Politics

Canada Fires the Messengers

Canada's Liberal government in British Columbia has fired its entire communications division - 300 unionized civil servants - and replaced them with 180 non-union political appointees in order to ensure that government information providers are "committed to the goals of the Liberal administration." Union president George Heyman says Premier Gordon Campbell is "using reorganization as an excuse to lay off workers and replace them with political hacks.

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Social Insecurity and "The Fear of All Sums"

"During the 2000 election campaign, George W. Bush was able to get away with the nonsensical claim that private accounts would not only yield high, low-risk returns, but save Social Security at the same time. For whatever reason, few reporters pointed out that he was claiming that 2-1=4," notes New York Times economist Paul Krugman. "But when it came time to produce concrete plans, the arithmetic could no longer be avoided. Sure enough, the plans laid out by Mr.

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The Big Guys Work for Carlyle

Fortune magazine recently spent six weeks investigating the Carlyle Group, the secretive investment firm with ties to the Bush administration that invests heavily in military contracting. Carlyle employs a raft of former government officials, including the Bush the senior as well as former Secretary of State Jim Baker, former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci and former British Prime Minister John Major.

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Enron Lobbyist Strategized Against Democrats

"While the Bush administration was drafting its national energy policy, a leading lobbyist for Enron Corp. was plotting strategy to turn the plan into a political weapon against Democrats, according to a newly obtained memo," the Los Angeles Times writes. Washington-based lobbyist Edward Gillespie of Quinn Gillespie & Associates in a confidential April 2001 memo to energy companies and industry groups offered advise on how to paint a dour pictures of the Democrats and their energy policy.

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"Pay No Attention to Those Warheads Behind the Curtain"

Today's New York Times reports that Russia has "strongly criticized Bush administration plans to store rather than destroy decommissioned nuclear warheads, suggesting that such plans would undermine the credibility of any new arms control accord.... ... An assistant secretary of defense, J. D. Crouch, told a Pentagon briefing that the United States would hold in reserve a substantial number of warheads as a 'responsive capability.' ...

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PR Scandal in Hong Kong, But Not So In Washington

In Hong Kong, ex-legislator Gary Cheng Kai-nam has been convicted of corruption after he was caught double-dipping. While acting as a government official, Cheng set up his own PR firm and worked as a paid lobbyist. "It was bad enough that Cheng should have found it proper to set up a public affairs consultancy after becoming a legislator," observes the South China Morning Post.

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