Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Archive for November, 2009

80% Republican

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 30, 2009

A proposed ten point test for Republican candidates would require at least an 80% agreement (eight out of 10 correct answers) to be eligible for support from the Republican National Committee. It is rare to find a political candidate willing to sign on 100% to his or her party platform. Some will agree in principle but express a nuanced view on one or more of the platform planks. Others simply ignore the document. Party platforms are written at conventions where a determined minority can often insert language that is problematic for candidates. A position statement by the party national committee, however, is voted on by committee members representing each of the states and territories and is therefore likely to cleave more closely to the views of people who identify with the party. So I don’t have a problem with a “litmus test” as long as there is more than one right answer to the questions. Take the issue of the 2nd Amendment. In rural Wyoming, full bore gun rights may be the ticket to political office but in New York City acceptance of limited gun restrictions keeps a candidate in the running. At least such a position statement would prevent spending money trying to elect people who fundamentally are closer to the opposition party. For the Republicans Arlen Specter, Dierdre R. “Dede” Scozzafava from NY 23 and Jumping Jim Jeffords come to mind. There is room in the party for a spectrum of ideas but there are limits.


Posted in National Politics | Leave a Comment »

A Bonus for the Seattle Schools Superintendent

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 30, 2009

The Seattle School Board has one employee, the Superintendent. Currently that is Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. Is she worth $264,000 in base salary plus $28,400 of other compensation plus bonuses? Apparently so since that is the pay package the School Board agreed to give her. As part of her contract she may also earn an annual bonus up to $26,000 if she meets or exceeds specific goals set by the School Board. This year the Board evaluation of her performance resulted in a bonus of $5,280. She earned it. She should keep it.

The Seattle Times thinks otherwise. By their reckoning, she should forgo her bonus as a token recognition of the school system’s budget shortfall. She should set the example in these hard economic times for all highly paid public officials. Actually the Times went beyond that praising Director Haricum Martin-Morris for not accepting the balance of the $50 per meeting stipend allowed for Seattle School Board members. Does the Times expect this of all the Board members regardless of what it costs them to serve? Mr. Martin-Morris works for a company that gives him paid time off to serve on the Board. Not every member is so fortunate.

Should Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson or Director Martin-Morris choose to voluntarily contribute to the Seattle Schools, fine, that is their choice. But the Times is out of line pressuring them to give up what is rightfully and contractually theirs. Charity is personal, public or private by the wishes of the donor, but it should not be coerced.

God loves a cheerful giver.

Posted in Education | 1 Comment »

Greatest Movie Lines Ever

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 13, 2009

Thanks to my Democrat friend Fred C. for this one.

“Most people say the greatest movie line was Clark Gable’s delivery to Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind: ‘Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn’.

But, the greatest, most accurate and most timely movie line was Bob Hope’s line from a real oldie—a 1940’s movie with Paulette Goddard and Richard Carlson.

Enjoy the 24 second clip!” Click on Bob Hope

Posted in Other | 1 Comment »

US Navy Presidential Ceremonial Honor Guard Drill Team

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 9, 2009

Thanks to Tom B. for this web site. The Navy in dress whites, one sharp drill team.

Click Here

Posted in Military | Leave a Comment »

Service Academies Combined Choirs Sing the National Anthem

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 3, 2009

How many times have we suffered the likes of some rock star or a crotch grabbing Roseanne Barr slaughter the “Star Spangled Banner” at a sports event? The combined choirs of the service academies demonstrate how the National Anthem should be done, stirringly and with respect. Senator and 2004 VP candidate John Edwards was fond of saying there are two Americas, one rich and one poor. He was partially right only the two Americas are the Barr ilk and the rest of us.

Posted in Other | Leave a Comment »

True Colors Fly in NY 23

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 2, 2009

In the supposedly solid Republican 23rd Congressional District in upstate New York, there will be a special election November 3, 2009 to fill the seat vacated by Cong. John McHugh who was appointed Secretary of the Army. The Republican district chairs selected New York Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava, said to be a fiscal conservative but liberal on social issues, as the Republican candidate. In addition to the Democrat candidate, Bill Owens, the Conservative Party of New York also fielded a candidate, Doug Hoffman.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, National GOP Chair Michael Steele and a host of other Republican loyalist endorsed Ms. Scozzafava. Mr. Hoffman received endorsements from Sarah Palin and other noted conservatives. When it became apparent to the Republican candidate she could not win, she suspended her campaign October 31 and released her supporters to choose between the Democrat and the Conservative. Campaign spokesman Matt Burns said, “Scozzafava is essentially withdrawing from the race, although her name will remain on Tuesday’s ballot. She thinks stepping aside is best for the party”, he said.

Today, she repaid the party loyalist by endorsing the Democrat.

Posted in National Politics | 1 Comment »

World War II B17 Flight Log

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 2, 2009

Thanks to George F. who sent me the below pdf file of entries from the flight log of a World War II B17 bomber. In this age of stealth aircraft, smart bombs, missiles and over-the-horizon air-to-air weapons, we forget the up close and personal nature of war just a few decades ago.


Posted in Military | 1 Comment »