In My Orbit: Working for the weekend

8 11 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Girl’s week has been occupied with interviews of fascinating individuals.

Dr. A. David Matian used to be my primary care physician, and he was honored to be interviewed about his philosophy as a medical professional, and how the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare will affect his practice.

Omar Akram is a talented and accomplished New Age musician, who just released a new album called Daytime Dreamer. At his album release party, I got to cover the red carpet and met some accomplished musicians, authors, and fashionistas.

Shyra Sanchez, actress, singer, fitness coach, activist, and humanitarian sat down with me and her publicist at the Mandarette Cafe, and talked about her music, life vision, and why she will always stay connected to a metropolis.

Lance Lindahl and Credere Joseph met me at the Village Bakery and Cafe, and I got to see firsthand how this connected collaboration of old souls, music, and film helped create the delightful comedy, Hay Days.

Omar, Shyra, Lance and Credere will be featured at Examiner.com on my Faith & Community page. Dr. Matian will be profiled on Examiner.com, and some of his quotes may make it into an article on my Washington Times Communities “In My Orbit” column.

Speaking of of the WT Communities column, this week I discuss President Obama’s non-apology Apology.

“In an effort to get ahead of the narrative (too late), Obama did the one thing at which he is proven effective: he decided to talk. Yet this talk which supposedly included an apology did not express any accountability for lying over 29 times, the current mess those lies are producing, nor did he offer any real solutions to fix it.

If you actually listened to the President’s words, he kept emphasizing the “only 5 percent”, or “a small percentage” of the population that are receiving cancellation notices. By his consistent usage of “only” and “small”, Obama delegitimizes the anger and concern of the people whose policies have been cancelled.”

According to Henry Louis Gates, 388,000 Africans actually survived the Middle Passage and arrived in America to be used as slave labor. That’s less than half a million people. Did that make slavery any less heinous because it was such a small number?

Obamacare is fast becoming an albatross around the President’s neck. Give the rest a read over at the WT Communities site.

Hope you have a fun weekend!





The Obamacare Follies

29 10 2013

obama-then-i-said-if-you-like-your-health-plan-you-can-keep-it

The Girl has been covering the Debacle that is the Obamacare rollout over at my Washington Times Communities column. Click the links below and give them a read.

Will America survive Obamacare’s implementation? This was written two weeks before the October 1 implementation, and some of my commenters scoffed at me. One word: Schadenfreude.

Like comparing Apple to Obamacare. Week 1 of the rollout went exactly as I suspected, and the administration had the nerve to compare themselves to Apple! Cue the laughter.

This is not the Obamacare exchange you were looking for. No kidding… Two weeks later and still a mess.

The Obamacare exchange’s lack of security. If you’re an identity thief or a fraudster, the HHS has given you an open invitation with Healthcare.gov and the Navigator program to easily steal from people. Low-hanging fruit.

Conservatives on Obamacare: we told you so. Yeah… enough said.

Back in February, Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reported on the seven million who would lose the employer-based health insurance under Obamacare. That was the CBO’s conservative estimate. Now that the biological waste matter has finally hit the circular wind conductor, liberals are now losing their minds, along with their health insurance.

CBSNews.com of all places is reporting that 2 million people with individual plans (read: self-employed) have been booted from their health insurance thanks to Obamacare:

“There have been estimates about hundreds of thousands of people losing coverage, CBS News’ Jan Crawford reported on ‘CBS This Morning.’ CBS News has reached out to insurance companies across the country to determine some of the real numbers — and this is just the tip of the iceberg, Crawford said. The people who are opening the letters are shocked to learn they can’t keep their insurance policies despite President Obama’s assurances to the contrary.

“The White House is on the defensive trying to explain it, after Mr. Obama repeatedly said, ‘If you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it.'”

Obamacare: more than 2 million people being booted from existing health insurance plans.

The New Yorker–another publication that could not be described as conservative, brilliantly mashed up the many times our dear President made this promise. Social media cuts both ways.

If You Like Your Plan-Supercut

You didn’t actually think President Obama meant that, did you? If you did, I have some beachfront property in Death Valley I’d like to sell you.

Debra J. Saunders of the San Francisco Gate reports that the head of Covered California estimates up to 900,000 Californians will lose their health plans on December 31. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

So it’s not just the conservatives and Republicans who are calling the Obama administration on the carpet for the lies, now average Americans who are being adversely affected by the implementation of this nightmare are screeching. Amazingly enough, the mainstream outlets are actually doing what Rush Limbaugh likes to call “Random acts of journalism”. Who would have thunk?

Health and Human Services Secy Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify before the the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday. While she planned to throw the technology contractors under the bus, these contractors stole her thunder by leaking to CNN a confidential report essentially saying that the administration had been warned that Healthcare.gov was not ready for primetime; but they charged ahead anyway. Hubris, thy name is HHS.

The Carney is doing his usual doublespeak and blame, but this time nobody is buying it. He has actually been getting tough questions from the White House press corps. Even the usual shills like Matthews and Co. over at MSNBC seem to be waking from their Kool-Aid hangovers on this one.

The plot thickens, and with Sebelius’ testimony, there will be much to write about. In the meantime, I leave you with two more videos that illustrate the lies, incompetence, and rank arrogance that characterizes this presidency.





In My Orbit: The Long Weekend…

24 05 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy Friday, and Happy Memorial Day weekend! Lots swirling around the universe today, particularly in the political realm. My Washington Times Communities column outlines the Scandalpalooza currently plaguing the Obama administration:

“President Obama continues to deny accountability over the crises affecting three major arms of his administration: the State Department, the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. Either the President is an incompetent leader or a dishonest one.”

Read the rest here: Obama’s incredible shrinking presidency.

Locally, the Mayor election is over, and we will soon swear in Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti. Frankly, I’m relieved–I’m no fan of Garcetti, but the amount of union money poured into Wendy Greuel’s campaign was sickening. If nothing else, the 22 percent of the Los Angeles electorate who bothered to vote (so abysmal) truly understood the stakes and voted accordingly. Bravo to you! To the rest, go live someplace else and take your apathy with you–we have a city that needs to be saved.

Another L.A. election that didn’t cross my radar was for the LAUSD School Board. Apparently Monica Ratliff, a 5th-grade teacher in the school district won, even though she was outspent 42 to 1 by her opponent Antonio Sanchez.

Sanchez was heavily backed by SEIU, LACFL, Villar-itardo’s Coalition for School Reform (What. A. Joke.), and even Nanny Bloomberg of New York to the tune of 2.2 million! The blogger concluded, “One political analyst described the result as proof the ‘allure of the candidates’ can negate the effects of big money.”

Yes, it can! Let’s get some good candidates who stand for something onto the local and national stage–we got lots of hacks with money of which to rid ourselves.

Okay, for many it’s a Holiday weekend, so I’ll get off the Poli-Junkie soapbox now, and put on my tech-geek hat. I read this great article on TechCrunch, “Why Does Hollywood Hate The Future?“:

“Where is the It’s a Wonderful Life set in 2150? Are a few scenes from Back to the Future Part II really the best we got?

Again, I think the answer is that we already live in a technological utopia of sorts. No, the world isn’t perfect, but the recent advances in technology have given us so much. And people go to the movies to escape reality. It’s just too bad that science fiction films have essentially become horror movies.”

I like his ending, and the rest is equally thought provoking. Give it a read.

I’ll end with my favorite Friday song from The Cure, as well as my favorite John Ondrasik tune in honor of our soldiers. To those who died in service to our country, I honor you this weekend. Freedom isn’t free.

Happy Friday!:

Honor a fallen veteran, and give a kiss to the one’s still leading the charge:

 

 





The Los Angeles Mayor’s Race, aka the Real Candidates of L.A. City (Part 2)

17 05 2013

DWBLA Collage

First off, happy Friday! I would like to welcome all the new followers to this blog. Thank you, for reading, and wanting to come along for the ride! I am very happy that my commentary has found a place of resonance with you.

So back to our L.A. Mayoral election, which is only days away (sigh). I am still not thrilled, but a little less apathetic. I had the opportunity to attend A Dialogue with Black L.A. (DWBLA) last weekend, and the main event was a Q&A with both Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti. After watching two debates, I was convinced of two things a) both candidates could have used more debate training, because they both come off liked canned fish, and b) these debates did not serve either the candidate (or the constituents for that matter) in presenting their ideas, or lack of them, to the public.

At DWBLA, each candidate individually had a little over an hour with Event host Starlett Quarles, asking questions and getting responses, then giving time for audience questions and responses. That  time gave me a much better read on the candidates as people and as leaders than what was afforded us in the debates. As I said in my Washington Times Communities column, the laid-back atmosphere made a difference:

“Studying the candidates in this more relaxed environment revealed how each one navigated when off script, and showed their capacity in giving answers not clearly laid out in their usual talking points.”

Read the rest over at the Communities site: “L.A. Mayor’s race: Lesser of two evils or diametric leadership styles?

I have to say that Eric Garcetti came off the best unscripted. The host was a personal friend, so that may have played into it. But it also showed that he pretty much believes what he espouses, because it was given matter-of-fact and off the cuff, without equivocation or parsing. He communicated clearly and articulately, and has a great sense of humor. He had the audience laughing and clapping on more than a few occasions.

Wendy Greuel is a control freak, and it showed in every talking point, and every time she pointed to her 36-point plan (or whatever it is called) to “Move Los Angeles Forward.” Hmmm… we’ve heard this language before in a national election, so if forward means wholesale into morass and scandal, then spare me! But I digress…

It was clear that she really was not comfortable with this type of forum, and if her incoherent and rambling answers were any indication, she desperately needed her script.

In my candidate research, the most scandalous thing I could uncover about Garcetti is that his penchant for urban planning and engineering (part of his educational background) has pissed off neighborhood activists. There are more than a dozen lawsuits brewing over the business and community developments in Hollywood and Echo Park–too much overbuilding, too many tall buildings, and too much gridlock. The latter is a Los Angeles problem no matter where you go, so every City leader is at fault here. Garcetti has also been accused of being in the back pocket of developers; as opposed to Greuel, who is in the back pocket of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to the tune of nearly $4 million dollars being poured into her campaign.

As a resident of Atwater Village, Garcetti’s former City Council District, I have no complaints about the encouragement of small business and building a community that mixes residential with commercial. It has done wonders for Atwater, and I can see it has enlivened Hollywood too. The only way I would have bothered venturing into Hollywood at night was either heavily armed or dead; with some of the revitalization, it has changed the atmosphere and made it much more habitable. One still needs to be wise–this is L.A. after all–but compared to the cesspool Hollywood was 15 or so years ago, it is now a totally different place.

I have no doubt that Garcetti visualizes replicating what he did in these communities across Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Times confirmed the same last week in the article, “Garcetti’s Hollywood script“: “Hollywood is ‘a template for a new Los Angeles,’ Garcetti says, ‘a blueprint for a city where you can live near where you work, near where you play … where the hours you don’t have to spend in your car, you can spend with your family.'”

Garcetti is also a green activist (his house in Silverlake is supposed to be this ecological marvel), and had his hands all over last November’s Measure B, which in a nutshell, had the aforementioned evil LADWP in charge of green expansion and green contracts–akin to having the Fox in charge of the Hen House. Greuel has been on the attack regarding this (she had her hand in it too–Duh!), with little rebuttal or response from Garcetti. He’s not owning it, but he’s not denying it either.

The latest attack on Eric Garcetti is his endorsement of Occupy L.A. Occupy L.A. camped out on the City Hall lawn for weeks, building up waste, and straining city services. Garcetti, as City Council President, basically laid out the welcome mat, as did Mr. 11-percent, Mayor Smilin’ Tony. Stupid move on Garcetti’s part, but again, no surprise–it ties into his liberal and activist philosophies. He headed a group at Columbia called “Black Men for Anita Hill”, so that should tell you all you need to know. For him, bleeding hearts will always be the fashion.

L.A. Jobs PAC in sponsorship with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce released this online attack ad just today pointing out this yawing gap in leadership. h/t: L.A. Weekly.

L.A. Weekly wrote a really good piece on the five key differences that distinguish Greuel from Garcetti. I found the last difference the most compelling:

“This may be the most fundamental difference between a Garcetti and a Greuel mayoralty. Garcetti has recently taken to quoting his friend, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who said in a commencement speech last year that ‘It is better to have your ship sunk at sea than have it rot in the harbor.’ And indeed, Garcetti has had his share of shipwrecks. He lured an electric car company to L.A. with a $1 million relocation package, only to have it go bankrupt. As council president, he approved the ‘modernization’ of billboards, unaware of the storm of protest that would follow. And have you seen those awful condos at Sunset and Alvarado? Of course, he can point to successes too, or he wouldn’t have won his district by 34 points in the primary. Greuel, on the other hand, is more risk averse. As a result, her sins are ones of omission. Her disappearing act during the city’s budget crisis is a prime example. As controller, she could have had as large a role as she wanted in shaping the public debate about budget cuts. Instead, she avoided the subject as much as possible. In part, her aversion to risk seems to be the legacy of her years working for Tom Bradley, who governed in a very cautious style. That style does not mean that nothing gets done, but that it happens slowly and carefully and only after all the risks have been weighed through careful deliberation. What Greuel chooses to focus on, she will probably achieve. Garcetti is more likely to fail, but also more likely to try harder things.”

As I pointed out in my WT Communities column, they’re leadership styles are diametric; so I see it not as lesser of two evils, but what type of leadership do you feel L.A. needs right now?

The choice is yours. Please go out and vote on Tuesday May 21–the City needs an engaged constituency putting a Mayor in the office who will focus on the people and their needs, and not solely on the people who paid the most to get them there.

 





The Los Angeles Mayor’s Race, aka the Real Candidates of L.A. City (Part 1)

6 05 2013

collage

The Girl is less than thrilled over this Los Angeles Mayor’s race for obvious reasons: Kevin James did not make the runoff. He was the only Conservative running for the office, and whatever Conservative/Republican base we have left in Los Angeles decided not to show up at the polls. The apathy in this town is thicker than the smog.

So we are stuck with Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti, Liberal vs. Liberal City Council retreads, trying to out spend each other, and inspire the voting base to actually get out to the polls on May 21. Good luck with that….

My latest Washington Times Communities article talks about the overabundance of charisma that the departing Mayor Smilin’ Tony exuded–with little else besides that–and the lack of that same charisma exhibited from either of the two candidates:

“Villaraigosa clearly represents where we have come: the reality televisionization of politics. Substance no longer matters—give us drama, bigger-than-life personalities, and some good fights. Rome may be burning, but if you look good, and spin a good yarn while it happens, who cares? As this is the town that creates all those illusions in the first place, it should come as no surprise that L.A. is the poster child of the celebrity Mayor.”

Read the rest here.

Speaking of drama, Wendy Greuel appears to have a penchant for it. My man Kevin has already endorsed Eric Garcetti, in part because Garcetti is not completely bought and paid for by the city unions, like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. LADWP has already poured millions into Greuel’s campaign, and will probably continue to do so up until the day of the election.

What’s that phrase? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned ? Apparently Wendy’s fury is now directed at Mr. Kevin James.

A recent direct-mail campaign targeted at the African-American and Latino communities highlights, “Garcetti’s endorsement from white Republican Kevin James, who finished third in the March 5 primary.”

“‘He’s an Obama hater!'” the mailer says, highlighting some of James’ more intemperate remarks about the president. ‘Say no to Eric Garcetti! He sold us out to win Republican votes!'”

Beware the power of technology, Wendy. The Kevin James for Mayor website has posted the text messages between Wendy and Kevin, not too long after the primary election results. From my read, Wendy is practically chasing down Kevin for his endorsement. Of course, when she did not get it, suddenly Kevin is an evil monster who is racist, white (shock!), and right-wing.

It seems that Wendy knows how to go on the attack, but aside from being a woman, doesn’t rate at doing much else. Mayor Sam has documented well on his blog Ms. Greuel’s attacks against those she considers opponents, bombastic overreach during her years of “public service” , and constant grandstanding. I recommend giving it a read before you make a decision on who you will vote for on May 21.

And take a gander at this video posted by NearChaosBlog, basically confirming what we all fear: the woman has neither the ethics or experience to manage a city; she’s simply a rubber-stamped union toady, who wants to ride into office playing the female card. Joy.

Next week, Candidate Garcetti comes under the microscope.





A Tempest in a “T”-Cup…

12 04 2013

filizanka-do-kawy-porcelana

So here’s my daily fun: My Twitter compatriot, @BlackRepublican, re-tweeted the nonsense of Marc Lamont Hill. I’m glad BR does, because I have no desire to follow him on a regular basis.

Marc Lamont Hill is a host/contributor at the Huffington Post and HuffPo Live. He is also an associate professor at Columbia University, and a former Fox News commentator. His last bit of opinion/commentary that captured the interwebs was a piece on “The 15 Most Overrated White People”. Had a white columnist written such a piece about “The 15 Most Overrated Black People” (and there are way more than 15), the Left would have been up in arms. Maybe I will set my hand to that particular list–but I digress… Marc Lamont Hill is one of the Left’s creations, the same as Touré;  so he is allowed to spout fallacies and pablum about race and conservatives under the guise of original thought.

Taking nothing away from the good work of Twitchy, the re-tweet in question was one where Marc Lamont Hill decided to diss Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice because she accepted the invitation to be one of the FIRST women to join the Augusta National Golf Club. The club has been exclusively male throughout its history, and Secy Rice, along with Darla Moore, eliminated that barrier.

MLH Tweet-Rice Advocate for ALL WOMEN

Stunning logic here.  But I felt this arrogant tweet warranted a response:

ATGT response to MLH re Token Comment

It still rankles me that our own people will not give Secy Condoleezza Rice her due. No matter what her political affiliation or anyone’s issue with President George W. Bush, it does not eliminate the fact that Secy Rice is an accomplished Black woman and a historical figure. She was FIRST in many respects, blazing trails for Black women in academia, government, and world affairs. Yet, the Left finds any excuse to denigrate and  demean her legacy and her choices.

And tell me, how many women golfers are fighting to wear a green blazer in Atlanta? Is it even a valid argument? I have my doubts about that.

I decided to expand my comments on Marc Lamont Hill’s “Token” reference:

ATGT re MLH Tweet-Was Robinson a Token

From there Marc Lamont Hill’s logic became even more… circular:

MLH Tweet-Rice First is unnecessary

So there are no longer necessary FIRSTS in Marc Lamont Hill’s world.  Interesting…

MLH Tweet-Rice and Real Change

But I couldn’t let that one let slip by either:

ATGT-Why do your care MLH if her first is unnecessary

Marc Lamont Hill continued to double down on his line of reasoning–or lack of it:

MLH Tweet-Only Minority in the Room

Perhaps he speaks from experience? Are there many under 40 associate professors of color at Columbia University? I speculate that if Marc Lamont Hill were not a Left-wing youngster of a particular race, he would not have the perch he now enjoys. A perch, frankly, that was blazed for him by Secy Rice and other blacks who had to suffer more discrimination and denigration than someone of his generation, or mine for that matter, ever have.

After hitting bottom with that last comment, he continued to dig:

MLH Tweet-Rice is Selfish

By calling Dr. Rice “selfish”, Marc Lamont Hill just destroyed the first part of his statement.

Marc Lamont Hill finished his attack on Secy Rice with this complete falsehood:

MLH Tweet-Nothing to do with Black Repub

Black Republican’s final response was worth the price of admission:

Black Republican Tweet on MLH

Eye roll indeed, along with shaking my head.





“In My Orbit” has expanded into new worlds!

10 04 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“In My Orbit” has expanded into new worlds!

The Girl has been busy with some new projects, one of them has been mounting a new column on Washington Times Communities. This is a wonderfully innovative online community of writers, and their global reach gives an expanded platform for my writing.

I’m very excited! Feel free to click the link and take a read at my column, and the other voices that make up the site.








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