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Chad’s Morning Brief: Obama Won’t Answer Questions About Libya, Austin Isn’t Black Enough, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of October 29, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11 am.

Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

1. Obama Dodges on Libya (link)

If you are interviewing President Obama and want him to answer questions over Libya, good luck!

President Obama declined to answer directly whether a CIA annex was denied urgent requests for military assistance during the deadly attacks last month on U.S. outposts in Libya.

The president did not give a yes-or-no answer Friday when asked pointedly whether the Americans under attack in Benghazi, Libya, were denied requests for help during the attack.

Fox News has also learned that a request from the CIA annex for backup was later denied.

“The election has nothing to do with the four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” the president said in TV interview with an NBC affiliate in Colorado.

When asked again, Obama said, “The minute I found out what was going on, I gave three very clear directives — Number 1, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.”

So now the President doesn’t think that a terror attack that killed our Ambassador should be a topic for the election? Didn’t we just have a foreign policy debate? Isn’t the President’s job to keep Americans safe?

The reason Obama doesn’t want to talk about Libya is because he lied to the American people and failed the Americans in Libya and here at home.

2. Is Austin Too White? (link)

According to some, the City of Austin is great for many demographics when it comes to work. However, Austin just isn’t black enough according to the Capital City African-American Chamber of Commerce.

Central Texas is a fixture on national lists as one of the best places to live, work, start a business or retire. The region, according to its press clippings, is attractive whether you are young and single, gay or straight, or a retired couple.

But not necessarily if you are black.

“We’re on all those lists, but I’m not aware of Austin being on a list for African-Americans,” said Ashton Cumberbatch Jr., chairman of the Capital City African-American Chamber of Commerce. “Austin has never been marketed to blacks.”

As Central Texas’ population has skyrocketed, the number of African-Americans increased, but their share of the region’s population kept falling — from 9.2 percent in 1980 to 7.0 percent in the 2010 census. By comparison, blacks account for 11.5 percent of the state population. At the same time, the city of Austin has seen a decline in the number of African-Americans as they move to the suburbs for cheaper housing, better schools and the chance to integrate into the broader community.

The black flight to the suburbs is part of a national trend, according to demographers, but Central Texas’ largest employers have reported having difficulty in attracting and retaining black professionals because the newcomers feel isolated from the black culture they experienced in cities with larger African-American populations.

“They were being attracted to Austin companies but the firms were having trouble retaining them after two years,” said Mike Rollins, president and CEO of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. “The challenge still remains. It’s something that Austin and others in our region should be well aware of.”

Rollins created a diversity task force almost three years ago at the request of some of the area’s larger employers. It focused on single, black professionals between the ages of 25 and 40, gathering anecdotal information in focus groups, before handing it off to the Capital City African-American Chamber of Commerce.

Give me a break. This is 2012 and people of all races can move and live where ever they want. Knowing how liberal Austin is though, I wouldn’t put it past the city leaders to create some type of quota system for the city. I’ve been to Austin many times and have seen plenty of people from all races there.

3. Electoral College Debate (link)

Should the United States dump the Electoral College? The debate is growing for now, but it seems to come and go in each election cycle since 2000. President Obama though, might be in favor of scrapping the system.

National and swing state polls suggest it’s possible Republican Mitt Romney could win this year’s popular vote while Obama triumphs in the Electoral College — potentially marking the second time the rare split in outcomes has occurred in the last 12 years.

The last time it happened was in 2000, when Democratic candidate Al Gore won the popular vote but lost where it mattered. George W. Bush won Florida’s disputed recount, propelling him to 271 electoral votes — one more than he needed to take the White House.

The outcome triggered an intense — if shortlived — debate over reforming the Electoral College. Today, lawmakers in Washington are no closer to agreeing on whether to change the rules of how someone wins the presidency.

 

President Obama — Obama said he supported eliminating the Electoral College as a Senate candidate during a WTTW television debate against Republican Alan Keyes in 2004.

When asked, “Yes or no, eliminate the Electoral College?” Obama responded, “Yes … I think, at this point, this is breaking down.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — Shortly after the 2000 election, as a newly-minted Senator-elect, Clinton called for direct elections of the president. She argued the country has changed since the Electoral College was put in place.

“We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago,” Clinton said at a news conference.

“I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president.”

What do you think about this? Should the U.S. keep the Electoral College or do away with it?

4. Welfare Spending (link)

Ever wondered how much money is spent on welfare programs for homes in poverty? According to The Weekly Standard, the U.S. spends $60,000 to support welfare programs per household that is in poverty.

“According to the Census’s American Community Survey, the number of households with incomes below the poverty line in 2011 was 16,807,795,” the Senate Budget Committee notes. “If you divide total federal and state spending by the number of households with incomes below the poverty line, the average spending per household in poverty was $61,194 in 2011.”

This dollar figure is almost three times the amount the average household on poverty lives on per year. “If the spending on these programs were converted into cash, and distributed exclusively to the nation’s households below the poverty line, this cash amount would be over 2.5 times the federal poverty threshold for a family of four, which in 2011 was $22,350 (see table in this link),” the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee note.

To be clear, not all households living below the poverty line receive $61,194 worth of assistance per year. After all, many above the poverty line also receive benefits from social welfare programs (e.g. pell grants).

But if welfare is meant to help bring those below the poverty line to a better place, it helps demonstrate that numbers do not add up

Other Top Stories:

Republicans Will Win the House

Madonna Booed After Touting Obama in LA Concert

Andrew Sullivan Warns the Confederacy is Making a Comeback

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11 am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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