Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Gadfly On The Wall

Mr. Excitement: Donald Trump has given the possible Republican presidential field just what it needs: A shot of adrenaline. The GOP guessing game, so long running now, has gotten a bit boring and with none of the possibles really catching on with voters, needed a bit of excitement. Enter the enigmatic Trump, the man who at once is a parody of himself and a seriously talented financial deal-maker with a flair for self-promotion.

The Gadfly On The Wall
By Mike McCarville

Surprise Result: Tuesday's Oklahoma City Council race, likely the most expensive such race ever waged, saw Dr. Ed Shadid emerge the winner over Charlie Swinton, big time. Shadid, who apparently had never voted in a municipal election until voting for himself on Tuesday, self-funded his campaign while the Establishment was in Swinton's camp. The low, low turnout emphasized Shadid's support from conservatives and anti-Establishment voters (not necessarily one and the same).

Outta Her Friggin' Mind: District of Columbia delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, an entitlement-no-matter-the-cost liberal, says the impasse over funding the government "is the functional equivalent of bombing innocent civilians."…

Schools Superintendent
Janet Barresi: 'Let
the states decide'
Cut The Purse Stings: At a hearing of the House Education and Workforce Committee in Washington, Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi said she's worried state innovation would be stifled by the limits on how federal education money can be used. “We would very much welcome the opportunity to decide for ourselves how those dollar bills are spent,” she told the committee. Congress has been slow to renew the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law that linked federal funding to a number of new requirements on schools, including annual progress reports. Barresi said those progress reports don't provide meaningful information to parents and that Oklahoma was designing a report card for schools that would assign grades, from A through F, like students receive. Ideally, she said, federal money could be used for a grant program for those who wanted to improve the grade their school received.

Union Protestors: Members of labor unions rallied at the Capitol Tuesday, declaring opposition to bills that would repeal compulsory collective bargaining for larger municipalities. They are on the short end of this stick.

Voter Frustration? Duh! ~ Pollsters say voters appear to be increasingly incensed at the political impasse that threatens the normal functions of government. A Rasmussen Reports poll Thursday showed that 48 percent of voters now say their views are closer to the tea party than to members of Congress. Pollster Scott Rasmussen says that identification with the tea party actually reflects an extraordinary level of frustration over the inability of Congress and both parties to manage the nation's business.

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: It appears the popular old hymnal soon will be our state's offical song. Tulsa's Jabar Shumate came up with the idea, and the bill is making its way through the process. The hymn was written in Indian Territory in 1862 by Wallis Willis, a Choctaw Freedman. The Red River reminded Wallis of the Jordan River, and the song was loosely based on the passage in the Bible that speaks of the Prophet Elijah being taken to heaven in a chariot.

Red, White And You: Channel 43, owned by KFOR-TV, is going patriotic as Freedom 43 on Monday. The station, which airs on Cox 16 and 714 in Oklahoma City, has local programming (morning show, 9 p.m. news) and will feature local commentators. Having been involved in another television news experiment (KWTV's hour-long newscasts of the early 1970s), I have a special appreciation for the work News Director Mary Ann Eckstein and others have put into this effort.

Whizzer, Not Geezer: Those under 55 likely will have no recollection of this conveyance, a Whizzer motorbike that was on the wish list of most teenagers in the late 1940s and 1950s. Me included. Didn't get one then, but had a buddy who had one and we had a blast with that slowwwww machine. Today, teen years but a distant memory, I've threatened to buy one. Said a friend: "We could make a sign: Geezer's Whizzer."

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