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Politics

SOME DON’T GET IT

The government of Pakistan says that American strikes against Al Qaeda in Pakistan have greatly reduced that terror gang’s global reach but heightened their threat to Pakistan. Their point being? If Al Qaeda wasn’t in Pakistan in the first place there would be no American attacks within their border. And speaking of borders and Pakistani territory, their government has ceded huge chunks of their own nation to warlords and Taliban terrorists. And so America takes it upon itself to kill as many Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters as they can so they can’t plan more devastating attacks on The United States and other Western nations. Whether that’s right or wrong, that’s the reality and a policy that will continue as long as America’s enemies are allowed to hide there. The government of Pakistan just doesn’t get it.

So the Governor of Louisiana complains that the President’s budget has 130 million dollars set aside for monitoring volcanos. Aren’t volcanos things you should sort of keep an eye on? Doesn’t seem like enough when you think about the potential damage volcanos can do. Maybe he figures that this administration should ignore volcanos like the last administration ignored the inadequate levees in his home state. How did that work out for New Orleans? This Governor Bobby Jindal guy has his head buried as far up his ass as the Bush the Younger administration did. He also tried to make a grandstand issue of the bailout billions being handed to his state by President Obama and the Democratic Congress, saying he would refuse “some of the money” because it violated his Republican free-market anti-Big Government philosophy. 

Well, his version of some of the money was less than 1% of the total of $3.7 billion earmarked for Louisiana, eagerly glomming the other 99 and a half percent of the dough. And the portion he tried to refuse? That would be for extended unemployment insurance for his state’s hard-hit workers, people who  tend to vote. Being the governor of a state, he is allowed to accept or reject the money. The way the law is written, however, he would either have to accept every penny or reject the whole package. He can always make that choice if he’s so sure of his principles, the same ideas and policies that held sway in America for eight years and got us into this horrendous mess. Odds are he’ll take the money and not shut up, but at least the people of his state will benefit from the recovery plan even if their governor doesn’t get it.

Also not getting it is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a multi-billionaire who bought his office twice and had the law changed so he can try to buy it a third time. Now, there’s nothing wrong with his being a billionaire, he earned his money and earned it clean. He didn’t make his dough by cheating or on the back of underpaid workers. And when he’s done with politics he wants to get into philanthropy and give most of his money away. So there’s a lot to recommend the guy as a decent man. He just happens to be a clueless mayor. When he’s not tripling the price of parking tickets and other civil fines to create a shadow tax on the working classes, he’s trying to put tolls on the East River bridges, ancient and incredibly busy structures emptying into crowded streets with absolutely no space for toll plazas. The traffic jams this would create would make the already legendary Manhattan traffic jams unbearable. 

He also tried to nickel and dime police recruits several years ago, paying new cops Wal-mart wages. When reminded that he was asking for a corrupt police force, that the best candidates will seek jobs elsewhere, he scoffed, citing fiscal responsibility. Well, a couple of years later the Police Department was rocked by scandals when these bottom-of-the-barrel recruits started moonlighting in their own serious crime careers as well as being corrupt cops. The City Council stepped in and raised police salaries so they could once again hire better people for the job, but not before a lot of harm was done and innocent people killed. There’s a reason for paying the police well, and teachers too. We want to attract the best possible people to those critical jobs, honest and dedicated individuals who are worth their decent pay. Michael Bloomberg had to blunder his way into scandals and consistent sub-par performance before he found out that cheapness is it’s own reward. When it comes to politics, he’s a good businessman, but a lousy mayor who just doesn’t get it. Some people never do.

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