View Archive

Entries for March 2011

31
A TAPster (bartender, two cold ones here) offers this thought-provoking caution:

"Carter’s brief blog about legislators carrying guns is scary on many fronts. It’s probably only a matter of time before a gun battle breaks out in the legislative cafeteria when a lawmaker tries to take the last piece of fried catfish from a hungry colleague who’s packing heat.

"A more serious concern should be the total absence of modern security measures at the General Assembly. The NC General Assembly is the only public building on the planet where there’s no metal detector, security guard or anything when you enter the building. You don’t get scanned, patted down or even looked at. It’s the international epitome of open government.

"One day, there will be an incident and everything will change. We will all holler that something should’ve been done years ago. After the 9/11 attacks, changes were made to prevent just anybody from driving into the basement of the legislative building. Nothing else has happened since.

"Yes, there’s an armed officer in the front lobby surfing the internet or looking at security cameras. But that’s hardly the kind of security for a group of public officials who daily make emotionally charged, difficult decisions – and the accompanying inane, inflammatory public statements -- that affect and irritate millions of lives. We hope steps are taken before one of the affected millions tries to do something violent and stupid."

 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Posted in: General, Raleigh
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

30
Understanding politics – if you follow the words – is pretty straightforward.
 
Right now, we’re bombing Qaddafi’s army which is pretty clearly a war but President Obama’s press spokesman says it’s not – he says it's something called a “time-limited, scope-limited military action.” (Last week he called it an even blander ‘kinetic military action.’)
 
Why the deception? Why not just call shooting down Qaddafi’s’s air force and blowing up his tanks a war?
 
Well, because the U.N. Resolution only called for a ‘no-fly zone’ to protect civilians – it wasn’t until after the bombing started that the President re-interpreted the resolution to say it meant bombing Qaddafi’s army – to help the ‘Rebels.’
 
That bit of slight of hand was compounded by another domestic political problem: Americans may be stubborn and mulish and we may love ‘the good life’ to a fault but we’ve figured out – after Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan – that ‘limited war’ means a ten-year ordeal. So the President’s doing his best (linguistically) to invent a new kind of military beast. So what is happening in Libya is not a war or even a limited war but a ‘kinetic action’ which avoids the harsh political realities here at home of the President saying the words, Today, I have declared a war on Libya.
 
And – to praise Obama – it’s working. He’s pulled it off and avoided the backlash.
 
But, that said, the history of ‘no fly zones’ is troubling. The last time we launched a kinetic military action like this was in Iraq back in the 1990’s, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. That ‘no-fly zone’ lasted 12 years and ended in another war.
 
Which leaves me wondering: Where on earth is the ‘peace-wing’ of the Democratic Party now that we need it?
 
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

30
A Civitas Institute critic of Smart Start has twisted himself into an interesting position.
 
In an N&O op-ed, Andrew Henson acknowledges that “early child care investment has proven to have an effect on children's lives and should be a key priority for the legislature.”
 
He then proceeds to argue that Smart Start, which Governor Hunt and the legislature (including Republicans) deliberately set up outside government, could be better run if only government were in charge:

“For example, if the local Department of Social Services administered Smart Start's child care subsidies (DSS already administers about 80 percent of child care subsidies through the Division of Child Development), millions of dollars could be saved, providing hundreds more children with access to affordable child care.”

Unless I’m wrong (and I doubt that), it’s the first time in recorded history that an entity of the vast John Locke Foundation empire has argued that government can do something best.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

29
There was an article in the New York Times the other morning by a fellow named Max Boot who works with the influential Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Boot’s got the war in Libya all figured out. He says he’s wanted the United States to attack Libya for weeks and finally Obama’s done exactly what he wanted but instead of being elated he’s worried.
 
What’s Mr. Boot worried about?
 
He’s worried the rebels may not defeat Gadhafi’s army, he’s worried about how to set up a post Gadhafi state, and he’s worried the bad guys will take over and send Islamic fanatics to fight in Iraq.
 
There are bad guys among the rebels? Somebody should have told us that before we started bombing Libya.
 
Anyway, Mr. Boot has a solution: He says we should send in the Marines, then, he adds, all that remains to be done is sending a long-term international peace keeping force for maybe a decade or two.
 
Libya’s beginning to sound more and more like Iraq and Afghanistan.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Posted in: General, Issues
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |

29

 

A political tsunami brings ashore strange creatures from the deep. Witness some of the Republicans in the legislature.
 
A serious Senator, Neal Hunt, comes up with a good idea that could repair burnt bridges for Republicans: pardon Reconstruction Governor W.W. Holden, who was impeached for standing up to the Ku Klux Klan.
 
But then there’s an uprising by the “Save-your-Confederate-money-boys, the-South-is-going-to-rise again” crowd.
 
Hunt has to stage a strategic retreat.
 
Speaking of Confederate money, Rep. Glen Bradley then proposes that North Carolina adopt its own currency.
 
Maybe we should lob a few shells into Fort Bragg to show those Yankees how we feel about abandoning the gold standard.
 
A TAPster (that’s my new term for readers who offer blog tips; their reward is a draft beer on me) reports that in one episode of the Andy Griffith Show (“A Black Day for Mayberry,” look for it on YouTube), Gomer gets tricked into holding up a sign reading: “Down With the Gold Standard.”
 
Some days, not even Andy and Gomer can compete with the legislative reality show.


 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |

28
Someone in the State House sure does like handguns. First, legislators sponsored a bill to allow folks to carry concealed pistols in bars and restaurants. Now there’s a bill to require cities to allow concealed guns in parks. And Representative Mark Hilton is sponsoring a class in the legislature on carrying concealed guns.
 
Legislators carrying concealed handguns – surely they have the right but, still, the idea leaves a feeling of discomfort. Maybe it’s the thought of sitting in a restaurant with a legislator who loves his pistol so much he has to carry it with him everywhere – but not being sure which of the fellows at the bar he is.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |

28
President Obama’s great coalition to defeat Libya – NATO, France, Britain, Arab League and the U.S.A. – is fraying at the seams.
 
The Arab League, the French say, is out of sorts with NATO. The French, as always, are marching to their own drummer and out of sorts with everyone. And our NATO allies have fallen to squabbling among themselves.
 
When he attacked Libya the President said we were just a backup on a team led by France or Britain or somebody else – who was not crystal clear.
 
But then nobody had enough Tomahawk missiles to do Gadhafi much harm so we ended up in charge of Phase One of the war, with Obama promising every day hard as he could we’d be handing the bombing and blowing up to France or Britain or NATO or whoever any day.
 
But, in fact, it looks like we may have been out foxed. We’re now committed lock, stock and barrel to fighting a war with Libya and our allies know we can’t let Operation Odyssey Dawn (I hope there’s not a class at West Point on naming military operations) fail. So our allies know, full well, they can, well, sit back and shrug and say, Well, we’d like to do more but can’t right this minute.
 
After a week of squabbling NATO now says it has taken command, but that sure sounds like a fig-leaf. And why not? Look at it from NATO’s perspective: Why should our European allies do the heavy-lifting when we're on the hook to do the job?
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

28
This is an urgent open letter to Republican political consultants in North Carolina:
 
Now is the time to come to the aid of your profession.
 
Your party is in charge of redistricting. The lonely eyes of all political consultants – Democrats and Republicans – turn to you.
 
I’m not talking about partisan realignment. I’m talking about something that rises above party: Profits.
 
You will do our business a disservice if you let legislators leave us only a handful of competitive districts. How will we support our families and plan retirement if we are forced to scrap over a few measly close races for the next decade?
 
No, we must have full competition in every single one of the 170 legislative districts and 13 congressional districts!
 
Full competition means full employment.
 
Think of the money to be made from ad production, media buys, direct mail, phone programs and on-line campaigns.
 
If you do this right, we’ll all be able to retire in style by 2020.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

25
Now that we’re bombing Libya the New York Times reports that, technically, we didn’t go to war to defeat Gadhafi. Technically, the Times says, all the UN Resolution did was set up a no-fly zone to stop Gadhafi bombing his own civilians. The General commanding our attack says pretty much the same thing: “Our mission is not to support any opposition forces.” In fact, according to the UN ‘mandate’ if one of our fighter pilots flies across a battlefield Gadhafi’s army and the rebels are fighting it out he’s supposed to fly right on by.
 
This has created a helluva mess at NATO headquarters where some of our allies are saying what started out as a mission to prevent Gadhafi bombing his own people has somehow turned into our bombing Gadhafi’s army.
 
After all, President Obama says he wants Gadhafi out and it’s hard to see why Gadhafi would give up as long as he has an army and the rebels don’t.
 
And who exactly are these rebels the President wants to help? Are they Freedom Fighters or clansmen from feuding Bedouin tribes? A political scientist at Georgetown University answered that dryly saying, It could be a very big surprise when Gadhafi leaves and we find out who we’re really dealing with.
 
Here’s one fact: After the airstrikes started and pictures of pulverized Libyan tanks started appearing on TV the rebels attacked Ajdabiya trying to retake it from Gadhafi’s army. They retreated after taking eight casualties. So how solid is President Obama’s bet these folks whip Gadhafi on their own?
 
As one rebel leader said, Gadhafi’s forces are like birds. They can fly anywhere, but the international community can shoot them down. Our role in this war is to walk in and pluck their feathers. That doesn’t exactly sound like a diehard patriot fighting for his freedom.
 
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |

25
The easy story line is that rapacious Republicans are out to gut North Carolina’s environmental protections.
 
Not so fast.
 
In fact, Governor Perdue might want to jump on this train while she’s restructuring state government.
 
There are economic developers and business people who are responsible on environmental issues AND convinced that DENR needs reform. They say it’s guilty of delays, bureaucratic dodges and sheer inaction – all of which costs cost jobs when we’re starved for jobs.
 
One of them said:

“DENR has created its own inevitable dismantlement by being an uncontrolled, unmanaged, nonsensical obstacle to economic growth for years. Rather than take a moderate, balanced approach, DENR has abused the law and the rules and gone too far over and over.”

It will be hard for Governor Perdue to raise her reelection sail as the “Jobs Governor” if DENR is a jobs anchor.
 
It might be good politics for her and for the Republicans – and good for North Carolina’s economy – to take on mending, not ending DENR (as Bill Clinton would say).
 
And heed one DENR critic who said: “The fix should be incremental: fix the biggest problems, come back later and fix some more.”

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

Page 1 of 5First   Previous   [1]  2  3  4  5  Next   Last   
Copyright (c) Talking About Politics   :  DNN Hosting  :  Terms Of Use  :  Privacy Statement