Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama

Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What's 350 Billion Bucks, really?

President-elect Obama is urging Congress on his hands and knees then from his mighty pedestal to pass the second half of the Bailout money. Most Congressional members, Democrats included, are a little resistant to that kind of thinking. There is a glimmer of hope that is attached to this debate.

First off, Congressional democrats are already off to the wrong start for the 2010 elections and would be in a tough spot if not for the bunches of retiring Republican Senators. Democrats pledged over and over again their allegiance to Obama's plans during the campaign, especially health-care related items, but now are having a little trouble reconciling their own political futures with the Obama Economic plan.

Congress finally buckled and released the remaining half of the $700B bailout they approved in October. After all their complaints they decided.. "hey, maybe we are just whiny! Let's just approve it!" As usual they were exactly wrong. Usually (most) members of Congress are whiny and ask frivolous questions and engage in self-serving "investigations" while the American people suffer or could someway be better served. In this case there are legitimate questions to be asked. Where did all the money go?!

We were told that this money would fix the financial markets and one would think that the over 500 Billion dollars we've spent would have done that however the banks are asking for more and other industries are getting a piece of the pie too. Where's the money? Banks refuse to tell us.. or Congress.. or their shareholders. Seems a little suspicious. Let me draw up a scenario: You are a rich philanthropic individual and you see a bunch of poor homeless people. You want to help them and a bunch of Soup Kitchens come to you telling you the only way to do that is by giving them a million dollars, you give them 500,000 and then come back a year later and find that nothing has actually changed. Do you: 1) Wonder if the Soup Kitchen people are crooks? 2) Call the police to investigate? or 3) Both. Obviously you'd do #4, just fork over the rest of the money.. because evidence is for the weak.

Just sad.

In the 2008 election we had a choice between one candidate who was surrounded by Oil Industry executives and one who was surrounded by Financial Industry executives. Guess which one we picked? I'm not saying President-Elect Obama is in their pocket but he needs to start showing some backbone if he wants to really get us out of this thing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

So... I was at a local fast food place when I saw two young African-American couples, their children, and a couple other African-American adults sitting waiting for their meals to arrive. I was seated nearby and just so happened to hear them discussing something, where would a "good" place in town be for them to go "enjoy" the day in such nice weather.

Obviously I was distraught. Blacks would only possibly "enjoy" dealing/using drugs or involvement in some kind of crime! I went to the counter and immediately flagged down the manager, "oh my! You have got to get the cops down here, those.. people over there are planning something bad!" I said. Of course, with crime rates going up in town the manager ran to the phone and the police arrived soon thereafter.

The police questioned them and decided there was nothing wrong and assured everyone that there was a mistake and everything was alright. Just before the police left they went to the counter wondering if they could get their food, the manager informed them that the fast food restaurant no longer would allow them to purchase food there and they could go elsewhere. Even after the police spoke to the person at the counter, still the black family & friends couldn't get their food and were asked to leave.

Great Story right... I mean that makes me sound like a racist. It makes the fast food place and its manager sound damn near crazy and racist as well. Also, it just isn't rational. Although I'm sure that sort of thing does occur, that story is not true I just wanted to illustrate a point.

My point here was that when a US-born but foreign-looking (six Pakistani, two Turkish, one black) group of Muslims got booted off a plane because they were overheard looking for the "safest" place to sit on the plane. AirTran has a policy that you get to choose your seat essentially and on their way to the back of the plane the two males were heard discussing how they wouldn't like to sit near the engines because if there was an accident it wouldn't be safe. Not exactly the kind of talk you'd expect to hear from hardened terrorists but they got thrown off the plane, interviewed by the FBI, then for several hours not allowed to fly to their destination or home... by AirTran, even when FBI agents spoke to attendants at the counter on the family's behalf telling them that the family was cleared to fly and there was nothing to fear.

Really sad. If this were a story about a bunch of guys joking about killing people or committing terrorist acts, I'd say these folks are dumb... but they still should have been allowed to fly thereafter. This family group however was doing no such thing and the FBI understood that but still AirTran balked for hours about either refunding tickets or giving them a later flight. Despicable. I'm no bleeding heart but when people are treated completely different in our paranoid society just for looking different it really cooks me inside. If it can happen to them today.. it can happen to you tomorrow.