The controllers union had legitimate gripes and calculated that the new president would deal rather than risk a disruption of air travel. The union knew that strikes by government workers were illegal, strictly speaking, but it also knew that other organizations of federal employees had gotten away with similar walkouts in the past.
Reagan declared the strike a "peril to national safety" and gave the more than 13,000 air traffic controllers 48 hours to return to work. A few complied. When the deadline expired, Reagan fired the 11,345 controllers who had defied him. Two months later, the union was decertified. Years passed before any of the strikers were allowed to work as controllers again.
...Under Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford or even Richard Nixon, the controllers might well have won their strike. Under Reagan, they had no chance -- not only because of his stubborn resolve but also because American voters had given him a broad mandate for change. (my emphasis)
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
On Jan. 18, two days before Obama’s inauguration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed support for House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers’s plan to create a blue-ribbon panel of outside experts to probe the “broad range” of policies pursued by the Bush administration “under claims of unreviewable war powers.”
Conyers urged the Attorney General to “appoint a Special Counsel or expand the scope of the present investigation into CIA tape destruction to determine whether there were criminal violations committed pursuant to Bush administration policies that were undertaken under unreviewable war powers, including enhanced interrogation, extraordinary rendition, and warrantless domestic surveillance.”
I'm of two minds here. Part of me thinks that anyone who breaks the law, whether it's a shoplifting teenager or a dishonest president, should have to face the music. Not to mention the fact that the chief executive desperately needs to be reigned in after decades of an expanding "imperial presidency."
But another part of me thinks this is potentially a very bad strategy. Yes, the Bush Administration allowed some pretty nasty stuff to happen, but then again that's not exactly a secret. Aside from the immediate verdict--an electoral smackdown and a decimated party--history will be their judge & jury. I personally did not vote to prolong the Bush era through prolonged investigations and trials; instead I was hoping to turn the page on the last eight years and move forward.
These investigations may provide some valuable insight about presidential abuses, but at what cost? Republicans will portray them as partisan games, totally out of step with campaign rhetoric about bipartisanship, at a time when our country faces tremendous challenges. If nothing gets done to improve our national situation, that could become a winning argument in 2010 or beyond.
Gerald Ford took enormous amounts of flak for pardoning Richard Nixon, and it probably cost him a second term. But years later, after the passion of the moment has settled, many see that as one of Ford's greatest moments--he spared the country a long, drawn-out prosecution of a United States president and gave us a chance to move forward. This may be a time when we can learn from the other side.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
"I'm pleased to join with Sen. Webb to press for options that make it easier for people to travel to and from Danville by rail, and look forward to working with Amtrak and city officials to make our plan a reality," he said. "It's time to look for game-changers, and increased access is part of that answer."
Among the upgrades to Amtrak service, Webb and Perriello requested the placement of a Quick-Track automated ticket machine at the Danville station and the consideration of marketing strategies, in partnership with the city, designed to increase ridership.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Further, Stone found that the stores that bore the brunt of Wal-Mart’s competition were in towns with populations of less than 5,000 within 20 miles of a Wal-Mart. [Jackson Citizen-Patriot, 7/11/08]
- Iowa State University and Mississippi State University professors found grocery stores in Mississippi saw sales decline anywhere from 10 to 20% when a Wal-Mart moved in: stores in multiple other categories saw sales declines as well.
- University of California, 1999, studied grocery stores in California and found “The full economic impact of those lost wages and benefits throughout southern California could approach $2.8 billion per year.”
- A 2005 report from the AFL-CIO finds that as Wal-Mart’s increasing reliance on imported goods has meant fewer jobs in communities around the country.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
“I’m not going to give it back,” he said. “Why should I?”
Watkins doesn’t deny allegations from mining opponents that the subcommittee is pro-mining.
“We’re part of the Coal and Energy Commission, I mean come on,” Watkins said. He added that he wasn’t speaking for all the subcommittee members, noting some may be less pro-mining than others.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
From the start, subcommittee chairman Del. Lee Ware, R-Powhatan County, emphasized that the Southside Virginia gathering was intended to solicit recommendations from the public about what a study of uranium mining should examine. It was not, he said, a forum about whether the study or the mining should proceed at all.
Jack Dunavant, chairman of Southside Concerned Citizens, began by questioning whether the Coal and Energy Commission or its subcommittee could be objective, given that a few commission members had received political contributions from Virginia Uranium. Dunavant similarly questioned the involvement of a center at Virginia Tech that he said would have a vested interested in the mining going forward.Ware's attempt to redirect Dunavant's comments to the meeting's stated purpose failed. A member of the crowd shouted, "You tell them, Jack!"
Monday, January 5, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
In the meantime, the State Corporation Commission approved 11 payday lending companies’ requests to offer open-end credit products. Another seven applications are pending.
In Virginia, lenders offering open-end credit are unregulated. They can charge whatever they want as long as they don’t charge anything for the first 25 days. (My emphasis)
Awesome. So if you want to systematically rob poor people and hold them in perpetual debt, all you have to do is not charge interest for the first 25 days. I'm not sure I have words scathing enough for the flagrant incompetence exhibited by the bolded sentence above. I will be interested to see how the gubernatorial candidates respond to this news, given that the State Corporation Commission is (correct me if I'm wrong) an executive branch agency. Please call your legislators before the General Assembly session and let them know how you feel about this subject. Thanks for reading.
Cross-posted to Blue Commonwealth.