politics, hypocrisy and meanness in public affairs, alligators, anti-empire-ism, occasional personal stuff

Thursday, March 03, 2011

I don't recall the Presidents of Harvard & Yale resigning over "W's" degrees

The director of the London School of Economics has resigned over its links to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.

Sir Howard Davies said he recognised the university's reputation had "suffered" and he had to quit.

He said the decision to accept £300,000 for research from a foundation run by Col Gaddafi's son, Saif, "backfired".

The LSE council has commissioned an independent inquiry into the university's relationship with Libya and Saif Gaddafi.

It will seek to clarify the extent of the LSE's links with Libya and establish guidelines for future donations.
Lord Woolf, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and former chairman of the Council of University College London, has been appointed to carry it out.

Sir Howard said he regretted visiting Libya to advise its regime about financial reforms, calling it a "personal error of judgement".

'Honourable course'

"I have concluded that it would be right for me to step down even though I know that this will cause difficulty for the institution I have come to love," he said.

"The short point is that I am responsible for the school's reputation, and that has suffered."

He also said he had advised that it was "reasonable" to accept the money, which turned out to be a "mistake".
The LSE received a £300,000 research payment from a foundation controlled by Saif Gaddafi

There were risks involved which should have been weighed more heavily in the balance, he concluded in his resignation letter.

Sir Howard is a former head of the Financial Services Authority and deputy governor of the Bank of England.
He will remain as the head of the LSE until a successor has been found.

Peter Sutherland, chairman of the LSE's court of governors, said Sir Howard had been an "outstanding" director over the past eight years.

"We accept his resignation with great regret and reluctance but understand that he has taken an honourable course in the best interests of the school," he said.

The LSE has already announced it is investigating claims that Saif Gaddafi plagiarised his PhD thesis, which was awarded in 2008.

The Libyan leader's son had studied at the LSE, gaining both an MSc and PhD.

Excellent piece on why "jobs, jobs, jobs" is not front & center in D.C.

Chris Hayes [The Nation] on why political (and media) elites are indifferent to the unemployment crisis:

Again, I did not make this up -

A Day Without a Mexican

| Thu Mar. 3, 2011 9:17 AM PST
Texas state Rep. Debbie "Terror Babies" Riddle has introduced a new bill that would make it a serious crime to hire an illegal immigrant. But her bill allows one exception:
Under the House Bill 2012 introduced by a tea party favorite state Rep. Debbie Riddle — who's been saying for some time that she'd like to see Texas institute an Arizona-style immigration law — hiring an undocumented maid, caretaker, lawnworker or any type of houseworker would be allowed. Why? As Texas state Rep. Aaron Pena, also a Republican, told CNN, without the exemption, "a large segment of the Texas population" would wind up in prison if the bill became law.
"When it comes to household employees or yard workers it is extremely common for Texans to hire people who are likely undocumented workers," Pena told the news giant. "It is so common it is overlooked."
No, this is not from the Onion. It's from a Texas Republican. Though it's getting harder and harder to tell the difference these days.

from Matt Yglesias

Ever-polite NATO says it's sorry for killing nine Afghan boys collecting firewood:

The afternoon of October 15, 1964 - two serendipitous events:

Few Americans likely saw Nikita Khrushchev as a reformer or a liberal, but he was - he was the primary agent of change in the Soviet Union after Stalin's death in 1953. See how he saw his chief accomplishment, in his quotation below:

The conspirators, led by Brezhnev, Aleksandr Shelepin, and KGB Chairman Vladimir Semichastny, struck in October 1964, while Khrushchev was on vacation at Pitsunda, Abkhazia. On October 12, Brezhnev called Khrushchev to notify him of a special Presidium meeting to be held the following day, ostensibly on the subject of agriculture.[244] Even though Khrushchev suspected the real reason for the meeting,[245] he flew to Moscow to be attacked by Brezhnev and other Presidium members for his policy failures and what his colleagues deemed to be erratic behavior.[246] Khrushchev put up little resistance, and that night called his friend and Presidium colleague Anastas Mikoyan, and told him,
I'm old and tired. Let them cope by themselves. I've done the main thing. Could anyone have dreamed of telling Stalin that he didn't suit us anymore and suggesting he retire? Not even a wet spot would have remained where we had been standing. Now everything is different. The fear is gone, and we can talk as equals. That's my contribution. I won't put up a fight.[247]
On October 14, 1964, the Presidium and the Central Committee each voted to accept Khrushchev's "voluntary" retirement from his offices. Khrushchev's ouster was announced to the world the following day, and reached U.S. radio and television audiences in mid-afternoon - word traveled throughout Busch Stadium in the 6th inning of the Cardinals' 7th Game victory over the mighty Yankees, as Bob Gibson pitched a complete game on 2 days rest, to win the World Series. I remember the murmur that became a groundswell of amazement, as I sat in the 9th row between the Cardinals' dugout and home plate. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (my favorite, all-time, writer, who opened my mind) -

"Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum." ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Right now, in the U.S. Capitol (not made up, I swear) ...

... the unveiling of the portrait of former (conservative, small-government, anti-tax) Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "W" is there - guess what that cost us in airfare alone?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I can't make this stuff up (Part CMXII)

I wonder if, in Texas, in between lessons on abstinence and intelligent design, their schools teach geography, because I think Governor Rick Perry (R) might need a refresher.
During a session with reporters, and in the middle of criticizing the Obama administration for its handling of border issues, Perry laid this one out on a silver platter.
“How many more Americans are going to have to die? There have been 34,000 Mexicans killed directly attributable to the drug wars. It’s a very dangerous place.”
He then pointed out:
“Juarez is reported to be the most dangerous city in America.”
Yep, he’s showin’ off them fancy learnin’ skills from down in the Lone Star State. You know what’s sad, though? It took an aide to point out the mistake before Perry could clarify. Maybe the education board should stop messing around with their textbooks and just stick to the curriculum they already have, because I can see that it’s working.

What is our highest priority?

What do Nelly Furtado, Beyonce, Usher, Mariah Carey & Lionel Richie have in common? They all performed for the Gadhafis

For so many Repugnicans, there are only a couple of issues:

Ohio Lawmakers Schedule Fetus for Testimony

"A fetus has been scheduled as a legislative witness in Ohio on a unique bill that proposes outlawing abortions after the first heartbeat can be medically detected," the AP reports.

The logistics: A pregnant woman will be brought before the committee and an ultrasound image of her uterus will be projected onto a screen. The heartbeat of the fetus will be visible in color.
I did not make this up. If you live in Ohio, you might ask about your tax dollars being spent on this; but then, it could apply to so many states.