Archive for the ‘Domestic/Social Policy’ Category

GUEST POST: President Obama, please put JOBS under the Christmas tree this year

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment
What follows is a guest post from Melody Himel Scalley, a talk radio host from the Eastern Shore. Although I have some concerns about just how we should go about extracting the multitude of resources (both oil and alternative sources) that the Old Dominion rests upon, I do believe that a great deal of opportunity lies there and that a true comprehensive energy plan MUST be part of the dialogue on any discussion regarding the economy. So with no further ado:
President Obama, please put JOBS under the Christmas tree this year
by Melody Himel Scalley

Unless you have a high paying government job, and even if you do, you are probably well aware that the majority of American’s are deeply impacted by the ongoing devastation to the United States economy since President Obama took office.

While overall the unemployment rate hovers close to 9%, minority unemployment remains consistently near 15% and these figures show no indication of significant improvement in the near future.  Meanwhile, the current administrations lack of a positive Energy Policy is not only hamstringing companies that could add much needed AMERICAN JOBS to the economy; it is also compromising our long term national security and unnecessarily delaying our economic recovery.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released a report that shows the U.S. is on track to actually export a net increase in gasoline, diesel and other oil-based fuels in 2011 for the first time in 62 years.  This is due to the fact that while our economy is stalled, the economy in emerging markets is booming.  However these record exports are not forecast to continue.  EIA is also predicting domestic oil production will fall 240,000 barrels/day through 2012, mainly due to the continued Gulf “energy freeze” imposed by our current administration.

The United States has the highest standards for environmental protection in the free world.  Other countries do not endeavor to protect the environment for future generations as we do, yet their lack of concern for the environment will affect all of us.  We have the desire to be good stewards of the environment as well as the technology to extract our resources in a safe and efficient manner.  The U.S. also has the most stringent work place safety requirements of any nation.  We have the energy resources right here within our borders.    If President Obama wanted to put American’s back to work he has an entire industry waiting for the green light to help him turn around our economy.

I grew up in New Orleans and my Dad worked on the oil rigs.  I can attest first hand that oil industry jobs keep food on the table, the lights on and the rent paid.  If we simply used the God-given resources we have in our great Nation, many American’s would not be needlessly losing their homes and struggling to keep their lights on and their families fed.

We still import over half of our oil and petroleum products.  Instead of selling our debt to China we should be selling our OIL to China and reducing our national debt.  We do not lack the resources in America.  What we lack is leadership and the political will to demand our administration put forward an energy policy that is beneficial to Americans and the United States.  Let’s start the New Year on the right path.  It is time to resume drilling within American borders and stop exporting American jobs.

Melody Himel Scalley is an entrepreneur and talk-radio show host in Virginia.


Another Czar Poorly Vetted

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of Barrack Obama’s adminstration so far has been just how many cabinet level and lower level appointees have very shady pasts. A number have had tax trouble–some made it through Congress, some didn’t. What’s far more troubling, though, is how many individuals with radical views were shepherd into government by the administration by making them “czars.”

One such controversial appointment was that of Kevin Jennings as School Safety Czar. Jennings already got in some hot water in September when it was revealed that he had advised an underage student of little more than safety when engaging in sex with an older man. Jennings was in a position to do something legally but did not–as a gay man himself, this is understandable, given that (rightly or wrongly) few teachers act legally on the older boyfriends of straight girls. Jennings gave good, if not misguided, advice in that instance.

Far more disturbing, however, is a conference that his organization GLSEN hosted at Tuft’s University in 2000. This conference went far beyond basic sexual safety and covered a variety of dangerous sexual techniques. I won’t go into detail, but Virginia Virtucon has the scoop. This is very disturbing. I happen to think that sexual safety has its place in modern education, though focus should be placed on abstinence. However, openly sharing sexual techniques with minors is not only ludicrous but in very poor taste.

And that’s not all–the same report that VV cites notes that GLSEN promotes and sells a number of near pornographic titles through its bookstore online. Again, I am all for the youth of America learning about sexuality, but this is not a place that public schools need to be involved. And don’t get me wrong–I think that it is just as inappropriate for libraries to have straight romance novels available for students. The composition of a library should not be to simply get students to read anything but to enlighten their existence. If a book doesn’t do that, it has no place in a public school library.

It would appear, however, that right now the Obama administration feels that “throwing it all out there” is a much better solution to the very real problem of bullying. Instead of teaching students to accept each others lifestyles, despite any personal misgivings, they’d rather it all be on the table to create further confusion and fear.

Give this man some air!

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Cal Thomas has a column in the Washington Times, the first of what I’m sure will be an endless stream of copy hailing McDonnell as a new Republican hero.

In a recent interview at his transition office, Mr. McDonnell – who crushed his opponent Creigh Deeds by a 59 percent to 41 percent majority, attracting sought-after independents by a 2 to 1 margin – said that while he emphasized bread-and-butter issues like jobs, transportation and taxes during the campaign, he hasn’t forgotten social issues that are near and dear to the Republican base: “I am a social and economic conservative and have made no bones about it. I have an 18-year record as attorney general and as a legislator of not only supporting, but leading on a lot of those issues … but what I understood people were most concerned about … were quality-of-life and pocketbook issues: jobs, economic development, taxes and federal intrusion into the free-enterprise system.”


Message: If you have a good platform that can improve the economy and promote job creation, independents will give you a pass on your social agenda. That is a reversal of traditional Republican thinking of putting social issues front and center. “I try to [attract Independents] by reaching out and embracing people, not having a covenant of limitations that excludes people.”

Certainly Mr. McDonnell has set up a winning playbook for Republicans to use to their full advantage in 2009, and his team deserves the plaudits it has won over the past few weeks, including at the recent RGA conference. But the time is drawing down for that: now is the time for governance, a task that Mr. McDonnell is fully up to. I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll lead by his guiding conservative principles–indeed, he’s doing his homework as we speak–but let’s give them some time to go into effect before we start throwing the man into the national spotlight as a “contender”, alright? He’s got a Commonwealth to run, and the last guy made a pretty big mess of things…..

A Big Win for Transparency

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment

It pains, PAINS me to write this–but kudos to Madame Speaker Pelosi for putting the itemized expenditures of every member of Congress online. The document, know as Statement of Disbursements of the House, has been published by law since 1964. This is the first year, however, that it has been posted online.

Virginia Watchdog posted this first and notes some curious expenditures. I have not gone through the items line by line and probably will not. It’s hard to tell who’s the worst/best spenders in Congress, given that Congressmen are all over the country with different needs in regard to how often they go home or communicate with constituents, but it’s still comforting to see this information out there for public consumption.

Now if only these practices would trickle down to the local level…..

Healthcare Providers on the Free Market

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment

The always informative Reason magazine has this great video up about how the free market may hold our best hope for real healthcare reform. Inspiration comes from two unlikely but logical places: Best Buy and a Lasik provider’s office.

H/T Below the Beltway

Thank You for Not Thinking

December 2, 2009 6 comments

Here’s some snark from the gang at the Weekly Standard for this, the second day in which Virginia is a slightly less free place to do business:

Last February, the assembly passed a smoking ban, thereby depriving business owners of the right to make decisions about how to run the businesses they own, and depriving patrons of a choice between smoking and non-smoking establishments.

Good thing, too, because the market place, responding to customer predilections as it’s wont to do, had just about licked the “problem” the legislature sought to solve:

By February, when the legislature finally passed the ban after years of lobbying by anti-smoking advocates, about 66 percent of restaurants had already gone smoke-free in response to customer demand. A week ago, that proportion was about 75 percent.

So, the smoke had already been nearly eliminated—the ostensible reason for the law— but the legislature saved us from the potentially horrifying consequences of leaving in place the freedom to run an establishment with a smoking section. To be fair, I have heard that second-hand freedom can be very dangerous for state legislatures.

The article goes on to recount Arizona’s current fight against live fish pedicures. No, that was not a non-sequiter. Some enterprising soul came up with this in response to–get this–increased regulations on the use of razors in nail salons.

Only in America could someone come up with such an idea and the government see fit to get involved.

Saxman Advising McDonnell on Education

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Soon-to-be Former Delegate Chris Saxman will be advising the McDonnell administration on public education, according to the News Virginian via SWACGirl. Saxman’s retirement took many by surprise–including yours truly, whose territory included Saxman’s seat in the House of Delegates. Saxman had been eyed as many as a possible contender for Lt. Governor in 2009 before Bill Bolling made the race. He also briefly considered a run for the GOP nod for United States Senate against Jim Gilmore. From the NV:

Saxman, R-Staunton, said he and former Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Bosher will spend the next month reviewing personnel, programs and criteria at the Virginia Department of Education before issuing a report to McDonnell on Jan. 4.

Saxman said his review could entail how to work on McDonnell’s plan for additional charter schools in a time of lean state budgets. “It’s quite an honor and a privilege to take on a transition area like K-12 education,’’ said Saxman, who has been a strong proponent of school choice during his four terms in the state House.
Saxman also said serving on the transition team would offer him an opportunity to “see how the executive branch works.”

Even before leaving the House one of Saxman’s biggest issues was educational choice. He was behind the founding of the School Choice Virginia 501(c)4 group that has made a big splash both here and in D.C.–they were upfront in the recent publicizing of data that shows the public firmly in support of school choice. The group is headed by former Saxman aide and campaign manager Whitney Duff.

Two outcomes from this announcement. One, McDonnell is giving hints of a sweeping legislative agenda to come in the next few months. Two, we haven’t seen the last of Chris Saxman. Chris is a young guy, just in his 40s. He’s also a smart and dedicated guy, willing to take big risks to get his core values time in the spotlight. I’d put money against Saxman joining the administration, but Saxman’s soapbox is now a whole lot bigger than the one he occupied in the House.