Friday, July 30, 2010

Someone Tell Kanye West: The White House Doesn't Care About Black People

We all remember Kanye West's epic rant during the Concert for Hurricane Relief after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, where he blathered on about George Bush not caring about black people, despite the fact that the National Guard and Coast Guard rescued as many as 50,000 people (many of whom were black), the death rate from the storm was higher for whites than for blacks, and that the state and local governments failed its citizens in innumerable ways after the storm hit.

Well, I don't know what Kanye's doing now, but he may be interested to know a few things which have recently come to light.
African-American lawmakers are irate that the Obama administration has promised Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) $1.5 billion in farm aid while claiming it can’t pay a landmark legal settlement with black farmers.

...At the same time, the administration has told black farmers it lacks the funds to pay a $1.2 billion agreement they reached with the Department of Agriculture in 1999 to settle the Pigford class-action lawsuit.
...The agriculture disaster relief had been included in the small-business bill until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled it at the last minute in a bid for GOP support.
That's right. The government can't seem to find the cash to pay black farmers who were victims of discrimination, but they have plenty to pay off a white senator, to make sure she votes the way the White House wants her to.

...just wanted to make sure that sunk in for everyone.

There was another little gem that has the blogosphere in an uproar this week. Every once in a while, we'll hear this politician or that politician say something racially insensitive. If a Democrat says it, they will inevitably get a pass. Republicans? Well, not so much.

Needless to say, it's time to hand another top Democrat such a pass.
NEW YORK — President Obama waded into the national race debate in an unlikely setting and with an unusual choice of words: telling daytime talk show hosts that African-Americans are “sort of a mongrel people.”

...When asked about his background, which includes a black father and white mother, Obama said of African-Americans: "We are sort of a mongrel people."

"I mean we're all kinds of mixed up," Obama said. "That's actually true of white people as well, but we just know more about it."
...What?! You cannot be serious. Did he just call black people, "mongrels"?! Granted, the technical definition of the word "mongrel" isn't quite as salacious. But the connotation of the word implies that one is impure, dirty, without social mores, etc. Why the hell would anyone choose to use that word?

But you know what? It doesn't matter. At the end of the day, the same folks who call Republicans a bunch of rrrrrrracists will choose not to acknowledge these and future insensitive remarks/actions from Democrats. But I'm sure that Democrats are well aware of this fact, and are counting on it to save their hides come November.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Government Mandates Diversity on Wall Street, Bloats Government Further

It always seems to happen. Inside the massive, 2,000+ page bills that manage to move their way through congress, there always seems to be a few nuggets of pure gold that no one seemed to notice before. Where can one find a complete take-over of the student loan system? The health care bill, of course. A tax on gold? Naturally, the health care bill.

Needless to say, to find out that a Financial Reform bill also includes new industry employment mandates should come as no shock to anyone.
Deep inside the massive overhaul bill, Congress gives the federal government authority to terminate contracts with any financial firm that fails to ensure the “fair inclusion” of women and minorities, forcing every kind of company from a Wall Street giant to a mom-and-pop law office to account for the composition of its work force.
...This applies to “services of any kind,” including investment firms, mortgage banking firms, asset management firms, brokers, dealers, underwriters, accountants, consultants and law firms, the legislation states. Every contractor and subcontractor must now certify that their workforces reflect a “fair inclusion” of women and minorities.
"Fair inclusion," eh? So, what constitutes "fair inclusion?" Surely, with an outcome a severe as contract termination, the government would spell out what would be considered "unfair." Let's continue to read, in the hopes that my government won't let me down.
The law sets no quotas, not even ratios or goals for hiring. And the government has options other than termination at its disposal for contractors who fail to meet the “fair inclusion” standard, including referring the matter to the Labor Department.
Well, nevermind that, then.

But wait, it gets better. What is one of the reasons why lawmakers felt it so necessary to add this ridiculous provision into the bill? Because of how hard minority groups were hit after the subprime mortgage industry collapsed. You see, they don't feel that woman and minority-owned businesses received an adequate share of the $700 million bank bailout. Gary Acosta, co-founder of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, argued in the article, “Considering the devastation that has taken place in the minority communities – that was done by irresponsible and predatory lending – this makes sense and helps them mitigate that."

...Right. Because the individuals who insisted on buying a $200,000 home on a $15,000/year job bear absolutely no responsibility in those situations. Those ev-il bankers used their jedi mind tactics to TRICK them into lending that money! And it was TOTALLY someone else's fault that those businesses decided to lend completely unqualified people that money!

The closing act to this new gem of a government mandate, is probably just as you'd expect. The law "establishes at least 20 new Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion across the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission and other finance-related agencies."

So, at the end of the day, here's what we have - a fuzzy government mandate, rewards for those who made irresponsible decisions, and an inflated government.

Sounds about right, don't you think?
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Obama in 2008: "Hope and Change." Obama in 2010: "Things could be worse."

We all remember the bleeding heart mantra of 2008 then-presidential candidate Barack Obama - Hope and Change. People clung to that phrase with every inch of their life. Some, a little too much.

Who could forgot those Hopey-Changey assurances he made us. Unemployment under 8%? Nope. Imported prescription drugs? Still, no. Greater transparency in government? No, no, and definitely, no.

In light of these failures (of which I've only named a small fraction), you'd think he'd show a little humility. But not this guy.

Take a load off, buddy. It must be hard work deflecting all that blame.
So Obama tells voters every chance he gets that things would be a lot worse if not for the stimulus bill and other steps he took. At least the recession never became a depression, the president says.

Proving a negative is a hard argument to make, but Obama keeps at it. He has little choice.
Sometimes, the president sounds confident the message will get through.

"Americans don't have selective memory," Obama told NBC News recently. They'll remember "the policies that got us into this mess as well."

Other times, he doesn't sound so sure.

"I know that sometimes people don't remember how bad it was, and how bad it could have been," Obama said in Racine, Wis.

So this election year, instead of beckoning voters to change the future, Obama is just hoping they'll remember the past
It's true. What choice does he have at this point? With government borrowing 41 cents of every $1 it spends, one of his biggest voting segments turning away from him (not to mention Obama Girl),and his disapproval ratings higher than his approval numbers, what else can he do?

The GOP will have plenty of epic failures of his administration to hit him with come November. If the only thing Obama has is a big finger pointing at someone else, accompanied by diatribe that largely consists of, "Hey what do you want from me," then he may as well just pack it in now.
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Inner-City School Buys Students Public Transit Passes, Realizes It's a Bad Idea $500K Later

Remember the good old days when our tax dollars paid for a big, yellow school bus to take our little youngsters to and from school?

Well, apparently, that's just not good enough for Columbus City Schools in Columbus, Ohio.

The school board authorized over half a million dollars to be spent to purchase up to 17,400 public bus passes, valid for up to one year. According to the district, they were only to for "official school functions and internships."

As most things, it sounded nice in theory, but in practice, well, not so much (emphasis mine):

The Columbus City Schools paid $520,470 to give up to 17,400 high-school students a COTA [Central Ohio Transit Authority] bus pass for one year, but the district is temporarily suspending the program starting today.

That means today, students who had free bus rides will have to pay the $1.75 one-way fare or the $2.50 express fare - even though district taxpayers already paid for them to ride the bus. The schools won't be getting any money back from COTA, either. This is the first time that students' riding privileges have been canceled mid-contract.

...If the district intended to limit pass usage, that's not what it paid for. The contract between the district and COTA says the service is "valid for unlimited rides on all COTA services effective October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010." Any "secondary student," which technically includes those out of elementary school, can use a school-issued bus pass.
Really? So, no one had the presence of mind to write into the contract, "Not valid on trips to the mall?"

Not only that, but these passes were purchased for students who didn't even attend Columbus City Schools.
The passes also can be issued to charter and private-school students who live within the Columbus City Schools boundaries, the contract says.
Well, that's nice and all, but if a parent chooses not to send their child to Columbus City Schools, why should Columbus City Schools pay for the bus fare to and from their school of choice?

Someone needs to be a grown up and take away the district's credit card. Enough is enough.

I'm Pissed Off

That's right, you heard me.

I'm pissed off.

But first, how I became so angry...

During my formative years, I sat and listened to my father and brother talk politics at our dinner table, always with a chip on their shoulder when a Democrat was involved. I usually just sat and twirled my fork around on my plate, waiting for the seemingly never-ending discussion to come to its natural closing. I never really listened, or even remotely paid attention. I was as apathetic as I could possibly be.

After I started college and began my ascension into adulthood, the absurdity I witnessed from my wildly liberal professors and their doting, eager-to-please students was always accompanied in my mind by bits and pieces of those childhood, dinner table conversations. They were slowly re-emerging, competing with the words and actions of those America-hating, liberal professors and my aggressively liberal classmates, who would sooner shout me down and call me a Nazi than listen to anyone who challenged their views.

At the end of the day, I could not make my peers' and professors' words make sense.

From then on, I began to casually follow the news and other goings on on Capital Hill. I read books, magazines, newspapers, etc. Those conversations my brother and father had during my youth? I began having them with my father, too. By the time I graduated from college and was "on my own," I could categorize myself as "Conservative," with a fair amount of knowledge, which allowed me to carry on political conversations and defend my views.

Now - fast forward with me to November 2008 - the election of Barack Obama.

I had a bad feeling about him from the start - a "wolf in sheep's clothing" was the best way I could describe my strange intuition. He said the right things, and sounded and looked sharp while he said them. People hung onto his every word. He was just too slick. No one should trust anyone that slick.

As his presidency went on, my feelings proved true. Tax cuts for hard-working Americans? No where in sight. Bridge the partisan gap? We are more divided now than ever. As the country's animosity grew at the same mind-bending pace as the Federal deficit, my frustration grew along side both.

Then, the health care bill passed.

...and that was it for me. If you've read this far, I don't think I need to expound any further.

Since then, I have created a Conservative presence on Twitter, joined my local Young Republicans group, and now - to add to my resume - am blogging.

What can you expect to find here? I'll take aim at local, state, and national politicians, and zero in on all of their absolute nonsense. While it's clear my entries will be written from a Conservative POV, I don't do personal smearing. I don't care what Michelle Obama wears or what Nancy Pelosi looks like without make-up. I don't care how much a politician weighs and I could care less about their marital problems. I only care about what they do with taxpayer money on taxpayer time.

So there you have it. That's me. Read if you want to, don't if you don't. But if find yourself in my corner of The Interwebs, I can assure you, there will be plenty of smart-assery and snark to go around.