Posts Tagged ‘Macon’

If crystal balls were real, I would look into one and tell Georgia what will happen with congress reapportionment and the 2012 elections (no need to state the obvious in safe seats.)

Georgia 2nd District: Macon, Columbus and Albany will again be in this district and it will be Dem for the next ten years.  If Rep. Bishop decides to move into a position with the next administration (Obama or some GOP POTUS), the GOP should start grooming a likable African American candidate who is less bitter (a Black Scott Brown.)  If Bishop is unbeatable in 2012, wise guys in the GOP should discourage anyone from running just to be running because Bishop’s campaign apparatus serves as the S.W. Georgia foundation of Obama 2012. 

Georgia 8th District: This district becomes unwinnable for a Democrat with the exit of the Dem. sections of Macon.  As in the 2nd, energy and resources spent running a candidate could be better spent in truly contested congressional districts or charitable contributions.  If we free up members from raising money, they would have more time to seek solutions and would be less beholden big money donors.

Georgia 1st District: While members don’t own districts, Rep. Jack Kingston is one conservative who doesn’t deserve token Dem. opposition.  Kingston has built a strong relationship in the Black community with his work on regional interests, frequent visits to “Democratic” events and his long history of hiring minority staffers.  He covers southeast Georgia like the dew or that funny smell from the paper mills.

Georgia 12th District: With the exit of Savannah to the 1st, this congressional race will be hotter than fish grease.  A few GOP members of the state legislature will run because it’s their turn but they should dust off Michael Steele’s old diversity plans and find a woman, a minority or a minority woman.  From the political center, I will say that the GOP doesn’t understand how easy it would be for women and minorities to support a less bitter conservative who adds range to the old boys club.  Rep. Barrow could switch to the GOP now and be safer; but he will likely stay Dem and count on the GOP producing a primary winner with little appeal to the center.  

Georgia New District: Hall County based…safely conservative.

Summary: Georgia is the biggest state east of the Mississippi River and President Obama needs to win it to have a second term.  Half of Georgia lives in metro Atlanta and there are a dozen different types of Black folks and a dozen different types of White folks in the peach state.  While urban Blacks are real liberals, rural Blacks could support certain conservatives in certain situations.  In this crystal ball, I see President Obama leaving office in 2013 or 2017 (hard to make out) but the aftermath is rough on the Black community.  We put all of our political eggs in one basket and an elephant is kicking that basket across the South. 

With secondary concern with presidential politics, our community should build a functional relationship with conservatives—at least the Black ones.  My dear brother Obama thought he would find a few conservatives interested in dialog and compromise but hell no.  If I could see into the conservative strategy meetings, it seems that the plan is to beat up on the president so much that we would say, “come home, man, before the stress beats you down.”  He said he was tough (which means the ablilty to take punishment like the only Black kid in a whole school.)  But to lead in this times, he needs to be rough also (like elbows on the basketball court.)


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In the Fall, Georgia should have a campaign visit from one or more of the Democrat Big Three: President Obama, President Bill Clinton or First Lady Michelle Obama.  Where is my ticket or can I get the hook-up.  The logical facility for this historic event would be the Macon Coliseum because Georgia is the biggest state this side of the Mississippi River and logistics can be a bear. My county, Worth County, is half the size of Rhode Island.   

Macon would mean that Georgians could drive equal distances to the venue and the congressional districts that need a little Dem star power converge in that region (the 2nd, 8th and 12th districts.)  The problem that the congressmen from the 2nd and 12th have nice relationships with the White House while Rep. Jim Marshall from Macon has chosen to go it alone. 

In the early 90s, I was worked for the Democrat congressman who represented Augusta and Athens, and a visit to the district from Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary was on the schedule.  A reporter asked my boss if he wanted Bill Clinton to campaign with him in Georgia and the congressman said basically he would do his own campaign.  O’Leary call our office and when on about “Bill is my friend and you don’t ask me to help you and disregard my friends.” 

Secretary O’Leary is currently the president of Fisk University and is saving that historically rich Black college from the brink of closure.  Fisk alumni include W.E.B. DuBois, Nikki Giovanni, Congressman Alcee Hastings, James Weldon Johnson, Congressman John Lewis, Mrs. Alma Powell and Secretary O’Leary.  In 2005, the financial situation at Fisk was so dire that they considered selling artwork given to the school by painter Georgia O’Keeffe.  If anyone can save Fisk for future generations, O’Leary is that person. 

When the White House and the DNC consider where to dispatch the big guns, Macon should be at the top of the list.  If not, Rep. Marshall must have said “no thanks”—a move that hurts the entire Dem ticket in Georgia.  Albany State University or Fort Valley State University would host a big three event but the Georgia Dome will likely get the nod and Rep. Marshall will not think about being on that stage.  They should send Hazel O’Leary to rap with him.  “Look here…let me holler at you for a second, partner….you don’t ignore Bill nor this outstanding young couple in the White House.  Keep this up and you will find yourself by yourself.” 

Secretary Hazel O'Leary

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Election season can be awkward because the process doesn’t always allow the flexibility for voters to express themselves.  We have primaries, party slates and candidates who make assumptions from their election results.  I voted in the Republican primary six years ago because I wanted to support innovative Senate candidate Herman Cain but I skipped most of the other candidates because I basically wasn’t feeling them. 

In 2008, my political friends could have called me a rare S.O.B. because I voted for Saxby, Obama and Bishop (B.O.S. would have had less flair.)  Centrists are constantly weighing regional interests, party loyalty and personal views when selecting candidates.  While we are months away, I have no idea what I am going to do in the Senate race between two exceptional Georgians who have both served our state well.  I do know that my party doesn’t control all of my votes and that people should follow their guts.

The other day I was thinking that I was “ghost” on the other contests in that Republican primary since I was there to “primarily” support Cain.  Since people fought some hard for the right to vote, would skipping a contest on the ballot be wrong or a gesture of “none of the above.”

In a related situation, many incumbents have no primary opposition.  In a light bulb moment, I thought not voting for an unopposed incumbent in a primary could be away of letting that candidate know that we shouldn’t be taken for granted.  Of course, the candidate still advances to the general election but he or she knows that we are weighting our options.  Those options might include “ghost” voting in November if we choose—like none of the above.  After the primary, a candidate would discover that a significant number of people who voted in other races skipped his name. 

For example, the number of new Obama voters who only voted for president is alarming; that situation was flat silly since they didn’t know the importance of other offices.  The buzz term this election season is “low information voters” and it was created to label people who get their news from one very opinionated source.  To be fair, I think people in my community who vote a straight party slate and assume that a candidate with a “D” on his jersey is 100% “down for the cause” are also “low information voters.”

For sake of full disclosure, the election of President Obama was one of the coolest events of my life; I really like the guy and hope he is successful in improving our great nation.  As quiet as it is kept, my appreciation goes out to Republicans who also voted for him and Democrat centrists will give their party’s better candidates a good and fair look this year.

In Georgia, Representative Jim Marshall has wisely balanced his membership in the Democrat Party with the conservative views of large segments of his district.  In a perfect world, Marshall would be an independent who is free to vote his mind every time but in this political world, congressmen must slide with their team more often than not.  On several key votes, Marshall was ghost for the Democrat team but low information voters don’t know it. 

Actually, we never learned if Marshall voted for Obama or McCain but his skipping the Democrat National Convention wasn’t cool with me.  In addition to formal nominating a presidential candidate, those conventions are where officials like Marshall fight to pull the control of the party platform nearer the center of America and away from the far left.  He is a smart guy and when Obama/Biden needed him, he was ghost.  I have never seen a picture of Marshall and Obama—what up with that.  But, I remember him stating in campaign ads years ago that he did this and that with President Bush. 

Voters in middle Georgia remember Marshall’s quality leadership as mayor of Macon, Georgia, but a little wake up call might be helpful to remind him that we like him but love this President.  The Democrat Party can’t control us like sleep.  Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is considering supporting a Republican friend running for Obama’s old Senate seat. Can he do that?   

Voters in the Democrat primary should consider “ghost voting” by not automatically voting for unopposed Marshall in the primary this summer and if he skips more major votes that the White House needs November could be up in the air.  I appericate the kind statements Macon’s current mayor made about Obama during the presidential campaign; he has a bright future. (Wink) While most of our community doesn’t care for Republicans, we occasionally vote for conservatives who might add a voice of reason in their meetings; we vote for Blue Dogs we considering moderate to conservative.  Heck, President Obama put several Republicans in his cabinet but only one  Blue Dog and zero members of the Congressional Black Caucus.  If the GOP takes the Congress, the influence and views of a few reasonable Republicans could be more important to the WH than a Dem with a history of being ghost. 

In the old school, we played the Police album “Ghost In The Machine” to death and love the cut “Spirits in the Material World.”  That song had the lyric “They subjugate the meek…but it’s the rhetoric of failure.”  Today, we are subjugating ourselves by locking in with one group and not listening to valid alternatives.  I have always respected the Police because they constantly acknowledge that their music is rooted in the reggae from Jamaica.  The current base of the Georgia Democrat Party is rooted in my community and that fact should be remember when we say help the President from our party. 

Party politics often centers on political machines, those groups of people who get the vote out in large numbers.  Machines often recommend candidates but don’t monitor them once elected.  In Tifton, Georgia, two years ago, I would tell people with Obama/Biden stickers that the local Democrat congressman wasn’t really a supporter of the ticket and their mouths would drop—low information voters.  Our modern-day “Ghost In The Machine” should be ghost-voting candidates who take us for granted.  The political machines wouldn’t like that very much but everyone would be on their toes. 

To my GOP friends (all both of you), your whole party seems like a great big machine at times.  If a Democrat has listened to you on regional issues, you should ignore national groups who say he or she is not fair and attentive.  You guys have some real ghost busters in your camp.  Your machine shouldn’t tell candidates to avoid any dialog with those of different opinions. 

This ghost voting idea could really be something. 

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The race in Georgia’s 8th congressional district won’t be a race at all without a game-changer element; a Republican candidate who can benefit from Rep. Marshall’s icy attitude toward President Obama.  The same Jim Marshall who was wild about mentioning President Bush in his past campaign ads.

 State Senator Ross Tolleson would be next viable candidate because he has the bio and credentials of a member of congress—UGA, banker, farmer, KA, family guy.  When I was a staffer, a KA ring was the ticket for Georgia power or Georgia Power. The question becomes: Is Tolleson that much different from Rep. Marshall in the eyes of the average voter?  Notice I said “the average voter” rather than pundits, bloggers, or strong party members.  While this is a mid-term election, Marshall’s townhall meeting sounded like a two-hour lovefest from the center and right.  To win a traditional GOP candidate must secure new voters on the far right because Marshall is already center right. 

 To me, this situation for the GOP is similar to Obama and Hillary.  It was Hillary’s turn and she would have made an excellent president—old girl is tough as nails.  But, the conservatives detest Bill and Hillary enough to rally around McCain and they might have won the White House.  It was not fair but life is not fair.  Hillary took one for the team. 

 I don’t see a traditional GOP candidate beating Marshall so if anyone asked me (no one ask me) I would say think outside the box, take advantage of the icy Obama situation and get a quality African American candidate.  Since the heaviest Black GOPer in the district would be the gentleman who ran for mayor of Macon and came up short, they should look just outside the district—which would bring suburban Atlanta into play.

 The Right really doesn’t understand Black voters.  I would take Dr. Deborah Honeycutt or Michael Murphy from suburban Atlanta and split the Black vote like a Georgia peach.  What a fascinating dilemma: incumbent congressman who is a former mayor with strong ties in every community who ices down the young president and blows off healthcare reform.  On the other hand, a GOP African American candidate who is conservative but smooth with it; keeping the vibe constructive and positive—a tea partier with a little honey mixed in. (That’s clever—“honey cut” into the tea from the bitterness of the protest).  Michael Murphy remains me of sage Donald Sutherland; he would be well received in professional Black circles and among those concerned with personal responsibility.  

 You know certain conservative principles would be more effective coming from certain voices. That’s your game changer.  Would Blacks vote for someone we like but only recently met?   Yes we can.

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While watching Georgia Tech fall to Miami in college football last night, the current national climate had me wondering if I am a racist for supporting the Canes’ young Black coach over my sister’s college.  I wanted Tech to win but there’s something about see a door open for minorities—it’s like having a Black president.

College football and congressional politics go together.  After both teams opened the season with victories, the Canes were better prepared for this game; their scout team must have done a fine job of simulating the Yellow Jackets in practice.  The Blue Dog Democrats are playing the scout team role for their party in preparation for battles with the Republicans; they introduce a certain amount of conservatism.  The GOP’s craftiness dictates that they will rarely assist their opposition intentionally.  With the healthcare debate, the Blue Dogs and Tea Party protesters actually forced the Democrats to slow down and improve the proposals.  Thanks. 

As a life-long college football fan (remember USC’s Anthony Davis scoring at will against Notre Dame in ‘74), I know recruiting is half of the battle.  HBO is running a documentary called “The Rivalry” about the Michigan and Ohio State football.  Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard is one of the many Ohio natives who played for the Maize and Blue.  In my personal opinion, Georgia’s two political parties can’t recruit worth a flip. The Democrats keep coming up with senatorial candidates who can’t win statewide and their best possible senatorial recruits (the House Blue Dogs) would rather stay safe in their current division—like 12,000 students Valdosta State playing Division II football when they have twice the enrollment of the ACC’s Wake Forest University.  Blazers, it’s time to step up to the D1-AA. 

The GOP has their own method of recruitment for congressional candidates and that is their business since that is not my team.  But, dad-gum, why wouldn’t they create a sub-division of moderates like the Democrats did with the Blue Dogs (formerly the Dixiecrats.)  Their strategy clearly is to whip the nation into a paranoid frenzy to swell their traditional ranks and of course moderates and minorities are put-off by those techniques–good policies, questionable methods.

Georgia Bulldog Joe Cox patiently waited his turn behind NFL top draft pick Matthew Stanford.  While others would have transferred for more playing time, Cox stayed in Athens for one real year as QB1.  Other top passing quarterbacks joined teams only to learn that their role would be handing the ball to running backs.  If the GOP were wise they would recruit the middle Georgia Blue Dog who is uncomfortable with the liberal direction of the D party.  Peace…see you around….we’ll holler.  But, they are not wise with recruitment or with scouting.  The same Blue Dog will vote the will of his constituents over White House initiatives this congress.  But, not so fast because the core Democrat base in his district will likely say, “what about us” at some point. 

To finishing this football comparison, coaches often use players in the wrong positions.  When spending quality time with my nephews playing Playstation college football (okay, my friends would say “You Lie” because I do play alone more often than not), I take the fastest player on the team and put him at quarterback while running the Option formation from the shotgun—the Wildcat offense.  I don’t care if the guy is a receiver or even a defensive back—just run that option.  I tell my GOP friends that they should recruit the African American lady doctor who ran in one congressional district to run in middle Georgia (a few counties over) and they would make history.   Again, we like seeing new doors open.




USC v. ND  1974


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father day

This weekend we will hear everything that can be said fondly about America’s fathers.  I wanted to take this opportunity to salute an often forgotten group, intentional childless men.  Some men take parenthood so seriously that they wait for the optimal time and conditions to bring a child into this world. 

If those conditions never occur, some deliberate guys choose to enjoy their wives, extended family and/or the sweet single life.  My wise cousin who grew up in Philly tells me to go where you want and do what you want when you want because you have neither “chick nor child.”  That statement must be her way of saying thank heaven that your selfish behind realized your selfishness and skipped parenthood. 

Fatherhood in the Black community is the toughest job you will ever love.  But, it is a roll of the dice.  My deer hunting friends (code for White guys) put that little red and black Georgia Bulldog football in the crib with their sons and look forward to gameday at Sanford Stadium in twenty years.  Of course, their sons will likely be sitting in the stands next to them rather than on the field.  What about the brothers who think that their sons practicing basketball 6 hours a day will get them into the N.B.A.  If Junior would get his homework with that much determination he could be in the N.B.A., the National Bankers Association and own a basketball team.  Wait a second; non-parents have no rights to offer commentary on parenting.

If I had to work as hard as my daddy did—that man loved working- to provide for some kids who might turnout to be crappy people, I will pass and by the looks of things a considerable percentage of those who produced children should have passed also.  If the kids are here, it is time to step up because the human infant is likely more dependant than any other mammal.  “Did he just refer to my precious buddle of joy as a mammal?” 

In high school, I worked at a little radio station and next to the microphone the station owner placed a Winston Churchill quote.  Basically, the quote stated that it was not expected of you to do your best; it was expected of you to do what was expected of you. That statement has Father’s Day written all over it. 

In politics and policy, the officeholders from my community are reluctant in asking young people to refrain from starting families until they are prepared.  Of course, parenthood and marriage (not in that order) actually seasons and matures some fellows—who knows.  Successful guys my age can always get involved with Big Brothers, be good uncles or adopt a nice teenager. 

The public assistance and abortion debate should include targeting teens with real options and information so they will hopefully understand that parenthood is different from having a puppy and I have seen some folks with babies who I would not trust with a puppy. 

How in the world has the conservative movement failed to capitalize on the common sense mindset of reasonable African Americans?  I like President Obama as head of the executive branch of government and the residual benefit of a strong young family in the White House is priceless to Americans of any color.  If the Georgia GOP wants to pick up a congressional seat in say Macon, a genteel Black Republican with say a strong intellectual husband would appeal to our community like southern Obamas—giving Black fatherhood examples is better than still another grant.  

Girls with “daddy issues” might have messy relationships with men. Boys with absent fathers might ended being raised by the streets and fellow inmates.  The women who were mother and father to their children should enjoy their second holiday in two months.

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During Thanksgiving Dinner or around the football games (if you can call blowouts football games), some civic-minded Georgians announced to their families their intentions to run for congress in 2010—a long process that starts in about 10 days.  May I say that for many of these ambitious possible candidates that decision is as ill-advised as bourbon-soaked fried turkey—an expensive disaster waiting to happen.


In Georgia, most congressional seats are safe for incumbents until the district lines are changed after the 2010 census.  Representatives John Barrow and Jim Marshall are in the only tossup seats.  Representative Paul Broun is safe if State Labor Secretary Michael Thurmond decides to run for governor rather than congress in the Athens-heavy 10th District.


If the GOP has any hope against Barrow and Marshall, they must find and accept moderate Republicans candidates who can legitimately battle these Blue Dog Democrats for the political center.  I must give credit where credit is due: Macon loves Congressman Jim Marshall for his stellar service as mayor.  If the GOP wants to seriously challenge for that seat, they should hope that Marshall runs for governor or find a Obama, Palin type person who the people love—a T.V. anchorwoman for example. 


I have a model for a new style candidate that I am sure would work in the right situation.  John McCain has always been correct regarding the ugly affect that money has on candidates and officeholders.  I wanted to see a congressional candidate who runs based on a commitment to fundraise only $200K—$100K in Georgia and $100K outside the state.  Without the deep money obligations to lobbyist and special interests, this official would be free to serve the people first.  Of course, outside groups would still flood T.V. with ads.  Time normally spent seeking money would be better used getting to the people directly. 


President-elect Obama owes the actual people more than he owes corporate America, K-Street or what is left of Wall Street because he 90 percent of the $800 million he was given came from people giving less than $200 and half of it was from people giving $25 or less.


Can you imagine a freshman Member of Congress who does not need to constantly plead for money?  The freshness of this type candidate would draw media attention and respect.  The Internet, televised debates and new Media could replace the need for expensive T.V. ad buys.  “The times, they are a changin” and fresh ideas will be needed in 2010.

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The nation focuses on the senate runoff election in Georgia between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin.  Of course, the big question is “Will the African American community come back out to vote with Obama not being on the ballot?”  Another question is “Does President-Elect Obama have the power to persuade the Democrats to return to the polls for the runoff?”


The Georgia senate runoff election has various angles and factors that should be considered.  I was always an African American for Saxby—which puzzles his GOP base.  People vote for and against candidates for different reasons.  Saxby experience on agriculture, military bases and other issues of interest to Georgia is reason enough to keep growing his seniority. People vote their regional concerns and Saxby is the only member of the Georgia congressional delegation who lives in the southern part of our state.  On regional concerns, I never would have thought that Blue Dog Democrat Jim Marshall would receive 44,000 votes in Bibb County, Georgia, while not endorsing Barrack Obama or Hillary Clinton.  Basically, the people of Macon said they are with their former mayor Marshall despite his attitude about Obama.  That was big of Macon and the same can be said for Democrat Sanford Bishop pulling 69% of the vote and Republican Jack Kingston getting 66%.  Marshall, Bishop and Kingston clearly enjoy crossover appeal after years of service.


Jim Martin is a respectable guy but I am still troubled that the Democratic establishment convinced him to run because they did not think African American Vernon Jones was worthy.  They turned their hoses up at Jones because he voted for President Bush during the aftermath of 911. It just occurred to me that Vernon Jones would be a better runoff candidate against Saxby because Vernon has a knowledge of agriculture, is more conservative than Martin and could get the African American voters back out without riding Obama’s coattails.


Am I the only person in Georgia who remembers that Jim Martin voted for John Edwards and not Barrack Obama during the primary?  Speculation is high that the big guns (Obama, McCain, Palin, the Clintons) will be in our state for this runoff.  Let me say this in no uncertain terms: If you voted for Sanford Bishop or Jim Marshall, Saxby Chambliss is closer to them politically than Jim Martin.   Republicans don’t want to hear it but moderates appreciate Georgia Senators Chambliss and Isakson efforts to work across the aisle on the Farm Bill, the energy plan and other matters. 


Consider this: maybe the moderate and conservative African American community should gain some crossover clout by giving Saxby our support.  In return, all I want is fair debate on the issue for the new White House—the same consideration that the Blue Dogs Democrats gave President Bush.  November is going to be awkward in the peach state because Congressmen Bishop, Barrow, Marshall and maybe Scott don’t really want to campaign against their aggie friend Saxby.   Jim Marshall will be fine because President Obama will find a position for him in the administration.

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Prince had a song called “Style” in which he said, “Style is the face you make on a Michael Jordan dunk.”  Well, I just made that face when I realized that Obama/Biden have the support of Ron Howard, Henry Winkler and Andy Griffith—Opie, the Fonz and Sheriff Taylor. 


What optimizes Americana in the 50s and 60s more than Happy Days, and the Andy Griffith Show is synonymous with small town charm (okay, where were the Black folks.)  Do you remember the Fonz supporting Dwight Eisenhower with “I like Ike, my bike likes Ike.”  Of course, these guys are characters from T.V. shows but it says something good about “change” anyway.


Georgia Democrat Congressman Jim Marshall still does not support Obama/Biden.  I have been patiently waiting for him to come around—no October Surprise from Marshall. Obama has Senator Sam Nunn, Secretary Colin Powell and Ike’s granddaughter Republican Susan Eisenhower but no Jim Marshall. 


The October Surprise has given way to the November Empathy: let Jim Marshall lose.  His conservative voice would have been helpful to Obama or Clinton but he did not lift a finger to help. To add insult to inquiry, he still gets the benefit of thousands of new voters than the Democrats registered in his district—without his help.  As Deputy Barney Fife use to say in Mayberry, for this type behavior “nip it in the bud, nip it, nip it, nip it.”  To have loyal opposition from the Republicans is understandable, but to have the Obama White House assailed by someone the Obama supporters put in office—no.


But, don’t put it on Congressman Marshall; new and old voters need to study the whole ticket.  Herman Cain tried to tell the community “They think you are stupid.” 


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As we enter the final phase of this political season, we calculate what decisions and strategies would best serve the African American community.  Six months from now, will we says “I wish we would have done this or that differently.”  I don’t play checkers; I play chess—always thinking three or four moves ahead. 


When a new president is sworn into office on the West Portico of the U.S. Capitol, he or she is the president.  Period.  Anyone who plays with the notion that the president is not the president is playing with un-American activities on some level.  On January 20, 2001, George W. Bush became my president.  Period.  On the day that White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer announced “the liberation of the Iraqi people has begun,” I walked out of a pub in Vilnius, Lithuania, and some college kids walked up to my buddy Brad and me saying, “Bush bla bla, invade bla bla, America wrong bla bla.”   Since the dollar was strong back then and so were we, I told them “Slow your roll, we can discuss it over a few pints on me but I can’t let you slam America and our president.”  (Of  course, their broke behinds jumped at free brew.)


A new president will be sworn in January and I hope Senator McCain or Senator Obama will face fair opposition from the losing side because ultimately we are all Americans.  Bitter extremists from the losing side will dial up conspiracy rumors and untruths design to undermined the efforts of the new leadership—disagree on policy, spending and direction but consider the negative consequences of being ugly just to be ugly.  As a moderate Democrat, I will give President McCain the same consideration I gave every president during my adult life.  If Obama wins, will my Republican friends do the same?


Obama supporters should help him by gaining a little leverage with congressional Republicans.  Congressional Republicans will vote with their party over 95% of the time—that is understood; but can we order up a few GOP members who will stand up in their conference meetings and say, “Let’s dial down the rhetoric and beat the Democrats on the issues—we should be above dirty tricks and innuendoes.” 


Forget about party politics for a second; the average American thinks our current problems could have been avoided or reduced by better Washington deliberations and communication.  At this late hour, African Americans voters could decide the fate of many GOP congressional candidates.  To me, a Republican who dials down the rhetoric while voting his core conservative beliefs is more important than some Obama coattail-riding Democrats are. (hint, hint Macon, Georgia)     

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The African American community has a long history of putting all of our eggs in one basket and waking up the day after the election to broken eggs.  This blog is the net extension of our desire to provide sage political strategies at pivotal times to maximize our clout and capital.  Senator Obama keeps saying that things need to be address with a scalpel not a hatchet; Senator McCain says that we should put “country first.”  Down there in Georgia, we should put “kountry first” by making a surgical analysis of our region’s best interest.   The following points need discussion and consideration.


Let’s diversify our political portfolios to cultivate opportunities in both major parties.  Like Wall Street, we must invest in a range of enterprises so a political downturn in one sector does not leave us powerless and seeking a bailout.  Also like Wall Street, buying political stock during low periods could prove beneficial in the long run—I will take a few shares of General Motors at $4 and a few political investments in better Republican candidates with the knowledge that their national woes have not reduced their Georgia power (pun intended).  Good Cross-party Buys: Saxby Chambliss, Sanford Bishop, Paul Broun, Jack Kingston, David Scott, Rick Goddard. 


Tip: Take a loss on Jim Marshall stock. The Macon Democrat had every opportunity to boldly endorse Obama or McCain.  For some inexplicable reason, he thought he could sit out this historic presidential election.  Open message to Rep. Marshall: your job as congressman is to study the policy proposals of both parties and report to the people what will and won’t work in your opinion; you should be commenting constantly.  This weekend was the last straw.  The incendiary rhetoric on the campaign trail reached a level that might have provoked the sickest minds to contemplating something tragic.  Senator McCain dialed the rhetoric down and Congressman Lewis attempted to do the same but conservative Jim Marshall said or did nothing.  His rural and urban status could have been used for the better good but no. 


McCain Democrats, Obama Republicans, interesting times.  Why are we saying vote vote vote like there is only one contest on the ballot?  I have an idea: If you are an Obama supporter in a Republican congressional district, consider the GOP candidate if he is a decent guy just to mess with the “assumptions” about our voting patterns. If Obama wins, your area has influence with the GOP congressman because you helped him during the rough election of 2008; ask him to be fair with the new administration.  If McCain wins, you have a rare GOP congressman swayed into office by a surprising percentage of the African American vote.


Let’s not find ourselves saying “shoulda, coulda, woulda” in December.  I personally think we could look for African American opportunities to support less offensive congressmen and congresswomen in both parties.  And GOP voters in districts like Sanford Bishop’s should acknowledge his efforts to seek bipartisan cooperation.  Who would Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue select to replace Bishop if Obama picks him for his cabinet?  Imagine the “Georgia power” of Agriculture Secretary Bishop, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee Saxby Chambliss and Secretary of State Sam Nunn.  The renewable energy provisions in the Farm Bill were design to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  Come to think about it, McCain or Obama could make Rep. Jim Marshall Ag Secretary to show no hard feelings—what a year.

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If the next White House and Congress will be better than the current, we must make every effort to quash bickering and party politics so common ground can found.  African Americans who are familiar with official Washington know that we should diversify our political portfolio by supporting sensible Republicans.  Obama and McCain have plans to finally bridge the partisan divide if elected.  


In the rural South, we don’t trust parties much because the Dixiecrat Democrats fought against African Americans’ basic rights for years and Republicans’ core conservative principles have taken a backseat to the “politics of fear.” 


The key to Republican candidates improving their numbers with African American voters centers on not turning us into Republicans but getting African Americans who generally vote for Democrats to occasionally vote for particular Republicans.  For example, Obama is constantly talking about “and a few Republicans” –read the code.  To me, he is appealing to his supporters to be clever and put a few Republicans in the House and Senate who will negotiate and debate with the best interest of the nation in mind. 


In Georgia, Senators Chambliss and Isakson have reached across the aisle to work with moderate Democrats on immigration, agriculture and energy issues.  Every far right supporter they lose should be replaced with four centrist African Americans.  Isakson’s smooth brand of conservatism should be the model for the next generation of southern Republicans.  Obama supporters should remember that Jim Martin—Chambliss’s opponent- beat African American Vernon Jones in the primary by highlighting Jones’ bipartisan record (I think Jones will vote for Saxby Chambliss.)  


Jones would have worked day and night to energize new voters and could have won Georgia for Obama/Biden.  The presidential election could have been swayed by Macon Congressman Jim Marshall supporting Obama/Biden on the zillion ads he is running from suburban Atlanta to the Florida panhandle.  Democrat Marshall might have been the difference in Florida because his ads radiate as far south as Gainesville but the national Democrats evidently gave him a pass.  Republicans across the nation should be calling attention to the race between Rick Goddard and Jim Marshall because a new Republican is better than a Democrat who ignores our historic efforts. 


Georgia Republican Congressman Paul Broun of Athens won a special election last year by personally seeking a percentage of the African American vote than Republican strategists considered unobtainable.   The first rule of American politics is that people like to be asked.  Because the Republicans control the Governor’s mansion and both state legislative houses, an occasional nod to their candidates would be wise.

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You are a political junkie if you know the name Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky.  The mother of Chelsea Clinton’s boyfriend, MMM made the deciding vote in the House for Bill Clinton’s Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.  That five year budget plan cut taxes for fifteen million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90% of small businesses, raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2% of taxpayers and mandated balanced budgets. 


As Senator Joe Liberman mentioned on stage at the 2008 RNC Convention, President Clinton balanced the budget with his plan and the American economy grew stronger.  On the day of that historic budget vote, the crafty Republicans waved goodbye to MMM as she walked in the chamber to vote—like the Lynyrd Skynyrd lyric said “shaking like a left on a tree.”  Legend has it that two other Democrats were holding  MMM up.  34 Democratic incumbents were defeated in the “Republican Revolution” in 1994 in part for making that vote.


This walk down memory lane supports the concept that sometimes the community as a whole is better served by the sacrifice of one.  In one of those Star Trek movies, Spock went out like a solider—took one for the team- just like Congresswoman Margolies-Mezvinsky.  It was 1982, Sarah Palin and I were finishing high school on opposite sides of the country and my sister was finishing Georgia Tech.  I saw that movie while visiting her; walking across I-75, stopped at the Varsity for some greasy food and burped my way to the Columbia Theater—Star Trek: the Warth of Khan in doby sound. (Some movies need to be seen on the big screen.)


Remember, Spock and Jim said, “It is logical, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.   I have been and always shall be your friend. Live long and prosper.” 

Of course, we learn in Star Trek III that Spock planted his Kattra (living spirit) in McCoy.  Movies have always been tools to me that shape or parallel stuff happening in life. Petite MMM went out like Spock saving the Enterprise; she helped the enterprise known as the American economy by doing what she felt was right. 


Senator Sam Nunn did not vote for that budget plan and Vice President Gore broke the tie in the Senate.  Nunn could do that because he is “Sam Nunn”—the staff joke on the Hill was Nunn did not want to be VP because it would be a demotion.  Nunn’s role in national defense gave him icon status—presidents came to see him.  Since this rant has developed a movie theme, Nunn and the Democrats made me think about  Colonel Jessep (Jack Nicholson’s character) in A Few Good Men:

  Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and curse the Marines; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use then as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said “thank you,” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.



You Can’t Handle the Truth…there it is; naïve people wonder why some people boldly stand up while others stand idly by.  I am puzzled by the local, state and national Democratic Party officials’ quietness on Rep. Jim Marshall party attitude.  As I have written before, Marshall would have my respect if he endorsed Obama or McCain but this no comment stuff does not fly when members of Congress have faced political peril to fight for what they believed.  Rep. Bishop and Rep. Barrows courageously put their political futures on the line by supporting Obama while many members of the Congressional Black Caucus did the same by supporting Senator Clinton. 


Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky is not a footnote in congressional history because she can hold her head up high. The Dem Team needs White male southern support and Jim Marshall is AWOL.


You Can’t Handle the Truth…Why did it take me so long to figure out that Marshall obviously has a pass from Speaker Pelosi—keeping the House is more important than getting the White House. 


You Can’t Handle the Truth…Marshall also has a pass from the African American leadership in Macon—Obama got sold down the river for earmarks and pork.  I might not be the brightest person and clearly I can write well but even I know that shortly after the election Democrats are going to plan how to marginalize Marshall and that will justify him moving to the GOP.  Yes, he would have just used Dem money to win an election, did not support Obama/Biden and might join the Republicans. 


Last movie: ice-cold Michael Corleone talking to his brother Fredo about the family and loyalty.  “Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again….ever.”  “I know it was you Fredo…you broke my heart.”  Michael Corleone should be head of the DNC but we really should think about Frank Sinatra, who is singing in the following Godfather video.  Sinatra is rumored to have secured the election of Kennedy by making “certain” calls to certain people who were “connected” to labor unions in Illinois and West Virginia.  He watched the back of MLK, Sammy Davis, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Joe Louis; Sinatra was all about loyalty and that was a close presidential election.



I told my friends that Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez would cost the Democrats the election and I was right.  I have a feeling that one person (I am not saying who) could cost the Democrats Georgia and therefore the Presidency is year. 

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In this election year, we need to hear from African American families directly affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the surge and the plans of the next president.


Georgia active duty military, National Guard, reserves, veterans and families, please use this blog to say what is on your minds.  I want to start this discussion by saying that we support the troops in my community because so many of them are our fathers, mothers, son, and daughters.  For me that support includes monitoring the White House to make sure that war plans and actions make common sense. 


The military has long provided an opportunity for minority upward mobility and a ticket away from southern suppression but, today the South is the place to be and governmental leaders are quick to send troops into harm’s way.  They say veterans are the most cautious Americans when it comes to declaring war.  I get chills when I think that south Georgia soldiers were facing fire for freedom in Vietnam and their mothers could not order a piece of pie at Woolworth’s—He brought us from a mighty long way. 


Let’s start this thread with a list of possible topics:


  1. Is the surge working?
  2. Are we spending money building infrastructure in Iraq that should be spent in America?
  3. Would McCain or Obama be better for military families?
  4. Can someone be an effective commander in chief without military experience? i.e. Obama, Palin
  5. Are African American military personnel and their families offended when extremists question the Obamas patriotism?
  6. Do military families sometimes feel that they signed up for defense and not nation building? Is national building part of denfense?
  7. Are African American military personnel generally politically conservative?
  8. Are defense contractors positive or negative to military missions in war zones?
  9. Can we agree that we should ignore collateral damage if we get absolute intel that Bin Laden is in a house or building.   
  10. Do people around the world dislike Americans in general or our governmental and cooperate leaders actions in particular?

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Vernon Jones and Hypocrisy

Vernon Jones and Hypocrisy


I voted for Vernon Jones because I felt that Jones v. Saxby was a win-win situation for rural Georgia.  Jones established his centrist legislative record, knowledge of agriculture and rural development and strong executive experience.   To me, DeKalb County is as complex a government as Alaska and just about as cold. 


So, Vernon gets tossed under the bus by the “powers that be” in the Democratic Party for supporting President Bush in the past.  But, the same powers say nothing about Macon Congressman Jim Marshall embracing Bush policies time and time again.




Vernon Jones, please tell your supporters your thoughts on these matters and if you are personally supporting Chambliss or Martin at this point.   



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I did not want to waste time and energy on this mess but since it is taking concentration away from the real issues, let’s do this.


I was wrong. I heard that Rep. Westmoreland called the Obamas uppity and my head dropped.  Westmoreland actually said that the Obamas are part of “an elitist-class individual that think they’re uppity.”  Honestly, the statement primarily focuses on elite and not just African American elite. 


But, the focus should be on “think” because that one word changes the statement all together.  If I am calling you uppity, that is one thing; but if I say you “think” you are uppity, I am saying you are not uppity but you have a false sense of superiority.  Like a woman saying about another woman, “she thinks she is fine.”


Lynn Westmoreland has been around actual uppity African Americans—the Obamas are salt of the earth but I hope one day to be successful enough to play 18 at that Black Enterprise Golf and Tennis Weekend and bump elbows with the uppity Black elite whom W.E.B. Dubois termed the “talented 10th.”  Westmoreland defeated Dylan Glenn, prep school and Davidson College grad and one uppity brother on the real.  Speaker Gingrich supported Glenn’s candidacy fully in an effort to expand their party.  But to me, most GOPers like their camp “as is” and are guarded about their ranks.


The Bush White House strengthened Glenn’s governmental experience with several important appointments.  In the GPTV debate, Glenn pulled a sweet move by asking Westmoreland which committee in the House would receive a tax bill.  Westmoreland said, “the Committee on Taxation” rather than Ways and Means.  Glenn pounced on the response and Westmoreland gave him a look liked he was thinking “you uppity so and so.”


But, Westmoreland got the last laugh because the people in that district must have been thinking “Newt is not going to send that young guy down here to beat up on our guy.”

The end justifies the ways and means.


Candidate Rick Goddard’s defense of Newt from an interview with an African American reporter is a different matter. Newt was in his element; Newt being Newt like Manny being Manny for baseball fans.  Newt is one of the craftiest debaters in American history and he has the magical ability to convince the people of all kind of stuff.  I watched that interview live and I could see two things in Newt’s eyes: Newt did not half believe his argument himself and that that reporter going against Newt was like going bear hunting with a switch. 


Goddard backing Newt was noble but Newt must have said to Goddard “I got this, you should moderate your vibe and win that seat.” 


Memo to Goddard: you already have like 97% of the GOP voters and Palin might help you get some PUMA/Hillary supporters; avoid the hard-line rhetoric, pick up some “Marshall dissed Obama” folks and you could win this thing.  (I must admit that two years from now a real Democrat will be running against you.)


A page and dozens of typos later let me finish with one real example of uppity.  One of the most positive people of my lifetime is positioned to become president from our party and Rep. Jim Marshall is to good to fly to Denver to listen to him speak.  That’s uppity.


One thing I have learned from Governor Palin during the hours she has been on the national stage is the importance of “thinning the herd.” P.E.’s rap anthem from the movie “Do the Right Thing” opened with the quote:  


“Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight! Matter of fact, it’s safe to say that they would rather switch than fight!”


Princeton grad Rep. Marshall needs to stop being truly uppity and get with Obama/Biden before talk turns to Democrat  herd thinning.  (Who in Macon or Tifton will be ready in 2010)

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It can’t be easy being a congressman in Georgia these days when your constituency is often divided by segments across the political spectrum.  With respect to those members who find a way to successful handle this precarious situation, I don’t understand the logic of Rep. Jim Marshall ignoring his district’s support of the Democrat candidate Barrack Obama.   


Of course, Rep. Marshall has a right to support or not support anyone he chooses—remember when he almost endorsed John Edwards.  However, the African American community has been there for him since his days as mayor in Macon.  Like Congressmen Bishop, Barrow and Scott, Marshall often makes moderate/conservative votes that reflect the moderate/conservative nature of most rural Georgians—African American and White.  But, if the African American community understands those votes, Marshall should understand that this election is not just an election.  Words cannot begin to describe the residual effect the Obama candidacy has in our community.   


We all know that Obama would be president of all of America and that moderate Blacks are not 100% in love with all of his positions, but to go from Jim Crow to having this man as the possible president—my goodness.   And for the record, if General Colin Powell ran as a Republican back when, he would have done big numbers in the African community also.  


Bottomline: for all the African American votes Jim Marshall has received over the years, he should work hard for Obama’s candidacy or else.  Maybe middle Georgians should put his feet to the fire a little bit and if he is so against what we believe, let’s watch him win without our bass. (pun intended)   




Candidate Obama is always talking about having a civil debate next year—about disagreeing without being disagreeable.  Middle Georgia should consider sending a southern Republican to Congress who will at least be as respectful to Obama as Georgia Democrat congressmen have been to President Bush.  




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