Tag: Richard Nixon
As Bob McDonnell learned, you don't always know who your friends are. Thanks to an embarrassing amendment to the Virginia Constitution championed by Bob Marshall and his ilk, we don't even know when a spouse is a spouse (even though we really know). And while the order may have a chilling effect on corruption in the executive, for the legislature and judiciary it is business as usual.
...Travel that does not serve a "legitimate public purpose" falls under the cap, as do loans, lodging, meals, services, special discounts and entertainment unless it is a ticket to a Virginia school or government event.What is "legitimate?" A "scholarship" to attend an ALEC meeting? I have to tell you, someone who gives me, say, $100,000 is going to be my close personal friend and we are going to have whatever private business relationship they desire. As Richard Nixon once explained, you just can't place a value on some "gifts."
Gifts from personal friends, private business relationships and family members are excluded from the cap. So are financial aid, invitations from an official or candidate to political events, tickets that go unused, gifts that are returned unused within 60 days, retirement gifts from government agencies, honorary degrees, awards from civic or religious groups and competition prizes. - as reported in the Washington Post
The inference is made that the "chief jobs creation officer," Bill Bolling, is somehow responsible for those 71,500 jobs. He may deserve some credit for the advertised 110 economic development projects, 7,154 jobs, and $1 billion in capital development that have been announced since McDonnell took office. But those 71,500 since February, that's a stretch. Nixon never claimed credit for the moon landing and most of us know it happened and how. It's pretty easy to throw around numbers, though, particularly in the absence of critical analysis.
"This is not a victory lap. Too many people are still out of work." - McDonnell's Chief Jobs Creation Officer, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling
Nixon was prepared for the worst and you'd bet Tucker Martin had McDonnell ready too. But neither Nixon nor Bill Safire relished the opportunity to take a swing in the event of tragic news. That is no guarantee with the GOP these days. In fact, taking the opportunity to talk down the economy is evident at every turn.
Hours after his inauguration, the Department of Defense (DoD) asked for and obtained authority to conduct a strike that blooded the new President. From that point forward, Obama has acquiesced to every important decision, carrying the failed Bush military policies forward not only in Southwest Asia, but around the world. Maybe that initial uncomfortable decision conditioned him and affects his approach to the DoD. Now is a time for him act Presidential. While the comments by McChrystal reported in a Washington Post article today and the subject of a Rolling Stone profile in this week's edition are far from seditious, it is symptomatic of a potentially pre-cancerous condition that merits preventive intervention.
Half a century ago the new President was handed the portfolio for the Bay of Pigs, a Richard Nixon nurtured plan of action. John Kennedy had military experience, but it did not prepare him for the kind of inertia found even then in bureaucracies. Fortunately for Kennedy, the then Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David Shoup, intervened with a dramatic illustrative objection and provided a perspective that altered history.
Times have changed and Obama faces a tempo of activity that did not challenge Kennedy. There are the two wars. There is the economy. There is the Gulf of Mexico. And the quality of advice that he is receiving from a former Commandant fails in comparison to the counsel of Shoup. While it may be appropriate to can McChrystal, it is more important to fire the National Security Advisor, General James Jones. It is Jones who has failed most miserably. It is Jones who figured in the alienation of General Tony Zinni and helped position the bullying sycophant Richard Holbrooke as senior envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Zinni might have turned out as Obama's Shoup. Now Obama has no one up to the task of taking on DoD or, for that matter, the State Department. Time for Obama to step to the podium but he is without a practical frame of reference or anyone to trust to provide it.
Update -- The article is available online and it is a nightmare.