Libya and Obama

March 20, 2011

It’s been a while, huh guys? I now know what it is to work a 50-hour week (work and school) and you know what? It’s been good for me; however, it does mean that I’ll be posting once a weekend, and again on a monday or a wednesday. My job is going well; I just scored a B+ on a midterm in my math class, and my new Introduction to Cinema Studies class seems to be an enjoyable new staple of my week.

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Sadly, the United States of America has few friends internationally; and what’s more regrettable is the fact that we’ve made no new ones since the end of the Cold War, when we became the world’s only Superpower. Our enemies have been (and still are) abundant, particularly Kim Jung Il, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Saddam Hussein. Still, in a post-Hussein Middle East, a victorious Qaddafi is a worst-case scenario, one with long-term ramifications; if he wins, he will be emboldened to retaliate against his detractors past and present. Muammar Qaddafi is clinically insane, no questioning that; he is treacherous and bloodthirsty and his military is ransacking it’s own country. The Rebels themselves may not be ideal Heads-of-State, and a classic Bautista-for-Castro scenario may be in the making here, but preventing a conflict with them will be much easier than preventing one with Muammar himself. The last thing the world needs is this agitator abroad harassing Israel, funding Terrorist Organizations, and staging coup’s across the Middle East and North Africa.

Most Americans have a negative opinion of France’s practices in the last few decades, myself one of them; but I think that the initiative that they have taken in this conflict is pleasantly surprising. Finally, another nation has jumped in the water first to defend innocent civilians, and to overthrow a Dictator. Personally, I’d prefer Qaddafi’s compound bombed directly, and the problem nipped at the bud; but all good things come to those who wait, and with the Arab League, the United Nations, and the United States on the same page, Muammar Qaddafi needs to see the writing on the wall. Still, why is Obama being berated for approving action by my fellow Republicans? He hasn’t ordered the landing of troops, we’re not engaging in all-out war again; we’re strategically striking against Qaddafi’s aerial installations to enable the Rebels to win the conflict themselves. Conservatives need to peel back the harsh casing that has been constructed for the President; do not like him and do not vote for him as you please, but have the dignity and respect to appreciate and approve of his actions when he does something correct.

That being said, I am concerned that the President and the Pentagon may get ‘trigger-happy’ here. Obama needs to keep United States involvement militarily short and sweet; hit them fast, hit them hard, and be done with it. I think that our involvement in the conflict lasting more than, say, a month or two will become a financial liability, and another complication in the Budget Battle. If we need to deploy Green Beret’s and Navy SEAL’s in Tripoli to seize Qaddafi himself and deliver him to an international court, so be it. That would be a neat operation with a quick payoff – the same kind that Republicans have insisted upon with Hugo Chavez and several others. I encourage our national leaders to keep our involvement brief, and therefore less expensive than otherwise, and I encourage my fellow Republicans to save the lambasting for his oncoming battle with Paul Ryan’s budget – a battle that will see my defense of the President come to a skidding halt.

Team two for day — mandate relief — named by Cuomo

The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY) January 7, 2011 | Tom Precious ALBANY — In his second “team” problem-solving panel for the day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo this afternoon named the members of a group to brainstorm ways to reduce the number of state-imposed mandates on local governments and school districts. go to website new york state department of education

The mandates, at least those ones required by Albany but with no financial help to pay for them, are costly drivers of local property taxes. Like a Medicaid team announced earlier in the afternoon, the mandate-relief team includes various stakeholders who normally don’t see eye-to-eye on mandate relief — including local government officials and union leaders whose members might have a stake in some of the mandated services.

The panel includes Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi. It must report back its findings by March 1. The team is headed by Larry Schwartz, a senior adviser to Cuomo who until Dec. 31 was the top aide to former Gov. David Paterson.

“The enormous burden of unfunded and underfunded mandates is breaking the backs of taxpayers, counties and municipalities across the state,” Cuomo said in a statement. “These mandates are throwing budgets out of balance and sending local property taxes through the roof. This diverse team of leaders and public servants fulfills the commitment to bring stakeholders to one table in order to work together to deliver relief and results for New Yorkers.” From a Cuomo administration news release, here’s the rest of the mandate relief team besides Teresi: go to website new york state department of education

? Stephen Acquario, executive director, NYS Association of Counties ? Maggie Brooks, Monroe County Executive ? Peter Baynes, executive director of the New York Conference of Mayors ? Jeff Haber, New York State Association of Towns, executive director ? David Steiner, New York State Department of Education, commissioner ? Valerie Grey, New York State Department of Education, chief operating officer ? Robert Reidy, New York State Council of School Superintendents, executive director ? Kevin Casey, New York State School Administrators Association, director ? Timothy Kremer, New York State School Boards Association, executive director ? Andy Pallotta, New York State United Teachers, executive vice- president ? Steve Allinger, New York State United Teachers, director of legislation ? Fran Turner, Civil Service Employees Association, director of the Legislative and Political Action Department ? Kevin Law, Long Island Association, president ? Kenneth Adams, New York State Business Council, president ? William Mooney, Westchester County Association, president ? Micah Lasher, office of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ? Ed Malloy, Upstate Building Trades Association ? Carol Kellerman, Citizens Budget Commission, president ? Sen. Betty Little, recommended by the Majority Leader of the Senate.

? Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, recommended by the Minority Leader of the Senate.

? Assemblyman Denny Farrell, recommended by the Speaker of the Assembly.

? Assemblyman Mark Molinaro, recommended by the Minority Leader of the Assembly.

Tom Precious


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