Category Archives: Politics

Void ab Initio

By lex, on June 14th, 2011

The Wisconsin supreme court has overturned the decision of a lower court judge who had struck down legislation restricting public sector union collective bargaining privileges:

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Contractors

Posted by Lex, on May 27, 2008

 

The private security company Blackwater has been attempting to build a west coast presence here in San Diego for quite some time now. A 2006 attempt to build a rifle range, tactical driving course and helipad in the rural, east county township of Potrero received stiff opposition from locals who objected to the prospect of traffic and noise pollution more than their planning board favored the economic stimulus that the project might bring to the economically disadvantaged area. That board was recalled and Blackwater – faced with increasingly agitated opposition across the county – quietly canceled their plans.

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Reform

Posted by Lex, on September 16, 2010

 

Are you a reform minded political candidate who thinks that shaking up a school system ranked 13th out of 18 among major urban districts despite placing third atop per pupil spending nationally is a good place to focus your efforts?

Tread lightly:

The American Federation of Teachers spent heavily to unseat Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and to put the breaks on his aggressive efforts to shake up the city’s schools system.

The national union spent roughly $1 million in contributions to a labor-backed independent expenditure campaign — also supported by the public workers union AFSCME — and on its own extensive political operation, a Democratic political consultant familiar with the details of the spending told POLITICO. The spending suggests that the vote — while not a referendum on Fenty’s attempt to shake up the school system — was deeply shaped by that policy. And while the teachers union has been careful not to claim the scalps of Fenty and his schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee, the election may serve as a political shot across the bows of other urban officials considering similar policies.

All for the good of the children, I’m sure.

 

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Honor, Courage, Commitment

Posted by Lex, on May 18, 2008

 

That whole “military ethos” thing? Dangerous stuff: *

Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s family background as the son and grandson of admirals has given him a worldview shaped by the military, “and he has a hard time thinking beyond that,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., said Friday.

“I think he’s trapped in that,” Harkin said in a conference call with Iowa reporters. “Everything is looked at from his life experiences, from always having been in the military, and I think that can be pretty dangerous.”

Being a politician? Takes a whole different skill set:

Harkin said of his service as a Navy pilot: “One year was in Vietnam. I was flying F-4s and F-8s on combat air patrols and photo-reconnaissance support missions”. These comments were later published in a 1981 book by David Broder. After subsequent inquiries by Barry Goldwater and The Wall Street Journal, Harkin clarified that that he had been stationed in Japan and sometimes flew recently repaired aircraft on test missions over Vietnam. His service flying F-4s and F-8s was later, while he was stationed in Cuba.

* Original link gone; similar one found – Ed 03-11-08

 

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A Bridge Too Far?

By Lex, on August 13, 2010

Credit where it’s due, SecDef Gates does not forbear to go where angels fear to tread:

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De Toqueville

Posted by Lex, on June 30, 2010

 

Alexis de Tocqueville was an apt, if early political scientist who chronicled the rise of the uniquely American body politic in his seminal 1835 book, “Democracy in America,” contrasting it to the fading aristocracy of continental Europe:

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State Secrets

 

The president reveals them:

President Obama has decided to pre-announce to the world once-secret American ballistic missile tests and satellite launches.

The Democratic administration’s goal is to show a friendlier face to other countries and to coax Russia to do the same.

It’s part of a confidence-boosting initiative launched, so to speak, last fall when Obama suddenly abandoned the U.S. missile-defense system in Eastern Europe that had exercised the Russians, though it was aimed at potential future missiles from Iran.

Obama hoped such a unilateral U.S. forfeiture would encourage Russia to put pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear weapons development. So far no good on that.

These are strategic secrets. Not operational. Not tactical. The revelation of such information was previously thought – by many men of good intent, in both parties – to have the potential for “exceptionally grave damage” to US national security.

“Hope” was a campaign slogan. Not a strategy.

 

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