Day: August 9, 2013

What we (don’t) need to know

By SUSAN ESTRICH The leaders of al-Qaida in Pakistan and Yemen now know that it was the conversation last week between Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor in Pakistan, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, Yemen-based head of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, in which the former instructed the latter to attack American targets on Sunday, that led the United States last week to take the unprecedented steps of closing embassies and missions in the Middle East and North Africa and declaring a global terrorist alert for travelers. I didn’t know it until my daughter woke me up at dawn, calling from the Middle East. But frankly, I didn’t need to. I was terrified enough without the details. Making them public hardly makes us safer, does it? The following day, The New York Times made clear to the skeptics, and there were certainly some noisy ones, that the threats were indeed serious (that much I had figured out) and that, at the request of the administration, it was not revealing all of the details that proved it. A day later, another newspaper chain named names, leading to the widespread coverage on Monday of the communications between the al-Qaida leaders. So now everyone knows that the administration wasn’t just playing Benghazi politics (if only) when they issued the warnings. They were real. But, oh, yes, we didn’t know where the attack might take...

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Please slap the silly GOP

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS Republicans basically have two choices when it comes to how to deal with the dysfunction and big-spending ways that define Washington. They can point a finger at the GOP for not working with — also known as giving in to — Democrats, who ostensibly are more in touch with American voters. That’s how some Republicans become media darlings. Or they can concentrate on the bad decisions made by D.C.’s ruling party, which controls the White House and Senate and, during President Barack Obama’s first two years in office, controlled all three branches of government. I like to save my fire for the folks with the most power, not the least. That said, sometimes Republicans embrace ideas that are so breathtakingly dumb that adherents need to be slapped silly. I refer, of course, to the threat championed by GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah to block a continuing resolution to keep the government running after Sept. 30 unless that legislation defunds Obamacare. If they succeed, there will be a partial federal shutdown. The defund-Obamacare movement reminds me of the guy in the joke who, finding his wife in bed with another man, grabs his gun and points it to his own head. When the wife’s lover laughs, the husband says: “Don’t laugh. You’re next.” On the Senate floor, Lee asked his...

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Rudy Crew set bad example for new czar

By GENE H. McINTYRE The beat goes on with those elite troubleshooters Governor John Kitzhaber has appointed to look after reforms to education in the state of Oregon.  They are known as Oregon Education Investment Board, or, more commonly to themselves, at least, as the state’s intelligentsia, as it’s well known and generally recognized by them that they are smarter than any other citizens of the state (oh yes, as you might have guessed, they are wealthier than most of us, too). There’s no end to the double standard and hypocrisy when it comes to the machinations of Oregon state government.  While Kitzhaber and an abundance of GOP legislators want to squeeze COLAs out of all former state employees, those who retired under the auspices of the Public Employees Retirement System, or PERS, the OEIB has now hired a retired Oregon schools’ superintendent to serve as the replacement for the manifestly-disappointing Rudy Crew. Nancy Golden will become the interim Oregon chief education officer.  So, guess what, Golden will be able, it’s surmised, to double-dip into her taxpayer-paid bonanza as she will receive her PERS check and presumably the same amount per month that Crew received, or $23, 333 (that’s $280,000 per year).  Now, does that not make you feel real good or .  .  . what! After the Crew debacle, that thankfully lasted only one year, some members of that elite Oregon Education Investment Board want to hold the feet of all Oregon’s chief...

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  By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The Canyon Crushers, a Salem-Stayton area AAA American Legion baseball team, captured a state title last weekend in Medford. The team, in its second year, uncorked their offense with six runs on one out in the eighth inning to take the title 8-3 over Grants Pass. The team includes a bevy of former McNary High School players: Justin Gardner, DJ Harryman, Jon Stong, Chris Burger, Ty Wyatt, Kaleb Simpson and Ben Johnson. The American Legion baseball program is a breeding ground for college-level players and coached by J.J. Mascolo, an assistant coach at Chemeketa Community College. “It’s exciting to see the growth in our players in just a year. We have done this by establishing a mentality of playing the game hard and making it fun to compete and come to the ballpark everyday with that mentality,” Mascolo said. “Playing more than 40 games in two months can be hard on a teenager, but the key for us is trying to bring good positive energy and an overall excitement of the game to these young players.” To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the August 9 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe...

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