Friday, September 21, 2018

The Trump administration’s new attack on marine monuments

  This past Saturday, September 15, marked the second anniversary of the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument—the largest monument in U.S. Atlantic waters. From ancient deep-water corals to an incredibly diverse array of marine mammals, seabirds, and fish, the monument is home to an extraordinary abundance of rare marine life. Unfortunately, even being 150 miles offshore has not spared the monument from the Trump administration’s anti-environment agenda.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

U.S. perversity on peace in Korea

  Just when you think that the U.S. national-security state’s policy toward Korea can’t get more perverse, it does. The latest perversion? Opposing a peace agreement between North Korea and South Korea! Imagine that. And why would U.S. officials oppose such an agreement? Because it would inevitably lead to calls for U.S. troops in Korea to be sent packing home to the United States. After all, when a peace agreement is entered into, what would be the justification for keeping U.S. troops in that faraway land?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: The 1986 governor's race

  Since this is a gubernatorial election year, allow me to share an epic governor’s race with you.

  The 1986 governor’s race will be remembered as one of Alabama’s most amazing political stories. In 1978, Fob James sent the Three B's, Brewer, Beasley, and Baxley, packing. Brewer and Beasley had been permanently exiled to Buck’s Pocket, the mythical destination for defeated Alabama gubernatorial candidates. However, Bill Baxley resurrected his political career by bouncing back to be elected lieutenant governor in 1982, while George Wallace was winning his fifth and final term as governor. Another player arrived on the state political scene. Charlie Graddick was elected as a fiery, tough, lock ‘em up and throw away the key attorney general. Graddick had previously been a tough prosecuting district attorney in Mobile.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Michael Josephson: Responsibilities of management

  Modern managers often utter clichés about wanting employees to “think outside the box,” take risks, and be creative. And while I’m sure companies do appreciate break-through innovative ideas that increase profits, productivity, or quality, the fact is that most organizations are inhospitable to those who challenge old ways of doing things, even practices that are inefficient, useless, or counterproductive.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Interventionists are addicted to interventionism

  In an editorial opposing a U.S.-supported coup in Venezuela, the New York Times gets it right, mostly. Unfortunately, the Times’s editorial board, like so many advocates of foreign interventionism, just cannot let go entirely of its interventionist mindset.

  But let’s first give credit where credit is due. In its September 11 editorial, “Stay Out of Venezuela, Mr. Trump,” the Times makes a good case for non-interventionism in Venezuela, notwithstanding the fact that Venezuela’s ruler, Nicolas Maduro, has developed into a brutal socialist dictator whose “election” was illegitimate. Maduro’s socialism has thrown the country into crisis, chaos, and violence, with Venezuelans on the verge of starvation. More than a million people have fled the country in an attempt to survive.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

“We go on electing politicians who heat the kettles of hate.”

  Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley were getting ready for church in the basement ladies’ lounge when the bomb exploded.

  They were killed instantly.

  Addie Mae, 14, and Denise, 11, had been planning to sing in the choir; Carole, 14, and Cynthia, 14, were going to serve as ushers.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Four ways to improve proposed higher standards for college accreditation

  Last month, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) sought feedback on proposed standards that would raise the bar for college oversight agencies. These agencies, known as accreditation agencies, serve as the gatekeepers to more than $130 billion in federal student grants and loans that flow to more than 6,000 colleges and universities each year. Yet they have been widely criticized as the “watchdogs that don’t bark” due to their failures to hold problematic colleges accountable. As a national voice for accreditation and quality assurance, and the only entity aside from the U.S. Department of Education that formally recognizes accrediting agencies, CHEA’s role in creating higher standards will be critical to improving quality in higher education.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1631 - The power of slogans infused with action

  Lift Our Votes High; Make Our Voices Sing. Vote or Die. I am sick and tired of being scared and tired, and I am voting on November 6th. Our Vote is Our Voice. So many voting slogans. So many strong messages. All non-partisan. Slogans capture an idea, a spirit, an action in one or so phrases or sentences. Slogans are like symbols in that we see and hear in them what we need or want. Slogans are written and spoken symbols. Slogans are powerful.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Toxic EPA appointees spell conflict for public health safeguards

  Since taking over as acting administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in June 2018, Andrew Wheeler has followed in the footsteps of disgraced former Administrator Scott Pruitt—especially when it comes to prioritizing polluting industries over Americans’ health and well-being. Across the EPA, many former chemical industry insiders have been placed in charge of programs that are meant to protect American communities. Wheeler, for example, previously lobbied for chemical companies and is now directly involved in decisions about a massive Superfund site in New York and New Jersey for which two of his former clients are responsible.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse – Illegal immigrants and the census

  Conservative Republicans like Jeff Sessions have been obsessed with illegal immigrants for years. Sessions is - and has always been - a stickler for obeying the laws of our land. He is the most honest, upright, squeaky clean politician I have ever seen in my lifetime of observing politics in Alabama. He is like Dudley Do Right, only shorter and straighter. He was an Eagle Scout, and you can tell he was not making that up on his resume. He epitomizes a grown-up Eagle Scout. He has never outgrown the straight and narrow path. During his 20-year tenure in the U.S. Senate as our junior senator, he was the ultimate ideologue and one of, if not the most, conservative members of the U.S. Senate. He did not just give lip service to his reactionary positions. He put leg service into every right-wing cause and issue.