Saturday, May 16, 2009

Standard Examiner Op-Ed - Missing info?

In today's Standard-X there is an interesting op-ed titled "Magical Thinking and Republican economics."   Mr. Patricio Ortega lays the blame of our economic crisis entirely on the Republican lead government from 2000-2006.  You have to love an author who insults his audience in the opening line.  Though he probably wrote this piece more to appeal to the liberal reader and make them proud to be a democrat.  I do not disagree many mistakes have been made by Republicans over the past eight years.  Many mistakes which only amplified and some ways caused many of the problems we are in today.  But I think we need to come down from Otrega's dream land and remember a couple points.

1.  Gramm-Leach-Biley Act.  Mr. Ortega lays blame to this peece of deregulation completely on the Republicans.  However he carefully omits that the Democrats Chris Dodd and Chuck Shummer saved this bill from demise.  The bill was struggling and was destined to fail.  The Democrats salvaged the bill and negotiated support for revisions to the Community Reinvestment Act.  The Community Reinvestment Act in itself pushed banks to lend more in lower-income areas and also added to our crisis. In end, Bill Clinton gladly signed both bills into law.

2. Commodity Futures Modernization Act.  Yes this is the act that allowed credit-default swaps to go unregulated.  Which was co-sponsored by democrats and republicans, then signed into law by...wait for it..President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Ortega's thesis is that Republican rule between 2000-2009 got us to the economy we are in.  Yet his first argument is about laws and acts that were created before 2000.  He completely omits serious problems in the Community Reinvestment Act and credit-default swaps have had on our economy. I am not saying his entire piece is wrong, nor am I saying Republicans didn't have a hand in the cookie jar.  But he should take a closer look at what really got us here.  No one side is fully to blame here and playing the name game (especially this late) isn't going to fix the problem.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Huntsman says goodbye...was he even here?

For sometime now newspapers and television have made note of Huntsman's disappearance here in Utah.   We have all assumed (and could still be right) he has been preparing a presidential campaign.  Today Channel 4 News  has confirmed Hunstman has been asked to be ambassador to China.  Well lets bring on Gary Herbert, at least until 2010.  In my opinion Gary doesn't have big shoes to fill. With the departure of Hunstman, all I can say is...where you really even here?

 Honestly, what did Huntsman do for us?  Where are all the Fortune 500 Companies he promised when he was first elected?  The cabinet shop he gave his first speech at in 2004 is now bankrupt.  Where is this 20 page economic plan he mailed to all the delegates in 2004? In reality after 4+ years of the Hunstman rule in Utah, I feel we have been used only for his political gain.  He played it safe and personally did nothing for us.  He rode the wave of our good Utah economy and is now out the door.  He has most recently began to rock the boat for himself as his true ideology has come forward.  Just in time for him to jump ship and move on.  What a waist of time.   He was our Governor and won the election, I respect that, but I didn't support his policies (if he had any). I think we will look back and forget he even was governor.  

Bring on Herbert and lets see what he can do.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Outrage in the Party

The Standard Examiner had a very interesting Op-Ed piece from Steve Olsen, the new Weber County Democratic Chairman and former Republican. (See Here) Mr. Olsen mentioned a number of things that have been on my mind as of late with regards to the GOP. I didn't agree with all of Mr. Olsen's opinions but I did agree with his feelings the party has moved towards outrage and hate.  I attended the Weber County GOP convention and chose to get involved in my Legislative District. But I have chosen not to post (until now) regarding my experience because of some inner feelings regarding what I experienced.
One constant theme of the meeting was of hate and outrage because of the Democratic majority in congress and our current president.  Though I may disagree with the Democratic philosophy, I do respect the fact they won their elections.  During Republican control we often played the part of the martyr.  Every time we were attacked, we responded "typical Democratic move to attack the other side."  We hinted to the idea we would never drop to their level.  Now the tables have turned and so has our attitudes.  This is part of Mr. Olsen argument, the party has begun changing for the worst. 

  I do not know Steve Olsen nor do presume to do so.  But I agree the outrage and hate I am hearing from my own party has made it frustrating.  Why does hate need to be theme of every meeting I attend or conversation I have?  Why can't it be messages of optimism or strategy to improve the Grand Old Party. 

Outrage has become the mother’s milk of movement conservatism. True believers can’t survive without their weekly dose of indignation.

Mr. Olsen sentences above are something that has really jumped out at me, for it is something I run into daily.  Why is this hate so prevalent?  I am reminded of what writer George Bernard Shaw said once, "Hatred is the cowards revenge for being intimidated."  Is the reason for such hatred because of intimidation from the other side?

Don't get me wrong.  I know vocal and forceful opposition is needed to help our cause grow. I am the first to criticize my leaders and say what I don't like, just read my blog. But there is a big difference between this and what I have seen as of late.  I have seen people yell and scream about evil and Satan in government.  How does this advance the party?  How does this advance our cause? I love the party and am happy to be apart of it.  Through college I considered myself a Democrat and moved more towards the middle as I moved to Ogden and a great man named Nolan Karras inspired me to full Republican membership.  His spirit of working together and analyzing the situation for a better party and government is what has kept me going.  

Our party needs to rise higher than before and stop hating if we are to succeed.  Saying this is easier said then done. We may be losing great Republicans and even some soon to be Republicans because of our hate and outrage.  Hate only spells failure in my book and I hope we are fighting for success.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Skateboard Ban Hits the big time.

South Ogden City Officials are now under the microscope because of top reporter Brian Mullahy from KUTV 2 news.  He has been investigating a story we have been blogging about for a number of months now.  The ridicules law of illegal skateboarding in South Ogden.  Last night he did a feature on the story and since has posted the full story online.  (See Here)

Mr. Mullahy has done a great job pointing out both sides of this silly argument and has left many to wonder if the the cities concerns have gone to far. Through his investigation he came across our humble blog post on which is worse in South Ogden.  (See Here)  He specifically mentions our blog and the fact South Ogden City code states that killing animals, public indecency, selling beer and fleeing from cops are all lesser crimes than skateboarding on city streets. South Ogden City Police are quick to point out the inaccuracy of the blog post stating killing animals is a felony under state law.  However at the time of our posting it was a Class B Misdemeanor, this law just recently changed and city books still state the city law.  Proving at the time, city officials felt skateboarding was worse than shooting an animal in city limits. 

I had the fortunate opportunity to speak with Council member Vicki Mattson about this issue on Wednesday and she personally told me she would like to come to a solution.  Ms. Mattson mentioned they have identified a few potential locations for possible skate park but funding is the issue. 

How about we stop building a $2 million basketball court that admittedly no one is going to use and instead build a skate park that hundreds of kids will use?  Just a thought.

Today about nine kids were skateboarding in our neighborhood, I was happy to let them keep skating and so was everyone else in our neighborhood.