Friday, September 30, 2011


Ted Leonsis embodies the American dream. Inside-the-beltway readers know him as the owner of three sports teams--the Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Capitals (NHL) and Washington Mystics (WNBA)--plus the Verizon Center arena in downtown D.C. where they play. But he was Brooklyn born, the son of a waiter and a secretary. From those humble origins, he founded and sold his first new media company at age 26 for $60 million; co-founded AOL, where he was Vice President, then President. Retiring from AOL in 2006, he founded another internet company, later bought by American Express, and started and still owns SnagFilms, which distributes documentary films online so as to reach a greater audience.

Leonsis voted for President Obama and supports the President's re-election. Yet, his reaction to Obama's latest approach is "Class Warfare -- Yuck":
Economic Success has somehow become the new boogie man; some in the Democratic party are now casting about for enemies and business leaders and anyone who has achieved success in terms of rank or fiscal success is being cast as a bad guy in a black hat. This is counter to the American Dream and is really turning off so many people that love American and basically carry our country on their back by paying taxes and by employing people and creating GDP.

This is a bad move all designed by some pollster who said this is the way to get votes during the re-election. It should be stopped. We should be healing and creating teams NOT dividing and pitting people against one another.

I know the President isn’t speaking to me specifically when he talks but many times I hear stuff and I cringe personally. As a friend told me the other day who lives in China, "Every time your President talks of late, it costs us billions in market cap and in confidence in your country and your economy." Why do we devalue success in the US when the rest of the world is trying to emulate what we have created as an economic system? . . .

With my investments and board seats and companies that I own, I am at a leadership position in concerns that employ more than 200,000 people. We do our best to be good corporate citizens. I know in the companies that I own personally or am the largest shareholder that we support now more than 500 charities. We care. Pick some business leaders that you work with and make them heroes. Don’t demonize them. Showcase them as great Americans that care and hire and employ people. Employment is the biggest issue you will face when re-election comes. If people aren’t working, they will blame you and your administration. And since you have never worked before in a real job for a real company, you need help from people who have been there. Don’t push them away!

I pay taxes. I am willing to pay even more taxes but I would want accountability that the money was being spent wisely on infrastructure investments; education and retraining; and anything that makes us more competitive and gets people working again. That seems fair doesn’t it?

I voted for our President. I have maxed out on personal donations to his re-election campaign. I forgot his campaign wants to raise $1 billion. THAT is a lot of money-money-money-money! Money still talks. It blows my mind when I am asked for money as a donation at the same time I am getting blasted as being a bad guy!

Someone needs to talk our President down off of this rhetoric about good vs. evil; about two classes and math.

Our country was founded on the premise of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Is anyone happy right now with all of this?

Hit a reset button ASAP.
Maybe the Democrats should nominate Leonsis for President. The best part, if Leonsis won, is that (caution--obscure 1980s hockey reference coming) Rod Langway could return to his old job.

(via reader Doug)


Powerboss said...

Loved Rod Langway! Great Defenseman.

Carl said...

I own a Langway Caps jersey, signed and dated by him on June 19, 2002 -- the day he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

OBloodyHell said...

Not to get off the Hockey thing, but Leonsis is the kind of well-meaning idiot that is a major problem.

He backs someone who so clearly does not represent ANYTHING he does -- solely because he's a "Democrat".

And He Just Does Not Get IT:

What is wrong with that.

It's actually what the whole Tea Party movement IS ABOUT, at its heart.

It's the fact that the current crop of GOP leaders -- both office seekers and the underlying bureaucratic structure -- No longer stands for what we believe that being a "Republican" should stand for.

So the goal is to eliminate those members from the GOP.

"Purification"? Yeah, really, in a sense. If you have a school filled with teachers who are pedophiles and perverts, is it a bad thing to want to "purify" it of those people?

If the GOP has a vast array of people who WON'T vote for smaller government, WON'T stand up to the Dems when they throw one of their widdle "temper tantrums", WON'T cut the budget... EVER -- then that does not happen to be what the GOP is supposed to be about. And it needs to be "purified" of those who don't believe in those things.

That, or another independent party needs to be formed that represents those ideas, because there are ONE HELL OF A LOT OF PEOPLE who support them as a basis for government.

If only the Dems could make such a leap of awareness regarding those in their own party and supporters, who are leading America and its people down a path to its doom.

Far too much to ask from the liberal brain, though...

Carl said...

OBH: I certainly agree with the idiocy of those who vote Democrat because they always have, because all the cool people do, because Democrats are the party that helps the people, etc. I don't go as far as you on purification of the GOP. I'm no RINO, and if the Republican party doesn't stand for individual liberty and less government, it's obsolete. That being said, we have to win power to exercise it. I don't object to the Tea Party unless it tries to become a third party--which won't work and will ensure a Democrat victory.

Let's take the Senate and the White House, and try to shrink the government--we can't do it with Obama and Harry Reid.

OBloodyHell said...

>>> Let's take the Senate and the White House, and try to shrink the government--we can't do it with Obama and Harry Reid.

The only problem I have with this, Carl, is that we had that, during Bush's first admin.

We got the central pivot of the Housing Crisis for it. What we didn't get was a solution to Social Security.

The GOP had the power to tell the Dems to stuff it, and hemmed and hawed and got stuck with the "bill" of lading for the Housing crisis despite the fact that it grew from Democratic soil, was nurtured by Democratic gardeners, and was lauded as a Garden Miracle by Democratic Media proponents.

...And Social Security got ignored, and, face it, the budget DID go up substantially under Bush just as it has under every admin, Dem or GOP -- about the only saving "argument" is that the economy was expanding faster so nominally there was "less" than we could have bought.

>>>> if the Republican party doesn't stand for individual liberty and less government, it's obsolete.

OK, this is ambiguous. Are you saying that the GOP is obsolete or individual liberty and smaller government are obsolete?

Because the former is certainly a valid commentary when you want to argue that the two parties have become a single unified body in truth, the "Republicrat" party.

One presumes that you aren't claiming the latter.

The problem is that one CAN reasonably argue that the two parties are basically the same. When the only reason I can't vote against an essentially center-leftist Republican candidate is because the Democratic candidate is a total leftist nutjob, then there really ISN'T a party that represents what I believe in. And all too many agree with that, which is where the TP movement came from.

And if we cannot change the GOP using pressure from the TP, then what?

I personally believe that parties need to rise and fall. It happened in the past, and it ought to happen again.

If the Dems keep winning, they'll keep screwing things up. That will only empower more and more people to agreeing with the TP, first among the center-GOP, then among the swing voters and true independents.

It might take time, but this compromise crap is just pushing away the day of doom, when the chickens come home to roost, and making it that much worse, that much longer-lasting, and that much harder to fix short of total destruction of the nation.

I'm not even sure we're NOT past that point already.

Too much economic illiteracy, too much historical ignorance, too much inability to apply even the simplest critical thinking procedures to the most basic problems, too much "me me me meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!"

I see light ahead, I'm just not sure it's not an oncoming train.

We may well be near to the end of the Westphalian system. I've wondered previously if nations, as they are today, weren't too large and centralized to operate effectively in an IP&S economy, which needs to be networked in structure, not hierarchical.

Perhaps we need to go back to enhanced city-states, or nations the size of US states. It provides less ire -- harder to get ticked off at -- find major issue with the actions of -- 20 million people than 300 million.

We live in interesting times, in the apocryphal "Chinese Curse" sense.