I’m in New York for a few days and I had the opportunity to join Steve Malzberg on his Newsmax TV show yesterday.  We talked about all the news of the day including foreign affairs, domestic politics, and we even touched on an issue surrounding openly gay NFL football player Michael Sams. Here’s the video of our discussion -

***Note: Steve Malzberg introduced me as a GOP strategist. I should have corrected him and told him that I am no longer a Republican.

Family Business

July 20, 2014 — 3 Comments

crownOur forefathers came to this country in pursuit of liberty. They thought that everyone should have the opportunity to aspire to whatever we want regardless of who we are. When they wrote our constitution and set up our government, they rejected the notion that political power should be inherited, instead deciding in favor of an elected representative democracy.

The idea that a nobody from nowhere can grow up to be President of the United States is just awesome, isn’t it? That’s a terrific ideal, but the reality of politics today is just like in any business – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. AND we all know that blood is thicker than water.

It’s true that powerful family connections have always been used by those fortunate enough to have them to help them get ahead. That’s just a reality of the world we live in, but don’t you think it’s gotten out of hand in politics lately? Continue Reading…

Big Break

July 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

Today’s Los Angeles Times has a story about a new Pew Research Center study that shows that a record 57 million Americans lived in multigenerational households in 2012. That’s way up from the 28 million in 1980.

Why is that? It’s the economy, stupid. It’s getting harder and harder for people to make it on their own.

Years ago, multigenerational households were actually the norm. Extended families used to have to live together just to survive, but economic prosperity after World War II created more opportunities for everyone – no matter who you were – to realize the American Dream. That post war economic prosperity is what we became accustomed to in America. Now, really for the first time since the Depression, economic hardship is starting becoming the norm again for many of us. Continue Reading…

The Children

July 9, 2014 — 4 Comments

I can’t stand it. I just can’t listen to it anymore. The heartless rhetoric by some on the right regarding desperate immigrant children, huddled in detention camps on our border, has made me utterly disgusted with some people I used to respect.

Have they forgotten who we are as Americans? Or maybe they have never truly embraced the American Dream and what it means to be American. Maybe they need a reminder. There are many historical examples of international crises when our free shores offered the only chance of survival for millions of people, and they risked everything to come here.

There was a time when the situation was so desperate in Ireland that millions of Irish people were forced to emigrate away from their homeland simply to survive. Many many of them came to the United States, and Americans took them in.

Did you know that by the mid-1800s the Irish made up more than a quarter of the population in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore? I wonder how many people in those cities were crying, “This is the end of America as we know it?” That’s what I have heard coming from some here lately. Continue Reading…

What If…?

July 8, 2014 — Leave a comment

supreme-court-gay-marriage-79f6c565b514711eI was pleased to see that the Republican National Committee chose Cleveland, Ohio over Dallas, Texas to host its 2016 RNC National Convention. Politically, it was a very smart move. (I think the recent anti-gay and anti-immigrant antics/rhetoric of the Texas Republican Party made the Texas location a political liability.)

There was something else in today’s announcement that intrigued me. The other news that came in the announcement is that the convention will be held at the end of June, instead of a more traditional late-summer date. According to Politico -

Republican officials wanted an earlier convention in 2016, to allow the nominee to pivot more quickly to the general election. Cleveland offered up a late June date, while Dallas was considering mid-July, reports said, though an RNC spokeswoman said Tuesday that the exact timing was still part of the negotiation process.

Continue Reading…

Today’s Washington Post has a story about Sean Haugh, the Libertarian candidate for the US Senate in North Carolina. The story also mentions other states where Libertarian candidates are offering a another choice to voters, instead of just the traditional Republican or Democratic candidates.

The whole story is worth reading, but the one line that resonated with me the most was this -

The idea that there is an alternative to the two major parties has no small appeal at a time when voters are so disillusioned.

That’s it folks. It’s not that this insurgence of third party candidates is producing superior choices, it’s that those choices are acceptable when the traditional parties’ candidates aren’t. Continue Reading…

Digging Deep

July 4, 2014 — 6 Comments

My dad was in the Air Force, so that meant that we moved around a lot when I was a kid. In 1981, we moved from Warner Robbins, Georgia to Atwater, California. I went to some good schools and some bad schools over the years, and my first school in Atwater was a bad one.

I was bullied a lot growing up, and it was especially bad that first year in Atwater – fifth grade. But as with most things in life, no matter how bad I had it, somebody else had it worse than me. In the fifth grade, that person was Candy.

Candy was poor, and in addition to economic hardship, you could just tell that she had an awful home life too. Her hair was long and tangled, her clothes were worn out and dirty, and I knew that she came to school hungry. She also had very poor eye-sight, and she couldn’t read very well.

Add all of those things up and the poor girl didn’t have a chance socially among our class of 10 and 11 year-olds. She was the class outcast. The bullying she endured paled in comparison to anything that came my way.

img_9493Every fifth-grader knows that life on the playground at recess is social survival of the fittest. The ultimate status at that school was to be champion of the tetherball courts. It was so important to be good that I had my parents buy a tetherball set so I could practice at home with the kids in the neighborhood. Being good at tetherball was one way to avoid some of the bullying. Continue Reading…