Saturday, November 22, 2014

Obama and the Immigration Situation

Not everything I do is political.  I've been a little lax on this blog because I was working on writing and publishing a novel on vampires.  If you're interested, it's called "Vampire Tales - Book One - Genesis" and you can find it at most online book dealers.

Now on to Obama.  Since moving to Tulsa I've been surrounding myself with more and more Republicans.  Those who are not truly Republican are still rather conservative.  I consider myself to be a breath of fresh air for their stale minds.  Just about everyone I meet here gets their news from Fox.  It's sad, really.

After Obama wrote his Executive Order on immigration, these people have been asking me what I think of my president now, assuming that I would now change my mind considering how he has taken power that the president is not allowed by the constitution.  Or I would be ashamed of how he has taken a "my way or the highway" approach and gone off on his own without regard for the work of the Congress.  Or at the very least that I would agree that the will of the people in this last election is that the Republicans are best able to run the government and we should agree with that wisdom.

To all of this I say, get real.  

In the first place, Obama is an expert when it comes to the constitution.  He knows where the power lies and he knows what he can and cannot do.  He knows, for example, that only congress can change the laws that would grant green cards, so he did not go that far.  He went as far as the law would allow him to go.  That is not a power grab.  That is doing his job.

Now let's look at the elected bodies.  The senate passed a bill for immigration reform.  That is the job of the senate.  That bill was sent to the house.  The house is then to re-write the bill, if they don't like it the way it is, and vote on it.  If it's the same bill, it goes to the president for his signature.  If not, it goes back to the senate to be re-worked by that body.  When they reach an agreement it goes to the president. 

In this case, the senate passed a bill and sent it to the house.  The house has been sitting on that bill for more than 500 days.  For over a year they have ignored their job duties and done nothing.  We did not elect them to not do their jobs.  The president told them if they were not going to do their jobs he would do it for them.  They did not do their jobs.  He did his.  That is not a power grab.  That is doing the job we elected him to do.

As for a "my way or the highway" approach, they seem to be a tad bit mistaken on who has that attitude.  Mitch McConnell stated six years ago that his primary concern was to make sure that Obama was a one-term president.  Six years later he now claims he wants to work with the president.  John Boehner has consistently shown that he will not work with the president.  If anyone needs evidence of that, look at how many times Boehner has brought measures up for a vote to repeal Obamacare.  It's over 50 times now.  Yet, they could not find time to vote just once on immigration reform.  It's not Obama who has the "my way or the highway" approach.  That badge sits squarely on the chest of the Republicans.

And lastly, the "people" did not speak in the last election.  In fact, the majority of people do not speak in any of our elections.  It's very sad that so few people in this country vote but that's the reality.  Most do not.  For the 2012 presidential election, there was a much larger turnout than for 2014.  And the 2012 voters voted for Obama.  So, if you want to argue that it's the will of the majority, that would be for Obama, not for a Republican led House of Representatives and Senate.  

No, I will continue to support Obama.  I stand behind his ideals and beliefs and I share his vision for a better America.  Our immigration laws are unfair and need to be rewritten and he has taken a step in that direction.  Hopefully his action will cause the Republicans to finally pass reform legislation and get our country moving again.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mary Fallin, Running on her Record

Mary Fallin was elected governor of Oklahoma four years ago on the platform that she would improve the economy and reduce unemployment.  Four years later, the economy has improved and unemployment is below the national average.  How much of this has been achieved through Fallin's efforts is debatable, however, Fallin is running for re-election based on her record.  As the incumbent candidate, she should.  Her record is what the voters need to look at to decide if she is the best candidate going forward.

Let's look at Fallin's record:

Fallin was presented with a study early on in her term to improve the prison system in Oklahoma.  Our prisons need serious work and this could have been accomplished years ago, however Fallin threw the proposal out.  Now, she is looking into it, not because she believes in the idea but rather because she is running for re-election.

Fallin, like nearly all American governors, supported Common Core.  Her support was one thing she did well.  However, Common Core will only work with proper implementation and when it was revealed that it did not work, rather than take responsibility for her part in the debacle, she immediately distanced herself from the wreckage.  Janet Barresi took the fall and lost her re-election bid.  Fallin is still in the running.

Our state is among the lowest in education, largely because our teachers are among the lowest paid.  You get what you pay for and excellent educators are leaving Oklahoma to teach elsewhere for better wages.  Our teachers' salaries aren't even in line with the teachers in our neighboring states.  Fallin claimed there isn't any money in the budget to raise their salaries, yet she was able to find money to raise the salaries of the heads of several state departments who were already being paid more than the teachers.  Her reasoning was that their salaries should be in line with the national average in spite of the fact that a) Oklahoma's cost of living is below the national average and b) teachers aren't even in line with neighboring states, let alone the national average.

Yes, Mary Fallin should run on her record.  And once her record is evaluated, voters should ensure that she does not get another four years to ruin our state.  We just can't afford her kind of leadership.