fun than working just to work; now that’s hard!

p. 116    Venus Williams: School is very important

p. 122    Here are some questions

p. 128    I’ll give you an example….Barrack Obama

p. 129    You have to first, dream; and second, work hard to achieve those dreams.

p. 135    “There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen; those who wait for things to happen; and those who sit and wonder what happen.”

p.  155   Every day we are faced with challenges and choices.  Some are harder than others.  And sometimes, what seems like a big deal at the time doesn’t matter at all a week later.  The one thing I’ve learned is that if I approach each day with an attitude of gratitude, even the most difficult challenges fail to bring me down.

p. 156    Obama: Life appears to be hard

p. 161    Wealth comes from knowing both your value in the world, as well as the value of the blessings life has brought you- family, friends, future opportunities, health, and the opportunity for true unreasonable happiness.  You win when you embrace all of these and look toward the future with a positive attitude.  So yes, you are wealthy already if you just look around you.

p. 163    Another wealth component

 

p. 167    Mantras and affirmations are strong tools that have been used for thousands of years in prayer and meditation.

I promise:

-          To be strong so that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.

-          To make everyone feel that there is something special in them.

-          To look at the positive side of everything and make my optimism come true.

-          To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

-          To learn from the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

-          To have a cheerful presence at all times and give every living creature I meet a smile.

-          To give so much time and effort to the improvement of myself that I have no time to criticize others.

-          To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

-          To be a light for others, not a judge of others.

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My thoughts on the future of Black political centrists in the South have been two weeks and/or two decades in the making.   So, brace yourself for an unusual brainstorm.  The open U.S. Senate race in Georgia next year forces us to plot our best plan for representation.

 
Senator Saxby Chambliss is an establishment Republican and I have appreciated his service regarding the regional issues of agriculture, military and veterans.   Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. Jack Kingston, now Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and those who went to congress in the early 1990s worked together on issues of vital importance to the peach state.   In this Progressives vs. the Tea Party era, I miss that old school dialog.

 
For two weeks, I have been hearing that the Democrats won’t likely field a viable Senate candidate and the practical part of me says that moderate to conservative Georgia Dems could and should vote in the GOP primary next year to ensure that we don’t have a divider  representing our diverse state.

 
I was thinking about who is a “natural” Democrat or “natural” Republican last week and it made my head hurt.   While watching to the T.V. show TMZ, a story came on about Raspberry favoring of food.  It turns out that a food can be labeled as naturally Raspberry because it is natural and taste like Raspberry but it comes from the backside of a beaver. http://www.befoodsmart.com/blog/tag/raspberry-flavor/

 
That isn’t natural to me and it’s not natural to force everyone in a big state like Georgia into two political parties and expected them to naturally and neatly stay there.   A few years ago, the Georgia Dems lost two rising young stars to the GOP.   Ashley Bell of Gainesville and blogger Andre Walker of Atlanta were on CNN explaining their rationale and it seemed natural to me.   Before, they were my brothers and today they are still my brothers.   Walker once wished happy birthday on facebook to the naturalized American actress Charlize Theron, whom he considered an African-American because she is an American born in South Africa. Huh?

 
I personally like the No Labels political movement because we shouldn’t run away trying to put people neatly into boxes and categories. Like they say at church, we should look at a person’s “thoughts, words, and deeds.”

 
A Black conservative from the ATL told me yesterday that Rep. Tom Price looks good to him in the race for U.S. Senate.  I asked about his track record for explaining conservatism to non-conservatives and dude could say anything.   Remember, the wave created by the Tea Party doesn’t cotton well to conservatives talking with others without yelling.  Moderates and liberals are often viewed as the enemy.

 
Look, on Capitol Hill, I worked for Rep. Charles Hatcher, Rep. Don Johnson and Rep. Sanford Bishop and all three strongly insisted that we listened to and served everyone in the congressional district—not just the people who voted for them.   I was personal friends with a staffer in Rep. Kingston’s office and would hang after work with her at conservative functions because she was a natural hair wearing, smart Spelman College woman.   Yeah, Jack had a Spelman grad in a major position on his legislative team.   I talked with Kingston alone at a reception one night for 15 minutes and came away with an appreciation for his commitment to southern Georgia.   He mentioned that he promoted south Georgia colleges and universities during his time in the Georgia statehouse because students should get quality educations in our part of the state also.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/59464/october-18-2005/better-know-a-district—georgia-s-1st—jack-kingston

 
We would trip about Kingston going to political forums at Savannah State University without staff.   The guy loves the lively debate. Actually, he was the first member of congress to brave Stephan Colbert’s “Better Know a District” segment.   Because Kingston briefly lived in Ethiopia as a child, Colbert decided that he is an African American—like Charlize Theron.   There you have it; Jack Kingston is an African American who might run for U.S. Senate next year.   Some wiseacre is going to Kingston knows as much about the southern African American experience as my man President Obama.   I will leave that alone but he like knows more than most GOP candidates for Senate.

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Moderates need to use the coming Georgia U.S. Senate race as an opportunity to flex our “king making, scale tipping” muscles. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is an old school pro-business Republican rather than a new school pro-crazy drama starter. The far Right wants him gone and they want him to take any member of congress who talks with the other side with him.  No.

The extreme radical element of the GOP shouldn’t run Georgia or America. They are small in numbers yet vocal and crafty. Well, the reasonable center is huge and somewhat homeless regarding political parties. Since Georgia is a red state because the Democratic Party is poorly organized, Saxby’s replacement will likely be decided in a July primary rather than a November general election. Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. John Barrow or Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed could beat a Tea Party candidate but that is too risky.

Moderate Democrats must consider the possibility of swaying the Republican primary to a Saxby-like conservative. This move keeps a zealot out Georgia’s Senate office. Personally, I would pick Rep. Austin Scott or Rep. Jack Kingston because I want one of the two Senators to come from south Georgia and have a history of serving agriculture and military areas.

Since rural Georgia Democrats are as conservative as California Republicans, we can dig the whole no labels approach to governing—voting for a less bitter conservative would be easy.  We need solutions; we need peaceful dialog.  We need someone who will join with the Blue Dogs, Jon Huntsman, Barrack Obama, Condi Rice, Jeb Bush and Colin Powell to get about the business of fixing what is broken with our government and our mindsets.

Furthermore, candidacies for this Senate seat will likely open up U.S. House seats and I want to see some variety in the Georgia congressional delegation. A minority or woman in the Georgia congressional delegation from the GOP side would be peachy keen because someone should be at the table to say “enough with the silliness…let’s do the people’s work and govern.”

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