Sunday Roast: March 3, 2013 – Govern and be Governed, but do it right!

Good Morning, I hope you slept well (and long because I’m late again ;)  ).

Government: You’re doing it right:

The Swiss are governing today and how. One reason for my being late here is the coverage of the latest polls on tv. Three major propositions have been voted on today and a number of regional ones. One was to amend the constitution to protect families’ rights to reconcile having a job and raising kids. It is a draw, more or less. While big cities have voted for it in big numbers and the overall popular vote is for it, the cantons are divided and as it is a constitutional amendment, it needs a majority of both popular votes and cantons. The more rural areas are, predictably against it, kicking women in the teeth once again. (Sound familiar?)

Second vote is on getting land out of the building code, so the environment can be protected from uncontrolled and uncontrolleable building for profit. It got a majority. Easily, too.

The third and most internationally acclaimed vote is on the so-called “fat-cat” initiative. A whopping 68% of voters have voted for it. This after the initiative has been blocked and fought against for seven years.

Under the proposal, shareholders will be given the right to hold a binding vote on executive remuneration. Companies would also no longer be able to pay so-called “golden hellos” and “golden parachutes”, whereby senior managers receive a one-time cash lump sum, often running into millions of pounds, when joining or leaving a company. Polls show the majority of Swiss plan to vote “yes” in the referendum, despite businesses warning it will drive out companies from the country.(read more)

Add to that the cap on manager salaries imposed by the surrounding EU countries and you see things are moving in the right direction over here.

Government: You’re doing it wrong:

You think the Tea Party is  the most proficient government obstructionist of all times? They are not. They’re outright amateurs compared to the Italians: Our southern neighbors are blocking government right at the source. All Europe is frustratedly looking at what voters there did to their country. Outright distrust of government and politicians is in the Italian genetic code and not surprisingly so, given the corruption that is rampant in the country, but now they overreached.

IT IS hard now to recall that just three months ago the big threat Italy posed was of becoming boring. Its technocratic government, under Mario Monti, had regained the markets’ confidence. The spread of Italian government bonds over German ones was dwindling. The troublesome Silvio Berlusconi no longer led his fast-disintegrating party, and it seemed certain that the centre-left would win the next election. Mr Monti might then have become an economic super-minister—if he had not taken over the right with a mandate to make it more soberly European. (read more)

Let me add, Italy, unlike the US for instance has a fairly low constitutional threshold for new elections. They’ll be at it again in a few months, everybody agrees.

I wish you all a Happy and Relaxing (yes caps) Sunday. Enjoy some reading and our discussion. It is an Open Thread so join in.

 

Sunday Roast: February 24, 2013 – Sick Leave

 

Uuuuoooohhhh. I could use a sick leave. So please forgive me for an emergency post only.

Not enough austerity or too much of it? Great Britain has been downgraded.

Still not enough of the cavaliere or too much of him? Italy votes.

How much is too much? Switzerland has enough!

This is our Open thread, Join in!

 

To Rule versus Govern

To rule or to govern.

Govern

1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (also intr) to direct and control the actions, affairs, policies, functions, etc., of (a political unit, organization, nation, etc.); rule

Rule

1. Governing power or its possession or use; authority.

George Washington’s Farewell Address, speaking on political parties (from wiki.answers.com)

“They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.”

Since the political shift of 1994, with Newt Gingrich and his Contract for America, bitpartisanship has become a dirty word in the conservative vernacular.

This disdain for anything that smacks of compromise intensified exponentially with the advent of the Tea Party and their candidate’s successes in the 2010 elections.

What we have now is an attempt by the Tea Party Republican ‘faction’ to rule as a minority. They have little interest in governing, if the difference between ruling and governing implies a requirement for political compromise.

This is exactly what our first President warned us of. He foresaw those ‘small and artful’ politicians with their ‘ill-concerted and incongruous projects’ trying to force their vision of our country instead of attempting any ‘common counsel’ or ‘mutual interest’.

So what to do in counterbalance to this force dedicated to foisting its policies and dictates on the American people?

My answer would be to do whatever it takes to remove them from their temporary seat of power. I would remove them as a statement that our founding fathers fully intended, by virtue of the checks and balances they carefully crafted into our governmental system, to forge a system based on compromise.

Every major crises with the exception of the Civil War has been resolved by the two major parties, regardless of the rancor of the debate, crafting a give and take answer that at least temporarily put the issues to rest.

We can’t afford to lose sight of the precedent and traditions that have served us so well since our founding some 220 plus years ago. We must send the Tea Party packing.

The Watering Hole: Tuesday May 8th – Men in Kilts

On the last Sunday in April I was in Säckingen with the boys. They have this Festival, which translates into Medieval Phantastic Spectacle, or some such. Loads of men were wearing kilts there, but I whipped my head around when a saw a guy wearing nice nature colored tartans. Little did I know I’d see the bloke on stage shortly after and, boy, this was fun to watch and listen to. The video above is from the same festival a year ago.

Other than making music, they have a charity going on. See more here and here. As the boys and me are planning for a Scotland visit this summer, we know where to go.

I could have written about the North Carolina Amendment 1 vote tonight, but it depresses me. I could have written about Greece’s troubles, but the fact that they are considering yet another vote rather than listen what the People says, depresses me. I could have written about Chancellor Merkel’s arrogance in the face of European voters’ will, but that depresses me as well. So I decided on music and men in kilts.

This is our Open Thread. Enjoy and weigh in.

The Watering Hole: Super Tuesday, March 6th – Is this really important?

Image found at Funny Pictures

In a way the Republican Primaries tonight are important, they will need a nominee eventually. Presumptive Candidates fall all over each other in Marx-Brothers-Sans-Brains fashion and it is more or less entertaining. Or, it would be entertaining, if this wasn’t supposed to be the choice of the man who was to lead one of the World’s remaining superpowers. The last time around they have presented us Sarah Palin and we thought it was a horrible abberration. This time around they stacked the whole deck with similar dunces and treat the world to a first class train crash to watch.

On the other side of the intellectual divide there is this cool and collected man, doing what needs to be done for your country in a very pragmatic and undogmatic way.

For many Europeans the re-election of President Barack Obama is a no-brainer. If we seriously look at the difference of the four vs the one, the Republican Primaries tonight are not really important after all.

This is our Open Thread. What is important to you?

The Watering Hole: January 3rd, I O Waaaaahhhh

First of all: A Happy New Year to All the Critters, Zoosters and Visitors here. May it turn out well for you.

I am beginning to get the election bug again. I can tell by the number of times I check in to the realclearpolitics.com website. They may be leaning a little to the right, but I prefer it to getting a little over enthusiastic about President Obama’s prospects.

For today’s IOWAcaucus the polls stand at:

Romney 22.8
Paul 21.5
Santorum 16.3
Gingrich 13.7
Perry 11.5
Bachmann 6.8
Huntsman 2.3

My five cents? Romney has not managed yet to get any significant lead, though he has spent a lot of money to not thoroughly drop into oblivion in Iowa. Still on a national level Gingrich still leads by 27.4 to Romney’s 25.2 with Paul a not so close third at 12.2. Not a really good return on investment from Romney’s side up to now. He is the unwanted frontrunner. The only worse is Perry, who is obviously too thick to get God’s message to muster some self respect and get the fuck out of the race.

In 2008 Huckabee won Iowa and McCain came in only fourth, so winning there doesn’t necessarily make you the inevitable candidate. But somehow it rang in the short but very upsetting stint of one Alaskan, done to get support from the increasingly demanding right wing base. Noteworthy: Romney came in 2nd and held more support (2008: 25%) than he does today.

Personally I do not count Santorum out for the Iowa caucus. His win would be a harbinger of a new rise of the right wingers inside the right wing and as I expect there is some kind of uncivil war going on in the GOP between the Tea Party leftovers and the GOP establishment, Iowa will have a huge impact on the eventual platform of the candidate.

I go even further. The decision whether your country and its form of government will stand or whether parliamentary oligarchy will be your future is starting tonight in Iowa.

As an afterthought here’s our very own poll:

This is our Daily Open Thread. Let us know your thoughts.

The Watering Hole: December 27th – Headlines

Some headlines for today:

Hope: The tanks are being withdrawn, relief for the people of Homs.

No Surprise: Vladimir Putin rejects scrutiny into last elections 

Kill the Poor: Britain’s poorest hit by Stealth Tax

Critters and such: Confusing Weather Patterns for Britain’s Wildlife

Nature Victimized and her victims: Rising Seal Levels and Erosion leave landmark crumbling.

Romney: Inevitable? Well…

Not Romney: The Molotov Party

Cute Overdose: Red Panda

This is our daily Open Thread, what’s your news?