Tag Archives: Florida

Congressional Snow Nose Radel Behind the Eight Ball

Florida Congressman Henry “Trey” Radel now joins Toronto mayor Rob Ford on the list of elected officials who used booze as a gateway drug to cocaine. Radel, for those of you who don’t watch “the news”, was busted and copped a plea to cocaine possession. Ford ironically, has yet to be criminally charged with possession, but I digress. Radel is a lesson in how American congress-folks are just so very different from the rest of us.

This clown got busted with 3.5 grams of blow. That’s an eight ball in street parlance.

If you or some ordinary person you know were to get busted with an equivalent amount, I guarantee you wouldn’t be able to plead out to a year’s probation and a $250.00 fine. And your job, if you were working? Gone, for sure.

Trey Radel doesn’t have such worries, however. He didn’t even entertain the idea of stepping down, simply saying he’s going into rehab and coming back to make laws.

get-out-of-jail-free

His fearless leader, House Speaker John Boehner? He says Radel’s buy and bust is a personal matter. Whatever.

What exactly does this guy have on the House boss anyway? Now here’s something worth considering. Usually, when somebody gets busted with a hard drug like cocaine, the police want to know more than a confession of possession.

Since Radel’s dealer apparently ratted him out, he couldn’t flip that way. And still, if it’s true Radel told cops he bought for a person or other people, wouldn’t it be interesting to know who? And wouldn’t he face a selling charge in some jurisdictions?

Trey Radel is a self described conservative who claims to listen to hip hop for inspiration. My guess is that would get him much sympathy from urban youth, but it does bring into focus an interesting paradox. Radel signed on to a House bill urging states to drug test food stamp recipients.

As one of our regular WWRL Morning Show callers put it, “how about they drug test members of Congress?”

And while we’re at it, who pays for Trey Radel’s rehab?

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Who’s Afraid of ACORN?

Just as important, why are so many going after the organization? You would think they’d stuck up Ft. Knox the way conservatives and a lot of lawmakers who should know better are screaming, crying, and voting. The Senate voted by a huge majority to block ACORN from receiving federal funds. 49 Democrats signed on to this, doubtless spurred by the ridiculous “sting” operation that rightly cost four employees their jobs.

acorn

Once they figured out what ACORN stood for, and what their work as about, it’s only natural that the organization would become a target. What they do, you see, is organize the poor, the disenfranchised, that great mass of people politicians ignore when they cry out about the problems of the middle class. I have known Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s CEO, for a good many years. She is hands down the best grassroots organizer in New York City. That’s precisely what makes her and ACORN so dangerous.

They tried to gut the group during last year’s presidential race. In fact, they tried to link President Obama to ACORN through some legal work he did for them back in 1995. Lawmakers had little taste for defunding them over allegations of voter fraud, allegations that by and large turned out to be untrue. So what changed?

Was it really the work of two conservative “operatives”, who dressed as pimp and ho, went to several ACORN offices and asked for advice on buying a home? Those employees should have been fired for not being able to spot such an obvious ruse in the first place. Beyond that, however, exactly what has ACORN done to bring such heat? The Census Bureau dropped them like a bad habit. It’s true 11 employees in Florida were arrested on  voter fraud charges, but ACORN itself alerted authorities to that alleged fraud.

Fact is, there are any number of agencies and companies that receive government funding whose employees have engaged in questionable if not criminal conduct. Does anyone remember Blackwater? ACORN claims to have more than 600 workers in 110 cities. Even if two dozen of them were bad apples, does that make the group toxic?

It sure does if you have a political agenda. Getting poor people registered to vote and to the polls is ACORN’s major sin in the eyes of those who want to keep those same people off the rolls. It’s a shame that so many Democrats who ought to know better jumped on the bandwagon, perhaps to avoid the wrath of right wing talk show hosts. They ought to know this, however. All this won’t stop Bertha Lewis. She’s been around too long, and worked too hard to let these fools beat her down.

What do you think? Will defunding ACORN kill the organization?

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Did Empty News Cycle Cause Obama Speech Controversy?

By the end of Tuesday, President Barack Obama will have spoken to the nation’s schoolchildren, and hopefully the auto-generated mess it created will be history. It was quite something to behold, the President wanting to tout education to young people, and conservatives going bonkers. So how exactly did all this happen?

Well for one, Congress was in the last week of its summer recess. For whatever reason, the healthcare debate that roiled the nation most of the summer died down just a little. Low and behold, there’s wasn’t much for media to talk about. At least as far as media was concerned. Then came manna from heaven. The letter describing the president’s back to school speech contained a seemingly simple request. It asked teachers to have students write to themselves about how they might assist the President.

To some, this was red meat. In an otherwise dead news cycle, it was even better for conservative media.

Jim Greer, Florida’s Republican Party chair, condemned the President’s “use of taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.”

Jim Greer
Jim Greer

Then the piling on began. Some right wing radio and TV hosts urged parents to keep their kids home from school so they wouldn’t hear the speech. It’s as if they thought Barack Obama would be wearing a dashiki and talking to kids about reparations.

Is making the most of your time in school a socialist agenda? Is standing as a role model to show that yes, any American can be president indoctrinating schoolchildren? But hey, there wasn’t much else to talk about, and in some quarters, anything that hurts President Obama is a goof thing. Just ask the Glenn Becks, the Sean Hannitys, and the Rush Limbaughs of the world.  And for what?

Even if you argue that the letter Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent contained some vague, unclear language, there’s no excuse for using children as a political weapon.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Education Secretary Arne Duncan

But that’s just what happened. It will continue until Americans demand that more be done during periods when there’s little breaking news (BTW, have you seen what passes for breaking news on cable news channels lately?). It will also continue, sadly, until the President realizes just what and who he’s up against, and that compromise with many of his enemies (not opponents) isn’t possible. They’ll keep coming until Barack Obama makes them fear his wrath.

And now we all know they’re not above using children. We’ve asked time and time again whether there’s been some defining event that will make this President take the gloves off.

My question to you is, are we there yet?

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