Posts Tagged ‘Bush’

It’s 5:15 a.m. on Day Lights Saving Time Sunday morning and my clock just fell back.  In American politics, it feels like we are falling back in time also.  Are we near a cultural Civil war and isn’t “civil” war the ultimate oxymoron.  The one thing that is sure is that we need to have a better understanding of other’s points of view and the governmental process under which we function and live.

The Tea Party is a good place to start.  By Tea Party, I mean the original Boston Tea Party.  We have conveniently forgotten that the British taxes at the center of the debate were to recoup funds spent on the colonies’ defense during the French and Indian War.  War and defense cost money. The Boston Tea Party wasn’t a protest inside the current form of government; it was an effort to overthrown the current form of government and some current protest today have the same thing in mind.

President Obama and most reasonable Americans know that the fundamental concerns of the Tea Party Movement are valid: federal spending and debt; size and role of government; and grow of entitlements. The nation would be better if all America “carried themselves” with a moral compass and a sense of shame as we did in the past.  The government currently addresses problems that shouldn’t be problems at all.  However, extremists on both ends of the political spectrum would ignore the U.S. Constitution and the foundation of this great nation. 

It would be socialism if the government provided a nice house for every American.  The government should provide a fair climate where every American has an opportunity to grow and prospers but if that doesn’t happen, you deal with the cards resulting from your actions or inactions.  On the other hands, extremists on the far Right would interweave church and government for better moral fiber.  Would America be better if we all followed a faith?  Yes.  But, the question becomes should the government mandate this faith and which one?  As much as we respect them, the founding fathers at times goofed. Slavery is one obvious time and some believe that Christianity should have been the official faith with tolerance for other faiths.

We shouldn’t play with the intent of the founders or the foundation of this country.  We are in a mini Civil War in the South base largely on energy policy and health care policy.  President Carter was correct in the 1970s: we need a comprehensive energy policy to end our dependence on foreign oil.  The Cap and Trade provision of the energy legislation passed by the U.S. House fueled the Tea Party protest. New York Time columnist Thomas Friedman has written several great books on our energy futures and we must make tough decisions and changes.  Of course, the agriculture community gets my deference because we all must eat the food they grow but we must figure out farming methods that use less energy.  The last Farm Bill promotes research on producing renewable energy.

I must be half asleep because I am about to type: the problem with President Obama.  Okay Tea Party people here it is: We Obama supporters and President Obama himself know that some things could have been done better or differently. The same could be said about Bush 43 who I actually liked on some level. President Obama is real…straight real…too real.  We elected him to implement big changes but the adoring crowds weren’t listening to the guy.  He constantly said, “It won’t be easy…It’s won’t happen overnight….I can’t do it alone…we must do the hard part.” 

As quiet as it is kept, Michelle Robinson Obama was raised in the model conservative family environment and if she starts speaking freely and sternly about how we are “carrying ourselves,” her importance in history might overshadow her husband.  The residual benefit Sanford Bishop’s congressional service was always his positive image for the all kids.  The Huxtables on the Cosby Show and the Obamas in the White House have the same benefit.  The Georgia GOP botched the opportunity to have Dr. Deborah Honeycutt in Congress as a conservative example from a southern family but Mario Rubio and Austin Scott will be there to provide a fact-base form of conservatism that moves the nation forward with dialog rather than fear.

Obama’s The Audacity of Hope outlined problems and solutions with healthcare.  He pointed out that preventive care that comes with having every American seeing a doctor regularly could save billions and fund changes.  Obama was half right because what was also needed was far Right teeth. I don’t mean a dental plan; I mean public policy with teeth, bite or strong consequences.  The kids in my family love their Uncle Teddy and their uninsured Uncle Teddy has made diet and exercise adjustments to stay under 240 pounds.  A doctor would tell me that 260, 280 or 300 pounds would trigger health problems that require expensive treatment. 

Wait a second; if the doctor and the healthcare plan told Uncle Teddy that buffets could lead to a certain point where expensive treatment would be self-funded or not administered, I basically dug my own grave and they should spend that money on a nice fat double-breasted suit for my funeral.  It sounds cold but that is the reality of avoiding taxing or charging some people to pay for life choices of other.  While we are working out on the tennis courts, cats drop by with triple cheese burgers in hand. “What’s up, man.”   What’s up?…your cholesterol levels and your blood pressure…that’s what’s up.

These mini Civil Wars could be avoided if good conservatives worked with moderates sincerely.  In the South, we often find those individuals who feel they are more American than others for some reason.  I am proud that I had a dorm assignment at UGA and briefly attended grad school at  UF (Go Gators) but I knew that I want to be at my HCBU to study from people who reminded us that we helped built this great nation for free while not free.  We actually toiled in southern fields for over a hundred years before America was America in 1776.  How difference is “go back to Africa” from “I want my country back.”  President Obama  likely thinks that we can all join hands and sing “This land is your land…this land is my land” but he did grow up in my dirty South so he doesn’t know that no one is giving up or shares money and power without a struggle.

Oops, I am flashing back to those revolutionary days of youth when radicals hit us with too much “knowledge and wisdom.”  That stuff could come in measured dosages.  From the Boston Tea Party to John Brown to George Wallace to the Black Panthers to the current Tea Party, Americans must remember that our opinions and plans must be coordinated within our framework of government and among all Americans.  If the people decide to move slowly, not at all or in another direction, we must respect the process.

After the ballot drama Bush v. Gore, Democrats acknowledged President Bush as leader of this nation.  When President Bush decided that military actions in Iraq rather than Afghanistan only was the course, I respected that jacked-up decision (Cheney lied to 43).  Oh, but don’t let regular people elected Obama; folks start talking about second amendment remedies and secession.    

Big corporations, unions and lobbyists are fueling these civil wars…pitting Americans against Americans.  It is shame that some politicians on both sides think the objective for the next two years is winning the White House in 2012.  The clear objective is to reduce federal spending while growing the economy and creating the climate for job creation while keeping us safe.

New members of the congress should put the best interest of the nation above partisan politics because the people in this fast internet age have no problem tossing those guys out every two years…work together.  

I need to go because it is communion Sunday at church.  Yes, Democrats and moderates go to church and try to practice what is preached during the rest of the week. During my lifetime, overhyped people killed folks while they were worshipping in church…be careful with that fun rhetoric because civil wars are nothing with which to play.  



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I want to be the first to say Happy Holidays but how happy can the season be with the constant political bickering and endless campaigning.  Do you mean the 2010 elections and the 2012 presidential race have already started.  Give me a break…literally.  Barring something huge, my blogging for the rest of year will focus on what we can do as a community to mend ourselves with less government spending and involvement—the regular stuff is debated and discussed too much elsewhere on the web and T.V.  It’s covered. 

We are thinking about Obama and Congress every wake hour because the national agenda (jobs, security, job security) is very important but do we think about Sweet Jesus this much?  (I know I don’t and yes, momma, if lightning struck me down, I would bust hell wide open.) 

I just googled “hell wide open” and someone wrote that people should read Luke 6:37: And judge not and ye shall not be judged: and condemn not and ye shall not be condemned.  Wow, that is timely because my moderate friends did not ride Bush 41 or Bush 43 like Clinton was ridden and Obama needs a saddle on his back.  But, the hatred for Hillary Clinton when she was first lady was inexplicable.  Some of those same people realized last year that Hillary was always a quality person but they were too busy hating to see that in the 90s.  In contrast, my friends think Laura Bush is one of the most reasonable people on the right; heaven only knows what drama the last White House would have gotten the nation into without her private counsel.   

I am patiently waiting for President Obama to drop his “community heal thou self” effort.  People who know how to listen heard him say that from the second he stepped on the national stage.  That call can only come from the Obamas, Colin Powell, Dr. Condi Rice, Oprah, Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, and posthumously Arthur Ashe.  Wait a minute, most Black families had that message back in the day and many still do. If those discussions (which are nothing new) started to hit home, they become our own version of conservatism/moderation.  On a lighter note, my buddy told his son that no White man was going to fly all over the world in cold weather to bring him free gifts.  Dude said, “I bought you that stuff with the money I made at work.” 

During Thanksgiving, we broke folks are tempted to say, “why should I be thankful.” A quick ride to the other side of town can quickly put things into perspective or rewatching Roots, Saving Private Ryan, or Schindler’s List.  The new movie Precious might be one for that list also.  When you see people staving in the developing world or watch a person who can’t move below his chest, you should get it.  But, we spend some much money helping those who poison themselves with drugs or who’s health situation is a result of overeating.  I have been to some places in the world where they could not image having enough food to get sick from obesity. When I walk down the street there, people say, “Hello American” as if to say I know you are an American because you have a belly…. congratulations on having some much food.    

For the rest of the year, my blog post might seem more social commentary or community dreaming than political views and insight.  However, the new line of discussions is at the root of my concerns more than what the government can, will or should do.  What was J.F.K.’s most important quote again?

Happy Holidays

Keep it logical

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I just finished reading Toni Morrison’s book A Mercy and may I keep it real by saying Nobel Prize or not, I just don’t understand her writing.  The book focuses on slavery and indentured servitude in the Americas in the1680s. 


One good part of the book includes the section “You say you see slaves freer than free men.  One is a lion in the skin of an ass.  The other is an ass in the skin of a lion.  That it is the withering inside that enslaves and opens the door for what is wild.”


The last lines in the book are the best: “It was not a miracle.  Bestowed by God.  It was a mercy.  Offered by a human.  I stayed on my knees.  In the dust where my heart will remain each night and every day until you understand what I know and long to tell you: to be given dominion over another is a hard thing; to wrest dominion over another is a wrong thing: to give dominion of yourself to another is a wicked thing.”


Morrison’s writing has always been over my head and I am man enough to acknowledge my limitations.   Can you believe that some small-minded people are bracing for President-Elect Obama’s “dominion” over them; somebody did not play attention in high school government class.  Anyway, a person or system can only enslave your body; not your spirit or soul.  Obama is one good guy who will govern (not rule over) and people who have never been around good people need some new friends.


Strangely, I am writing about personnel management—I use to be in “personnel hell” while working with good people in an odd operation–“have mercy.”  Some former coworkers still complain that they were “done wrong for years.”  That statement is a contradiction in terms because no one can do you wrong for years if you are there voluntarily.  As Dr. Phil would say, you did yourself wrong for staying in that situation for such a long time.  Ms. Morrison said it best when she wrote that it is wicked to give someone dominion over you. 


Psalm 34:13-14 Keep thy tongue from evil, And thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and purse it.  


(okay, I just added the free Bible to my smart phone; but I am far from righteous…yet)  http://www.olivetree.com/resources/bibles/


Rough times at home or work remind me of the quote “all that does not kill you, makes you stronger.”  Being in a tough situation can be a welcomed opportunity to grow and develop—some of us grew up soft while others were strengthen by circumstances and conditions that children should not experience.



Reading about Black and White slaves and near-slaves who arrived here in the hulls of ships made me think about Africa.  History should remember that President Bush’s policies and efforts in Africa were outstanding and I thank him for that—he actually walked the walk.  If two others were not all up in his ear with incorrect counsel, things might have been different.  (Like Ms. Morrison, I am going to be peculiarly vague about the “two others” but maybe some Rice would have been better for his Colin than a  R.C.)  






Unpopular at home, Bush basks in African praise


Banners across the route, decorated with Bush’s image against a backdrop of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, read: “We cherish democracy. Karibu (welcome) to President and Mrs Bush.”

Others read: “Thank you for helping fight malaria and HIV.” Dancers at the airport and at Kikwete’s state house to greet Bush on Sunday, wore skirts and shirts decorated with his face.

Although many Africans, especially Muslims, share negative perceptions of Bush’s foreign policy with other parts of the world, there is widespread recognition of his successful humanitarian and health initiatives on the continent.

Bush has spent more money on aid to Africa than his predecessor, Bill Clinton, and is popular for his personal programs to fight AIDS and malaria and to help hospitals and schools.

Bush has stressed new-style partnerships with Africa based on trade and investment and not purely on aid handouts.

His Millennium Challenge Corp. rewards countries that continue to satisfy criteria for democratic governance, anti-corruption and free-market economic policies.

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I can’t believe the GOP is taking about the redistribution of wealth and socialism—are you kidding me?  I went to college in the early 80s after doing my best K through 12.  While I am no Condi Rice, Barrack Obama or Hemingway, I did well at country county high and was disappointed to learn that I would be paying for college with student loans.  What?


You know the students from families in the middle-income range—to much money for grants but not enough money to write a tuition, room and board check.  If President Reagan thought my parents had the money to fund my education, he should have required them to do so.  To add insult to injury, the guys who played and “cut the fool” for 12 years were in college also—taking remedial classes for a year and a half—wait for it—free!  Because of family income (or lack there of), these students graduated debt free and I ended up graduating with honors and a student loan—the redistribution of wealth. 


Don’t get me wrong, it warms the heart to see friends who grew up facing constant adversity as current homeowners, great parents and pillars of the community.  In retrospect, the route I should have taken was to declare myself an emancipated minor with a mall job and qualified for grants also.


Like the Obamas, my student loan was/is around into my forties and like Senator Obama, I worked as a community service person.  Check this out: if your student loan was based on lack of family income, the federal government will forgive it for doing that type work, i.e. teaching in a rough school.  But, my loan can’t be forgiven because of my family’s income decades ago.  Really?


Republican President Ford signed the Earned Income Tax Credit into law in 1976.  The EITC was designed to offset the burden of payroll taxes for low-income working families and to provide incentives to work.  Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush have expanded the program and I must say helping the working poor get above the poverty level is much better than welfare.  The program taxes one group to give money to another group—Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush.  What’s the definition of socialism again.


Some people feel that the federal government should think Darwinism or the “Survival of the fittest” went making policy.  While these concepts are controversial, socialism v. Darwinism in the congress in the 90s was Cynthia McKinney v. Newt Gingrich.  Congresswoman McKinney and the well-intended liberals argued that the government should ensure a minimum quality of life for everyone while Speaker Gingrich crafted policies that worked toward giving people the opportunity to achieve if they stayed focused and worked hard.  But, if you did not make it; hey, that’s life, law of the jungle.


Funny thing: those guys from my community who went to college on Pell Grants are with Newt in their mindsets—and Newt is one of the only conservatives who realizes the political potential.  The money they received for college has been paid back many times over in middle class taxes.  

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