Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Detroit Residents of All Colors Need to Pay Their Water Bills

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

There’s nothing in the United States Constitution stating Americans have the right not to pay their bills. In fact, the Declaration of Independence, which gave birth to our nation, notes the only unalienable rights we have are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Yet thousands of Detroit residents think they have the right not to pay their water bills and demand their water remain on. About 80,000 residential water accounts are past due to the tune of $43 million. The audacity of freeloaders!

Detroit is an $18 billion bankrupt mess, struggling quite literally to keep the lights on and provide basic services to residents like police protection and emergency services. A year ago, about 40% of the cities 88,000 street lamps didn’t work and half of the cities 78,0000 abandoned buildings were declared dangerous.

All this thanks to decades of liberals mismanaging the city, growing its debt but not its revenue. Clearly, every penny the city’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr can find is critical.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department shut off service to a fraction of the non-payers, about 7,000, triggering hoards of protestors to storm Detroit declaring the shutoffs racist and that “water is a human right.”

Having access to water in your home like owning a home is only a right when you pay for it. It’s not a human right, neither is owning a car or a cellphone or having Internet access. But it’s no surprise under presidency of President Barack Obama that many Americans feel entitled not to pay their bills. Since his election in 2008, Obama has engaged in class warfare, vilifying the rich and people who work hard to pay their bills so others don’t have to.

The most obnoxious and ridiculous response has been from the attorney who filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of freeloading residents who haven’t paid their bills and the NAACP. Both cry that the water department is racist because mostly black people have been affected.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund Veronica Joice cried the shutoffs “are being done in a discriminatory fashion; and they should at least take a look at whether there’s a better way to do this that doesn’t affect the most vulnerable citizens — the majority of whom are African American here in Detroit.”

The class action lawyer, Alice Jennings, took things a step further and alleged white owned companies owing huge water bills weren’t paying their bills either but also didn’t get their water cut off. Contrary to this race baiting bluster, according to Detroit’s water department, corporations like Chrysler received shut off notices and ponied up “millions in overdue bills.”

If more blacks aren’t paying their water bills than whites, how is it racist for the water department to demand the bills be paid? Sounds to me like black residents of Detroit expect to be treated differently when they break the rules solely because of their race. How is this fair?

Many black liberals are taking their cues from President Barack Obama and his US Attorney General Eric Holder who always seem to blame racism on the president’s inability to work with Republicans in Congress and get his agenda done. They think, “If it works for them, it can work for us.”

Obama’s policies also have eviscerated any notion of personal responsibility or self-reliance. From mortgage forgiveness programs to student loan debt, if Americans have a financial obligation they don’t want to pay, Obama seems to have a program for it. Policies like these encourage irresponsibility and the idea the government is always there as a back stop to walking away form one’s obligations. That isn’t the American way, where we all are created equal to have equal opportunities not equal outcomes.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department was forced to increase the water rate by 8.7% due to customers refusing to pay their bills. For those people who genuinely experience financial hardship, the Water department offers a Water Affordability Program to help pay their bills.

I bet the majority of people in Detroit not paying their water bills aren’t delinquent on their cable and cellphone bills. It’s called priorities. The cold hard truth is someone always has to pay for the people who don’t. That’s what a government subsidy is, money taken from working taxpayers to support others who don’t work as hard or not at all. Compassion and charity should be reserved for people who truly need it. Not every Tom, Dick and Harry.

 

 

When is it ever OK to call the President the n-word?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

NY Newspaper Under Fire for Calling President Obama the N-Word in Headline

First published July 8, 2014 on CNN.com

Martin Luther King Jr. fought and died so blacks would no longer be viewed as inferior but rather enjoy the same inherent rights given to whites in America.

Yet in 2014, 50 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the West View News thinks it’s appropriate to publish a story about our first black president, Barack Obama, with the headline, “The Nigger in the White House.”

Oh, the times we are living in.

All I could do was feel sick to my stomach when I read the headline that the monthly newspaper serving Manhattan’s Lower West Side published. And it brought up the pain my family went through nearly four decades ago.

Not only is the word reprehensible but also why would an editor of a newspaper use the n-word in a headline about America’s first black president?

As a black woman who is a dogged critic of Obama’s policies and his presidency and also happens to be the daughter of parents who grew up in the segregated South and were called that word, I find the headline disgusting and reprehensible to say about the nation’s first black President, even if the author claimed he was actually writing in support of the President.

The article, written by an 86-year-old white man, James Lincoln Collier, supports Obama, noting, “far right voters hate Obama because he is black.”

“That was the whole point in this, that a great many people in the United States continue to think of President Obama as the n****r, and I wanted to make that point, that there’s a substantial amount of racism still existing in the United States,” Collier told CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday.

I guess Collier could be a liberal but in his heart still feels it is OK to use that word to describe Obama. Clearly, no political party owns racism and that’s just the problem.

For the record, I don’t think it’s OK for blacks to call each other the word either or for so-called black hip-hop artists to lace their music with the word like they’re saying the “hello.”

Still, despite all the major achievements of blacks before and since the Civil Rights movement, most notably the attaining the highest office in the land, many whites in this country have a deep-seated hatred toward blacks and will never view us as equal. They even think they are complimenting us when they call us that word. And at the end of the day, that’s all we’re considered, no matter what we do or accomplish.

In a pathetic attempt to defend using the headline, the West View News’ editor, George Capsis, told the New York Post:

“In this article, however, Jim reminded me that The New York Times avoids using the word which convinced me that West View should.”

Capsis defends his decision as wanting to be provocative and “out do” the Times. I think it’s more plain that. It seems the only way Capsis thought to praise a black President was to use a racist word to disparage him.

The entire incident shows how far America has to yet to go in race relations. Remember, this is 2014.

Not 1977. That’s when I was just a child and my parents had to sue the Salisbury Country Club in Chesterfield, Virginia, suburb of Richmond, Virginia, for denying them membership a private club in our neighborhood only because we were black.

It was then I learned about racism, specifically, that no matter what, some white people just hate black people for no other reason than the color of their skin.

My father (Dr. Thomas Wright Jr., an accomplished dentist) and mother (Barbara B. Wright) had moved into their dream home they had spent a year building and applied for membership to the club their kids could ride their bikes to and learn how to swim and play tennis.

But in the summer of 1977, the club’s all-white board of directors voted to reject my parents’ membership application. The all-white board also rejected the family of NFL all-pro star Willie Lanier. The club had no black members and no white applicant had ever been denied membership to the club.

Part of the reason my parents built a home in Salisbury was because the real estate developers of the subdivision advertised homeowners could enjoy club membership. They just failed to mention it was a perk available to “white-only homeowners.”

After my parents got rejected, one of the co-developers, J. Kenneth Timmons, sent a letter to the Salisbury Country Club board of directors congratulating them on a job well-done and told them to “continue to act in the same responsible way,” according to June 5, 1980, Richmond Times-Dispatch article “Club Fight Tires Black Dentist.”

Like the author in the West View News, Timmons didn’t use the n-word to refer to my parents in the body of his letter. But he may as well have because that’s how he viewed them.

After a lower court ruled against my parents, they appealed to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which unanimously ruled on September 30, 1980, my parents had been discriminated against.

My parents never joined the club. It wasn’t about the membership. It was about respect and teaching their three children about doing what was right and “responsible.”

Just before the ruling was handed down, my father was quoted saying:

“You can’t believe it’s 1980, and they’re still doing this thing.”

Sadly, it’s 2014 and Dad, they’re still doing the same thing, only this time to the President of the United States.

What GOP can learn from Cochran’s use of blacks to win

Monday, July 7th, 2014

First published July 1, 2014 on cnn.com

(CNN) — Black voters allowed themselves to be used by Sen. Thad Cochran to win the Republican primary runoff for Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seat.

Cochran beat state Sen. Chris McDaniel by targeting black Democrats and getting them to vote for him in a tight race. It was a brilliant political strategy in a state that allows open primaries, where voters can cross party lines to vote. It also showed blacks — and the Republican Party that ignores them — that black voters can wield political influence.

Cochran won the runoff by a little over 6,000 votes. The runoff was triggered because no candidate garnered 50% of the vote in the first primary, which Cochran lost to McDaniel by some 1,000 votes.

But make no mistake, Cochran appealed to black Democratic voters out of desperation. When was the last time we heard Cochran reaching out to ask for the black vote in the last six terms he’s served as senator?

Cochran’s campaign suggested McDaniel was a tea party radical. The tea party has become code for “racist” among many black Americans, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Black Democratic voters allowed themselves to be exploited by Cochran’s boogeyman — the tea party nonsense — without looking into the policies and records of each candidate.

McDaniel was a conservative candidate opposed to illegal immigration, which harms black Americans. The black unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for the past five years and blacks often compete for the same jobs as undocumented workers.

Refusing to concede the election, McDaniel and other conservatives said Cochran played dirty politics by reaching out to black Democrats to win. It’s true these same voters will likely vote for the Democratic nominee in the fall. But I suspect McDaniel is just angry he didn’t think of the idea first.

It was distasteful to see conservatives like Laura Ingraham accuse Cochran of race-baiting because he decided to ask black Democrats to vote for him. How is asking blacks to cast a vote for you race-baiting?

While I don’t agree with how Cochran won and wish blacks were more informed about their vote, Cochran bothered to ask blacks to vote for him, something that apparently makes some Republicans cringe.

Even the Democrat-dominated Congressional Black Caucus has now applauded his use of blacks to win. Go figure.

Many blacks would say the Republican Party only works in earnest for the white vote. Presidential nominee Mitt Romney did a good job of winning the majority of the white vote (60%) in 2012, but he lost the election because he ignored the minority and woman voters — that is, he hardly bothered to ask for their votes.

This Mississippi primary race is a harbinger of what can happen to the GOP in future national elections if Republicans continue to ignore the black vote.

They will lose.

Instead of allowing themselves to vote solely based on misleading headlines and misinformation, blacks need to be voting based upon candidates’ positions on issues and how they affect them.

Come November, I doubt Cochran will really care about earning the black vote and taking the Republican message of equal opportunity and economic empowerment to blacks. Blacks just believed the hype about McDaniel being a racist and didn’t dig any deeper.

Cochran will run in the general election ignoring black voters, just as the GOP has done for the past 40 years. This isn’t a watershed moment. It’s another example of blacks throwing away their political influence — as they have on the Democratic Party since 1964 — and getting nothing in return.

Cochran demonstrates what many black conservatives already know: GOP candidates will only reach out to black voters, kicking and screaming, as a last resort to win.

This isn’t the path to future Republican victories in truly competitive national races in a country where census data show the white population declining while minorities are growing.

The big takeaway from the Cochran win is that Republicans had better get serious.

Hillary’s Book Tour Previews a Rusty, Rich, Career Politician

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

For all the flirtation Hillary Clinton has done with the news media over whether she intends to run for president in 2016, you’d think she would have performed better on her book tour/campaign dress rehearsal. Before the tour and the bad reviews that “Hard Choices” was news-less settled in, Hillary, former First Lady and Secretary of State, sat down with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer for an interview.

During her chat with Sawyer, Hillary came off as anything but seasoned. She looked like a celebrity out of touch with the American people and a politician ill prepared to take responsibility to lead.

When Sawyer asked if she thought being paid $200,000 for a speech—six times the salary of the average American was too much, Hillary said she and Bill have worked hard and left the White House “dead broke.” I’m certain millions of Americans struggling to find work today would love to live Hillary’s version of dead broke. Now Hillary and Bill are comfortably ensconced in the echelons of America’s 1% club. Their net worth is about $50 million. Hillary reportedly was paid $14 million for her 600-page tome. Then there’s Chelsea Clinton, who earned $600,000 a year working for NBC News as a special correspondent. Oh, the life of the rich and Clintons!

What’s going to be Hillary’s 2016 campaign message? That she’s a man of people, fighting hard for the little guy to get ahead in a jobless economy where people like her haven’t struggled? When Sawyer asked Hillary if she would have done anything differently in handling the Benghazi attack, in which four Americans were killed due to poor security at the consulate, Hillary coolly replied, “No.” Sounding like Marie Antoinette, she told Sawyer her job wasn’t to review blueprints for all US embassies and posts and “decide what should be done.”

As Victoria Toensing points out in the Wall Street Journal, in 1999 Accountability Review Boards were conducted for the 1998 twin embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. Both ARB reports recommended, “first and foremost, the Secretary should take a personal and active role in carrying out the responsibility of ensuring the security of U.S. diplomatic personnel abroad.”

The 1999 Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act included those recommendations and mandates the Secretary of State is the only person who can waiver security requirements at US posts abroad. But according to Hillary, the security at “270 posts abroad” just wasn’t her job. In fact, she told Sawyer, “it would have been a mistake” for her to concern herself with such trivial details.

Another priceless moment was when Sawyer asked Hillary if she ever thought about Monica Lewinsky with whom President Clinton had a very infamous affair. Hillary said she never thinks of Monica. If Hillary plans to run to become the Democrat nominee for president in 2016 and run on a platform that’s dedicated to women’s issues, she better come up with a more believable answer than that. Hillary stood by her philandering husband all these years so she could seize political power. A potential Ready for Hillary presidential campaign sends the message to women that you need a man to gain status and power in life. And even if he’s a cheater you stick with him.

Moving onto other interviews, Hillary became the pit-bull we remember from her husband’s presidency. She attacked NPR’s Terry Gross, who questioned her flip-flop in her position on gay marriage, kinda like her flip in support of the Iraq war, which she was for before she was against. How dare Gross have the nerve to conduct an objective interview with Queen Bee Clinton, heir, in her own mind, to America’s presidential crown? Hillary got indignant like she did in the 1990s, only this time she looked like an angry old lady.

Former Democrat governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell described Hillary’s performance on her book tour as being “a little rusty” and unable to “say all the right things” like her husband. After spending over 30 years working in politics and running for president in 2008, Hillary shouldn’t be rusty at politicking.

She told Sawyer she knows the job of president very well! But Hillary didn’t come off like she’s anywhere close to being capable of assuming it. What Hillary’s book tour revealed is a hackneyed politician who’s run past her expiration date.

 

Bergdahl Release Reveals Presidency Out of Control

Friday, June 13th, 2014

As the news media cranked up the heat on the White House’s disastrous handling of the Veterans Affairs scandal, President Barack Obama decided it was time to change the subject and make the news about him again. So, what does he do? Obama finalizes the release of five top Taliban commanders from Guantanamo in exchange for the Taliban’s release of one American soldier.

Not just any soldier but “a high value” soldier Sargent Bowe Bergdahl, who deserted his duty in 2009 when he walked off his base in Afghanistan right into the enemy hands of the Taliban. And Bergdahl caused the death of six of soldiers who joined other soldiers in a massive search for him.

Did Obama really think he was going to receive accolades for this noble act from anyone but Bergdahl’s parents or was it a deliberate move to further harm America and our credibility on the world stage? Many Americans were aghast not to mention both Democrat and Republican members of Congress because Obama broke the law with the exchange.

First, America isn’t supposed to negotiate with terrorist for the release of hostages. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the United States didn’t “directly” negotiate with the Taliban but had Qatar do it as its proxy. Whether direct or indirect the Obama administration negotiated for hostages. Second, Obama refused to notify Congress 30 days before releasing the five detainees from Guantanamo, as mandated by law.

Nevertheless, all week the news has been about the president and whether he thinks he’s above the law. Frankly, Obama doesn’t seem to care about our laws or what people at home or abroad think about him or his presidency. He appears to be determined to transform America from within and without into a weakened nation.

Prior to the release of Bergdahl, this president supported his Attorney General Eric Holder’s efforts to hold civilian trials for terrorists in New York City, a stone’s throw away from the World Trade Center. This is the same president who also refuses to use the mighty stick of American diplomacy abroad, which has made America look like a super punk rather than a super power.

Obama rented out our foreign policy to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who brokered a flimsy chemical weapons ban with Syria’s President Bashar Assad. No wonder Putin invaded Ukraine. He knows America wasn’t going to stop him. And this is the same President of the United States who eased sanctions on Iran believing in earnest the mullahs will disarm their nuclear program. Of course, this is like believing members of the Taliban, whom Obama released back into freedom, won’t plot against us, which is exactly what they’ve already vowed to do.

Even people in Afghanistan can’t understand why Obama would want to free “some of the most dangerous militants” within the Taliban, especially at a time when the US plans to withdraw most of its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. To further emphasize the president’s empathy for terrorists, administration officials said the president will continue to pursue his pledge to close Guantanamo. Why all these bad moves?

Dinesh D’Souza writes in The Roots of Obama’s Rage that “While one might expect a president to be mostly concerned with protecting the American people from terrorist attack, Obama’s primary concern seems to be with protecting captured terrorists from the American people.”

From day one of his presidency, Obama viewed America as a nation in need of transformation, one too big for its britches, waging wars and shoving its principles onto the rest of the world. Obama considered America’s policies of freedom, liberty and decency “polices bad for America and bad for the world,” writes D’Souza.

After five years, there’s no doubt Obama’s policies are not serving the interest of America or her people. The release of Bergdhal highlights the failings of a presidency out of control and it’s high time Congress intervenes and does something about it.

Obama Accepts VA Secretary’s Resignation but None of the Blame

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

 

CNN described President Barack Obama’s announcement of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation “dramatic.” I would call it a dramatic disgrace to our veterans and another example of the president not holding his Cabinet Secretaries and other high level people in his administration accountable. The IRS’s Lois Lerner, director of the Exempt Organizations Division, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius were allowed to resign amid scandals when they got good and ready.

Last week, Obama stood in the same White House briefing room and defended Shinseki, refusing to utter the word resignation. What changed in nine days? The Veterans Affairs scandal start stinking to high heaven. Congressional Democrats demanded Obama get rid of Shinseki and even the usually fawning liberal media criticized his failure to deal with the problem when reports of long patient wait times surfaced almost two months ago.

If “responsibility for things always rests ultimately with me, as the President and Commander-in-Chief,” as Obama declared last week, why didn’t he immediately call for Shinseki’s resignation? Why wait, especially since as Senator and candidate in 2008, Obama was seized with the issue of improving access to care for veterans at the VA, which has been a decades long problem?

Mounting evidence, from the GAO’s testimony before Congress in April to allegations 40 veterans possibly died waiting for care at the Phoenix VA hospital, indicated the scandal was only going to get worse not better. Indeed it did. This week an Inspector General’s report of multiple VA medical facilities revealed “inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic” and the average appointment wait time at the Phoenix VA was 115 days not 24 days as the hospital reported.

“What I said to Ric today is let’s not wait for the report retrospectively to reach out immediately to veterans who are currently waiting for appointments, to make sure that they are getting better service,” Obama said last week. Well, if the president wasn’t going to wait for a report to help veterans in dire need of care, why would he wait a week to get rid of Shinseki, who has been head of the VA for the past five years and was appointed to clean it up?

Obama said “there’s a need for a change in culture at VA” in his remarks about Secretary Shinseki’s resignation. This is true. I would argue there’s a need for change in the culture of this administration. Over and over again, whether it’s the VA, the IRS targeting conservatives, or failures of the Obamacare rollout, Obama claims he wasn’t aware any of these problems occurring at the agencies under his command. It begs the question what does Obama, as president, concern himself with ?

In the face of what can only be described as a colossal embarrassment for his administration, Obama took a lecturing tone with reporters, telling them the problems at the VA have gone on a “very long time” but he’s increased funding to the agency. The VA doesn’t need more money and Obama pledged to fix these problems as a priority in his first term. The problem of is one of accountability, starting at the top.

“As I’ve said before, this is my administration; I always take responsibility for whatever happens. And this is an area that I have a particular concern with,” said Obama. Then why haven’t we heard Obama say “I take responsibility for the problems happening at the VA?” There is a crisis of confidence in Obama’s presidency and Shinseki is just another example of it.