Arrogance: the Downfall of Governor McDonnell


Guilty over greed, that’s what a jury of their peers found former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife Maureen. McDonnell, the 71st governor of Virginia, now has the distinguished honor of being the first governor convicted of a felony in the state’s history.

There were tears from the accused and shock from many Richmonders, including myself when the verdicts were handed down. I thought McDonnell and his wife would elude charges of corruption. But perhaps Virginians have had enough of politicians like McDonnell abusing their power for financial gain.

“I’m the governor of Virginia. I can have it all, live beyond my means. In fact I’m owed it all because I’m a very important person.” This seems to be what Bob McDonnell thought when as governor he accepted nearly $200,000 in money and gifts from Johnnie Williams, Sr., who was then CEO of Star Scientific. But when federal prosecutors indicted McDonnell and his wife on corruption charges, suddenly McDonnell played dumb. His defense was he didn’t think he had to pay Williams back for those gifts and loans nor did he believe he should give Williams anything in return, like promoting his Anatabloc product. Yeah, right.

And his wife’s defense was their broken marriage. Maureen claimed she was infatuated with Williams and didn’t believe accepting a Rolex from him and a $20,000 New York City shopping spree was wrong. Lawyers for McDonnell too used the bad marriage defense, arguing that because of their crumbling marriage, he didn’t know about the gifts Maureen received from Williams or the Star Scientific stock she purchased.

What man throws his wife under the bus like that? There was a picture of McDonnell wearing the engraved Rolex watch his wife got from Williams so it’s hard to believe he never asked Maureen how she acquired it?

Apparently, the jurors didn’t buy this or the couple’s “he said, she said” defense of a bad marriage backed up by the charade of the two living apart during the trial. To think this indictment against the McDonnells began as a result of the firing of the executive chef for the governor’s mansion Todd Schneider over stealing food from the mansion pantry. Schneider steadfastly has claimed he didn’t steal any food but took it as part of a bartering deal approved by Maureen.

When the FBI began its investigation of Schneider, he gave the FBI evidence proving Williams wrote a $15,000 check to pay for McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding reception. This uncorked the federal investigation into McDonnell’s other money dealings with Williams and the governor’s indictment. I bet McDonnell wishes he hadn’t fired Schneider or more importantly gotten caught for taking gifts and money Williams.

A few people tweeted McDonnell wasn’t the first or last politician to act unethically. One person tweeted it was a “corrupt and angry revenge seeking U.S Attorney General” Eric Holder who brought charges against a Republican Governor. Governor McDonnell’s arrogance and greed was his enemy not Eric Holder or President Barack Obama because McDonnell never thought he would get caught.

Even when prosecutors offered him a deal with no prison time in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of felony fraud and no charges brought against his wife, McDonnell rejected it. If McDonnell had been an average Joe robbing a bank, he would have been convicted and everyone would have said justice was served. There isn’t one set of rules for politicians and another for everyone else.

McDonnell thought being a governor meant he was immune to the laws of the land but jurors reminded him he needed to be held accountable for his actions just like any other American. I wonder if the McDonnells think their lust for things (a Rolex, clothes, multiple homes) and a lifestyle they couldn’t afford was worth going to prison and becoming convicted felons.

Death of Black Teen Michael Brown Incites Another Race War

“Unarmed” doesn’t mean doing “no harm.” A man can rape and assault a woman without being armed. A man can overpower an armed policeman and injure or kill him without being armed.

When a police officer or a white person kills an “unarmed black teen,” it doesn’t automatically mean that a police officer or a white person committed a hate crime. Yet ever since the race baiting mob led by Al Sharpton, rushed to judgment in Trayvon Martin’s death, even before charges or a trial ensued, it’s become de rigueur for the mainstream media to use the phrase “unarmed black teen” when black teens are killed by whites or police officers.

The word “unarmed” inherently suggests that a black teen bears no culpability in his or her tragic demise. But during the George Zimmerman murder trial of Trayvon Martin, evidence and testimony showed Martin fought with Zimmerman. Here we are again with the same narrative and cast of characters being played out in the tragic death of Missouri teen Michael Brown before the facts are in.

Benjamin Crump, the same lawyer who represented Martin’s parents, is representing the Brown family. No investigation or autopsy has been completed. And Al Sharpton, who never met a race war he didn’t like, headlined a protest in Ferguson.

These familiar faces injecting themselves into the situation makes one wonder are they in it for “justice” or money. Michael Brown was a high school graduate, preparing to start his freshman year of college, something his grieving mother reminded us is rare for black men these days. Michael’s death is awful.

But the mainstream media, many blacks and self-appointed “civil rights leaders” immediately pulled the race card on Twitter and hit the streets crying, “no justice, no peace,” as conflicting facts continue dribbling in. Some blacks used it as a reason to loot and damage buildings. A black teen dies and blacks respond in kind with violence on “unarmed” people of Ferguson? Isn’t that why blacks were upset in the first place, because a violent act was allegedly committed against an “unarmed black teen”?

And why did President Barack Obama once again weigh in before an investigation was completed on the death of Brown like he did when Martin was shot by “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman?

“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time,” Obama said in a statement.

Vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Obama succumbed to pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus and other “black advocates” and spoke publicly about the situation. Without an investigation being completed, Obama, as the nation’s first black president, is further stoking racial unrest in Ferguson and the nation.

If Obama is going to make it a matter of practice to comment on every black teen that is killed in this country daily, he has some catching up to do. Why don’t we see Obama sending condolences to the families of the hundreds of black teens killed in his own hometown of Chicago every year? Is it because the majority of these kids are killed by other blacks and that’s OK?

Is Obama saying the lives of blacks allegedly killed by cops or whites warrant national outrage? Why isn’t the FBI investigating the hundreds of homicides of black teens and adults across the country daily as possible hate crimes, like it is Brown’s death?

Yes, Brown was unarmed but that doesn’t mean he didn’t allegedly attack the police officer. Nor does it mean the police officer shot him simply because he was black. But facts be damned. “Hell”, said blacks from near and far, this is a race crime plain and simple. Only it may not be.

In a press conference, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the police officer and Brown engaged in a “violent confrontation” before Brown was shot. “The side of his face is swollen,” said Jackson.

After days of pressure from the public, Jackson finally released the officer’s identity as Darren Wilson. During the same news conference, Jackson released new evidence suggesting Brown and his friend Darion Johnson were suspects in stealing a $48.99 box of cigarettes. But Johnson repeatedly insisted the officer ordered them onto the sidewalk, grabbed Brown by the neck and tried to force him onto the sidewalk. Johnson said when Brown ran away, Wilson shot him.

There are a lot of unanswered questions in this case. If Brown was brutalized by a police officer for stealing a package of cigarettes, the officer should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But while the court of public opinion has made up its mind that Wilson is guilty, the reality is, due process of the law hasn’t taken place.

Is it good that  in the town of Ferguson where about 70% of the 21,000 residents are black that of  that only three of the police officers are black? No, not necessarily. But does it mean the non-black officers are racist? No, not necessarily. Could the Ferguson police do a better job of recruiting black officers? Yes, probably.

A black St. Louis, Missouri councilmember, Antonio French, blamed Brown’s death on whites controlling government.

“Ferguson has a white government and a white mayor, but a large black population. This situation has brought out whatever rifts were between that minority community and the Ferguson government,” French said.

The District of Columbia has had black mayors and predominately black city council for nearly the past 30 years and blacks are killed daily most often by other blacks. I wonder if Mr. French considers the “black government in DC to blame” or if the race card is reserved only for blacks, who are allegedly killed by cops or white people?

Black advocates like French, Sharpton and President Obama need to start playing the honesty card for a change and allow true justice be served.



Obama Sounds Bush Lite in his Bomb Iraq Remarks

If I didn’t know any better, I could have sworn President Barack Obama channeled his predecessor President George W. Bush in his statement authorizing air strikes on Iraq. After blaming Bush for his fledging presidency all these years, I guess Obama has Bush on the brain.

Obama used the word “terrorists” six times to describe the Islamic State (ISIS) and to explain to the American people he took military action in Iraq to “save the lives of Americans” and save face with the world. What face America has left.

Why is Obama suddenly ditching the term “Islamic extremists” and calling ISIS terrorists but won’t call Hamas terrorists, even though they are designated such by the State Department? Obama also was loath to call the terrorists who killed our diplomats in Benghazi terrorists from the start.

Could it be because Obama’s foreign policy approval rating approval rating on foreign policy has dropped to an all time low of 36%? What makes the situation in Iraq so dire to compel Obama to take decisive military action when he hasn’t in five years?

Other crises around the world (Ukraine, Gaza, Syria, Arab Spring, Iran) have placed “American citizens at risk” and required America’s leadership “to underwrite the global security and prosperity that our children and our grandchildren will depend upon,” as Obama said but he did nothing.

Yet that’s what he told the Iraqi people. Obama sudden action in Iraq makes his foreign policy look like Jell-O—all over the place with no strategy except “to resist calls to turn time and again to our military.”

I understand ISIS is a super terrorist organization, entrenched in Iraq, killing Christians and religious sect Yezidis by the thousands and determined to create a terrorist state. But for the past two years, Obama sat on the sidelines of inaction in Syria where these same terrorist groups along with others like al-Nursa threaten the world.

President Obama’s remarks justifying “targeted” airstrikes against ISIS strong holds in Iraq sounded like revisionist history of his administration’s foreign policy. Obama displayed a hawkish, cowboy tone more reminiscent of Bush’s post 9/11 foreign policy, when America was the world’s defender of liberty and freedom.

“So let me be clear about why we must act, and act now . . . in this case, a request from the Iraqi government and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye,” declared Obama.

He added: “We can also lead with the power of diplomacy, our economy and our ideals.”

This sounds a lot like Bush’s foreign policy of engagement on all cylinders, which the Obama has routinely condemned and his actions don’t back up his words.

Obama took no action against Iran when elections were rigged in 2009 and dragged his feet on Iran’s nuclear program. Obama took no action during the Arab Spring when countries like Egypt went through regime change and the radical Muslim Brotherhood took root. In fact, Obama reluctantly joined airstrikes against Libya to help oust Gadhafi, only after Britain and France took the lead.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has killed over 100,000 civilians and displaced nearly 6 million Syrian refugees. Obama took no action, kept redrawing red lines in the sand with Assad and outsourced diplomacy to Russian President Vladimir. America’s lack of diplomacy with Ukraine when it was trying to join the European Union further emboldened Putin to invade Crimea, start a war to takeover Ukraine which lead Russian separatists to bomb a commercial airliner.

Finally, the Middle East is in tatters with a war raging between Israel and the Palestinians because Obama will not unequivocally denounce Hamas as a terrorist organization and assure Israel “America is coming to help,” as he told the Iraqis. One reason Obama gave for striking Iraq was he was protecting American lives against terrorists yet he condemns Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for defending Israelis against terrorist attacks from Hamas.

Obama said these airstrikes, about which he consulted with Congress for a change, are needed “to address this humanitarian crisis.” The president can spin this military action however he wants, but I’m sure “innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale” in Gaza, Syria, Ukraine and other conflicts, which Obama has avoided, are thinking America cannot be counted on.

Obama channeled his inner Bush again, stating, “America has made the world a more secure and prosperous place,” but not under Obama’s presidency. In the president’s insistence America take a back seat on the international stage, bad actors have filled the void and the world is in upheaval.

There was a time when “people all over the world looked to the United States to lead.” While the president professed and proclaimed, “We support our allies when they’re in danger,” Obama’s disdain for “upholding international norms” has made the world realize it can’t count on America anymore.

DC Defines Pepper Spray as a Firearm

Just when I thought the District of Columbia government couldn’t stoop to new lows of incompetence and non-sensical behavior, it does. Apparently, self-defense spray is defined as a firearm in DC and must be registered by its owner with the Metropolitan Police Department. I kid you not! You heard me correctly. The DC Police wants to make it even more difficult for people, especially women, in a town where it’s tortuous to purchase a gun to use in self-defense.

Recently, US District Judge Frederick J. Schulling Jr. ruled DC’s ban on people carrying guns in public was unconstitutional. Yet, DC lawmakers and the Police department demonstrate a tenacity for trying to make it onerous for residents to legally defend themselves against maniacs.

How did I stumble upon this little gem of lunacy? My neighbor who lives in DC has an 18-year old daughter who decided it was probably a good idea that she carried some pepper spray to defend herself in the city and when she heads off to college in South Carolina later this month. She explained to me when she went to buy the pepper spray at the Ace Hardware store in the Tenley Town neighborhood of DC, the sales clerk handed her the “The District of Columbia Self-Defense Spray Registration Form” which is part of the Gun Control and Firearms Registration.

To say that she and her mother were perplexed and stunned by the request was an understatement. The law requires a person be a minimum of 18 years old or older to own self-defense sprays because I guess it wouldn’t make any sense to allow teenagers to defend themselves against predators and the like.

The DC law governing this “firearm” specifies only sprays consisting of permissible ingredients may be used in the city.

“However, under D.C. Official Code § 7-2502.12, the only legal types of self-defense sprays are “a mixture of a lacrimator including chloroacetophenone, alphacloracetophenone, phenylchloromethylketone, orthochlorobenazalm-alononitrile or oleoresin capsicum.”

And then the law goes onto note that: “A person may use a self-defense spray only as reasonable force to defend themselves or their property and only if the self-defense spray meets the requirements above.”

When a DC police officer arrives at a crime scene where a woman has defended herself with pepper spray against rape from a male assailant, I wonder if the officer examines the spray to ensure it “meets the requirements”? Fines for the illegal sale or possession of self-defense sprays in DC can be up to $1000 or a year in jail.

Like many liberal run cities such as New York and Chicago, the pervasive wisdom of DC lawmakers believes the bad guys should have the right to bear arms illegally but law abiding citizens should not have the right to legally bear arms, in fact let’s burden them with red-tape! Additionally, liberal DC council members and the DC police department believes they should make it as difficult as possible for law abiding DC residents to defend themselves against attack.

In 2008, after the United States Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that DC’s gun ban was unconstitutional, the District remained determined to make it challenging to own a gun legally. Reporter Emily Miller wrote in her book “Emily Gets Her Gun” about her nightmare journey to becoming a gun-owner in DC.

DC only allows one business, CS Exchange , to sell firearms in the city and only has a little over 30 firearms instructors certified by the Metropolitan Police Department to teach safety classes. Why make it easy to own a gun legally?

Responding to the recent federal judge ruling on the district’s open carry ban, DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier said:

“When Heller came out in 2008, people said ‘Oh, street crime’s going to go down.’ Well Heller only allows you to have a handgun in your home, and guess what happened Burglaries went up. So I don’t know if there’s any valid debate on the crime side.”

According to Police Chief Lanier’s logic, criminals should have unfettered access to firepower but as crime goes up, law abiding DC residents should be forced to go through hoops to buy guns and mere pepper spray to defend themselves. Because anything else makes too much common sense to liberals like Lanier.



‘Acting white’ and being black?

First Published July 24, 2014 on

There’s no “authentic” way to be black, President Barack Obama told a group.

For once, I agree with the President.

Speaking at a town hall event this week about his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, the President gave blacks permission to be individuals, rejecting the idiotic notion that speaking proper English and being successful in life is “acting white.” As if any person of any race with two grains of sense would think this is logical.

During the event, Obama was asked by a young Native American man, “How is the United States government helping American Indian people revitalize their language and culture?”

Obama responded: “What’s great about America is the way that we all take these different cultures and we make one culture out of it.”

Obama said that it is important for Americans to know their roots and where they come from, but not be held hostage by our cultures from advancing in life.

Then, Obama got real. He talked about how black Americans use this “group think” psychology to bully other blacks, keep them from expressing themselves as individuals and stop them from assimilating into the broader culture of America.

“Sometimes African-Americans, in communities where I’ve worked, there’s been the notion of ‘acting white’ — which sometimes is overstated,” he told the group. “But there’s an element of truth to it, where, OK, if boys are reading too much, then, well, why are you doing that? Or why are you speaking so properly? And the notion that there’s some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, that has to go. There are many different ways for African-American men to be authentic.”

He went on to use his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, as an example 

“If you look at Michelle, she grew up South Side. And her mom still lives in a neighborhood where gunshots go off, and it can be rough where Michelle grew up. But she’ll talk proper when she needs to. Now, you also don’t want to get on her wrong side, because she can translate that into a different vernacular. But my point is, is that you don’t have to act a certain way to be authentic.”

I rolled my eyes in disgust, remembering all the times in my life that phrase has been hurled at me from other blacks.

Growing up, I wasn’t raised in a home where we “talked or acted black” — speaking broken English, neck jerking and behaving like the black stereotypes we see in some of the Tyler Perry movies. So, I was shocked to encounter such nonsense when I attended Georgetown University as an undergraduate.

Most of the black students — who generally all hung out in the same pack, eating, studying and socializing exclusively together — informed me I was an “Uncle Tom,” not really black because I chose to have an integrated experience at Georgetown.

One of the biggest sins I committed was refusing to eat at the all-black cafeteria tables in the various dorms. I would wonder, if you only want to socialize with black students, then why not just attend a predominantly black college?

My freshman year, I went to a dance with a white guy from my class. When he came by my dorm room to pick me up, two black girls from across the hall stared and snickered, uttering something along the lines that I wanted to be white so bad.


The next day the same girls heckled me again about my date. Tired of dealing with their stupidity, I walked over and told them I would continue to do whatever I wanted. Instead of being so concerned with my life and who I was dating, they should be concerned with their own.

I have never been counseled on how to act black. And I never will.

More recently, my blackness was questioned by Keli Goff during an appearance on CNN last week. The two of us were discussing the illegal immigration crisis and Goff didn’t like the argument I made. So she tried to insult me.

“So what I’m saying is, Crystal, I mean I don’t know if you identify as African-American. I do, but if you drop me off in Africa I couldn’t speak the language.”

Clearly, Goff missed the President’s memo. There is no litmus test for being black.

Detroit Residents of All Colors Need to Pay Their Water Bills

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.