Posts Tagged ‘politics’

DC’s Hot Housing Market

5 May 2012 – 16:16 CDT

The nation’s capital has yet to amass skyscrapers — defining itself instead with such iconic structures as the Washington Monument and blocks of squat-but-serious-looking federal building. But city officials want to change that situation, saying Washington is running out of commercial property and needs Congress’ help to keep their economy humming.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray has asked GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton about possible ways to amend the city’s general height restriction of 130 feet.

Gray, a Democrat, and others say the city needs minor height variances and perhaps an allowance on the maximum number of occupants inside apartments, offices and other buildings to keep pace with the robust local economy, including a hot housing market. (emphasis mine)

While the rest of the country struggles to recover from Washington’s idiocy (Frank-Dodd, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc), DC’s housing market is booming according to the mayor.  While the rest of the economy shrinks, Washington D.C. and the federal government grows.

What of the news that unemployment fell to 8.2%, which President Obama and his talking heads are sure to tout as a huge success of their policies?  Watch the other hand, because cleverly, a single number doesn’t tell the whole story.  Says Business Week:

The [unemployment] rate has fallen from 9.1 percent in August to 8.2 percent in March. Part of the reason for the rapid decline is that some people have given up looking for work. People who are out of work but not looking for jobs aren’t counted among the unemployed.

Increase the federal payrolls.  Combine an increase the federal welfare, disability, and other benefits programs with hopelessness, and folks give up looking for work.  The unemployment rate goes down.  Writes Chuck Devore over at Big Government in his piece, Number of Americans Paid Not to Work Growing Faster Than Number of Taxpayers:

The number of Americans drawing checks from the federal government via Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income Program swelled from 7.0 million in FY 2007 to an estimated 8.0 million in FY 2012, with the growth rate in the program doubling at the onset of the recession. This program is expected to cost taxpayers about $52 billion in FY 2012.

The argument from Obama and the left will be that things are just starting to turn around, that they just need more time to get the economy fixed.  Say, around 4 years or so.  Hampered by Republicans and their rich friends, Obama and the Democrats have more ideas to get the economy growing and get more Americans back to work they just can’t do because Republicans keep blocking them.

Mark Levin warns us in Liberty and Tyranny that statists never turn from their collectivist, socialist policies, no matter how much the evidence may stack up against them, no matter how miserably their ideology fails.  They always need more time, more power, more of your liberty to “level the playing field” for the poor and the middle class.

This November, the choice is clear.

Open Season on American Military

1 May 2012 – 20:12 CDT

Even casual readers will know that a hallmark of Flyover Country is our unashamed and open support for the military and their families.  I’ve stepped in and quietly picked up the check at a restaurant for someone in uniform.  I make it a point to stop and say “thank you” instead of walking past the stranger with the “101st Airborne” hat on.

A few months ago, a highly educated elitist professor emailed his university colleagues calling it “shameful” to send care packages to military serving overseas.  He wrote in part “sympathy for American troops in harm’s way is ‘not particularly rational in today’s world.'”  No, the shame lies entirely on this leftist constitutional law professor, who despite his position and title cannot fathom the simple fact that his right to free speech is protected by the very Americans he denigrates.

Today, two stories caught my attention.  Jaci Greggs, wife of an active duty solider, wrote of a talent agency targeting and cold calling military wives and widows, on behalf of CBS, about a reality dating show.

Turns out, not everyone they’ve contacted is a widow. And several of the widows are in relationships, or not seeking one–all facts clearly and openly stated on their blogs. In fact, the person who received that specific email does not run either of the blogs mentioned, and is not a widow. One widow posted in a forum that she replied that she wasn’t interested and asked not to be contacted again. She was then badgered with two subsequent emails. Reports are that neither of these situations is unique.

The overwhelming response from the milspouse blogging community has not been favorable, to put it mildly. We’re at once a diverse group and a uniform one, a worldwide community made up of less than 1% of the American population. And fiercely protective of our own. And when one of our spouses becomes a Gold Star spouse, we all hurt.

So CBS has a talent agency trolling military spouse blogs to exploit their sacrifice and tragedy into a reality show to make a buck.  Whatever fools at CBS thought this was a brilliant idea can’t begin to understand the military family and should be ashamed of themselves.

LA state Representative Ortego, on the floor of the people of Louisiana’s House, recently had the audacity to mockingly question one of his colleagues on attracting military veterans to the state.  The basic premise of the bill author’s intent was that military veterans with two years of active duty service in the United States military would qualify for in-state tuition.

The video is instructive.

Ortego: Why are we trying to attract veterans to Louisiana?
Lorusso: Because I think veterans make good citizens of the state and good members of the community.
Ortego: Okay. Okay. Umm. I’m just wondering also because usually a lot of times veterans come with a lot of issues too and I know the federal government tries to, tries to deal with a lot of those issues. But do you think that we’re gonna be able to deal with them too?
Lorusso (incredulous): I don’t know what you’re referring to by issues Representative Ortego.
Ortego: Homeless rates, and umm,  mental illness rates uh especially when they’re coming back after a war.
Lorusso: Well, if they qualify to enroll in our colleges we hope that’s vetted out through the process.
Ortego (laughing): I would hope so, too.  I’m just, you know, my point is also that we’re at the same time we’re also don’t you think that we need to be investing in our umm hospitals with mental illness?
Lorusso (clearly angry): If you bring a bill we’d be happy to discuss it.
Ortego: For our veterans?
Lorusso: You’re free to file a bill.

I’m not sure that I could have hand-picked a more disrespectful, ungrateful, shameless college kid brainwashed from the aforementioned Professor Avery’s classroom.

Don’t ever, for one second, allow the far left to tell you that they support our heroes.  The American military has been among the few cherished institutions they’ve avoided assaulting directly for the last 30 years.  Since the Vietnam days, they’ve generally stuck to small, crazy lunatic protests and Hollywood films that more often than not lately as Americans have come around to the tactics, are ending in disaster for the studio.  With the election of President Obama and his open support of groups like OWS, the left is growing more bold in their efforts to tear down the country in an effort to remake her in their image.

In my time with Honor Flight, I’ve been very direct with the Vietnam veterans who volunteered with me: “I wasn’t born when you came home, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you.  I’m here with you and these World War II veterans, in part, because what happened to you should never, ever happen again.”

Chaos at the Caucus

17 March 2012 – 20:54 CDT

Parliamentary chaos was the order of the day at the Lafayette County Courthouse in Lexington, MO this morning.

It was fairly quiet, and the courtroom where the meeting was being held looked like it was going to be about 3/4 full until just before the caucus was to begin at 10:00 on a Saturday morning.  It quickly turned into standing room only, which seemed like a good thing.  The assembled were led in a prayer and the pledge of allegiance.  I actually wondered to myself if anyone was offended by the prayer, which mentioned Jesus by name.

The first order of business was to elect the caucus chairman, or chairwoman in this case.  The chairman of the caucus really just runs the meeting.  The party chair of the county Republicans, Kay Hoflander, seemed the obvious choice.  A handful of people in the packed room decided not so fast.  That was when things spun completely out of control.

This particular group happened to mostly be sitting in generally the same area of the room, around the individual they wanted to be the chairman, a guy by the name of Howard Cozart (note among the the favorite websites listed – infowars), who also happens to be the mayor of Lake Layette, MO, population 367.  After the rabble rousers effectively ousted Hoflander, Cozart assumed the position but it was immediately clear that he was woefully unprepared.  Confusion reigned.  Mr. Cozart had neither an agenda nor an understanding of the parliamentary procedures required to conduct the meeting.  After another 10-15 minutes of head scratching, one woman volunteered to act as the parliamentarian to help move the meeting along.

The proceedings finally got to the point of selecting the rules committee, meant to essentially adopt the rules for the rest of the meeting and for how the delegates were to conduct themselves.  Chaos.  Mr. Cozart and his crew had come with their own set of rules, which now had to be merged with the rules developed by the county GOP board.  Behind closed doors, that process took roughly an hour while the rest of the room stood around, some chatting, some consulting with each other.

Once the rules committee returned with their findings, more confusion about delegates bound or unbound.  More questions from people who were understandably wondering what the heck was going on, and some questions, “points of order” from folks who seemed intent on disrupting the proceedings, or at least dragging them out.  By the time it was all over, a least a few of the county committee members had apparently left, ostensibly because they were late for other commitments.

Not one for following the rules apparently, Mrs. Laura Cozart video taped almost the entire proceeding.  She stood up several times to object to various procedures and to suggest certain paths, which seemed pre-planned.  The kicker came at the end when Mrs. Cozart objected to the slate of delegates.  She repeatedly stated that she believed the entire process was conducted in an “unethical” fashion.  I believe she used the word “unethical” 6 or 7 times in about 5 sentences.  Circling back around to cite the disruption she and her band of merry attendees caused at the beginning of the meeting, she made it clear that she wanted the “establishment” delegates thrown out – or at least a re-vote taken – because of the “unethical” way they were selected, and the “unethical” way the meeting had been started.  With several of the county committee folks having already left, had she been able to get a vote, she may have been able to overturn, and stack, the delegate slate.

In the end, I have no idea who won the caucus.  The only indication that anything was accomplished after 3 hours was that we were told the delegates selected were split roughly even between the “establishment” and the disruptors.

Brent Teichman who was at the caucus as a voter had this to say:

It’s annoying to me to hear people talk about wanting to change the path we’re on when this organization walks, phone banks and organizes for Conservatives, and every one of the “take overs” have never been seen before. I like much of their ideas, but I have a fear that if Ron Paul is not the nominee – and mark my words, he won’t be — will they be there helping us? Because I think I know only a handful that will. I consider [some Paul supporters] friends, but saving this Republic requires naysayers to do work, not just pull shenanigans.

Apparently, this type of nonsense was not isolated to Lexington.

@rsmcain: “Missouri Gone Wild: Caucuses Disrupted by Ron Paul supporters“.  I find it extremely interesting, and oddly familiar, that “…the shouting quickly escalated when it came time to appoint a chair of the caucus.”

@chrisloesch: “So evidently the Ron Paul people have shut down the St. Charles, MO Republican caucus with bad behavior. Thanks (ed.) for wasting those delegates!”

I’m sure there will be more on this in the days to come as we start to find out who the Howard and Laura Cozarts of the various caucuses really are.

More reading:

LA Times: ‘Mass hysteria’ in Mo. as Republicans caucus on presidential race

NY Times: Disruption Closes a Missouri Caucus Before Vote


Laura Cozart has responded in the comments section below.

Update 2:

More from Big Government on the St Charles caucus: Caucuses Gone Wild: Chaos In Missouri

A Hero is Lost: RIP Andrew Breitbart

1 March 2012 – 10:57 CDT

I guard the title of “hero” very closely.  Andrew Breitbart passed away today at the age of 43.  He leaves behind a wife and four kids.  I had the chance to meet him for the first time at Smart Girl Summit in St Louis last summer.  For all of his boisterous personality and public battles with the left, Andrew was a genuinely nice guy.

I happened to be walking back from wherever I was to the area where the conference was being held.  As one does, I fell in behind a guy who was going the same way.  Didn’t recognize him, didn’t think much of it until he turned around slightly when he opened a door.  Andrew Breitbart was walking in front of me.  What struck me immediately was that he was carrying coffee. But not just one coffee, he was carrying one of those trays from Starbucks that holds four cups of coffee.  As I followed him in to the venue, he stopped at a table where Jon David Kahn and Holly Bacon were sitting to drop off one of his cups of coffee for Jon.

Andrew Breitbart, giant of a man, celebrity, figure head of the Breitbart empire of new media, hugely popular, capable of untold influence, force of nature, happy warrior, and bane of the left went to go get coffee for other people.

Andrew is my hero not just for his fierce and eloquent defense of conservative principles, not just for how he believed in, advocated, and used the power of new and social media as a force for the good of the republic, not just for his hatred of bullies or his love for our troops, but for the humble servant who made a coffee run that day in St Louis.

More: In Memoriam Andrew Breitbart 1969-2012

Sunshine State Sarah: We have lost a giant: RIP Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

Jenny Erikson: Andrew Breitbart Owned Life

Glen Asbury: Losing Andrew Breitbart: Some Thoughts

Melissa Blogs: Andrew Breitbart: RIP Happy Warrior

Rep. McCotter on the House Floor: Mourning the Loss of Andrew Breitbart

Greg Gutfeld: Andrew

Rebel Pundit: Andrew Breitbart: Our Fearless General

Steven Crowder: Raw, personal. Remembering Andrew Breitbart

Jaci Greggs: Breitbart