Thursday, January 14, 2010
“You f’d up – you trusted us.” – Otter to Flounder in Animal House (1978)
A Year on the Job, Not a Year Wiser
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
While that quote from the cult classic film, Animal House came from the anti-establishment crowd wanting to do things their way and buck the system, the same could be said for the voters supporting a candidate claiming to be all about change, transparency and a new day in
That couldn’t be further from the truth. With a personal “hit list” that would make Richard Nixon’s “enemies list” pale in comparison (no pun intended), more czars than the Romanovs who bypassed any form of confirmation to lead this country down a path toward economic and societal ruin this administration has been anything but business as usual.
Sadly, this administration, like a six-year-old’s bicycle, is still riding on the sidewalk with training wheels making people reminiscent of the days of business as usual. As real unemployment surges toward 16 percent – inclusive of those out of work seeking employment and those who have been off the clock so long they have stopped looking, this administration is strutting its plumage claiming to have saved millions of jobs.
Whose? Their own, for sure, but not those of the manufacturing sector. Additionally, teachers are being laid off in communities that desperately need more help in the classrooms. Plus there’s the issue of so-called green jobs. The non-partisan Institute for Energy Research noted that this administration is giving corporations $2.3 billion to create 17,000 green jobs. Do the math – that’s $135,295 a pop. If this administration spent that amount on the roughly 15.3 million known unemployed people, that totals up at $2,070,013,500,000.
With unemployment reaching heights making people yearn for the days of the Carter administration, the lack of confidence is also a factor. When employers lack confidence they hire fewer workers to both manufacture and sell goods. When more people are out of work, they spend less, or worse, they spend beyond their means and go deeper into debt.
On that front, this administration has failed miserably, digging this nation deeper and deeper into debt with bailouts of industries crying that they were too big to fail. No business is too big to fail. No one is driving a Nash or an Edsel these days or even an Oldsmobile for that matter – which is truly sad, as that was my first car. If people are not buying a certain product, go back to the drawing board. “Failure is the opportunity to being again more intelligently,” said Henry Ford, of Edsel infamy.
What exactly did the $787 billion stimulus package stimulate? Government, and in turn, we the people, own 10 percent of Chrysler and 60 percent of GM. Has anyone received a dividend check lately? Don’t hold your breath. Adding insult to injury was the pathetic cash for clunkers that clearly went crash. When doing the homework on that program, once the taxes were paid and the new cars purchased, the so-called rebate for the older vehicle actually turned into an expense for the participants.
Yet, we the people knew what we were getting into, but chose to ignore the signs flashing like shocking pink neon in the dead of night. We were told, for instance, that the wealth would be redistributed.
We the people were also told that Gitmo would be closed and terrorists would be housed in a prison in
, due west of Thomson, IL . Reports were that prison was sitting empty. Why not fill it with overflow from other prisons and keep terrorists in Gitmo. And the notion of trying enemy combatants in civilian courts is an absurdity that will not only disrupt American citizens’ lives, cost several hundred million dollars, but worse yet, lend credence to the legitimacy of people referred to by Obama as a “nimble adversary.” He won’t even use the phrase war on terror, as if by not saying it makes it not so. Chicago
The overwhelming majority of American citizens – the only people in this country whose voices count, do not want the terror trials in a
courthouse or any civilian courthouse for that matter. The overwhelming majority of American citizens have taken to the streets, to the town hall meetings, to the phones and computers demanding that their voices be heard. New York City
We the people have said that the economy is the number one concern, not healthcare, which this administration is attempting to ram down the throats of the American people and have gone so far as to declare that anyone without health insurance would either be forced to buy it or face financial penalty or even incarceration. We have over 12 million illegal aliens freely roaming from coast to coast, but the government is going to pursue John/Jane/Juan/Juanita Q. Public for making a personal choice.
This administration loves choice when it comes to abortion, but not when it comes to choosing schools or making personal decisions. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to force its citizenry to purchase anything.
This administration has also failed to live up to its repeated promise of transparency. Obama said bills would be live on the internet for 72 hours for the public to read and upon which to comment. Obama said hearings would be held on C-SPAN regarding healthcare. Instead, under the cloak of mystery and more often than not, in the dark of night, the most important legislation of this administration has been passed. Thousands of pages of legislation that elected officials did not, could not, would not read – which, by the way, is their JOB, become unknown law.
Continuing proof of the failings of this administration and the diminishing popularity of a man who spent 147 working days in the United States Senate before kicking off his campaign to become the most powerful office holder in the free world is the repudiation against him this past November. Reliably dark blue
elected Republican Chris Christie as governor even after numerous visits by Obama himself for the incumbent. New Jersey
, the entire GOP ticket led by our newly sworn in Governor Bob McDonnell, swept to victory in a landslide, decrying those who said the once dependably red state was turning blue. Commonwealth of Virginia elected two Democrat senators and voted for its first Democrat candidate for president since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Virginia
A further sign of the tarnishing of the Obama brand is his last minute visit to
could not salvage the pitiful campaign run by Democrat Martha Coakley in her race against Republican Scott Brown in the special election to fill the Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy. Brown, who ran a textbook campaign, will be the first Republican since Edward Brooke retired in 1979 to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate. The Massachusetts , actually another commonwealth, runs three to one Democrat to Republican in voter registration. This should have been a rout, but the folks want REAL change, not just what’s left in their pockets by this disastrous first year of the Obama administration. Bay State
Tally in Obama’s personal appeal before the International Olympic Committee in his failed attempt to secure the 2016 Games for
, and Obama is 0-4 with mid-terms in 10 months. Chicago
Remember, there’s no learning curve on this job. It’s , the phone is ringing and Obama is in
playing golf while a terrorist is making our Homeland Security people look foolish, except in the eyes of Janet Napolitano, who should also be standing on the unemployment line. Hawaii
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
I am pleased to learn that Delegate Ken Plum (D-36) is at least willing to keep an open mind on the issue of charter schools in the
. He correctly pointed out that there are but three such institutions at work in Commonwealth of Virginia , each located south of Virginia with a fourth slated to open during this calendar year in the Richmond area. Richmond
There is a reason there are so few charter schools operating in
. As someone seeking to open a charter school in Virginia Northern Virginia, I naturally, have been doing my homework. (I have also taught in both public and charter schools in MD and DC.) In reading the Code of Virginia's 10 pages concerning charter schools, a three-word headline can be used to sum up why there are a mere three in the Commonwealth: Fox Guards Henhouse.
One of the reasons there are so few charter schools is that approval from local schools boards in the jurisdiction where a charter is to be located is mandated. So, the first step must be to rid local school boards of such destructive power. It is destructive as competition is the bellwether of
as a whole and such a level of competition amongst schools will only help create better schools, better students and ultimately a better society. America
Public charter schools ought to have autonomy to operate as they wish as long as they are able to produce results in keeping within the standards under which all
public school students are expected to perform. Virginia
Public schools are too often handcuffed by bureaucracy limiting their movements and actions, while charter schools, at least to the extent I experienced in DC, had a greater degree of flexibility and independence even in spite of their faults as institutions.
Governor-elect Bob McDonnell campaigned in support of charter school expansion this past fall. A commission needs to be established next Tuesday - day one of the new administration and amending the Code of Virginia should be amended to pave the way for smoother road for charter schools to take their rightful place in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in
. He has a Masters in Education. Alexandria