Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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It is no secret that George W. Bush has embraced painting since his exodus from the presidency. At his presidential library in Dallas, there is an art exhibit that displays some of the former president’s masterpieces, such as paintings of former British Minister Tony Blair and Russian President Vladimir Putin to name a few.

This time, Bush has expressed a new level of affection with his paintings with a more intimate and personal masterpiece: a painting of himself and his father, former president George H.W. Bush.

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Bush unveiled his latest portrait during an interview with Savannah Guthrie of the Today Show, on his forthcoming book that gives an account of his father’s life. Ironically, Bush was more concerned with getting the features of the nose correct during the painting session.

Bush shows a great deal of candor when it comes to the relationship he has with his father. In an April 2013 interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, he expressed his heartfelt appreciation for him. Bush stated that “in spite of his business, he took time to let us know how much he loved us, so my relationship with my dad is one based upon love and admiration.”

Bush’s new book, 41: A Portrait of My Father, is described by the 43rd president as “a love story.” At a time when partisan politics often serve to divide Americans, it might do our world some good to be reminded that family and relationships are still a vital part to our very existence.

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was featured on “Meet The Press.”  Powell, who identifies himself as a Republican, has faced much scrutiny from conservatives for endorsing Obama, not to mention his consistent attention seeking tactics at the expense of the GOP.

Powell was asked by host David Gregory to tell on what basis on which he was a Republican and if he left the GOP or if the GOP left him. While Powell refused to clarify on exactly what makes him a Republican, he did manage to give a short, but weak response in which he described himself as a “moderate.” Powell referred to the GOP as having “an identity problem.” He pointed to immigration, health care, voter ID laws, and the changing demographics (rising numbers of Hispanics, Asian-Americans, blacks) as examples.

While it is absolutely true that the GOP must re-evaluate its approach and methods of messaging to minority communities, the retired general was vague on specific proposals and ideas to help reinvigorate the party. Instead, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs decided to regurgitate the liberal talking points, claiming the GOP shows hostility or resentment towards minorities.

“There’s also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party,” Powell retorted. “What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.”  Has Gen. Powell forgotten the fact that he was nominated as the first African-American Secretary of State by Republican President George W. Bush, who also happened to have the most diverse cabinet in presidential history? Bush’s successor, however, has neglected this attribute.  After Obama’s picks for the Treasury, State, Defense and CIA were announced, the President came under some criticism from pundits and commentators on the left and right bringing to center attention the lack of diversity in his choice cabinet.

I’m intrigued to know if Powell thought it to be intolerant when Sen. Harry Reid claimed Obama lacked “negro dialect” or when Joe Biden said Obama was the first “clean and articulate” African-American.

Powell used an opportunity to take a jab at comments made by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. ”When I see a former governor say that the president is ‘shuckin’ and jivin,’ that’s a racial-era slave term,”he exclaimed. This is an absurd claim by Powell. Palin was simply referring to the president’s inconsistent descriptions of the Benghazi terrorist attacks, and if Powell figured that to be slave-term usage, his uber sensitivity has served as a substitute for facts and rationale debate.

Powell also implied that the GOP was heavily involved in the “birther” movement. As astute and knowledgeable as Mr. Powell is, I was a bit surprised he was unaware of the fact that Phil Berg, an ex-deputy attorney general for Pennsylvania and 2008 Hillary Clinton supporter, filed a lawsuit alleging that Obama was ineligible to be a presidential candidate. On these grounds, would Secretary Powell deem Mr. Berg also hostile to minorities?

By these remarks and inserting himself back into the conversation, is Colin Powell simply attempting to become relevant in the GOP once again? If so I question the strategy.  I mean, who better to speak on behalf of all Republicans but a man who voted for Barack Obama, not once, but twice?

His refusal to highlight the class warfare that’s been elevated in the Obama administration, the higher taxes implemented under Obamacare and the fiscal cliff deal and Obama’s horrible record regarding the economy, makes Powell appear to be a steward of the Democrat party, barring the (R) behind his name.  Where is his mention on the hostile job market and rising unemployment rate in the black communities under the first black president?

He has a stage, and millions of black Americans admire and respect him for good reason.  But, if Powell truly wants to be relevant again, and help the party he claims to be part of, might I suggest that he actively involve himself in transforming the GOP instead of using liberal means to bash it?

O Father, Where Art Thou?

Posted: December 31, 2012 in Politics, Race Relations

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We used to hear about the single mother who worked two and three jobs to make ends meet for her and her children.  But today we’re hearing more about the society of dependency that children in America are being born into, and at alarming rates.  According to the US Census, approximately 15 million children are currently living without a father in the home. That equates to roughly 1 out of 3 children that are being raised without the presence of a father.

The average income for a married couple with children is $80,000 compared to an average income of $24,000 for a single mother. Right now in America, three in ten caucasian children, 53 percent of Hispanic babies and 73 percent of black babies are born outside of marriage.  If this trend continues we will be looking at an ever increasing generation of children born into poverty and staying there.

The structure of the family is crucial to meeting social and economical needs.

While it serves as an economic advantage to have the two-parent family model, the policies of the liberal progressive movement have done nothing but undermine this structure.  They embrace the single mother as means of promoting big government solutions and a welfare state. This can be traced back to Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “The Great Society”, which was used to usher in welfare and entitlements, not for temporary use, but as permanent way of life.  Now we are seeing three and four generations of children trapped in this cycle of dependency.

The lack of a father figure in the home makes a single mother more economically vulnerable. Liberal politicians are aware of this assessment and they cling to this voting coalition every election cycle. They promise them hand-outs, but no real opportunity to lift them out of their government induced valley.

Take into consideration this haunting fact: The Congressional Research Service reported that the fiscal year of 2011 consisted of $1.03 trillion of spending for government welfare programs on the federal and state level. The report says “total means-tested welfare spending is currently the single-largest category of spending in the federal budget.” There is more spending on welfare programs than there is on Social Security, Medicare or on national defense. It serves as an imperative reminder that President Obama gutted the federal work requirements that were placed in order by President Clinton when he signed welfare reform in 1996.  Policies such as this encourage more dependency and lessen the initiative for one to find work.  Why work when the government is creating incentives for women to have children outside of marriage and who needs a daddy to provide when you have Uncle Sam?

While the economic factors of single parenthood can be a hurdle to a young child, another factor that weighs into the mix is the incarceration rate associated with single parent families.

In 2002, the Department of Justice took a survey of 7,000 inmates. It revealed that 39% of jail inmates came from single-mother families. About 46% of jail inmates in 2002 had a family member that was previously incarcerated. One-fifth of the inmates experienced a father in prison or jail.

While the devastating effects on families and neighborhoods are hard to quantify, the financial costs are not.  Imprisonment is coming at an high cost. According to a CBS report in April 2012, there is roughly 2.4 million prisoners in the United States. In the year 2010 alone, the cost of one inmate averaged $31,307 per year, which equates roughly to the salary of a new firefighter or a teacher. This comes at a cost to the taxpayer of nearly $63.4 billion a year. We are paying for this breakdown of the family on both ends of the spectrum.

The message is loud and clear: big government wants to be your babby daddy. It wants to provide for your essential needs rather than encourage the father to do it. It feels that it is the sole answer and solution to all economic and social needs.

This leads to a pressing question: “O Father, Where Art Thou?

Many of the young men that find themselves entangled in the chains of poverty and prison have lacked a strong father figure in their lives.  It’s a father’s unconditional love that not only helps his children gain financial stability and insight as they are growing up, but also allows them to treat other people in society with dignity and respect. It is easy to indulge in reckless and undisciplined behavior, but it takes courage to embrace responsibility and accountability for one’s actions.  Which do you think the current welfare policies encourage?

Government can never be a substitute for the role of a father. It can only deepen the economic and social woes that have already been inflicted upon the families. The planner’s desires to create a “Great Society” have nearly stripped society of all that made it great to begin with. To turn the course we’re on, fathers must take initiative and they must do it now.

I’m not going to go into details on how Mitt Romney lost. Plenty of pundits and political analysts have educated us on that already. You can always slice and dice up the facts in a way that seems appealing, but the simple fact of the matter is the Republicans lost an election that they shouldn’t have. Unemployment, debt, lack of jobs, and more people leaving the workforce should’ve catapulted Republicans into the White House, but it didn’t.

The GOP is in extreme danger of being on the losing end of a cultural revolution. The demographics are getting bigger and their message is getting smaller. While it is obvious that a revamping and reconstruction needs to take place, the biggest question looming is “What exactly needs to take place?”

I will attempt to share some ideas on how conservatives can rebuild from the 2016 elections.

1.)  Bridge The Divide From Within. There needs to be a healing between traditional Republicans and the libertarian movement. I’m not suggesting that they have to agree on every singular issue, but there’s need to be a restoration of respect. Republicans should avoid calling libertarians names such as “PaulBots” and “Paultards.” Libertarians should attempt to work with GOP more on their similarities instead of ostracizing them on their differences. This is a vital part of the conservative restoration. Both have a lot of ideas and principles that can accelerate the movement, but if the division remains, it will simply be a stalemate.

2.)  Enhance Minority Outreach.  We must defeat the media narrative that the GOP is for “old white men only” and the myths of racism that surrounds it. In regards to Hispanic outreach, the talks of “self-deportation” needs to be terminated. There needs to be a compassionate approach to immigration that focuses on strengthening the family, jobs and the economy. Immigration has always contributed to the American dream. It is the melting pot in the United States that makes it a compelling place to visit.

There must also be a bolder, smarter and more gracious way of approaching the black community. Conservatives need to admit their longstanding lack of willingness to embrace them, and simply listen to their needs without being defensive. It will not be helpful to point out the GOP has a handful of African-American elected officials in Washington or to remind blacks that the GOP is the party of Lincoln. History is very important, but what’s more important is what the GOP is CURRENTLY doing to reach out to black voters. Blacks are not a monolithic group, contrary to popular belief. If the GOP reaches out, in a non-election year cycle, they will listen. A message of strengthening the family, education, tackling poverty and jobs is a very appealing message. Conservatives need to step outside their comfort zone. Go to them. Be engaged in cultural activities. Be involved in community forums. Simply show that you are concerned and you’ll build a relationship that will leave a good impression.

3.)  Listen to Millennials. The conservative movement is saturated with the talent of many 18-35 year olds. They have the ability to appeal to a culturally-entrenched society. It’s no surprise to many that today’s generation is very ambitious, driven and successful in modern-day communication. Example: social media and technology. I believe young conservatives can be effective in discussing freedom and liberty. An effective message to the youth is informing them that the more choices they can make, the more empowered they can become. Millennials love the thought of freedom. It gives more power to the individual and less power to the government. This is a message that needs to be resonated in schools and college campuses. While YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are obvious way to tap into the cultural paradigm shift, conservatives should not be afraid to embrace fresher and bolder ideas.

4.)  Do not sacrifice principles for popularity. While winning elections is a prerogative, compromising principles isn’t. People will indeed be reluctant to embrace your ideas if they consider you to fall for anything, and stand for nothing. People respect those who have principles, even if they don’t agree with them. There is a call among many in the GOP to abandon social issues in order to appeal to various demographics. I staunchly disagree. Our principles and morals are what separates us from liberals. We don’t have to be hammer down one single issue, but we should be able to articulate conservatism efficiently to where we are solid on our beliefs and culturally engaged as well. If it comes to the point where conservatives are abandoning their core principles to win elections, they deserve to lose. It’s about expanding the message to every single community, not watering down our beliefs for a popularity that could serve as only temporal.

These are just a few reasons of how conservatives can be more effective. I’m sure there are other ideas that will make sense and serve profitable as well. The bottom line is this: We must engage everyone, or we’ll forever be in the utopia of isolation.

In this video, Bishop E.W. Jackson gives a solemn and passionate request for Christians to flee the Democratic party.

The bishop points to the far left views of the Democrats that has compelled them to promote hostility towards Christians and same-sex marriage.

The left is entrenched in an Hollywood-like, secular society that embraces everything that is anti-God and anti-morality. The Democratic Party has sought the influence of mainstream society that is pushing a progressive agenda that neglects God and the biblical principles this nation was founded on. A recent example of this was the party’s refusal to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the attempt to remove God from its party platform.

As a preacher and a minister of the Gospel, I join Bishop Jackson in calling on Christians to walk away from a party that puts God on the back burner and crucifies Christian principles in order to be politically correct.

The Democrats eagerness to embrace the expansion of government sends a message that government is bigger than God. I strongly reject this notion. We must continue to seek God’s wisdom and guidance concerning every decision we make.

” You’re a black Conservative? Wow, you’re a rarity.” I’ve heard this and similar responses over the course of my life. This indicates that there is a cultural stereotype that exists in the mindset of many people. So what does it exactly mean to be a black conservative?

There are many dimensions to this questions. It is a matter of boldness and courage—not with white America , but black America. When blacks found out that I voted for George W. Bush and that I was not supporting Barack Obama in 2008 , I felt like I was one of the thieves one the cross next to Jesus during his crucifixion. I was criticized for betraying the black culture and appealing to whites. When I informed liberal blacks that I refuse to pledge my allegiance to the Democratic party because of historical precedent or because it’s politically convenient, I was instantly a target. I have been labeled an “Uncle Tom” and accused of “sucking up to white people.” I was momentarily distraught at the fact that I was being demeaned because my political thought and ideology was different from from what many black people expected it to be. But I quickly embraced the power enabled to me by being a black conservative: Freedom. Freedom from the notion that I have to vote a certain way or be aligned to a political party without knowing the reason why. Freedom to express myself, despite the backlash or lack of support I may receive from my own race. Freedom to embrace the fact that my knowledge and stance on conservative principles is due to the fact that I refuse to enslave and bondage myself to a party that, in my honest opinion, has done nothing to enhance my freedom or well-being. Freedom to also know that there are also many other like-minded African-Americans who have also entrenched themselves in the fight for conservative principles.

To anyone who wants to deny the fact that black conservatives are a target, they are simply not living in reality. Black conservatives are targeted because they defy the status quo and ignore the stereotypical imagery of blacks being one-dimensional and not having an open mind. For example, it is on a regular basis that I receive vile and racist hatred from the left on Twitter for my beliefs. It comes to a point where you have to chuckle at the thought of people maximizing their energy to demean someone and to see it come to no avail. With that said, I am not playing the “victimization” card. Despite the harsh treatment I have personally witnessed and experienced, I am proud of my conservative ideology and I absolutely have no regrets.

The reaction I have received from whites concerning my conservative stance have been quite interesting. There have been some who have ignorantly labeled me a Democrat because I am black. Ignorant assumptions always informs you of a person’s intelligence. However, I would say that more whites have embraced me being a conservative than blacks. Does it make me feel uncomfortable or isolated among black liberals/Democrats? Absolutely not. Friendship can always transcend political thought.

The most accurate way to describe being a black conservative is that you know you will face a battle: mainstream media, stereotypes, black liberals. That battle is overcome by freedom and choice. I made the choice to be a conservative. No one forced me. No one persuaded me. I did my very own soul-searching and I am satisfied with the conclusion. Also, I feel very PROUD to be a black conservative. I am not a victim. I am a warrior, and I am not alone in the world of black conservatives.

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For many members of the Millennial Generation, now is about the time when they begin to ponder major life choices, including their first home purchase. However, the heavy increase of student debt load this generation carries may prevent many from buying a home, even at low prices.

While the challenges that face the Millennial Generation are great and massive, President Obama enjoys a 63% approval rating among young people according to a latest Gallup poll. This is quite odd and perplexing given the economic plight that young people face, that is familiar to us all. The job market still appears to be fragile and weak after April’s anemic addition of 115,000 jobs, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Facing the Millennial Generation is the rising catastrophe of the student loan crisis. It has been a burden on students to face increasing tuition fees, which has caused their student loan costs to spike. According to a Wall Street Journal report, approximately two-thirds of students from 2010’s graduating class graduated with student loans, with an average cost of $25,250, up 5% from the previous year.

While the fear of not acquiring a job is a constant fear in students’ minds, also concerning them is the question of which career to pursue during their collegiate studies. If a student chooses a career path that is not currently seeing high numbers in the workforce, it obviously becomes a risk. For example, there are more opportunities in the workforce for engineers and nurses than there are for those who may pursue a career in the creative arts field. It is extremely helpful that students work in an internship or job training program while enrolled in college that will not only benefit their academic career but would also assist in their job search.

Due to the heavy debt load and lack of jobs available for students, many of them have decided to move back home to reside with their parents and caregivers. This makes it difficult for them to flex their financial muscles in purchasing a home, paying their bills and embracing financial dependency.

With all of these woes being up front and center in the lives of Millennials, one has to ask: “Why are they still supporting Obama?” The answer is this: imagery.

Barack Obama may not have the celebrity appeal as he did in 2008, but he is still a likable guy. How do you compete with the president who effectively sings Al Green and can slow jam the news?

The toxic climate involving his economic policies is somewhat overshadowed by the fact that he relates to culture. Whether it be basketball, Hollywood fundraisers or soul singing, President Obama has an advantage with the youth vote because he is continuing his role as a “hipster” or someone who is culturally relevant.

In contrast, his opponent, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, has been burdened with a stigma from the media that is tough to counter. He is constantly portrayed as a rich white guy who is out of touch with mainstream society. He hasn’t had quite the appeal to the youth as Obama has and been accused of appearing stiff and rigid.

However, Mitt can tap into the Millennial vote by advocating a message of economic freedom, free market capitalism and job growth, which are essential to beating financial dependency and creating economic freedom for the Millennial Generation.

Will Romney be able to shake off the image of a rigid, rich white guy and convince them that Obama’s policies have failed them? Only time will tell. Unfortunately in politics, imagery can trump ideology.