Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
Source: Haiku Deck

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Washington Redskins: Video: Coach Jay Gruden's Training Camp Press Conference: 7/31/14

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I liked Coach Gruden's comments about the defense talking about for the needs for the Redskins to tackle better. To pressure more and give more looks to give opposing offenses more to think about. Last year the Redskins defense was fairly conservative by design with Coach Mike Shanahan somewhat limiting what Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett could do on defense. But also because of the fact the Redskins were so weak in the secondary and gave up so many big plays in the passing game.

As far as the offense. I thought it was interesting in what he had to say about quarterback Robert Griffin and giving Griffin more looks and more packages and trying to get him to think more about being a quarterback and not just automatically taking off when under pressure. But Gruden wants Griffin to look at all of his options when under pressure, but in  other areas as well so he's not running when he has open receivers downfield.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The American Thinker: Opinion- Mary Anne Marcella: 'The Death of America'

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

This post is somewhat challenging because it is going to be two parts. That by itself is not challenging, but one part is going to sound and be pretty negative and partisan. And the other part is going to be pretty positive and hopefully unifying and uplifting about why we are Americans and what brings us together. Which generally has nothing to do with religion, or ethnic or racial heritage, or the country from which our ancestors came. But the national values that we share as Americans.

The negative part first. There are those a major, but seriously shrinking faction on the Right people who I call Traditional Values Conservatives. Neoconservatives would be more accurate from a political point of view, but certainly conservative in a cultural standpoint in the sense that they want to conserve their way of life and how they grew and how America looked the way up until let's say the mid 1960s or so. And then of course went through dramatic national changes.

Traditional Values believers believe the country as it has become more diverse across the national spectrum and more tolerant of people who are not like them again across the national spectrum and more tolerant of different lifestyles, that the country as a result has been going downhill ever since culturally and politically. That their Protestant Anglo-Saxon way of life which tends to be deeply rooted in the South and rural parts of America outside of the South is under attacked as there are now a lot less of them. And a lot more Americans of other racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

What the Neo-Right calls "Traditional America" starts with the founding of our Federal Republic that grants so many constitutional and individual rights to Americans regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious or cultural background. But Neoconservatives believe those rights are just for them. "Religious freedom doesn't include Muslims because Islam is not a real religion". Would be an example of their bigotry. But that would be the modern version of it to go along with how they feel about "homosexuals are people who are immoral and not deserving the same rights as straights. Latinos are Un-American and not deserving the same rights and do not deserve to be in America".

I could include how our Founding Americans felt about Africans and the African slave trade in America. "Africans are not people and as a result should be treated like animals or property". But that might be to harsh for some to hear. The problem that the Neo-Right has had in America is they've lost almost every cultural battle this country has fought in the Cultural War mostly through the court system and is a big reason why we are so diverse as a country to go along with our immigration system. That we take people from all over the world regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality.

Now for the positive side. One of the things that makes America exceptional and yes I do believe in American Exceptionalism is that unlike most European and Asian countries America is not dominated by one race, ethnicity, religion or culture. And yet post Civil War and civil rights movement we've managed to live pretty well together as one country that is at least physically still together. Sure there are a tone of things that divide us, but generally not relating to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or even sexuality. What tends to divide us has to do with economic and educational status. To go along with political ideology, lifestyle choices and social status.

What brings Americans together tends to deal with our national values that most Americans share. The beliefs in individual freedom both economic and personal. Our beliefs in the Constitution and at least most of that document, not parts that get cherry picked for partisan political reasons. Our beliefs in freedom to go along with responsibility and tolerance of other Americans who don't share their political, cultural or religious beliefs. Our beliefs in education, opportunity, helping those in need. That is the only way a country of three-hundred and fifteen-million people or so that is as racially, ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse can function as one country without separating into several different new countries.
Source: Fox News: The O'Reilly Factor- Bill O'Reilly: 'The Left's Immigration Plan'

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Week: Opinion- Damon Linker: The Laughable to Get Mitt Romney to Run in 2016: Mitt Who in 2016

Source: The Week-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Hubert Humphrey had a great line in 1968 when he and Richard Nixon were the Democratic and Republican nominees for president. Vice President Humphrey's line was about one of Mr. Nixon's campaign themes for president in 1968 which was The New Nixon. And talking about Nixon's multiple political comebacks in his career as well as attempted political comebacks.

The 1952 Checkers speech that kept then Senator Nixon on the Republican ticket for Vice President.

The experienced and ready to serve Nixon in 1960 when he ran for President the first time.

The New Nixon 1962 when he ran for Governor of California in after losing the 1960 presidential election to Jack Kennedy.

And what Hubert said about all of these new Nixon's was that "a man who has had as many political face lifts and touchups in his career can't be very new". I'm paraphrasing here but that is damn close. And you go to Mitt Romney and doesn't matter which Mitt you choose and I'll get into more of that later, but Mitt Romney has had a similar political career. One of the differences between Tricky Dick Nixon and Flip Flopper Mitt Romney is that Dick won most of his political elections. Nixon was 8-2 as a political candidate and incumbent which covers all of his Congressional, Vice Presidential and Presidential elections. Mitt is 1-3 not exactly a winner as a politician.

But let's take a look at Mitt Romney's political career because that should explain that 1-3 record. He was Liberal Democrat Mitt in 1994 essentially running as a New Democrat in Massachusetts (even though he is a Republican, go figure) for U.S. Senate against the progressive champion Senator Ted Kennedy. He lost that election overwhelmingly an election where he was a strong favorite going in. Then Moderate Mitt shows up in 2002 when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts. And of course that is still the only election Mitt has ever won in now sixty-seven years on this planet. Moderate Mitt managed to stay around as Governor until he ran for President the first time in 2007.

In 2007-08 Religious-Conservative/Neo-Con Hawk (even though he's a Mormon and comes from a religion that believes in multiple spouses) Mitt shows up to run for President the first time. Mike Huckabee deserves the credit for the best line about Mitt Romney in that campaign. When Governor Huckabee said that "Mitt looks like the man who fired your father". Mitt Romney has Wall Street country club Northeastern conservative establishment Republican written all over his chess and back. And yet he's never run as someone who is proud of his success in life. But the candidate who runs as the guy who tries to please everybody, but instead offends everyone at the same time.

In 2009-10 was probably the best part of Mitt Romney's political career where he was once again out of public office because he couldn't get a job in it. But that is a time when he did some real studying about current affairs especially foreign policy and learning about the United States Government and issues that the country was facing. The problem was that he didn't use that knowledge very well to communicate a reason for why he should be elected President in 2012. But instead focused on who does he need to vote for him and how to talk everyone at the same time with different messages for each group.

2012 is the biggest stain not only on Mitt's career and something the Republican Party is going to have a real hard time living down especially if they lose again in 2016 and fail to win back the Senate in 2014. Because 2012 at least based on history and the economy was an election they should've won at least on paper. Going up against a fairly weak incumbent (but not weak enough for Mitt Romney) in President Barack Obama who was somewhere around 45% approval nationally with a struggling economy that had eight-percent unemployment most of the year that was barely growing. With a high budget deficit and national debt.

But again we are talking about Mitt Romney here so what does he do, but of course changes his political appearance once again. Who is Mitt Romney? You ask Mitt and put him on truth serum and he might say "I'm who I need to be to accomplish what I want to accomplish at any given time". You ask him off of truth serum and you may get five different answers to the same question at the same time. 2012 was Flip Flopper Mitt because I'm still struggling to figure out what his campaign theme was about because he changed it multiple times. At best it was successful businessman with a history of turning struggling organizations around who would turn the American economy around Mitt. Not exactly inspirational.

When the main question about a politician or a politician wannabe in Mitt Romney's case who has spent only four years of his entire life in public office (not for a lack of trying) because he lost most of the elections he's run in, but when the main question is after twenty years on public life as far as being well known and the number one question is "who are you?" Or "who is he"? You know you are in trouble as a political candidate. And that pretty much summarizes the political career of Mitt  Romney. The man who didn't even have the guts to let voters know who is he and what is he about and why they should vote for him.
The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon: Slow Jam The News- With Mitt Romney

Sunday, July 6, 2014

USFL History: Video: USFL Comes Back

I have already written a blog about why the United Sates Football League failed in the mid 1980s and how it could've succeeded. So I'm not going to focus too much on that but the reasons why the USFL could've succeeded and still be in business today are the same reasons how a USFL could make it today, because there are enough non NFL markets in America, to support a USFL franchise. And enough good NFL caliber players, to make the USFL work today, who maybe aren't ready for the NFL yet or have been overlooked and just need that one shot to make it.

The NFL is somewhat short on quarterbacks offensive lineman, defensive lineman and there are plenty of NFL players, that simply aren't ready to be stars in the NFL today. And need time to develop and when they are sent out to play now, they simply don't look ready to play yet, but if they are playing in the USFL and given a chance to develop and play and not have to worry about playing against the best football players in the World, then the pressure is off to a certain extent instead of trying to live up to some huge contract that they signed and would be better off starting in the USFL.

Put those players in the USFL, they would be surrounded by good young players, who just need time to develop or that shot to be a good NFL or USFL player. The USFL could serve as either a developmental league for the NFL or they could end up, however they develop their players and are able to attract players to their league perhaps one day end up being part of the NFL or perhaps merging with the Canadian Football League, the USFL and maybe we could end up with some type Continental Bowl in the future.

But in the short-term, the USFL needs to be about developing NFL players, that aren't ready to be in the NFL yet or players that are so far down on the depth chart, that they aren't getting a chance to develop. And they need do this by being a spring league at least in the beginning, basically starting training camp and Preseason after the Super Bowl and playing in major non NFL markets. Again a big reason why the USFL failed, was because they were in big NFL markets, like Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago etc.

The USFL can't do that again and need to go to places like, Orlando, Birmingham, Memphis, perhaps Columbus, Ohio, San Antonio, Portland, Salt Lake, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, perhaps San Jose or Sacramento. Major big cities like this that want pro football but don't have an NFL Franchise yet that would especially support a USFL franchise in the spring. And you take the players from the NFL or were overlooked by the NFL, that are simply not ready to play full-time in the NFL yet, thats how the USFl could succeed.