Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama – Mid-Term Elections – Caught Between Party, Ideology, Rock Star Persona and an Increasingly Conservative Populace.

Obama As Rock-Star - image: myrtlebeachbum wordpress

The mid-term elections are looming, and polls conducted to date, show an overall definitive advantage to the Republican’s vying for seats in both State and National elections. Those who look at historical trends, see a pattern that is not only reminiscent of the 1994 sweep of the House by Republicans, but an earlier rejection of a brand into an administration (political party) across the board. In conjunction, polls taken regarding the Administrations programs, as well as the political think trends of the populace, most startling, a swing right on social issuessuggest a rejection of policies as well as an increase in conservatism.

A Boston Globe piece ”Midterm elections raise ante for Obama” (With a subtitle “Votes may hinge on his record”) suggests that the Presidents problems lie with passage of Health Care Reform, and that without passage before years’ end, the mid-terms may trend more Republican. One has to ask, what’s the Globe smoking?

Although a recent AP poll suggested that Health Care Reform ”has a pulse”,it is a weak one at best. To pin the Presidents woes on one issue, is not accurate, as it does not reflect additional issues (economy, stimulus, cap and trade, foreign policy, the War in Afghanistan) which are driving the majority of populace away from the middle and to the right, while at the same time alienating the base who would move the all policy further to the left.

The bellwether will be the 2009 Races; two in particular, the Governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia. Should one or both states trend Republican, the news of said event would add additional credibility to the increasingly popular brand of the Republican Party (which is consistently portrayed as weakened by the Press.) However, the bigger story will lie in the State races, which are also trending Conservative – that will herald a total rejection of the Party – all within two election cycles (2006 and 2008 when Democrats took control of the House and Senate and then the Oval Office). Therefore, it is not Obama alone to blame, but the ideology of a Party run unchecked.

Herein lays the Presidents problems: Obama campaigned as a “Rock Star”, promising tax cuts to the middle, and the moon (proverbial) to the left, once settled into the Oval Office, policy and appointments veered sharply left, in line with the think of Pelosi, Reid and Frank – who appear, for all intents and purposes are the most unpopular trio in Congressional history. Rock Stars today, in general, have limited shelf-life, given the 15 minutes of fame extended to those who participate in any reality television program. The President has made appearance after appearance on national television, which has done little to further endear him to the General Public. Additionally, the fact that the public, in general, held this man to a higher standard, pinning their hopes on his “rescue” of the nation, and expecting a quick fix to boot, further damages the Obama brand. It is not a rejection of the man, it is a rejection of policy, by a nation that expected too much, too soon and a President and Congress in concert that believed they could accomplish too much too fast. He should have stayed centered, literally, moved at a measured pace and gained control of his House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader from the "get go". The President's biggest mistake: was to study Lincoln a bit harder than he studied Carter (which apparently, he did not). Had he done so, he would have had a literal “How Not To” guide on destroying both country and party in short order.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Funding Cut for Iran Human Rights Agency, Grants (Stimulus) Guided by Obama Administration Foreign Policy.

From AlJezeera: Obama and Ahmadinejad

From: The Boston Globe: The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, a watchdog group that keeps tabs on Human Rights abuses under the current Iranian Regime, will be forced to shut down in May due to lack of funding. The group had functioned with grants given by the State Department; tracking human rights abuses committed by the regime over the past five years; in essence giving a voice to the seventy million people held captive in their own country. The past several months have seen the atrocities peak, with the peaceful demonstrations against the regime over voter fraud turning into a literal slaughter of innocents by the Supreme Leaders imported Arab forces. Although followed by certain news agencies, little came from the White House in support for those who were risking and losing their lives in the quest for a Democratic Iran. It follows then, with a new commitment to “reach out” certain nations that are less than savory, that funding for an agency that runs counter to the Presidents foreign policy, would be cut.

The amount needed to keep this organization running is a pittance compared to the billions wasted on projects that were loaded into the Stimulus plan. $2.7 million is what this agency needs to keep afloat for 2 years, yet road signs touting the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act projects (of which there are thousands) cost $1,500 per sign, (Just one of many projects that might be considered unnecessary (i.e. proving to the American populace that the stimulus is working). Granted these funds would be coming from two different agencies that said cutting State Department Funds appears rather risky given the emboldened tone of those nations that once were considered “enemies of the state”. It is a move that is somewhat Carteresque. That said, this particular organization does nothing to interfere with the Government of Iran, rather it is merely documenting cases of human rights abuses – again, giving a voice to those who would fight for freedom, something most residing within the confines of the United State of America currently take for granted.

A young woman, Neda, Shot during peaceful protest in Iran Image:Farsinet

A visit to the agency website is strongly encouraged: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and a donation (strongly encouraged as well) can be made directly to the Center. (Pay Pal) When one takes the time to delve into what takes place in a nation that would see our ally, Israel, destroyed, a nation that has funded attacks on our forces in Iraq, and one which now, possesses the capabilities of nuclear weapons use and trade, it is apparent that the American citizens should do what the current administration will not – help fund the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Children Sing for Health Care Reform on CNN - Abuse of Children for Political Gain

The video below depicts school children singing on the set of CNN, a painfully rehearsed political ditty in favor of "Health Care Reform" to the tune of "Party in The USA". Politico has the video here, with comments: here. The comment: "Pathetic! Using kids for political purposes, this is outrageous. They have no shame!" says it all. This video is the latest in a string of politically charged songs sung by children in a variety of settings; children too young to understand what they are singing about, let alone that they are singing at the obvious "behest" of a "leader". It is an obvious fact that adults are using children, in the hopes of making a political statement or impact it is, in a word, cultish.

$1.5 Billion HUD “Stimulus” Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program Hits the Streets. Temporary Assistance without Long-Term Solutions.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, recently began accepting applications for assistance. The programs design, in brief:

"HPRP funding is focused on providing short-and medium-term rental assistance to individuals and families who are currently in housing, but at risk of becoming homeless, and individuals and families who are homeless. Approximately $1.489 billion will be allocated for these purposes to states, metropolitan cities, urban counties and territories.”

It is obvious that the need for assistance for assistance in this nation, specifically for the homeless and those who are fiscally strapped due to fixed income restraints (specifically the elderly who rely on minimal social security benefits), is severe, that said, the premise of the program, with an intent towards “short-term” assistance to those who are currently homeless or about to become homeless – the crux, they must be able to fend for themselves after receiving said aid. If one is homeless, chances are great that one also does not have a job, and has also exhausted unemployment benefits. With the unemployment rate at 9.8%, the chances of gaining employment is minimal, therefore, the program itself (handing out checks without a program in place that offers re-education or resettlement) is little more than a “temporary” fix.

In Detroit $15 million was made available to “help residents pay bills and their rent or find temporary housing for the homeless.”
According to WDIV Detroit, thousands lined up for applications, falsely believing that they were going to receive a “stimulus check” for $3,000. A video is available on WDIV here
The report further states:

To qualify, a person must have been a resident of Detroit for more than six months must be homeless or facing eviction and must be able to maintain housing after receiving assistance.
Also, a resident must make 50 percent less than the median area income, which would be less than $24,850 for single Detroit residents and less than $35,500 for a family of four.
No mortgage assistance will be available through this program.

A host of other cities are reporting on the HUD Stimulus including:
St. Louis, Missouri, Camden, PA, and Manatee, Florida. Grants per city range from $8.4 million to a $10 Million dollar award to a homeless shelter in Los Angeles.

One has to wonder, however, if this program may have worked better if the resettlement and assistance for those who are able-bodied and have even limited job skills had come with, at the very least, employment of some sort. It is to the point, where a “workfare” program would serve the populace and the nation (similar to the programs instituted by FDR), allowing those who are merely seeking additional “entitlements”, the ability to “opt” out if they chose not to work, while giving those who have no employment prospects, the opportunity to build a work history, or maintain a work history, which will stand them in good stead, once the job market improves. With Government run programs, however, the risks remain. One merely needs to look at Massachusetts’ program to house the homeless in hotels to understand that programs are often designed in haste, permanently trapping individuals in poverty, who would otherwise contribute to society, if only given the opportunity.

Granted, what is being suggested is another government program, that said, one in which taxpayers dollars are spent to a)aid those who cannot aid themselves (the elderly), and those who are able, to offer temporary housing, utility payments in exchange for employment that would serve both the individual and the public. Understandably, it would still be big government, and subject to the natural course of corruption associated with most programs, yet, to those who are living without hope of any kind, it would offer an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families with dignity and the hope of a future.

A note: On the occasion of meeting a volunteer for a local soup kitchen, and asking what was most needed, the big request was for shower curtains – curtains are used to cover tents, where families, where both parents have lost jobs, and home, live under a City bridge. The shower curtains act as insulation. It is not that these families live there by choice; rather, if one owns a car, one is not able to receive housing assistance in Massachusetts – a ridiculous aspect of government regulations. Many would hold onto the vehicles for shelter as well as the hope of a job, and the ability to drive to and from, with an eye towards eventually being able to return to safe and secure housing. It is with this in mind, that monies given to those made homeless (and it is a situation that could happen to anyone at anytime), would be better spent if opportunity, even short term state and/or federal employment were offered.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Update: Massachusetts 4th District 2010 Congressional Race – Barney Frank vs. Earl Sholley

Earl Sholley, Candidate for U.S. Congress, Massachusetts 4th District

Although still early in the 2010 political season, one has to take a hard look at Barney Frank’s district race this year – in the past, Congressman Frank ran virtually unopposed – that is no longer the case. The Sholley for Congress Campaign appears to have the backing and, from what is understood, internal polling, to have launched a social media campaign, including a savvy new website entitled: (click here to view) It is known that Lisa Camp, Sholley Campaign manager, is a who’s who of the Huckabee for President 2008 campaign, and that one can bet the house (literally), the Massachusetts 4th will be an interesting race to watch in the next 9 months. Although the district is known to be “Democrat safe”, the highest percentage of voters are “unenrolled”, therefore, it will be up to both Frank and Sholley to appeal to those voters, the base, in both cases, cannot deliver a win in this district.

Barney Frank, Incumbant U.S. Congressman, Massachusetts 4th District

ACORN Federal Funding Continues, Despite Congressional Calls for Funding Ban, Bank of American and Ford Foundation sever ties. ACORN the Corporation

ACORN received a grant from FEMA little more than two weeks ago. Apparently, despite the slew of investigations, videos and 8 X 10 color glossies’ depicting Acorn affiliates in a myriad of stages of fraud (voter to tax evasion), FEMA awarded the group a grant to the tune of $997,402, for fire prevention in New Orleans’. Apparently, those in the grant awarding business do not watch the news. It is a strong case for less is more, regarding government bureaucracy.

The release of video’s highlighting Acorn officials in offices coast to coast, advising prostitutes on how to avoid taxes and detection while using underage illegal immigrants in a child prostitution ring, was added to the multi-state indictments for voter fraud, and was the tipping point which called for a full investigation into the organization as well as a ban on Federal Funding.

Several other organizations have severed ties with the Community Organizing Corporation, including Bank of America, and the Ford Foundation, until such time as the “non-profit” is found to be stable, and/or defunct.

One must understand that given the nature of the Organization (with over 100 affiliates) , it is comparable to a Fortune 500 company, with the difference being perception – non-profits tend to have a persona of good, while large corporations are often considered corrupt (and for the right reasons, see ENRON). That said the size and scope of ACORN, the operating budget and the ability to request grants from 100 different affiliates, makes them comparable. Additionally, as they are receiving, for the most part, funding from taxpayers, they should be held to a higher accountability. If therefore, the heads of corporations who have played fast and loose with Federal laws have seen indictments and jail time, then it follows that the same should fall upon the corporate leaders of non-profits, who are essentially guilty of the same. This would prevent future like-minded organizations from doing the same – any entity, non-profit, who receives Federal funding, should, in effect, be squeaky clean – or face the consequences.

Monday, October 05, 2009

From Weekend Update to SNL - Obama: The Gift that Keeps On Giving

On Thursday of last week, SNL's Weekend Update did a spoof on the Obama-Oprah Olympic pitch - adding in a jab about health care. The weekend brought it home - with what is the most honest assessment of the administration to date coming from a mainstream source.

h/t Politik Ditto

Although, one can add a few to the list of "Obama accomplishments" (i.e., Failure of Cash for Clunkers, a greater divide in American Political Think than thought possible, and a penchant for placing the country in greater peril by following the policies of the only state (commonwealth) that has implemented policies that have so far produced the result of bleeding population to the extent that congressional districts have been lost - see Massachusetts under Deval Patrick, the original "yes We Can", man(another Axelrod Student)and an actual how-to manual on "Destroying a State in One Term or Less".)

What is heartening is that, finally, the ridiculous (and one would suspect plummeting poll numbers for both the President and incumbents in 09 and 10), has allowed Saturday Night Live's writers to rise to the occasion - and one would hope, that those that continue to defend the indefensible (i.e.: journalists) will follow suit. That said, that the general fall-back to Obama's foibles is still in place: ("Chicago Politician's Blame Bush for Olympic Loss"(Hot Air)) therefore, it is but a matter of time before the blame for Obama's inability to produce (for the left - or for that matter the nation) while enjoying a super-majority and the aid of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, will fall squarely on the shoulders of the Bush Administration.

To date, the "blame Bush" strategy appeared to work on the campaign trail (08), without regard to the fact that McCain was to Obama, as Dole was to Clinton - unfortunately, those "masses" the elite are so sure would remain clueless (with the help of media and Community Organizations (dare we say ACORN), are more in tune with what this administration is (or isn't') doing, than at any time in American History (and with more fervor than the other exception of the late 1970's Carter debacle). This is Obama's greatest achievement - he has awoken the American spirit, and it is regardless of Party, it is misery to the right and misery to the left, which, having no crystal ball - however that may not be necessary, one can expect a change in leadership on the horizon (2010 and 2012).

Sunday, October 04, 2009

How to Tract Your Representatives Earmarks for FY 2010 – R. Neal (D-MA), Requests $53 Million for Out-of-State Programs – In State $30 Million

With unemployment raging at 9.8% and the threat of inflation on the horizon one would think that a dwindling tax base would prompt Congressional Representatives from tacking earmarks onto their 2010 fiscal year “wish list” – not so. When all is said and done, the only feasible way for members of Congress to continue to spend with abandon will be to increase taxes on those individuals still left employed. Therefore, it is best to find out what one's representative plans on using tax dollars.

Beginning in a Massachusetts back yard: Massachusetts Democrat, Richard Neal (2nd Hampden), has earmark priorities totaling over 80 million dollars, the majority going to programs outside of his congressional district. and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts How does your representative fare? You may find easy access to this information as these appropriations are now available on-line. One just has to look for them.

There are several ways to go about this – One is through each individual congressional member’s website, a rather laborious process. There is a link at which offers a fair database, however, a comprehensive list is also available at

If one is curious as to why their representatives are spending like there’s no tomorrow, a connection may be found at Open, a site that lists campaign contributions to individual members of Congress. This particular website offers insight into lobbyists, top donors to individual representatives (example: 72% of Rep. Neal’s contributions come from PAC’s (Political Action Committees). There is also information regarding which organizations spend the most money to influence how your tax dollars are spent and how it is distributed by politicalparty.

Should one feel strongly about their representatives handling of their taxpayer dollars, direct contact information for each representative and senator can be found here at It is of import to understand how representatives spend, as comfortably entrenched politicians appear to care little for the needs of their constituents ; with 2009 and 2010 elections on the horizon, making informed decisions on either retaining or firing your particular representative is critical to the stability of the nation, regardless of party, or political affiliation, One should remember that voting is a privilege and a responsibility. To find out what your choices are in the upcoming 2009 and 2010 election cycle may be: visit: the Federal Election Committee to see who has filed with intent to run for office.

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