Friday, August 31, 2012

GOP Convention: Day Three

The much anticipated acceptance of the Party nomination and speech of Gov. Mitt Romney did not disappoint but was no inspirational sermon either.  The test for Gov. Romney, in my opinion, was to appear presidential while being a viable alternative to what has been a failed presidency and to inspire independent voters.  I say he knocked it out of the park.
Romney spent ample time repudiating the Obama presidency and outlining the consequences of the failed Obama presidency.  The top memorable lines were: “I wish President Obama had succeeded, because I want America to succeed;” and he said, “Hope and change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I would ask a simple question: if you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he is President Obama?”  These were memorable quotes that night.
Romney finally made a presentation of his own plan to restore America bolstered by his business success at Bain Capital. It wasn’t sexy but it was thorough and enough to give the delegates and pundits what they needed.
The gift to Romney/Ryan was a 5 point bounce in the polls and a slight lead over Obama as we all brace for the Democratic National Convention only days away in Charlotte.
Of note on Day Three was the inescapable brilliance of Senator Marco Rubio from Florida.  He introduced Romney and was a stand-out because of his intellect, delivery, and life story but was overshadowed only by the unscripted presentation by legendary actor and conservative Clint Eastwood.  While Eastwood was criticized for having less than perfect delivery, I was extraordinarily pleased at his moxie alone.  Few conservatives in Hollywood are powerful enough to be open with their conservative values let alone give a national speech.  Bravo to Eastwood, my new hero.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

GOP Convention: Day Two

As the son of a professional athlete and an attorney who has represented celebrity entertainers and athletes all my career, I am not impressed by personality.  However, when former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, a Black American, took to the stage in Tampa, Florida for the Republican National Convention, I was a fanatic.
Secretary Rice embodies the American dream as she reminded us how she was raised in the Jim Crow South, but was taught that she could one day become the President of the United States of America. That promise from her parents is ever true today.  But for her not wanting to be a politician, she could in fact be elected president.
Secretary Rice lit up the convention before she even spoke.  It took several moments for the crowd to simmer down before she could begin. (She had the best hair-do of her career that night if I can be shallow for a moment. She was radiant)
Much to everyone’s surprise, she spoke well of America generally, unscripted, and less about foreign policy.  She later expanded on her remarks off platform, to say she in fact believes under the Obama administration the US should be concerned about national security.
Secretary Rice never disappoints.  She is a consummate patriot, a Black American success and conservative (but for her soft position on Pro Life). She was the highlight of Day Two.
Gov. Susana Martinez’ speech (New Mexico) was also memorable.  As a governor and Latina, she told a compelling story of her transition from Democrat to Republican and she is indeed a star of the Party.  Hers and the stories of many others like her make up the diverse fabric of the Republican Party today, contrary to the common sentiment that it is a racist party.  As soon as we wake up and look for the conservative leaders in our community, the quicker the lie of racism will be banished forever.
Fight on Condi and Susana.  Good job.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GOP Convention: Day One

She is a coal miner’s daughter and shops at Costco.  Ann Romney, Mitt’s wife and mother of his five boys, is the presidential candidate’s secret weapon.  Ann spoke beautifully on Tuesday night in Tampa, Florida and made the case that America can trust her husband to put the country back on a course of stability and prosperity.  Ann’s assignment from what I could tell was twofold: to humanize her often publicly bland husband and to assure the country there is no war on women-at least not from the Romney camp.  Ann accomplished both of those tasks with flying colors. 

One of the memorable pictures Ann painted was the meager beginnings of their relationship.  They started in a basement apartment, had an ironing board as their dining table and a desk propped up with saw horses.  She reminded America that from these meager beginnings, Mitt built his businesses and his success allowed him to help others achieve the America dream.  That’s what the America experiment is all about.

Most notable was her lack of specific focus on the multiple sclerosis and cancer challenges she has had.  Like Mitt, she is humble and will make a fine First Lady.

Second to Ann, was the bodacious Gov. Chris Christie who delivered the Key Note address of the convention.  Gov. Christie was affable, thorough, and convincing in his speech on austerity and the path forward under a new administration.  While many have criticized him since his speech for not even mentioning Mitt Romney until 16 minutes into his speech, the content of his speech, his presence, and down home direct style put a good face on the GOP and the convention itself.  Christie said, “Mr. President, real leaders don’t follow polls; real leaders make polls.”  He was memorable.

Also worth noting were two additional speakers.  Rep. Arthur Davis, a black conservative Republican who spoke.  What was most interesting is that he was a Democrat in 2008 and likewise spoke on behalf of electing then candidate Sen. Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.  Mr. Davis gave a good ole southern talk about making a switch from the dream of Obama to the reality of now fixing this country.

Finally, the rising star Mia Love spoke.  Mia, the former mayor of Sarasota Springs, Utah and now candidate for the new congressional district in Utah, would be the first elected black Republican to Congress should she prevail in November.  Did I mention she is a Mormon?   Watch out for Ms. Love.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Down goes Lance

My father, Floyd Little, played for the Denver Broncos from 1967 to 1975.  They called him the Franchise. In those days, players played for the love of the game, made very little money, and often retired with broken and bruised bodies.  Careers back then didn’t span more than ten years because most players were always on the field in some capacity (e.g. offensive, defensive, special teams, etc.) taking a beating. 
Athletes in my father’s era often played injured and now suffer the consequences of the game in their retirement. Our good friend John Mackey recently passed away from Parkinson’s disease no doubt brought on by the bumps and bruises taken on the gridiron.
Now a days, the game is different.  Careers are longer because players have more technology and better conditioning equipment.  They typically only play on special teams (e.g. defensive or offensive) and consequently see less field time.  This extends their careers.  This is the good part.   
The downside is the pay is astronomical, athletes commitment is less by default, and players are in the fast food era of instant gratification and want to be great right now by taking short cuts.  This is where performance-enhancing drugs come in.  They call it doping.
Doping is illegal not only because it gives unfair advantage in competition, but also because it is life threatening.  It can kill you.  Our good friend and legend Lyle Alzado lost his life many years ago, in part, because of the use of steroids.
And so, another icon has been dogged by the allegation of cheating.  Lance Armstrong was stripped of seven Tour de France titles, is banned from the sport for life, and refused to continue the thirteen year fight to clear his name.  Authorities have been relentless in their pursuit to expose the use of doping as evidenced by their pursuit of the great Armstrong. 
The International Olympic Committee for the summer Olympics in London tested nearly 6,250 blood and urine samples from 10,000 athletes to ensure they were all clean.  Anti-doping programs are growing and not abating and the dopers stay one step ahead of the technology to avoid detection.
The willingness to bear the shame or worse to kill oneself because of the desire to be the best  in a particular race, game or season is a pathology – a sickness – that society  feeds, but can no longer condone.  This has got to stop! Cheating is about character.  Is there one?

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Todd Akin: Sacrificial Lamb?

Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican and candidate for US Senate, made a huge gaffe this week.  In response to the question of whether or not abortion is justified when caused by rape, he said, “…if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” The implication was that pregnancies rarely occur from a rape. His response caused a fury within the GOP calling for him to drop out of the race.

While the presidential election should be focused on what a piss poor job the current administration is doing, the debate is now over Mr. Akin’s comment.  So let’s deal with it.

First, the GOP has to stop running for the hills when one of its own misspeaks.  Mr. Akin promptly apologized.  Get over it.

Second, have we forgotten the Democrat’s sins of the not-so-distant past?  Did not the vice president of these United States recently tell a predominantly black audience in the South that Romney policies would put them back in chains? The Democrats don’t seem to run from their sins, why should the Republicans? 

Third, Akin is a good and principled conservative by all accounts.  I trust him to survey the landscape in Missouri and across the nation and be a sacrificial lamb if his conscience dictates. 

Finally, if the GOP is so interested in shutting down the Akin debate by having him drop out of the race, the same logic applies to Mr. Romney’s tax returns.  I guess he’ll provide the past 10 years of returns so the debate can focus on more important matters.  I’m just saying! 

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

The GOP Landslide

While President Obama makes his way around the country pandering to every special interest group from gays to Latinos, he erodes the support of the independent voters he so desperately needs.  There are a few key factors that I believe will cause the president to lose the Popular Vote.

First, while unemployment is reported to be 8.2%, it does not take into account those who are no longer receiving unemployment benefits and thus many unemployed are not factored in.  It is widely believed the true unemployment number is in excess of 10% which is huge.  This large population of unemployed workers also leads to staggering home foreclosures. As an example, 25% of black homeowners lost their homes since the collapse in 2009.  When Americans go to the voting booth this November, they will carry with them the disappointment of Hope and Change.  They will be left with one burning question: Is this the change I voted for?

Second, blacks are among the highest unemployed in the country.  Blacks went from 12.6% in 2008 to 15.8% at the end of 2011 more than double the national average for whites at 7.5%.  Teenage black unemployment is at 42.3% today.  While 95% of blacks voted for Mr. Hope and Change, I would guess many won’t be racing to the polls in the same numbers to re-elect the first black president.  This will have an impact.

Third, President Obama awakened the long-dormant religious right and created what has been coined his “War on Religion”.  Now with lawsuits against the federal government by various Catholic institutions based on religious freedom and their presumed right not to provide free birth control in its employee health plans, the administration’s perceived heavy hand against such religious preferences will surely take a toll on the re-election bid.

A part of that war also includes the president’s endorsement for same-sex marriage.  His position is squarely inconsistent with the black community’s view and now even black ministers oppose him on that basis. The president has drawn some very hard and clear lines on these two issues that will make the voting decision clear for many.

Finally, the president will not enjoy the same level of support of the Jewish community as he did in 2008.  President Obama in many ways has made a clear effort to be unfriendly to our longstanding ally. His own statements to French President Nicolas Sarkozy that “You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day” won’t soon be forgotten by the Jewish community.

All in all, these factors will cause the president to lose the Popular Vote in my opinion. Whether he wins the Electoral College and thus the presidency is another matter.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Pro-Life with an Exception?

It is widely reported and sparked by the Todd Akin scandal that the Republican Party platform has long held that abortion should be illegal and not be allowed under any circumstance including where there is risk to the life of the mother or in cases of rape. Democrats believe that the more people understand this party position, the less attractive it will be to vote for a Republican.

The response to this issue should begin with when you believe life begins.  If you believe life begins at conception, then the GOP’s platform should not be offensive. I happen to believe life begins at conception and accordingly, no matter the circumstance of the conception, the life of the unborn child is not up for my carnal debate. When left to our own standard, we kill unborn babies so we can go to school, so we can keep our figures, or because it’s just not convenient. Women and men are driven by narcissism in this regard.

Yes, a birth caused by rape is abhorrent.  Yes, the anguish of carrying a child under such circumstances is beyond  male comprehension.    It is also true that God detests the shedding of innocent blood (see Proverbs 6:17).  Yes, I believe abortion is a spiritual question and not secular.  We’re talking about the life of an innocent person who did not create the circumstance of its conception. Should it be made to involuntarily pay the ultimate price? The exception for rape puts an onus on the unborn that I find equally abhorrent as the rape that caused such a life.

If, on the other hand, you do not believe that life begins at conception, you are likely to be offended by the GOP’s position and not a conservative anyway.

The GOP gets this one right in my book.  Hold up a standard, do not waiver, and let the voters decide whom they will serve.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Voting Mormon

I anxiously await the opportunity to cast my vote for the Mitt Romney – Paul Ryan ticket.  I am acutely aware that for the first time in a General Election, casting a vote for a candidate that many believe is not a “real” Christian is a first.  I asked myself, can I vote for a Mormon?

The answer is a resounding- Yes!

When I vote for a president, I am voting for the person I believe will promote my social and fiscal values.  Specifically and by way of example, I cannot vote for a Pro-Choice candidate.  That’s a non-negotiable for me. I believe in the sanctity of human life and desire to abate the use of my tax dollars to support the murder of innocent children. Nor can I knowingly vote for an unlimited government big spender. Such a candidate is bad for the black community-extending the welfare state and killing prosperity. 
President Obama has doubled the amount of recipients on food stamps since being in office is one example.  The poor should be helped toward prosperity not towards greater dependency on government. I also believe in a strong national defense.  America has been a force of liberty and freedom around the world.  It has shed its own blood and treasure for the cause of freedom for others.  She can continue to do so with a strong military.  These are just some of the attributes I look for in my candidate. I’d like a president to promote policies that keep America strong economically (domestically and abroad) and who will support and appreciate the one thing that has made our nation great – The United States Constitution.

Notice I don’t look to the president for his or her faith. The president is not my spiritual leader. By the same token, I am comfortable enough with the values I see in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to believe that they will lead American to financial solvency again among other things.  As long as I can stay on my knees and worship Jesus Christ without government intrusion, a Mormon in the Oval Office is just fine with me.    It’s up to people of faith to follow their spiritual compass and in so doing pray for all the leaders of our nation. That’s what I plan to do no matter the election results.

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