Monthly Archives: November 2010

NASS and 25%

As though one needs convincing on how the Nigerian experiment has failed, and is consequently in dire need of restructuring, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the Central Bank Governor intimates:

“If you look at the budget, the bulk of government’s revenue expenditure is on overheads, that is a big problem; 25 per cent of overheads of the Federal Government goes to the National Assembly. We need power, we need infrastructure, so we need to start looking at the structure of expenditure and make it more consistent with the development initiative of the country.”

There you have it folks—the Nigerian National Assembly comprised of 109 persons in the Senate and 360 persons in the House of Representatives, collectively gulp 25% of Nigeria’s revenue. This is the country with the largest population in Africa with well over 150 million citizens (if you can reliably reckon with the outcome of the last census). I will not begin to catalogue a host of pressing needs and demands facing the country, for which a judicious use of it’s over $340 billion dollar GDP, would have gone a long way in addressing. Why? It is painful to recount and at the same time maddening to realize how badly things are being mismanaged if 469 individuals could appropriate a quarter of the national funds for themselves. This is just the Nigerian National Assembly mind you. By the time you factor in Executive malfeasance, and the cuts which would be appropriated by other different governmental bureaucracies, it leaves you wondering how much Abuja actually sets aside to do the bidding of the people.

Then of course, as Abuja disburses funds to the states, you can definitely expect the chain of political malfeasance to continue all the way down the chain. Is it any wonder then that Nigeria could be so richly blessed in terms of material and human resources, but at the same time, be gripped with paralyzing stagnation and privation? The article goes on to list a number of things which are wrong with the country and which must be addressed to better the lot of the masses. I do not want to sound like I am deeply cynical, but at the same time, I don’t want to sound like a broken record either—at the risk of being considered nonchalant, I’ll say that Nigerians are very much aware of how things are not working just like they are also very much aware of steps which could be taken to correct things. They have and continually make their frustrations known regarding the dismal performance of the political ruling class. But honestly, is anyone listening? How long shall the masses cry?

NASS and 25%

                             

As though one needs convincing on how the Nigerian experiment has failed, and is consequently in dire need of restructuring, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the Central Bank Governor intimates:

“If you look at the budget, the bulk of government’s revenue expenditure is on overheads, that is a big problem; 25 per cent of overheads of the Federal Government goes to the National Assembly. We need power, we need infrastructure, so we need to start looking at the structure of expenditure and make it more consistent with the development initiative of the country.”

There you have it folks—the Nigerian National Assembly comprised of 109 persons in the Senate and 360 persons in the House of Representatives, collectively gulp 25% of Nigeria’s revenue. This is the country with the largest population in Africa with well over 150 million citizens (if you can reliably reckon with the outcome of the last census). I will not begin to catalogue a host of pressing needs and demands facing the country, for which a judicious use of it’s over $340 billion dollar GDP, would have gone a long way in addressing. Why? It is painful to recount and at the same time maddening to realize how badly things are being mismanaged if 469 individuals could appropriate a quarter of the national funds for themselves. This is just the Nigerian National Assembly mind you. By the time you factor in Executive malfeasance, and the cuts which would be appropriated by other different governmental bureaucracies, it leaves you wondering how much Abuja actually sets aside to do the bidding of the people.
Then of course, as Abuja disburses funds to the states, you can definitely expect the chain of political malfeasance to continue all the way down the chain. Is it any wonder then that Nigeria could be so richly blessed in terms of material and human resources, but at the same time, be gripped with paralyzing stagnation and privation? The article goes on to list a number of things which are wrong with the country and which must be addressed to better the lot of the masses. I do not want to sound like I am deeply cynical, but at the same time, I don’t want to sound like a broken record either—at the risk of being considered nonchalant, I’ll say that Nigerians are very much aware of how things are not working just like they are also very much aware of steps which could be taken to correct things. They have and continually make their frustrations known regarding the dismal performance of the political ruling class. But honestly, is anyone listening? How long shall the masses cry?

El Classico 2010

In the Spanish Primera Liga, there are indisputably two giant sides—Real Madrid and Barcelona. The meeting of these two titans of Spanish football, dubbed El Classico, is so huge that it attracts global attention.  And once again, an El Classico game is around the corner again. Tomorrow by 9pm local time, Real Madrid and Barcelona will square off again. Every true follower of the sport will definitely want to watch this match.

In the league standings, Real Madrid is at the top of the table; Barcelona is following closely behind, being separated from the top position by just 1 point. I need not tell you the amount of pressure that puts on Real Madrid to keep performing or they could easily be displaced at the top of the league table. So, if you are a betting kind of person, who are you going to bet on?

Well, let’s consider this:

Read the rest of this entry

El Classico 2010

In the Spanish Primera Liga, there are indisputably two giant sides—Real Madrid and Barcelona. The meeting of these two titans of Spanish football, dubbed El Classico, is so huge that it attracts global attention. And once again, an El Classico game is around the corner again. Tomorrow by 9pm local time, Real Madrid and Barcelona will square off again. Every true follower of the sport will definitely want to watch this match.
In the league standings, Real Madrid is at the top of the table; Barcelona is following closely behind, being separated from the top position by just 1 point. I need not tell you the amount of pressure that puts on Real Madrid to keep performing or they could easily be displaced at the top of the league table. So, if you are a betting kind of person, who are you going to bet on?
Well, let’s consider this:
1) Barca won the league title last year. By all considerations, there is no indication that they wouldn’t want to repeat that feat this year again. Beating Real Madrid (current league leaders) is just the kind of feat that will catapult them to the top of the table and perhaps keep them there.
2) Barca has beaten Real Madrid in their past 4 El Classico encounters. This is not a little achievement. As a matter of fact, it is actually a record. I don’t know how they manage to get the psychological advantage over their worthy and equally-matched rivals, but if the recent past is anything to go by, you can be pretty sure that Real Madrid will come out fighting harder this time than you’ve ever remembered them. What remains to be seen is whether Barca will roll over them yet again—for the 5th time.
3) Tomorrow’s match will be played in Camp Nou, the home pitch for the Catalan giants, Barcelona. There is, of course, a very loud, devoted and enthusiastic home crowd cheering wildly, to spur Barcelona on to victory.
These considerations should lead you to conclude that Barca should win the game.
Nevertheless, there is something that should cause every follower of the game to reconsider a careless bet—Jose Mourinho. He was not there last season, and it is quite possible that he’ll be the difference maker this time around. Oh wait; you don’t know who Jose Mourinho is? You don’t know the “Special One”? Hmm. He is magic hand that guided Chelsea to winning seasons in the English Premier League. Then he went to Inter Milan and coached them to a league title and a Champions League trophy. And now, he is at Real Madrid, and not surprisingly, Real Madrid is at the top of the table.
Hate him all you want, the truth is that Mourinho has a winning strategy or formula. He knows how to grind out wins from matches even if that means that fans are denied some fast, free-flowing entertaining football. I am not the biggest fan of his defensive-minded coaching style, but you can’t begrudge the man the fact that he does grind out good results for his teams.
So, tomorrow’s El Classico could very well end with Real Madrid coming to Barcelona, under the guidance of “The Special One”, and walking away the winners of that encounter. It will invariably validate the technical expertise of the Real Madrid coach. Furthermore, for Real Madrid fans, it will be a most welcome revenge for the losses they suffered at the hands of the Catalan giants on their own pitch.
Nevertheless, something tells me that it will not be that easy for Real Madrid. I am a Barca fan—by choice. So, you know I’ll definitely be looking forward to a Barca victory.
I predict a 2-1 or a 3-2 final score line…..in favor of my boys of course. See you tomorrow, with your popcorn and drinks.

Thanksgiving 2010

Well well well….another Thanksgiving Day is here again. It is the holiday that we gather with our families or our loved ones around a sumptuous feast to recount all the things in the year for which we are thankful. It’s as simple as that.

But, of course, there is that boring Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade to watch. And then, hurray–there will be FOOTBALL. This year, I am betting against the Cowboys in that match against the New Orleans Saints.  So Sorry Cowboys—but you are a miserable team this year; don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. 😀

Happy Thanksgiving everyone : go nuts on the Turkey. And don’t forget the Black Friday Sales that comes tomorrow.

Thanksgiving 2010

Well well well….another Thanksgiving Day is here again. It is the holiday that we gather with our families or our loved ones around a sumptuous feast to recount all the things in the year for which we are thankful. It’s as simple as that.
But, of course, there is that boring Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade to watch. And then, hurray–there will be FOOTBALL. This year, I am betting against the Cowboys in that match against the New Orleans Saints. So Sorry Cowboys—but you are a miserable team this year; don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. 😀
Happy Thanksgiving everyone : go nuts on the Turkey. And don’t forget the Black Friday Sales that comes tomorrow.

Janelle Monae

Do you know Janelle Monae? I suspect you may not have come across her music before. But if you have, don’t you think she is entertaining? Her music is different- its like Outkast meets Michael Jackson. Her look is different and her movements are so fluid. I’ll stop raving because she is not really new. I didn’t just discover her either, but I just thought I should just share this wonderful gem in case there are some who may incidentally find her style deliciously attractive.

Janelle Monae


Do you know Janelle Monae? I suspect you may not have come across her music before. But if you have, don’t you think she is entertaining? Her music is different- its like Outkast meets Michael Jackson. Her look is different and her movements are so fluid. I’ll stop raving because she is not really new. I didn’t just discover her either, but I just thought I should just share this wonderful gem in case there are some who may incidentally find her style deliciously attractive.

The Rise Of The Tea Party?

A Tea Party Rally

I have always wanted to make a little comment on the meteoric rise to prominence of the Tea Party movement. I just never got the chance to do so until now. If my memory serves me right, it was during the 2008 election that we began to notice a fundamental shift in Republican thinking and propaganda. The Republicans were traditionally opposed to the Democrats – that was a given, but in that dramatic and turbulent 2008 election period, the Democrats were mostly in control of the message of change and hope.

The Bush administration along with its many failures and compromises left many Republicans rueful about their prospects at the polls. There were a great number of Republicans who were frankly fed up with or displeased by the eccentricities and the sloppiness of the beltway republican establishment. And of course they were staunchly opposed to a Liberal or Progressive takeover of Washington. Thanks or no thanks to shrill republican media watchdogs, a lot of these dissatisfied Republicans and/or Independents began to fashion an identity of their own. Gradually, the Tea Party movement was born.

These scattered voices of rage and dissent against the Washington establishment found strength and support in right-wing radio and on some cable TV shows. They tried as much as they could, with their sometimes frighteningly exclusivist positions to win back broad-based support for McCain during the election period. But they failed to get McCain elected.  Ironically, the election of Obama was the best thing that happened to the Tea Party. In fact, it could be argued that the election of Obama as the 44th president of the United States kept conservative radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh gainfully employed. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and other new actors on the national stage, sensing an opportunity, decided to throw their weight and support behind this new faction of the Republican Party—the Tea Party began to grow exponentially despite being cajoled and maligned by the mainstream media.

Read the rest of this entry

The Rise Of The Tea Party?

I have always wanted to make a little comment on the meteoric rise to prominence of the Tea Party movement. I just never got the chance to do so until now. If my memory serves me right, it was during the 2008 election that we began to notice a fundamental shift in Republican thinking and propaganda. The Republicans were traditionally opposed to the Democrats – that was a given, but in that dramatic and turbulent 2008 election period, the Democrats were mostly in control of the message of change and hope.
The Bush administration along with its many failures and compromises left many Republicans rueful about their prospects at the polls. There were a great number of Republicans who were frankly fed up with or displeased by the eccentricities and the sloppiness of the beltway republican establishment. And of course they were staunchly opposed to a Liberal or Progressive takeover of Washington. Thanks or no thanks to shrill republican media watchdogs, a lot of these dissatisfied Republicans and/or Independents began to fashion an identity of their own. Gradually, the Tea Party movement was born.
These scattered voices of rage and dissent against the Washington establishment found strength and support in right-wing radio and on some cable TV shows. They tried as much as they could, with their sometimes frighteningly exclusivist positions to win back broad-based support for McCain during the election period. But they failed to get McCain elected. Ironically, the election of Obama was the best thing that happened to the Tea Party. In fact, it could be argued that the election of Obama as the 44th president of the United States kept conservative radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh gainfully employed. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and other new actors on the national stage, sensing an opportunity, decided to throw their weight and support behind this new faction of the Republican Party—the Tea Party began to grow exponentially despite being cajoled and maligned by the mainstream media.
Many Republicans were demoralized after the heavy losses of the 2008 election. Obama’s election temporarily stunned the Republicans into acquiescing to some of the unspoken but expected demands made by the Democrats in the early months after Obama’s swearing in. Perhaps, Obama’s election then meant the possible beginning of Bipartisanship? Well, one group was unconvinced—the Tea Party. Their opposition to Obama the Democrats was even fiercer, louder and all-encompassing. Steadily they grew. It seemed like the handlers of this burgeoning movement were adept at branding or packaging the Obama Administration, along with the incomprehensible legislative incapacity of Obama’s Democratic majority, as the cause of the pain, anger and frustration of a wide swath of the American public.
Obama’s promises of change and improvement thus rang hollow as people began to notice increased job losses, higher unemployment figures, massive foreclosures, loss of pensions, folding banks, the corruption and greed of wall street, monumental government borrowing and spending, and what Republicans would definitely decry as the attempt by Obama’s administration to trample the Constitution underfoot. Granted, the horror scenario being painted to the public by skillful artisans like Glenn Beck was grossly exaggerated. It was deliberately slanted to whip up an anti-government frenzy; but this government should have anticipated this classic revanchist Republican politicking and done better to control the public message. Perception may not be everything, but it surely matters.
What was the inevitable result? November 2 has come and is now gone. With it came a massive sweep of the Democrats out of the house. They barely kept the Senate. The old-guard and somewhat centrist Republican Party have ridden back into power again on the back of the polarizing, extreme-right but “results-achieving” Tea Party. How long this delicate romance between the GOP and the Tea Party will last is anyone’s guess at this point. But make no mistakes about it—the Tea Party, in moving the meter the way they did during the recently concluded elections, have realized their own strength and significance. And they are primed to leverage it to the best of their ability.
Nevertheless, a cynical part of me suspects that it may not be long before the Tea Party Faithful turn their angst against their present GOP cohorts. Truly, Washington politics is ever-changing. Even more interesting to observe is how Obama and his administration will be written in the history books. How will he fare during this ostensibly lame-duck second half of his first term? Is he going to be re-elected with John Boehner and the house Republicans actively working to paralyze his efforts and rob him of even meager legislative gains?
You wait and see.
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