Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Enid's Blue Skies & Bright Ideas strike again. Same ole Same ole.

Hello, folks.  I was spending some more quality time on this blog to "tidy up my diggins", as Bugs Bunny would have put it (R.I.P. Mel Blanc) and I noticed a few folks hovering around here on a somewhat extended basis today, and not the usual suspects in the UK either (re: copyright dispute with the BBC).  It's just now dawning on me that I really ought to say something about yet another Big Deal biting the dust in Enid; Enid, have you had enough of these Lucy Football Projects that this current City Commission keep committing to?  I expect that you have, but you're stuck with 'em and the debt they signed on to in your name.

Step back and notice how Steve Kime's name isn't on either one of those citations, nor on the article about the Kaw Pipeline.  The Mayor was quoted, and this is after some Kime cheerleader wrote the paper about how great that incompetent is.  Really.  The last time Kime spoke to the paper on behalf of the City, at best he was being Captain Obvious and after a year plus in his position, that's as good as it has ever been.  He'd find a perfect fit as an employee of Hotels.com. For this the Commission gives him a raise, and still wonder why they're not trusted by the public with a tax hike.  It's why the City raises utility fees instead--no vote of the people required for rate hikes.

Yeah, I know I got up in front of the camera in front of God-n-Everybody saying that muny bonds were a good idea, and if Enid was a regular city that regularly utilized muny bonds to fund projects, what I said would have been true--but we also know, as of my posting about bond ratings, that this particular Commission is its own worst enemy when it comes to "cash position" and it's infernal fixation on making vanity projects some kind of priority when those should have been the first things to get the axe.  And the newspaper agreed with my opinion when it published the editorial criticizing the raises that the Commission handed out to the cronies it employs.  This is the Commission that grew government to cringe-worthy bloated size and it's adamantly remaining obese.

I was asked if, were I elected, I would vote for a tax increase to repay the loans with as if there was a straight yes or no answer to that question.  My reply was to recall the failure of the tax initiative for that grand Parks scheme and point out that the problem people have with a tax hike is exactly what this particular Commission thinks is important to spend big bucks on, and the trails system isn't helping convince voters that they're wise in how they spend City money. Nor is that contradiction-in-terms Enid Television "Network". But I could vote in favor of a tax hike IF there were cuts to the vanity projects FIRST.  That would be the kind of thing the voter would be looking for in terms of making a statement about priorities, that Kaw is TOP priority and vanity projects are just frilly money pits.  Voters recognize that Kaw is a priority, and that's not the problem.  The problem is trusting that money to Commissioners who have a long track record of foolish spending.

Inserting this paragraph to address a certain skeptic who thinks that I was against the Kaw project before I was for it.  Sir Skeptic, I was in favor of a lake and I was against a pipeline by itself.  The current project, as approved, is a pipeline PLUS reservoir, and it's because of the reservoir that I'm in favor, for the following reasons:
 On a tight budget, a small reservoir makes sense PROVIDED that the bottom is dug out to create a good game fish habitat, which would attract tourist fishermen and others similarly inclined from the region--and a reservoir can be enlarged as the city grows, meaning one doesn't have to pay now for something of a finite size that limits future demands.  It's a capacity expansion option that a fixed pipeline-only can't provide.

This, the current grow-big-government City Commission, is the problem. Not just from how I'm looking at it, but also how the banks have been looking at it.  None of the local banks offered the low interest sweet deal because that's how much the local banks trust Enid.  The out of state bank cut the sweetest interest deal because none of the Commissioners thought to ask about (let alone publicly discuss) service fees when they were discussing the matter at the time the Commission was convened.

No bank is in the business to lose money, and the short-sighted Commissioners didn't even pause long enough to consider that what a bank loses in interest rates, it makes up (and then some) in service fees.  Loan shark, anyone?

Honestly--this Commission that gives raises for incompetence is, itself, incompetent, and nothing stands in greater monument to that fact as yet another failed business move as the canola plant--to which you can add the downtown hotel, the Gamble-era Bell call center, the on-again-off-again presence of Star Tek, the "de-malling" of Oakwood Mall and on and on and on.  Come on--didn't somebody besides me notice that Oklahoma was ALREADY in a prolonged drought cycle when the canola plant was first agreed to?  Please.

When you go into debt you'd better be damn sure you are able to pay back the principle, the interest, AND the service fees.  And possibly learn from Kansas:

IMORTANT discussion of finance principles of gov't indebtedness, comparing various states, cities, and nations (primarily Puerto Rico, Greece, Guam) by John Mousseau on CSPAN

The Topeka Capitol Journal article
OKC's new pothole issue

I got your bloated government wasted money right here:
Proudly growing big government make-work positions with ostentatious benefits.

Wednesday UPDATE, Nuff Said Edition:

 Link to the article HERE

 Link to article HERE

Meanwhile, back on Twitter, there was this:

I'm thinking that there are now some folks who used to worship our Founding Fathers to a fault are re-thinking their reverence at this point.

Late Wednesday UPDATE, Something Completely Different Edition: The New York Times broke the internet via Twitter today, posting a recipe for guacamole and insisted that it was good to add peas to it.  Every big name press entity was reacting in horror to that and the POTUS himself turned against the idea.  And I couldn't resist jumping into the fray myself, alas.  I've got a series of screen shots, but for the life of me I have no idea why the font size changes to huge in some of the entries.  Whatever the reason for it, it's something I had no control over and so I beg your pardon in advance.  I started out mildly irked by the thing, and things just went downhill from there...

...and then it happened. I done hit the pun skids hard...
Didn't leave it alone either. An hour later, repeated the line (go ahead and cringe)...

And then the thing caught on in the UK, fer crissakes!

Snowballing was inevitable, alas...

The next screen shot should be read bottom entry first, then top, and I have to explain that the guy in the top entry retweeted the bottom entry before writing the reply you're about to see, at the top entry...and again, I can't explain the huge font here...

By this time I had picked up a few more Followers, and I thought that I shouldn't disappoint...

Remember, for chronological order, the bottom message gets read first, top message last...and this is how the whole thing pea-tered out, at last...

Throwback Thursday mini-UPDATE: Late to last night's party, teevee decides it wants to do segments about the New York Times' Pea Event yesterday, and on Twitter one straggler came forward: David Corn of Mother Jones, a mag that decided to do an article on the topic of peas and guacamole. Well, I replied by calling him Mr. Succotash rather than say he was full of beans, and then I posted the Throwback Thursday post up there:

Here's where that link goes...

Encore! Burl Ives solo:

Now Robot J. McCarthy, the Red Scare Bot, jumps in because somebody made a communist crack about the pea guac...

Oh, for those who believe in that sort of thing, I've got some good news for you--it didn't last long.

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