Thursday, March 17, 2011

Odds and Ends

Late to the blogging due to working late and catching some March Madness. Missed San Diego State's historic victory, but caught UCLA hanging on against a "furious" Mich St comeback.

Good News:

In Miami-Dade, FL, we have another Tea Partyesque victory, albeit fueled by some welcome funding from a billionaire. From this morning's WSJ:

Anyone who thinks voter anger over tax increases, arrogant government officials and outsized public employee pay has died down should look at what happened in Miami on Tuesday. Mayor Carlos Alvarez, a Republican, was recalled by a vote of 88% to 12%. County commissioner Natacha Seijas was tossed out by a similarly lopsided margin. Hosni Mubarak wouldn't have lost an election by that much.

What incited the voter eruption was Mr. Alvarez's mishandling of a budget crisis and $400 million deficit. Instead of tightening spending, the mayor and city council approved an intensely unpopular 14% property tax increase to raise $178 million—though home values in south Florida have collapsed by as much as half. He supported pay raises for public employees, who already pull in more than the average Miami resident, and at a time when family incomes have been flat or falling. He padded the six-figure salaries of his staff because, he claimed, their work load had increased.

But how are they going to roll back the spending?

Other News:

Too little, too late? The U.N. voted for military action and a no-fly zone over Libya while Gadaffi's forces are moving on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. Check out this leadership?

France said it was prepared to launch attacks within hours, and Britain also indicated that it was prepared to act quickly. Initial strikes are likely to target air defense systems and runways; it was unclear whether plans were also in motion to strike at tank columns and other government ground forces headed east.
U.S. officials said that it would probably take several days for a full operation to be undertaken and that President Obama had not yet approved the use of U.S. military assets. Obama has preferred to let other nations publicly lead the response to the Libyan crisis, and White House officials said he would not appear on camera Thursday night to speak about the U.N. vote.
Several days? Are you kidding? This effort has been in the works for over a week. No doubt a plan for such a contingency exists. And France is more prepared than we are? Obama's fecklessness may yet result in thousands dead in Benghazi as Gadaffi promises "no mercy."

Meanhwile, math is dominating the headlines, Dean has the story. Note the lack of leadership theme:
Our President has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to be the post-partisan president he campaigned on but has not come close to fulfilling by working with a Republican-controlled Congress on entitlement reform but he too doesn't want to do Math 101 and has instead cravenly abdicated any leadership role in the budget process.


  1. obama loses big time on libya. these poor people needed minimal assistance to take out an american killing tyrant. but i guess golf and ncaa brackets take precedent.

    whichever way this goes, america loses. either khadaffi cements his position while giving the US the finger, or the rebels win and are resentful we did nothing to help them.

  2. Libya isn't just an open-ended commitment, it's an open-ended commitment with no goal. Unbelievable.

  3. Drozz is right. But assisting the people does not play well when mop-up operations inevitably last longer than the American attention span. Even if a fraction of forces stay loyal to the tyrant or oppose us for their own agenda, it becomes tens of thousands of enemies whereby it becomes an ensuing series of battles.

  4. Thanks for the link.

    Extremely cynical, here. I wish the Lybian rebels well but I am unclear as to what our own endgame is.

    What have our foreign interventions over the past 21 years been but saving Arab/Muslim people from Arab/Muslim despots? And for what?

    Let's drill here and wash our hands of that whole region.