“Plug the Damn Hole!”

President Obama, proving yet again that he’s just a normal guy, became agitated during a meeting and snapped, “just plug the damn hole!”

We would all hope he’s talking about Bozo the Veep Joe Biden (who recently delivered a speech in Brussels and declared it the “capital of the free world,” saying that Washington, D.C. was undeserving of the title). After all, every time that guy opens his mouth he kicks his foot straight into it with accuracy unmatched by Audie Murphy. Alas, he wasn’t experiencing a lapse into momentary sanity; he was talking to representatives of oil giant British Petroleum about the oil that continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico and has begun to creep into the Louisiana wetlands.

I remember in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina first began to pose a threat to New Orleans. For years, forecasters had warned that a strong enough storm would destroy the city, which sits below sea level. City government did nothing about it. Right up to the days leading up to Katrina’s landfall, mayor Ray Nagin refused to even call for a mandatory evacuation until a mere twelve hours before landfall – by which time it was far too late for those with no means of transportation to find a way out of the city. Despite dire warnings of catastrophic flooding, many stayed and scores died for their decision during and after the storm. In the wake of the storm, cities that had been similarly devastated – such as Biloxi, Long Beach and others that had issued the mandatory evacuation orders well in advance of the storm and in plenty of time to save lives – got the help they needed from FEMA and immediately began to rebuild their cities and lives. Something went wrong in New Orleans. Everyone remembers Geraldo Rivera standing on a loading deck at the Superdome, demanding to know why federal help hadn’t arrived.

To this day, everyone blames George W. Bush for failing to act. Nobody remembers that Ray Nagin didn’t have the nerve to tell people to get the hell out. Nobody remembers that the city didn’t have much of a contingency plan. Nobody remembers the cities that didn’t have that issue despite being practically blown off the map. Americans tend to have the attention span of a gnat. If it doesn’t catch their attention with cool music and flashing lights right now, they forget about it.

It was an emotional issue, but one that is still being horribly misjudged. FEMA and federal law require specific requests to specific areas before they can send help. On a smaller scale, look at your local fire department. If you call 911 to report that your neighbor’s house is on fire, the dispatcher takes the information and dispatches the closest available units. Those units not dispatched don’t go; it’s called “jumping the call.” It’s considered disrespect to command and it tends to screw up the general order in effect. The same goes for FEMA. They don’t simply come in and take over because they think it needs to be done. They cannot do what they are not specifically requested to do. For all they know, there’s a plan and their intervention could dramatically screw things up.

Despite these facts, many still blame Bush for the mass deaths in New Orleans in 2005. Now that the Deepwater Horizon has exploded and sunk, leaving a shattered pipeline so far down on the ocean floor that manned watercraft cannot safely reach it because of pressure levels, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has put out very specific calls for specific actions from the government and the Army Corps of Engineers. This crisis has dragged on for a month now, and Jindal has gotten absolutely no help from Obama’s government. Jindal is being forced to take action on his own, lowering tons of boom (sand) into the state’s wetlands to protect them from the oil already creeping in.

Obama is proving quite adept at issuing demands for everyone else to fix the issues facing our country. He doesn’t want to enforce immigration laws, but he’s demanding that Arizona knock it off. He wants jobs created, but he doesn’t know how to do it, so he simply demands that hundreds of billions of dollars be thrown at it, and Democrats in the House and Senate are more than willing to oblige. He wants the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to be repealed but he doesn’t know how to properly do that, either, so he’s demanding that someone else helm the project. Obama doesn’t know how to respond to a call for assistance from a governor, but he sure as hell knows how to tell the company trying to fix the issue to hurry up and fix it while he makes damn sure to rub elbows with celebrities.

The man doesn’t understand the traditions of the office he holds. He was the first president to ever skip the Medal of Honor Recipients’ Ball on the night of his inauguration since the party’s inception in 1953. Instead he felt it necessary to hit all the inaugural balls that included major celebrities. He’s been snapped on multiple occasions standing with his hands in an embarrassing fig-leaf position during the playing of the National Anthem while everyone else properly places their hands over their hearts (or stands at attention, if in the military). He’s been caught on film bowing to both the Saudi king and the Japanese emperor. It took him badly mispronouncing “corpsman” TWICE before he got it right, and neither time did the media ever pick up on it (except FOX). He abandoned the traditional White House Christmas ornaments for those decorated with Chairman Mao and one of RuPaul’s “Drag Race” contestants. He will be the first President in a very long string of them to forego the Memorial Day tradition of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier next week for a trip to Chicago, but he’ll be damn sure to be back in time to hobnob with Sir Paul McCartney. Next we’ll be hearing that he’s auctioning off slumber parties in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House. Oh, wait…

Mr. President, you want them to “plug the damn hole.” I have a demand now, before you open your mouth one more time about Arizona’s law enforcement:

READ THE DAMN BILL!!!

It Wasn’t A Twist On Words…

During the Presidential campaign last year, a lot of people derided Sarah Palin for supposedly saying “I can see Russia from my house!” Trouble was, she didn’t say any such thing; Tina Fey did on Saturday Night Live:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owT_BNutAU8]

And when I pointed out Barack Obama claiming he’d visited 57 states, someone tried to claim it was a play on words.  They said he was making a reference to the primaries.  Here we have it, from the horse’s mouth, AFTER he thinks before speaking:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpGH02DtIws&eurl=http://hotair.com/archives/2008/05/09/obama-i-want-to-be-president-of-all-57-states/&feature=player_embedded]

We just elected this guy to be our President.  Obama and the Democrats are talking about universal government-run health care, such as they have in Japan, Canada, Great Britain and Spain.  Ask some of the people there what they think.  You have regular chances if you live up North–Canadians come into the US regularly for health care that they can’t get in their country’s universal health care system.  Need a transplant?  You’re screwed.  Just this week, a man on a bicycle was badly injured in an accident in Japan.  When paramedics arrived, they were able to stabilize him, but they spent an hour sitting at the scene trying to haggle with hospitals on who would take him.  Fourteen different hospitals turned them down, and by the time they got the victim to a hospital, he had deteriorated to the point that he couldn’t be resuscitated.  Is that the kind of situation we want here in America?

I also gotta ask, if paying taxes is so patriotic, then why are so many of Obama’s cabinet nominees being challenged on the basis that they were caught NOT paying their taxes?  First, Tom Daschle was nominated for secretary of health and human services, despite the fact that he’d accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from healthcare industry bigwigs who stand to profit from the right person in that position.  Then it comes out that he failed to pay taxes for a car and personal chauffeur that were donated to him by a political supporter.  THEN, when he came out and said, “sorry, it was a flub and I’ve paid it,” it comes out that there were MORE taxes he skipped out on, so to avoid any further microscoping of his finances he backed down from the nomination.  Tim Geithner, Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, was so meticulous he “flubbed” to the tune of $43,000 on his self-employment taxes.  He finally coughed up about $25,000 of it after his nomination.  Where was the Republican party when he was being voted on?  Oh, yeah, they were drooling over him.  NOW, Nancy Killefer, Obama’s nominee for Chief Performance Officer, has withdrawn from her nomination after it’s been discovered that she had been slapped with a tax lien on her home for failure to pay taxes for unemployment compensation–for her maids.  I love elite Democrat patriotism.

And today, via Michelle Malkin, we have Nancy Pelosi, the beloved Democrat Speaker of the House, giving us the most depressing news ever:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8hMJVXt09E&eurl=http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/04/liberal-math-500-million-jobs-lost-a-month/&feature=player_embedded]

Wow.  Way to Know Your Power, Nancy.  Five hundred million jobs a month?  That comes out to six billion jobs lost annually.  Trouble is, there’s only two billion people in the United States–that includes the disabled and children who don’t work.  Oops.  They’re just numbers, right?

Don’t forget, according to Joe Biden, JOBS is a three-letter word.

Case Studies in Charity and Giving

Democrats have been waiting for the correct alignment of the stars and planets to execute their New-New Deal, FDR-ish plan of big government imposition into the lives of Americans.  It seems things are aligning perfectly with a souring economy, rising unemployment and faltering markets.  And like the New Deal – this course planned by Dems will result only in swelled government spending, newly-entrenched entitlements and the further eradication of capitalism in the US.

But during this holiday season, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the generosity of citizens who give – acts of charity that mean more and do more for people than any bloated government bureaucracy or program.  It is this spirit of giving, not socialist handouts, that have historically defined this nation and the self-determination of the American people.  Amazingly enough, I found all of these examples while surfing DN- errrr….CNN.com.

CASE STUDY #1

A Christmas tradition continues in Los Angeles

A man known only as the “El Dorado Elf” handed out roughly $13,000 to the needy Tuesday.

He gave out the money in ten dollar bills to men, women and children at the Midnight Mission on Skid Row. Hundreds of people lined up at the mission, with some waiting as long as eight hours to receive their Christmas cash.

It has been a tradition since the early 1980s to hand out money at the mission around Christmastime. Back then, car dealer Ronald Moran began showing up each year in his Cadillac to pass out thousands of dollars. He was affectionately dubbed “Cadillac Santa” by grateful recipients.

After Moran died in 1992, his friend — who was the attorney for Moran’s dealership — stepped in to fill the void. The man, a 67-year-old semi-retired lawyer identified only as Bill, earned the nickname “El Dorado Elf,” because he drives a Cadillac El Dorado.

One of the more touching facts about this example is that Bill picked up where Ronald Moran left off.  The charitable tradition could have died off when Mr. Moran passed away, but there were those who believed in charity and the generosity of Mr. Moran enough to keep things alive.  I know that $10 isn’t a lot of money, but it means a lot to many people.  And the act of charity in any form is to be encouraged.

Bill said the money, which comes from himself and his friends, is more needed than ever in today’s slumping economy. “Just because I’ve taken a hit, is that any reason that the homeless should suffer?” he said. “I’ve got so much more than they’ve got.”

“It’s the highlight of my year,” beamed the El Dorado Elf.

God bless you, Bill.

CASE STUDY #2

An anonymous donor gives $1 million to victims of an apartment fire

An anonymous donor has come forward with $1,000,000 for the victims of the Burnsville apartment fire.

The Goodman Group, which owns the Burnscliff Apartment complex, says each leaseholder will receive a check for $17,543.86……

Monday’s fire destroyed a 64-unit apartment complex and left nearly 200 people homeless.

Donations of clothes, food and toys filled Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville Tuesday. The church says it now has more than enough clothes for fire victims, but it could still use hygiene items and undergarments.

Many fire victims are able to stay with family and friends. The Salvation Army is helping those who don’t have a place to stay.

An individual donor, a church, local citizens and the Salvation Army all came to the aid of these displaced folks. You can’t always plan for tragedy.  Sometimes things occur beyond your control, and it is heartening to see the community step up to the plate and provide relief for these victims of circumstance.

God Bless the community of Burnsville,  Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, the Salvation Army and that unsung, anonymous hero.

CASE STUDY #3

A cookie factory reopens and gives Christmas cheer to employees

According to the article, Ashland, Ohio had been hard-hit by the current economic downturn.  The Ashway cookie factory in Ashland shut its doors in October of this year – leaving 300 workers unemployed just before the holidays.  These newly unemployed workers were faced with a decision – stay put or move elsewhere to find a job.  We know that uprooting and moving cost money, so many of these folks were likely in an untenable situation.  Now enter Lance, Inc.

Some 300 workers lost their jobs when the Archway cookie factory in Ashland, Ohio, was suddenly closed by the private equity firm that owned it. The workers also were left without benefits like health insurance.

But then Lance Inc., a Charlotte, North Carolina-based snack food company, purchased Archway at a bankruptcy auction. And last week 60 workers were asked to return immediately, with perhaps more coming back in the months ahead…..

When it promised to reopen the bakery, Lance gave all 300 former Archway workers a $1,500 prepaid debit card…..

David Singer, CEO of Lance, says the gift cards were a way of letting Ashland know the new owners are different. “We wouldn’t do it willy-nilly,” Singer says. “We do want to make money. But this is the pool of folks that we intend to hire. We just wanted to let them know who we were.”

The 60 workers rehired so far are earning their previous salary and retained their seniority. They also were provided health insurance from day one.

The bakery now produces Lance cookies that are sold to big chains like Target and Wal-Mart. But production of Archway cookies is scheduled to resume soon. Lance has told the employees that it hopes to have the plant fully operational by the end of 2009 — that is, five lines of cookies being produced simultaneously.

The new owners say that if new orders keep flowing in, more jobs will follow.

Yep.  You heard it right.  One of those greedy, money-grubbing corporations actually did something right.  Lance Inc. not only reopened the factory – they gave $1500 gift cards to the former employees (even those not immediately rehired), offered day-one health benefits and pledged to draw their employees from those who were left jobless by the factory closure.

God bless the folks at Lance Inc. for trying to do right to the unemployed workers in Ashland, Ohio.

CONCLUSION

This has been a short case study with three examples.  Now, as my former college and grad school professors would say, it is time to draw some conclusions from the case studies.  Three examples do not give cause to make sweeping generalizations, but they do offer some insight.  And in this case, we have some insight into helping others in this nation.

I hate to take these sweet, wonderful cases and turn them into something partisan – but my conclusions are derived from these examples of love, giving and charity.  Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and other socialist sympathizers would have us believe that the government is the only answer to helping those who are unemployed, homeless, poor, destitute or victims of circumstance.  I am here today to say otherwise.

Look at who is in charge now.  Over the past decade, Obama and his wife have given less than 6% of their income to charity.  More incredibly, Joe Biden has given an average of $369 a year (.3% of his income) to charitable causes.  Of course Biden is the one who famously said it was our “patriotic duty” to pay more taxes.  He must regard this as charitable donations.  Pay more money to the federal government so that they can funnel more cash into impotent programs supposedly aimed at helping the unfortunate.  If that is the case, then our portion of tax dollars that go into those useless programs should be regarded as charitable donations that are tax exempt thus meaning we shouldn’t pay any tax at all for that.  Right?  Good luck making that argument in court.

The main point of this post is that individual citizens, communities, churches/religious organizations, charities and even businesses/corporations are more effective when it comes to aiding those in need.  That is the history of this nation.  Any charitable organization that mismanages money or allocates too much of its revenue to administrative expenses risks having its tax-exempt status yanked.  Yet similar government programs that are ineffective and bloated with bureaucracy and administrative costs are not subject to the same scorn and scrutiny.  What hypocrisy.

We don’t need more government.  We need more generosity, charity and giving  independent of government.  This maybe a tough sell in difficult economic times, but it is our tradition.  And it is what makes this nation unique.  Merry Christmas to all.  And don’t forget your neighbor this holiday season.