Archive for February, 2009

Asian American tapped as Commerce Secretary

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Former Washington State Governor Gary Locke has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next Secretary of Commerce. Locke was elected in 1996 as the first Chinese American to serve as a state Governor, and served two terms. He is considered a fiscal conservative who should help U.S.-China trade relations.

He joins Steven Chu (Energy) and Eric Shinseki (Veterans Affairs) as Asian American members of Obama’s cabinet.

For more information, read this AFP news article and Seattle Times blog.

Is turning down the stimulus money racist?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

A few Republican Governors, most notably Mark Sanford (South Carolina), Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), and Haley Barbour (Mississippi), have threatened to turn down funding for their states from the recently passed stimulus bill. Their belief is that the substantial spending in the bill will hurt, not help the economy.

While sticking to your principles is admirable, the problem is that: a) these governors are considered to be leading Presidential candidates in 2012, and b) their states have a large African American population who could significantly benefit from stimulus funding.

This smacks of political opportunism, a notion not lost on Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn (South Carolina), who has been the most visible questioner of the governors’ motives.

So basically the Republican strategy appears to be one of acting as obstructionist to everything President Obama wants to accomplish, even when they agree with 95% of it. They are gambling that the country’s and perhaps the global economies will fail, and Obama will get the blame for it.

There are two major flaws in this strategy. First, openly rooting for your country and your President to fail as many right wingers are doing is inherently unpatriotic and there will be a significant political price to pay for that. And second, even if the Obama plans fail, there is no evidence that the Republican plan would have succeeded. Outside of criticizing Obama’s plans, the Republicans have done little to come up with their own solutions, other than to advocate tax cuts for the wealthy, which have already proven to be a failure.

I don’t know whether the stimulus will work or who will be President in 2012, but I do know one job that will be filled: Monday-morning Quarterback.

Another black coach bites the dust

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

The Phoenix Suns NBA team fired Terry Porter after giving him half a season to turn the franchise around. Half a season? Time to impeach Barack Obama. He hasn’t solved the crises in the banking or housing sectors, or ended the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan in the month he has been on the job. Clearly he has to go.

True the Suns have been a disappointment this year due to expectations that they could contend for the NBA Championship. But they are still 29-23 and contending for a playoff spot. The Chicago Bulls have a rookie coach with no previous head coaching experience, a losing record, with some questioning why he is still on the job.

The problem I have is that half a season is not enough time for any coach to implement their own system, and as I cited in a previous post, there appears to be a double standard when it comes to black coaches. Getting hired is much harder, and getting fired is much easier.

Will the economic crisis trump the Constitution?

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

President Obama’s recent comments about possible investigations into the abuses of the previous administration are indeed troubling. While he does use language like “no one is above the law”, he always follows it up with concerns about the current economy, wars in the Middle East, terrorism, etc. that require us to look towards the future rather than the past.

It is certainly true we are all concerned about the present, but President Obama is overlooking one of the main reasons why his message of change and hope was embraced by the American public – that he would restore our faith that the Constitution is still the prevailing foundation of our representative Democracy and no one, even the President of the United States, will be permitted to compromise it. Clearly there is much to look back on: torture and detainment of suspected terrorists, warrant-less wiretapping of innocent Americans, ginned-up intelligence to justify invading Iraq, hiring and firing U.S. attorneys based on a political agenda, outing a CIA operative and then pardoning Scooter Libby, allowing staffers to hide behind Executive Privilege and refuse to answer Congressional subpoenas, to name just a few.

President Bush will leave a legacy of unprecedented failures of government, but none more significant than his blatant disregard for the Constitution. President Obama inherits all of these failures, but even if he should be successful in turning things around, his legacy will be forever tarnished if he turns his back on the Constitutional abuses of his predecessor.

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