Category Archives: Politics

Attention Airports of the Solar Federation

we have assumed privatization, except in Alaska.
Alaska’s sole congressman Don Young, who supports efforts to privatize air traffic control, got two Alaska airports struck from the privatization hit list.
Why? Let me quote:
“Of course the criticism of myself,” he said, “is that I exempted the state of Alaska.” But there were ample reasons for that, he said, ticking off a number of them.
“Lastly,” Young said, “my hotel room is on the top floor of the Sheraton, and the airplanes take right off towards my hotel room. Every morning I look out and there’s one coming right at me. It’s an interesting experience and I want to make sure everything is done right in that field.”
(Emphasis added by myself)
Now, I watched Sixty Minutes last night, and I was surprised to learn just how much power Young has in Congress. The episode featured a story about building a Natural Gas pipeline…but Young wants it built in such a way that it traverses most of Alaska before heading into Canada–and considering his influence, he is going to get it….even if a shorter trip across the Arctic Ocean over to Canada, where there is already a pipeline in the works, would be cheaper and more efficient.
Being House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman has its perks and clout, of course. You do want the Interstates in your area repaired of potholes, right?

Hometown paper goes Nuclear

And that’s Nuke-le-ar, not Nuke-cu-lur.
Anyway, the Strib (as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is sometimes called) has an editorial taking the VP to task on his mendacity.
Admittedly, the Strib is the more left of the two major papers in the Minneapolis area (the other being the St. Paul Pioneer Press) and admittedly, this is a fairly progressive place (or to be more accurate, the Democrats here are very progressive, the somewhat less numerous Republicans are equally strongly conservative, it still washes out to overall somewhat progressive). In fact, Scott has told me that sometimes the Strib has been derided as “The Red Star and Tribune.”
But still, the Editorial Board gives Cheney no quarter in this editorial. Sure, there have been some (mostly tepid) criticisms before of the Executive Branch’s mendacity, but this qualitatively and quantatitively different. Read it. And wonder when other papers will dare to do the same.
Thanks to Eschaton for pointing out the weblink for the online version of the Editorial, I read the ‘dead-tree version’ of it this morning.

An undiplomatic display

Now this is rather odd.
It seems one of those weird things, why on Earth would anyone want to see a George Bush Diplomatic Montage in the State Department. The old exhibit seemed far more thematic.
And besides, this sort of montage sounds like its more suited for the White House, than the State Department. It’s just…weird.

Ten Little Indians

With the word that Wesley Clark is about to announce his candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination for president, I’ve already thought of a shorthand for the entire group as a whole. And I am sure that I’m not the only one to think of it.
In the tradition of the 1988 crop of “Seven Dwarves.”, with Wesley Clark becoming the 10th Democrat…I give you “Ten Little Indians”.
Still, just about any of the ten are better than what we have now at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Kevin Drum interviews Paul Krugman

Kevin Drum, aka Calpundit, has an interview with Paul Krugman, economist and op-ed contributor to the NY Times.
There is a definite catastrophist streak in Krugman’s work–comparing the future of the US economy to something like Argentina is pretty radical even to suggest, much less to warn about in a Cassandra-like fashion.
The interview shatters the divide, too, between newspaper journalism and “bloggers”, since this interview is as detailed and thoughtful as any you would find in a paper, or on Slate or Salon, say.
The problem with Cassandras, though, is that they sometimes turn out to be right. I don’t want Krugman to be right, but ignoring what he has to say is not going to change reality.
But its a very good interview…go forth and read it. As for the book, I’ll wait for the paperback (as usual).

Immigrants and the Presidency

Perverse Access Memory: Immigrants for President
Ginger mentions a NYT editorial promoting the idea of an amendment to the Constitution that would allow foreign-born, naturalized citizens the right to become President of the United States.
I agree with her and the editorial. The reasons to not allow “citizens by choice” the right to become President has long since evaporated.
On a couple of side notes, in the underrated movie Demolition Man (where Stallone’s character is cryogenically frozen and left there for 20 odd years), there is a throwaway conversation with Sandra Bullock’s character about how Arnold Schwarzenegger became president because of the “37th amendment”.
The second piece of trivia is that early America could have had a foreign-born president, legitimately, but the individual was shot in a duel before such an event could have occurred.
Alexander Hamilton, of course. Not everyone remembers that he was actually born in the West Indies. I’m betting that if we had a Hamilton Presidency, there would be more of an awareness of the situation with naturalized citizens and the Presidency, and perhaps the amendment might already be in place.

California Recall Follies

Schwarzenegger running in Calif.
I have watched, with amused interest, the follies of the California Gubnetorial Recall.
I admit that there is a bit of kvelling over the self-inflicted mire that was my former state of residence. I also admit that if I was still living there and had the money…I might have filed papers, just because.
But with all sorts of people now running, including Arnie, it promises to be a rather interesting race. Of course, cynics might point out that I moved from California to a state that elected a former wrestler as governor…