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The “Obamaphone” Nonsense

The “Obamaphone” Nonsense

So recently, I retracted a prior criticism of former POTUS Barack Obama – the whole “food stamp president” nonsense. While this post isn’t a retraction, I want to share my thoughts on another erroneous label affixed to him – the infamous “Obamaphone”. The ironic thing about this, is that it’s origins are rooted back to 1984 when some Americans were still in “Will we ever see a black president?” mode. A “Barack Obama” if you will, was still a dream. 1984? Yep. When Ronald Reagan was president. Some even argue that it goes back as far as Roosevelt, but I digress. That year, the FCC created the Lifeline Assistance program. That’s the actual name of the “Obamaphone” program, technically. 

Obviously, cellular phones weren’t ubiquitous as they are now, in 1984, which is why the program provided free landline phone service, mainly to senior citizens. Interestingly enough, after eight years of the Obamaphone misnomer, so many remain ignorant of its history.  Am I the only one who’s never heard of an “Reaganphone”? What about a “Bushphone”? “Clintonphone” perhaps? What about a “Trumpphone”? (that sounds like the world’s worst megaphone ever). You haven’t because they were never labeled as such, even though the program existed in every presidency since Reagan. In fact, Safelink Wireless offered the first such cellular (keyword alert!) phone service in Tennessee in 2008, near the end of Bush’s second term. Barack Obama wasn’t elected until November of 2008. The program started three months earlier. 

There are some very, obvious motives and suspicious undertones, if I’m polite, associated with slapping this erroneous, derogatory misnomer onto the first black president, and literally none of his predecessors, but for now I’m not gonna go there (Hmm, no pun intended, but, did I just do that?). Now to be fair, the number of participants in the program, did increase significantly under the Obama administration, but that’s to be expected, with the expansion of any government program to assist the destitute in a recession. It’s a domino effect. If you had no problem with the program under Reagan, both Bush’s or Clinton, it’s simply hypocritical to have whined about it for the last eight years under Obama. I’ll be discussing three more things, I, and/or my political “macro tribe” got wrong, or, that were generally misunderstood or wrong when it comes to Obama. Then I’ll balance it by discussing the same number of things I stand by firmly, as far as my criticism of his presidency goes. Stay with me folks, this is about to get really interesting…

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2017 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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I Was Wrong about Obama

Greetings friends!

I’m back with my latest musing, on why I was wrong about a prior criticism of former president Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package. As a Republican and Conservative libertarian, I have to work harder at objectivity when assessing his successes and failures. My missive here is to share one of his successes, which I erroneously deemed a failure:

After researching certain aspects of Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package, I now see the labeling of him as the “food stamp president” quite differently. I haven’t written about it in a while, but I think a prior criticism I hurled his way was wrong. I didn’t agree with people calling him the “FSP” – I stand by that, but I understood why many called him that. Some attributed it to racism, and I’m sure that’s true for some percentage of his opponents, but certainly not all. I refuse to entertain the notion that all, or most Republicans are racists. It’s a stereotype, and I don’t play those games. In his economic stimulus, he expunged the work requirements, making the SNAP/FS program more accessible to Americans in need. We were in a recession, people were out of work and losing their homes. Many who had never received any government aid, found themselves swallowing their pride to feed their children. Most had at least one job, but simply didn’t make enough to make ends meet. It’s still true today that most SNAP recipients are working.

Barack Obama helped millions defray their cost of living by putting food on their tables. In other words, the criticism was that under his presidency, the highest number of people were food stamp recipients, due to the economic crisis. While there’s some truth to that, it’s a bit misleading for me and others (like Newt Gingrich), to assert, that he was responsible for the economic crisis, therefore forcing people on the SNAP program. That’s a faulty cause and effect. No, he recognized the crisis we were in, cause notwithstanding, and deliberately (key word) expanded the program, so millions could eat. The trade off was that the number of recipients under his watch soared. He deliberately took that hit on his economic report card. You don’t have to be a member of MENSA to understand, that loosening rigid requirements means more qualified applicants. You may not agree with his solution, and that’s your prerogative, but it was his solution, in his best judgment. The ends justified the means to him. That’s the job America hired him to do. If you want me to believe, that a Harvard educated attorney and former Senator couldn’t foresee, that the number of recipients would increase after removing work requirements, you may as well be asking me to believe in five-legged unicorns. Believing that is also an attack on his intelligence, and mine. You’d also have to ignore the trillions in debt, created by Bush before him. 

Some will argue that his motive was to increase government dependency – one rung on the ladder of socialism. The problem lies in the fact that it never happened. We aren’t a socialist nation. If I’m wrong and that was his goal, he failed utterly, so it doesn’t matter anyway. There will be criticisms of him that I’ll stand by, but this isn’t one of them. I’m humble enough to retract this view. Of course, there’s a valid counter argument to this reassessment that isn’t lost on me. Once the economy improved and the recession ended (2012), the number of SNAP recipients should have done down. That didn’t happen. The question is why, but that’s a lateral issue, one that’s unrelated to the “food stamp president” label. That’s also another musing.  I’m reassessing my view of his presidency, before writing a critical essay on his legacy. In order to fairly assess his presidency, you have to look beyond the numbers. There’s a lot of gray area. You have to dig deeper. Fair is fair, and this is one view that I’m totally comfortable with amending.

Until next musing,

Talitha K. McEachin

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The Trump Hate Continues…

Greetings friends,

The Trump hate continues. I don’t even like the guy, but some folks are so irrational in the aftermath of the election, that they’ve forgotten all of the hate speech & such after Barack Obama was elected – its called selective amnesia. And outrage. Sure, Trump says incendiary, insensitive things but he’s still not responsible for any violence done in his name. Folks, people were commiting hate crimes long before Obama and Trump. Don’t allow professional, propaganda puppets (aka corporate media outlets), convince you that this is something uniquely negative. They’re lying, which is ironic considering they’re the ones pouring gas onto this fire of an alleged surge in racially motivated crimes.  “It’s all Trump’s fault,” some insist. Don’t confuse the media’s focus on reporting these racial incidents, in their attempts to smear Trump, with their alleged, frequent occurence. In order to hold him responsible alone, one must first put him on a pedestal. He ain’t that important. Exaggerations are the trademark of what passes for today’s journalism. Racial violence is big business, especially when minorities are the victims. The media will do anything, including outright lying & exaggerating for the sake of ratings. Your uprisings and outrage benefit them. Some of you are like outrage prostitutes, turning tricks with each keystroke – the media is your pimp.trump

Donald John Trump, Sr, showed us how much of a loudmouth, controversial, unscrupulous jerk he was before the election. He still won. This should indicate how weary Americans are of the establishment types. If Trump is the racist many assess him to be, America would rather have him than a member of the establishment. Do I actually need to spell this out for anyone? The stars are aligned. The universe has spoken. Its just the year of the outsider. Some of you are inconsistent, not him. Moreover, since when did he not have first amendment rights like the rest of us? It’s incredible, how quickly some are willing to ditch the first amendment now that their feelings are hurt, because their side lost. Some have even retorted with sources which claim hundreds of racial complaints in the last week. Not to get too caught up in semantics, but last I checked, complaints aren’t convictions. Neither are arrests. You can’t quantify an increase nor decrease in racially motivated crimes without a long enough time period to measure. That’s just basic statistics & arithmetic. “Police officer, I think my neighbor threw a rock over my fence to hit my Trump sign,” – There. I just made a complaint too. That doesn’t mean however, that my neighbor is guilty. Take a deep breath folks, enough with the doomsday talk already. Its gonna be OK.

Until next musing,

Talitha “TK” McEachin

Next time, I’ll be analyzing the Cabinet picks of President-Elect Donald Trump, starting with the RNC Chair Reince Preibus himself, the newly appointed White House Chief of Staff. Stay tuned! Keep the faith.

 

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My Musings: Economic Matters, American Slavery & Black Wealth, Manufacturing Fear

Greetings friends,

As promised post before last, here are my latest musings from social media, using the new format of sharing a few quick postings rather than one longer piece so that I can spend more time writing fiction. Enjoy!

Talitha, why don’t you discuss economic matters more?

stacks_of_moneySometimes people ask me why I don’t speak out more on matters of the economy. I do, but those aren’t the social media posts that are popular. Most, if not all of our social woes in America, are inextricably bound to the fiscal ones anyway. I talk about fiscal matters to select audiences of people armed with the economic acumen to engage me. All else is a waste of my time. I can’t discuss the post-jobs economy, the ponzi scheme we affectionately call  Social “Security” quanitative easing, nor the mounting federal debt with people who retort with anecdotes, about their buying power, when the lack of wealth of certain groups in America is discussed. This usually comes from those whose cultural egos bruise easily, especially when our lack of wealth is pointed out by the likes of Donald Trump if I’m polite, any white person if I’m not. Many prefer that our fiscal, community, dirty laundry not be aired, and for some it’s a futile attempt to prove that race related poverty is mostly a myth. “I can keep up with the Jones’,” many insist. The keyword is “I”, which is irrelevant to the topic of what “we” can do, or have. Fortunately for me, I’m under no such delusion. An economic discussion is a moot one, when had with those who believe wealth can be measured by consumerism. This is America, where living beyond one’s means is the norm, and where many poor citizens spend frivolously, while many among the wealthy are frugal. We’ve got it all backwards folks, so one’s ability to consume has no place in an analysis of collective wealth. Some are asking me to discuss the blue sky, even though they’re stubbornly convinced that it’s green. Nope, I’m not doing that anymore, because it’s impossible to wake up people who are pretending to be asleep. Don’t fret though, such persons will never be alone. There’s always plenty of blissful room in Club Ignorance.

Slavery in America & Black Wealth:

Some Americans grossly underestimate the impact of centuries of chattel slavery in this shacklescountry on black folks, in terms of the lack of wealth as a whole. And before someone says “Africans sold other Africans into slavery,” or, “There were black/Native-American slave owners too,” “White people were chattel slaves too,” (utter nonsense, btw), or, “Look at immigrant group X and emulate them,”- note that these are all irrelevant, red herrings. Let your fingertips take you away from this discussion – this one’s for conscious grown-ups, not childish, talking point spouting, keyboard commandos. Everyone else, as my friend & mentor Steven Barnes (NY Times bestselling author of LION’S BLOOD & ZULU HEART) said to me a few years ago – “There’s no such thing as a wound that takes less time to heal than it took to inflict,”. Using those excuses, is like breaking the legs of one man in a race, then shooting the gun in the air for everyone to begin running. After the race & his obvious loss, the winners ask him, “Now why is it taking you so long to start running?”.

If you think that other groups, under identical conditions, would have fared better, you’re a part of the problem. If we believe that there’s no such thing as race, and it’s just a social construct, any other conclusions drawn point to a belief in the inferiority of black Americans, or Native Americans, who aren’t doing so well either. There’s no escaping that. For those who often ask me, “What can we do to help?”, you can start by acknowledging our humanity. When some did have wealth long ago – land (40 acres & a mule), economic prosperity (Black Wallstreet) or, were entrepreneurs (black owned businesses in the Jim Crow south) this was forcibly & violently taken from far too many. That’s not our fault, so you’ll have to excuse me if I’m weary of the whole “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” rhetoric hurled at black Americans. We did that, and were re-victimized many times over LEGALLY. It’s still happening on some level today via the judicial system. Do some of us gain economic prosperity despite this? Absolutely! but that’s not the point. Individual triumphs are anecdotal, nothing more or less. Collective ones, however, are an indication of economic stability, which is needed to have & maintain generational wealth. That should be the goal. That is our inherited disadvantage. 

 

And last:

Manufacturing Fear: Hillary Clinton as POTUS & ISIS

isisI’m going to preface this by saying that this is more or less food for thought that requires some level of objectivity. In a recent discussion, a friend brought up his committment to vote for Donald Trump, because he thinks having a female president will open the door for more terrorist attacks from radical, Islamic jihadists. His logic and that of others, is that a woman as POTUS will give the appearance of weakness exceedingly more, from members of a culture & religion, in which women are totally subjugated & have very little freedom.This is within the context of an extremist, radical, Islamic microcosm, to be differentiated from the greater, non-radicalized Islamic culture. Obviously, all Muslims are not radicalized, and I don’t mind going further to say that most aren’t. My intuition initially says yes, they could view America as vulnerable with a woman at the helm, but that’s not reason enough for us to not elect a woman in any election. In fact, that line of reasoning is preposterous. Moreover, America may be embarking on its first female president, but we aren’t the first such country – that logic is lacking in precedents to buttress it. Having a female president may be perceived as a weakness by ISIS, and perhaps even domestic terrorists, but this can be advantageous in our battle against terrorism. Perception often doesn’t match reality. Doesn’t it benefit us to be falsely perceived as weaker? I’m not a fan of Clinton for a myriad of reasons, but this isn’t one of them. It can’t be. It’s a provocative assertion, and not altogether flawed, but it seems to me its more of a fear tactic than a cohesive, valid argument. Maybe I’m just not paranoid.Your thoughts?

Have a safe & productive weekend! Until next musing,

TK McEachin

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Musings: Dirty Laundry, Obama, Trump & American Complacency

Friends,

I’m going to change the format for my posts as of today, by sharing bullet points from my most popular social media posts. I’m very active on social media as most writers are, so this will help me reserve more time for my fictional writing & longer political pieces, which can be time consuming. Here goes:

Black Community to Trump: Don’t Air our Dirty Laundry:

dirty laundrySome have asked me, why some black Americans are so bent out of shape over Trump’s speech, which included incendiary yet truthful remarks about poverty in black America. Like the sheeple some are, they started giving knee-jerk anecdotal evidence such as “I’m not poor” as if that’s a substitute for analyzing hard data. Anecdotes disprove nothing. Since these blaxperts on MSNBC & the like are going to continue their destructive campaign of lies & economic amnesia at the expense of black America, I’ll tell you the reason for the faux outrage. It’s because black Americans don’t like their dirty laundry aired in front of, or by whites, least of all a right-winger. That’s the bottom line, and some need to get over themselves. This isn’t about individuals/you, it’s about the numbers for us as a whole. There’s no “I” or “U” in team. If you’re going to ignore the way black people have lost so much ground in America over the last 8 years, please get out of the way of those who genuinely care. I’ve got no room in my life for those who’d rather have their cultural egos stroked. Your allegiance to lies & ducking from the truth is just as dangerous as the bullets in a rogue, racist cop’s gun. Stop lying about black community failures & behaving like emotionally wounded children. Put on your big girl panties & grow up.

Democrats Milk the Obama Cow Again:

I find the timing of this new movie, “Southside With You”, about Barack & Michelle Obama‘s “first date” & eventual rise to the White House to be a very calculated, emotional distraction, and a perfectly timed release not long after his endorsement of Hillary Clinton. It’s really nauseating, but hey, after almost eight years of blissful symbolism & ignored failures, what’s one more milking of the Obama cow? Whatever…cow

America In 2016: Dumbed Down & Loving it

american_flag-971804.jpegYou’d think that with as many Americans in this country who are unhappy with the two major party candidates, we’d form a united front in solidarity against them both. Trump nor Clinton are the best persons to run the country, but they both have managed to slither through the primaries in victory. It’s a sad state of affairs, to see a populace so defeated & feeling powerless – so dumbed down. We have so much power and refuse to harness it. Thank God the founding fathers & those who fought centuries later in the struggle for Civil Rights didn’t acquiesce so easily to tyranny. What happened to that type of stamina & perserverance? We’ve all but been reduced to political zombies whose only sign of life is how polarized we’ve become. Even bees know the meaning of sacrifice, giving their lives against human foes with a final sting. It’s hard to believe that insects have more of a fight in them than we do…

And finally…

Trump & Outreach:

Trump is making the GOP establishment look like fools. He demonstrates that the “We don’t do identity politics” excuse is just that – an excuse. With the way racial demographics is steadily changing in America, a political party that doesn’t do outreach to minorities will absolutely become extinct. It’s survival of the fittest – American political style. Anglo-Saxons are consistently declining as the majority with every census, and inevitably, ethnic minorities will become the majority, as is the case in most of the world already. Republicans lack the foresight & humility to see this writing on the wall, which will lead the GOP to it’s demise if they don’t change. Trump has a point, regardles of what anyone thinks his motive is. He is unafraid of going into the black community, which is a sign of strength, or strategic planning, depending on who you ask.

http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2016/08/29/donald-trump-court-black-vote-detroit-church/89527702/

Until the next post, be blessed!

TM

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2016 in Economics, In The News, Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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Dr. Benjamin Carson for POTUS 2016: Thoughts from a Black, Female Right-Winger

ben carsonMy latest article from the Yahoo News Contributor Network, featured on Yahoo Voices. Please share, share, share & feel free to leave your honest comments in the comments section under the article:

Although I’m very familiar with his reputation as a neurosurgeon, I’ve been researching Dr. Ben Carson because many of my fellow conservatives & Republicans, want him to run for president in 2016. This is mostly because of his refreshing, boldness to speak out most recently at a prayer breakfast in the presence of President Barack Obama & on Hannity on topics that are to some taboo. For those unfamiliar with Dr. Carson, he is the head of neurosurgery at John’s Hopkins hospital. He made history in 1987 by becoming the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins. He has received numerous honorary degrees & accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008, awarded by former President George Bush. Despite the alacrity of my peers, I am still cautious because he is a physician without any political experience and I will not support any candidate due to their skin color or lack thereof, no matter how fervent their passions.

As a conservative blogger with moderately large audience on CainTV, so many have derided President Barack Obama for his lack of experience & business acumen, yet they are all too willing to support a physician with less (political) experience than the current POTUS. Now, I’m not arguing that he doesn’t merit their support, but the double standard is glaring. Dr.Carson has revealed that he is an Independent & I love the things he has shared, particularly the manner in which “political correctness” muzzles free expression.

This does not automatically qualify one for the POTUS ballot though. He’d be just as effective as Surgeon General or any applicable cabinet position or as an adviser. If he does run for president in 2016 it would be best for him to run as an Independent, rather than being forced to choose a Republican or Democratic ticket: The Democratic party nor the GOP deserves him as their candidate & it’s not in his (nor our) best interest to play the partisan politics game. We all lose, every time.

To continue reading, please click HERE.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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