Tuesday, November 10, 2009

State's Revenue Woes

Later today the revenue report for October's results for Oklahoma should be made public. In September, general revenues fell about 30% from the same time last year. Experts are blaming low oil and gas prices and a depressed economy.

I really question the judgment of our legislators who apparently expected the blowout oil and gas prices from the first half of 2008 to be the norm for 2009. And by the way, oil and gas prices plummeted in the fall of 2008. By September 2008 everyone knew that our economy was in for a rough ride.

I think that the legislature lacked the discipline to plan for these corrections and are now governing us using fear tactics as they have to slash services in the face of declining revenues.

The use of a 3 or 5 year average of revenues would go a long way to smooth out the bumps we inevitably see in our economy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Will There Be No America?

The warning has been sounded. By a Briton, no less. Is America about to give up its sovereignty to a UN created government? Check out this video.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vote For Mark Perkins

After careful contemplation I have decided to lend my support to Mark Perkins for Mayor of Tulsa. You can find out more about him by following this link.

I listened to Chris Medlock's endorsement of Bewey Dartlett, emphasizing our need to come together as Republicans in order to have a "seat at the table". I understand that, but at this stage of the game, I don't want to sit at the table with people from either party who tow the party line and carry the water for a 2 party system, both of which have failed us miserably. No, it's high time we elect someone new, with fresh ideas and no entangling alliances.

Tom Adelson sounds like a scared kid and his contrived TV ads pollute the airwaves throughout the day. We certainly don't need this annoying brat born in privilege with a silver spoon in his mouth. He would be bad news for Tulsa.

Bewey Dartlett's job as a Republican is to unite the party by moving toward the center to have any chance to be elected. Good luck! Bewey is definitely left-of-center as a Republican. Maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing. But I cannot shake 2 issues: His affirmative vote to approve Kathy Taylor's $7 million expenditure of my tax funds to settle an obligation with BOK created by the airport trust authority who pledged city assets on the now defunct Great Plains Airlines (and got their butts bailed out by Kathy Taylor); and his endorsement of Kathy Taylor earlier this year when she was running for mayor.

Mark Perkins is a registered Republican running as an independent. I think he has good ideas and a fresh perspective on issues surrounding Tulsa. I especially like his concern for education in our fair city. He also represents the increasingly important young professional class of people in Tulsa, who are our future. Mayor of Tulsa is not an easy job and I believe Mark has the stamina, the integrity, and the common sense it will take to get us through these difficult times.

Vote for Mark Perkins for Mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Guns in our Schools

I can hear the yawns from those reading the headline.

But if you have a student at TPS, you aren't yawning, you're knees are knocking. I know many parents that have a real fear for the safety of their children in Tulsa Public Schools.

TPS has responded with security guards, metal detectors, lock-down procedures, locker searches and its very own police department complete with a chief of police. But, alas, it is a pervasive problem as you can see from this story from Fox23.

Let me hear your thoughts on how best to tackle this problem.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Laugh About Obamacare

Let's see if I have this straight.

We're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it,
signed by a president that also hasn't read it, and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's nearly broke.

What possibly could go wrong?

Hat tip to Bryan

Friday, October 16, 2009

America the Beautiful!

With everything going on in our country right now, it's good to take time out to reflect on something good about our country. Click on this link, you'll be glad you did!

Hat tip to Gary.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Real Solutions for Public Education Reform in Tulsa

Axiom: It is easy to criticize a situation, but a leader will find solutions.

I know that I have fallen into this trap as it is definitely easier to make critical remarks about a topic like public education, than it is to offer concrete solutions. So here are a few solutions that represent potential real reform to Tulsa's public education:

1. Separate sports from education. Have all sports handled by booster clubs made up of parents and private citizens and businesses who actively support their teams. Booster clubs could set salaries, hire staff, rent facilities from schools, etc. This would end the situations where the football coach also teaches history, or whatever. With sports expenditures out of the general budget, more existing dollars could be focused in the classroom. Over time, the focus of the school would shift from pride in sports programs to pride in academic achievement. Sports could still be a source of school pride, but in the meantime, it could be a revenue generator for the schools as the booster clubs could pay rent for facilities and pay the schools for the rights to use the school name, etc.

2. Expand the number of charter schools statewide. Since charter schools are public schools, they provide a public option that gives taxpayers more "bang for the tax buck". As they are also schools of choice meaning, students go there because they want to go there. This is a critical point and one that is absent from the traditional public school. They tend to be much safer schools too since the schools can set policies that allow the students to weed themselves out if the school is not a good fit. With smaller enrollment, smaller class sizes, and a group of students who choose to go there, you tend to get a rather tight-knit group and one where a student will not fall between the cracks.

3. Consolidate the number of existing traditional public schools. This would be the natural outcome for an expanded charter school network in a district. Charters can use retail space, a church building, you name it. This would also have a benefit to the city of utilizing unused retail spaces and a sense that something is now going on. Taxpayers would save millions each year and perhaps some of the school property could be sold to private developers and put into the tax base.

4. Limit the amount of the budget spent on administration. Cap larger districts at a lower percentage than the smaller districts. This would force districts to focus on the classroom education and not in self perpetuation.

5. End all English as a second language classes. Get this out of the school budget and have churches or concerned citizens offer English classes to immigrants. Or with a charter school, they could form their own school and teach Spanish as a second language.

6. Tie High School graduation to social services benefits. This reform would be to address the falling graduation rates across the state. If you do not graduate or get your GED, then you would be denied access to social services. I'd bet we would see an immediate turnaround in graduation rates. It's only right since the Oklahoma Constitution requires that we provide a "free and appropriate" public education. If that is the requirement by our State, then we have the right to expect that our children take full advantage of it and take graduation as a responsibility on their side? If that is our premise, then it must have some consequences.

7. Require community service as part of the curriculum. We need to develop a sense of community pride and spirit. And it can start with elementary students. We invest in them and they invest themselves in the community. It's a win-win.

8. Allow non-certified teachers to teach certain classes. Wouldn't it be great to have a teacher in say accounting, who has actually been an accountant? Think of the examples and real life experiences that kind of teacher could bring to a classroom. Have a professional photographer teach photography. Novel idea, don't you think?

These are just a few things from off the top of my head. I reserve the right to post more in the future.

For Janet Barresi

I whole-heartedly endorse Dr. Janet Barresi and her campaign for the office of Oklahoma State Superintendent of Schools. She is an experienced reformer with the right set of priorities. I have personally worked with her on some charter school issues in years past.

You can follow the link here.

Friday, October 02, 2009

City Council Makes the Right Call

Although it was not unanimous, the Tulsa City Council yesterday voted 7-2 in favor of taking the "Community Oriented Policing Services" grant of $3.5 million. This will pay for 18 new TPD officers for 3 years with the stipulation that the city pay for them for at least one additional year.

The controversy stems from our current and near-future expected budget shortfalls, resulting in city employee furloughs and cuts in city services. This move requires our cash-strapped city to come up with about $400,000 immediately to cover the cost of hiring and training the new officers, and over $1 million at the end of three years to pay for the one additional year. So how will we pay for it?

Well this much is certain, we all agree that public safety is something that our government should be in the business of doing. And we agree that crime is an issue in Tulsa. The addition of 18 new officers will be a big boost to public safety in Tulsa. And remember, Tulsa Public Schools now has their own police department, complete with a chief of police. More police equals more criminals off our streets.

A safer Tulsa will be a place that people want to come. With Tulsa as a destination point, we will gradually see our sales tax base rise. More unchecked crime will see just the opposite.

Our courts and justice system have a pivotal role to play too. We must not only get criminals off our streets, but keep them off. It's high time the pendulum of justice swing back to punishment for offenses from the current mantra of rehabilitation and coddling.

This was a tough decision, but the right decision and it shows the direction of leadership Tulsa desperately needs.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mayor Taylor Will Flee Tulsa

As it was just announced, Mayor Kathy Taylor, in a genuine carpetbagger style, will pack her bags and "flee" Tulsa at the end of her term as mayor on December 7, 2009.

I have always contended that she is not a Tulsan. She is a transplant from OKC and parts beyond. Now that she will no longer be Tulsa's mayor, she can't wait to get back to OKC.

At least during this mayoral election we have choices between Tulsans. People who were raised here and now choose to live and work in our great city.

Governor Brad Henry has tapped her once again, but this time in the area of Education. WHAT??? Exactly what did she do for public education in T-Town? (Sound of crickets chirping)
For that matter, since she was Oklahoma's Secretary of Commerce before she became Mayor of Tulsa, what businesses did she/has she brought to Tulsa during her tenure?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Judge Upholds Oklahoma's Charter School Law

Vowing to appeal a recent judges decision about the constitutionality of the Oklahoma Charter School Act, Doug Mann, attorney for TPS says an appeal is likely. This is a complete waste of taxpayer education dollars by Tulsa Public Schools.

As I have blogged before, the OCSA is constitutional, until a judge rules it's not.

In this case a judge from OKC ruled it is constitutional.

Since 2001 there have been a number of attempts to start some more charter schools in the Tulsa district. All have failed, mainly by the cloud this lawsuit has created in the minds of potential sponsors.

As a result, OKC without a cloud has more than twice the number of charter schools as Tulsa. Tulsa has had three since 2001.

You can read more about it here.

Meaningful public education reform has been thwarted. Every Tulsan has lost out as a consequence. It is amoral to continue to take taxpayer dollars to fund a system that is incapable of reforming itself.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The History of Gun Control


In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
---- ------------- -------------

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

2009 or 1934?

This political cartoon is from the Chicago Tribune in 1934 in response to FDR's New Deal policies. Strangely similar to our situation now isn't it?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tea Party 4-15; Patriot Day 4-19

Awake from your slumber!

Lame Duck Governor Out of Step With Electorate

Henry vetoed a bill that would require some type of identification to vote. At the same time the state legislature apparently knowing what Henry was about to do, passed another measure that now by-passes the governor and allows we the people to vote on this measure this fall. I can't wait. You can read more about it here.

The Chigger is not a fan of Governor Brad Henry. This was a common sense bill. He is in his last term as governor.

How can you drive, cash a check, etc without producing some identification. How could it possibly disenfranchise anyone? Even the illegals can obtain a photo id at any tag office for a small fee.

Long lines at the polling booth? Are you kidding me?

Voting is not only a right, but even more it is a privilege. Casting an uninformed vote is irresponsible and a fradulent vote is unacceptable. At this point in our history, we need to do whatever it takes to keep/restore our faith in our voting system. This bill would go a long way to do that.

Monday, March 16, 2009

KFAQ Sans Chris Medlock

As previously reported by other Tulsa Bloggers, Chris Medlock has been summarily dismissed from his afternoon radio show on 1170 KFAQ. Without a hint or warning, his image and record has been expunged from the on-line record. Now, it will be more Laura Ingraham and a new live show with Elvis Polo.

Chris used to host the morning show now hosted by Pat Campbell.

In my opinion, KFAQ should have let the higher priced Campbell go and keep Medlock. Campbell is undoubtedly a slicker host, however, he still struggles with local issues. He has lost me as a listener due to his choice of regular guests like Mens Health Magazine, and Ernest Istook, boring!

Elvis is getting better, but no one knows Tulsa politics like Chris.

Instead of more Laura, how about Michael Savage? KRMG keeps preempting Savage Nation for any sports game down to high school football.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Why Was Ben Bernanke Not Arrested?

Incredibly the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, refused to answer a direct question from a U.S. Senator yesterday during hearings in Congress. Mr. Bernanke was asked to disclose which banks have received bailout funding from the American taxpayers. He refused to answer saying in essence that it would undermine the confidence in those banks. I ask you, do you have confidence in our banking system?

It appears that gentle Ben has only just bailed out his friends and acquaintances. This former Princeton economist has presided over the largest banking fiasco in my lifetime. He should have been fired long ago. These banks are the ones centered in the Northeast, the ones he rubs shoulders with.

His comment rings strangely hollow in the Obama era, supposedly an era of transparency and accountability. But not, I guess, when it comes to our banking system.

Enough about the failed policies of Washington, D.C. and New York City.

I understand from my source at Valley National Bank that the regional banks in the Tulsa area (the ones that dot our landscape) are all in really good shape and have money to lend. And don't forget your local credit unions. For the average "Joe" things are really pretty good here in T-Town.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I am sick to death of the crazy spending binge by Congress. It continues to snowball. Now the proposal is to spend $900 million in Gaza. You've got to be kidding.

We have no business piling this debt on top of an almost insurmountable mountain of debt. Congress has lost touch with reality and the American public.

On top of it all, it is to be funneled through the UN. You can read more about it here.

A Four Year Itch

Man, the time sure flies! Today ends my 4th year of blogging at Tulsa Chiggers. I must admit I have lost some steam and focus on blogging over the past year. My goal is to get back into it and blog more consistently. There should be plenty of things to comment on.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend Roundup

Let's see...

Some of the things happening in and around T-Town lately are: A Broken Arrow church teaching The Shack to tickle the ears of attendees. What happened to teaching the Bible?

This follows a story in 2008 of a church (gathering) of people in Jenks teaching life principles derived from the Andy Griffith Show reruns. I would prefer reruns from Green Acres once the Andy Griffith shows are exhausted.

Eleven bank holdups so far this year. We gave banks a $700 billion bailout, I guess the crooks want to be shown the money!

Mayor Kathy Taylor announced her intentions to run again for mayor of Tulsa. The filing period isn't until July. With the Dollar Thrifty stock in the dumpster, she will need to depend on the kindness of strangers instead of using her own immense wealth to buy this important position. The Chigger strongly suspects Mayor Taylor will be tapped by the Obama administration for business development, she has done such a great job here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blatent Fear Mongering

Listening to the rhetoric of an impending catastrophe and that we are in a disaster, I can't help but think that this is nothing more than fear mongering. Fear is an effective, but utterly useless form of motivation. And President Obama is only continuing the drumbeat started by former President Bush and his Treasury Secretary. We passed the $700 billion TARP funding using the same arguments. And we can already see how that performed. Shaping up to be a gigantic waste of our future tax dollars.

I recall a phrase that my mom used to say, "I'm going to do something, even if it's wrong!" I firmly believe that is the current mantra from our Federal government.

Mark my words. This path of a dominant Federal government, combined with it's socialistic economic policies will result in the near term with increased inflation, the governments best friend.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Tara Vreeland at KOTV

KOTV has quietly slipped in a new weekend anchor named Tara Vreeland. She most recently came from the CBS affiliate in Cheyenne, Wyoming KGWN Channel 5. Interestly, the KOTV website still does not have her bio listed as part of the team. Does this mean she is on probation?

On her first broadcast here in T-Town, she was poised and professional. She did an outstanding job with no appearance of nervousness. She is a keeper.

Welcome to Tulsa, Tara!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Tulsa Public Works Reforms

Mayor Kathy Taylor has hired a high-priced accounting firm to conduct a forensic audit of the Tulsa Public Works Department. This is in response to the explosive revelation of bribery and corruption in the Department, perhaps to the tune of $4.2 million.

Over the past week news has leaked out about exactly how the bribes and kickbacks were accomplished. It was not just one way, but several ways. Having some first hand experience as the victim of embezzlement, I too discovered that it was not done in just one way, but in several. I also learned from that experience that any system can be improved, but it is nearly impossible to guarantee that it won't happen again.

Two of my best suggestions to the Mayor are: a) have all contracts bid competitively, and b) have all construction contracts be fixed priced bids.

And it is always a great idea to have more people involved in the process, for better internal control and less likelihood of collusion.

And by the way, what is Tulsa doing to get our $4.2 million back?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Let's do SOMETHING, even if its wrong

Against President Obama's wishes against partisan politics, the House of Representatives voted to approve the "Stimulus" bill. Not one Republican voted in favor of this bill. Is it any wonder?

You can find the full text of the bill, H.R. 1 at http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_hr1_text.pdf

Here is a sampling of what is found:

$44 million for construction, repair and improvements at US Department of Agriculture facilties

$209 million for work on deferred maintenance at Agricultural Research Service facilities

$245 million for maintaining and modernizing the IT system of the Farm Service Agency

$175 million to buy and restore floodplain easements for flood prevention

$50 million for "Watershed Rehabilitation"

$1.1 billion for rural community facilities direct loans

$2 billion for rural business and industry guaranteed loans

$2.7 billion for rural water and waste dispoal direct loans

$22.1 billion for rural housing insurance fund loans

$2.8 billion for loans to spur rural broadband

$150 million for emergency food assistance

$50 million for regional economic development commissions

$1 billion for "Periodic Censuses and Programs"

$350 million for State Broadband Data and Development Grants

$1.8 billion for Rural Broadband Deployment Grants

$1 billion for Rural Wireless Deployment Grants

$650 million for Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Program

$100 million for "Scientific and Technical Research and Services" at the National Institute of Standards And Technology

$30 million for necessary expenses of the "Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership"

$300 million for a competitive construction grant program for research science buildings

$400 million for "habitat restoration and mitigation activities" at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

$600 million for "accelerating satellite development and acquisition"

$140 million for "climate data modeling"

$3 billion for state and local law enforcement grants

$1 billion for "Community Oriented Policing Services"

$250 million for "accelerating the development of the tier 1 set of Earth science climate research missions recommended by the National Academies Decadal Survey."

$50 million for repairs to NASA facilities from storm damage

$300 million for "Major Research Insrumentation program" (science)

$200 million for "academic research facilities modernization"

$100 million for "Education and Human Resources"

$400 million for "Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction"

$4.5 billion to make military facilities more energy efficient

$1.5 billion for Army Operation and Maintenance fund

$624 million for Navy Operation and Maintenance

$128 million for Marine Corps Operation and Maintenance

$1.23 billion for Air Force Operation and Maintenance

$454 million to "Defense Health Program"

$110 million for Army Reserve Operation and Maintenance

$62 million for Navy Reserve Operation and Maintenance

$45 million for Marine Corps Reserve Operation and Maintenance

$14 million for Air Force Reserve Operation and Maintenance

$302 million for National Guard Operation and Maintenance

$29 million for Air National Guard Operation and Maintenance

$350 million for military energy research and development programs

$2 billion for Army Corps of Engineers "Construction"

$250 million for "Mississippi River and Tributaries"

$2.2 billion for Army Corps "Operation and Maintenance"

$25 million for an Army Corps "Regulatory Program"

$126 million for Interior Department "water reclamation and reuse projects"

$80 million for "rural water projects"

$18.5 billion for "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy" research in the Department of Energy. That money includes:

$2 billion for development of advanced batteries

$800 million of that is for biomass research and $400 million for geothermal technologies

$1 billion in grants to "institutional entities for energy sustainability and efficiency"

$6.2 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program

$3.5 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants

$3.4 billion for state energy programs

$200 million for expenses to implement energy independence programs

$300 million for expenses to implement Energy efficient appliance rebate programs including the Energy Star program

$400 million for expenses to implement Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Infrastructure Grants to States and Local Governments

$1 billion for expenses necessary for advanced battery manufacturing

$4.5 billion to modernize the nation's electricity grid

$1 billion for the Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee Program

$2.4 billion to demonstrate "carbon capture and sequestration technologies"

$400 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency (Science)

$500 million for "Defense Environmental Cleanup"

$1 billion for construction and repair of border facilities and land ports of entry

$6 billion for energy efficiency projects on government buildings

$600 million to buy and lease government plug-in and alternative fuel vehicles

$426 million in small business loans

$100 million for "non-intrusive detection technology to be deployed at sea ports of entry

$150 million for repair and construction at land border ports of entry

$500 million for explosive detection systems for aviation security

$150 million for alteration or removal of obstructive bridges

$200 million for FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter program

$325 million for Interior Department road, bridge and trail repair projects

$300 million for road and bridge work in Wildlife Refuges and Fish Hatcheries

$1.7 billion for "critical deferred maintenance" in the National Park System

$200 million to revitalize the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

$100 million for National Park Service Centennial Challenge programs

$200 million for repair of U.S. Geological Survey facilities

$500 million for repair and replacement of schools, jails, roads, bridges, housing and more for Bureau of Indian Affairs

$800 million for Superfund programs

$200 million for leaking underground storage tank cleanup

$8.4 billion in "State and Tribal Assistance Grants"

$650 million in "Capital Improvement and Maintenance" at the Agriculture Dept.

$850 million for "Wildland Fire Management"

$550 million for Indian Health facilties

$150 million for deferred maintenance at the Smithsonian museums

$50 million in grants to fund "arts projects and activities which preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn" through the National Endowment for the Arts

$1.2 billion in grants to states for youth summer jobs programs and other activities

$1 billion for states in dislocated worker employment and training activities

$500 million for the dislocated workers assistance national reserve

$80 million for the enforcement of worker protection laws and regulations related to infrastructure and unemployment insurance investments

$300 million for "construction, rehabilitation and acquisition of Job Corps Centers"

$250 million for public health centers

$1 billion for renovation and repair of health centers

$600 million for nurse, physician and dentist training

$462 million for renovation work at the Centers for Disease Control

$1.5 billion for "National Center for Research Resources"

$500 million for "Buildlings and Facilties" at the National Institutes of Health in suburban Washington, D.C.

$700 million for "comparative effectiveness research" on prescription drugs

$1 billion for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance

$2 billion in Child Care and Development Block Grants for states

$1 billion for Head Start programs

$1.1 billion for Early Head Start programs

$100 million for Social Security research programs

$200 million for "Aging Services Programs"

$2 billion for "Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology"

$430 million for public health/social services emergency funds

$2.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control for a variety of programs

$5.5 billion in targeted education grants

$5.5 billion in "education finance incentive grants"

$2 billion in "school improvement grants"

$13.6 billion for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

$250 million for statewide education data systems

$14 billion for school modernization, renovation and repair

$160 million for AmeriCorps grants

$400 million for the construction and costs to establish a new "National Computer Center" for the Social Security Administration

$500 million to improve processing of disability and retirement claims

$920 million for Army housing and child development centers

$350 million for Navy and Marine Corps housing and child development centers

$280 million in Air Force housing and child development centers

$3.75 billion in military hospital and surgery center construction

$140 million in Army National Guard construction projects

$70 million in Air National Guard construction projects

$100 million in Army Reserve construction projects

$30 million in Navy Reserve construction projects

$60 million in Air Force Reserve construction projects

$950 million for VA Medical Facilities

$50 million for repairs for military cemeteries

$120 million for a backup information management facility for the State Department

$98 million for National Cybersecurity Initiative

$3 billion for "Grants-in-Aid for Airports"

$300 million for Indian Reservation roads

$300 million for Amtrak capital needs

$800 million for national railroad assets or infrastructure repairs, upgrades

$5.4 billion in federal transit grants

$2 billion in infrastructure development for subways and commuter railways

$5 billion for public housing capital

$1 billion in competitive housing grants

$2.5 billion for energy efficiency upgrades in public housing

$500 million in Native American Housing Block Grants

$4.1 billion to help communities deal with foreclosed homes

$1.5 billion in homeless prevention activities

$79 billion in education funds for states

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Major Media Bias In Plain View

It was widely and repeatedly reported on Tuesday, inauguration day, that 75% of Americans were watching the inauguration. I found that to be to high to believe at the time. I kept on hearing the same number reported, much like they were all reading from the same script.

Today there is an article that the inauguration of Barack Obama did not even come close to the number of people who tuned in to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in 1981. And there are certainly many more people in the U.S. now that in 1981.

Care to Speculate?

Watching the evening news last night, there was a teaser on KOTV about a press conference sometime today from the IRS and FBI people regarding a special announcement on public corruption.

Would you care to speculate?

Here is my list of potential suspects:
Tulsa County Fairgrounds Trustees/County Commissioners (Again?)
Tulsa Technology
Governor Brad Henry
Mayor Kathy Taylor
Tulsa Community College

Did I leave any out?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Election Fatigue

It was news in Tulsa today that so far not one Republican opponent has filed for or declared their candidacy for Tulsa's mayor. But wait just a minute. The filing period is not until this July! That's six months away.

Never mind that Kathy Taylor announced her candidacy for her first term during the filing period.

I think many people share my opinion that the recent Presidential election was way too long. We all suffer from post-election fatigue. Give it a break!

We need some time to forget about politics, if that is possible. There is plenty of time to announce and run a campaign for mayor.

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's All About Advertising

"Show me the money!" should be the by-line of this blog entry. In an apparent fit of envy, the Tulsa Whirld has sued Urban Tulsa and fellow blogger Michael Bates for libel stemming from an article written on January 15th. You can link the the article here.

This is all about a continuing loss of advertising dollars, the life-blood of any print media. Tulsa is too big for a one-size-fits-all print media, like the Whirld. Urban Tulsa is a weekly paper that fits the arts and entertainment niche that is rapidly expanding here.

It is not surprising that the Tulsa Whirld circulation continues to decline, following a national trend. And it is not surprising that they are using this bullying technique on Michael Bates again. Yes, this is not the first time they have badgered him.

Knowing Mr. Bates, he is not in the habit of passing on untruths. He does publish the lead opinion-news piece for Urban Tulsa each week. His viewpoint is refreshing from the drivel found in our daily monopoly. He will either retract any misstatements, if indeed any are found, or he will be vindicated.