Monday, 5 March 2012

The Urkel Connection

At some point in the 1980s.....governments (federal on down to city), started to hand out grants.  In the beginning, it was a simple deal and you could eyeball who got the grant and how things worked out.  Over the past decade, these grants have turned into a "monster" of sorts.....which you can't be sure of anything being accomplished with the money.  In some cases, especially in the Washington DC area.....it's a pretty good bet that some type of corruption comes out of the majority of grants given out.

So we come to this oddball grant here in the DC area.....involving a former TV star that folks tend to recognize.  From the Family Matters show....which most of us simply identify as Urkel and Company....there's the love interest that Urkel had....the character Laura Winslow, played by Kellie Williams.

Kellie Williams ended up locating to the DC area after the series, and has this charity operation of sorts.

At some point, Kellie gets introduced to corrupted DC political figure, city councilman Harry Thomas Jr.  Harry finds some interest in the charity, for whatever reason, and then puts forward a request for city grant money to funnel its way to Kellie's operation.  The best that folks can say....is that a minimum of $70k went over toward Kellie's charity.  Surprisingly enough, the city doesn't have a transparent method of laying out how much money goes to operations like this.

The city council guy....Harry Thomas....ended up admitting that he'd talked the city into giving grants to three different charity deals (those all unrelated to Kellie), and getting kick-backs from each.

So you are left with this big picture.  The DC government isn't sure of anything now with their grant program over the past decade.  They've opened an investigation but I'm guessing they aren't getting that much cooperation from the charities and how money got funneled out.

Urkel's gal?  Well....the local TV station called up and tried to ask questions, but got nowhere.  My humble guess is that the city investigation into itself will just go to a dead-end.  Folks will admit that millions might have been given out, and that Thomas might have gained a million bucks under the table, instead of the $350k that they currently believe is his take.  

A year or two from now....some other idiot city council person will toss up another grant toward Urkel's girlfriend's charity, and we will simply restart the whole mess.  Maybe we ought to go back to the 1950s....when grants were almost non-existent, and corruption was only half as bad as it is today.

The Difference Between $1000 and $110

Over the weekend, some folks did some research and shockingly discovered that you can still buy ladies contraceptive pills at Wal-Mart for $9 a month.  In fact, it's been that way for a minimum of five years.  This would come out to be around $110 a year, which is vastly different from the Georgetown 'expert' who appeared before Congress and voiced the $1000 price-tag per year for the same pills.

After a week, you are left with only three possiblities here.  First, the young ladies at Georgetown obviously don't buy birth-control pills, and have no idea what they really cost.  Second, they lied completely....making up the number of $1000 a year.  Third, they actually do pay $1000 a year for something that they should only pay $110.

I paused over this and pondered.

Logically, if they are paying $1000 a year for the birth-control pills....then they must be paying $28 for a bottle of $6 cough medicine.

Logically, if they are paying $1000 a year for the birth-control pills....then they must be paying $100 for a $24 oil change at Jiffy-Lube.

Logically, if they are paying $1000 a year for the birth-control pills....then they must be paying $5 for a $1 cup of coffee (Starbucks versus McDonalds).

Logically, if they are paying $1000 a year for the birth-control pills....then they must be paying paying $16 for a $3 beer at the local bar.

Logically, if they are paying $1000 a year for the birth-control pills....then they must be paying $20 for a $3 bag of Granny Smith apples.

Logically, if they are paying $1000 a year for the birth-control pills....then they must be paying $100 for a pair of $19 shoes.

It occurred to me that this mighty American economic 'boom' underway, might actually be carried by a bunch of naive dimwits....who are overpaying on just about everything they purchase, and companies are making huge profits because people are stupid enough to pay that much.

The sad thing here, is that these ladies will eventually grow up....be lawyers in some state, and tell their clients that they are Georgetown graduates, thus worth $100 an hour.  They need the $100 an hour.....to pay off the huge loans and enjoy a lifestyle that they are accustomed to.  Sadly, you can do just as well with some Georgia Tech law school grad, who charges a quarter of what the Georgetown lawyer charges.

Finally, it occurred to me that these young ladies might be telling dad it cost $1000 a year....so he'll give them the money.  But they end up using the $890 for pocket money, $5 coffees at Starbucks, and $35 flip-flips (obviously).

Only in America.

Simply Observations

Out of yesterday's Washington Post, I came to notice a full-page ad....something that rarely occurs with the Post....mostly because of the tremendous cost involved.  Larry Flynt of Hustler fame, offered up a $1 million reward for any information that linked a Washington political figure to a scandal.  He was careful not to say a Republican or Democrat.  Twenty years ago, Larry's empire was broad and full of cash.  Today, Hustler is mostly a dead-end magazine (their circulation is reportedly around 750k copy per month).  I'm guessing he'll get a couple thousand bogus phone calls....to waste the time of his team.   Maybe somewhere in the midst of this....they might get three or four phone calls that might lead to something.  The end-result?  The republic standing there with Hustler acting as it's protector of virtue and purity. Sadly, Larry wasn't the guy who dug up the Clinton episode, or any of the forty other significant political lust scandals of the past decade.  

Word comes out this week that John Edwards really doesn't want that lusty tape that his former girlfriend, Rielle Hunter, made of a bedroom episode destroyed (as the judge has decreed).  He didn't give alot of explanation to this request.  His big case.....over illegal campaign contributions is due to start in the next month or two.  Potential from that case?  Thirty years in prison, if the jury was convinced on all charges and given the max.    Who knows?  Maybe he's deep into debt and willing to market the tape.....giving everyone a different view of John than they were used to?  I'd figure $8 for a pay-per-view episode might be reasonable.....but who would watch such a thing?

We had an odd cop impersonation episode in Arlington over the last week.  Some guy pulls up to a red light where a older gentleman (70 years old) was sitting.  The younger guy yells over to the older guy that he's a cop and that the older guy was speeding.....he wants the older guy to pull over into the parking lot.  So the older guy does this.  The younger guy demands the license and registration.....which the older guy complies by handing over his wallet and registration.  The pretender cop goes back to his car and pretends apparently to be talking to someone over radio or cellphone.....then hands everything back to the old guy, minus $160 that he took out.  Then the young guy left.  Other than a limited description of the younger guy.....there's not much to go on, except he was driving a Mustang.  With all the undercover cops wandering around the DC area......you just can't tell.  That's the sad part about living in an urban area.