A few weeks ago, I offered a principled case for the Keystone XL pipeline project and its eventual approval by President Obama. I stand by those opinions – and as I explain here, recent Alberta political pronouncements elevate my views from so much environmentalist digital compost to pure gold. Realpolitik is rarely pretty. My bottom line suggestion that ‘hey, until America evolves beyond its fossil fuels fixation, oil’s gotta come from somewhere, so why not your friends?’ may at first seem an affront to any ‘principled case’ claims.… [Read more]
“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.” – Jimmy Buffett
As an expat native of the Empire State, I recall introducing Appalachian mountain people in newsprint to the often comical twists of New York politics as a sidebar. In 2010, New York’s gubernatorial race featured a conservative Republican named Crazy Carl Paladino, who proceeded to run the hapless Rightie ticket into the electoral dirt of defeat in a Blue state.… [Read more]
In the United Nations despised by many conservatives, a strange thing happened on the way to the General Assembly by Manhattan’s East River last week. The international treaty on reducing the unfettered flow of arms the National Rifle Association and its paid shills on the GOP side of the aisle in Congress are fighting tooth and nail found the gun lobby odd new allies in the international body.… [Read more]
Let me start by saying I think the entire Electoral College process stinks. It’s antiquated and subject to manipulation. Although I don’t think that it will happen in my lifetime, I believe that it’s time to move to a popular vote process.
If Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the need for affirmative action can be argued as outdated, why can’t the Electoral College process?… [Read more]
When the news wires revealed that a Mississippi Republican state representative apparently shot herself to death Sunday, the hurried rush to look for possible scandal was tempered with the restraint passed on to current day scribes by journalists before us,
I am a political columnist. That means I’m one of the writers inhabiting the great Washington swamp chronicling the food chain in action. … [Read more]
I’m really not sure how much the non-teacher public know about the Common Core State Standards Initiative that has been brewing over the past few years and has gone into effect this school year.
The idea behind the Common Core is that instead of every state making up their own public school standards and benchmarks for grades K-12 and then giving their own state test to check on the progress of those standards, all the states will have the same…ahem…COMMON…set of standards for each grade level.… [Read more]
As we pass the 10th anniversary of the American overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, it seems the mainstream media has temporarily awoken from its longstanding coma regarding Iraq coverage. Yet the coverage still focuses on the wrong issues — rehashing the crimes of the past or dabbling in ridiculous counterfactuals instead of addressing what is happening in the country right now.… [Read more]
I can remember back, even in the “go-go” defense spending days of an administration which proved a matinee cowboy actor could get elected President, when this writer was a Navy Supply Corps officer. In my “beans, bullets, and black oil” portfolio came the responsibility of competitive bidding in procurement from private industry. By statute, regulation, and policy, we were to shop the marketplace for the best deal for mission effectiveness and value to the American taxpayer.… [Read more]
“If standing for the Constitution, standing for liberty, standing for conservative values makes one a wacko bird … then I am pleased that birds of a feather flock together.” – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Little Havana)
Viewed as a 2016 rising star, the freshman senator from Florida accomplished in one short speech, calling liberals “freeloaders,” what unsuccessful 2012 Presidential wannabe Mitt “Mitt WHO?” Romney (R-Bain) labored several years to get ineptly caught at with his infamous “47%” secretly videotaped, campaign scuttling, fundraiser remark.… [Read more]
On any given day I could write a tome on the ways that we infantilize rather than elevate teachers. Little respect for their expertise. Forcing them to teach subjects they weren’t trained to teach. Micromanaging their professional day. Over time, like water wearing away stone, we lose sight that teachers are professionals – not children – and deserve to be included in decisions that impact their lives, as any professionals should be.… [Read more]
This week Congressman Paul Ryan released the new Republican budget for the federal government. One thing was notably missing: anything different from the budget he proposed last year. Rep. Ryan and his colleges on the GOP budget committee produced a document that turns Medicaid into a voucher system, makes further cuts in programs that many Americans rely on for their daily survival and his core proposal being the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.… [Read more]
The old adage “generals always fight the last war, especially if they’ve won it” applies not only to the military and war, but to almost all aspects of human conflict and interaction, such as diplomacy. Paradigms often change right underneath the noses of so-called “experts” or policymakers.
In regards to foreign policy, in the late ’90s, while everyone was staring through the prism of the Soviet-U.S.… [Read more]
Remember the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)? Yes, the billionaire Koch Bros./Corporate America shadowy group feeding Right-wing boilerplate bill language to “help” write legislative bills. In their favor, of course. For all their money, they still aren’t omnipotent.
Last week, in Georgia, far from being a bastion of liberalism, a bill fronted by ALEC shill state Rep.… [Read more]
Tom Connors died March 6 – our nation is poorer for the loss.
National icon, straight shooter, his foot-pounding three chord poetry was driven by unabashed love of country – as only a Maritimer can do it. Commercial success was less important to Tom than his ability to connect with Canadians everywhere, simple, unaffected music and unsullied nationalism that was always pro-Canada, not ‘anti’ anyone else.… [Read more]
Those of us in the political pundit class tend to be big fans of Frank Capra’s 1939 Jimmy Stewart classic Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Some of us keep replaying the film often enough to keep the lines fresh among the decaying political plant fiber in the Washington swamp.
Before the fabled filibuster was reduced from rare drama to daily droll by Senate Republicans under Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), once upon a time, filibustering was a marathon talking event.… [Read more]
Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Obama administration will be giving $60 million in non-lethal aid to the Syrian Opposition. The aid will be in the form of medical supplies and food for the forces struggling to oust the Bashar al-Assad regime. This remark was made in the shadow of the looming financial “tumble,” as phrased by President Barack Obama, threatens the nation.… [Read more]
Al Jazeera: When many Americans hear that name a nefarious image comes to mind. Adjectives like anti-American, antisemitic, jihadist, and terrorism spring about the fearful American psyche. And boy were we reminded of this within the past few months.
For example, during Defense Secretary Nominee Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing, the brainless and spineless wonder Sen. Ted Cruz chastised the former moderate Republican senator and Purple-Heart-recipient for speaking ill of the United States during a 2009 interview on Al Jazeera, a network the moronic Cruz described as “a foreign network, broadcasting propaganda to nations that are hostile to us.”
To clarify, the grave sin Hagel committed in Cruz’s simple mind was his nuanced agreement with a caller on the Al Jazeera program that the United States is often perceived as a bully and that this perception should be altered in order to improve U.S.-Middle East relations.… [Read more]
There it is again. The comparison of teaching salaries of the United States to those around the world.
We are at the top of the list for hours teachers spend working, yet almost at the bottom of the list for pay. The rest of the countries are much more evenly matched with hours worked versus how much pay teachers get.… [Read more]